Orphan Black: Formalized, Complex, and Costly
May 3, 2015 1:52 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

All sides are in hot pursuit of original clone DNA until a shocking revelation about the nature of the Castor-Leda connection stops everyone dead in their tracks.
posted by Pendragon (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I agree with the A.V. club review that the scene last season between Mark and Paul makes no sense now.
posted by Pendragon at 1:56 AM on May 3, 2015


I think they could retcon the Mark-Paul meeting fairly easily by claiming their bar conversation was in code. That's no more unbelievable than some of the other leaps of logic the show often takes.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:50 AM on May 3, 2015


What worries me about the Castor plotline is that it's all a retcon, which implies Orphan Black falls in the long tradition of shows with a complex backstory/mythology that the writers are more or less making up as they go along. That...often doesn't end well. I think this could end up not being a problem for Orphan Black if they just shift focus away from the backstory and try to present-tense this thing as much as they can. How many more complications does it really need, anyway? My hope is that they soon set a complete backstory in stone and let future seasons play out from it. But I have to admit, I am very biased against Lost/BSG-style plotting at this point anyway (been burned too many times).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:02 AM on May 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


I loved this episode.
I love this show.

I have even warned to the Castor clones.

I have faith in the showrunners, but I want S5 to be the end.
posted by Mezentian at 7:16 AM on May 3, 2015


This episode didn't really grab me. I'm not pleased with the clones being related, the death of Mark, the Paul ret-con, Sarah being responsible for disposing of dead clone, and Helena still locked away.

Why not just let the police deal with the body? There's no proof the body was connected with Sarah. Just leave and let someone else call 911.

I want Helena rescued or for her to escape but isn't she outside the US/Canada? I like her insults but the lack of movement on getting her out is irritating. She's no good as a character when she's taken out of play.

If the Leda clone on the elevator with the male clones slept with the boys, that means they slept with their sister. What happened to that clone and why is nobody trying to find her?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I yelled BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO at the TV when Art revealed his love for Beth. Booooooooo
posted by sperose at 8:05 AM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


What worries me about the Castor plotline is that it's all a retcon, which implies Orphan Black falls in the long tradition of shows with a complex backstory/mythology that the writers are more or less making up as they go along.

Given the nature of US television, I really wonder if this can even be avoided. Seems to me, producers are in the position of having to build season-1 in a way that allows them to wrap it all up (more or less) if they aren't renewed. Once they're renewed, they now have to extend things that weren't necessarily written to be extended. Repeat, season after season.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:43 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


It can be avoided by not having a show that's reliant on an evolving backstory to move the plot forward. To be honest, the only genre I can think of that absolutely has to rely on a gradually revealed backstory is the murder mystery (which really better all be plotted out in advance!).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:46 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Given the nature of US television...

I just want to point out that Orphan Black is a Canadian TV show, the rest of your point is correct.
posted by Pendragon at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I liked this episode. I didn't think it was boring at all. Not every episode has to be jam packed with action and adventure. I mean there has to be exposition somewhere.

I don't get the feeling that the writers are making it up as they go along, but maybe that's just me. I get the feeling that the writers have this show planned out for seasons in advance. I think it's the only way to get a show like this to work. I mean the logistics of shooting all of the clone scenes alone must be a nightmare. There's no way they can suddenly just say, "Wait, let's try this!" at the last minute.

I can look back at the point there Paul and Mark met in the bar in the previous season and I remember thinking that they knew and recognized each other. I totally remember thinking, "WTF was that all about?" as I watched it. Honestly it doesn't feel that they're reconning at this point.

And I don't understand why people are upset that Helena is still captive. It seems that not much time has passed since they captured her. I mean, she's not superhuman, and the goal of this season appears to be to (for Sarah at least) to get Helena out of captivity. If it happens too quickly, then the goal of the season is realized and done. And then where would we be?

I refuse to believe that Mark is dead until we see his rotting corpse.
posted by patheral at 10:38 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


patheral's right. Not once in this show have we seen a death without a corpse. Mark's going to make it, at least for a while.

I like Art and I'm happy to see more of him. I agree with AV Club that the romantic aspect is a little tired. Couldn't he just want to see this through out of respect for Beth? Or maybe he had found some sort of clue in one of his old files that would make him want to help the sisters?

I'm confused by the timeline for Seth's body. Seth gets shot, Sarah and Cal go to S's house to send Cal and Kira away, then the next scene it's morning and Sarah and Fe are hauling the body through the apartment. Does no one else live in the building? Did they keep a corpse in the hallway overnight?

Rudy's thumb-sucking scene was really twisted and kind of great.
posted by mochapickle at 12:26 PM on May 3, 2015


Also: Krystal watch continues. No sign of her. And it's even more disturbing now because she's the Castor Clones' sister.
posted by mochapickle at 12:29 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why are we on Krystal watch? Delphine said she was alive - my assumption was that Dyad rescued her and set her loose. The Leda clones aren't actually supposed to be self-aware, so I would expect they returned her to her life, with perhaps some extra monitoring to ensure something like this Castor interruption doesn't happen to her again.
posted by angeline at 1:09 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, I think maybe that's just my obsession.

There's such a focus for the Leda clones on family and having the sisters together. Sarah's aware of her and doesn't even mention her to the others. It just seems weird to me that they would introduce another Leda just to ignore her.
posted by mochapickle at 1:34 PM on May 3, 2015


Oh! Okay! I was worried there was something I missed!

I don't know...we started off the show with so many clones already dead, I feel like we're almost supposed to be desensitized to clones kind of popping up and then out. I just assumed they used Krystal as part of the episode one concrete establishment of the fact that there are still more clones than "our" clones, but that "ours" are unique in their self-awareness, and not at all Dyad/Topside's preference.
posted by angeline at 2:00 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm confused by the timeline for Seth's body. Seth gets shot, Sarah and Cal go to S's house to send Cal and Kira away, then the next scene it's morning and Sarah and Fe are hauling the body through the apartment. Does no one else live in the building? Did they keep a corpse in the hallway overnight?

Yeah, that confused me too. Plus, they would have had to clean up the blood downstairs where he was shot... Maybe Cal helped them with that? I dunno, it's a weird lack of continuity that's not normal for this show.

About Art and Beth, that "love" thing was foreshadowed from the beginning. He planted evidence for Beth. He was way more concerned for her than a partner warranted. His jealousy towards Paul in the first season... I saw that coming from a mile away. Now, the fact that he was in love with Beth, I can deal with that. If they make him fall in love with Sarah, that's where they cross the line.
posted by patheral at 2:27 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think that the Paul & Mark scene from last season makes perfect sense. Mark has/had been with the Prolethians under deep cover for several years. Paul served with and became a friend of several of the Castors in Afghanistan and, as they suggested last night, killed several of them as an act of mercy when they started glitching. He wanted to find a cure for the glitching/Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease on steroids so he went into Dyad under deep cover to find the source DNA.

If the number of Castors are anything like that of the Ledas, there would be Castors all over the military and given the size of it it's entirely possible that Mark & Paul never met before then. Given Paul's personal mission to cure the glitching he would still feel compelled to sidle up and talk shop if for no other reason than to find out what this one is up to.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:47 PM on May 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


I liked the quieter nature of this episode, although I agree about the complaints (the body stuff, especially).

Even if Mark isn't dead, I do think limiting Ari Millen to just playing two characters works. He's a good enough actor but maybe not good enough to be playing too many characters.

I don't like Alison being out on the side so far (and not even really interacting with Sarah or Cosima), but I think we'll have that come back around soon enough. I'm still trusting this show to pull all of its storylines together. (I think Vic will be back.)

Rachel's simmering, confused rage at being told she's "dead" in the real world is going to have an interesting payoff, I'm sure. I still have my fingers crossed for a crazy eyepatch Rachel teaming up with the other clones.

The Beth/Art love thing is eyeroll-y but well, I like he's not really trying to put the moves on Sarah. I still like that this treats the male characters (other than Felix) as sort of on the sides -- they're underdeveloped in a way that's usually saved for female characters.

I'm still amazed we're just three episodes in. It seems like so much has happened.
posted by darksong at 4:11 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really liked that Felix was back/had time/space to be shining as his own character and not just saying important things to other characters.

I was cringing/trying to avoid shouting at the screen when Sarah and Felix took Seth's body... but it is entirely in character for them to make questionable decisions. And those instincts paid off; Cosima and Scott have been able to learn a lot from examining the corpse.

Alison has always been the loner clone (of this group), the one that wanted to just live a normal life. It's not actually that weird that she's been able to pursue her own things. I'm glad they're not shoehorning in Sarah going out to visit them or something to try and tie everything in. Alison and Donnie are out there with their own sort of crazy and I'm trusting that the plots will intertwine.

I am going to have to go back and watch the Paul/Mark episode of season 2. I seem to remember Paul picking out Mark, interacting with him purposefully. Which would make a lot of sense with Paul recognizing Mark as a Castor and playing it quiet. And Mark not having known/remembered Paul isn't that weird.
posted by mountmccabe at 6:15 PM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Damn. I just realised (discovered) Bonnie Johanssen isn't a clone.
posted by Mezentian at 4:22 AM on May 4, 2015


I always think of her as Evil Laura Linney!
posted by mochapickle at 4:46 AM on May 4, 2015


With Dr. Leekie having a heart attack in flight and Rachel dying in a plane crash is anyone at Dyad going to take the corporate jet again? What is up with Dr. Nealon telling Rachel that lie and flashing her the Castor horse tattoo?
posted by plastic_animals at 5:55 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


So in the scene from season 2 Paul knows Mark is a clone, but Mark doesn't know Paul is from project Castor ? OK, that works for me, thanks.
posted by Pendragon at 6:59 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was disturbed to notice that I actually own the pair of kitchen tongs that Felix handed Cosima to remove Seth's brain. (Red handles, red plastic tong-y parts. They were on sale last year at Target in their dorm room kitchen essentials display.) I am... not sure how I feel about using these tongs in the future.

Unrelated note, I totally expected Sarah to save Mark -- doesn't it seem like she would? Not sure what to make of that.

What is up with Dr. Nealon telling Rachel that lie and flashing her the Castor horse tattoo?

I assumed he was testing either what Rachel remembered, or trying to determine what Rachel could talk about (or both).
posted by pie ninja at 9:55 AM on May 4, 2015


Feel GOOD about it. Pretend you are a scientist and that steak is a brain!

No, seriously, embrace it, or you'll never use those tongs again. FIND THE FUN IN GROSS ANATOMY
posted by angeline at 10:26 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


pie ninja: Unrelated note, I totally expected Sarah to save Mark -- doesn't it seem like she would? Not sure what to make of that.

I expected her to as well... but it's also not unreasonable for her to stand there petrified. Even with time to think about what was going on, should she have charged out there with a hammer? You don't bring a hammer to an assault rifle fight.

The Next Episode bit teased Bonnie Johanssen coming at Sarah but I suspect that's not actually going to happen. I would not be surprised if Bonnie gut shot Mark and left him to bleed out and just leaves. Then Sarah can move in, tend to him/get him to safety and start to convince him that she is actually on his side.

It would fit very well with the Helena story-line and Sarah being intensely committed to her siblings.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:51 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Unrelated note, I totally expected Sarah to save Mark -- doesn't it seem like she would? Not sure what to make of that.

I expected her to as well..."


So did I.

"It would fit very well with the Helena story-line and Sarah being intensely committed to her siblings."

The Castor clones are also very committed to each other, seems like they (at least some of them?) were raised to believe in a "mother" and "brothers". It takes a lot to mercy kill someone, I would think.
posted by travelwithcats at 10:59 AM on May 4, 2015


I really want an "Elect Alison Hendrix" button.
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:57 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


With or without the soap?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is just a wild guess... but maybe... just maybe... that second gunshot we heard at the very end was Gracie shooting Bonnie for daring to shot her man? I mean I could see that happening. We don't know who got shot by whom after all, only that there was a second shot.
posted by patheral at 3:50 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really, really hope that the originals are alive somewhere and make an appearance at some point before the series is over.
posted by amro at 6:21 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


They have to, right?
posted by amro at 6:21 PM on May 4, 2015


About the Paul maybe-retcon: Didn't he seem truly clueless and surprised when he found out that Beth was a clone? Why wouldn't he have been told that if he was privy to all there is to know about the Castor clones? Not to mention, Leda isn't a government project... So how did he even get the gig as her monitor?
posted by amro at 6:27 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


He may have been taken by surprise by the existence of female clones. We already know so much of each project is the right hand not telling the left one what it's doing and vice versa. Kind of like a double-blind experiment.

And someone somewhere wanted somebody to start putting pieces together - so they pull a few strings and enter Paul, who knew he would be monitoring a Dyad experiment, but was clearly not told the full extent of the experiment.

This is my theory anyway.
posted by angeline at 7:10 PM on May 4, 2015


Remember Tony's message for Beth?

"Tell Beth keep the faith. Paul is like me. He’s on it. He’s a ghost."

What does that mean in light of the latest developments? Or for that matter, what did knowledge did Beth take to her grave without telling anyone and how exactly will it be resurrected and come back to bite everyone in the ass?
posted by echolalia67 at 8:27 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]




My hunch is that there will be a big reveal about Paul this season. He has been protecting/covering for the Leda clones well beyond being Beth's boyfriend, and there's got to be a reason for it.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:53 AM on May 6, 2015


There's going to have to be some kind of substantial reveal, the man's spent two seasons cloaked in mystery. That's quite long enough.

Also, spotted on the official OB Twitter this morning: OB Renewed For Fourth Season.
posted by angeline at 12:07 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


About the Paul maybe-retcon: Didn't he seem truly clueless and surprised when he found out that Beth was a clone? Why wouldn't he have been told that if he was privy to all there is to know about the Castor clones?

No, no... remember he was about to kill Sarah with poisoned wine until she came clean about being a clone, then he switched it up and gave her the unpoisoned wine. He knew what was going on. I think the only surprise was which clone she turned out to be. No one expects Sarah Manning!

Not to mention, Leda isn't a government project... So how did he even get the gig as her monitor? He was working under cover, the same way Mark infiltrated the Proletheans.
posted by patheral at 9:22 AM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


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