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.

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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.

Season 3 of Orphan Black: First Trailer

The first trailer for season 3 of Orphan Black is here. The series returns Saturday, April 18th on BBC America.

Series 3 begins right where the finale for season 2 left off. Tatiana Maslany, playing all the female clones of Project Leda, will face off against the Project Castor males, played by Ari Millen.

Season 3 will feature new cast additions like James Dominic Frain, Justin Chatwin and Ksenia Solo.

The scenes in the trailer go by so fast, it’s a bit hard to make sense of what we are seeing. There may be more female clones than we have met already. We saw 3 male clones in the finale of season 2, but there are a couple of others in the trailer. Are they shipping clones around in trunks now? A clone in a cage acts like Helena but has brown hair. Intrigue!

No matter the clone count, the new season looks tense and exciting.

Sarah may have a bad feeling about this, but I cannot wait!

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

Watch This: Previews for Season 3 of The Americans

The Americans will start season 3 on FX on January 28. I’ve been watching this drama about Soviet spies in the U.S. during the Cold War in the 1980s since the first season. As unlikely as it sounds to say that I like a show about Soviet spies, I am saying it here.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The AMericanse
This married couple are not what they seem

Much of the reason this show is so good are the outstanding performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. They are brilliant in their parts as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two KGB officers who pose as a married couple living near Washington, D.C. They have two children, played by Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati. Their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich) is an FBI counter-intelligence agent who spends his days trying to catch people like them, and his evenings exchanging small talk with them over barbecue.

The spies have a “handler.” For a while their handler was played by Margo Martindale, an actress I simply love. This year Frank Langella is stepping into the role of handler. Richard Thomas is also a regular, playing another FBI agent.

There are recognizable events in the story, real characters and real happenings from the period, but ultimately – at least for me – the story is about Elizabeth and Philip: their relationship, their marriage, their family.

How about it? Are there any other fans of The Americans among readers?

Photos © Copyright FX Network

Start Date for Last Tango in Halifax on BBC One Announced

BBC One announced December 28, 2014 as the start date for season 3 of Last Tango in Halifax on British TV. Series 3 photos that have been released so far show us a photo of Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) and Kate (Nina Sosanya) in what must be a proposal scene (below), and in what looks like a wedding photo (above).

Sarah Lancashire and Nina Sosanya in Last Tango in Halifax.
Sure looks like a ring box on Kate’s pregnant belly

We get a look at Caroline holding the new baby (where is Kate?) in this photo. Judith (Ronnie Ancona) was also expecting a baby last time we heard. Could this be Judith’s baby and not Kate’s baby? Wouldn’t be the first time they’ve teased us with misleading photos before a season begins.

Sarah Lancashire holds a small child.
Caroline acting like a happy mom with a new baby.

We also see Gillian (Nicola Walker) holding a very big Emily Ann. That child grows at a phenomenal rate, I must say.

Nicola Walker holding a toddler
How little Calamity doth grow.
NIcola Walker and Sarah Lancashire
Don’t they look cozy?

If you recall the BBC’s previews for the coming TV season, there was also a hint that perhaps Gillian was getting married as well, although we don’t know who the groom might be. Or even if Gillian is really dressed to get married.

No word let on when series 3 will make it across the Atlantic to American PBS stations. Let’s hope PBS doesn’t drag their feet for months the way they did with season 2.

Watch This: Teaser for S3 of Blue

The WIGS series includes many wonderful films. One of the best is Blue starring Julia Stiles. Catch up on the first two seasons of Blue and the other WIGS series, if you haven’t seen them. You’ll be hooked quickly.

Season 3 of Blue will be released March 28. Some back story if this teaser is news to you: Julia Stiles plays a prostitute / office worker. She has a teen aged son played by Uriah Shelton. Blue is smart, guarded, and full of secrets. Secrets have a way of trying to come out, don’t they? That and trying to hide her secret life from her son make for a lot of tension in Blue’s life.

Julia Stiles is absolutely fantastic in this series.

Learn more about WIGS in this post.

BBC Announces a 3rd Series of Last Tango in Halifax

On Christmas Eve, the BBC announced that a series 3 of Last Tango in Halifax is a go. The announcement quotes writer Sally Wainwright.

Writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright says: “I’m so happy we’ve got a third series, it’s so exciting to be able to take these characters further and to find out loads more stuff about them. What’s so great about writing for characters like Celia and Alan is that there is a wealth of back story to explore. Series three will be a whole new emotional ball game.”

The characters Sally Wainwright created in Last Tango in Halifax are hugely popular in America as well.

The third series of the drama goes into production in 2014, and will be broadcast later in 2014.

Awards for the series include 2 British Academy Television Awards (Best Drama Series and Best Writer). BAFTA nominations included Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid and Sarah Lancashire in the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. It’s received 3 Royal Television Society North West Awards. It’s been shortlisted for Best Drama Series at the Broadcast Awards 2014.