Variation Under Nature is the third episode of the first season of Orphan Black.


Rocked by the revelation that she and her fellow Orphans, Alison and Cosima, are clones, Sarah is more determined than ever to get back her money and skip town. But Sarah's ruse as a cop is stretched to breaking when the body she buried turns up and she finds herself on the case. With Alison still unsure if they can trust her, Sarah realizes that she alone can stop the killer before more Orphans get hurt.


The three clones finally meet. With Sarah demanding answers in exchange for Katja's briefcase, Cosima tries to explain things to her, but Alison finds herself unable to trust Sarah or get over Beth's apparent suicide. Alison excuses herself when her daughter wakes up and interrupts their meeting.

Felix, growing impatient outside, is pushed to his limit in the suburban village when he is chastised by Aynsley of the neighborhood watch, so he follows Sarah and is caught by Alison in her yard. Panicked, she points a gun at him, only to be interrupted by Sarah. After Sarah calms her down, Sarah slaps and warns her about ever threatening her brother again. Cosima then tells her that she just "broke the first rule of clone club", which is that they should never tell anyone about them. After an awkward introduction to Felix, Cosima tells Sarah that if she wants answers, she should call her and give the briefcase in exchange.

Back at Felix's apartment, Felix tries to make sense of Sarah's situation, but Sarah wants nothing to do with the clones, insisting that the plan remains the same: get the money from Art and leave town with Kira and Felix. Despite the denial, Sarah is evidently shaken and bothered by the latest revelations.

Sarah goes back to the precinct the next day, hoping to get the money from Art. However, Lieutenant Gavin Hardcastle tells them that "Beth" has been cleared of the shooting and is reinstated, so Art takes her with him to a 10-45 call. Sarah once again displays her cluelessness about being a cop, beginning with not knowing how to carry her gun and how to call them in, but Art, despite being suspicious, lets it go.

Once there, Sarah is horrified to learn that the body found was Katja's, and that she had unknowingly buried her body by an active quarry. Luckily, the body was too mangled to see the face; unfortunately, the forensics team was able to retrieve a fingerprint. A phone call to Cosima reveals that their fingerprints are close enough to match, which Sarah cannot afford as she has a local criminal record.

Art then notices that "Beth's" gun was not loaded. Worried that she is still anxious about the shooting, Art sets her up with a day at the shooting range, then takes her off the case, saying he will work with Angela Deangelis on it. Then, when Sarah tries to talk Art into giving her the money, Art is infuriated and threatens to dispose of the money.


Sarah and Cosima look at each other in a bar mirror.

Sarah finally meets with Cosima, who is leaving town that night. Cosima shares information about their nature, and Cosima tells Sarah that having a cop with them was an advantage to them finding out more about their true nature and who is killing them, so she asks her to keep playing cop for a little while longer. Sarah then finally gives her the briefcase.

Meanwhile, back at the precinct, Art assigns "Beth" to keep in contact with the lab about a match for Katja's fingerprints. Art then receives a call from a mysterious person, using a voice-change app and indirectly calling out Art's partner, Beth. The caller gives the cops a riddle about the clones and Katja, telling them that she "expired" at Allenside Park. Art and Angela then follow the trail, leaving "Beth" behind.

Sarah, unsure of how to do the things Art had asked her to, asks the IT boy, Raj Singh, for help, beginning with resetting the password for Beth's computer at the precinct. Sarah then goes to the crime lab and manages to delete the information the lab has received about Sarah's record.

At Allenside, the place where Katja was shot while in Beth's car with Sarah, Art investigates and sees clues revolving around the assassination: broken glass from a car, a cleared spot among the foliage, a motorcycle tread that was in fact the killer's mode of transportation, and a head of a doll (the head of the doll's body Sarah found in Katja's room) with red hair and cigarette burns, stuck to a stem on its head, signifying the killer's successful headshot kill.

Sarah then meets with Mrs. S, who finally agrees to let Sarah back into Kira's life, on her terms: she must see that Sarah can "be still", and that she must make it on the day of the visit she has set. Mrs. S emphasizes that if Sarah tries any other approach, she will stop lying to social services about them and she will never regain custody of her daughter.

Sarah then contacts Cosima and tells her about the call from the killer, and that she needs to learn to fire a gun if they intend on keeping her on the case. Cosima then directs Sarah to Alison, who was apparently taught by Beth how to handle a gun. Unable to find a sitter, and Alison's husband apparently off to play golf with friends, Sarah lets Felix babysit Alison's children, Gemma and Oscar.

As Alison teaches Sarah how to shoot a gun, their discussion leads to Beth and their nature as clones. Sarah finally learns how to shoot. Later, Alison tells Sarah about the protection fund which Alison has contributed to the group, and Sarah realizes that the $75,000 she had conned from Beth was actually Alison's. Alison decides to trust Sarah to return the money to them, not knowing that Sarah had already conned it out of the bank. Alison goes home and is horrified to see her children cross-dressed and oddly attached to Felix, who immediately leaves.

Despite the revelation, Sarah stick by her previous plan: get the money from Art and leave with Felix and Kira. Paul then unexpectedly comes home, so Sarah lets Felix hide. Paul gathers some of his clothes to take back to Cody's, while Sarah distracts him to prevent him from spotting Felix. Frustrated at her "hot and cold" behavior, Paul threatens to return the favor, and Sarah challenges him to do so. Paul then proceeds to intensely make out with Sarah, to Felix's pleasant surprise, and abruptly leaves, leaving both Sarah and Felix hanging.

Art is satisfied by Sarah's display at the gun range the next day. They then go over the details of the murder of their "Jane Doe", wherein Art's second theory is closest to the truth. With Art's previous instructions and Raj's help, Sarah was able to pin down the model of the killer's stolen motorcycle, which was then found in Parkdale. The "partners" then follow the lead.

At the apartment building, they enter a suspicious room. Sarah finds, and hides, a copy of Katja's ID. They then find the 13th and a half of the 14th verse of Psalm 139 written on the wall and marked on the Bible found in the room, like in Katja's hotel room. Sarah then notices someone with a gun watching them from a window and tackles Art just as the person shoots. Shot in the ear, Art calls for backup and sends "Beth" to follow the perp.

Sarah reluctantly chases the killer down while also keeping her distance. She is later pinned down, and when the killer utters Beth's name, Sarah exclaims that she is not Beth, just before being stabbed. The killer takes off her hood and reveals that she is another clone. While the killer clone is distracted, Sarah manages to impale her side with a rebar. She leaves but implies that it will not be the last time they see each other. The killer clone accidentally leaves behind her knife, and Sarah hides it just in time for Art's arrival.

Lieutenant Gavin reprimands Art for not having backup, worried about almost losing two detectives. Later, Art finally gives Sarah the money, apologizing for letting her go after the killer alone and holding her money over her. Now with the money, Sarah considers her options.

With Felix, she drives over to Mrs. S' house with the intention of taking her daughter. However, Sarah sees Kira happy with Mrs. S and leaves, realizing that Mrs. S was right about being a mother.

Elsewhere, the killer clone is seen performing a self-operation, removing the rebar from herself and cleaning the wound, showing several scars on her back.



Guest Starring




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

  • "Earthforms" by Matthew Dear
  • "It Ain't You" by The Ettes
  • "We Meet Helena" by Trevor Yuile
  • "Previously On" by Trevor Yuile



v - e - d