Play Orphan Black All Episodes on season 4 Episode 1 : The Collapse of Nature Episode 2 : Transgressive Border Crossing Episode 3 : The Stigmata of Progress Episode 4 : From Instinct to Rational Control Episode 5 : Human Raw Material Episode 6 : The Scandal of Altruism Episode 7 : The Antisocialism of Sex Episode 8 : The Redesign of Natural Objects Episode 9 : The Mitigation of Competition Episode 10 : From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths
Characters That Surprised Me 1/?: Felix Dawkins (Orphan Black)
First Impression:“Oh, great. This ‘awesome show’ that my friend wants me to watch has a major character who’s a walking Sassy Gay Friend cliche. It never ends, does it?”
Turning Point: I’m not even actually sure when exactly I started to realize that Felix was so much more than just a “sassy gay friend” trope, but it didn’t take long. By halfway through Season 1 I was a fan. Felix is easily one of my favorite non-clone characters on Orphan Black (possibly my absolute favorite after Siobhan Sadler).
The Surprise: Yes, Felix is sassy, effeminate, and proudly, unabashedly, fabulously gay. But that does not define his role within the narrative—far from being “the flaming gay comic relief” he’s an active player and extremely well-developed character in the series. He’s supportive of his foster sister, is close friends with Alison, has playful banter with Helena, is just as wildly protective of Kira as Siobhan is, and manages to be all of this without sacrificing his personal autonomy or power within the narrative. He makes choices. He gets hurt. He stands up for himself. He struggles with his own insecurities and shortcomings. He changes and grows as the story goes on. Not to mention, far from being a running gag that surfaces once every few episodes and then fades into the mist again, Felix has a significant role in the series and a lot of screentime—in fact, he’s one of only two characters (the other being his foster sister Sarah Manning) who has appeared in every single episode of Orphan Black to date. Felix surprised me in the best way—I’ve come to expect (due to the media I grew up with) characters who are “stereotypically gay” to be reduced to their sexuality or to a running gag by the narrative, unfortunately, and only gay characters who can act sufficiently “straight” being able to actually have any sort of power and autonomy within the storyline. Felix challenged that beautifully. And I love his character for it.