Orphan Black “Mingling Its Own Nature With It” Review (2×03)

4 May


The title of this episode, a Francis Bacon quote from Novum Organum, refers to the fact that “human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it”. Essentially, he’s saying that our view of science, of the world, of nature, is stunted by our tunnel vision, our focus on “human understanding” as the limit to our knowledge.

It seems as if each of our various conflicting groups in the show is searching for that higher realm of scientific exploration, but the personal conflicts–their “own natures”–are coming into play, distorting goals and leading to clashing ideologies. In a show about the science vs religion conflict, it’s sensible to bring about a comparison between human knowledge and untapped scientific potential.

To get at the very heart of this episode, we ask: what is the most natural aspect of life, the very reason why humans are on the planet? Birth. The motif is everywhere, from Henrik’s intentions for Helena to Cosima finding out that the disease is from the uterus–interesting how birth leads to the destruction of a creation made possible by science–to Cal’s former job as a pollinator. In fact, birth is being forced upon Helena, and in a truly unsettling final few minutes, we see the extent to which the Proletheans are manhandling her.

Elsewhere, we also are introduced to Michiel Huisman’s Cal Morrison, Kira’s birth (oh, show. So silly.) father; it’s clear that he’s fond of Sarah much in the same way she is of him, even as they might not want to admit it at first. Cal’s an interesting presence who’s already impacting the Sarah-Kira and Sarah-Felix relationships, and the latter is especially heartbreaking. Felix has always been there for the clones, sacrificing a hell of a lot while at the same time, abandonment issues run rampant in his life. One simple utterance–“There’s no place for me here”–carries the weight of years of pain and frustration, even as his ultimate goal has been to support his friends.

The fact of the matter is that Sarah isn’t going to always be able to solely rely on a support system; she’ll have one, but this is just as much an individual battle as it is a group one. These are unique people fighting against the oppression and corruption of large companies and institutes, but try as they might, they’ll never quite escape the tentacles of those larger than them. Alison’s barely keeping it together, rattled by Angie and having that translate into her falling off stage. Helena’s being used in some messed-up ribbon binding religious ceremony. Cosima essentially performs her own autopsy after watching Jennifer Fitzsimmons slowly die a painful death, knowing all too well it could be her next. Sarah’s just looking for a roof to put over Kira’s head, for a constant figure in her daughter’s life because she herself never had one. It’s a long, difficult fight, and just when things are looking a bit better for a moment–when you can sit around a table laughing and smiling–here comes the Fixer.

Then, crash.



-Check out Crowd of Full Pockets’ fantastic review for some interesting insights about the Proletheans, Felix, Cal, and in general, the breaking down of relationships throughout the episode:


-Amazing Leekie impression there, and it was in the way Cosima would do it, not Maslany. Tatiana Maslany can play every character in the show, can’t she? Also, all the awards.

-Can we please get the full version of that musical? Thanks.

-Hey, Number Five from Battlestar Galactica!

-Michiel Huisman’s doing pretty good for himself, isn’t he? NashvilleTremeGame of Thrones, and now this.

-Who’s driving the truck at the end? I’m putting my money on Mrs. S.

Photo credit: BBC America, Orphan Black

One Response to “Orphan Black “Mingling Its Own Nature With It” Review (2×03)”


  1. TV Episode Review: “Orphan Black” “Mingling Its Own Nature with It” (02.03, 2014) | Crowd of Full Pockets - May 4, 2014

    […] the Polar Bears have a review up as well–we didn’t talk about many of the same things this week, it […]

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