Orphan Black finishes with “To Right the Wrongs of Many.” It’s the last episode ever, which makes me want to cry. I cried most of the way through this episode, but they were happy tears. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E10 To Right the Wrongs of Many”
Orphan Black episode 9 “One Fettered Slave” is a funeral with no happy weddings. Helena’s (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) early history is explored. This is a recap. There are spoilers. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E9 One Fettered Slave”
Orphan Black brings Krystal (Tatiana Maslany) back for episode 6 “Manacled Slim Wrists.” She’s hilarious, steals every scene she’s anywhere near, and learns some helpful info. The rest of the episode is less humorous and more inflammatory.Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E6 Manacled Slim Wrists”
Orphan Black episode 4 “Let the Children and the Childbearers Toil” ties us back to some older story lines while Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) madly search for a way to free Kira (Skyler Wexler) from Rachel’s clutches. This is a recap. There will be spoilers. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E4 Let the Children and the Childbearers Toil”
“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.
— Orphan Black (@OrphanBlack) June 21, 2015
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
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 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 (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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
And thanks for your questions, support, sense of humour, art, sense of solidarity…just thanks. You guys are the best. Bisous.
— Evelyne (@EvelyneBrochu) June 21, 2015
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.
‘WHATEVER COMES NEXT WE WILL FACE IT TOGETHER’ I Love U#CloneClub. ThankU4 accepting me into ur world. ThankU@OrphanBlack 4 a wicked season. — Ksenia Solo (@KseniaSolo) June 21, 2015
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.”
“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.Continue reading “Orphan Black: S3 E6 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. “