Orphan Black: S3 E9 Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow

“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” is the title of this episode of Orphan Black. Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude), Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) head for London in search of the original Castor clone. Bodies fall like ninepins and surprise twists hit every plot line.

In London Town

Mrs. S, Sarah and Felix enter a bar where Mrs S has a friend named Terry (Daniel Fathers). They learn from him that the number Rachel transcribed out of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” is a number from the English prison system.

They talk about the old days a bit. Terry reveals that Mrs S was in a band. Her old band mates show up – she calls them geriatric wankers.

Jordan Gavaris as Felix and Tatiana Maslany as Sarah

Sarah and Felix are delighted to discover things about Mrs. S’s past, including where she used to go to shag Carlton.

Maria Doyle Kennedy singing in Orphan Black

Mrs. S gets up and sings a song with the old band. While she’s singing, Terry goes back to his apartment, where he gets beaten to almost dying by Ferdinand (James Frain). When Mrs. S finds him there, he whispers the information about the Castor original in her ear and dies. Mrs. S tells Sarah and Felix that it’s over, they’re going home. She sends Sarah and Felix out.

As Sarah leaves she picks up a phone. She calls a number from the phone as Ferdinand observes them. Sarah and Felix get picked up in a cab. They guy driving knows Mrs. S. He  delivers them to the house of someone named Kendall Malone. The house looks dark. Sarah goes inside looking to “kill an innocent old man.”

The cab drives off. Ferdinand jumps in and kills the driver. Then he calls Delphine and tells her he’s been chasing Sarah Manning around London when she was supposed to be locked up at Dyad. Delphine asks Ferdinand to come to Dyad for a meeting.

In the house, Sarah finds a photo of a younger Mrs. S holding a baby. A woman (Alison Steadman) appears and says she is Kendall Malone. Sarah was expecting a man.

Hello mother

In walks Mrs. S and says, “Hello, mother.” Mrs. S obviously hates her mother, but she asks what Professor Duncan had to do with her. Kendall says Duncan came through testing inmates when she was in prison. He was looking for a donor and he found one in Kendall. She was both the male and the female original because she had absorbed a male twin while in the womb. She laughs, “I got two cell lines, me.”

Mrs. S wants to burn down the house with her mother in it, but Sarah points out that Leda needs the original cell line.

Cosima & Her Girlfriends

Cosima reads the file Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) gave her about Shay (Ksenia Solo). She immediately concludes that Shay is not trustworthy when she sees a photo of Shay in an Army uniform.

Ksenia Solo as Shay

Cosima rejects Shay’s attempts to talk about dinner and blows out of Shay’s apartment like her pants are on fire. Shay is puzzled by her behavior.

Cosima talks it over with Scott (Josh Vokey), who points out that nothing in the file really proves that Shay is the spy. Cosima feels that she’s put everyone in danger by being fooled once again by her attraction to someone.

Evelyne Brochu as Delphine

Cosima goes to Dyad to “eat shit” in front of Delphine. She admits that Sarah is in London looking for the Castor original.

Ksenia Solo as Shay

Delphine goes straight to Shay’s. Shay seems innocent. She claims not to know what Castor is. Delphine threatens to put her in the bathtub and slit her wrists and the arteries in her ankles if she doesn’t talk. Delphine fills the tub and brandishes a razor blade.

The Hendrix Family Business

Zoe De Grand Maison

Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) begs off work to Alison, claiming an appointment.

Tatiana Maslany as Helena

Gracie stops by the garage where Helena is gleefully dancing and making soap. She hugs Helena in a lingering goodbye.

Kristian Bruun as Donnie

Donnie (Kristian Bruun) was beaten to raw hamburger. Now the drug dealer Pouchy (Tony Cianchino) want all the pills back because Jason no longer vouches for the Hendrixes. A thug comes to get the pills. He takes Helena’s canister of frozen embryos with him because he can’t find the pills.

Donnie goes home to get the pills and Helena makes some gunk to put on his face to stop the pain. He tells her that the bad guys took the tank. “My babies?” Helena asks. She wants to know where the drug dealers are.

Donnie deals with the gangsters

Donnie takes the pills to Pouchy. They give him the nitrogen tank, but don’t return his money. Helena, who was supposed to wait in the car, comes in. Pouchy refuses the refund and threatens Donnie’s kids. Helena pushes Donnie and the tank out the door.

Bloody Helena

When Helena comes out, she’s carrying a bloody machete, a very large bag of cash, and a pound or two of extra blood. She tells Donnie, “We should go now.”

Gracie and Mark hug

At the same time that Delphine is threatening Shay, Gracie calls Cosima and apologizes for being the rat. She was trying to save Mark (Ari Millen). Gracie runs away with Mark.

Cosima calls Delphine and says that Shay is not the one who stole the book or told Castor that she was sick – it was Gracie. Delphine looks at Shay like she wants to kill her anyway, but she leaves Shay in one piece.

Some Thoughts

You can buy albums of music by Maria Doyle Kennedy from her website. So glad we got to hear her sing a bit in this episode.

This episode changes a lot of things and we have one more episode before the season ends! What can they possibly have left to amaze us with?

Mrs. S’s mother is the original for both Leda and Castor clones. That’s an amazing plot twist, but in looking back on all three seasons, I’ll bet John Fawcett and Graeme Manson had that in mind from the very beginning. It’s so delicious. Even though Mrs. S didn’t know it herself, it explains so much.

Alison Steadman as Kendall Malone

Alison Steadman as Kendall Malone is an excellent casting choice. She looks believably like Tatiana Maslany might age to look, although it’s a stretch to see any of Ari Millen in her face.

Then there’s the plot twist with a whole shit ton of money in the Hendrix deep freeze while a litter of dead drug dealers mean their new business is kaput. Probably a good thing – Alison and Donnie are terrible criminals.

And Shay! Shay is apparently just a girl, standing in front of a beautiful lesbian, wanting to be loved. Hot diggity dog, maybe that means Ksenia Solo will be around in season 4!

The Title Quotation

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Speech to the Nation in 1961 pointed out everything we were going to get wrong in the future and advised us against it. We didn’t listen. Here’s the paragraph with this week’s title.

“Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

Orphan Black: S3 E7 Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate

Orphan Black, episode 7 of season 3, “Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate” is part thriller, part mystery and part slapstick. Most of the episode centers around Alison, (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) at a meeting for the school trustee election.

Sarah and Helena

Helena in a cowboy hat

Helena and Sarah are in a Mexican cantina waiting for a ride. Helena wins money playing dominoes with the some local hombres and buys food.

Mrs. S looks like Clint Eastwood

In walks Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) looking like something straight out of a Clint Eastwood western. I love this shot and her entrance through the cantina door.

Mrs. S hugs Helena

Helena wants to kill Mrs. S for betraying her. After throwing a few punches, she allows Mrs. S to hug her and ask her forgiveness. Then Helena goes outside to walk it off.

A very tired Sarah

Sarah is upset about Paul and utterly exhausted by everything. She turns to Mrs. S for support.

The final scene suggests that Helena might be in trouble again because both she and her domino playing buddies are out of sight.

Rachel

Rachel in the lab

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) brings Rachel to Scott (Josh Vokey) for testing. Scott shows Rachel the “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” She wants to get her hands on it. He wants to get Rachel alone to ask her about the code. She stays to play a board game with him as a cover story. (Cosima made him promise not to let Delphine know about the book or that Rachel may hold the key.)

Rachel shows Scott the code

Although Rachel says the code was a secret between her and her father, Scott points out that he didn’t leave the book for her. Rachel starts writing out the way the symbols are used to decode the book. We don’t get the full explanation, but it’s a start on that lingering mystery.

Cosima

Shay and Cosima in bed

Cosima and Shay (Ksenia Solo) are very, very naked when Delphine arrives at Shay’s door. Shay lets her in and the two rivals look each other over. They talk as if they don’t know each other, as if they’re just meeting for the first time. I can’t decide if that is the truth or an act for Cosima’s benefit.

Delphine, Shay and Cosima in Shay's apartment

Shay pretends to give them privacy, but she’s listening to their conversation. Delphine wants urine from Cosima, who is coughing a lot more now. Cosima tells her never to come to Shay’s again. She’s distrustful of Delphine to the point of paranoia.

Cosima calls Alison because she wants to use Alison’s urine instead of her own. Alison tells Cosima to come find her at the school trustee election meeting.

Alison, etc.

Alison and Donnie have two things going on today. 1. The school trustee election meeting where Alison will give a speech. 2. The payment of $30K to the drug dealer for more pills. They have a manila envelope ready for each of these events.

Marci Coates and Felix meet

Felix is helping Alison prepare for her photo shoot, her speech and all the other meet and greet politicking she will be doing at the event. He meets Marci Coates (Amanda Brugel) and tells Alison, “We will dismantle that bitch.”

Everything happens at once with the Alison ensemble.

Donnie and the paper cutter

Jason takes Donnie to meet the drug supplier. Donnie, of course, takes the wrong envelope to the drug supplier, Pouchy (Tony Cianchino). Pouchy wants to cut off Donnie’s nose with the same paper cutter he used to remove Vic’s finger. Jason (Justin Chatwin) heads off to find Alison and the envelope with the money.

Alison’s mother (Sheila McCarthy) calls and claims to be having a heart attack. Alison rushes off to Bubbles. That’s about the time Cosima arrives, wanting Alison to pee for her. Since Alison is temporarily absent, Cosima ends up posing for photos as Alison and almost giving a speech for her. Alison comes back. Her mother shows up. It’s one of those sequences only Felix and two clones can pull together for hilarious results.

Jason and Alison's mom

Jason is babysitting Alison’s mom while Felix plays Keystone Cops with Alison and Cosima. Mom remembers Jason fondly from high school when he and Cosima were a couple. Jason convinces Mom that Alison will take good care of the store, even though she’s married to Mr. Chubbs. (Donnie took Alison’s name when they married. His given name was Donald Chubbs.) So Mom, who was holding out, finally agrees to sell Bubbles to Alison and Donnie.

Alison wows the crowd with her speech.

Alison arrives after Cosima is already mid speech. She takes over when Cosima walks to the side pretending to need a drink (she’s coughing a LOT). Alison wows the crowd and they give her a standing ovation.

Cosima and Alison with Alison's mom

Alison refuses to pee for Cosima. Alison says they need to let Dyad monitor their health. Once Alison takes the signed Bubbles contract from her mom, she introduces pee-less Cosima to her mother – as her clone. Her mother cannot grasp the whole thing and decides that Cosima is Alison’s mulatto half sister – it’s the hair, just go with it – and that the whole thing is due to a mixup at the fertilization clinic.

Cosima in the tub

Cosima heads for Shay’s where she hops in the bath. She’s ready to reveal her health problems to Shay as the tub darkens with blood that’s gushing between her legs. That’s where the episode ends.

Some thoughts

I was mislead by the previews from last week into concluding that Shay is Cosima’s monitor. There’s still something mysterious or dishonest about her, but that may not be what it is.

The Castor clones were not around in this episode. We don’t know if Virginia Coady or Rudy survived the hand grenade explosion from last week.

I’m happy that we are finally getting into the code in “The Island of Dr. Moreau” but I’m still thinking about that tank of liquid nitrogen that Helena left at Felix’s apartment. These little details nag at me. According to Wikipedia, “depending on the size and design, the holding time of vacuum flasks [of liquid nitrogen] ranges from a few hours to a few weeks.”

It’s already episode 7. There are only 3 episodes left in this season of Orphan Black. They are no closer to finding an answer to the sicknesses affecting the clones. Therefore, I’m starting to think that we may end this season the way we did season 2 – wondering if Cosima is going to survive.

The Kissing Question

Donnie and Jason are facing off over Alison like two dogs over a bone. While Donnie is busy protecting his face from Pouchy’s paper cutter and Jason is trying to collect the real envelope from Alison, Jason plants a big kiss on Alison. Except is isn’t Alison; it’s Cosima. When Cosima tells Alison about it, Alison wants to know if Jason’s lips are still soft.

It’s pretty funny that Jason picks Cosima to kiss. Of all the clones, he picks Cosima. Of course, he doesn’t know it’s Cosima, but it still strikes me as funny.

Tatiana Maslany has to kiss almost everyone who comes on the show. Sarah, Alison, Helena, Cosima, even Rachel – they all kiss someone at some point. I think Tatiana has kissed almost everyone in the cast except Mrs. S and Art Bell. I wonder if they go to Tatiana before they add a new face to the cast and ask her if there is someone she’s been dying to kiss.

How about an informal poll? Leave a comment naming the recipient of Tatiana Maslany’s sexiest, most perfect kiss. Paul, Cal, Felix, Vic, Donnie, Delphine, Shay, Jesse, Jason, Rudy – who got the very best kiss?

The Title Quotation

Again from Dwight D. Eisenhower, here’s the source of this week’s title:

“Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”