The Hive Recap: Variation Under Nature

OrphanBlack_S1_E03_15_photo_web

“We are your biological imperative now.” - Cosima Niehaus

The first rule of #CloneClub is, tell no one about #CloneClub. Finding out you’re a human clone is packed with psychological, moral and ethical issues. Sarah’s key conflicts in Season 1 include accepting the fact that human clones can exist, that she is one, and that she has to come to terms - as they all do - with some form of relationship to all the others. Our clones’ shared DNA means they share a common dilemma: who should they trust with the fact of their existence? To be a human clone in 2013 means you are a living body of evidence, proof of a great scientific accomplishment that is also a crime: someone somewhere broke the international scientific moratorium on human cloning, way back on the very day you came into being. Human cloning is not illegal in all countries, but it is banned in most. After the birth of Dolly the Sheep, and in consideration of humanity’s sketchy history with abusing science to ‘improve’ our species, the world’s more ethical cloning enthusiasts agreed that developing a human clone - after about 300 failed attempts to get one sheep - wouldn’t be right, on all kinds of levels. Thus, we have Alison’s theory: ‘someone is wiping them out, covering their tracks.’ The surprise is, just who the clones’ assassin turns out to be. As a grifter-clone, Sarah’s predicament is especially complicated, morally. Being a clone allows her to pose as Beth, and shadow the police hunt for Katja’s murderer. But the clones too have been ‘covering their tracks’, to protect their own identities and privacy. Sarah - who has faked her own death - buries Katja before she had any idea of what was truly at stake. A traditional cover-up plot might hammer away at the consequences of Sarah’s own physical evidence, posited at the scene. But in a real-world clone-related crime, the victim herself could expose their secret. Katja’s fingerprints, DNA, crushed face (when reconstructed) could expose Sarah Manning, Beth Childs - or any one of the clones whom Beth was originally able to identify using police databases and facial recognition programs. There is nothing like a common enemy to forge an unlikely alliance. The only people our clones can truly trust with their unprecedented reality at this point is one another. While Sarah and Alison are hellbent on keeping this stuff out of their own lives and plans, the assassin forces them to confront the situation together. Familiarity can breed contempt ...and vital insights; thanks to their individual strengths, skills and resources. They’ll set out together to stop their own slaughter, and ideally discover the truth about their origins. But can they do all that and not expose their loved ones to the explosive truth about themselves? [caption id="attachment_685" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Sarah playing clone cop, Beth. Sarah playing cop clone, Beth.[/caption] As Sarah slips in and out of Beth’s skin, thanks to Cosima’s scientific advice and support, she can’t avoid entangling herself with both Art and Paul. Beth put her life on the line for the clones, for their Truth. As strong as she was, Beth did not survive the quest. Is Sarah really equipped to fill her shoes? And when will her own deceptions catch up with her?

NEXT: Hive observations, unexpected results, and mind-benders >

The Hive's Own Observations and Unexpected Results

Variation Under Nature: Mind-Bender

The most difficult scenes in the series to shoot are those in which two and particularly three clones appear in the same scene. Scenes with more than one clone are shot first with one character, then again with another - and so on. The incredible hair, make-up and wardrobe that creates each clone’s distinctive ‘look’ takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to perfect, depending on the clone. Equally rare is showing physical contact between the clones. Both of these cinematic feats are featured in this episode. [caption id="attachment_670" align="aligncenter" width="540"]It ain't easy, being clones. It ain't easy, being clones.[/caption] Alison’s nosy neighbor Aynsley is introduced walking a muzzled Great Dane. As scripted, the dog was meant to leap at Felix, scaring him witless. But it so happened that the canine performer was the nicest dog in the world, and failed to muster any menace. As a result, the character of Aynsley was given the ‘real teeth’ in this scene. [caption id="attachment_672" align="aligncenter" width="540"]OrphanBlack_S1_E03_03_photo_web The b!#$h who guards hell.[/caption] Why does Cosima need eye glasses, but the other do not? SPOILER: Cosima wears glasses but Katja, Beth, Sarah, Alison and the mysterious Assassin do not. It is safe to assume Cosima’s eyesight degenerated due to her own individual environment and conditions (studying super hard!), instead of sharing a genetic condition. Unless some are wearing contacts, but that was never the intention of the writers. [caption id="attachment_680" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Science geek clone, Cosima. Science geek clone, Cosima.[/caption] The police Medical Examiner refers to Katja’s skull being crushed in an ‘industrial sausage maker’. What is she referring to, exactly? The ‘industrial sausage’ maker Coroner Beckwith refers to is an actual gravel crusher; the discovery of Katja’s body was shot in a quarry outside of the City of Toronto, Ontario. Is it true that the clones could not be differentiated by their fingerprints? Science under-pins almost every plot point, right down to what motivates or confounds Detective Arthur Bell & Co. It is true that clones would have nearly identical fingerprints, which would flag a potential positive match to existing criminal records or even some government identification databases. Their fingerprints could only be differentiated due to wear and tear acquired from each individual clone’s life experiences. Isn’t it just a matter of time before the clones’ identical DNA raises red flags with the detectives? Indeed, but first they must have the crime scenes’ DNA processed, and receive all the results within the same timeframe all the action in the show occurs. Clarifying the real-world police science available to most homicide squads in North America was one of the most challenging aspects of plotting the detectives’ through-line in Season One. Turns out, very few police departments enjoy the speedy service lauded in most fictional forensics labs portrayed on TV. Is it true co-creator Graeme Manson wrote the first three episodes of Season One? Yes. And co-creator John Fawcett directed the first two - shot simultaneously - as well as the finale. Co-creator Graeme Manson wrote the first three episodes of Season One, as well as the finale. Why does Beth’s boyfriend Paul seem so familiar? Canadian-born Dylan Bruce has performed in over a dozens roles on television and film, including Martin Kail in 24: Conspiracy, Chris Hughes in As The World Turns, Brian Nelson in The Bay and even appeared as a doorman in The Sopranos. [caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Close call with Paul. Close call with Paul.[/caption] Where do I know Kevin Hanchard from? The mercurial, conflicted Det. Art Bell is performed by accomplished stage and screen performer, Kevin Hanchard, whose credits range from the walking the boards of the prestigious Shaw Festival, to appearances in popular international television favorites like Degrassi, The Listener and Due South. Where have I seen Detective Angelis DeAngelis before? Ingra Cadranel has performed in over 30 series and made-for-television movies, and will be recognized for her Saskia in Lost Girl, Jill in The Bridge, and Francesca in Rent-a-Goalie.

NEXT: Vist the Hive wet lab and library >

The Hive: Wet Lab & Library

“Show me a person who says their family is normal, and I’ll show you an orphan!” -Martha Frankel

Human Clone Fingerprints: Newton - Ask A Scientist! from the DOA Office of Science Nature vs Nurture: Outcome Depends On Where You Live The balance of nature and nurture in influencing how a child grows up varies depending on where they live, according to a new study. Beyond Nature vs Nurture "Researchers studying differences in how individuals respond to stress are finding that genes are malleable and environments can be deterministic."