Orphan Black S4 E6 The Scandal of Altruism

Orphan Black’s sixth episode, “The Scandal of Altruism” is an earthquake, a monumental change in direction, a shocking turn of events. Where we go from here is a complete unknown. Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Orphan Black S4 E6 The Scandal of Altruism”

Orphan Black: S3 E10 History Yet to Be Written

“History Yet to Be Written” is absolute perfection as a season 3 finale for Orphan Black. It takes us back in time to tie up questions, while opening up new directions for season 4. There are some losses and some happy moments. I’m going to start with the technical achievement of the season: the four clone dinner party.

Alison (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) wins the school trustee election by 56 votes. She gathers everyone in the bubble gum world of Bubbles for a family dinner. They toast each other, even clink glasses. This season it’s Donnie (Kristian Bruun) who moves around the scene, filling wine glasses. They are all safe and happy and have hope for the future science to come.  This scene is bound to be a favorite topic because of the difficulty of filming it.

Okay, how did episode 10 get us to this happy family moment? I’m going to summarize out of order, but the big reveal is that the Neolutionists from season 1 have been in charge of both Dyad and Topside all along.

Kendall Malone, the original

Kendall Malone is under scrutiny by Felix, Sarah and Scott

Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) brings Sarah and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) into a big warehouse where Scott (Josh Vokey) is constructing a clean room of sorts out of plastic sheets. When they are sure everything is ready, Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) brings her mother into the room. Kendall (Alison Steadman) complains all the way about her treatment, and because Mrs. S is herding her along with a baseball bat in her hand.

Cosima meets Kendall, and tells her that Kendall is actually the older sister of the clones. Cosima disarms Kendall with charm and takes blood samples from her.

Mrs. S burns with rage at her mother. It seems Kendall had something to do with John Sadler’s death. Mrs. S unveils a tub and several bottles of sulfuric acid, which she tells her mother she plans to use on her.

Mrs. S tells Kendall that Kira (Skyler Wexler) is Kendall’s niece. She asks Kendall to explain who she is. Kendall said Duncan had come to her 5 or 6 years after he’d harvested her. Duncan was in fear for his life from something called Neolution. He said they’d poisoned the science and corrupted his wife, Susan. He’d hidden Kendall from everyone.

Duncan told her there was one child outside it all, lost in the foster system. Kendall sent him to her daughter, the rebel. Siobhan had the connections to hide the child and Kendall sent the child to her. So Kendall put Sarah and Mrs. S together, who have been blood relatives all along. Mrs. S reacts to this news by forgiving her mother. Maria Doyle Kennedy performed this emotional moment of release with perfection.

Siobhan Sadler is actually a blood relation of all the clones. Isn’t that an interesting new fact?

Sarah

Sarah and Felix find Mark (Ari Millen, an army). They bring him to the warehouse where he pretends to be Rudy and calls Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) with the address about where they are. When she arrives with armed men, Ferdinand kills her driver and takes her captive.

Ferdinand

Ferdinand (James Frain) comes to the warehouse for the blood he was promised by Sarah. At that moment, Delphine calls with the news that the blood will go to Neolution. Delphine tells Sarah not to let him have any blood and to tell him Rachel is still alive. Ferdinand is quite interested in this bit of news about Rachel and in the announcement that they are all just pawns of Neolution.

Ferdinand calls Neolutionists “genetically obsessed zealots” and says he hates them.

Ferdinand kills his helper with Siobhan’s baseball bat. It’s the acid bath for the poor fellow. Ferdinand tells them to hide Kendall away, he doesn’t want to know where. He says he’ll be in touch. I guess Ferdinand is going to be one of the good guys now.

Sarah and Mrs. S take Kendall to Iceland.

Kira and Sarah in the snow

The episode began with Rachel’s dream of ice and love, and it ends with the joyous reunion of Sarah and Kira (Skyler Wexler) on a vast plane of snow.

Helena

Helena spends a lot of time in the Hendrix garage in this episode. First she’s reunited with Jesse (Patrick J. Adams). Jesse seems as happy to see her as she is to see him.

Helena and Jesse kiss

In his tow truck, which is half-in, half-out of the Hendrix garage, Helena climbs on Jesse’s lap and tells him “I have science babies inside me, but you are my first.” Helena’s lust is pure animal instinct, just like the rest of her personality. Before they can actually get it on, she gets summoned to help the sestras. Both of them promise to return to the moment.

Rudy is following Alison around during the election proceedings. Alison lures him to her house and he is met in the garage by Helena in assassin mode. She’s duct taped weapons to her hands and is ready to fight to the death.

Rudy dying with Helena

Rudy dies, partly from a wound from Helena but mostly because he was dying anyway like the other Castor clones. They have a tender moment discussing their childhoods before he dies. Helena can go from assassin to empathetic listener in 1/10 of a second.

Delphine

Ferdinand, Sarah and Delphine at Dyad

Ferdinand  shows up thinking he’s going to take over from Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). Sarah offers him a deal to get some of the genetic material from the original, but only if the perverted Castor military experiment goes away.

Delphine goes to check on Rachel (or what she thinks is Rachel). She realizes it’s Krystal when she sees the good manicure on Rachel’s hand. Krystal wakes up, scared and confused.

Now that she knows about the Krystal deception and that Rachel is in Austria someplace, Delphine has Dr. Nealon (Tom McCamus) put in custody. She questions him and discovers that Neolution has been orchestrating everything from the first moment. He calls Castor and Leda Neolution’s Adam and Eve. He says there’s a place for her at Neolution. She turns down the job.

Dr. Nealon and the worm over Delphine

Nealon squiggles his jaw, leaps up and pins Delphine to a table. He tries to insert a worm from his mouth into Delphine. Luckily she’s packing and she shoots him and takes the worm as a specimen.

Delphine with tears in her eyes

Delphine was invited to the family dinner but didn’t go. She texted Cosima to meet her outside. Cosima says, “I understand why you did what you did. I’m sorry to make you have to make so many hard decisions.” Delphine asks her to keep the blood safe and to make sure Kendall is safe.

Delphine tears up and looks at Cosima with a great deal of love. Delphine gives Cosima what looks like a heartfelt and passionate goodbye kiss, and leaves, saying, “My love to all the sisters.”

Delphine parks in a parking garage. She realizes someone is following her and turns. She says, “What will happen to her?” and is shot. We don’t know who shot her and we don’t know if she dies. Whoever shot her walked loudly, perhaps from wearing high heels?

Rachel

Rachel with a bionic eye

The opening scene is Rachel waking from a dream about playing in the snow with her parents. She gets up and discovers she has a bionic eye and a museum-like display of finches in her room. She has no idea where she is or who is holding her.

Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) enters the room and says Rachel is going to be her new mom. Then Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) enters and says, “Hello, dear Rachel. Welcome home.” Rachel answers, “Mother.”

Shay

Ksenia Solo as Shay

Cosima attempts an apology to Shay (Ksenia Solo), who is understandably upset by the death threat from Delphine. Cosima still can’t tell Shay anything about who she really is and Shay angrily sends her away.

Later Delphine shows up at Shay’s apartment. She tells Shay that she’s sorry, that she knows Cosima really cares for Shay, and that Cosima and Shay are a good fit.

card with 324B21 written on it

Delphine says she won’t be around any more. She tells Shay to tell Cosima that she should tell everything to Shay if she wants. She gives Shay a card to show Cosima as proof that she means it.

Some Thoughts

We know how Kendall, Mrs. S and Sarah connect. What about Felix? A bit of history yet to write in season 4?

The count of male clones is down to only Mark. And he’s helping the sestras. All the murder-machine male clones are dead.

We can’t tell from the episode, but I think Delphine is actually dead. Based on this interview with John Fawcett, and this tweet, it seems she won’t be back.

A big bisou to you, Evelyne. Love you.

I’m sure there will be mourning for Delphine and talk about the dead lesbian trope, but I actually feel all right about Delphine. It works with the story better than the dead lesbian story usually does. However, if Delphine really is dead, what’s going to happen with the worm Nealon apparently carried around in his mouth on the regular?

Shay, on the other hand, may be around for season 4. Based on this tweet it looks like she’s here for a while. Maybe she’ll be let in on the secrets like Felix, and become another important member of Clone Club.

It looks like Krystal will be around for season 4, which makes me very happy. I liked her a lot. Who knows, at the end of season 4 we might have a FIVE clone scene as a grand finale!

Ferdinand and Rachel definitely have a thing, but he hates Neolutionists and Rachel’s mother is apparently a Neolutionist. Where will that go in season 4?

What do the Proletheans have to do with all this? If Helena carries her child to birth, or if they do something with the frozen embryos they have, will that be a corruption of the clone genome or a correction? More fodder for season 4.

I love this show! Three cheers for season 3 and much anticipation for season 4.

The Title Quotation

Winding up a season of foresight from Dwight David Eisenhower, we close with this thought.

“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.”

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 E8 Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method

Orphan Black, season 3 episode 8 is “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method” or, as it could also be called, “Rachel Outsmarts Everyone.”

Krystal Goderich

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.

Felix and Crystal

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.

Ari Millen as Rudy

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.

Cosima and Scott in Scott's apartment

Now Delphine knows about the book. And everyone knows that someone in Dyad is telling all to someone in the Castor camp.

Cosima and Delphine

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.

Jason and Donnie face off

Donnie tries to scare Jason off Alison. Donnie’s idea of a fight is to slap Jason. Jason counters by knocking Donnie out cold.

Some Thoughts

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. “

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.”

 

Orphan Black: This Thing with Shay

Ksenia Solo’s character Shay is a disruptor in the Orphan Black world. She’s appeared in two episodes now and you can see trouble coming.

And then THIS happened… Friends or Foes?! OH the mystery!!! @EvelyneBrochu #OrphanBlack #Season3

A photo posted by Ksenia Solo (@therealksolo) on

In Ksensia’s Instagram photo above with Evelyne Brochu, they look as if they are having a good time on the Orphan Black set. The same thing is true below, in this photo with series star Tatiana Maslany and make up artist Kristin Wayne.

My Sestras @tatianamaslany @kristinwayne #OrphanBlack #KickAssLadies #MakinASceneAt315 A photo posted by Ksenia Solo (@therealksolo) on

Apparently, Ksenia Solo had a good time shooting her episodes of Orphan Black. Fun for everyone, right?

It may be a bit more dramatic and fraught for everyone in the playing out of the story on Orphan Black.

We first meet Shay in Scarred by Many Past Frustrations. We learn a bit more about her in Certain Agony of the Battlefield. In the previews at the end of the latter episode, we learn something else.

I cannot wait to see the next episode, but I have drawn some conclusions based on the evidence we have so far. Let me know if you agree.

Here’s What we Know

Shay and Cosima talk in the bar

1. When Shay and Cosima meet, Cosima is absolutely wowed by her. Immediately attracted. Someone is watching them and photographing them. Cosima invites Shay to leave with her. They go to Felix’s apartment.

Shay and Cosima kiss

2. When Shay offers to leave and Cosima agrees that she should go, Shay takes control of the situation by kissing Cosima. Shay does not leave.

Shay and Cosima in Shay's apartment

3. Cosima and Shay spend several intense, sexually busy days together. During this time, Shay asks questions about Cosima’s work and about Sarah. She keeps her questions casual.

Delphine and Cosima await Gracie's arrival

4. Delphine returns to Dyad. She appears to be angry at Cosima – ostensibly about Cosima’s absences from work. I think she’s actually angry that Cosima was so quick to take up with Shay. I think Delphine’s masking hurt with anger.

Delphine looks at photos of Cosima and Shay

5. We learn that Delphine is the watcher, that she knows what Cosima and Shay have been up to from the start.

6. Finally, from the previews for next week’s episode, we see that Delphine and Shay know each other.

My Conclusions

We will find out if I’m right in episode 7, Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate, but here’s what I think at this point.

Delphine had to stop being Cosima’s monitor when she became head of Dyad. Enter Shay. Shay is Cosima’s new monitor. When Cosima figures it out, either her heart will be broken or she will feel betrayed once again.

Cosima’s distrust of Delphine is going to grow once she figures out that Delphine was behind the choice to assign a her new monitor.

Delphine feels betrayed by Cosima’s eager acceptance of Shay into her bed. So we have two women who probably love each other feeling betrayed. That’s why I said at the beginning that Shay is a disruptor.

I don’t think all these emotions are going to help Cosima and Delphine do the crazy science that would lead a solution to the Leda and Castor health crises.

If I count right, Shay is set to continue on Orphan Black for the remainder of the season. (She’s listed for 6 episodes on IMDB.) I love seeing Ksenia Solo on the show. She’s crazy talented and a pleasure to watch. I’m holding my breath waiting to find out what she means to the Dyad universe if I’m right that she’s Cosima’s monitor.

What do you think?

Orphan Black: S3 E6 Certain Agony of the Battlefield

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

Donnie and Alison dancing in their underwear

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 in her mother's store

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).

Shay and Cosima in Shay's apartment

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.

Cosima looks at Delphine with distrust

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.

Delphine and Cosima await Gracie's arrival

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 talks to Rachel

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.

Rachel's painting and The Island of Dr. Moreau

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 talks with Benchman

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.

Kira appears in Sarah's dream

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 sees herself in a cot

Sarah climbs into Kira’s blanket fort and emerges in a room where she sees herself being pumped full of Rudy’s blood.

Charlotte appears in Sarah's dream

Sarah dreams she sees Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) who wants to lead her down a tunnel into the light. Sarah resists.

Beth is in her dream

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 eats the scorpion

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

Helena finds Sarah in the tunnel. They leave together. Helena came back for her sestra!

Delphine looks at photos of Cosima and Shay

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.

Some Thoughts

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.

Orphan Black: S3, E1 The Weight of This Combination

Orphan Black kicked off season 3 with “The Weight of This Combination.” The ride was both delightful and scary. We begin mere seconds from where season 2 stopped.

The Female Clones

Tatiany Maslany as Cosima in Orphan Black

The episode opens with a 4 clone scene. It’s a candy colored world where a very pregnant Helena (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) is surrounded by love and food at her baby shower. Cosima is dressed in a Ukranian folk outfit, Sarah is in black leather, Alison is all in pink and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) grills in a tennis outfit with a martini in his hand.

Helena wakes up from this hallucination trapped in a big coffin-like box, where she conducts a conversation with a scorpion. The scorpion was played by Tatiana Maslany – both voice and all the other noises the scorpion made. I got the idea that the scorpion was as imaginary as the baby shower. Yep, Helena is losing her marbles.

Jordan Gavaris in Orphan Black

Cosima is feeling better and staying at Felix’s place. She amuses herself playing with Kira (Skyler Wexler) and hiding “The Island of Dr. Moreau” from everyone but Scott (Josh Vokey) because she no longer trusts anyone, including Delphine.

Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) breaks up with Cosima but still loves her. Delphine is taking over Rachel’s job and is living a double life as 1) a corporate drone, 2) the protector of all the sisters.

At the now united Hendrix household, Alison can’t stop touching newly jobless Donnie (Kristian Bruun). Alison plans to run for school trustee against the evil Marci (Amanda Brugel).

Maria Doyle Kennedy in Orphan Black

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) confesses to sending off Helena to wherever the scorpions talk, so Sarah is obsessed with getting Helena back throughout the episode. Helena does not get rescued in this episode, in spite of all Sarah’s efforts.

Nobody is paying any attention to the big container of liquid nitrogen Helena left in Felix’s apartment. But Kira starts to play with it, so hopefully it will come to Cosima’s attention the same way she discovered the gold mine inside “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Fun with Ferdinand

A creepy guy named Ferdinand (James Frain) shows up at Dyad intending to carry out “Helsinki” which translates to: Kill All The Girl Clones. First he wants to have S & M sex with Rachel. Except Rachel is in a hospital bed with her eye poked out, so Sarah pretends to be Rachel. And while she’s doing that, Alison pretends to be Sarah. Tatiana Maslany is so fabulous at this stuff, it all makes perfect sense.

Somehow Rachel (AKA Sarah) gets rid of Ferdinand, gets Helsinki canceled, and makes sure everyone knows she’s looking for Helena. By the way, Sarah in a Rachel wig is talented with a belt, as the marks on Ferdinand’s butt and neck prove.

The Male Clones

Ari Millen in Orphan Black

There are apparently a whole army of male clones (Ari Millen, an army). Last season we met Mark the Prolethean, the ugly haircut guy who followed Helena into the bar, Scarface the crazy guy in the basement, and a grim soldier outside Helena’s plane. Now we also meet Faux Mohawk and Mr. Moustache. (Scarface and Faux Mohawk may be just one guy. I’m still trying to get a good count of the boy clones.)

Mr. Moustache, who may be named Seth, beat the crap out of Mrs. S while trying to find Ethan Duncan. Mrs. S put up a good fight, though! Mrs. S: ever badass.

The male clones – the soldier boys – are not warm and fuzzy fellows. The male clones run around trying to find and kill the female clones. This lets us meet Krystal Goderich, a previously unknown female clone. We see Krystal making out with Faux Mohawk in an elevator, then going into a hotel room with him. There is one more male clone in this scene. Delphine reports that Krystal survived, so maybe we’ll meet her again.

The male clones all know about each other. The Orphan Black terminology here is “self aware.” Now, if I were a male clone and my job was to kill female clones, I might start to get a little worried about job security. Not these boys.

The Title Quote

Last year the titles were all quotes from Francis Bacon. The first episode this year uses a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

We’ve left nature vs. nurture in season 2 and are moving on to the military-industrial complex. Project Castor is the military side of the clone experiment, so it follows quite logically.

Several Peeks at Orphan Black Season 3

The latest preview for Orphan Black season 3 indicates that a theme of the new season will be what happens when the male clones and the female clones interact. Based on this clip of a meeting between Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Rudy (Ari Millen), things might be a bit fraught in the extended family.

Sarah doesn’t like that the probably insane clone we saw a glimpse of at the end of season 2 knows all about her family, including Kira (Skyler Wexler), Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Sarah knows nothing about this guy, not even his name, and he knows everything about her.

Oh dear, does that glimpse of Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) mean she’s running things regarding all the clones, not just Cosima? Very mysterious.

The, “Count your sisters,” line is ominously suggestive as well. Are there more clones? Another of the previews below suggests that there might be more female clones as well.

We’ve enjoyed the virtuoso performance as a number of clones from Tatiana Maslany for two seasons. It looks like Ari Millen is prepared to do an equally outstanding job with his batch of characters. I suspect the number of male clones will be revealed slowly. That’s how it was done with the females, and it builds suspense through the season.

Much as I want to see where the addition of the male clones to the story takes us, I’m still interested in several things from season 2:

  • What about Sarah and Cal (Michiel Huisman)?
  • Does Cosima recover and what about her relationship with Delphine?
  • Where is Helena and what’s happening to her? Will she ever see Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) again?
  • Will Allison get her act together?
  • Will Tony be back?

I hope the male clones don’t steal too much story time from the characters we already know and love.

In an article from Spoiler Room, producer John Fawcett talked about Cosima and answered at least one of my questions about season 3.

…This season will really be focused—at least for Cosima—on the nature of science vs. faith. “The interesting thing about Cosima is she came very close to dying and that wasn’t something that we took lightly,” executive producer John Fawcett says. “That wasn’t something that we did to try and scare the audience, that really was the beginning of a new journey for Cosima in season 3. The fact that she has come that close to death, that she essentially had a near-death experience, changes her because she can’t explain what happened to her. It puts this character, who is so entrenched in the science, in this place where she’s now looking for answers beyond science.”

Here are some previews that were released earlier than the one above.

The “This is War” Preview

The “Calling All Clones” Preview

The First Official Trailer for Season 3

I already published this one, but it doesn’t hurt to see it again.

Orphan Black begins on BBC America on April 18. In case you are like me and don’t have BBC America, you can buy the season on iTunes or Amazon Prime. The episodes are usually available on those platforms the morning after they air live.

Two New Promos for Season 3 of Orphan Black – UPDATED

Orphan Black is releasing new promos to entice us to want season 3 to hurry up. It’s working! Hurry up, season 3! The nearest I could come to a release date is Spring 2015.

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) is a total badass. We know that. Here’s proof.

Also, Alison does NOT have a potty mouth. Even when she’s stoned and drunk. Even when she’s a total badass. Much to her surprise, Alison is often a total badass.

Love the  humor in this video about Alison. I hope they produce similarly clever ones for all of Tatiana Maslany’s many incarnations before season 3 begins.

I would happily watch videos like these about Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) and Kira (Skyler Wexler), too.

Update!

Just hours after this post published this morning, a new promo for season 3 became available. It includes one of the male clones we learned about at the end of season two.

Start date on BBC America is April 18. We have a date, CloneClubbers!

Guest star announcements!

photos of ksenia solo, Justin Chatwin, James Frain
New cast members include Ksenia Solo, Justin Chatwin, James Frain

In case you somehow missed this announcement: Ksenia Solo will be part of season 3 of Orphan Black. There might also be a couple of guys, too. I don’t know, maybe Justin Chatwin and James Frain, whoever they are.

The one. The only. My fave Super Star. #CloneClub .@tatianamaslany #TheFunBegins #OrphanBlack

A photo posted by Ksenia Solo (@therealksolo) on