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…