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. “