'Orphan Black': Creator Graeme Manson on that shocking clone reunion
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Saturday’s episode of Orphan Black.]
Reunited and it feels so good…if your definition of feeling good involves being bound in a shower while your crazy clone assassin sister in a bloody wedding dress caresses you with a giant knife, that is. That’s right, Sarah was face to face again with Helena (whom she thought she had shot to death), and in Rachel’s apartment of all places. Then again, Helena did kill Daniel for her, who appeared ready to do some serious damage to Sarah himself, so, like, where’s the gratitude? Anyway, it was a creepy, chilling scene, and now Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson tells us all about it in our weekly post-episode react. Also up for discussion: Alison in rehab! Mrs. S. having sexy time with Carlton! Intel on Rachel’s parents! And the Proletheans making a startling discovery.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with what has to be the creepiest sisterly reunion ever — one in a bloody white wedding dress and the other bleeding and in handcuffs in the bathroom. You’re a sicko, Graeme.
GRAEME MANSON: Homage to Carrie, all the way. The director did a great job with that scene and it’s right up the alley of what John Fawcett and I really like. It really slips into horror mode there and we like that the show has that elastic tone that we can do that. We expect a lot of Helenas in bloody wedding dresses at Comic-Con this year. It’s a truly freaky and wonderful scene, and just the fact that it has that horror and its broken by the sisterhood and by forgiveness is one of the great clone-on-clone scenes we’ve done, I think.
EW: You can feel and read the terror on Tatiana’s face as Sarah in that scene. Just an unbelievable job she does in that moment.
MANSON: It was. And it was a really hard scene for the crew to watch, because Tatiana really went there. It was scary. She was scaring the whole crew. And then you yell “Cut!” and everyone just has this ball in the pit of their stomach and Tatiana recovers immediately and is immediately smiling and laughing.
EW: So we have Alison in rehab now, and I remember saying to Tatiana at one point that Alison is just so much more fun when everything is crumbling around her. I sort of feel bad saying that and wishing misery upon her, but it’s true.
MANSON: Yeah, that’s a lot of fun, but I do think that also Alison in charge would also be pretty fun to explore. But rehab was one of our really fun ideas this year. You’re right — when we’re in the writer’s room and we’re doing something where Alison is squirming, we’re all laughing. It’s not very nice. But I do think Alison has a hell of a backbone and she’s as rash as any of the other clones. So you have to be careful of Alison. An angry Alison is an unpredictable thing.
EW: As Donnie knows all too well. Okay, how much of a direct parallel should we be drawing from this Greek mythology of Leda and this tale of Zeus and the swan that you bring up in this episode to the actual Project LEDA?
MANSON: Well, I suppose thematically it’s interesting and it rubs up against a bunch of things. Is it a direct lift? Are there direct parallels between it? There are a few. But it’s also you look at those military project names and they are sort of analogous. It’s kind of a fun trope, too, to just have those analogous kind of things that suggest a lot and perhaps the suggesting of twins and suggesting of that kind of thing is more fun than a literal interpretation. It’s not like you can hold the myth up to the plot.
EW: Check out Mrs. S. getting it on in the hallway with Carlton. You’re letting her sex it up this season!
MANSON: And why not? We are wanting to open that character up. And we always knew she had a very interesting backstory and her backstory is Sarah’s backstory. And so over the next few episodes we’re going to be peeling her back a little more, and it’s nice to see her with a smile on her face. It’s nice to meet the mysterious Carlton. We wanted to go to England. We wanted to try and go to England with some cameras and Maria and do a little Maria goes to England. At the end of the day, it made more sense to bring Carlton to Maria.
EW: So who exactly are professors Susan and Ethan Duncan? What can you tell us about them?
MANSON: In this war that’s developing with Rachel, it’s giving Sarah some critical intel. And it’s telling us that they have a connection with the scientists that made them. It’s about the backstories coming together. And though there’s this war with Rachel, the clones share more than biology. They share this mysterious history that’s crucial for Sarah and these guys to understand. There’s so much riding on it. Not just questions of their own identity, but all the medical questions, all the questions of ownership — it’s deeply tied to Rachel and to the backstory. So Sarah finding out more about her enemy is the same path that’s finding out more about herself.
EW: So what does that cell dividing that Henrik is looking at represent? Does that mean that Helena, like Sarah, is fertile and can reproduce?
MANSON: That’s what it means, yes.
EW: And what does that mean for the Proletheans?
MANSON: It means that, in effect, the Proletheans have what the Dyad wants. They have a reproducing clone. They have that in process. So it’s interesting.
For more ‘Orphan Black’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter: