It’s a bad Clone week as everyone suffers set-backs. Plus: Alison (Tatiana Maslany) may have literally broken a leg in her theater debut.
Let’s bitch it out…
As ‘Mingling Its Own Nature With It’ showcases, it’s a tough week to be a clone. Sarah and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) are on the lam in the country with Kira (Skylar Wexler), committing minor shoplifting and B&E’s. Well, not so much the latter crime; it turns out that Sarah has secretly oriented the group towards Cal Morrison (Michiel Huisman) – Sarah’s one-time mark and, in a non-shocker, Kira’s father. Huisman is everywhere these days (see also: Game Of Thrones), but I’d argue that Cal suits him much more than Daario, the far more complicated role he plays in Thrones. Cal is a more organic character: he’s easy-going and surprisingly likable. Plus he’s got a good instinct for interacting with Kira in times both good (feed those fat chickens!) and bad (shots fired!).
The bad arrives in the form of Daniel Rosen (Matthew Bennett), who’s been driving around inspecting the site of Mrs. S’ massacre and playing pretend-cop at the local convenience store where Sarah and Felix shoplifted. It doesn’t take long for Rachel’s lackey to track Sarah back to Cal and pretty soon he’s shooting cops and taking hostages. In an exciting cliffhanger, Daniel and Sarah are rear-ended by an unseen assailant (likely Cal), but not behind he questions Sarah about her Project LEDA photo. Flag his confusion as potentially important moving forward. Maybe Mrs. S hid her past better than we imagined (Felix semi-confirms this by describing his difficulty reconciling the woman who wielded a shotgun and the woman who raised them and drank lots of tea).
So Sarah’s having a rough few days, but it turns out that Cosima’s may be worse. With Leekie off traveling to destinations unknown (there’s a guy you want to keep tabs on), Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) opens up the keys to the candy store: his office. Unfortunately it comes with information about a new clone. #8 is Jennifer, a teacher and swimming inspector who exists to show us how terrible Katya’s mysterious illness can become if you don’t have the luxury of being shot and buried in a quarrie first. Watching old footage as Jennifer undergoes treatment at Dyad, losing her hair and developing mouth ulcers, gives Cosima her first real taste of how terrible things will get.
Too bad it gets even worse. Since Jennifer has only recently died, Cosima and Delphine strap on their latex gloves and go to work dissecting her body for clues. The information they need may lie in Jennifer’s uterus, which Delphine suggests may have been where the illness began and may also explain why the clones are unable to reproduce. If true, the unspoken truthbomb that neither Delphine, nor Cosima states, is that all of the clones – minus Helena and Sarah, of course – are already infected. Cosima is now one step closer to figuring things out, but her coughing fit during the autopsy is worrying. Jennifer only lasted six months. How much longer does Cosima have?
Rounding out the bad news episode is Helena, who’s time with the Prolethians remains the new season’s weak plot. I appreciate that she’s still recovering from her wounds, but Helena’s interactions with the cult members has been underwhelming. So far our time on the Prolethian farm has been in service of fleshing out their intentions, but three episodes in and I still feel like we have very little idea what they’re up to besides “saving” Helena by procreating with her and distinguishing themselves from Tomas’ old order. This week’s new development is that Grace (Zoé De Grand Maison) is unhappy with her father, Johanssen’s (Peter Outerbridge) plans to marry and impregnate Helena. As The AV Club notes, their final scene, featuring jarring, blurry camerawork and close-ups on Helena’s face that suggest her confused mental state are distressing because we’re seeing the prelude to a rape. Set your ick factor to the max.
- That leaves poor Alison, who becomes spectacularly unhinged as the premiere of Blood Ties approaches. In between berating Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and binging on booze and pills, Alison places a panicky call to Cosima when she mistakes Detective Angela (Inga Cadranel) for a second monitor. To cap off a banner week, Alison then misses her mark during opening night (the dedication to Aynsley is the cherry on top) and plummets dramatically off the stage. Seems Alison hasn’t learned that “break a leg” is just a figure of speech (okay, yes, that was obvious, but admit it, you were expecting it).
- Continuing the trend is Felix. Once he realizes Sarah’s rationale for introducing Kira to Cal, he tearfully takes his leave and hitchhikes back home. Kudos to Gavaris for wringing emotion out of the line “There’s no place for me here.” Between Cosima’s anguished reaction to Jennifer’s videos and Felix’s pain, there are some really teary moments in this episode.
- Art (Kevin Hanchard) is actually one of the few people finding success this week. He not only tells off Angela in spectacular fashion (yay!), but he manages to locate (fairly easily, all things considered) the Prolethean safe haven. Let’s just hope that Art a) let’s someone know where he’s gone and b) realizes that these people know how to handle dangerous farming equipment in homicidal ways.
- One interesting thing to note is that Cal made his fortune with bees and pollination. The output was a sale to the defense department that could easily end up tying into Dyad, but more importantly, the inclusion of bees is really intriguing. Bees have been in the news the last few years because they’re dying off and no one knows why, which directly speaks to the mysterious clone illness and their inability to reproduce (ie: pollinate). I may be completely off-base, but the writers of this series have proven adept at tying current events into the series, so I bet you that there’s more to this bee stuff than meets the eye.
- Finally, no Hot Paul again this week. Why is Dylan Bruce even listed as a main character?!
- Angela (describing Helena’s disappearance to Art): “That Shakira-haired lookalike? Gone”
Your turn: which clone had the worst week? Do you think Helena knows what’s happening to her? Did Sarah make a wise decision introducing Kira to Cal? Will Cosima live to find a cure? Is Alison a complete trainwreck? And where has Leekie gone? Sound off below.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on BBC America