Orphan Black: S3 E3 Formalized, Complex, and Costly

“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” is episode 3 of Orphan Black season 3. There’s a big reveal in this episode about the cloned boys and girls.

Let’s start with Seth (Ari Millen, an army), cooling downstairs in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment building. For some reason Rudy just leaves him lying there, so Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Felix drag him upstairs so he can bleed out in Felix’s tub.

Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) shows up and sees the body. Sarah immediately tells him, “First off, it wasn’t us.”

Sarah Skypes Cosima and shows her and Scott (Josh Vokey) the body. Cosima wants the brain. She’s coming to get it.

Art, who should be doing real cop stuff now, wants to help Sarah find Mark. Off they go. Later, he reveals to Sarah that he was in love with Beth Childs. This explains a lot about why he’s so involved in solving all the mysteries the clones bring him.

Mark and Gracie kiss
Mark and Gracie are honeymooning

Mark and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) are holed up in a motel, being honeymooners between making sure they aren’t followed. Mark confesses he’s still in the Army and wants to find Willard Finch (Nicholas Campbell) because he knows that Henrik Johanssen, Gracie’s father, stored something at Finch’s.

Finch talks to Gracie
Gracie gets the goods from Finch. He’s a horrid old lech.

Gracie goes to Finch’s and returns with a locked strongbox.

The inside of the strong box
Just useless paper?

The box contains notebooks and paper, which Mark dismisses as useless. Probably a big mistake there, buddy. Mark wants something cold, like a tank. (I keep yapping about cold tanks that are as yet undiscovered by anyone, but where is it getting me?)

Paul (Dylan Bruce) delivers Rudy to the military camp. Rudy apologizes to Mother Coady (Kyra Harper) who chews him out for killing Seth. He says, “I had to put him down – protocol.”

Rudy sucks his thumb
Rudy cuddles up to Mother

Later she hugs him and we discovered how fond he is of his thumb.

Dr. Coady tells Paul he has to delay the folks in Washington who want to shut them down because their weapon is defective. She tells him she can cure the soldier boys if she has more time.

Helena
Helena in a cell

Helena is locked in a cell. So much for Dr. Coady being all warm and friendly. Helena tells Rudy he’s the ugliest Mark yet. Helena tells Paul she’s going to machine gun him down one day. She seems calmer and her friend the scorpion isn’t in this episode. She’s keeping a sharp eye on everything going on around her.

soap with pills hidden underneath
We’re selling soap now

Allison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) are manufacturing soap in the garage, which they use to disguise the pills they are selling all over the neighborhood. Donnie thinks they should have become drug dealers long ago, they are making so much money. But – you want drugs from the Hendrix machine, you gotta vote right in the school trustee election.

Marci
Marci stops by the garage for a face off with her opponent

Alison’s election rival Marci (Amanda Brugel) stops by the garage to attempt a bribe. She offers the Hendrix family a great deal on a piece of real estate. Alison tosses the deal back at her. It’s in another school district. Devious, Marci, but Alison is twice as devious.

Rachel in a big bandage
Rachel is in the hospital

Rachel is in therapy for her aphasia. She’s a bit limp and passive, but when she realizes Delphine is now in charge of Dyad, we see a spark of the old Rachel.

Alexis, the midwife
Call the midwife

Alexis the midwife (Kathryn Alexandre) gets another turn in front of the camera (she’s also the mostly unseen clone double) when Sarah and Art find her as part of their search for Mark.

Alexis tells Sarah that both Helena and Gracie are carrying Henrik’s miraculous babies. Alas, she’s still a true believer. When Sarah and Art are gone, Alexis runs to Bonnie Johanssen (Kristin Booth) and rats them out.

Cosima, Scott and Felix work on Seth's corpse.
Debraining Seth

Cosima and her minion have increased the mess in Felix’s bathroom by removing Seth’s brain from his body.

Sarah finds Gracie in a cafe where she and Art stopped while searching for Mark. She tells Gracie that the baby she’s carrying will be Kira’s cousin. Then she shows Gracie a photo of the other boy clones. Gracie freaks out because she thinks the clones are abominations.

The strong box under a bed
The box is hidden by Gracie

Gracie heads back to the motel, hides the strongbox under the bed, and packs to run. The honeymoon is so over. She looks up to see her mother at the door. Momma Johanssen wants to find Mark, and Gracie tells her where to look.

Cosima looks at lab results
Cosima in the lab

Back in the lab Cosima – who is coughing again – realizes from the genetic markers in Seth’s brain that the boy and girl clones are sisters and brothers. Holy DNA, Batman. They are family!

Sarah gets the big news bulletin from Cosima just as she sneaking into Willard Finch’s barn. Mark is already there. He’s managed to scare Finch into having a heart attack while trying to get him to talk.

Sarah tells Mark they are brother and sister. He has to care about Helena now, because she is his sister.

Bonnie with a rifle
Don’t argue with the lady with the gun

Mark runs to find Gracie. He’s almost to his truck when he’s shot in the leg by Mrs. Johanssen. He crawls into a corn field. She follows. Sarah, hiding in the barn, hears another gun shot.

Some Thoughts

Nicholas Campbell
Nicholas Campbell

One of the advantages of being old is you remember how actors looked long ago. Like tonight’s bad guy Willard Finch. He used to be scorching hot, as I recall.

Felix has a lot of cleaning to do. His apartment is a bloody mess. Kira’s blanket fort is still intact. What is he going to do with the majority of Seth still ensconced in his bathtub? Much of the plot hangs on when Felix cleans.

Much of the plot also hangs on what’s in the undiscovered tank of liquid nitrogen, the strongbox under a motel bed that nobody in the cast will stay in again, and the still unread “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Now that the clones know the original genomes came from a sister and brother, are they going to be united in the search for an answer to their defects?

The cliffhanger of the final gunshot was somewhat ruined by a preview of next week showing a live but bloody Mark.

The Title Quotation

From Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation in 1961.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Orphan Black S3 E2: Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis

Orphan Black’s “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” begins where the last episode left off, with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) still looking for Helena and the male clone Rudy, AKA Scarface, (Ari Mullen, an army) freed from his basement prison and on the loose with Seth, AKA Mr. Moustache. The time between episodes appears to be just a few hours.

Rudy and the Boys

Ari Millen as Rudy and the other soldier boys gets all the wow scenes with multiple clones in this episode. There are several.

Rudy and Seth think they should share sex.
Both Rudy and Seth think they should share sex with the lovely Patty.

Rudy picks up a willing young woman named Patty (Natalie Krill) for sex, but she nixes the idea when Seth shows up and wants to join in. Later Patty reports the incident to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) – yeah, he’s back on duty. Bell informs Sarah that the boys are loose and on the prowl and they both have a double headed horse tattoo on their left forearms.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) shows up and tells Rudy and Seth to report to base. Rudy asks if the orders come from “Mother.” I’m thinking mother is Dr. Virginia Coady (Kyra Harper). We glimpsed her last week and see more of her this week. She seems to be in charge of the military side of the clone experiments.

Rudy is the rebel. He’s a lot like Sarah in that way. He decides not to follow orders, but to finish the job and get the original genome from Sarah.

Rudy holds Kira and points a gun at Sarah
Rudy tries to get the genome info from Sarah by threatening Kyra.

Rudy hides in Kyra’s (Skyler Wexler) blanket fort in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment. He grabs Kyra and tries for force Sarah to talk. She knows nothing. When he realizes that Seth, who is waiting downstairs, is fritzing out like a bad transister, Rudy leaves and releases Kyra. Downstairs he sees that Seth is suffering a hopeless glitch and shoots him. Then he leans down and says, “I love you, brother.”

While we are on the subject of Felix’s apartment, it looks like the tank of liquid nitrogen is inside the blanket fort and has not come to the attention of any of the adults yet.

We also see another male clone at the military base where Helena is held. His name is Miller. More on Miller later.

Mark holds a blow torch to his tattoo
Mark removes his tattoo with a blow torch.

Mark makes a brief appearance in this episode. He removes the horse tattoo from his arm in the most painful way possible.

Sarah and the Girls

Sarah and Cal in the new apartment
Our little family pad

Cal (Michiel Huisman) rents an apartment where he and Sarah and Kyra can play house. Sarah and Kyra love the idea, but it isn’t meant to be. Paul comes by to tell Cal that Sarah better get outta Dodge. Cal goes to Felix’s to warn her and sees Rudy shoot Seth.

Mrs. S has a black eye
Poor Mrs. S is bashed up

Sarah sort of forgives Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) for giving up Helena, but only if she will use her contacts to find Paul and get info on where Helena is. Sarah also wants to go after Mark in hopes he knows where Helena is hidden.

I think Mrs. S is the one who inspired the “transitory sacrifices of crisis” choice for the episode title.

Felix
Felix takes great care of Mrs. S

Felix is taking care of Mrs. S, but he joins Sarah in urging her to do something about Helena.

Kira looks at her mom.
Kyra says goodbye to everyone

Sarah decides to send Kyra to safety with Cal. They will go to Iceland.

Alison and Ramon
Alison sees Ramon at a soccer match.

When Ramone (Alex Ozerov) tells Alison that he’s closing down his business to go off to college, Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) buy him out. They buy almost $80,000 worth of pills from him. Alison sees it as a way to make money now that Donnie is out of a job, but also a way to defeat Marci (Amanda Brugel) in the school trustee race. Seems most of Ramone’s clients are soccer moms like Alison. Her new voter base awaits drug delivery, yes indeed.

Cosima in the lab
Cosima is well enough to work

Cosima is feeling much better. She makes reference to some sort of spiritual effect in her recovery. She says as a scientist she needs to be open to everything, which I see as foreshadowing the arrival of Ksenia Solo as a guest. Neither Scott (Josh Vokey) or anyone else can quite explain her rapid recovery. She’s back in the lab looking for answers, and giving Sarah info on the two-headed horse mythology about Castor.

Helena with an eye tracking device over her right eye
Scorpions like mangos, too

Helena is in a military compound. The male clone, Miller, is torturing her as part of a stress test. Helena is given the same strange eye test that earlier cause Seth to glitch out in a minor way. It drives Helena have a conversation with her spirit animal, the scorpion, about wanting to see the mango mentioned in the test.

Dr. Virginia Coady talks to Helena
Have something to eat, my dear.

Dr. Coady stops all the testing because she’s learned that Helena is pregnant. She’s warm and friendly to Helena, gives her food, treats her with respect. Look out for that one, Helena.

In Summary

At the end of the episode, Sarah is no closer to finding Helena. Cal and Kyra are doing a geographical in hopes of keeping Kyra safe. Cosima and Josh haven’t yet started in on decoding “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” We’ve learned that the male clones have some sort of mental connection – Rudy knew what Seth was feeling & Mark decided the tattoo had to go.

I’m eager to see Alison interact with Marci. Amanda Brugel has had fleeting scenes so far, but I think the time is coming when we’ll see more of her and Alison together. I’m also eager to see Ksenia Solo appear.

The Title Quote

The title again comes from Dwight Eisenhower. In his farewell to the nation speech in 1961, there was this paragraph.

“Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment”

Orphan Black: S3, E1 The Weight of This Combination

Orphan Black kicked off season 3 with “The Weight of This Combination.” The ride was both delightful and scary. We begin mere seconds from where season 2 stopped.

The Female Clones

Tatiany Maslany as Cosima in Orphan Black

The episode opens with a 4 clone scene. It’s a candy colored world where a very pregnant Helena (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) is surrounded by love and food at her baby shower. Cosima is dressed in a Ukranian folk outfit, Sarah is in black leather, Alison is all in pink and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) grills in a tennis outfit with a martini in his hand.

Helena wakes up from this hallucination trapped in a big coffin-like box, where she conducts a conversation with a scorpion. The scorpion was played by Tatiana Maslany – both voice and all the other noises the scorpion made. I got the idea that the scorpion was as imaginary as the baby shower. Yep, Helena is losing her marbles.

Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black

Cosima is feeling better and staying at Felix’s place. She amuses herself playing with Kira (Skyler Wexler) and hiding “The Island of Dr. Moreau” from everyone but Scott (Josh Vokey) because she no longer trusts anyone, including Delphine.

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) breaks up with Cosima but still loves her. Delphine is taking over Rachel’s job and is living a double life as 1) a corporate drone, 2) the protector of all the sisters.

At the now united Hendrix household, Alison can’t stop touching newly jobless Donnie (Kristian Bruun). Alison plans to run for school trustee against the evil Marci (Amanda Brugel).

Maria Doyle Kennedy in Orphan Black

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) confesses to sending off Helena to wherever the scorpions talk, so Sarah is obsessed with getting Helena back throughout the episode. Helena does not get rescued in this episode, in spite of all Sarah’s efforts.

Nobody is paying any attention to the big container of liquid nitrogen Helena left in Felix’s apartment. But Kira starts to play with it, so hopefully it will come to Cosima’s attention the same way she discovered the gold mine inside “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Fun with Ferdinand

A creepy guy named Ferdinand (James Frain) shows up at Dyad intending to carry out “Helsinki” which translates to: Kill All The Girl Clones. First he wants to have S & M sex with Rachel. Except Rachel is in a hospital bed with her eye poked out, so Sarah pretends to be Rachel. And while she’s doing that, Alison pretends to be Sarah. Tatiana Maslany is so fabulous at this stuff, it all makes perfect sense.

Somehow Rachel (AKA Sarah) gets rid of Ferdinand, gets Helsinki canceled, and makes sure everyone knows she’s looking for Helena. By the way, Sarah in a Rachel wig is talented with a belt, as the marks on Ferdinand’s butt and neck prove.

The Male Clones

Ari Millen in Orphan Black

There are apparently a whole army of male clones (Ari Millen, an army). Last season we met Mark the Prolethean, the ugly haircut guy who followed Helena into the bar, Scarface the crazy guy in the basement, and a grim soldier outside Helena’s plane. Now we also meet Faux Mohawk and Mr. Moustache. (Scarface and Faux Mohawk may be just one guy. I’m still trying to get a good count of the boy clones.)

Mr. Moustache, who may be named Seth, beat the crap out of Mrs. S while trying to find Ethan Duncan. Mrs. S put up a good fight, though! Mrs. S: ever badass.

The male clones – the soldier boys – are not warm and fuzzy fellows. The male clones run around trying to find and kill the female clones. This lets us meet Krystal Goderich, a previously unknown female clone. We see Krystal making out with Faux Mohawk in an elevator, then going into a hotel room with him. There is one more male clone in this scene. Delphine reports that Krystal survived, so maybe we’ll meet her again.

The male clones all know about each other. The Orphan Black terminology here is “self aware.” Now, if I were a male clone and my job was to kill female clones, I might start to get a little worried about job security. Not these boys.

The Title Quote

Last year the titles were all quotes from Francis Bacon. The first episode this year uses a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

We’ve left nature vs. nurture in season 2 and are moving on to the military-industrial complex. Project Castor is the military side of the clone experiment, so it follows quite logically.

Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried

It’s the finale of season 2! Orphan Black will surprise and confound you with “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” and it sets up some powerful incentives to wish for a speedy return of a season 3.

Rachel (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) has Kira (Skyler Wexler) installed somewhere at Dyad. Sarah is also in the hands of Dyad.

Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad
Sarah is a prisoner of Dyad

Men ask Sarah all sorts of invasive questions about her sex life. She’s handcuffed and a Dr. Nealon (Tim McCamus) comes in. He gets her to sign away the rights to her eggs in return for getting to see Kira.

A woman takes a DNA swab from Kira. She steals the woman’s phone and calls a number she has memorized. (Cal made her memorize his number a few episodes back.)

Rachel takes Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) off Cosima’s case. Rachel forces Delphine to go to Germany, but tells Delphine it isn’t personal. Delphine counters with, “I love her. If you let her die without me, that’s personal.” Delphine sends Cosima a message that alerts her to the fact that she’s on her own now. When Cosima sees the message, she asks very nicely if she can see Kira.

Now that she’s signed away her eggs, Sarah gets to see Kira, but it’s through a 2-way mirror. Kira, however, seems aware of Sarah’s presence on the other side of the glass. Sarah sees Duncan (Andrew Gillies) in the hallway. He tells her not to despair.

I brought my own tea, thanks.
I brought my own tea, thanks.

Duncan is on his way to the video room where Rachel watches videos of her younger self. Rachel wants him to turn over the keys to the codes for all the clones, not just the ones that will save Cosima. He refuses, saying that her attempts to create more clones should fail. Then he dips a teabag he brought himself in a cup of hot water and poisons himself. Duncan dies.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) shows up at Mrs. S’s place, thanks to Kira’s memorization skills. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) leaves Cal there and goes to Art Bell’s (Kevin Hanchard) to rescue him once again from Helena eating him out of house and home. Felix will take Helena back to his place.

Felix to the rescue
Felix to the rescue.

Felix asks Helena if she burned down the fish people’s ranch last night. She grins and says no. She says she fell in love and her boyfriend had to go work at Jesse’s Towing. Felix doesn’t quite click to this, but perhaps he will remember it later.

Cal shows Mrs. S his research into Dyad. He formed a connection to someone with similar interests on “the dark net.” He thinks it’s someone on the inside because they know a lot about Dyad. With Mrs. S there, he types “Can you help.”

Mrs. S tells him to type, “I’m with Siobhan Sadler.”

The response is “Ask her about Castor.”

In the episode where Cosima first explained the Greek myth about Leda, I mentioned that Castor and Pollux were twin brothers. Their mother was Leda. In some versions of the myth, they are supposed to have twin sisters Helen (of Troy) and Clytemnestra. Castor has now become a plot point in the clone mystery.

Mrs. S., Paul (Dylan Bruce), and Cal all arrive in different vehicles at an empty warehouse. Cal steps out of a limo. Paul is in uniform, a major now. Cal and Paul size each other up as if they are in a competition to win Sarah. (Points for Cal: he gets in the last kiss of the season with Sarah when she kisses him goodbye later at Felix’s place.) When Paul gets into the limo that Cal came in, he finds Dr. Marian Bowles (Michelle Forbes).

Cal asks Mrs. S what they are doing and she answers, “Hoping that there are still good people in the most corrupt places.”

In exchange for some files from Paul, Dr. Bowles promises to get Sarah and Kira out of Dyad.

In the meantime, Cosima has been allowed to see Kira. She plays a science game with her involving sharp pencils, mass, force, and acceleration. Then she has Kira draw a picture for her mom about what she learned.

When Cosima leaves Kira, she and Scott (Josh Vokey) rig up a fire extinguisher with some tubing and a very sharp pencil. Scott figures out a way to get the device into the operating room where the evil Dr. Nealon is about to remove one of Sarah’s ovaries. She’ll still have one, and who needs more than one, right?

Rachel comes in to the operating room and sends everyone away. She conveniently gives Sarah the picture Kira drew. As Rachel marches around the room talking about Duncan being dead and destroying what she claims is Kira’s stem cell sample right in front of Sarah, Sarah figures out the secret message in Kira’s art. She uses the fire extinguisher to launch the pencil right into Rachel’s eye. Rachel falls, pencil to the brain. One can only hope she dies, but you can never tell with Orphan Black.

Sarah runs to Kira’s room. She finds Dr. Bowles getting Kira ready. Dr. Bowles tells her she’s free to go and Cal is waiting downstairs. Bowles tells Sarah she’s from Topside and promises Sarah the truth if she’ll meet her the next day.

4 clone dance party
4 clone dance party

Sarah, Cosima, Allison and Helena are at Felix’s. A big wow for the dance scene with all 4 clones and Felix dancing together. They wisely didn’t include Kira – she danced up by Felix’s bed. It was a bit jerky getting Felix in and out to dance with the different women, I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to add Kira. As it was, the scene took 2 days to film.

Cosima took off her oxygen to dance but struggled to breathe. She’s a wonderful dancer. Helena went all head banger hilarious. Allison was suitably reserved. Sarah’s dancing was enthusiastic but untrained.

One of the reasons Tatiana Maslany gives for being able to make such clear distinctions between each of these characters is her extensive dance background. In essence, she dances each character’s physicality. It must have been interesting for her to actually dance in character instead of walk and talk in character.

That night, Felix and Kira sleep on the couch. Cosima and Sarah sleep in Felix’s bed. They wake in the night to talk about the golden ratio, DNA, and hold hands. Sarah said, “I can’t do this without you.” Cosima answers, “You’ll be fine,” with an expression that implies she’s accepted the inevitability of her own death – very soon. Helena wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves a tank of liquid nitrogen out in plain sight. We’ll have to learn why in season 3, but I’m guessing it contains frozen eggs or embryos. When she leaves the apartment, she’s snatched by military types and taken to a plane. The Jesse’s Towing cap falls on the floor behind her for someone to find in season 3.

In the early morning, Kira climbs into bed with Cosima. Cosima doesn’t respond to Kira’s repeated calls. Everything fades to white as if Cosima is going into the light. Cosima sees Delphine in the light. Delphine touches Cosima in her vision, just as Kira touches her in real life. The touch brings Cosima back to Kira. Kira asks her to read to her and Cosima finally sees the annotations in The Island of Doctor Moreau. Cosima doesn’t leap from the bed, shout EUREKA and announce she has the key to save herself and everyone else, but I’m assuming that’s what’s in the book. Another plot point tempting us into season 3.

Sarah’s morning is spent going to meet Dr. Bowles. She’s dropped off at an enormous house. No one is there to greet her.

Hello. Anybody home.
Hello. Anybody home?

Sarah sees a child. A child who looks just like the young Rachel we’ve seen so often in video. A child who looks just like the young Sarah. Dr. Bowles finally appears and introduces her as Charlotte (Cynthia Galant). Eight-year-old Charlotte greets Sarah as her sister and says that Kira is her cousin (she’s actually Kira’s aunt).

Bowles adopted Charlotte. She’s the only survivor of over 400 attempted clones. Bowles tells Sarah that Topside steers Dyad and many other groups. They support genetic engineering projects.

I love me some genetic engineering
I love me some genetic engineering

Bowles leads Sarah down some hallways in what looks like the basement of the big house. She explains as they walk that Project Castor was the military side of Topside and that the clones in Castor are male.

They look through a window at the back of a man doing chin ups and Sarah says, “I know him.”

Cut away to Mark (Ari Millen) and Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) getting married in front of a big stained glass window as “Nearer My God to Thee” plays loudly in the background. The song plays as the following things happen and continues throughout the final credits.

The guy doing chin ups turns around. He looks like Mark, only crazy and all beat up.

Helena is marched onto a plane surrounded by soldiers, one of whom looks like Mark. Paul and Mrs. S watch.

Mark is a clone, y’all! Ari Millen must be dancing with joy over the acting opportunity he’s going to have in season 3.

I’m talking about season 3 like it’s all set, but it hasn’t been announced yet. I can’t imagine this show not getting another season.

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode is from The New Organon or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature. It’s a different part of the quote used in episode nine’s title:

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

Orphan Black: Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done

“Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” is episode 9 of season 2 of Orphan Black. The stakes are raised to the highest level for Cosima and Kira. Story wires stretched to breaking characterize the episode.

Allison

Lacking a boat, what would Dexter do?
Lacking a boat, what would Dexter do?

Allison (Tatiana Maslany, one of many)  and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) provide some comic relief in a fairly dark episode by deciding to jackhammer up the garage floor and bury Leekie.  Allison turns out to be handy with a jackhammer. Midway through the burial operation, Vic (Michael Mando) arrives talking bullshit about recovery. When Allison chases him off, he goes outside and climbs into a big, black police van.

Vic comes back later and peers into the garage windows. Donnie grabs him and threatens him with Allison’s pistol. Since becoming an accidental murderer who buries bodies in his garage, Donnie has learned how to put a pistol on safety and he’s grown a pair. He takes Vic out to the van where Detective Deangelis (Inga Cadranel) is lurking. He tells them to stop harassing his wife and takes a photo of them together while threatening to get Deangelis fired for her behavior.

When a filthy Allison and Donnie put the finishing touches on the wet concrete in the garage floor, Donnie draws a heart in it. Allison admits, “I’m more attracted to you than I’ve ever been.” Hiding murder victims is a bonding experience for the happy couple who “do it nasty” on the big chest freezer where once Leekie turned to ice.

Helena

Meanwhile back at the Prolethean compound, Henrik (Peter Outerbridge) is shooting fertilized eggs into Helena’s cervix with what looks like the same long metal tube he uses on cows. The nurse who helps with the implant, Alexis, is played by Kathryn Alexandre. This is the first time we’ve seen her face, although Kathryn Alexandre has been working hard on every episode of Orphan Black because she’s Tatiana’s double whenever more than one clone is in a scene. Hello there, Kathryn, love your work.

I received a sign from God about what Dyad did
I received a sign from God

After the fertilization, Alexis takes Helena to the nursery. Helena bonds instantly with one of the children. She listens to Henrik tell a story, after which Alexis tells the children it’s naptime. When the little girl Helena bonded with lingers to feel Helena’s hair, Alexis is cruel to her. Helena shoves Alexis against a door frame and promises to gut her like a fish if she ever does anything like that again. Helena once knew a nun who was mean like that – I’m guessing that particular nun has trouble seeing these days.

Henrik tells Mark (Ari Millen) that he is expected to marry Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) and be a father to the babies she will bear. There’s also a military connection with Mark, who turns out to be AWOL.

We see Gracie, feet in stirrups, with Henrik peering into his own daughter’s vagina and implanting his own babies in her as hymns play in the background. Hymns. Not Gracie’s babies. Henrik and Helena’s babies. Gross in so many ways.

Gracie and Helena bunk in the same room while the eggs are taking hold and Helena learns that Gracie is carrying her babies. Mark comes in and Helena says, “You love her like puppy but you let him make her brood mare.”

Helena and Gracie decide to run away. Henrik stops them. Helena grabs Henrik while Mark and Gracie run. Helena straps Henrik to the same table where she and Gracie just were. Henrik’s feet are bound to the stirrups and his arms are bound to the bed. Helena does something to Henrik with the long metal rod used for inseminations. He doesn’t like it a bit, but Helena gets a good laugh out of it. Funny how men think they can do anything they want with women’s bodies, but when the situation is reversed they scream bloody murder. Then Helena sets the whole compound on fire and takes off.

Cosima

Cosima grows sicker and sicker. She’s wearing an oxygen tube and coughing constantly.

Skyping with the girls
Skyping with the girls

Sarah can see during a Skype call how badly Cosima is doing. She realizes how crucial Kira is to saving Cosima.

In the Dyad lab, Duncan (Andrew Gillies) is there as Scott (Josh Vokey) puts together a bastardized computer system to read the old floppy disks. Duncan has the keys to decrypt the data in his head, and he’s only revealing the keys to the parts of the puzzle they need to help Cosima. He refuses to let them have it all, which is a good thing since nobody at Dyad can be trusted. Cosima watches. And coughs.

Rachel, Delphine, and Sarah

Rachel plays Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) like a master manipulator. She calls her in and makes her interim director in Leekie’s old job. She assures her, “We need to convince Sarah we have no designs beyond that treatment,” and sends her to Mrs. S’s place to once again plead for bone marrow from Kira.

Rachel goes into a dark room where a martini waits. It is a ritual she’s reenacting. She watches old videos of her loving family, her happy childhood. She laughs, she cries, she slaps her own face and mutters.

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Benjamin (Julian Richings), Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Sarah, and Kira (Skyler Wexler) continue to hang at Mrs. S’s house. Mrs. S knows a clinic, not Dyad, where they could take the bone marrow. They ask Kira if she is willing to do it. She says yes.

Kira at the clinic
Kira at the clinic

All of them head for the clinic. When Delphine returns to Dyad with the bone marrow, she finds Rachel has been using her office. On her computer she sees something about Benjamin and Dyad. Delphine returns to the clinic, calls Sarah out to her car to speak without being overheard, and tells her about Benjamin.

Inside the clinic, Sarah enters and picks up Kira to carry her away. When Felix intervenes, she drugs him and we realize it’s Rachel disguised as Sarah. Seconds later the real Sarah reenters the clinic and Mrs. S snaps to what’s going on. It’s too late. Rachel’s taken Kira.

Delphine confesses
Delphine confesses

Delphine tells Cosima what she’s done, how she was played. At least we now realize where Delphine’s true loyalties lay.

The episode’s final scene explains Rachel’s internal tantrum from the last episode after she found out she was barren by design. It explains her ritualized watching of videos from her own childhood. The scene of her crazy sex life was a mere warmup glimpse into Rachel’s warped mind. Rachel is dangerously wacko.

Kira wakes up in a pink room. Far too pink. Rachel introduces herself and Kira withdraws from her. Rachel is the first clone Kira has been afraid of. Kira is cognizant of things that no one else gets, so her cringing away from Rachel says a lot. Rachel assures Kira that she will grow to like it there, just as Rachel herself did.

What Do We Know?

We ended season 1 with Kira missing. Surely we won’t end season 2 the same way. My fingers are crossed that Kira is rescued from Rachel’s mad clutches and Cosima is on the way to healing before season 2 ends. That wouldn’t leave much tension to pull us into season 3, however. Since I do want a season 3, I must accept the idea of a cliffhanger in the final episode. I just don’t want that cliffhanger to involve Kira or Cosima. How about it, Orphan Black, can you pull that writing feat off for me?

We know for sure that the Proletheans and Project Leda were somehow aware of each other, that Mrs. S was aware of both from the start. We don’t know what the military connection is yet, but there is one. We don’t know who or what the ferryman that Carlton mentioned a few episodes ago is. I’m almost 100% sure that Mrs. S is on Sarah’s side, on Kira’s side. And I’m almost 100% sure that Delphine values Cosima over Dyad.

It’s that almost that worries me.

The Francis Bacon quote for this episode is from The New Organon or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

Orphan Black: Variable and Full of Perturbation

Only two episodes of Orphan Black remain in season 2 after this week’s “Variable and Full of Perturbation.” This episode introduced quite a lot of variation and perturbation to resolve in that time, especially with a new clone Tony (Tatiana Maslany) showing up.

Yep, Tony. Formerly Antoinette Zwicky, now a trans man named Tony. He’s a bit of a thug with too much long hair and sparse, wispy facial hair. (I can’t believe I once complained about Cal’s hair and beard.)

The introduction of a trans clone ties a blue ribbon and big bow on the nurture position in the nature vs. nurture debate that has been ongoing since this show began. Rachel even said, “nurture prevails” last week. I’m not saying your upbringing makes you trans. I’m saying your biology doesn’t determine your individuality.

Tony’s buddy Sammy is killed by “suits.” His dying words are for Tony to find Beth Childs. Since suspended cop Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) still has Beth’s phone, Tony reaches Art. Art takes him to Felix (Jordan Gavaris) who quips, “Holy Tilda Swinton” at the sight of Tony. Felix and Art want to hear the message for Beth, Tony wants to know what’s going on, and nobody trusts anybody.

Holy Tilda Swinton, what have we got here?
Holy Tilda Swinton, what have we got here?

While at a standoff over who will give who what information first, Tony takes a bath at Felix’s place, first showing off his monster package bulging in a pair of tight shorts. Felix definitely notices. There’s a bit of sizzle between them.

Oh, weird alert.
Oh, weird alert.

Tony tries getting information out of Felix with sex. It’s a little strange with Tony looking so much like Felix’s favorite sister and all. Felix pulls back.

Who is this person with my face?
Who is this person with my face?

Tony finds paintings of the clones in the apartment. Felix still won’t reveal anything to Tony. Tony still won’t reveal anything to Felix. Tony’s about to give up and leave when Sarah arrives.

Sarah, meet Tony. Tony, meet Sarah.
Sarah, meet Tony. Tony, meet Sarah.

With Sarah there, we finally get the message from Sammy (who Felix and Sarah assume was Tony’s monitor) to Beth Childs. Sammy was ex-military like Paul. The message is, “Tell Beth, keep the faith. Paul’s like me. He’s on it. He’s a ghost.”

Speaking of Paul, Rachel spends the whole episode trying to find him. He’s disappeared.

Allison

Allison goes home from rehab to find Donnie (Kristian Bruun) drunk in bed. Later that night she finds him in the basement, packing to leave.

Family therapy
Family therapy

Now that they are finally using the C word together, they have a bit of mutual talk therapy. They both confess their problems with murdering people. Once they are honest with each other, it’s clear that they actually do care about each other. Instead of leaving the family, Donnie shows Allison Leekie’s body in the trunk of the car. And he mentions that he shot Leekie with Allison’s gun. Boy, do they have a lot to do.

Sarah, Cosima, Delphine, Duncan, Mrs. S, Rachel and Kira

Sarah, Kira (Skyler Wexler), Ethan Duncan (Andrew Gillies), and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) are all at Mrs. S’s place, waiting to see if they are going to give Duncan and his floppy disks to Dyad. Duncan is taken with Kira. He reads to her from and old copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau, a copy he used to read to Rachel. He gives Kira the book. Duncan tells Sarah that he can cure Cosima – no question about it.

At Dyad, Rachel tells Dolphine (Evelyne Brochu) that Leekie died of a heart attack and that she, Rachel, is in charge. She dispatches Delphine to get Duncan. Delphine thinks Rachel killed Leekie and the situation for Cosima is more urgent than ever.

Cosima has more or less forgiven Delphine over the Kira stem cell incident. They have a talk in which Delphine assures Cosima that she loves her. Cosima says, “You have to love all of us.” Cure one, cure them all. Delphine says she does love all of them and Cosima finally admits, “I love you, too.”

Delphine convinces Mrs. S and Sarah to let Duncan go into Dyad. When Rachel meets him again, she is cold and professional. He tells her what equipment he needs. Then he tells her that Sarah’s fertility was a failure, not a success. “You were all barren by design.” Rachel is frozen in place on the outside, but inside she cracks. Inside she throws a tantrum, tossing everything on her desk, throwing furniture, and hanging on to her emotions by the thinnest of threads.

Scott is in on the truth.
Scott is in on the truth.

When Delphine shows up at the lab with Duncan in tow, Cosima says it feels strange to meet her “maker.” Scott (Josh Vokey) is there to help. (Cosima told Scott that she is 324B21.) All of them are ready to get to work when Cosima has a seizure. She’s writhing on the floor with blood gushing from her mouth.

At Mrs. S’s, Kira wakes up early. She sneaks out of bed and sits on the floor with the copy of The Island of Doctor Moreau. She smiles as she leafs through the pages, which are filled with hand-written scientific drawings, chemical equations, and annotations in the text.

Helena was only mentioned in passing in this episode. Presumably she is still with the Prolethians, being impregnated with her own eggs fertilized by God’s representative on earth, Henrik.

The quote for the episode title, “Variable and Full of Perturbation,” comes from Francis Bacon’s Novum Organon, and reads:

the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance.

Orphan Black: To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings

The “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings” episode of Orphan Black brings Sarah some answers, but everyone is still suspect and no one can be trusted.

Sarah and Helena (Tatiana Maslany squared) are in a pickup on their way to Cold River. Helena refuses to tell Sarah where it is, because she knows Sarah won’t need her if she does. The scenes between Sarah and Helena grow more and more charming as Helena is revealed in greater depth. They spend the night in a tent and Helena asks Sarah about Kira – she wonders if she could have children, too. She says, “I am very good with children.”

Sarah wants to know what the Prolethians took from Helena, but Helena claims she doesn’t know. When they turn out the lantern for the night, we see Paul (Dylan Bruce) lurking in the dark outside their camp.

There’s a hilarious scene of Sarah and Helena driving. “Sugar Sugar” comes on the radio. Helena sings along with enthusiasm. Sugar is her thing, indeed.

What Tatiana Maslany does with Helena in this episode is masterful. Her uninhibited off key singing, her playfulness in the tent, her vulnerability when she asks about babies, her growl of a laugh later in a bar scene, her unbridled sexuality when she’s attracted to a man, her brutality when threatened – Tatiana’s bringing Helena into personhood with so much affection and skill. That Tatiana Maslany can do that with Sarah, Allison and Cosima still floating in her head is just amazing.

Inga Cadranel
Allison is stuck in rehab.

Allison is still in rehab. She’s reluctant to participate in group. The door opens and into group walks Victor (Michael Mando). You remember Victor: Sarah’s former boyfriend who got his finger chopped off for a drug debt and who Allison maced in a parking lot. Yeah, that Victor. He’s all Zen now, full of the wisdom of recovery. When Allison threatens Donnie’s (Kristian Bruun) privates because he failed to bring the kids to visit her, Victor steps in to defuse the argument. Later we learn that Victor is actually in cahoots with Detective DeAngelis (Inga Cadranel). She promised he won’t go to jail for his crimes if he rats on Allison.

Allison, incidentally, can handle a basketball with one arm in a sling.

Take your medicine and don't ask where it came from.
Take your medicine and don’t ask where it came from.

Cosima gets injections from Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). The injections may or may not be helping her. Delphine hired Scott (Josh Vokey) to come to Dyad to do gene sequencing. I haven’t previously mentioned Josh Vokey, who is fabulous as a naive geek, because the character wasn’t central, but he takes a central role in this episode. He reveals that he knows the samples he’s been given are clones, but he doesn’t realize that Cosima is a clone. He figures out that the stem cell injections Cosima is getting came not from a clone but a female relative. Perhaps a daughter. Is that daughter spelled K-I-R-A? We don’t know. Dephine makes Scott swear not to tell Cosima this news.

Sarah and Helena arrive in front of a church. It’s the church in the photo of Ethan Duncan, the Swan Man. Sarah instructs Helena to wait in the truck while she goes inside to investigate. Sarah finds photos of a building. The church deacon (Jane Spidell) tells her it was the Cold River Institute. Cold River is closed and all the records are in the church basement. The deacon also identifies the photo of Ethan Duncan as “Mr. Peckham” and mentions that Maggie Chen was also digging about in the old records. Sarah finds lots of info about the clones, but nothing about Andrew Peckham in the records.

Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) emptied Helena’s locker and took all the contents to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment for help digging through it. A phone call from Sarah gets them looking for someone named Peckham, and they give Sarah an address.

Helena, of course, did not wait obediently in the truck while Sarah was doing this. She goes into a bar, starts drinking, almost breaks the finger of an asshole who thinks he can have her just because he wants her, and takes a liking to Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) who is nice to her. Both Paul and the Prolethian errand boy Mark (Ari Millen) watch her every move in the bar.

Helena's boyfriend
Helena’s boyfriend

When Helena and Jesse start kissing, asshole breaks in and wants a turn. Helena beans Mr. Asshole with a pool ball, tosses him on the pool table and climbs on with the intention of poking out his eyes. Helena gets arrested for smashing heads in the bar. In the police station she asks for her boyfriend. She’s told she’s been released and can leave with her sister.

When Helena looks up to see her sister, it’s Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), hiding her inflamed suture marks from the police with a hand over her mouth. Gracie and Mark tell Helena they have her babies and she agrees to go with them. Mark gives her Jesse’s baseball cap. I think he gives it to her to try to gain her trust, but it has the name of Jesse’s business on it, which may come in handy later.

Sarah leaves Helena to the cops and goes to Peckham’s house. Who opens the door but Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Good heavens, is there anything Mrs. S doesn’t know? She’s wearing a Pussy Riot shirt. Someone who wants to hurt Sarah wouldn’t wear a Pussy Riot shirt, would she?

Mrs. S knows all
Mrs. S knows all

Mrs. S is trying to get Andrew Peckham (Andrew Gillies)  out of his hoarder’s horror of a house, off to somewhere to do her mysterious bidding. When Peckham sees Sarah he looks her over with great interest, decides she isn’t Rachel, and asks to be taken to Rachel.

Is it Andrew or is it Ethan?
Is it Andrew or is it Ethan?

He cannot be taken to Rachel, however. He’s been hiding from Dyad for 20 years because Aldous Leekie killed his wife Susan and took over the LEDA project for Dyad.

What was LEDA doing?
What was LEDA about?

Sarah wants to know what Project LEDA was all about. Peckham/Duncan tells her it was a proof of concept experiment to see if they could actually clone a human and because they “wanted girl babies.”

While Sarah and Peckham/Duncan are talking, Siobhan goes outside and confronts Paul. Yes, she knows who Paul is. Everything Mrs. S does in this episode is so momentous, we have to go to commercial immediately after. Her every line of dialog is a bomb dropping. She tells Paul that the hoarder inside in his filthy kitchen talking to Sarah is the only hope that any of the clones have and that Paul better back off and let them go.

Kudos to Kathryn Alexandre and the Faces We Never See

Kathryn Alexandre
Kathryn Alexandre

Kathryn Alexandre is Tatiana Maslany’s acting double. She plays whatever clone is opposite Tatiana in a scene. When we see Helena and Sarah in a scene together in a truck or a tent, we have to remember that it was filmed twice. When we see Sarah in the driver’s seat of the truck, the actor beside her doing Helena is Kathryn Alexandre. They film it again with Tatiana in the passenger seat doing Helena while Kathryn Alexandre sits in the driver’s seat and plays Sarah. In the finished version, we never see Kathryn’s face.

It’s time to acknowledge how important Kathryn Alexandre is to Orphan Black. When we see chemistry, warmth, and closeness between Helena and Sarah, it’s actually something happening with Tatiana and Kathryn. Not just the warm fuzzy scenes, but the fight scenes, the dangerous scenes, the funny scenes. If they have to film it 2 times, 3 times, 4 times, to get all the clones in a scene together, Kathryn is there giving Tatiana a partner to act with and react to.

Much of what we see in Orphan Black is illusion, built from brilliant editing, brilliant makeup and brilliant acting. When we see it as a finished piece it is so perfectly executed it’s hard to remember how it was created. Let’s step back from the illusion and look behind the curtain to praise the hidden people who build the show. Here’s to Kathryn Alexandre and everyone else we don’t see in Orphan Black. You are all awesome!

The quote from Francis Bacon for this episode comes from the 1623 De Augmentis Scientiarum:

For you have but to hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again.

Some images from IMDB © Jan Thijs 2013. Some screen shots from BBC America.