Conditions of Existence is the fifth episode of the first season of Orphan Black.


When terrifying evidence suggests the Orphans are part of a sinister ongoing experiment, Sarah's suspicions turn to Paul, Beth's boyfriend. But her probing inadvertently triggers Paul's own investigation, bringing him dangerously close to the truth. Meanwhile, paranoid Alison piles on a whole new level of complication.


A man apparently named Tomas is seen nursing Helena back to health. That same night, Sarah, at Beth's apartment, videocalls Alison to thank her for helping her out by impersonating her in front of her daughter and former foster mother earlier. Later, Alison turns in, but her expectant husband had been waiting for her, hoping to get some love, but Alison waves him off and goes to sleep.

Meanwhile, Paul unexpectedly comes home to Beth while Sarah is in the shower. Initially hiding, thinking it was someone else, Sarah later comes out and invites Paul with him, and the two again end up sleeping together. Paul then asks "Beth" to run away with him, since he hates his job and she has now quit the force. Sarah tells him that they will discuss it in the morning.

That night, Sarah dreams of being examined by some doctors. The next morning, Sarah spits out a chip and notices an injection mark on her arm, so Sarah realizes that it may not have been a dream. She rushes off so she can tell her clones.

She goes to Felix. Alison arrives and they all video chat with Cosima who thinks of possible scientific explanations to what Sarah has experienced. The chip Sarah spit out was in fact an electrode from an electroencephalogram array which is used to monitor electrical activity in the brain. Cosima deduces that it must have been a diagnostic and neurological test.

The clones then realize that Paul may have been in on it as Beth's observer to keep tabs and accumulate data on them. When they find out, through Felix, that Sarah slept with Paul, Alison realizes that she "may be sleeping with her spy, as well," referring to Donnie. She leaves to investigate, but not before leaving a gun and $20,000 with Sarah.

Raj then calls "Beth" and asks her to return the surveillance equipment she had borrowed from him weeks before. When Raj asks if she was using the kit on Paul, Sarah realizes that Beth must have realized Paul's betrayal and had been spying on him to get proof.

With his wife out, Donnie looks through his wife's things while speaking suspiciously with someone on the phone, seemingly talking about Alison's sudden strange behavior. Suspicious of her husband, Alison looks through his things when he steps out, finding a porn stash behind his things and a mysterious box locked tight in their garage.

Sarah brings Felix back to Beth's apartment with him to search the place for the station's surveillance equipment. They do not find it but instead stumble upon Paul's business card, Paul's box consisting of his personal mementos from his military days, including a U.S. Purple Heart medal, and some letters from Beth. They then end up finding the surveillance gear in the trunk of Beth's car.

With his calling card, Sarah is able to track down where Paul apparently works: Trexcom Consulting. His assistant Madison leads her to his office, where Sarah plants a recording device while Paul is in a meeting. When he arrives though, he tries to seduce "Beth", with Felix listening enthusiastically, only to stop when he notices that Sarah does not have Beth's scar at the back of her neck. Sarah insists that it merely disappeared over time with her new lotion, and soon leaves.

Paul then watches a video recording he has of Beth and sees Beth's scar, confirming his suspicions that he has been dealing with a different person this past few weeks. He tells his assistant to clear his afternoon because "something came up". Later, he is visited by Olivier Duval, who is asking about Beth's progress. Paul does not tell him about what he had just found out and covers up for Sarah, with the whole exchange recorded on Felix's computer.

Meanwhile, in the University of Minnesota, Cosima is studying the blood samples of the clones in their lab with Scott, particularly seeing if it is possible that Katja Obinger's illness is genetic. After sending Scott of to do some work for her, she notices another student speaking to someone loudly on her phone, seemingly upset, from the table across from her. Embarrassed, the woman hurriedly leaves, leaving behind a piece of paper. Taking a peek at the paper, Cosima sees that it is the student's grade sheet, showing the student's impressive marks.

After reading Beth's letters to Paul, Sarah finds out that Beth was the one who had really loved Paul, while Paul seemed to have only stayed without ever returning her feelings fully. She tells Felix, who then tells her that Paul seems to be falling for Sarah. The conversation ends when Felix entertains a guest, Colin, and Sarah picks up Kira from school. Kira recognizes her immediately and they reunite happily. Sarah walks her back to Mrs. S' house, with Kira asking some questions along the way, and is even given permission to spend some more time with her. Unbeknownst to her, Paul had followed her and soon takes photos of them together.

Cosima later follows the French student to give her grades back, only to find the student crying outside. The two hit it off, however, as Delphine explains that she had just broken up with her long-distance lover and they discuss their courses. They formally introduce themselves to one another, beginning some sort of friendship.

Back at Mrs. S', Sarah is enjoying some quality time with her daughter. She and Mrs. S then discuss Kira and herself, particularly that Mrs. S had raised both of them. Sarah then asks Mrs. S to tell her anything she can about her past, and Mrs. S is suspicious of the sudden curiosity.

Elsewhere, Vic is brought to face his boss, Pouchy, again. Vic apologizes for still not having the money for the cocaine Sarah stole from her and begs for more time. Pouchy isn't buying it, though, and he has Vic's pinky cut off.

Back with Alison, Donnie has just arrived as Alison was trying to saw open his box. Alison asks him what the box contains, but Donnie takes it away from her, insisting that he deserves some privacy. Unconvinced, Alison later takes her children out and buys a small hidden camera. In the shop her children was buying candy from, Vic had just bought painkillers for his cut finger. Outside, Vic sees Alison and mistakes her for Sarah. He confronts her, and in fear, she used Mace on him and tazes him. Alison then drives off with her children in a rush.

Alison calls Sarah to tell her about her encounter with Vic, and even asks her if he was Kira's father. Sarah tells her that he isn't, but is also immediately distressed that Vic is now back in the picture.

Going home to Felix's loft, Sarah is surprised the see Colin the morgue attendant there. She hides, knowing that they have conned him into identifying Beth's body as her. She lets this past as they discuss the real issues: Vic and Paul. Felix plays the recording from Paul's office, and they finally confirm Paul's involvement. He was apparently a monitor to Beth, but for some reason, Paul did not report his recent discovery. Right on time, Paul calls "Beth" and asks her to come home. When Sarah refuses, Paul sends her a photo of her with Kira, and Sarah finds out that he had followed her.

To make matters worse, Vic has arrived and finally sees the real Sarah. He gets touchy about Sarah faking her death, but Sarah just lies about it, telling him that she was "working a job" and he would've ruined it. To get rid of him, Sarah just gives him the $20,000 from Alison to give to Pouchy for the coke. Before leaving, Vic reminds her of their days in Myrtle Beach and tells her that they were in love then, but Sarah insists that she never loved him.

Alison then tries to open Donnie's box again that night, only to find that Donnie has left it open and replaced the contents with his porn stash, which Alison just found that morning in a different hiding place. She then plants the nanny cam in their bedroom. Unbeknownst to her, he was already burning the real contents of the box, assuring someone on the phone that everything was fine. When Donnie comes home, he plans on sleeping on the couch, but Alison apologizes to him and invites him into bed.

Planning on just assaulting Paul, Cosima convinces Sarah to try and talk with Paul first, seeing as he also covered for her to his superior. Cosima theorizes that Paul does not know everything as well so he cannot skew the results of their studies, but they can at least get a few answers from him, and that Olivier is the one they need to get to for the real details.

Both equipped with their own handguns, Sarah finally confronts Paul. At first, Sarah continues to lie to him, insisting that she is Beth and that he was just paranoid. Paul isn't having any of it though; he enumerates reasons that he thinks she is not Beth, citing Kira as one, because apparently, he was with Beth when she found out that she was sterile. Asking her a question Sarah could not answer, Paul finally catches her in her lie and asks her where Beth is.

Held at gunpoint, Sarah finally comes clean. She tells him her name, and that she took Beth's identity after she saw her commit suicide, explaining that she had no intention of getting tangled up with him. She tells him that she is Beth's twin, and Paul asks if the whole thing was a test, confusing Sarah even more. Suspicious of her, Sarah tells her that he caused her suicide, particularly because Beth probably found out about him being her monitor, hurting her deeply enough into ending her own life. Paul, shocked, insists that she is lying and he was being tested. When Sarah asks Paul how she could do that to someone who loved him so much, Paul finally puts his gun down, telling her that he didn't have a choice and he does not even know why he's there to monitor her.



Guest Starring




All songs for the episodes have been verified by TuneFind(A reliable Source)[1]

  • "Gaivota" by Amália Rodrigues
  • "It's Not My Party" by Diamond Rings
  • "Previously On" by Trevor Yuile
  • "Kira's Cue" by Trevor Yuile



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