Orphan Black’s Improbable Fire Extinguisher

This is, admittedly, a rather pointless post, griping about a tiny thing. I’m just trying to come up with more things to post about, and this one has been running around my head for weeks now.

Spoilers, obviously.

I got into Orphan Black not so long ago, and was immediately hooked. It’s a great show, not least because of the excellent multiple performances of star Tatiana Maslany, but it does have a tendency to get a bit silly at times.

Most notable such silly moment was probably in the recent season two finale, wherein main character Sarah uses a specially rigged fire extinguisher to kill Rachel and make her escape from Dyad. It’s a little hard to suspend disbelief when something quite so unlikely occurs.

How might this fire extinguisher plot have failed? Let me count the ways:

1. One of the medical staff noticing Scott should not be there.
2. One of the medical staff noticing the large and totally unhidden fire extinguisher duct taped to the equipment.
3. Rachel noticing said fire extinguisher while handing Sarah her daughter’s odd drawing of a fire extinguisher.
4. Rachel not sending all of the medical staff out of the room.
5. Sarah being given sedation before Rachel arrives to send staff out of the room.
6. Rachel not standing in the exact position required for the (unaimed) pencil to hit and instantly kill her, it instead a) missing entirely; b) wounding her superficially; or c) seriously harming her but leaving her able to call for help.
7. One of the medical staff waiting outside hearing something and coming in to investigate.
8. Said staff being right outside the room when Sarah attempts to leave.
9. Dyad having any kind of security at all.

In all, it was a scene so ridiculously contrived that it completely threw me out of the show.

It’s still a great show, though. It’s got my vote for the Dramatic Presentation Short Form Hugo award. I just hope it doesn’t keep getting sillier as it heads into a third season.


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