Orphan Black: Certain Agony of the Battlefield
May 23, 2015 3:54 PM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Paul learns the truth about Cody's plans for Castor and has no choice but to make a dangerous play.
posted by Pendragon (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So many bad-asses in this episode, like non-stop bad-assery. So much fun! I laughed, I cried. Amazing episode.

Re: Underwear dance, talk about your fan service.

I love that analytical, scientific Cosima is dating a naturopath. Maybe it'll help? You never know.

Okay I'm sitting here enjoying some quality scorpion banter "I REGRET NOTHING" and then WHAT..?

Then there's some handsome men whispering intensely at each other.

"Gracie, be strong, my little urchin." Loved seeing Felix as bad ass, having some agency. Damn, Felix!

"OH JEEZE LOUISE" "I don't think you guys are ready for the next level."

SARAH NO DON'T GO INTO THE LIGHT

"I don't understand the why." Neither do we, Sarah. "Stop asking why, start asking who." That usually means The Doctor is about to show up.

Great to see Derty Paul's redemption story. I think we were never meant to know what to make of him.

So I guess the Castor project was something a small military group was doing out in the desert, with Derty Paul there from regular Army as a spy keeping an eye on them. "We were looking for a cure, we thought Dyad had answers." So Derty Paul posed as a Dyad agent wile posing as a Castor agent while having sex with Sarah posing as Beth. And all this time Paul thought the Castor project was trying to cure the genetic defect, but then we found out in this episode that they were really trying to isolate it and weaponize it? OK, I think I'm with you, Orphan Black.
posted by bleep at 7:22 PM on May 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also I loved that they showed Paul with tears in his eyes as he was dying. TV shows always make people more stoic than I think most people can possibly be.
posted by bleep at 7:27 PM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of "dream" scenes in any show, and this one had kind of a lot of them.
Lots of great action in the Mexican compound though, and Felix' interrogation scene was excellent.
posted by uosuaq at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2015


Oh, man. Alison and Donnie in the bedroom. I'm completely lost as to how Alison's "Breaking Black" storyline is going to turn back toward the Clone Club.

I'm actually kind of sad Paul's gone now. It seemed like the character finally had a reason to exist again. The clones could use a strong-man on their side.

I was really hoping Helena would come back and wreak vengeance on the Castor camp. Her dropping into the escape tunnel was was too convenient.

I think we had Maximum Clones in this episode, thanks to Beth!
posted by Thorzdad at 7:53 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll miss Paul for his role as the only eye candy on this show.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 8:41 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


RIP Pupok. RIP Big Dick Paul.

As wary as I am of dream sequences, I did totally appreciate all the Beth stuff, even if it was just a hallucination. Her anger. I loved it.

I cried at the end because I'm a sap and I did like Paul and Sarah together, but I also want to weep about the confirmation that the STD is intended to be weaponized: "It could end wars. In a single generation. Without spilling a drop of blood." This is so terribly sinister, and beliveable whether or not the science behind it is. I'm pleased (for some value of "pleased") that it ties the existence of boy clones & the Castor plot more tightly to the show's theme of women's ownership of their own bodies being under attack and undermined from all angles.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Loved the dancing and Felix trying to interrogate Rachel and Helena eating her scorpion. Lots of good stuff. Glad Paul is gone. They retconned his character to the point of absurdity. Who didn't know the guy he was talking to would betray him? Betrayal 101. Why have that guy driving and walking around aimlessly? Made no sense.

I've identified my problem with the base. It's the top half of the set where the wall turns jagged and there are lights beaming down. The lights look exactly like prop lights and the jaggedness against the skyline is wrong. The sky even looks wrong. It's jarring every single time they cut to the top of the wall because it looks terrible. The rest of the set is fine.

All in all, a great episode. I keep re-watching the bedroom scene. Very funny.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:33 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Swallowing that scorpion. *shudder* (Yes it's metaphor but still - the imagery.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:20 PM on May 23, 2015


Was the kid in Sarah's dream the young-clone ward of the Topside mole from last season? I rather lost track of the zigzags there. Anyway: felt to me like she was to Sarah as the scorpion was to Helena.

"Stop asking why, start asking who."

...because the show is just about to answer a whole bunch of "why" and set you off on a "who" quest.

I've identified my problem with the base. It's the top half of the set where the wall turns jagged and there are lights beaming down.

I rather wish the "inside Orphan Black" bit last episode hadn't shown that set. Since then it's even more obvious that the base is basically the inside of a brightly-lit box. Also, it makes it more noticeable that (a) the exterior is way too small for the number of interior locations, and (b) it has no spatial coherence: a bunch of rooms and corridors, no idea where any of them are relative to each other or to the courtyard. (The interior-of-the-Tardis problem: build a few sets and re-use them a lot.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:32 PM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes it's metaphor

*wenk*

Helena had to reject her fantasy to survive; Sarah had to embrace hers.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:37 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I rather wish the "inside Orphan Black" bit last episode hadn't shown that set.

Yes! I had that same thought. I'm now fast forwarding through those things with extreme prejudice, like I should have done in the first place. I hate "extras" like that and any time they interview actors about the characters, it makes it really hard for me to see them as the characters and not as actors after that.
posted by bleep at 11:04 PM on May 23, 2015


So the deal with Rachel--would the idea be the the brain damage unlocked some knowledge of the code that she'd previously not realized she possessed? Because she sure as hell didn't know the cipher in the scene when she was screaming at her father, and he drank the poisoned tea.

That was a great episode. I hope maybe it will put to rest some of the critics' worries that the show might be spiraling out of control. There were a TON of moving parts in that episode, but I felt like things were moving in a direction of more coherence rather than more loose ends. At the very least, we got rid of a few extraneous people and saw the last of that compound, ugh. (Well, I didn't actually think Paul was extraneous; but he was a complication at this point and got a great send-off.)

I expect that Mark, Rudy, and Mother all probably survived the grenade? Obviously I'm rooting for Mark. But I was uncomfortable (regarding Rudy and Dr Coady) how many seconds passed between Rudy's yelling "Run!" and the actual explosion.

Any episode that features that much Felix is an automatic winner! :)

Also:
I'll miss Paul for his role as the only eye candy on this show.

Hello, Michiel Huisman??! But yeah, I'll actually miss Paul. Love the protectiveness of Sarah that came out this season. Although I do feel like we've had a little more of the men-saving-or-protecting-women trope in this season than in previous ones.
posted by torticat at 11:47 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm pleased (for some value of "pleased") that it ties the existence of boy clones & the Castor plot more tightly to the show's theme of women's ownership of their own bodies being under attack and undermined from all angles.

Nice point!
posted by torticat at 11:48 PM on May 23, 2015


One more thing:

"F-f-f you too"

Best line ever.
posted by torticat at 12:58 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm insomniac, thus the four posts in a row.

Rachel's saying "get me out of here," in combination with Scott's discovery (I love Scott) about whatever knowledge Rachel has... that means the sisters are going to break Rachel out of Dyad pretty soon, right? To be complicated by Delphine's reentry as Topside representative.

I don't think Rachel herself yet knows how much she knows. Also, Rachel's personal motivation in all this (as far as we know) is to be able to conceive, right?
posted by torticat at 1:38 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


What a great episode! Finally, some answers!

I didn't think it looked like Paul's injuries were bad enough to kill him, though I guess maybe he was sacrificing himself to destroy Coady's work.

I am so bored with Alison's story line, though I am curious to learn about her mother.
posted by amro at 4:39 AM on May 24, 2015


Is Rachel going to end up being a good guy?

I love Felix so much. And he looked very handsome with his new haircut!
posted by amro at 4:41 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I spent most of this episode rolling my eyes at it. I didn't like the device of the "dream Beth" conversation at all. About midway in I started going "they are going to kill Paul, aren't they?" And I hate this Weeds-like plot turn for Alison. (At least we got a reminder she has kids.) I really think this season hasn't been very good overall, not for the performances of the actors, but from the direction the overall arc has taken.

I really hope they reveal that there's another batch of boy clones out there. So convenient that this batch, after 20 years of growing up, have all turned defective around the same time. Are they really just going to have a 'Castor' without a 'Pollux'?
posted by Catblack at 4:41 AM on May 24, 2015


Please don't discuss the previews. I avoid them like the plague, they give to much away.

Please don't take this question the wrong way, but is this an actual term and condition of posting to FanFare? It seems like a bit much, at least to me. But I'll abide by it if it's a thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:57 AM on May 24, 2015




Refrain from discussing future events from other book/film/tv/comic versions of the story is not exactly the same as "don't discuss previews of the next episode." Nevertheless, I'll also try to remember not to do this if it bothers you.
posted by amro at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2015


I feel like I'm in the minority, but I've loved this season so far and have thought it's been a great ride. Count me among those who was previously pretty Paul-neutral but enjoyed his turn in this episode and thought it was largely a great send-off. They did invoke some tropes pretty heavily (the corrupt government agency betraying the whistleblower in the field, etc.) but I'm okay with that.

Interesting to see folks who were speculating that Delphine was indeed the one spying on Shay turn out to be right this week. I'm glad that was the case and not another layer of clone conspiracy.

Was the kid in Sarah's dream the young-clone ward of the Topside mole from last season?

I don't think this was specifically meant to be Marion's ward--it's just the actress they use for the young Leda. She also played Rachel in flashbacks and the home videos with Dr. Duncan in the previous season. I think she was probably meant to represent young Sarah there.

I hope they are planning to conclude after next season, though--if they start bringing the story threads together now, as they seem to be doing, I think anything more than another season would start to feel really dragged out.

I imagine Tumblr is already full of gifs of the Alison and Donnie on the bed scene.
posted by Kosh at 7:38 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


is this an actual term and condition of posting to FanFare?

Yes: it falls under the "discussing events that take place in future episodes" restriction in the "spoiler policy" FAQ linked immediately above the "Post Comment" button. Mods have stated several times that this includes "next time on" previews.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:52 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okey doke.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:59 AM on May 24, 2015


[Heya, yeah, the previews for next episodes do count as spoilers, so please don't bring them into the no-spoiler zone. I deleted a couple of comments above that contained the preview-spoilers from this week. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:08 PM on May 24, 2015


I'm looking forward to the gag reel for this episode. Tatiana Maslany and Kristian Bruun must have broken down laughing so many times.
posted by homunculus at 2:09 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


So the deal with Rachel--would the idea be the the brain damage unlocked some knowledge of the code that she'd previously not realized she possessed? Because she sure as hell didn't know the cipher in the scene when she was screaming at her father, and he drank the poisoned tea.

I think Rachel's dad showed her the funny symbols as a child, and she may know what they mean at some level — maybe they represent specific amino acids or proteins. But she hasn't seen the code book, so she doesn't understand the cipher — she hasn't even seen it, just some of its characters.
posted by ubiquity at 3:26 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


At least something happened in this episode.

It was better than the last one, definitely, and while the show has always been good about keeping all of its pieces moving, I don't think it's done a great job with moving everything this season. Alison's storyline is so disconnected from the rest of it.

I'm still happy to see where it's all going but I definitely haven't felt as engaged with it as I was in the previous two seasons. Maybe season three will hold up better when watched all at once.
posted by darksong at 4:48 PM on May 24, 2015


I really think this season hasn't been very good overall, not for the performances of the actors, but from the direction the overall arc has taken.

I am in agreement, sadly. To me the best evidence that the writers are having a hard time figuring out how to tell a story they've made so baroque is that every episode this season has had some very obvious exposition-via-dialogue. It always sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

The performances are still great (though I think Ari Millen is kind of a bore), so I keep watching, but I'm not as gung-ho about this season as I was about the past two. It feels like they're trying too hard, and not necessarily succeeding.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:24 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been pretty worried about this season and other than the way Allison's story has been off in left field, I've enjoyed it a lot. I feel like we should be getting to the part of the season where it starts to tie back together--I'm wondering how the drugs she sells ties to all the other medical themes of this season.
posted by immlass at 7:57 PM on May 24, 2015


Clones end up needing money or having to go more off the grid, tada money and money laundering. And of course some sort of Alison Art fun.
(Maybe its to set up a reasonable expectation that they know how to do these sorts of things when all of the sudden they spring Rachel and have both govt and topside on the hunt.)
It is interesting that the whole motivation of getting elected and keeping the kids in the good school seems to have fallen to the back of Alison and Donnie's motivations for the "soap".
posted by Feantari at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2015


I liked this episode. Honestly, I thought it was time for Paul to die, though the person he was talking with... the one who betrayed him? now there's a whole nother agency to worry about? or is he from Dyad? Maybe topside? Too many agencies to keep track of.

I also have no problems with Alison and Cosima having their own story lines. From the very beginning, Alison has been the money (it was her money in Beth's bank account) and Cosima has been the science. Alison has always had a penchant for guns and the underground from day one. Just as Cosima has been the spiritual, weed smoking lover. And Sarah has been the one running around trying to rescue them all -- and almost always in over her head. In the first season it was from Helena, in the second season from Dyad, and in this season from Castor. It still makes complete sense to me. They can't be doing their part if they're all joined at the hip all of the time.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I think they've had this all planned out from the beginning and that they're working towards an ending they already have in mind. I don't think the writers are shooting from the hip with this story because the ends do tie together if you just look at them the right way. In my humble opinion anyway.
posted by patheral at 10:24 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


the person he was talking with... the one who betrayed him? now there's a whole nother agency to worry about? or is he from Dyad? Maybe topside?

He was in Arlington; I just figured he was higher-up military, just indicating that Dr Coady wasn't all off on her own doing the weaponizing research but that--who knows--backing for that work might go all the way to the top in the US military.

Has there been discussion about how this story crosses Canadian/US borders? It obviously does (well, now Mexico too), but now I'm trying to remember where everything is. The original setting is some indeterminate North American city, right, but there were Toronto suburbs mentioned? That's where Dyad is and where Alison lives and so on?

I'd had the feeling that the Proletheans were in the U.S. (probably because of my associations of them with right-wing extremists) but now I'm wondering if that's wrong. Because Det Bell and the other L.E. officers who've engaged with them are surely Canadian?

And Topside is headquartered in... Germany, is that right?

(Obviously I've just been rolling with the story and not paying too much attention to locations! But now I'm curious. Is the Pentagon actually the only US location we've seen referenced so far?)

I agree with your analysis of the characterization of the clones, btw, patheral. It hasn't bothered me either that Alison's been off doing her own thing.
posted by torticat at 12:26 PM on May 25, 2015


Aw, man, Hot Paul. *is sad*
posted by angeline at 3:22 PM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Proletheans are definitely still in Canada because Art was spying on them in his spare time, and Helena escaped from their compound on foot. Cosima started out in America but ended up in Canada working for Dyad, as did Scott. Other than that, it's been mostly set in Canada as far as I can tell.
posted by patheral at 3:44 PM on May 25, 2015


I expect that Mark, Rudy, and Mother all probably survived the grenade? Obviously I'm rooting for Mark.

It was a blink and you missed it moment but there was a shot of a quite dead Mark.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:27 PM on May 25, 2015


It was a blink and you missed it moment but there was a shot of a quite dead Mark.

Nooooo! I must have missed it too, because I was totally hoping that Mark made it out alive. He's the only Castor clone I actually liked.
posted by patheral at 7:34 PM on May 25, 2015


It was a blink and you missed it moment but there was a shot of a quite dead Mark.

I don't think so, plastic_animals. I just rewatched the end. Last we saw of Mark, he was in civilian clothes and Paul was telling him to go back to his quarters.

The only dead bodies we saw were in fatigues, and the only dead clone was that pal of Rudy's that Paul killed. (Cpl Miller, according to the wiki?)
posted by torticat at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2015


The original setting is some indeterminate North American city, right, but there were Toronto suburbs mentioned?

I was pretty sure that the main action is happening in Toronto.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2015


Ack, sorry! I watched the end again this morning and that wasn't Mark. I shouldn't comment after driving all day.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:26 AM on May 26, 2015


Just occurred why there's disappointment with this show. The first season was all about what it means to be a clone, the discovery of relationship, closeness, distance, good people stuff. This season has moved to a generic conspiracy theory with evil powers. Generic issues. Who's the bad guy, not "who's this new person", how are we similar, how different.

Still hoping for the introduction of a new clone, a Scottish lass that walks into one of the dance parties with a bottle of single malt.
posted by sammyo at 5:05 PM on May 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was pretty sure that the main action is happening in Toronto.

It's pretty obviously Toronto (and my partner--who just started watching this season with me--said, "This show is Canadian, right?" about five minutes into his first episode) but I think they've been really careful not to mention the city's name in the show, for whatever reason.
posted by psoas at 9:05 AM on May 27, 2015


OH. MY. GOD.
posted by Coaticass at 3:38 AM on May 28, 2015


RIP hot Paul.
posted by Coaticass at 3:51 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Official soundtrack and score are out!
posted by Pendragon at 4:43 AM on May 28, 2015


Science discussion at the Mary Sue (in addition to their general recap posted at right).
posted by Coaticass at 5:21 AM on May 31, 2015


Wow, what an episode. But I think sadly they did have to kill Paul - him and Cal were two equally valid romantic choices, which is great, but you can only keep that tension for so long, and there's no way to write out the feelings. Honestly I've been feeling like so much of his actions were retcon because of that. But still - goodbye, competent badass lover!

Also Sarah, you really should have told him you loved him before he went off and died for you, since I'm pretty sure you actually do.
posted by corb at 4:00 PM on March 24, 2016


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