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Old 05-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #1
Rob Helmerichs
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Orphan Black 5/17/14 “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est”

So Rachel is Leekie’s boss? I figured it was the other way around. And yet she’s his subject.

Sarah and Meathead, the new Odd Couple. There’s a Felix joke in there somewhere...

There seems to be more to Cal than meets the eye. Nice go-stash he’s got. Survivalist or spy?

Still not sure what’s going on with the religious science nuts. And Maggie Chen comes back into the picture. I suppose it all starts to make sense eventually...

Oh, Paul. I used to kinda like you. If you were less of a complete dick, I might feel sorry for you for the terrible way Rachel takes advantage of you.

“Don’t do anything crazy.” Oh, Art, do you even watch this show? He sure seems to have gone off the reservation.

“Original genome.” Wonder what they mean by that?

So Leekie’s kinda sorta a good guy after all! Or...is he?

I suppose I should just make a macro to type this every week, but I continue to be amazed at Tatiana’s ability to distinguish the characters so thoroughly that I sometimes literally forget it’s the same person.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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They seem to be backing off the patent business with a throwaway line about how "back then, everybody patented everything".
Helena is becoming a favorite. Commanding screen presence.
Art reminds me of Carlos The Clueless in Continuum before he grew a brain.
I hate it when clones just use us good looking guys for sex.

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Old 05-17-2014, 10:37 PM   #3
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I hate it when clones just use us good looking guys for sex.
Just say no to clones. But twins are okay. Unless they are twins and clones.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:13 AM   #4
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On the subject of an original genome, it's clear that they can't just make up from whole cloth the millions of gene pairs to make a person. They have to start with one or more already existing people, then start tweaking and adjusting things to make it whatever they're trying to improve or alter. And they have to be trying to improve or alter something; otherwise there's no point. We all already come with a perfectly good mechanism for making new people, after all. So while there can't be a "the original", there does have to be one of sorts: the full sequence of the person from whom they started, from whom they diverged artificially. That's the one they lost in the fire.

Which is really a great explanation for a lot of things about the show that have required some suspension of disbelief. Why there's only one group of clones, and whatever they did to make them, they haven't re-done since, most notably.

It seems that in Project Leda (the closed captioning keeps saying Lida) they sequenced a genome, cloned from it, and made some alterations, but figured out a way to make the resulting embryo viable, something they no longer know how to do. (Which is fairly real science; when we take an adult gene sequence and try to make a clone from it now, we can do it, but the resulting embryo suffers problems similar to aging, due to, we think, telomere breakdown.) The question is, what alterations? Were they just tweaking one thing here and another there for the research alone (as in, let's see if we change just this one allele how that clone will differ from the others so we know what that allele controls) or were they beyond that and trying to accomplish specific things (for instance, vastly improving healing, so if one of the clones, say, gets shot in the gut by her sestra she has a chance to survive)? And of course, unsurprisingly, they're finding some glitches arising, particularly in the uterine system, causing infertility and in some cases far worse. It even makes sense that they'd clone females in such an experiment: the female genetics are easier to work with since there's more similarity between the two Xs than an X and a Y, and the resulting clones are able to test more things since they have more complicated systems, systems which are also well equipped to test what happens to the subsequent generations.

I am very impressed by, in this episode, how well the cloning science is fitting in with both what is known of genetics, and everything we've seen in the show since day one. The writers either figured out a lot of things that weren't going to be revealed for a long time and got them right, or they're doing a hell of a job with making things fit.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the genetics info. Interesting read.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:56 AM   #6
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Which is really a great explanation for a lot of things about the show that have required some suspension of disbelief. Why there's only one group of clones, and whatever they did to make them, they haven't re-done since, most notably.
There is still at least one thing about it that still requires a big helping of suspension of disbelief.

After all these years since the clones were created, and presumably having the complete genomes of all the clones available for study and comparison, that none of the scientists have been able to duplicate the technique that created the clones in the first place.

Knowing that it CAN be done, and having around a dozen examples to study and compare, and having years to do that studying, and having a corporation providing abundant funding for research, and who knows how many smart scientists to work on it, and they have not been able to duplicate what was done a couple decades ago?

Even if the original scientists just got lucky in some unexpected and unusual way, in the many years since it should have been possible for detailed study and comparison of the clone genomes, by supercomputer, to turn up the key sequences.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:36 PM   #7
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There is still at least one thing about it that still requires a big helping of suspension of disbelief.

After all these years since the clones were created, and presumably having the complete genomes of all the clones available for study and comparison, that none of the scientists have been able to duplicate the technique that created the clones in the first place.

Knowing that it CAN be done, and having around a dozen examples to study and compare, and having years to do that studying, and having a corporation providing abundant funding for research, and who knows how many smart scientists to work on it, and they have not been able to duplicate what was done a couple decades ago?

Even if the original scientists just got lucky in some unexpected and unusual way, in the many years since it should have been possible for detailed study and comparison of the clone genomes, by supercomputer, to turn up the key sequences.
Just knowing your destination doesn't make it so that you can determine the route you took to get there, of all the science they play fast and loose with, this is one of the times IMO they pretty much nailed it, losing their research in the fire is a great way to explain away why there's only one batch, and it dovetails very nicely in to the possible sighting of Mr Swan/Duncan.

I'm very impressed they came up with this roadblock to the process being successful and give them major props.
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Just knowing your destination doesn't make it so that you can determine the route you took to get there...
Actually, having the genomes of most of the clones available for study does give you a pretty good idea of the "route" to create a genome for more clones. Everything about each clone is contained in their DNA. At a minimum, you could just clone one of the "clones" (I use quotations marks since they may not be true clones...it seems likely that each had slightly different DNA sequences modified from the "original")

There could be some tricks involved in the mechanics of inserting changes into human DNA, or in getting the desired DNA sequences into a viable embryo, and such tricks would not be readable in the clones' DNA. But that kind of engineering would either be remembered by survivors of the fire, or else be able to be duplicated during the two decades or so since the original work.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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Rob Helmerichs; I might feel sorry for you for the terrible way Rachel takes advantage of you.
Awww poor Paul.. Although Rachel is a bit rough during sex but I think I would try to overlook the rough stuff as long as she didn't get too weird.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:11 AM   #10
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Felix looked like Prince from about 25 years ago. I don't know why that popped in my head while I watched this episode but it did.

Helena in the helmet cracked me up.

It always seems so easy to get perfect sniping locations on tv.

Sewing someone's lips up - always creepy. Pulling the tread out - creepier.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #11
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At least for me, the story has gone a bit off the rails and is starting to lose me, but I still enjoy watching for Tatiana and how great she does with all the characters. Oh, and I miss Allison. What happened to her? For some reason, she and Sarah have been my favorite clones.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
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Alison is in rehab. I'd be surprised if we don't see more of her in the next episodes.
So many clones, so little time
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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At least for me, the story has gone a bit off the rails and is starting to lose me...
It's easy to feel kind of discombobulated because so many of the characters' and organizations' motivations and intentions are so unclear. I don't think I'm exactly lost, because I can't point to any specific plotline or character that I'm confused about. But it all just seems a bit adrift.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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At least for me, the story has gone a bit off the rails and is starting to lose me, but I still enjoy watching for Tatiana and how great she does with all the characters. Oh, and I miss Allison. What happened to her? For some reason, she and Sarah have been my favorite clones.
I liked Sarah pretending to be Beth the best. But I agree about the story going off the rails as well as continuing to marvel at Maslany's performances. For me, this show is the opposite of what I normally watch, which is to say that the acting here (at least by Maslany) is superb but the story is getting boring. I'm a few days away from cutting the cord (on cable), and this is one of the few shows that I won't be able to get live or near-live over the air or from Hulu Plus, and yet I don't think I'm going to have trouble waiting many months for it to hit Amazon Prime.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:54 PM   #15
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It's easy to feel kind of discombobulated because so many of the characters' and organizations' motivations and intentions are so unclear. I don't think I'm exactly lost, because I can't point to any specific plotline or character that I'm confused about. But it all just seems a bit adrift.
I don't feel discombobulated, I just think the story line has gotten a bit wacky for my tastes. The cult, really? Did this story need a crazy cult? The cop just seems beyond stupid. I'm not even sure what he's planning to do. I guess he's trying to avenge Beth's death? He just seems a bit lost here. Oh and they've killed Helena, what 2 or 3 times now? The story felt much clearer in direction last season, but has gone off in so many directions...

But I still loving watching Taiana act out all the parts. As someone said, I forget quite often that it's the same actress.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:04 PM   #16
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Helena probably doesn't die because her internal organs are reversed. A normal kill shot misses the mark when aimed at her. I think of her as Bizarro Sarah.

I'm also a bit confused by the cult and their involvement. I don't even recall where they came from and got injected into the story. I watch so many TV shows that it makes it that much more difficult to follow a complex plot in a single series. I think my brain is melting from TV overload.

My hat's definitely off to Tatiana for her acting ability. During the pre-season special that aired the other actors always marveled at how she can change character and how difficult it is for them to respond to the different characters when they all know it's the same person.

BTW, the scene where they mistakenly grabbed Alison instead of Sarah a few episodes back was priceless. The way Alison reacted was just comical.

The story has definitely gotten more convoluted as more elements keep getting injected into the plot. No doubt the writers will eventually tie everything together. I fully expect a few more clones to show up along the way. There's probably at least one or two failed attempts that didn't die that are being sequestered somewhere, kind of like Alien Resurrection. What the heck, the more the merrier.

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Old 05-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #17
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I don't feel discombobulated, I just think the story line has gotten a bit wacky for my tastes.... Did this story need a crazy cult?...



But I still loving watching Taiana act out all the parts. As someone said, I forget quite often that it's the same actress.
Oh, I see. You meant "lose me" in the sense of being less able to buy into it. I thought you meant "lose me" in the sense of being hard to follow. I totally agree about the cult; that's a completely unneeded element. And of course, it goes without saying, I wholeheartedly agree with you about TM's amazing performance(s). Incredible.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #18
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Oh, I see. You meant "lose me" in the sense of being less able to buy into it. I thought you meant "lose me" in the sense of being hard to follow. I totally agree about the cult; that's a completely unneeded element. And of course, it goes without saying, I wholeheartedly agree with you about TM's amazing performance(s). Incredible.
It's not even the need to suspend belief, which I'm ok with. It's sci-fi after all, and I think their explanations for things have been fine. The story is just going off in a million directions. Last year even though we had 4 or 5 clones in the story, for the most part the story was heading in a particular direction. Now, there are way too many story lines and some of them, especially the cult part, just don't seem like they belong. Hopefully they will tie it all in at the end, but the further they move in these directions, the harder it's going to be for them to get there.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:50 AM   #19
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Here is an interview with the show's science adviser...Cosima, a grad student at the University of Minnesota!

What an ASTONISHING coincidence! What are the odds?!?
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