Orphan Black draws nearer the last episode with “Guillotines Decide,” the 8th episode of season 5. In this episode, it was the best of times. It was the worst of times. This is a recap. There are spoilers. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E8 Guillotines Decide”
Orphan Black episode 7 “Gag or Throttle” ups the excitement and danger to maximum. Rachel (Tatiana Maslany who is here, there, and everywhere) has Kira (Skyler Wexler) in a terrible spot but starts to see things from a different point of view before the episode is over. This is a recap. There are spoilers.
Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E7 Gag or Throttle”
“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.
Sarah and Felix are delighted to discover things about Mrs. S’s past, including where she used to go to shag Carlton.
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.
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.
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.
Cosima goes to Dyad to “eat shit” in front of Delphine. She admits that Sarah is in London looking for the Castor original.
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
Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) begs off work to Alison, claiming an appointment.
Gracie stops by the garage where Helena is gleefully dancing and making soap. She hugs Helena in a lingering goodbye.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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 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, season 3 episode 8 is “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method” or, as it could also be called, “Rachel Outsmarts Everyone.”
I’ll start with the most interesting and important part of this week’s episode, Krystal Goderich (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude).
We saw Krystal briefly making out in a hotel elevator with Rudy, but now we get to meet her in more developed form. When the episode begins, she’s giving Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) a manicure and talking about some strange twins who were suspicious and scary. Delphine leaves with a good manicure, a conviction that Krystal is still naive, and a look on her face that is so hard that it makes you question whether or not Delphine was ever one of the good guys.
Krystal is American pop culture perfect: blonde hair, elaborate makeup, a pushup bra, a chirpy personality, posture worthy of a starlet, and a breezy way of talking. In short, another miracle on the part of Tatiana Maslany.
Rachel promises Cosima to translate “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” but only for Sarah and only if she’s taken out of the Dyad Institute. Further, she insists to Cosima that Sarah must steal the identity of Krystal, so Rachel has papers to get to Taiwan.
Sarah and Felix set off to find Krystal, who lives in some unspecified place 300 kilometers away. After Felix talks with her, he can hardly stand to walk away with her wallet while leaving her naive about her situation. He sees a note book in her purse as he’s grabbing her wallet that makes him think she knows more about what’s going on that she’s revealing.
Later that night, Dr. Nealon (Tom McCamus) snatches Krystal up, takes her to Dyad, and puts her in a medically induced coma. I’ll explain why in a bit.
Everyone wants the “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” Rachel wants it, and Castor wants it. Nobody knows how anyone from Castor knows about it. Early in the episode we see that Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) escaped from the Castor compound relatively unhurt. Someone from Castor reveals to her that he has an inside person in the Leda camp. There’s a rat somewhere but we don’t know where yet.
Rudy (Ari Millen), who also escaped the explosion, waits for Scott in his apartment and gets the original copy of the book from him by threatening his cat. When Rudy leaves, Scott calls Delphine and Cosima.
Now Delphine knows about the book. And everyone knows that someone in Dyad is telling all to someone in the Castor camp.
There’s a lot of arguing about who the rat could be, why Cosima kept the book secret from Delphine and the possible lines of research ahead. Delpine wants Cosima to get another stem cell treatment from Kira, which Cosima says she won’t do.
Cosima reveals her near death experience to Delphine, saying, “I came back for you.” Delphine kisses Cosima, but Cosima pulls away. Earlier Cosima told Sarah that Shay (Ksenia Solo) was what she needed right now. Delphine says her issues with Shay are not jealousy.
At Mrs. S’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Rachel starts to translate the photocopied book. Dr. Nealon comes in and tries to take to book. Rachel gets out of her wheelchair and falls on the floor having some sort of seizure. Nealon takes her back to Dyad.
But not really.
Rachel is behind a number of things that happened in this episode. She knew about Krystal and arranged her identity theft and arranged for her to be brought to Dyad. Now Krystal is in a coma, wearing an eye patch, and Nealon is telling Delphine and Cosima that it’s Rachel in a coma and Rachel may never wake up. Rachel is really off somewhere getting a new artificial eye and planning heaven knows what mayhem for her sisters when she’s back on her feet. And she has the photocopied book.
What a mess for Sarah and Cosima. Both books gone. They think it’s Rachel in a coma. There’s no hope of translating the book now. Cosima quits Dyad and Delphine fires Scott. As they are leaving, Delphine tosses a file folder with Shay’s name on it to Cosima. Ominous.
The one translated book page that Rachel completed mentions London and Castor, so we are off to London in the next episode to search for clues there.
The Hendrix Drug Machine
The Hendrixes hired Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) to work in Bubbles. She still living with Mrs. S, but goes to work at Bubbles. Helena has moved into the Hendrix household. (It’s their turn!!!) She brings with her the long missing canister of liquid nitrogen, which she explains to Alison’s daughter contains her babies. She hides the canister at Bubbles. Helena is wearing Alison’s clothes and looks pretty hilarious.
Donnie (Kristian Bruun) teaches Helena how to make soap and makes her laugh really hard by imitating her Russian accent. Helena and Donnie may become friends.
Alison calls Jason (Justin Chatwin) to Bubbles to talk about the kiss. Instead of talking, he kisses her. She kisses him back, before she pushes him away and tells him it can’t happen again.
Donnie doesn’t trust her. He and texts Jason from Alison’s phone to meet at Bubbles.
Donnie tries to scare Jason off Alison. Donnie’s idea of a fight is to slap Jason. Jason counters by knocking Donnie out cold.
Nothing is clear. We don’t know if Delphine and Shay are good guys or bad guys. We don’t know who is telling the Castor folks everything about the Leda folks. We don’t know what Rachel is up to – no good, probably. We don’t know if Krystal will ever be heard from again. We don’t know if Sarah can learn anything useful in London. They are taking us right up to the final episode with delicious suspense and many potential cliffhangers as the season ends. And, the previews of the next episode show Maria Doyle Kennedy singing!
I appreciate what Tatiana Maslany did with Krystal. She’s a vision of what every 13 year old girl thinks is perfection. I sure hope she isn’t kept in a coma forever, because I think she might be a valuable addition to the Clone Club.
I love the way Helena laughs. I noticed it way back in the episode where she met and danced with Jesse. The most wonderful sounding growl of a laugh. A masterpiece of a laugh.
The Title Quotation
Dwight D. Eisenhower said this in 1961.
“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. “
Episode 6 of season 3 of Orphan Black is “Certain Agony of the Battlefield.” Lots of plot twists and huge developments mark this episode as a turning point in several ways.
Before I get into that, I want to give a multitude of kudos to the director, Helen Shaver, for creating this episode’s surreal, hallucinogenic, and magical world. Shaver also directed an episode in season 2, Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est. Can she be the permanent director for Orphan Black please?
The recap will be divided into doings at the Hendrix household, doings at Dyad, and doings at the Castor compound.
The Hendrix Drug Machine
Alison (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) are dancing on the bed in their underwear, tossing money in the air, and having a very sexy time celebrating their filthy lucre. Who knew Donnie could twerk?
They pay off Jason (Justin Chatwin) the 30K or so they owe him, and Donnie still has enough to put $10,000 cash down on a fast car.
Alison has the idea that she can buy her mother out of her store, Bubbles. It will be perfect way to launder all their drug money. She takes Jason and Donnie there to talk about the possibility. Jason thinks it’s perfect.
At Dyad: Sex and Science
Cosima, on the other hand, has been screwing her brains out for 5 days with Shay (Ksenia Solo).
Cosima is missing calls, missing work, showing up late. Scott (Josh Vokey) is mad at her. Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) returns and she’s none to happy with Cosima’s absences either. In fact, Delphine looks at Cosima like she’d like to slap her or spit nails at her or something equally angry.
Delphine talks about trying to protect Dyad and the sisters, but Cosima doesn’t trust her or welcome her return. Delphine knows they processed the samples from Seth’s brain and she shows them that the same faulty protein they found in Seth (Ari Millen, an army) is also in Gracie. She suggests they follow up.
Felix brings Gracie into Dyad. As Delphine and Cosima wait for her outside the elevator doors, they look miles apart. Delphine told Cosima she missed her. Cosima didn’t respond.
Felix sneaks off to have a chat with Rachel, who spends her time in a wheelchair painting with watercolors. He wants to know about Castor so he can find Sarah. Rachel wants out of there.
Scott notices the symbols Rachel is putting in her paintings. He takes one and compares it with the symbols in “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”
Delphine and Cosima work together to examine Gracie. They tell her that whatever Mark infected her with affects different people differently. They tell her the defect is contagious.
After getting in so much trouble for not doing her job, Cosima goes to Shay’s with the intention of telling her they need to slow down. But when she sees Shay all she wants to do is “make out for 7 hours straight.” Shay encourages her to talk. Cosima just wants to make out. Their smooch-fest is interrupted by a call from Scott, who says he thinks Rachel knows Duncan’s key.
At the Castor Compound
It’s been 5 days since Sarah disappeared into the Castor prison. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is frantic. Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) tries to keep him calm, but he’s breaking. Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) is still at Mrs. S’s house. They Skype with Kira (Skyler Wexler) in Iceland, who wants to know why Sarah isn’t talking to her.
Paul (Dylan Bruce) is off in Arlington talking to a guy named Benchman (Tom Barnett). He gives him the log books showing sexual contacts that the Castor clones tracked. He whistleblows on Dr. Coady, who is doing unlawful experiments involving civilian females who have sex with the Castor boys. Benchman wants more evidence.
Sarah spins through fever induced hallucinations and strange dreams. Everything appears strange, surreal, part wishful thinking and part reality. She sees Kira and follows her around an empty Castor compound.
Sarah climbs into Kira’s blanket fort and emerges in a room where she sees herself being pumped full of Rudy’s blood.
Sarah dreams she sees Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) who wants to lead her down a tunnel into the light. Sarah resists.
In her fevered dream, she talks to Beth. Beth tells her to stop worrying about why and start finding out who.
Paul arrives and sees Sarah feeling very sick. Her temperature is 103. Dr. Coady says she’s treating her, but Sarah tells him differently.
Paul arrests Dr. Coady and takes over the compound. He puts a lot of people in the stockade. Among the few he trusts is Mark. Paul and Mark go to Coady’s office, where all the science information is stored. They find the evidence Paul needs. Sexual contact with the Castor clones causes sterility in women.
Sarah’s fever has broken. Dr. Coady gets very excited because Sarah didn’t die from Rudy’s blood. She tells Paul and Sarah that what she’s learning can end wars in a single generation.
Helena runs through the desert. When she falls in exhaustion, Pupok the scorpion talks to her about Sarah. She eats poor Pupok. For Tatiana’s sake, I hope she’s really eating a big, black gummy bear, but the thing she put in her mouth was wriggling as she did it. But, really, how hard is it to eat an imaginary scorpion, I ask you?
Rudy, who has been off chasing Helena, comes back to the compound after a phone call from Arlington. He starts killing everyone in a search for Paul. It’s like a video game up in here with all these dead bodies laying around.
The Big Finish
Paul realizes he’s been played. He takes Sarah to a tunnel where she can escape. On the way he kills the clone Miller, but Miller stabs him while they struggle.
Paul goes to Dr. Coady’s office. She finds him there, surrounded by all her science, and shoots him 3 or 4 times in the chest. But, even with a stab wound to the gut and 4 bullets in his chest, the heroic Paul still has enough life in him to give Coady a dirty look and drop a hand grenade on the floor.
It must have been one hell of a hand grenade, because when it explodes it knocks Sarah down in the tunnel.
Helena finds Sarah in the tunnel. They leave together. Helena came back for her sestra!
Delphine sits in front of a pile of photos of Cosima and Shay. She’s watching video of them on her computer as she downs booze as fast as she possibly can. She knew about them all along. As a result, she can’t get blotto fast enough.
Virginia Coady seems to be the mad military-industrial-scientific mind that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was so worried about. In the years just after America dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, obliterating hundreds of thousands of people in a flash of radioactive energy, concern over this kind of thinking was fresh on the American conscience. Scientists/soldiers/corporations with power over life and death – who think the ends justify the means – has been a theme of Orphan Black from the beginning. We’re seeing it played out here in the form of Castor experiments on unsuspecting humans.
The scene between Beth and Sarah was beautifully shot, with characters jumping through time and space. We saw depression on Beth’s face, which is the only way Sarah remembers seeing her. And it was pivotal in setting a direction for Sarah in looking at the who of it all.
Mark is an okay guy. He tells Paul he brought Sarah to the Castor compound so Rudy wouldn’t kill her. He tells Paul he fell in love with Gracie. Speaking of love confessions, Paul told Sarah that he loved her, right before he went off to blow himself up in Coady’s office.
The soldier boy clone count is down to Mark and Rudy. (Maybe. Rudy was close to the grenade in the office.) Paul is dead. Farewell to Mr. Hunkalicious, Dylan Bruce.
Someone in Washington was aware of what Coady was doing and supported it. Who, indeed. Everything is uncertain and in flux.
The Title Quotation
From Dwight D. Eisenhower, this week’s quotation comes from the same paragraph as last week.
Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
“Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” is the title of season 3, episode 5 of Orphan Black. Most of the episode deals with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) and Helena in the Castor prison.
To recap this episode, I’ll start with the shorter bits about everyone else including Cosima, Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison), Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) and the arrival of Shay (Ksenia Solo). Alison and Rachel do not appear in this episode.
Everyone Outside of Prison
Everyone is worried about what’s become of Sarah. Art is trying to call her, Mrs. S and Felix are stewing.
Cosima is waiting for her first internet date, Shay. When she comes into the room, she’s stunning. Cosima is reduced to babbling.
Shay is charming, gentle, lovely – she touches Cosima frequently and pretty much wraps her around her little finger. Shay tells her that holistic healing involves nutrition, body work and spiritual counseling. Shay leans close to Cosima and says, “Plus, I can see inside your soul.” As they talk, they are photographed by an unknown watcher.
Cosima suggests they leave. They go to Felix’s apartment. They make sexy eyes at each other and act like they are ready to jump each other’s bones. After a while Shay offers to go, because Cosima seems a bit conflicted about Delphine. Cosima agrees Shay should go, but she doesn’t look like she believes what she’s saying.
Then Shay kisses her instead of going. They end up getting more lesbian germs in Felix’s apartment.
Gracie shows up at Art’s. He learns that she lost the baby. He takes her to Mrs. S and Felix. Mrs. S is healing nicely; she’s not so beat up as she was the last few episodes.
There’s a bit of discussion, but eventually they give Gracie a place to stay, shower, eat, and also some of Sarah’s old clothes. Gracie now wants to experience life – the restrictions of her father’s religion need to be cast off.
Gracie comes downstairs looking like a hooker. She wants to go to a bar. They keep her in the house, but give her alcohol and teach her to dance. She exclaims, “I love alcohol,” and falls on the floor in agony. When the paramedics come, they see her eyes are very bloodshot.
Art meets with Patty (Natalie Krill). We met her in episode 2 after her strange sexual encounter with Rudy and Seth. She’s wearing sunglasses at night because there’s something bloody wrong with her eyes, just like Gracie.
Helena and Sarah in Prison
Helena, who says she once survived 4 months in a broom closet, is back in her cell after killing Parsons (Ari Millen, an army). She has cuffs on her ankles with a bar between them. She examines everything she sees as a potential tool or weapon. Sarah’s in the next cell.
Sarah and Helena talk through a grate between their cells. Helena thinks Sarah sent her there and is not friendly. Sarah tries to convince her that Mrs. S did it to protect Kira, but Helena is guarded. She tries to unlock her ankle cuffs with a tiny nail, she talks to her scorpion friend about butter, and she doesn’t trust Sarah. The conversation with her imaginary friend about butter is actually relevant, because Helena is stashing pats of butter from her meals behind a loose block in her cell wall.
The clone Miller drags Sarah off. As he does, Sarah yells to Helena that the Castor clones are their brothers. While Sarah is gone, Helena notices that one of the bars in the window of her cell door is loose.
Sarah meets Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper), who takes blood from her.
The Castor doctors have the Johanssen baby, which they think will give them genetic material to develop a cure for the male clones. Dr. Coady patches up Mark and tells him to make sure his first ever journal of intimate contacts begins with Gracie. She takes away his wedding ring, which bothers him. Mark may actually care about Gracie.
Paul (Dylan Bruce) shows up at the prison after convincing someone higher up to keep funding the Castor program. He’s not happy to see Sarah there. He wants to be her friend. Sarah tells Helena that Paul is the one who turned her in. He says it was either Helena or Sarah. Helena finally believes Sarah isn’t the one who turned her in.
Paul yells at Dr. Coady about Sarah’s imprisonment. Paul then also goes into the room where Parsons is stored and looks at his journal of intimate contacts. It’s a list of names of women, with a lock of hair from each one.
Sarah knows Helena must have an escape plan. She wants in on it. Helena says Sarah can be her sandwich. A sandwich is a weak person you take with you because you eat them! Sarah softens Helena up by talking about what a bad mother she is and crying as she explains why she left Kira with Mrs. S so often.
Helena is compassionate and soothing when Sarah cries. The crying apparently works, however, and Helena tells Sarah how she can help with the escape plan.
Sarah starts a fight with Miller and another guard. They knock her out. She is taken to the infirmary, where she steals a pair of tweezers.
Helena unlocks the cuffs on her feet with the tweezers. She uses the bar between the cuffs to pry the loose bar from her cell window. Then she slathers herself with butter and slides out the tiny opening she created. She leaves Sarah behind, saying they are now even.
Helena is the master of parkour. She scampers around, jumps from cars to rooftops, climbs straight up a wall and reaches the highest parapet of the razor wire encrusted prison wall. She hesitates there because her heart moves for her seestra. We don’t know if she jumps down to freedom or goes back for Sarah. She is perched there at the end of the episode. The whole camp below her is on high alert, looking for her.
The idea that having sex with one of the Castor clones causes sickness is an interesting turn of events. Can’t wait to see where that goes.
Something is going on with Shay. Something mysterious.
The set they are using for the prison looks like an old mission. Adobe walls, vigas, rounded parapets. It’s shot in yellow light and everything outside the walls is dark and invisible. I love that set.
Speaking of sets, what happened to Cosima’s apartment? Why is she always in Felix’s apartment – she even takes dates there.
The way we hear backstory is fascinating. In this episode we heard about Mrs. S’s husband dying in a drunken brawl and we heard about why Sarah ran off with Vic, leaving Kira behind. These tales are revealed in natural ways to enhance character development.
Helena uses the tiny nail she finds to cut her back. She feels a great release from doing it – the scene is framed and shot like sexual ecstasy. I hope at some point Helena’s cutting becomes a bigger topic of conversation.
The Title Quotation
We’re sticking with Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation in 1961. If only we had paid this much attention at the time. Here’s the location of this episode’s title. Our moral strength, in particular, seems to have been purchased by the 1%.
“Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.”
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 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.
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).
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 (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
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.
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?
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 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 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.
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.
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?
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. “
“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 (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.
Gracie goes to Finch’s and returns with a locked strongbox.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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 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 (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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.