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FANVID: Weapon of Choice (Orphan Black)
lost olivia
dealanexmachina

Title: Weapon of Choice (My Medea)

Fandom: Orphan Black

Song: My Medea by Vienna Teng

Spoilers: S1

Summary: Science and religion and the clones' struggle for agency against both.

Disclaimer: This fan made video was made under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. No infringement intended.




Notes:

"They're religious extremists. Proletheans, they call themselves."
"Right, Neolutionist is way better."

When I first watched this show, I was struck by how science and religion were presented as mirrors in the narrative. Someone made a great observation about the quoted scene above how Sarah deftly put Leekie and Tomas in the same box: two male figures of authority trying to control women's bodies and women's lives. And so this video was born.

It was only after I decided to make this vid that I realized just how good the directors have been about showing that the similarities of both factions. It isn't just in the narrative; the directors actually use some of the same visual cues, shaky cams and jump cuts. But it is fascinating: both sides take great strides in caring for the physical well-being of the clones. Both engage in harmful psychological warfare on their well-being through monitors and Tomas. Both use weaponized clones, Rachel and Helena respectively, to deal with the other clones and steer things towards their agenda. And it is this attitude of dangerous possessiveness under a thin sheen of sinister benevolence that creates a consistent feeling of threat through the series, because it is shared almost exclusively by the males on the show.

I also like how Sarah poses an unpredictable challenge to both, because she has spent her entire life up until this point free of their control. As neither a victim under their control nor a tool against her sisters, she instead develops into a weapon herself, one who sits in the clones' corner, protecting them from harm, but it is of her choosing and she alone dictates her path. (I still maintain that Sarah killing Helena was done so reluctantly, and if only Helena had not killed their mother, Sarah might not have been able to pull that trigger.)

I have more thinky thoughts on the matter, especially in how Sarah, the one clone we know was raised by a woman, fits into this scheme and the gender divide of power and agency, but that's for another post. Hope you like this and if you have any comments or questions, please be sure to leave them below.


Lyrics:

Inside the labyrinth walls
There lies a tiny child who sleeps alone
And as the daylight falls
The wind becomes so wild across the stone

For I have made her prison be
Her every step away from me
And this child I would destroy
If you tried to set her free

So come to me my love
I'll tap into your strength and drain it dry
Can never have enough
For you I'd burn the length and breadth of sky

For it's my thoughts that bind me here
It's this love that I most fear
And this child I would destroy
For I hold her pain most dear

No haven for this heart
No shelter for this child in mazes lost
Heaven keep us apart
A curse for every mile of ocean crossed

For I must die for what I've done
A twist of fate a desert sun
For I see what I destroy
Sweet reflection knife into me
For I see what I destroy
I can see what I've begun



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