|“||Just one. I'm a few, no family, too. Who am I?||”|
— Katja's last words and the code between the clones.
Sarah, a streetwise hustler on the run from a lifetime of bad decisions, witnesses the suicide of a stranger who looks just like her. Sarah assumes her identity hoping that cleaning out the dead woman's bank account will solve all of her problems. Instead, the street smart chameleon is thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. After taking on the new identity, Sarah quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy and must race to find answers.
Sarah Manning is first seen asleep on a train when she is abruptly awoken by an announcement. She gets off the train and goes straight to a payphone where she calls Mrs. S, her foster mother, who is also taking care of her own daughter, Kira. Sarah asks to see Kira but Mrs. S refuses to let Sarah speak to her. Mrs S hangs up and Sarah slams down the phone in annoyance. Sarah then spots a woman in the distance and walks towards her.
The distressed woman is seen pacing on the platform. The woman proceeds to take off her jacket and heels and places her handbag on the ground, almost ritually. When she turns around, she and Sarah see each other and realize that they look identical. While Sarah is shocked, the woman calmly walks towards the tracks and commits suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming train. After Sarah gets over her shock, she runs towards the woman's handbag and steals it; this is recorded on the security camera.
Sarah goes to a public toilet and looks through the woman's bag. She takes some cash from the woman's bag and discovers that her name is Elizabeth Childs and that she has two phones. Sarah then meets with her foster brother Felix at a local bar. They talk about Sarah's abusive boyfriend Vic. Sarah then gives Felix a bag of cocaine she stole from Vic, for him to sell. Sarah wants to use the money earned from selling the cocaine to run away with her daughter Kira, whom she abandoned almost a year ago. Sarah tells Felix about Beth, the woman who killed herself at the train station who looked like her. The two then conclude that they may be twins separated at birth. Sarah, hoping to gain more from her discovery, decides to rob Beth's apartment. Suddenly, Beth's phone rings as she gets a call from Art, but Sarah ignores it. Telling Felix to get a good price for the cocaine, Sarah leaves.
At Felix's studio, Felix tries to sell Sarah's cocaine to a man whom he had just had sex with. They are discussing the price for it, when they hear a loud banging at the door. Felix answers the door and Vic charges in, looking for Sarah and his stolen cocaine. Felix tries to convince him that he hasn't seen Sarah for almost a year, but Vic doesn't believe him. Vic threatens Felix and says he is already under debt and if he doesn't find Sarah and his coke, it'll be Felix's responsibility.Looking around Beth's apartment, Sarah learns of Beth's boyfriend, Paul, who is out of town. Sarah is on the phone with Felix and going through Beth's financials. Felix informs her about Vic's visit and the low price being offered for the cocaine, which disappoints Sarah. Sarah discovers a large amount of money Beth has in her bank account. Sarah thinks that it's more than enough money for them to get away with Kira. Just then, a report of Beth's death is shown on the news, although the body was unidentified. Sarah has an idea and decides to impersonate Beth in order to get hold of her money. Sarah dyes her hair similar to Beth's and studies Beth's signature, then copies Beth's mannerisms and accent from home videos she finds. As she goes through Beth's medicine cabinet, she finds bottles and bottles of pills. She ignores another call from Art. On the phone with Felix, Sarah asks him to go to the morgue and identify Beth's body as her. Sarah, pretending to be Beth, goes to visit Beth's bank manager Steven Riggs to withdraw all the money from her bank account. She rushes him to let her withdraw the money, all in cash, within the next 24 hours. The bank manager tells her that since the bank doesn't keep such a large sum of money on hand, the transaction will take time. Sarah convinces Steven to put a rush on the transaction by offering to sponsor his next charity run and Steven happily obliges. Sarah finds a key in Beth's purse and seeing the key, Steven offers to show her to Beth's safe deposit box as well and Sarah agrees. Sarah finds messages from unknown numbers on Beth's other phone, asking Beth to meet, but Sarah ignores them as well. In Beth's safe deposit box, Sarah finds birth certificates for Elizabeth Childs, Alison Hendrix, and Katja Obinger and decides to take them with her.
As Sarah is walking back to Beth's, she sees a car across the street flashing its headlights. Before she can do anything, Sarah is spotted by a man who pulls her into his cruiser. Sarah recognises him as Detective Arthur Bell (Art) from the papers in his car. During their discussion, Art keeps asking her whether she is ready for something and tells her that he knows what's happening is difficult but he is on the line too, all the while convinced that she is Beth. Art drives them to the police station, and as Art drags her in, Sarah comes to the conclusion that Beth was a detective. Realizing that Beth was to come in for a hearing and not knowing what it was for, Sarah panics and asks to go to the restroom first. From the restroom, she calls Felix to call off their con. But unfortunately, she is too late as Felix identifies Beth's body as Sarah at the morgue. In a desperate attempt to get away, Sarah drinks the hand soap in the restroom. Back in the boardroom, Sarah finds out that the hearing is for a civilian shooting of Margaret Chen by Beth. But before she can speak, Sarah throws up and the hearing is postponed as a result. Art accompanies Sarah to her doctor.Vic pays Felix another visit. This time, Felix tells Vic that Sarah killed herself by jumping in front of a train because of him, but Vic finds it hard to believe. To prove that "Sarah" is in fact dead, Felix takes him to the morgue to see Beth's body. Vic cries over the body, while Felix blithely pats him while exchanging flirty looks with the morgue attendant. Sarah is in the office of Beth's psychiatrist, Anita Bowers. Sarah, as Beth, claims that she is unable to remember the particulars of the shooting. All she remembers is that she shot a civilian. The doctor takes notes as Sarah leads her to believe that she is suffering from a psychological break. Sarah tries to convince her that she is having a hard time remembering the details of the shooting, so perhaps she should refrain from making any statement about it at all. The doctor asks her if she talked about any of these "dissociations" with Paul, but Sarah tells her that she didn't. She urges "Beth" to talk more openly about the shooting, but Sarah just asks to make another appointment.
Back at Beth's apartment, Sarah sees that more messages are accumulating on Beth's other phone, but ignores them. Sarah and Felix discuss Beth's shooting, sure that Beth was involved in something fishy and that it drove her crazy. Felix tells Beth about Vic's desire to have a funeral for Sarah but Sarah doesn't want him to. Felix notices that the women in the birth certificates have their birth dates around the same time as Sarah, but Sarah rules it out as a coincidence. Sarah doesn't care about any of this and tells Felix that they'll finish what they started and then Sarah will come back for him and Kira. This upsets Felix since Sarah plans to run away yet again, but Sarah tries to reason with him that she has to because Beth's life seems too complicated and tells him to sell the coke and give half the money to Kira. Felix snaps at her that she left Kira with Mrs. S for an overnight stay and didn't come back for a year, and Sarah tells him that she's trying to fix her mistake. An angry Felix storms out.As Sarah is packing up, Paul unexpectedly comes back early from his "trip," surprising Sarah. Seeing the packed bag, Paul asks her if she's going somewhere, but she tells him it's just gym stuff. When Sarah asks him why he came back early, Paul claims that he wanted to be there for Beth's hearing to support her and asks her how the hearing went. Sarah awkwardly tries to converse with him, telling him what happened at the hearing, but Paul notices small and uncharacteristic changes in "Beth." Suspicious, Paul starts asking her questions. Not knowing what to say and panicking, Sarah kisses him. Things get heated and they end up sleeping together.
The next morning, Vic again visits Felix, having nowhere else to go, and says that he wants to hold a wake for Sarah. Felix, still angry at Sarah, agrees to it. Meanwhile, Sarah gets up to leave for the bank but Paul gets up and tries to get her to talk to him. Sarah is dodgy and hurries out, leaving Paul suspicious. At the bank, Steven gives her the $75,000. Sarah then happily heads over to Felix's studio as Art tails her to the bank and then to Felix's. As Sarah heads upstairs to meet Felix, Art opens up Beth's trunk and finds the money. Sure that "Beth" is about to make a run for it, Art takes the money. At Felix's studio, Sarah finds flyers for her wake.Furious that Felix agreed to host a wake for her, paid for with the cash he got from selling Vic's cocaine, Sarah heads to the river bank where the wake is taking place. The "funeral" is attended by a few people. Vic gives a speech mourning Sarah's death. Sarah watches on from the other side of the river as she and Felix laugh about the situation over the phone. To her woe, Mrs. S arrives with Kira. Not wanting her daughter to think she's dead, Sarah begs Felix to send them away. Sarah heads back to Beth's car. Another look-alike, a German woman named Katja Obinger jumps into the back seat and asks her why she didn't respond to her messages and meet her. Sarah starts panicking and gets out of the car, asking Katja to leave her alone. Katja begs "Beth" to let her see the scientist that she apparently told her about and mentions having a briefcase Beth wanted. Suddenly, Katja coughs and spits out blood, scaring Sarah even more. Sarah gets in the car to leave but Katja gets in too. Katja reveals that Art was following her and Sarah deduces that Katja was the one flashing the headlights. When Sarah tells her to get out of the car, Katja realizes that this person has no idea what she is talking about. After reciting the code phrase "Just one. I'm a few. No family, too. Who am I?", and not receiving the proper response, she promptly discovers that Sarah is not Beth. Suddenly, a bullet shoots through the windshield of the car and pierces Katja's head, killing her. The shooter keeps firing as Sarah starts her car and rushes off. As Sarah drives away, Katja's pink phone, which resembles Beth's, starts to ring. When Katja's phone stops, Beth's phone then begins ringing again. Frantic, Sarah finally picks it up.
- Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/Beth Childs/Katja Obinger
- Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierden
- Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
- Kevin Hanchard as Arthur Bell
- Michael Mando as Vic Schmidt
- Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
- Skyler Wexler as Kira
- Inga Cadranel as Angela Deangelis
- Ron Lea as Lieutenant Hardcastle
- Elizabeth Saunders as Dr. Anita Bowers
- Dom Fiore as Police Captain
- Justin Skye Conley as Exec
- Diana Salvatore as Bobby
- Nicholas Rose as Colin
- Ivan Sherry as Internal Affairs Suit
- Marqus Bobesich as Rockabilly Bob
- Jamila Fleming as Sherry
- Jean-Michel Le Gal as Stephen Riggs
- Janette Luu as Reporter
- Denika Ellis-Dawson as Little Girl
- Joanne Reece as Beth's Lawyer
- Audra Yolanda Gray as Woman
- Eileen Li as Receptionist
- John Nelles as Dialogue Coach
- This is the first episode of Orphan Black
- First appearance of Sarah Manning.
- First appearance of Paul Dierden.
- First appearance of Felix Dawkins.
- First appearance of Arthur Bell.
- First appearance of Vic Schmidt.
- First appearance of Siobhan Sadler
All Songs for the episodes have been verified by TuneFind
- "Bad Girls" by M.I.A.
- "Sick Days" by The Holiday Crowd
- "Rain of Gold" by Young Empires
- "Meet Me At the Muster Station" by PS I Love You
- "Kira's Cue" by Trevor Yuile