Orphan Black: S3 E4 Newer Elements of Our Defense

Orphan Black’s “Newer Elements of Our Defense” begins mere seconds after the end of the last episode when Mark (Ari Millen, an army) was shot in the cornfield.

Sarah and Mark

This episode mostly deals with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Mark and their race for genetic material, punctuated with bits from the other clones. Of course, they want the genetic material for different reasons: Sarah to save Helena, Mark to complete his mission.

Sarah performs emergency surgery on Mark.

Sarah manages to evade Bonnie Johannsen (Kristen Booth) and some armed men and get Mark out of the cornfield and into an abandoned house. Thanks to a pair of pliers, a bottle of vodka, and a needle and thread that were conveniently left in the house, they remove the bullet in Mark’s leg and halfway sew him back together. His second wound is a through and through.

When Mark passes out, Sarah finds the motel key in his jacket and heads there. She finds the strong box and sends some images of the contents to Cosima. From this, Cosima realizes that Henrik Johanssen managed to create at least one clone with the genetic material they seek.

Mark uses his super stamina to overcome his two bullet wounds and chase Sarah to the motel. She explains about Henrik’s Castor son. They need a bit of DNA from him to provide the original genome.

Sarah digging

Mark tells Sarah he knows where to find Henrik and Bonnie’s cloned son. They drive to a cemetery and Mark shows Sarah which grave to dig up. Just as she finds the casket, Rudy shows up. He chases Sarah into a barn (boy, barns are everywhere the last couple of weeks).

Mark and Rudy face off

In the only multi-clone shot of the week, Mark pulls rank on Rudy and tells him to stand down from running a shovel through Sarah. Rudy has the tiny casket under one arm. He and Mark embrace, then look at Sarah as they think about their directive to leave no loose ends. That’s the cliffhanger scene of the episode and we are left wondering what they are going to do with the loose end leaning against the hay bales.

Gracie lost her baby. Her mother looks at her.

Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) goes with her mother to a creepy cult house where everyone still believes in Henrik’s mad religion. When Gracie loses the baby, Bonnie tells her she is no longer welcome there.

Helena in Prison

Helena stars at her pork chop bone

In Helena’s part of the Orphan Black universe, she realizes while eating dinner that she can fashion a key out of her pork chop bone, which she gnaws into shape.

In preparation for an escape, she gets herself taken to the infirmary. From there she can scout around for an escape plan. The only problem is, to get taken to the infirmary, she will be tranquillized. She ties a cord around her arm to slow the movement of the drug through her blood stream.

The scorpion urges Helena to keep moving.

Even so, she’s groggy while scouting around. She must be cheered on by her little clicking friend the scorpion, who urges her to keep moving.

When the drug wears off, she’s back in her cell. She uses the pork chop bone to get out. She finds another clone: Parsons. We’ll just call Parsons Mr. Topless, okay?

Helena sees that Parsons' brain is exposed

Parsons begs Helena to kill him. She is kind and gentle with him, but obliges him by running a scalpel through his brain. Her delay to perform a mercy killing gives Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) time to find her and stick her back in her cell. Let’s hope she still has the pork chop bone hidden away.

Cosima Pines for No Woman

Cosima reads the Island of Dr. Moreau

Cosima is at last reading “The Island of Dr. Moreau” in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) apartment. She’s on the phone with Scott (Josh Vokey) as she reads. They need some sort of key to unlock what they read.

Felix finds Cosima in his apartment. She hides the book. He says her sweater is horrible – she looks like she was mounted by a llama. Such a horrible sweater could only mean she’s pining for Delphine.

Felix and Cosima in the bar

Felix drags Cosima out to a bar. He photographs her and signs her up for a dating service, despite Cosima’s statement that she pines for no woman.

Alison Makes a Deal

Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) decide to hide all their pills in a storage locker like on Breaking Bad because someone has been following Donnie around.

They load up everything and go to the garage only to find a thug waiting for them. He says that the pills Ramon had were on consignment and that Ramon ran off with the $30,000+. He takes the merchandise and says they must meet with the boss that night.

Alison and Donnie at the drug meeting

They show up that night. Alison gets frisked and sent to talk with the drug boss. Donnie has to wait with the thug.

When Alison gets in the car, she finds Jason Kellerman (Justin Chatwin), her old beau from high school. They smile, giggle, get nostalgic, and shake hands on a drug deal in which Alison promises to double Ramon’s rate. Such a sweet reunion.

Alison and Jason shake

Some Thoughts

Chris Grismer directed this episode. It’s his first turn at directing Orphan Black and I loved some of what he did. There were several beautiful long shots: Sarah and Mark backlit under a bridge, Cosima walking down Felix’s street in a red coat, the yellow-washed military compound. I loved the way everything kind of blurred and reverberated when Bonnie walked through the corn after Mark – very ominous.

I missed the information about how Felix disposed of Seth, who was in his bathtub. Maybe it happened while we weren’t looking. Maybe we’ll find out next week. If Felix cleaned up his apartment, shouldn’t he or Cosima notice a big tank of liquid nitrogen?

Ksenia Solo and Tatiana Maslany kiss in a scene from the previews for next week

The previews show the arrival of Ksenia Solo next week. She’s been advertised as a healer who comes to help Cosima. She arrives as one of the online dates Felix set up for Cosima. The first thing she does is kiss Cosima. If she’s a healer, she mistook Cosima for a succubus.

The Title Quotation

The quotation in the title again comes from Dwight D. Eisenhower. That whole 1961 speech is frightening to contemplate, but this quote is especially scary.

“Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research – these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel. “

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: Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est

The Orphan Black episode “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” begins in Rachel’s bloody apartment. Daniel’s body litters the floor, Helena’s signature art drawn in blood decorates the walls. Dr. Leakie (Matt Frewer) thinks Rachel (Tatiana Maslany) should take a kinder, gentler approach to the situation. She thinks not.

Paul (Dylan Bruce) will replace Daniel as Rachel’s monitor. Paul is the universal monitor: he’s monitored Beth, Sarah, and now Rachel.

Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.
Rachel orders Leekie to shut down the tests until Sarah comes to heel.

Sarah takes her super-hugger of a twin sister to Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) place. Helena needs to get out of her bloody wedding dress and clean up. Sarah tells Helena to behave and calls her Meathead. Helena objects with, “Don’t call me this,” but the nickname seems to symbolize the developing bond and affection between them.

Felix wants nothing to do with babysitting Helena – he has a hot date with the morgue boy – and delivers Helena to Detective Bell (Kevin Hanchard) for safekeeping.

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) learns there is a new stem cell line, compatible with Cosima, that could help her. They go to Dr. Leekie’s office in search of it and he finds them there. Turns out that Leekie is willing to defy Rachel’s directive to shut down the help for Cosima by giving her an injection of the stem cells. He also tells Cosima that the clone’s original genome was destroyed in a fire 20 years ago. We heard about this fire before in relation to Project LEDA.

Paul is now Rachel's henchman.
Paul is now Rachel’s henchman.

Paul’s first job as Rachel’s new monitor is to take the gun that Daniel used to kill the cop at Cal’s house and put Felix’s fingerprints all over it. He manages to do that by interrupting Felix’s love fest. Paul calls Sarah and says Rachel wants them all – Sarah, Helena, and Kira – or Felix goes down for murder. Rachel isn’t asking for Felix, which shoots down my budding theory that he might be a clone, too.

I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.
I can ignore you forever, Artie baby.

At Art Bell’s apartment, Helena is silent. She watches fish while Art asks questions about Maggie Chen and the Prolethians. Finally he feeds her, which loosens her up and she begins to talk. Interestingly, she asks as many questions as she answers, and her questions are intelligent ones. Also, she does love the powdered donuts.

I gave her darkness
I gave her darkness

Helena mimes poking the eyes out of one of her early tormentors. From art works we’ve seen of Helena’s where the eyes were X-ed out of a nun, I’m guessing her tormentor was a nun. She mentions a locker and the Swan Man who played God. Then she uses the lid off a sardine can to open her handcuffs and leaves Art cuffed to the wall. She goes to a storage unit (locker) where she has a motorcycle.

Cal (Michiel Huisman) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) are still playing house in the camper. Cal is being a great dad, Kira is being quick-witted and showing signs of ESP. Cal’s hiding a gun and carrying a fake ID. He assures Sarah when she calls that they are close enough to come get her whenever she’s ready.

At the Prolethian compound, Gracie’s (Zoé De Grand Maison) mouth was sutured shut as punishment for Helena’s escape. Henrik (Peter Outerbridge) and her mother Bonnie (Kristin Booth) tell her that, “She can rot,” if she refuses to talk about what happened. If they don’t find Helena, Gracie will carry the egg currently reproducing itself in a Petri dish.

Yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.
Why, yes, Helena can come up with GPS coordinates off the top of her head.

Sarah and Art are in pursuit of Helena. Helena helped out by leaving some GPS coordinates at Art Bell’s. They find the locker and learn that Ethan Duncan is still alive. On the back of a recent photo of him is says “Swan Man.” Helena has taken off with a sniper rifle.

Guess what Paul’s second job as Rachel’s new monitor is? Sex slave.

Helena sets up the rifle in a apartment across from Rachel’s. As she takes aim and prepares to eliminate the problem that is Rachel, we see Rachel and Paul have sex. It’s weird sex. Rachel demands complete control. She orchestrates Paul’s every move and slaps him when he thinks for himself. Rachel demonstrates a kind of ruthless eagerness that is creepy and disturbing. She’s extremely turned on, but it’s the power and control that excite her, not the actual sex.

Helena, watching, says, “Pretty, dirty, sexy Rachel – like my mother.” Is there some woman somewhere that Helena once called mother?

Art and Sarah arrive and want Helena to put the gun down.

Love the light in this scene
Love the light in this scene

Helena wants Sarah to look at what Rachel is doing, at the “unfaithful” Paul. Sarah begs her not to shoot. She explains that Felix will be in trouble if Rachel dies. Sarah walks in front of the rifle and says she doesn’t care about Paul.

Don't shoot
Don’t shoot

Sarah uses tears and some clever talk to convince Helena that they are family now, that they need to care for each other, and that Felix is part of that family. Finally Helena puts down the gun.

Seestra
Seestra

Helena and Sarah join hands. They walk out of the room with arms around each other. Sarah calls Helena Meathead again, and Helena responds, “Don’t call me this.” In the car, Helena tells Sarah that they need to go to Cold River, the place of screams.

Give back Felix
Give back Felix

Sarah meets Dr. Leekie in a bar. She demands Felix in return for Ethan Duncan, who is still alive. Leekie mentions that Cosima is sick – news to Sarah. When Sarah leaves, we realize Paul followed Leekie there. It’s really hard to tell where the real loyalties are with Paul and Leekie. They are ciphers, willing to double-cross anyone, but we aren’t sure why.

This episode was written by Tony Elliott, who is responsible for much of the writing in season 2. It was directed by Helen Shaver. She shared quite a bit about the experience on her Twitter account. Tatiana seemed to enjoy having her as a director.

The quotation from Francis Bacon used in the title, with English translation:

Ipsa scientia potestas est. Knowledge itself is power.”

Some photos from BBC America, some ©Jan Thijs 2013. via IMDB.