The Hive Recap: Knowledge Of Causes, And Secret Motion Of Things


It’s Family Day at rehab.

The Hive Writers’ Notes – Aubrey Nealon

Hi #CloneClub,

The idea that sparked this episode came out of an early season two brainstorming session that happened before I’d joined the show. I think John Fawcett might have come up with it. Someone jotted it on an index card and tacked it to the corkboard: “Family Day at Rehab.”

Months later, when it came time to write the episode, we all agreed that the premise would be a lot of fun. We could lighten the tone a little, get a good dose of Alison, and reunite some of our characters who’d been apart for most of the season.

But as I dove into the material, I struggled to find a way to connect the fun and games at rehab to the larger story of Sarah and the clones. I knew we’d risk frustrating viewers if this felt like an unnecessary detour, however amusing it might be. When I’d voice this concern, Graeme and John would tell me they were confident we could get it there, and then they’d turn to one of the 9,000 more pressing things they had to do.

So I fretted and lost sleep and whined to my fellow writers. And finally the answer came, in the form of another index card that was tacked to the cork board. This one read “Leekie dies.” Again, this was a story element we’d all decided was right for this episode, although the how and why of it were not entirely nailed down.

So here’s an unsolicited tip for writers: if you have two seemingly insurmountable story problems, try simply drawing a line between them. More often than you’d have any reason to expect, one will provide a solution for the other. How would events at rehab impact the main clone story? They would cause Leekie’s death. How would Leekie die? Events at rehab would incite Donnie to confront him, and blood (and brains) would spill.

Two problems, each one an answer to the other. Once that connection was made, the rest of the story fell into place. So in an episode that includes the introduction of a powerful new character in Marion Bowles, the high-level scheming of Mrs. S, the reunion of Rachel and her long-lost father, and Sarah’s decision to take Kira from Cal’s protection and back into the lion’s den, it was this little link—the line between rehab and Leekie—that gave the story its shape.

This is an example of why Orphan Black is so exciting to write. Graeme and John lock onto ideas that they want to explore, and then we all work like mad to steer the stories toward them. It’s what keeps the show fresh and unpredictable. We surprise the viewers because we surprise ourselves.

I’ll end with a quick tip of the hat to director Ken Girotti. We pushed the farcical elements of this episode as far as we dared, and it’s thanks to Ken’s light touch that it remained grounded in reality. And of course the cast deserves credit too—they don’t exactly suck.


NEXT: The Hive: Observations, Unexpected Results, and Mind-Benders

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  • Susan

    Various thoughts.

    of the irony, I absolutely LOVE that you played “Love Is All Around”.
    My older brother had this Troggs song on 45 rpm. I found it years later
    and played it over and over. Now I had to look it up online and am
    again playing it over and over. (and I wrote this up before you posted
    your hive recap)

    I know it’s totally nose on, but I’m still
    waiting for Pat Benatar’s “My Clone Sleeps Alone”. Even if subtle
    background music. (Now I’m waiting for someone to tell me it was so
    subtle it’s already been done and I missed it.)

    I don’t care how
    much Tatiana gets paid, it’s not enough. And I’m not even talking about
    all the characters she plays. My head just spins trying to keep up
    with Sarah. First she’s with Mrs. S and Duncan, then with Cal and Kira,
    then Felix and Alison call and Sarah not only goes there to help out but has to play Alison playing Donnie. GAWD. I’ve got vertigo. Then
    Comsimi, er, I mean Cosima, is in the picture, but she’s on the phone
    with Sarah. Good thing I was sitting down for all this or I’d fall

    My kudos to the writer for tying the Alison arc to
    Leekie. Perfect. And why wouldn’t Donnie be ticked upon his
    revelation? He’s been as much or more given the mushroom treatment
    (kept in the dark and fed b.s.) as the clones themselves. And yet in
    the end, it was purely an accident that resulted in Leekie’s end and yet for that accident to happen required their lives being brought together. Wonderful writing.

    And I now have Orphan Black colored glasses… I saw a Nissan Sentra ad and at first glance thought it said Nissan Sestra.

    the real Cosima’s discussion on social views of things… I once was
    told by a male coworker that I was very yang. It almost seemed like a
    jab. It certainly didn’t even need to be said, for what purpose. It’s
    like a woman shouldn’t be so yang. Never mind I was dealing with a very
    yang, domineering, male boss. I’ve never been a push over and I call a
    spade a spade. To me this is not aggressive by any means, just dealing
    with life as it has been. Furthermore, this is called integrating the
    masculine and feminine. This is evolution out of duality when you can
    integrate those energies. I’ve had more aware people express
    appreciation for my integration of those complements. And “complement”
    is really the best way to look at all the dualisitic “sides” to things.
    They are not so much opposites, but just different parts of the whole
    that when reunited “make complete.”

    And Cosima’s comments on
    scientists being part of the society.. oh yes, very much so. Good, bad
    or indifferent. They are just as steered by the fear control agenda in
    this world as most any other person in society. They will do certain
    things in their line of work purely to keep their jobs, even if it’s a
    moral issue of some sort, whether for themselves or others. If whoever
    is providing the paycheck wants it, then they either tow the line or
    lose their lively hood, which in many cases wouldn’t necessarily be a
    bad thing, but this how people are like deer in the headlights when
    confronted with supposed “survival” decisions, whether they truly are
    that or not. That happens across the board, in all walks of life in
    this world and THAT right there, letting fear steer you, has created an
    awful mess in this world in science, religion, education, media,
    government, entertainment, food, water, medicine, you name it. People
    who do things, not because they are the right thing to do (even within
    their own personal idea of right and wrong), but because the one
    wielding the paycheck (or other whip vs carrot) says so. So much for principles.

    sadly, written or unwritten, there seems to be some “rules” in science
    where someone must come up with a theory, then set out to prove it. And
    unfortunately, that often results in “Real data, be damned!” If the
    data doesn’t fit the theory, it gets thrown out or judged an anomaly.

    for clones? The only argument I’ve ever heard for clones is organ
    harvest. Come on folks, how’s about you take care of the body you have
    rather than growing spare parts. What a concept!

    So many
    facets to every topic in a free-will society where most folks don’t know
    that their free-will is being intentionally manipulated.

    planet herself and a few of her human inhabitants (and most of all plant
    and animal forms) will be ascending soon. Much of these dualistic
    decisions of this or that will become a thing of the past, of no concern
    to those moving up. While many other people, most of the world’s
    population actually, will stay behind, going over and over the duality
    choices, swinging this way and that, sifting through a mess that has
    been many millennia in the making, still not ready to go inward and
    actually create, rather than constantly looking outward and
    re-creating. That old re-creation often means making change, but of the sort that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    what we THINK others think of us (which is probably, more often than
    not, NOT really the case), I always like the line “What you think of me
    is none of my business.” People’s thoughts are their own and only have
    bearing on us when we allow them to, you know, giving authority of our
    lives away to others. This probably mostly happens with people who
    don’t even want that authority over us, but people fearfully think they
    might so they give that authority away. And that there is one small
    example of disempowerment.

    Across the board, regardless, a very intelligent show you all have created. Be that what it may.

    • lvogt

      How about Cathy’s Clone by the Tubes?

  • Mothman’s Dog

    Mirror mirror on the wall, how did they film that scene at all? :)