SestraCast (Orphan Black)

SestraCast (Orphan Black)
A podcast for fans of Orphan Black, the sci-fi thriller sensation that combines crazy science with heartfelt sisterhood. Jean MacDonald, who has obsessively watched and rewatched the series, is joined by Kathy Campbell, who is watching it for the first time. We review and analyze one episode per week, looking at what makes this show so emotionally and intellectually satisfying. Watch (or rewatch!) Orphan Black with us!

51: Series Wrap-up: Sestras Are Forever
Mar 14, 2019 • 43 min
Jean and Kathy get together for a look back at their experiences of the series Orphan Black. We have had such a lovely time getting to know each other through our shared love for this show and its characters. Did the show live up to Kathy’s expectations?…
50: “To Right The Wrongs Of Many” (S5E10)
Mar 2, 2019 • 75 min
It is as perfect a series ending as we have ever watched and we enjoyed every minute. We also reflect a bit on our journey. Kathy: “This is the podcast that really got me podcasting.” Jean: “Same here. Who knew? I had no idea. Just like our sestras didn’t…
49: “One Fettered Slave” (S5E9)
Feb 24, 2019 • 59 min
The tagline of this watch/rewatch podcast is that “we make sure not to spoil any storylines beyond the episode we are currently discussing.” We are down to the last two episodes of this show we love, but we keep our promises. Spoiler alert: we are getting…
48: “Guillotines Decide” (S5E8)
Feb 18, 2019 • 58 min
The antepenultimate episode of the series, i.e. the third last. We talk about how it’s nearly impossible to avoid spoilers, and how that has affected Kathy’s experience watching the series. Felix’s Gallery Opening is the Clone Dance Party equivalent of…
47: “Gag or Throttle” (S5E7)
Feb 7, 2019 • 65 min
An eye-opening episode. We learn about Rachel’s childhood as the “pro clone,” which means we get a flashback with the long-gone Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer). And Alison’s back, with a new haircut and a new laid-back attitude. We also ask the question: martini…
46: “Slim Manacled Wrists” (S5E6)
Jan 25, 2019 • 56 min
Krystal is back! It’s another mid-season fun episode, a breather as we hurtle down the path to the series finale. Krystal takes charge, in her quest to unmask Big Cosmetics’ evil plan. (Check out Kathy’s Krystal voice!) Plus, stuff goes down on the Island…
45: “Ease For Idle Millionaires” (S5E5)
Jan 19, 2019 • 62 min
Much is revealed on The Island Of Doctor Westmorland. Cosima and Delphine attend a special dinner party at the Big House, for which they must dress appropriately, Victorian-style. Says Cosima: “Frock that!” We learn what makes Kira’s regenerative DNA…
44: “Let The Children And The Childbearers Toil” (S5E4)
Jan 15, 2019 • 50 min
Mrs. S. and Sarah go on a mother-daughter road trip to find a Neolution scientist held hostage in a psychiatric ward, and they display some excellent con artist skills along the way. Adele is admitted to Clone Club, and will be paired up with her brother…
43: “Beneath Her Heart” (S5E3)
Jan 5, 2019 • 74 min
Remember “Variations Under Domestication” from Season 1? (Hint: glue gun.) This is the bookend. Alison and Donnie’s journey together has come so far. Bonus: Highland dancing in full Scottish regalia. Yes, really….
42: “Clutch of Greed” (S5E2)
Dec 9, 2018 • 51 min
Helena escapes (again) and she’s on the lam (again). Cosima finally meets the legendary P.T. Westmorland, who offers her the chance to do great science in his laboratories. Sarah, Siobhan, and Felix concoct the perfect plan to abscond with Kira before…
41: “The Few Who Dare” (S5E1) - And Secret Sestra Santa Gift Picks
Dec 1, 2018 • 61 min
Jean and Kathy continue their holiday tradition of picking fun and useful gifts for the sestras. Links to all our choices are below! Season 5 picks up where we were left cliff-hanging, on the Island of Doctor Westmoreland, as we are now calling it. Rachel…
40: “From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths” (S4E10)
Nov 21, 2018 • 83 min
The finale of Season 4. Our final podcast episode covering Season 4. It is shocking, heart-warming, titilating, funny, sad, and…holy freakin’ Christmas cake! We just could not make this episode any shorter than it is. We’ll see you soon to start Season 5,…
39: “The Mitigation of Competition” (S4E9)
Nov 17, 2018 • 65 min
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Rachel and Sarah join forces to save the Leda project. Helena is back from her wilderness retreat. Donnie is back from prison. Some people get their richly-deserved comeuppances. Episode 9 of Season 4…
38: “The Redesign of Natural Objects” (S4E8)
Nov 9, 2018 • 50 min
Violent retribution plus musical theater: yep, it’s close to the end of another season of Orphan Black and they are pulling out all the stops. Will Alison play Judas to the sestrahood, while starring in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar? Orphan Black…
37: “The Antisocialism of Sex” (S4E7)
Nov 3, 2018 • 52 min
It’s an episode that gives us a bit of a breather as the sestras process the traumatic events of last week’s episode. This doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park for our favorite clones, though: Alison hosts the worst slumber party ever, Cosima nearly…
36: “The Scandal of Altruism” (S4E6)
Oct 14, 2018 • 71 min
A heartwrenching episode on so many levels. If it weren’t for Felix posing as a detective from Scotland Yard, complete with deerstalker hat, there’d be nothing to smile at. Get out your handkerchiefs. 😭…
35: “Human Raw Material” (S4E5)
Oct 8, 2018 • 80 min
We set a record for length on this one, but we just couldn’t help it. Donnie and Cosima scope out Brightborn, where Krystal is also sleuthing. Meanwhile, Sarah is unconvinced that Adele is really Felix’s biological sister, and uses underhand means to find…
34: “From Instinct to Rational Control” (S4E4)
Sep 26, 2018 • 59 min
An old nemesis from Season 1 and 2 heads over to the lab at the Rabbit Hole. Helena says farewell to the science babies and the Hendrix family. For comic relief, we have Donnie and Felix posing as prospective parents at Brightborn Designer Baby Factory.…
33: “The Stigmata of Progress” (S4E3)
Sep 8, 2018 • 56 min
Content warning for maggotbots and other stuff that is icky. Sarah goes further down the rabbit hole, looking for a way to remove the neolution tech from her cheek, when an old adversary shows up at just the right time. Alison, Donnie, and Helena provide…
32: “Transgressive Border Crossing” (S4E2)
Sep 3, 2018 • 47 min
“A secret lab underneath a comic book store: what more could a girl ask for?” Cosima is ensconced with Scott, doing the crazy science. Something’s bugging Sarah (and it’s grossing us out). At least there’s good news from the obstetrician for Helena, and…
31: “The Collapse of Nature” (S4E1)
Aug 25, 2018 • 53 min
It’s the start of Season 4, and wow! One of the best season openers of any show. In a fantastic episode-length flashback to Beth Child’s life in crisis, we learn so much about our favorite characters. It’s the Orphan Black universe before Sarah Manning…
30: “History Yet to Be Written” (S3E10)
Aug 17, 2018 • 59 min
A wrenching rollercoaster of a season finale. Story arcs are tied up, new stories are being launched. The sestras come together (another clone special effects triumph) in an ending that is emotionally satisfying. Save room for the ethnic cake! We can…
29: “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” (S3E9)
Jul 25, 2018 • 51 min
A cryptic clue (“In Londontown, we all fell down”) means a road trip for Mrs. S. and her foster kids. Siobhan the Bomb fronts her old band at the pub, putting on an amazing show. Felix wouldn’t eat jellied eel and Sarah wouldn’t mind her mother.…
28: “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method” (S3E8)
Jul 18, 2018 • 47 min
Like a good spy novel, this episode keeps us guessing right to the end. The much sought-after copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau could fall into the wrong hands; who will end up with it and what will they do with it? Kathy helps Jean figure out some of…
27: “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” (S3E7)
Jul 10, 2018 • 47 min
In an unusual episode where Sarah and Helena are minor characters, it’s time for a crazy romp with Donnie, Alison, Cosima, and Felix as Alison’s school board campaign heats up. The big surprise this week? Donnie speaks Portuguese, but it doesn’t assuage…
26: “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” (S3E6)
Jun 17, 2018 • 59 min
Kathy is back! We celebrate her return with a kickass episode that features not four, not five, but six clones! Kathy has been Team Paul since the beginning, so we definitely needed her back for this episode. She also needed to be here to comment on the…
25: “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” (S3E5)
Jun 1, 2018 • 62 min
This week, Allison Sheridan (that’s Allison with two Ls) is our guest co-host, while Kathy is on hiatus. Allison introduced Jean to Orphan Black a few years back, using the classic strategy of “Hey, I’ll watch the first episode again with you.” In this…
24: “Newer Elements of Our Defense” (S3E4)
May 26, 2018 • 54 min
With Kathy on hiatus, we welcome Tim Mitra as guest co-host this week. He is a mobile apps developer and producer of both a tech podcast and a scifi podcast. Of greatest interest to SestraCast? Tim lives in Toronto, practically next door to the Dyad…
23: “Formalized, Complex, and Costly” (S3E3)
May 17, 2018 • 48 min
Kathy is taking a break, due to being pregnant. (Spoiler alert: she had the baby! Everyone is healthy and happy.) For the next three episodes, Jean has invited some special guests to co-host. Kelly Guimont, podcaster, volunteer, and friend extraordinare…
22: “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” (S3E2)
Apr 24, 2018 • 53 min
Cosima’s feeling better, and so are Jean and Kathy, after a short hiatus during hay fever season. Alison and Donnie become entrepreneurs. Helena would like to see the mangos. Sarah and Kira play house with Cal for too brief a moment, before finding…
21: “The Weight of This Combination” (S3E1)
Apr 9, 2018 • 49 min
Welcome to Season 3! New clones means incredible performances, shocking storylines, and… new butts. We also talk about Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States….
20: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” (S2E10)
Mar 30, 2018 • 58 min
It’s the Season 2 finale, another triumph for our sestras and for the series. We loved this episode and this season. Excellent ending with a special treat for sestra fans and a peek at a new clone we’ll learn about in Season 3….
19: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” (S2E9)
Mar 23, 2018 • 49 min
How dark and tense is this episode? Well, the light-hearted bits are all about burying a dead body in the garage. Kathy and Helena have something in common that might surprise you. We are one episode away from the season finale, and things do not look…
18: “Variable and Full of Perturbation” (S2E8)
Mar 5, 2018 • 65 min
In this episode, a lot of pieces are being moved around the chessboard (or should we say the Runewars board) as we hurtle toward the season finale. Donnie and Alison are united again, in love and in felony. Rachel gets some bad new from her dad. Sarah…
17: “Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things” (S2E7)
Feb 13, 2018 • 54 min
In the tradition of last season’s favorite, “Variations Under Domestication,” Felix, Alison, Sarah, Vic, and Donnie treat us to another fantastic romp of rehab hijinks and identity switching. We also love the musical tie-in to our favorite Christmas…
16: “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings” (S2E6)
Feb 2, 2018 • 49 min
Sestras hit the road! It’s like a Girl Scout camping trip, except you’re sharing a tent with your insane clone and professional killers are on your heels. When Sarah finds what she was looking for, she learns about the science that is responsible for her…
15: “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” (S2E5)
Jan 26, 2018 • 47 min
Knowledge itself may be power, according to the title, but we have all the feels this week for our sestras as they undergo serious trauma and shocking revelations. There’s even one really awesome date, or at least it starts out that way. “You make me cry,…
14: “Governed As It Were By Chance” (S2E4)
Dec 30, 2017 • 53 min
The blood really hits the fan in this episode. Alison is locked up in rehab. Helena escapes from the Proletheans. Sarah tries to figure out what Mrs. S. has been up to. We can hardly contain ourselves when we get to the scene of badass beautiful Mrs. S.…
13: “Mingling Its Own Nature With It” (S2E3) + Secret Santa!
Dec 22, 2017 • 50 min
Jean and Kathy draw names of clones for a fun Secret Santa segment. Check out the show notes to see our picks for the ideal gifts for Alison, Rachel, Cosima, Sarah, Felix, and Helena. (And feel free to share your picks with us on Twitter or Facebook.)…
12: “Governed by Sound Reason and True Religion” (S2E2)
Dec 15, 2017 • 50 min
Yes, a lot happens in this episode: Sarah finds Kira; Helena is whisked out of the hospital by a flying-fish-belt-buckle-wearing dude; Alison finds shocking messages on Donnie’s phone and immediately resumes drinking. But the most important thing we…
11: “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed” (S2E1)
Nov 24, 2017 • 42 min
We are back for Season 2! Kira and Mrs. S are missing, but who has them? Is it the cool elegant evil Rachel or the wild-eyed guy trying to capture Sarah in the diner who wears a Prolethean flying fish belt buckle? Meanwhile, Alison is promoted to lead in…
10: “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” (S1E10)
Oct 18, 2017 • 64 min
A satisfying season finale, despite its cliffhanger ending. Cosima and Delphine unravel the secret encoding in the clones’ DNA. Alison takes care of her Aynsley problem. Helena has mother issues. Sarah has sister issues. And finally we learn how “sestra”…
9: “Unconscious Selection” (S1E9)
Oct 10, 2017 • 60 min
Revelations, revelations, revelations. Sarah finds out why she and Helena feel a connection. Cosima learns the hard way that she can’t trust Delphine. Alison spills the beans on Aynsley. Art discovers who really died that night on the train platform. With…
8: “Entangled Bank” (S1E8)
Sep 1, 2017 • 43 min
Alison uses Chad to get back at Aynsley. Delphine uses Cosima to get info for Leekie. Mrs. S. uses tea to comfort her expanding brood. We use a lot of tissues. Kathy needs a hug after this one….
7: “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner” (S1E7)
Aug 25, 2017 • 45 min
From last episode’s twisted yet lighthearted romp, we delve deep into the basement of depravity and evil. One “part” in particular has us totally cringing. On the other hand, it looks like romance is budding, and that makes us happy….
6: “Variations Under Domestication” (S1E6)
Aug 10, 2017 • 61 min
Jean and Kathy welcome their first special guest, Jason Snell, founder of The Incomparable Network. Jason told us that “Variations Under Domestication” is his favorite episode of Orphan Black, and now it’s one of our favorites too. This is the episode…
5: “Conditions of Existence” (S1E5)
Jul 27, 2017 • 51 min
Jean and Kathy get new answers, but that only leads them to new questions. Paul is definitely monitoring Beth/Sarah, but why? Donnie is definitely keeping secrets from Alison, but what? And did you know that DNA can have barcodes?…
4: “Effects of External Conditions” (S1E4)
Jul 21, 2017 • 61 min
Kathy and Jean marvel at how much can happen in one episode that’s only 44 minutes long. Alison pretends to be Sarah, Sarah pretends to be Beth, and even homicidal maniac Helena manages to play a convincing Beth. Somehow Felix still gets the best lines….
3: “Variation Under Nature” (S1E3)
Jul 12, 2017 • 49 min
We can use the “c-word” now, but our heroines wish they could find a new label for themselves. The mysterious assassin is revealed, but that raises even more questions. Your hosts know way more about TV police procedure than poor Sarah, but resolve not to…
2: “Instinct” (S1E2)
Jul 5, 2017 • 48 min
While cataloguing favorite Felix quotes, Jean and Kathy watch Sarah become more entangled in the mystery of her apparently identical twins….
1: “Natural Selection” (S1E1)
Jun 27, 2017 • 54 min
We kick off our new podcast series with a comprehensive review of the premiere episode. In particular, we analyze the stunning opening scene, two and a half minutes of television guaranteed to hook the viewer on the Orphan Black….