The Hive Recap: Variations Under Domestication

The Hive’s Own Observations and Unexpected Results

Variations Under Domestication: Mind-Bender

Thanks to outing Paul as Beth’s monitor, Sarah can stop being Beth but must then appear to be Alison since Alison is no longer herself, – or is she more herself than the others have ever guessed?  Vic and Paul are briefly convinced that Alison is Sarah, and Felix convinces Alison’s friends he’s an acting coach.  Paul convinces Vic that Sarah and Alison are one and the same, and that Paul is Sarah’s new partner in crime.

But is he?

Can Paul be trusted?

Can Paul be trusted?

Is it true this episode was first conceived as a ‘potluck box show’?
Indeed, the original plan for this chapter was to corral all the clones in one place at the same time, in Alison’s home only.  But as the clones’ unique stories developed, and their relationships to one another became more sophisticated, it was more important to allow Cosima to pursue the consequences of her isolation (and very different priorities) in Minnesota, while Sarah and Alison confronted the ugly truth about not being able to escape one another as easily as they first hoped. In other words, forcing the women together would truncate what each needed to experience, to move our story ahead. Ultimately, the potluck was shot over two days on location in the wonderful municipality of Markham, Ontario – which doubles as Alison’s community, Bailey Downs.

Is it true this episode was influenced by Tarantino and the Coen Brothers?
Yes. #106’s writer, Will Pascoe, cites “Fargo” meets “Reservoir Dogs” as his inspiration for the peculiar anguishes portrayed in the collapse of Alison’s peace of mind.

Is there such a thing as ‘Neolutionism’ in real life?
Neolutionism is a fictional term, a sort of philosophical composite, designed to tribute several contemporary and historic perspectives on “directed evolution.” At its root, it represents the belief that scientific advancements can and do improve the human condition, so anything we can invent or develop scientifically to do that should be applauded. Even if those discoveries and inventions can refine the terms of the species’ survival. These ideas have been eloquently debated by such luminaries as Dr. Stephen Hawking and Dr. Frances Arnold, as well as all kinds of social/science conspiracy theorists, and science fiction creators of all stripes.

Hey, wait – is that Max Headroom?!
Yes! Dr. Aldous Leekie is played by the legendary Matt Frewer, who starred in the Eighties cult series sensation, Max Headroom. Mr. Frewer has appeared in over 100 roles on big and small screens, including General Bressier in Falling Skies, Jim Braggart in Eureka, Ted Altman in Intelligence, Frank in Dawn of the Dead, and Dr. Chet Wakeman in Taken… to name but a few.

What is The Brown-Bag Sad-Face Gag?
When Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett first met Matt Frewer (Dr. Aldous Leekie) as a guest director on another series, Mr. Frewer decided to give him a special initiation to working with the star, on their first day on set. Upon John’s arrival, John was advised of an ‘issue’ with the performer, that day: Mr. Frewer would be appearing on set wearing a brown paper bag with a ‘sad face.’ John was told to simply work around it, as if nothing was unusual about this strange behavior on the part of the star. Ever the professional, John duly observed this advice, and engaged Frewer’s Brown Bagged/Sad Face on preparing their first shot together as if absolutely nothing were out of the ordinary. He had no idea the entire cast & crew were in on the gag until Mr. Frewer finally revealed he was being punked. They became instant friends. To mark their reunion on Orphan Black, John arranged for every member of the cast and crew on deck for Frewer’s first day of shooting to wear Brown Bag Sad Faces to the set. Mr. Frewer was suitably delighted. More behind-the-scenes photos are available here.

The sad brown bag gang.

The brown-bag sad-face gang.

Why do I recognize Aynsley’s husband, Chad?
Aynsley’s body conscious husband Chad is the sublime Eric Johnson, whom you may well know as Detective Luke Callaghan in Rookie Blue, Flash Gordon from the Flash Gordon series, or Whitney Fordman in Smallville, to name a few of his dozens of other film and TV credits.

"Chad, shut your stupid mouth and feed the kids." - Ansley

“Chad, shut your stupid mouth and feed the kids.” – Aynsley

Who plays amazing Aynsley?
Alison’s well-meaning but inconveniently nosey neighbor is played by the fabulous Natalie Lisinska.  You may recognize her as Collette from Lost Girl, Alex Cranston in InSecurity, Pamela in Saving Hope or Karen in Less Than Kind.

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