Orphan Black: The Weight of This Combination
April 19, 2015 3:26 AM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Sarah Manning pursues the missing Helena who is held in a faraway compound. Sarah must use her wiles — and acting chops — to deter a Topside investigator who threatens the Leda sisters’ lives. Meanwhile, Cosima appears to be rebounding from her illness, while Alison and Donnie face newfound financial woes. But when the menace of Castor rears its head once more, Sarah and her entire family must come together to survive.

Don't forget to watch After the Black, the official after show for Orphan Black.
posted by Pendragon (58 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tatiana is so talented, she even played the scorpion :-)
posted by Pendragon at 3:30 AM on April 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


I liked the glimpse we got of yet another of the clones via the security camera. It helps to remind us that there are more out there.

IMHO, that was a pretty ballsy move on Sarah's part to play Rachel's relationship with Ferdinand as one of dom/sub. Admittedly, I'm dense as a lead brick when it comes to picking-up any cues for those sorts of things, so I'll just assume they were there and I simply never saw them (beyond Rachel's usual manner of acting, I guess.)

Delphine's approach to helping Rachel's recovery along was pretty hard to watch. We're starting to see Delphine in a much different light.

The first thing I thought when Alison went out to the garage in search of the intruder was "Well, she and Donnie have already buried one person (Leekie) out there, might as well make it two."

Loved the opening. At first, it almost sounded like the music was Maslany-as-Helena singing Beach Boys. Not sure if it actually was. It certainly was a demented touch, though. Since we already had Helena singing Sugar Sugar last season, I'm sticking with that particular fantasy until I'm shown otherwise.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on April 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I will never get tired of clones pretending to be other clones.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:41 AM on April 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


BBC America has a behind-the-scenes blog written by the show's writers. This week featured Graeme Manson: Clone Switcheroos and Corncobs and Cosima Herter discussing Cosima's Problem with Authority.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:15 AM on April 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


We're starting to see Delphine in a much different light.

Darthphine.
posted by homunculus at 9:36 AM on April 19, 2015 [12 favorites]


Does anyone else wonder what Kira did with the container she pulled out after Cosima and Delphine had their breakup? I mean, they show her pulling the container out from hiding but then she doesn't actually do anything with it. Was that just to show us that she knows it's there and that it's important? After all, she had just told Cosima that she had to come back so Delphine could cure her with science.

I dunno, that just kinda niggled at me.

Other than that, the first episode of this season was pretty awesome. I just hope they can keep up the pace, otherwise it's going to be a tangled web pretty quickly.
posted by patheral at 11:11 AM on April 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are so many plates in the air!

- What happened to Krystal? And if she's alive, why is no one looking for her?
- What's Kira doing with the container? (I wondered this too)
- Does Rachel have actual brain damage now?

The part where Cosima shows Scott the book has me worried: The camera lingered on Cosima placing the book back on the shelf. I am betting the book disappears eventually.

I'm so happy when Donnie and Allison work together. Killing Dr. Leekie and hiding the body was the best thing to happen to them as a couple! Also, it's kind of hilarious that all the other clones are dealing with life and death every minute and Allison wants to run for office.

Helena is always in peril and I think they're going with the idea that the stakes have changed for Helena because she has family now, when she never did before. I would like Helena to have a week away from danger. Maybe, like, a beach vacation. She can drink fruity tropical drinks and win at limbo. I would watch the heck outta that.
posted by mochapickle at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I saw Cosima put the book on the shelf and was like "No! Copy that thing and put it in a safe place."
posted by plastic_animals at 12:34 PM on April 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dang, that belt trick was something else. I am going to remember that one.
posted by desjardins at 12:37 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Last season Scott was an ally but with that lingering look from the camera, I'm almost convinced he's going to switch sides and steak the book. And there are so many sides to choose from. Plus his lesbian drama line was a line WTF.

I'm in awe of Helena's mental strength. A box within a box within a box. And her (for lack of a better word) totem being a deadly insect is a great touch. Definitely agree that the open was great.

At the beginning I wondered why Allison didn't play Rachel but I'm guessing she wouldn't have picked up on the dom/sub stuff as well or easily as Sarah. I think Ferdinand (perfect casting) telegraphed the relationship when he mentioned that Rachel's monitor was her bitch and Sarah tested that out with the shoe trick. Anyway, I think how Sarah acts in the bedroom was shown a bit last season, or maybe just hinted at. It did seem very much in character.

There's something off with all the Castor clones, right?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 1:19 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


he's going to switch sides and steak the book.

Your science geek sidekick wants book steak.
posted by homunculus at 1:41 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


And her (for lack of a better word) totem being a deadly insect is a great touch

Scorpions are arachnids, not insects.
posted by Pendragon at 1:57 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do agree with what I've read elsewhere that there's not enough to differentiate the Castor clones from each other -- but if they were all raised together in a militaristic environment, that would sort of follow. They weren't meant to be unique.

Delphine was always kind of a weak link for me on the show but I like this new Delphine.

It's always the best when a clone plays another clone. I have fingers crossed for a clone playing another clone having to play another clone (that hasn't happened yet, if I'm remembering the show correctly -- I haven't rewatched Season 2).

I do think the whole "But my sisters!" thing was pushed a bit too hard but maybe that's to help newcomers to the show? I don't know. I can understand why Sarah would be pushing to get Helena back, but she seems to have forgotten about everything else.

I still love this show and I'm excited for the next several weeks. It was a great season opener and sets a lot of things in motion.
posted by darksong at 2:05 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


At the beginning I wondered why Allison didn't play Rachel but I'm guessing she wouldn't have picked up on the dom/sub stuff as well or easily as Sarah.

Wasn't Alison the one who tied up her husband? Or was it Sarah-as-Alison?

I'm concerned that the guy playing the boy-clones isn't going to be anywhere near as good of an actor as Maslany. Also, he looks a bit like Joaquin Phoenix and that irks me.
posted by desjardins at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Alison did tie up Donnie, but it wasn't a sexual thing. She suspected he was her monitor and wanted to interrogate him (and then later Sarah showed up to, uh, help, kind of). And yeah, we saw some of Rachel's sexual proclivities last season, with Paul.

"Darthphine"- love it.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sarah also saw a bit of the Rachel-Paul action before talking Helena down from killing Rachel.

So did Delphine already know about Helsinki? If so, then she has been much more of an insider than what has been revealed until now.
posted by plastic_animals at 2:41 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm concerned that the guy playing the boy-clones isn't going to be anywhere near as good of an actor as Maslany.

Well, so far, there really hasn't been much in the way of discrete personalities among the boys. They seem to be the group wherein both nature and nurture have been tightly controlled.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:45 PM on April 19, 2015


I have nothing but hearts, hearts, and more hearts for the opening, especially that Helena's big-happy-family fantasy includes Sarah calling her meathead. ♥♥♥♥

I'm rather rocked by ruthless (and curl-less) Delphine. (You're right, Felix, she does look good.) Torturing an incapacitated Rachel omg!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 3:53 PM on April 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whoa, I totally forgot OB was coming back! Had to watch today after I noticed the post on FF. Thanks for posting, Pendragon!

The opening scene was fun, just too good to be true.
I never trusted Delphine, so I'm not surprised by her evil side. I can definitely see Scott turning bad as well. But as far as the book goes, I don't think he'll take it. I rather think he may make someone else aware of it. But by then, precognitive Kira will have sneaked it.

Ari Millen is the male clone. I guess there just are many more options for female clones - all the clones have distinctively different hair, make up and fashion senses - anyway, it would be fun to see Millen play some dudes with colored hair, dressed flamboyantly etc.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:19 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first episode of the season was fun, and made it feel like there's a lot of whiplash to come. (In a good way, I mean.)

The one thing that bugged me -- did Rachel just happen to keep a Rachel wig lying around? Because it sure was convenient for there to be a Rachel wig when Sarah needed one.

Also, I noticed that Tatiana Maslany has a producer credit now. First time, right? If so, awesome.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:09 PM on April 19, 2015


I'm still absorbing the episode, but in general it's still the best show I'm watching and the slow intro of the male clones isn't wrecking the woman-centeredness of the show.
posted by immlass at 7:23 PM on April 19, 2015


This episode moved like it was playing on fast forward. There wasn't a single spare moment, it all just whizzed along. That's not a complaint, mind you. But it went beyond tightly edited into completely breathless territory. I'd have preferred a little less of the characters jumping around from scene to scene -- was that one scene by the riverbank or two? Sarah leaves Felix with Mrs S and then what? Felix and Sarah are somewhere else? Prep time to play your sister clone? I don't recall any episodes in the earlier seasons being quite as compact as this one.

Also, for them to drop this Helsinki tease on us... I'm sure we'll find out there's a survivor or two of it out there.
posted by Catblack at 7:24 PM on April 19, 2015


I'm afraid to watch this, I feel like it's poised to go completely off the rails of comprehensibility if it didn't already do that when they introduced the guys.
posted by bleep at 8:19 PM on April 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The one thing that bugged me -- did Rachel just happen to keep a Rachel wig lying around?

Maaaaybe. I wouldn't be surprised if Rachel had made Paul or Ferdinand wear it on those special evenings!
posted by mochapickle at 9:22 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my god that opening scene was so hilarious and heartbreaking. Poor Helena. Now I will be a little upset if this season doesn't end with a clone potluck baby shower for real.

And I could definitely get used to this new freezer-burned Delphine. There's something very convincing about her emotional arc, from the somewhat-innocent true believer pawn to the increasingly hardened, cynical power player with a somewhat opaque agenda. I liked the note of contempt she directed both at Rachel, and at herself for having to play Rachel's role.

It seems plausible to me that Dyad has actually been triggering Cosima's illness on purpose this whole time to manipulate Cosima, Delphine, and Sarah, given that Cosima is so much in remission so shortly after being in crisis.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:56 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Also, for them to drop this Helsinki tease on us... I'm sure we'll find out there's a survivor or two of it out there."

Helsinki was aborted, and Alison lived.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2015


The one thing that bugged me -- did Rachel just happen to keep a Rachel wig lying around?

Maaaaybe. I wouldn't be surprised if Rachel had made Paul or Ferdinand wear it on those special evenings!


Rachel must wear wigs -- in the elevator, Ferdinand (who presumably has reason to know) noticed that there was something odd about the nape of her neck, and I think noticed a bit of brown hair below the edge of the wig...but he said nothing about it. I know, he was suspicious of her, but at no point did he just rip the wig off and go 'A-HA, you're not Rachel. Rachel doesn't wear a WIG!"

I do think that he may have thought to himself "Hmm, Rachel's wig isn't sitting quite right. Maybe she's upset about something. Maybe it would cheer her up if she spanked me."
posted by Mogur at 4:39 AM on April 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Ferdinand (who presumably has reason to know) noticed that there was something odd about the nape of her neck,

Maybe he was looking for a distinguishing mark. Didn't Beth have some sort of scar tissue on her neck? I think that's how Paul noticed that Sarah wasn't Beth.

Helsinki was aborted, and Alison lived.

THIS version of Helsinki was aborted. There was an earlier round which appears to have involved killing six Leda clones. One of those clones might have made it out.
posted by pie ninja at 5:35 AM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Weird coincidence. Just yesterday my wife complained about a pain on the back of her neck and asked me to take a look. I assured her that if I found a barcode, I was outta there.
posted by Mogur at 6:06 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


"THIS version of Helsinki was aborted. There was an earlier round which appears to have involved killing six Leda clones."

Ah, okay - I missed that!
posted by travelwithcats at 7:00 AM on April 20, 2015


I'm amused at how Donnie was worked into this episode. Quit his job and walked over to the school bus. Very efficient, from a production perspective.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:21 AM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Poor Alison, my sweet efficient murder baby. Watching her get slapped by Sarah/Rachel HURT. All she has wanted from the beginning was her own life, but she keeps getting dragged through Dyad's mud. Although she does appear to be handling it better as time goes by, even waving off Donnie's objections to her ever posing as another clone again. I still don't like it - and I would like Helena to get some kind of break too, thanks.

As much as I dislike Rachel, more so knowing she conspired to set up a Helsinki operation against the other clones, it was squirmingly uncomfortable to watch Delphine torture her. I wonder at Delphine's motives. Is it her love for Cosima and anger at Dyad that propelled her to such dark depths? I mean, I know she broke up with Cosima but I think she must love her still, even if she has to think of the greater whole more than her individual beloved.

It felt like that was rather a heavy theme actually, in this episode, more specifically than it has been in the past - the whole above individuals. Perhaps because that's how Castor has ALWAYS been, but Leda is now being forced to learn it. And I don't think it's going to go down well with any of the Leda clones, who to a degree have enjoyed a lot of independence and individuality and not been thought of as a sororal herd, unlike the brotherly nest of Castor clones. It'll be interesting to watch this untangle or implode or both.
posted by angeline at 10:45 AM on April 20, 2015


Cosima Herter (Orphan Black's science advisor and the model for clone Cosima), in her essay linked upthread, mentions that autonomy vs. authority is going to be one of the major themes this season, so you're definitely on to something, angeline.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:26 AM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just can't get over how amazing an actor Maslany is. When Ferdinand was on the couch, you could almost see the gears turning in Sarah-as-Rachel's mind about how to get what she wanted, and you could see the hesitation when she put her shoe against him (unlike Rachel with Paul, where there was no hesitation). It's just amazing how Maslany makes it so easy to perceive each character as distinct, and how she nests them inside each other. I don't think I've ever been confused as to who she's playing at a given moment.
posted by desjardins at 12:00 PM on April 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Speaking of that, it didn't even click with me until now, but the opening, in addition to being a plain old delight, was the purest expression they've had yet of how one clone sees the others without the characters' acting ability (or lack thereof) getting in the way. So good.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:18 PM on April 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I just binge-watched seasons 1 and 2 and this episode and now I'm caught up. A couple questions: How is it that Cosima is doing better all of the sudden? And a corollary: Why can't Sarah donate the needed bone marrow since Kira can't donate again for six weeks? The disease the clones are getting is a result of the Duncans' attempts to render them infertile. Sarah therefore isn't going to get that disease, presumably. She should be able to donate.

My other, unrelated, question is: If S's motivation was to protect Sarah, which I do believe it was, then why on earth would she whisk her away from England to the same city where Dyad is headquartered?
posted by amro at 10:00 AM on April 21, 2015


This is pure speculation, but I think Kira can donate because she's only half-clone, and so perhaps healthier?
posted by desjardins at 11:14 AM on April 21, 2015


(Note: I got a C in high school biology class and dropped out of college-level anatomy & physiology.)
posted by desjardins at 11:15 AM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


At the beginning I wondered why Allison didn't play Rachel

I think because Sarah has so much more experience observing Rachel than Allison does, so they didn't want to risk it.

The one thing that bugged me -- did Rachel just happen to keep a Rachel wig lying around?

I'm guessing that it didn't belong to Rachel, but that Felix was able to lay hands on a Rachel-esque wig without too much trouble.
posted by tzikeh at 2:49 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


And Sarah is able to keep a cooler head than Alison in certain circumstances. Alison is who you want to have you help bury the bodies. Sarah's who you want when you're trying to avoid having bodies to bury in the first place.
posted by angeline at 3:20 PM on April 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


And of course Helena's who you want when you need someone to be a body. Cosima's who you want when you want to study a body. Man, somebody really thought of all contingencies...
posted by bleep at 3:38 PM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Dyad Institute: Clones For All Your Murder Needs
posted by angeline at 9:25 PM on April 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Playing a bit of catchup here:

So did Delphine already know about Helsinki? If so, then she has been much more of an insider than what has been revealed until now.

Right. But Delphine did not think Rachel knew; she found that out when she went and tortured her in the eye, right?

Ferdinand knew that Rachel knew, and ended up spilling the beans also to Sarah-as-Rachel.

Kira and Sarah (last season) were sprung out of Dyad without Rachel's knowledge, right? That was all the machinations of Marion and Paul and Siobhan? And Rachel didn't know and was getting the pencil in her eye while all that was going down?

I probably need to do some rewatching to help me remember who knows what.
posted by torticat at 9:58 PM on April 21, 2015


FYI: Episode 2 was leaked and floats around the internet. We're still having a discussion on leaked content in FFTalk, but it looks like posts for leaked eps are discouraged.
posted by travelwithcats at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2015


It's just amazing how Maslany makes it so easy to perceive each character as distinct, and how she nests them inside each other. I don't think I've ever been confused as to who she's playing at a given moment.

Yes, I loved how Rachel's suit didn't fit Sarah as perfectly as it would have fit Rachel (possibly just because of the way she holds herself). And how Sarah as Rachel walked the way Sarah walked (she kind of saunters), not with Rachel's perfect upright posture.

Also there was that moment when Alison-as-Sarah is being interrogated by Ferdinand, and she gives Delphine a panicked look when she doesn't have an answer (and Ferd isn't looking), and her face in that second is all Alison.

Maslany must just be an incredibly intuitive and creative person, to have such fluid physicality in her performance.
posted by torticat at 10:13 AM on April 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hilarious fan recap on Tumblr.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:11 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


James Frain!
Eye horror!
Talking scorpion!

Holy shit, I missed this show.
posted by bibliowench at 6:58 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's been a long time since I've felt the pain of going from a season-in-a-gulp binge mode of watching to week-to-week. Orphan Black's more than earned the "promotion" in my viewing habits, of course. Honestly, I should've switched last season. I'm not entirely sure what to make of the table setting being done here. Like others, I ... like is not the right word but I enjoy watching the turn of Delphine into someone much more grey.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the Castor clones. It's too soon. That was a hell of a twist to introduce but now, of course, they have to make good on it. We're in good hands in that regard, at least going on the show to date, but I feel the fear of being let down more keenly with this show than I have in some time.
posted by sparkletone at 3:07 PM on April 25, 2015


... Maybe lay off the eye-socket poking next week though.
posted by sparkletone at 3:11 PM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


THAT WOULD BE SPLENDID YES

and don't trade eyesocket poking for worse things that's not what I am asking for, show.
posted by angeline at 3:33 PM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shows like this really make you have to steel yourself to witness all kinds of messed up stuff.
posted by bleep at 4:44 PM on April 25, 2015


I felt pretty prepared. Like it didn't catch me off guard. One of the things that made me fall so hard for the first season was the way the show pulls off the frog boiling trick both for the viewer and (at least some of) the characters. And given all that's happened... It wasn't unearned.

At the same time, the way my personal discomforts work, it was just like, "DELPIHNE, YOU MUST REMAIN A LITTLE SYMPATHETIC SO P-NO SERIOUSLY, STOP RIGHT NOW."
posted by sparkletone at 4:48 PM on April 25, 2015


I keep accidentally watching this show over dinner. Such a mistake. Chickpea curry a la pencil-eyeball!
posted by en forme de poire at 5:16 PM on April 25, 2015


Maslany is clearly amazing, but I dunno guys, I thought this episode was really bad. In the same ways as the latter half of season 2. As in, I don't really care about any of the characters any more, the plot is muddled at the expense of character development/consistency, WHY is that Rachel's motivation and why haven't her character had any growth so speak of (or even much explanation as to what she is about), it is lazy to have Allison still play the soccer mom after all that she went through in season 2 and frankly doesn't make any sense, why should I care about Donnie quitting his job when I didn't even know he had one in the first place, ugh some things are way too obvious (the handling of the book) while other things are ridiculously muddled, I'm sick of Helena as victim it is played out, etc.

I loved the first season, but frankly I think this is the last episode I will watch. It's been a long time coming, though, as I think Season 2 was also very weak and way too rapey. Sorry, everyone; hope you continue to enjoy it!
posted by likeatoaster at 9:55 PM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Given that Allison and Donnie have two school-aged children and a mortgage I think it is believable that she would stay put. The current episode shows some interesting developments in her life though, which build on Donnie losing his job.

As for Rachel: She is the villain, considering the setup of the show it's natural that her inner life is not in focus. We know she feels crippled by infertility and is driven to get her hands on Kira.

But I wouldn't continue to watch a show I'm not enjoying either, so godspeed likeatoaster!
posted by travelwithcats at 5:24 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's always the best when a clone plays another clone.

As well as the acting, it's a very subtle costume and makeup job: Alison-playing-Sarah has to appear Sarah-ey enough that we'd buy that the antagonists are fooled, but also has to appear enough Alison-with-Sarah-makeup that we can tell that it's Alison.

I don't recall any episodes in the earlier seasons being quite as compact as this one.

Oh, I dunno. We just rolled into this after binging S1 and S2, and quite a lot of them really ramp the plot into overdrive. The S1 episode with the party at Alison's while Donnie's tied up in the craft room; the S2 episode with family day at rehab and Donnie shooting Leekie.

How is it that Cosima is doing better all of the sudden?

Magical Kira healing clone aura. Someone suggested in the S2E10 thread that Kira pretty much brought Cosima back from the dead to read to her. Cosima pretty much said as much this episode: "I was having this dream where I was like way above, and I could see below... and then I came back. To you."

I think the show keeps on dropping hints that There Is A Lot More To Kira Than We Know.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:07 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


As well as the acting, it's a very subtle costume and makeup job: Alison-playing-Sarah has to appear Sarah-ey enough that we'd buy that the antagonists are fooled, but also has to appear enough Alison-with-Sarah-makeup that we can tell that it's Alison.

Yeah, I was kind of marveling at how the Sarah-as-Rachel wig and the Alison-as-Sarah wig looked just-so-slightly off-model from the regular Rachel and Sarah looks, to find that believable balance between the viewers' and other characters' understanding of the situation.
posted by psoas at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2015


I am liking the Kira plot so much less now that she's a straight up Magic Healing Baby, I've got to say. But other than that, love it.
posted by corb at 2:15 PM on March 23, 2016


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