Orphan Black doesn’t shy away from flawed but sympathetic mother figures. We were reminded this week that Sarah wasn’t always the dedicated parent she’s been trying to be for the past three seasons. In the same vein, this week’s MVP, Mrs. S, is also a flawed mother who is trying to do right by her children.
Siobhan Sadler (aka Mrs. S) is not someone who is easy to trust. Even the pieces of backstory revealed in this week’s “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” episode had me side-eyeing her, wary of the information. We’ve been groomed by her foster daughter Sarah to distrust Mrs. S, and with cause. However, Mrs. S’s genuine concern for Sarah’s absence proves her own claim that she’s always looked out for Sarah’s (and Felix and Kira’s) best interests. I love her complexity.
Mrs. S snagged this week’s Clone Club MVP because when she took Gracie in, her behavior brilliantly showed us exactly what made Mrs. S a good foster parent to all those she’s cared for. Mrs. S first tells Gracie about her dead husband John Sadler. The story, one of love lost young and losing the potential of a family, seemed perfectly tailored to Gracie’s needs . . . whether or not it was true.
Later, Gracie comes down the stairs, ready to blindly jump into the nearest club that sells “mai tais.” Instead of letting Gracie get herself into trouble alone or refusing to let her drink at all, Mrs. S creates a party right there in her living room. She and Felix teach Gracie to dance and let her get all of her party on (before things go south very quickly). This is the thing about Mrs. S: She smoothly creates controlled environments in which to test other character’s limits.
It’s like that whole idea that if you have sheep in an open pasture, they will huddle together, but if you fence them in, they will roam widely within the space. Thanks to Mrs. S characters are caged in, but they express more freedom than they would were they roaming truly free.
Looking at how complicated Mrs. S is makes me think about Dr. Coady, the Castor clones’ “mother.” Right now, Coady is presented as an outright villain, but she and Mrs. S have similar methods. Both would do anything for their foster children, even at the expense of other people. Mrs. S traded Helena off to save Kira and Sarah, Coady experiments on anyone who can find a cure for her boys. They’re both fierce, tough women who are used to being in charge and can’t always afford to look soft.
SO in sum: Mrs. S is Clone Club MVP because she’s a complex character and she has a lot to teach us about our newest flawed mother, Dr Coady. And never forget that S took Sarah in and kept her secret and safe all those years, even when she didn’t exactly know what they were running from. We wouldn’t be here without her.
MVP runners up? Pupok and Helena’s parkour.