Rape in Orphan Black | Season 2, Episode 5 *SPOILERS*

We have two rapes, victims of each gender, under very different circumstances. *SPOILERS*

Male Rape

Rapist: Rachel (clone)
Victim: Paul (Rachel’s newly promoted monitor)

Rachel forced Paul into becoming her monitor. Although she grew up as the only self-aware subject in the cloning project, she still requires someone to monitor her mental and physical health. (I’m pretty sure her cold and unfeeling mental state is as warped as Helena’s despite apparently growing up in loving nuclear family.)

Crazy and homicidal clone Helena claimed Paul was being unfaithful while watching his rape down the scope of a sniper rifle, when in fact he had no choice. Be raped or die, were his choices. He chose life. I would hope Sarah would understand his situation. There was little time in this episode for her to acknowledge his position as she made a tearful speech to talk Helena out of shooting Rachel (“Rachel is problem. I fix problem.”) while she was raping Paul, though Sarah knows he was blackmailed into working for Dyad in the first place, as Beth’s monitor. So perhaps this rant is premature.

Female Rape

Rapist: Henrik (cult leader)
Victim: Helena (clone)

I also find it a little strange that Helena herself didn’t appear to understand Paul’s position since in the prior episode she was also raped using that long metal prod to remove her egg, which was then fertilised, and should she ever be recaptured by her religious cult rapists, will be impregnated with the resulting embryo. If not, her child will be carried by Henrik’s own daughter (whose lips he sewed shut when she wouldn’t confess to attempting to murder Helena). On the other hand, considering Helena’s never-ending abuse by a succession of men, I can’t blame her for her lack of empathy for the possessors of Y-chromosomes.

However, I am disappointed that most reviewers of these episodes did not construe Paul’s nor Helena’s encounters as rape.

I’m hoping the show has the characters explicitly labelling these events by actually uttering the word ‘rape’ to dispel confusion by calling a spade a spade.

3 thoughts on “Rape in Orphan Black | Season 2, Episode 5 *SPOILERS*

  1. While the actor himself calls the scene sexy/hot, without even hinting at rape, I was glad to see that some of the comments on the reviews explicitly call out the character’s lack of consent/viable choices at the time.

    As for Helena, I don’t think she really understands what rape/consent is, as I don’t see who could have taught her that, given her past. This being said, even if she had the knowledge, I don’t think that seeing Paul and Rachel doing the deed could have necessarily hinted at rape (for all Helena knew, Paul could have signalled his interest at Rachel many times before).

    I’m curious how will they choose to treat this too, but seeing how two episodes have passed since, and no one brought up the sex that Rachel and Paul had, I doubt it’ll ever get mentioned again.


    1. You’re right about Helena. She led a sheltered life.

      We’re a couple of episodes behind the States so I haven’t seen them yet. It’s disappointing to hear the writers squandered an opportunity to educate their audience in the follow-up episodes.


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