When Sarah comes face to face with a young woman who looks exactly like her on a train platform, it’s not exactly a heartwarming reunion of long lost sisters.
In fact, Sarah gets a look at Beth Child just long enough to recognize her own face, then watch as Beth steps in front of an oncoming train. Once Sarah recovers from the shock, she does the only thing she can do – grabs the purse Beth abandoned on the platform and takes off.
So what was Sarah doing on that platform that night? It would appear that about ten months earlier, Sarah ran off, leaving her daughter Kira with her foster mother, Mrs. S. She also left behind a foster brother, Felix, who welcomes her back a bit more warmly than Mrs. S did. In coming back, Sarah was ditching her boyfriend Vic, but not before clocking him over the head and taking his cocaine. She intends to sell it so she can start over somewhere with Kira, but her curiosity about Beth gets the best of her.
Sarah heads to Beth’s home and finds that Beth lives very well with her boyfriend Paul. While going through her things, Sarah finds a bank statement that says Beth opened an account recently and put $75,000 in it. That’s when Sarah decides to become Beth.
Using photos and home videos, Sarah changes her hair and accent in order to play the role of Beth. While Felix is sent to go identify Beth’s body as Sarah, Sarah goes to set up an account withdrawal. She also opens Beth’s safety deposit box, which, strangely, contains multiple birth certificates for women with birthdays all within a month of Sarah’s. But all Sarah is concerned about is getting the money so she can get away with Kira.
All seems to be going according to plan until a detective pulls up and instructs Sarah to get into his car, because they’re late. This detective is Art, who has been calling Beth’s phone. Turns out Beth’s a cop, and she’s late for a hearing regarding a civilian she shot in the line of duty.
Ever the quick thinker, Sarah gets out of the hearing by excusing herself to the washroom, chugging the hand soap, and returning to the boardroom just to vomit it all up. She is then taken to a counselor instead, who fills in some of the missing pieces: Beth shot an innocent, church-going woman, because she “saw cell phone and reacted gun.”
Sarah manages to get away maintaining her guise as Beth, but then Paul returns early from a trip. He’s suspicious, but Sarah distracts him – kitchen sex ensues. In the morning, she is able to slip out and get her money, then goes to find Felix.
But Felix is out throwing a wake for Sarah, at the request of Vic, who’s not such a bad boy once he finds out that “Sarah” is dead. He’s pretty broken up about it, in fact. Sarah watches from afar, and it’s sort of funny until Mrs. S shows up with Kira. Unable to stop them finding out she’s “dead,” Sarah turns to leave when a woman gets into the back seat of her car. Her name is Katja, and she’s one of the women whose birth certificate was in the safety deposit box. She’s been calling Beth on Beth’s second cell phone, and says that Art has been tailing her. But just as Katja realizes that Sarah is not Beth, a bullet is shot through Sarah’s windshield, killing Katja. Bullets are still flying and as Sarah frantically drives away, Beth’s second cell phone rings. This time, she answers it.
There are a lot of questions to be answered, not just about where all of these women who look alike are coming from and what that means, but about Sarah herself as well. She may be rough around the edges, but she’s clever. How will she deal with the sudden realization that there are more, beyond her, Beth, and Katja? And does this put Kira in danger?
Tune in to BBC America Saturday nights after Doctor Who and watch Tatiana Maslany take on the personalities of Sarah and her numerous clones as the mystery of Orphan Black unfolds.