Orphan Black S1x05 – “Conditions of Existence”

I review the fifth episode of Orphan Black, entitled “Conditions of Existence”, currently airing in the UK via BBC 3.

Orphan Black DVD Boxset

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the fifth episode of Orphan Black when it aired in the UK on Friday, as I ended up watching the England Football game following Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And the distraction of the season finale of Supernatural’s second season prevented me from catching up on the show on Saturday, but come Sunday, I was able to get the chance to watch the fifth episode of Orphan Black and it didn’t disappoint, with another stellar episode that continues directly from the fourth picking up threads that we haven’t seen for a while, such as the reappearance of Sarah’s abusive ex-boyfriend, as well as dealing with new ones, such as seeing Sarah not only reunite with Kira – her daughter, and with help from Alison and Cosima, discover that they are being monitored by people whose purpose in lives is to observe them.

Once again, Tatiana Maslany steals the show here, playing all three clones (and Helena, in her brief appearances) very well, giving each of them their own unique traits as they undergo some interesting character development. The main theme of this episode is trust, as all three clones are starting to learn that nobody, not even those closest to them can be trusted, with the discovery of the monitors being the driving force behind this episode, whilst the appearance of Sarah’s ex allowing for complicated matters when he still believes Sarah to be dead. And to make matters worse, Paul starts an investigation of his own.

We’re now halfway through the first season of Orphan Black and I’m really enjoying it. Like Peaky Blinders, it’s easily been one of the best new things on TV this year and is one of the shows that should rightfully deserve as much attention as the likes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. It’s just that good, and when you consider that the acting from all cast members is superb, especially when four of the characters are being played by one person, things are going to be very good indeed. Conditions of Existence is strong, impressive and gripping – striking the right balance between the developing of the story and the need to provide answers for the audience. The fast paced nature of the episode is also fairly strong as well, but not entirely perfect – with more reliance on coincidence such as the scene where Alison met Vic, then before.

Another good element of this show is that there’s no one-dimensional character. They all have their flaws, their weaknesses as well as their strengths and everybody from Cosima to Felix is struggling with the various plot developments, and whilst Paul – or Alison’s husband for that matter, may not be as interesting as any other characters, they do nonetheless play an important role in what is a very strong episode that I’m sure by the end will leave me disappointed that Orphan Black is only ten episodes long as opposed to 22-ish from the likes of Supernatural and Arrow that we’ve seen before, because I could quite happily watch this series for a very long time. It’s fun, addictive and very strong – with a cliffhanger reveal between Paul and Sarah being very interesting indeed that has me eagerly anticipating the next episode, and I will make sure that I don’t miss it for anything.

And there’s still answers to be had. If Paul’s Beth’s monitor, who’s Sarah’s? There isn’t anyone revealed so far – I can think of three possible suspects though, even if they are very unlikely – Felix, Mrs. K & Vic) – As well, when will Art and Vic show up next? We’re clearly not quite done with them yet, and how they affect the future episodes will be very interesting to see.

Count me in for Episode 6, I can’t wait for it. If you only watch one TV show this year, let it be this one, because it certainly deserves your attention. Orphan Black is just this good.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

ORPHAN BLACK SEASON 1 EPISODE GUIDE: S1x01: Natural Selection, S1x02: Instinct, S1x03:Variaton Under Nature, S1x04: Effects of External Conditions, S1x05: Conditions of Existence, S1x06: Variations Under Domestication, S1x07: Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner, S1x08: Entangled Bank, S1x09: Unconscious Selection S1x10: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

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