ORPHAN BLACK: 29 Mysteries Answered (and Unanswered) In Season 1

orphan black season 1 answers and mysteries

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The entire first season of BBC America’s clone conspiracy thriller Orphan Black has been televised, but how far along the questions/answers maze did it take us? Let’s find out by looking at the mysteries that were answered and those that remain suspended in the air for Season 2.

Note: we’re looking at genuine questions/mysteries that pertain to the overarching plot.


1. Why did Beth kill herself? She found out that Paul was her monitor. The realization that the man she loved only stayed with her for this reason — coupled with the pressures of the clone drama — was too much for her to bear.

2. How did Beth find out about the clone conspiracy? She found out when German clone Katja Obinger contacted her about the clone assassinations taking place across Europe.

3. Who killed Katja? Helena killed Katja, just as she killed the other clones in Europe, as part of her mission to rid the world of the ‘abominations’ she believed were made in her image. Helena was working with Maggie Chen.

4. Who is Maggie Chen? Chen was one of the people responsible for creating the clones while secretly working undercover for the religious group opposed to the orphans. Beth shot and killed Chen to protect the clones. Art helped Beth cover it up as an accidental shooting, though he didn’t know about the clone conspiracy at this stage.


5. Who is Tomas? He’s a member of the religious group that opposes the clones and their creators. He recruited Helena and trained her to kill the other clones, brainwashing her with the notion that she was ‘the original’ and that killing the impostors was her ticket into god’s kingdom.

6. Who is Dr. Aldous Leekie? He’s the head of The Dyad Institute and the public face of the Neolution movement.

7. Who are Neolution? It’s a movement on the cutting edge of science, they’re responsible for making the clones.

8. Do the Neolutionists know about Sarah’s daughter, Kira? Yes.

9. Who is Olivier? He’s Paul’s contact and one of the lower-ranking Neolutionists. He tried to get Paul to bring Sarah in upon discovering that she wasn’t Beth. He has a tail which was cut off by Helena. Olivier is killed by Dr. Leekie after Sarah and Helena escape under his watch.

10. Who is Delphine, really? She works for Dr. Leekie as Cosima’s monitor. He tells her to get close to Cosima to find out what she knows about the other clones, however Delphine falls for Cosima and helps her dig deeper into the conspiracy.


11. Who are the clone monitors? Paul is Beth’s monitor; Delphine is Cosima’s monitor; Donnie is confirmed to be Alison’s monitor in the season finale when he meets with Dr. Leekie and tells him “it’s a seven year itch, it’s not easy – she’s not easy.” Fair play to him, he didn’t break during the glue gun torture! Alison is unaware that Donnie is her monitor.

12. Who is Sarah’s monitor? It seems she doesn’t have one (yet) – like Helena, she slipped through the cracks at an early age.

13. What is the role of the monitors? Their job is to observe the clones, report their findings to Dr. Leekie and ensure that the Neolution doctors have access to perform experiments on the clones while they sleep.

14. Why do Sarah and Helena share a “connection”? They are twin sisters born from the same womb.

15. Who are Sarah and Helena’s birth parents? Amelia, a south African woman gave birth to Sarah and Helena after agreeing to be a surrogate for two Neolution scientists posing as a wealthy couple. She separated the twins after suspecting they were in danger, giving Sarah to the state and Helena to the church.

16. Can Sarah trust Mrs. S.? That remains to be seen. Before her death, Amelia tried to warn Sarah that Mrs. S. is not who she claims to be. A photo suggests Mrs. S, may have been involved in the clone experiment at some point. At the very least Mrs. S. is hiding something.

17. Why didn’t Paul have a ‘choice’ in monitoring Beth – what do Neolution have on him? He was a private contractor in Afghanistan where he killed six marines in friendly fire. Neolution covered it up. According to Paul, that’s what they have on him.

18. Who is Rachel Duncan? She’s a self-aware clone raised by Neolutionist and now works for them in a seemingly high-ranking capacity. Felix refers to her as a “proclone”. She tries to get the other self-aware clones to align agree to continued monitoring/tests. When Sarah refuses, it’s implied that she arranged for Kira to be kidnapped.


19. What is the purpose of the clone experiment in the first place? We get a partial answer when Cosima discovers that the clones are all patented — they’re ‘property’. As Cosima explains, “everything we are, everything we become belongs to them,” not to mention, “they could claim Kira.” This in turn explains why Rachel tries to get Sarah, Alison and Cosima to sign contracts — though whether such ‘patents’ would hold up in any modern court is another matter.

Next: Unanswered Questions…


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  1. skylar says

    Thanks too for the screenshot of the scientists. Why is there a guy with a big gun in the photo of the scientists? Were they there of their own volition?

    I’m having a hard time understanding the timeline… where was Sarah as a child before she came to live with Mrs. S (and is Mrs. S the female scientist in the photo?) if she was near to Kira’s age when she arrived? If we assume she was in another foster care home or state facility, who was worried about Sarah if Amelia had given “one [newborn] to the church and one to the state” because she was worried about them? And how did Amelia miraculously discover where Mrs. S was if Mrs. S was hiding them, and what did Mrs. S really believe she was hiding them from? Her explanation was really weak.

    Since Allison met Donny in high school, I’m guessing that he wasn’t her monitor from the start, not until Neolution had something to blackmail him with… but it does say something about him if you compare him with Paul and Delphine who knew their monitorees for a lot less time, but had enough empathy/respect for them to come clean when confronted. Donny and Allison are even bonded by kids.

    I have no doubt Kira’s never talked about, asked about, or named father will turn up as important sooner or later.

    It’s a compelling show. Cosima and Allison are offset Sarah well. I hope Cosima can be cured!

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  2. _lost_stef_ says

    I have a question, Why is Felix so important that Mrs. S brought him with Sarah to the states? Could he be a clone as well?

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    • Page 48 says

      “Could he (Felix) be a clone as well?” Maybe ‘Vic the Dick’ is Felix’s monitor.

      “Mrs. S brought him with Sarah to THE STATES”. Yikes, Torontonians will be crying themselves to sleep tonight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      Why did Allison actually let her PIA soccer-mom-neighbour-chick die in the garburator? That seemed a bit harsh to me. I mean we all know people that we’d like to watch die in the kitchen, but really, Allison, that was just cold.

      Why did Beth carefully remove her shoes and neatly fold her jacket before walking in front of the train of pain? Is that the way a ‘proper’ lady does suicide-by-train? Do they teach that at Police Academy?
      How about Max Headroom hitting his stride in 2013, doing double duty on “Orphan Black” and “Falling Skies”? Late Night Leekie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoqMSr1H1ek

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    • says

      I took it simply put that Mrs. S had already adopted Felix prior to the ordeal with Sarah and Amelia. And frankly, what kind of a foster-mother would she be if she didn’t take Felix when she fled to another continent with the other foster-child?
      I don’t think Felix clones would be a stretch, but at the same time, I feel like theorizing such is just reading too far into the conspiracy. I don’t make much sense there…

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  3. Guest says

    I feel there is some significance to Mrs S. telling Felix that Kira is “a gift” in episode 2. When he answers that Sarah knows that Mrs S replies “No, she hasn’t a clue”. At the time it seemed sentimental but in the context of neolutionism and then Kira’s abilities, maybe Kira is not a gift from God, as implied, but a gift from someone on earth (Mrs S?, the Neolution movement? someone else?)

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  4. Cheri says

    Questions/loose ends I still have:
    -how did Katja find out about the deaths of the other European clones in the first place?
    -also, how did she find out about Beth? It seems likely that that information would have been one of the first things she told Beth, and would be a useful avenue to investigate.
    -what about the foster parents of Cosima and Alison–who were they, where are they now, and what information can they provide?

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  5. Parma says

    Siobhan ‘Mrs. S.’ Sadler and Dr. Aldous Leekie were a couple, and two very bright young cientists.
    Mrs. S. was however sterile and their relationship changed because of that. (Maybe a miscarriage before discovering she was sterile just to make it more macabre)
    So they decide to use their own DNA to fertilize Amelia and birth new clones of themselves.
    Paul, Donnie and Felix are all younger versions of Dr. Leekie as all the female clones are of Mrs. S..
    Their final intentions were to create the chance to meet the daughter they could never have… Kira.


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