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Sarah Manning

Last edited on April 20, 2014
by Noneofyourdamnbusiness
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Sarah
Sarah Manning
Biographical information
Birthplace: England
Birthdate: March 15, 1984[1]
Status: Alive
Age: 28
Other information
Alias: Elizabeth Childs
Gender: Female
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Height: 5'4"
Relationships
Marital status: Single
Significant Other/s: Vic (ex-boyfriend)
Paul Dierden
Family: Kira (daughter)
Felix (foster brother)
Mrs. S (foster mother)
Amelia (surrogate mother)
Helena (twin sister)
Series information
Portrayed By: Tatiana Maslany
First Appearance: "Natural Selection"
Latest Appearance: "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed"
Episode Count: 11
"The whole sad point is nobody would notice if I died."
—Sarah talking to Felix about "her" funeral[src]

Sarah Manning is the first clone introduced in Orphan Black. Once merely a rebellious punk on the run, hoping to take her daughter and foster brother with her, continual shocks to her identity changes Sarah's plans in life, leaving her reeling and wondering who she really is.


Biography

Early life

Sarah began life in an English orphanage and was bounced between foster homes until she landed on the doorstep of Mrs. S, who adopted her and her foster brother Felix, when she was around 8. When Sarah was 14, Mrs. S uprooted them under suspicious circumstances and moved them to Canada. Sarah steadfastly remained the English punk, a street smart stray with a reckless streak and a loyal heart.

Likely drawn into a seedy life of a con artist, Sarah gets herself involved with the violent drug dealer Vic, seeing him as a way to get money fast and easy for the life she had envisioned for her daughter, Kira, and herself. For almost a year, Sarah goes on the run with Vic, leaving Kira with Mrs. S. Even before her return, Sarah had asked Mrs. S for custody of Kira, but Mrs. S was unwilling to subject the little girl to such an unsavory life.

Tired of life with the clingy and abusive Vic, she left him and returned home to live with her foster brother Felix, but not before stealing a pack of cocaine from Vic.

Season 1

Arriving home at the Huxley Station in hopes of reconciling with her daughter, Sarah encounters Beth Childs, a woman who eerily looks just like her that jumps in front of a train to her death. Visibly distraught at first sight, Sarah slowly sees a golden opportunity. She takes Beth's purse and meets up with her foster brother, Felix, and informs him of her plan to leave the town with him and Kira.

Realizing that Beth has money she can use, and thinking that Beth is her twin sister, Sarah decides to take on her identity. She changes her hair, learns Beth's accent, movements and signature, among others, through all the resources she could gather from her apartment.

Vic, still after the cocaine that Sarah stole from him, comes to town in search of her. With Felix's help, Sarah manages to elude Vic and in the process, convince everyone she knows to believe that it was her who had committed suicide at the train station—allowing her to continue on with her facade as Beth Childs. Vic unexpectedly grieves for her, heartbroken and in denial. In desperation, Felix and Sarah try to go Mrs. S to tell her that Sarah is alive, not wanting Kira to think that her mother is dead. However, Mrs. S is still wary of Sarah and refuses to let her get custody of Kira.

After several awkward, and sexual, encounters with Beth's boyfriend, Paul Dierden, Sarah finally manages to get a hold of Beth's money, but also finds out that things are more complicated than they seem as Beth Childs is a cop, currently suspended and under investigation for a civilian shooting. Sarah realizes this too late, and Felix has already done his part of the plan when Sarah decided that she wanted to abort their plans. Beth's partner, Art, who had grown suspicious of her, then takes Beth's money to hold against her until she is reinstated.

Planning to hang around only until she gets Beth's money back, Sarah, after several mysterious calls and messages, encounters her second clone: Katja Obinger, a sick German woman who looks exactly like her, only with short, red hair. Katja eventually realizes that she was not Beth, and is shot in the head a matter of seconds after asking Sarah what seemed like a riddle exchanged between the clones. Frantic, Sarah finally takes the call from Beth's phone. The person on the other line advises Sarah to get rid of the body and take her briefcase for the samples they need that the German had promised them. Sarah then dumps her body one night, not realizing that her dumpsite was in fact an active quarry.

Sarah finally learns of the other clones and meets Alison Hendrix and Cosima, her soccer mom and biology geek look-alikes in the process. They also meet Helena, a killer clone who believes that she is the original and claims that she and Sarah have a connection.

The cops then continue investigating the body they found at the quarry, Katja, and the clue-leaving suspect, Helena. Cosima asks Sarah to continue playing Beth for a while, so Sarah goes lengths to cover up the clones' identities, particularly since the prints that the cops retrieved from Katja's body would match Sarah's, who has a local record for assault and petty theft.

After being reinstated when cleared of the civilian shooting, Art finally returns the money to "Beth". Sarah then finds out that the money was actually Alison's contribution to the team dynamic she had with Cosima and Beth. Initially intending on running off with Kira and Felix with the money, Sarah realizes that Kira deserves a peaceful life and chooses to return the money to Alison.

Aside from her "clone club" problems, Sarah is also having problems at home. Not only is she pressured by Mrs. S into getting her life straight in exchange for a few visits with Kira, but Helena's dangerous interest and obsession with her becomes more evident as she continues to bother Sarah. And while Sarah forms an unlikely partnership with the paranoid Alison and the rumbling Cosima, the distrust between her and Beth's partner, Art, grows.

When Sarah was not able to make it to one of the visits Siobhan had set up for her and Kira, Alison stepped in to pretend to be her. Days later, Alison called in the favor and had Sarah play her during one of her suburban parties while they interrogated Alison's husband, Donnie, who she suspects is her monitor. Sarah and Alison dismiss this theory by the end of the day, believing her neighbor Aynsley to be the real monitor.

Sarah also gets in trouble with ex-boyfriend Vic who, after seeing Alison and mistaking her for Sarah, has come after her for the finger he lost because of the cocaine she stole from him. Even after paying him, Vic stalks him but is finally turned away after a violent confrontation with Paul, who has fallen in love with Sarah.

Sarah also finds herself strangely attracted to Beth's boyfriend, Paul, and is even tempted to keep him around even after discovering that he may be connected to those behind their cloning. When both become suspicious of each other, they both try to come clean, with a few secrets up their sleeves. Eventually, however, Sarah finds herself telling Paul everything when she realizes that Paul can truly be trusted, and both soon enough give into their feelings.

Hearing from Cosima that she is becoming interested in the mysterious Delphine and the dangerously fascinating Dr. Aldous Leekie, Sarah tries to convince her to stay away from them, fearing for their safety. Cosima, at first ignores her and even engages in a relationship with Delphine, but later heeds her advice and finally investigates and discovers that Delphine and Leekie are conspirators with their creators.

work in progress

Season 2

Personality

Sarah is a natural chameleon, a born outsider living on the fringes by her wits. According to Cosima, she possess a sense of humor that her clone, Beth, did not. Despite having a morally ambiguous compass, Sarah tries her best to set things right for the sake of closing the door on her past, having a sufficient amount of money, skipping town with Felix and ultimately, to reunite with her beloved but estranged daughter, Kira.

Relationships

Romance

Paul

Paul was Beth's monitor, whom Sarah met as Beth's boyfriend when she took over her identity. Initially, Sarah did not think much of Paul; eventually though, Sarah falls into bed with him against her better judgment. A decent guy with chiseled features, Sarah had never been involved with a supportive and solid man like Paul before taking on Beth's identity. Despite the fact that she had been deceiving him, she takes solace in Paul.

Eventually, Paul falls for Sarah. When he finally realizes that Sarah is not Beth, Paul chooses not to tell his superior, Olivier, about her, and instead confronts her about it. The pair eventually grow to trust each other and develop a real relationship this time.

Vic

Vic and Sarah have different outlooks on their time together: while Vic believes that they were in love for a time, Sarah only saw their relationship as a way to escape the harsh reality of life and apparently never loved him.

Friendship

Family

Felix

Felix is Sarah's foster brother. Felix often acts as Sarah's conscience and emotional support, as he's perhaps the only non-clone and non-monitor who is in on the conspiracy. Although the two siblings often snip at each other, it is made clear several times throughout the series that they care very deeply about each other.

Mrs. S

Mrs. S is Sarah's foster mother who left her home in London to raise Sarah and Felix. Although their relationship is complicated and seems unpleasant at first glance, Sarah is immensely grateful to Mrs. S for everything she has done for her, Felix and Kira.

Kira

Kira is Sarah's young daughter, whose father is yet to be revealed. Kira seems to be the only person who keeps Sarah on the ground. Everything Sarah has been doing since Kira was for her, hoping she could raise her and give her a peaceful life.

Helena

Initially hunting her down for killing clones, Sarah finds herself drawn to trying to help her the same way Helena feels a connection with her. Multiple times, both were given the opportunity to kill each other, and were often also instructed by their companions to do so, but both choose to partly help each other instead, although Sarah refuses to admit this.

This blows over though when Helena accidentally leads Kira into an accident on the road, and although Kira survives and Helena apologizes, Sarah is evidently shaken and even considers handing Helena over to Leekie. Before she could do so, however, Sarah finds out that Helena is her genetic twin sister who was merely unfortunately kidnapped by Tomas and raised brutally, while she was raised by Mrs. S.

Thinking that she finally had a reason to really try and help Helena, she regrets this when Helena decides to kill their biological mother, Amelia, for abandoning her. Hurt and angry for everything she had done, Sarah finally shoots Helena.

Appearances

Season 1 appearances
Natural Selection Instinct Variation Under Nature Effects of External Conditions Conditions of Existence
Variations Under Domestication Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner Entangled Bank Unconscious Selection Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Trivia

  • The actress, Tatiana Maslany, who plays the clones, uses music to differentiate the clones. Her playlist for Sarah is music by "The Clash", the band whose shirt Sarah wears in Natural Selection.[2]
  • Sarah is one of, so far, three clones who has imitated one or more of her counterparts. She masquerades as the suicidal Beth for much of the first half of the season, breifly imitates the murdered Katja Obinger in order to access the briefcase Cosima had asked her to retreive, and poses as Allison during the near disastrous community potluck hosted at Alison's home.

References