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Alison Hendrix takes on all comers in Orphan Black ep. 5.3

Contributed by
Jun 24, 2017

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen Beneath Her Heart or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.

Score one for the home team, and extra kudos to the Hendrix family from Bailey Downs. It just goes to show what soccer moms, homemakers, crafters and your suburban neighbors can do when you least expect it.

It’s so easy to forget just how vital Allison is to CloneClub sometimes. Sarah may be the de facto leader, but it’s Allison who’s the hub of the wheel. It’s Allison who's kept the clones supplied over the years with everything from phones to money (not to mention organizing everything) while raising two kids, running a household, overseeing all kinds of community activities and taking care of a husband.

Did she need to pop pills and drink booze to deal with the fact that her “perfect” life wasn’t so perfect or because she wrestled with the idea that she was a science experiment? Sure. But people fall apart a whole lot more over a whole lot less, let’s be honest.

It’s easy to forget about Alison when the clones are separated and Neolution is literally digging up the bodies in the backyard and even Sarah has no idea what to do. But, as Rachel Duncan learned this week, forgetting how valuable and capable Alison Hendrix is is a mistake. One you won’t even know you’ve made until it’s too late.

I mean, how many people would think about using soap to sell drugs to soccer moms in order to save the ones they love? Or keep a dead man’s head for insurance? I ask you.

In an episode that could have easily been called “The Evolution of Alison Hendrix,” we see Alison’s life split between the past and present day and learn just how much Alison was looking for some sense of belonging. A sense of friendship. A sense of fulfillment. It’s ironic to learn that Alison had a much better relationship with Ainsley than we ever knew. Ainsley got Alison. In some ways, she was just like Alison, but we didn’t know that when we first met her. This episode gives us a better insight into Alison’s best friend. We come to realize what a good friend she was and that Ainsley was doing her frantic best, just like Alison.

It’s not until Alison is watching the last remnants her perfectly managed life dissipate that she truly understands what she’s been looking for all this time. Even when she tries her old coping mechanisms, they don’t work. She finally realizes how bankrupt those options are. Maybe it takes accidentally overdosing her husband on Lorazepam in front of the citizens of Bailey Downs and her pastor for her to really speak her truth, but it happens and it’s glorious.

The idea that it’s Rachel’s new right hand Simon Frontenac (Andrew Moodie) who lays the groundwork for Alison’s realization and her eventual checkmate over Rachel is just cream cheese frosting on the cake.

As for Donnie, well. There aren’t enough words to describe how much I adore Donnie Hendrix. As out of the blue as all of this was for Allison, imagine Donnie’s learning curve. He could have cut and run anywhere along the way and I don’t know if anyone would have blamed him, but he keeps showing up. He keeps being Allison’s rock, and he’s hands down the best person to handle Helena.

In the end, Allison takes the advice Ainsley gave her years ago: “If you really feel there’s a purpose for you? You should trust that.” It may take a meltdown and a reminder from Chad that they can’t change the past and that moving forward would be the best way to honor Ainsley, but she makes the choice. It’s a hard scene to watch without crying (I admit, I ugly cried), because we all know it’s the right thing, but the right thing can still hurt.

This was Allison and Donnie's episode, but let's do some quick checks with the rest of the cast, shall we?

Cosima

“You’re basically asking me to drop a bomb in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting”.

Tatiana Maslany playing Cosima is one thing, but Tatiana Maslany playing Cosima through the mushroom-addled brain of Allison Hendrix is a whole new level of fun.

Art

Between us, how badly do you think Art wanted to shoot Enger? I’m not saying it would have been right, but I think there was some part of him that was hoping she wouldn’t get called off.

Sarah and Felix

Yay for Sarah and Fee time! So what if it’s because the world around them is so insane they need to stay holed up together? It’s still some much-needed time between the two of them.

Kira

In today’s cautionary tale, maybe you shouldn’t tell a kid a mouse has the ability to slip out of its own skin during a predator attack and grow that same skin and fur back and then give her that same mouse. I don’t know what Kira’s planning to do with that knife, but you know it can’t be good.

Helena

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Helena look so peaceful. I’d also kill for a translation of what she was writing.

Random Thoughts

Ramon is still a terrible influence. But you have to admit, he’s charming, and he sure has a thing for Alison.

Donnie’s bouncing head as they drag him behind the curtain. Died laughing.

Final thought.

There is no better moment in this entire episode than Allison Hendrix handing Rachel that phone and telling her to get the Neos out of her house. Rachel’s small acquiescent shrug as she’s forced to capitulate to this woman she’s looked down on for so long –– priceless.

P.S. Okay, the duet at the end. As moments go, it’s right up there.

Next week is going to get creepy. I just have a feeling. Meet you back here to discuss?

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