An 'Orphan Black' primer: Everything you need to know about Season 1
First, a brief synopsis: A young British woman named Sarah witnesses someone commit suicide, but before the victim throws herself onto the train tracks, she turns around -- and the lady looks exactly like Sarah. Mystery! Sarah poses as the dead woman and soon comes to discover that she's one of an undetermined number of clones created in a top-secret experiment. She teams up with a few other clones, a.k.a. Clone Club, to unravel the conspiracy surrounding their origin.
Sarah, a British transplant returning to her adopted home of Toronto (or, rather, the ambiguous metropolitan area that's not actually named but is definitely Toronto) is the one who witnesses the suicide in the premiere, sparking the events of the series by assuming Beth's identity. Sarah has a foster brother, Felix, and a biological daughter, Kira.
Beth is the Toronto cop who kills herself in the premiere. She was under investigation for an on-duty shooting at the time of her death, which Sarah later realizes was Clone Club-related. She has a boyfriend, Paul, who might know more than he lets on about the clone conspiracy.
This high-strung suburban soccer mom is married with two adopted children and does not handle being out of her comfort zone very well.
Cosima is a Midwestern grad student studying biology and knows a lot of sciency things that help her examine the DNA of herself and her pseudo-sisters. She falls in love with a woman, Delphine, who's working for the other side. Late in the season, she realizes she has the as-yet-incurable lung disease that killed another clone.
The crazy-haired Helena was raised by a religious zealot and is killing her fellow clones one by one. It turns out that she and Sarah are actually twins.
This seemingly evil "Pro-clone" is a posh British woman working for the people who created the clones. Her backstory is yet to be explained.
Helena killed Katja -- who was already on the brink of death thanks to a nasty lung disease -- when Sarah met with her while posing as Beth in the premiere. Katja is the one who told Beth about the conspiracy, and that the European clones were all being killed.
Coming soon: Dossiers on the other key players, the philosophies at work, and the most important milestones of Clone Club's first season.
"Orphan Black" Season 2 premieres Saturday, April 19 at 9/8c on BBC America.