Orphan Black episode 3, “Beneath Her Heart,” focuses on the Hendrix family past and present. Alison (Tatiana Maslany, one of many) has a breakthrough and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) does some revealing dance steps. This is a recap. Every sentence is a spoiler.
We’re flashing back to a Hendrix dinner party with Chad (Eric Johnson) and Aynsley Norris (Natalie Lisinska) sometime before Aynsley’s unfortunate encounter with a garbage disposal. Beth calls and tells Alison that the clone thing is not a joke and she needs to get on board with it.
Alison continues to scoff at the idea, but it’s bothering her because she agrees to try magic mushrooms with Chad and Aynsley.
In the present, Mr. Frontenac (Andrew Moodie) continues to ask Donnie and Alison where Helena is. He tells Alison that every one of the clones has more value than she does, especially Helena. This precipitates a crises of confidence in Alison.
In the flashback, Beth texts Alison to go outside, where Cosima waits in her red coat. Cosima is there to convince her clones are a reality, but Alison is so high she can’t make sense of what she sees and hears. Cosima says Beth wants them all to get together to talk, but Alison retreats into the house.
Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Sarah, and Kira (Skyler Wexler) set up a memorial for MK where they are lighting candles and collecting memories. Alison and Donnie participate by Skype.
When they finish the memorial, Mrs. S takes Kira to Rachel. Mrs. S tells Sarah and Felix to stay put.
Alison complains about going to the Fall Fun Fair when she’s no longer in charge. Donnie reminds her they are the entertainment and he’s doing a dance. They have to go. When Alison digs out her supplies she finds a bottle of trouble.
Alison goes to the church. She’s rebuffed and sent to chill by this year’s Fun Fair chairman Nona (Jayne Eastwood). Feeling useless, Alison goes in the chapel. She takes some of the pills she found, and pours the rest in a drink.
Alison intends to give the drink to Nona. The minister says something that makes her snatch the drink back and leave.
Rachel tells Mr. Frontenac that P.T. Westmoreland actually wrote Aldous Leekie’s book on neolution. They talk about Helena’s fetus healing. Rachel thinks Helena’s babies may be even more useful than Kira. Mr. Frontenac thinks Donnie is holding out on Helena’s location.
Rachel sends her pet cops to the Hendrix door with a search warrant. Donnie answers the door in a kilt. He’s doing a highland dance at the Fun Fair.
Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) and Det. Enger (Elyse Levesque) are prepared to search for evidence in the Pouchy murders. Donnie knows it’s a shakedown, but can’t do anything about it.
Alison runs into Chad and his kids at the Fun Fair. They look terrible. Being without Aynsley has not been good for them. Chad says he feels responsible for Aynsley’s death. If she hadn’t kicked him out after learning about the quickie in the parking lot between Chad and Alison, he would have been home to save her. Alison is all cool and innocent but says you can’t change the past.
Flashback to Alison’s mushroom trip. She’s reeling from meeting Cosima. She looks in the mirror and wonders why she’s not a cop or a scientist. Alison suffers crises of confidence everywhere in this episode.
Donnie leaves the cops to search the house and heads for the Fun Fair. He whispers to Art not to let them in the garage.
Rachel gives Kira an African spiny mouse to take home. This mouse can regrow skin, fur, sweat glands, and more. Kira regards it as something to play with, but I’m sure there has been frantic research at Dyad and among Neolutionists on this mammal’s ability to regenerate damaged tissue. The writers must have had this mouse in mind as far back as Kira’s car wreck – well before Helena’s baby healed from the puncture wound.
Felix follows orders to stay home. He’ll make Sarah sit still so he can paint her portrait.
At the fair, Alison sees her former supplier Ramone (Alex Ozerov) and confronts him over the $35,000 she thinks he stole from her. He says it was all Kellerman, who realized she was an easy mark. Alison feels like a failure at everything. Alison looks at herself in the mirror and says, “Who am I?” She does that several times in the episode – in the past and present.
Ramone gives her alcohol and a joint. When Donnie gets there, he finds her in the bouncy house. She’s high again. He tells her the police are at the house and they argue, blaming each other for their problems.
Art finds Matty Enger in the garage planting evidence from the Pouchy crime scene. Then she notices that the garage floor has fresh cement. She says it looks like a grave.
I love that it’s the women who handle the jackhammers in Orphan Black. Even though we aren’t supposed to like Engers, she is kind of a badass.
Donnie calls Sarah for help with Alison. She and Felix promise to help ASAP. Donnie finds Alison’s bottle of spiked drink and downs it all. That won’t end well.
Mrs. S tells Kira to get ready for bed. Kira doesn’t want to talk about what she does with Rachel. After Mrs. S leaves, Kira gets a pocket knife out of her desk. Kira has plans for that knife, but we don’t know what yet.
Alison talks to Chad again. She tries to tell him Aynsley’s death was her fault. He doesn’t listen. He says Aynsley loved her. He tells her to move forward. Alison finds that oddly empowering.
Donnie performs the highland fling like a champ when the drugs suddenly hit him. He collapses on the stage, giving the audience a look at his bare everything. Alison and Felix drag him off. Alison gives a speech of sorts to the audience about her demons and says she’s bigger than all of them because she’s part of a sisterhood. Felix draws the curtain and shuts her up.
Sarah went to Alison’s house, not the Fun Fair. She tells Art that it’s Leekie in the garage. She calls Felix. Donnie is tossing his cookies in a bucket, Alison is holding his hair, and Felix wonders what will happen when Enger finds decapitated Leekie. Donnie wants to give up Helena’s location but Sarah and Alison nix the idea.
Alison decides to do something useful. She stuffs Leekie’s head in a big purse and takes it to Rachel. At the same time, Enger digs into the stinky, squishy stuff in the garage.
Alison tells Rachel there’s a Castor clone in the garage, too. Rachel says it would all go away if they knew Helena’s whereabouts. Alison calls her bluff. Alison knows that any investigation would lead right back to Dyad and Rachel. Oh, boy, it’s tough-as-nails Alison finding her voice! She tells Rachel to call off her dogs and Rachel does!
Rachel tells Enger to dispose of the bodies discreetly and repair the garage. The order came just in time, because Art was ready to shoot Enger and bury her in the hole with everyone else.
Rachel and Alison admit to wanting to strangle each other, but Alison walks out a free woman.
At bedtime, Donnie and Alison have tea and a heart to heart on the couch. She says she’s finally popped loose of her own skin. She wants to go away for a while. She wants to see the kids and figure out who she is. They sing “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” as Hendrix foreplay. (Great singing from Tatiana and Kristian as it plays again over the credits.)
The last few seconds of the episode, we see Helena with a nun praying beside her. The nun is looking down, but I think she still has both her eyes. Helena writes in a notebook. Is that Russian?
Tatiana Maslany has mentioned in interviews how emotional it was as the filming of season 5 progressed to “wrap” on each clone. This episode of Orphan Black feels like preparation to wrap on Alison. We revisit her past. She deals with some of the emotion around her past, especially Aynsley. She questions her purpose, her life, her usefulness. She asks, “Who am I?” She makes a breakthrough when she stands up to the crowd at the Fun Fair and to Rachel in her office.
We may see Alison and Donnie again in season 5, but this episode lays the groundwork for saying goodbye to a more mature and grounded Alison. It isn’t only Tatiana who has so say goodbye to all these characters. It’s the fans, too.
I didn’t like saying goodbye to MK. I don’t want to say goodbye to anyone. Spending time with these actors has been a treat. Especially watching Tatiana Maslany’s amazing performances. It’s only episode 3 of the last season and I miss Orphan Black already.