Orphan Black: Newer Elements of Our Defence
May 10, 2015 12:57 AM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Mark is taken down in a Prolethean shoot-out and Sarah must step in to help. But as Sarah gathers intel that puts her on the trail of the original Castor DNA, a familiar foe is not far behind.
posted by Pendragon (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Couldn't have been more surprised, or happier, to see Justin Chatwin (Shameless) as a suburban drug king pin driving a Hummer. I hope he brings a little levity to this season.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 1:18 AM on May 10, 2015

I’d say “poor Gracie,” but honestly, getting kicked out of the Prolethean cult for good is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

That's assuming they let her go. There are a lot of ways for a person to "never return here", including never leaving alive. I doubt they'll kill Gracie, though. At least, I hope they don't. She deserves to wreak holy vengeance on that nut job cult. She's been every bit the victim as Helena. I'll say it..."Poor, Gracie."

Sarah was especially on the edge in this one. It's good to see her not quite as in control as she usually is. Between Sarah and Helena, this was one of Maslany's strongest episodes.

Alison seems to be off doing her own show this season. There must be something coming down the road that circles her back into being an active part of the clone club.

I have to agree with the AV Club review re: Felix. He's been little more that wallpaper this season. Art's had a stronger storyline than Felix , so far.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2015

That was a brutal scene with the exposed brain!

I'm actually enjoying Alison's storyline and liked the twist that the drug king pin is more than friendly towards her. Opens up potential for interesting developments, and I'm positive it will somehow tie back to clone club business eventually.
posted by travelwithcats at 8:54 AM on May 10, 2015

That was a brutal scene with the exposed brain

But yet it's conclusion, though horribly violent, was also touching in that particular Helena way where she's perhaps the clone most capable of love.

(My theory how the suburban drug kingpin ties back to Clone Club was that he was Alison's original handle, but that seems a little silly.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

The preview shows Gracie at Art's door, so we know she makes it out alive. I kinda figured she wouldn't be with the Proletheans for very long anyway, she just didn't trust them anymore, and that was pretty clear from the way she ran off with Mark. I figured Gracie only went back with her mother because she had no choice once Bonnie showed up on her doorstep... with a gun.

I'm glad to see Alison communicating with Cosima this episode, at least they're not completely cut off. I feel that it's more realistic that the clones are living their own lives and not joined at the hip like they were in the previous two seasons. I mean, the only one who feels a real attachment to Helena is Sarah, so she's the only one who would feel a need to risk all to rescue her. Cosima is the only one who has the smarts to find the cure for them so it makes sense for her to focus on that. And Alison can only be Alison. There's no common enemy for them this season, so there's no need for them to band together as they did previously. I like how this season is shaping up.

I do have to wonder about Alison's kids though. Where are they when Donnie and Alison are making all of this "soap" in the garage or when their delivering it? It seems to me that they're leaving them alone a lot these days. Remember when Alison asked Felix to babysit in season one? And all of the social events she had that were kid oriented? What happened to all of that? The writers and directors went out of their way to make her a good mom, now her kids have been kicked to the curb and we hardly see them at all... if she wasn't running for school council, I'd think she didn't have them.
posted by patheral at 9:36 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh God, Helena just broke my heart this episode. She is indeed the one with the most capacity to love, despite her horrific upbringing.

Ari Millen really brought it this episode in the scene where Mark has Sarah dig the bullet out of his leg. That lean of his head on hers was bittersweet. I can't wait to see the Mark/Sarah encounters in future episodes.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:48 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I liked the show emphasizing just how much the military structure was built into the boys with the scene in the barn. I did think Mark or his brother would kill each other under cover of the hug and I'm actually relieved that didn't happen.

Sarah can't die so I do wish they'd stop threatening the audience with that. Any of the other clones are fair game, of course.

Donnie and the gun was excellent tension. I was all set for something horrific to happen and Alison instead turns out to be friends with the boss. I liked the henchman. He was believably threatening without doing anything overly violent. I love the violence but it's not always necessary to pump up a scene.

The kids have always been mostly absent and I'm fine with that. They're not genetically linked to the clones so they, honestly, deserve less screen time than Kiera and I wouldn't want a show focused on raising kids.

I don't think I took a deep breath until after next week's previews. I loved this episode and I wish someone would leak next week. Good job, writers.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:50 AM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

What was Sarah doing taking her sweet time in that motel room though? I was like "Girl! Get out of there! What are you doing!"
posted by bleep at 12:39 PM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah, Sarah washing her hands in that motel room sure was odd. Also the way Jonah Appleyard put his hand on Gracie's belly/crotch was weird. What was up with that? Are we supposed to think that triggered the bleeding?
posted by travelwithcats at 12:47 PM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

And that whole weird thing with Gracie on the couch and all the women standing around her. Like okay it's obvious something is going wrong with the pregnancy so we're all going to put on white sweaters and pray, which is fine, but then the weird unceremonious way Jonah blurts out "The baby is lost!" It was all just kind of weird, like a rush writing job.
posted by bleep at 1:11 PM on May 10, 2015

Between the shit, the bullet extraction, the exposed brain, and the brain stabbing, I think I ended up listening to this episode more than watching it.

On the other hand, I feel like I'm building my endurance up for Hannibal's return.
posted by bibliowench at 1:12 PM on May 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sarah washed her hands because she got rust or dirt from the box on her hands. They definitely show that. I don't think the blind guy's hands triggered the bleeding. Pretty sure the show was just emphasizing that the only interest anyone had in Gracie was because of the pregnancy. The guy might also be important later, hard to say at this stage.

Helena stabbing the male clone through the brain was kinda weird though (not complaining--fairly cool). Slashing his neck or stabbing him in the heart would have done the job.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 1:19 PM on May 10, 2015

And Bonnie telling Gracie that Appleyard was kind enough to take them in ... Weren't they still living in the same house? Or did she mean that he took them under his stewardship? I wonder if he's somehow connected to Cold River.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:24 PM on May 10, 2015

What was Sarah doing taking her sweet time in that motel room though?

Yes, that. And it felt like having her linger there that long was entirely to build up the tension to the OMG Evil- Quiff-Clone no wait Ambiguous-Slicked-Clone switcheroo.

(I find the male clones harder to distinguish, and I think the show does too: the women get more individual looks, the men are all generic-Army-types with slightly different haircuts.)

Mark recovered very quickly, no? Another suggestion that the clones all have Magical Clone Healing Powers?

I liked the misdirection of is Helena making a bone weapon? NO, A BONE KEY.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:54 PM on May 10, 2015

Was kind of bored with the whole "Alison is a drug dealing candidate for school board" storyline but I did live the scene in the car with the ex-boyfriend.
posted by octothorpe at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2015

I liked plenty about this episode and how it moved several things forward (but sad that it wasn't Vic in the SUV) but too many things that were a little gross for me (the bullet stuff, the brain stuff). I sort of feel like they're tying to be a bit "edgy" with this show, to the detriment of its quality ... and I don't know.

I am still on board and I'll watch this season through its end, but this was the first episode I wasn't as much into as I wanted to be. I still have hope, though,
posted by darksong at 6:24 PM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Weren't they still living in the same house?

Nah, Helena burned it down.
posted by amro at 7:37 AM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Feels like the show is continuing to reveal that Alison is actually nowhere near as clean-cut as she appears.

I liked also the reminder that she's a whole lot smarter than Donnie: she immediately realizes that Ramon sold them out. "Donnie, he didn't go to college."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:09 AM on May 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like that Allison is always smart enough to figure out how much trouble she's in but lacks either the additional smarts or the humility to actually, y'know, not screw things up completely. Her and Donnie going off into left field for their take on Breaking Bad while everybody else deals with the Castor clones has been a highlight of the season, and I like the Castor plotline! Especially Helena and her brain scorpion.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:01 PM on May 11, 2015

I want to see what happens when someone besides Allison really threatens Donnie. I believe it will be epic and horrifying and a really amazing episode.

Team Allison!
posted by Mogur at 12:14 PM on May 11, 2015

Well, Dr. Leekie didn't even technically THREATEN Donnie, and look where he is now. Donnie is accidentally scary just EXISTING.
posted by angeline at 12:22 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't realize how much I missed the Prolethians until they showed up in full force again in this episode.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:28 PM on May 11, 2015

It will be interesting to see if/how the Proletheans are worked back in to the story, especially now that they are led by rather violent Bonnie instead of cool as a cucumber Henrik.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:57 PM on May 12, 2015

I miss Henrik. That's really weird to say and he was a really messed up sort of fellow, but he WAS a strange little island of calm that I appreciated even as I was shaking my head at him in horror.
posted by angeline at 7:33 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I find the intersection of science and religion interesting, so for that reason I miss Henrik. I always find it hard to understand how someone with extensive knowledge of science can also be religious.
posted by amro at 5:43 AM on May 13, 2015

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