The Proletheans take center stage as Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) tracks down Mark (Ari Millen).
Let’s bitch it out…
This is a surprisingly contained episode of Orphan Black, which benefits from a bit of narrative confinement. Rather than try to split the screen time between its dozen or so characters, writer Chris Roberts keeps the action firmly fixed on Sarah’s hunt for Mark. The re-emergence of Art (Kevin Hanchard) makes sense given the need for his professional expertise in questioning witnesses, but the omission of periphery characters (no sign of Delphine, Mrs. S or Cal & Kira this week) keeps things appropriately streamlined.
After disposing of Seth’s body in Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) bathtub, Sarah and Art follow up a lead on Mark’s location. Now that Sarah knows what the Boy Clones are after, she figures that if she can find the original genetic donor’s materials first, she can make a trade for Helena. It’s a decent plan, albeit one that doesn’t exactly pan out given that Mark accidentally kills their only lead, Willard Finch (Nicholas Campbell).
In truth, though, Finch is more of a red herring than a legitimate character. If anything his inclusion is necessitated solely because the episode doubles down on the reintroduction of the Proletheans as a major driving plot. Much of the episode is focused on Gracie’s (Zoé De Grand Maison) struggle with her faith, her new marriage and the sudden reappearance of her mother, Bonnie Johanssen (Kristin Booth), all of which become major factors in how ‘Formalized, Complex, And Costly’ ultimately plays out. The unexpected death of Mark at Bonnie’s hands drops the number of Boy Clones down to one, which – coming one week after another is dispatched – suggests that we will either meet some new ones, or that Rudy is the Castor clone we’re meant to pay attention to (perhaps he’s the S3 equivalent of Sarah on the Castor side?).
What I’m left wondering is whether the Proletheans have a further role to play now that Mark’s story line is done. Aside from the fact that Sarah is now trapped in a farmhouse with an angry religious fanatic prowling the grounds with a rifle, is there really more story for these characters? Does Gracie’s role as a carrier of Helena’s child merit a continuation of the Prolethean story line? I’m honestly not sure.
- Presumably Art’s confession that he loved Beth means that he will save Sarah next week. Regardless it is nice to a) gain deeper insight into Art as a character and b) explore why he has been so devoted to working with Sarah and the other members of Clone Club. It would have been nice to learn some of this earlier, but better late than never, I guess.
- Cosima makes a shocking discovery when she dissects Seth’s brain. Not only is the genetic condition affecting the Castor clones incredibly destructive, they are genetic siblings to the Leda girls. I’m not sure that this brings us any closer to finding out the truth behind the origin of the respective projects, but it’s certainly a bargaining chip (exhibit A: Sarah uses it to confuse and disorient Mark). Presumably the info will continue to have an impact on the narrative as the two sets of clones come into conflict down the road.
- Just in case we didn’t know out that the Castor clones are messed up, it now appears that kindly Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) is something of a surrogate mother for the military brats. Rudy’s animated thumb sucking is just over the top, though. #MommyIssues
- Not surprising: the Castor boys don’t like Hot Paul (Dylan Bruce). Wanna bet that they probably find the size of Hot Paul’s chest threatening?
- Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) make good headway in their campaign to conquer both the election and the suburban drug trade. I do wish that Alison wasn’t quite so segregated in this story line, however funny it is.
- Unexpectedly amusing match-up of the week: Felix and Scott (Josh Vokey). Felix mocking Scott with nicknames is surprising fun!
- Felix (when Art spots the blood on the floor): “Oh yeah that’s a new project – it’s very fresh.”
- Donnie (realizing they’ll break even in months): “We should have been drug dealers years ago.”
- Helena (upon meeting Rudy): “Another one. You are the ugliest Mark yet.”
Your turn: what did you think of the revelation that Castor and Leda are siblings? Were you surprised that Mark was killed? Happy to have the Proletheans back and center stage in the narrative? Glad for the insight into Art? And do you want to see a Felix/Scott spin-off where the former just makes fun of the latter as they perform random tasks? Sound off below.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on BBC America