Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Helena have some seestra-issues to work out in a talk heavy instalment of Orphan Black.
Let’s bitch it out…
At the end of the last episode, Sarah Manning was captured by the Castor boys. At the start of ‘Scarred By Many Past Frustrations’, our suspicions that she’ll be moved to the same base as Helena is proven correct. They even get to share the same cellblock! Unfortunately that is about all they share this week as Helena holds her seestra responsible for her imprisonment, despite Sarah’s insistence that she was unaware of the deal that Ms. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) struck with Hot Paul (Dylan Bruce) and the Castor people. It’s an understandable conflict, but not an especially dramatic one since we know that Sarah is telling the truth and Helena is listening to an advisor who is an imaginary scorpion.
The relationship between the sisters has had its ups and downs over the three seasons and Helena’s pause on the verge of escape proves that she’s not completely heartless – she’s unsure whether her anger at her seestra trumps abandoning Sarah to the people who tortured one of their own in the name of science. By the time she realizes she may have made a mistake, though, the alarm has already sounded. It should be a moment that carries a lot of emotion, but instead it feels flat because we still don’t actually know that much about the Ukrainian clone. Sure, we’ve spent time with her in the Castor prison and we have sense of how she’ll react to various characters and scenarios, but the fragile psyche stuff remains a bit of a mystery.
As a result much of the episode is interesting, but not particularly memorable. Aside from the sisterly drama, we’re getting a sense of Castor’s day to day operations thanks to the arrival of Hot Paul. His tension with Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) suggests that there’s a difference of opinion in how the experiment is unfolding, despite what he tells Sarah when he meets with her. The end of episode sequence seems to confirm that Paul is unaware of the specifics; he touches the headpiece and reviews the dead clone’s (Ari Millen) black book of “intimate contact” as though he’s never seen either before. This is in keeping with Hot Paul’s character: he’s always been a little morally questions, but his motivations have always been juuuust on the side of right. Paul’s not a good guy by any stretch, but he’s not quite bad, either. This latest development suggests that he’s about to realize he may have sided with the wrong team, which is timely since with Helena gone, he’s the only ally that Sarah has on the compound. She better start sucking up!
- After Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) shows up at Art’s (Kevin Hanchard) place, she’s brought to Ms. S and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) for “deprogramming”. This apparently involves truth telling (S’s ex-husband was a bad drunk!) and Victoria’s Secret cocktail parties (!!). Thankfully S and Felix are wise enough to keep Gracie home so that she can get her inner drunk on.
- Felix’s “one moment” hand signal when the girls start dancing is classic (as is his pelvic thrust dancing technique). He could stand to tone down the make-up, though; it looks positively caked on in close-ups.
- The timing doesn’t quite match up, but in terms of narrative WTFuckery, having Gracie and Patty (Natalie Krill), the woman that Rudy & Seth slept with in 3×02 ‘Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis’, simultaneously reveal infected bloodshot eyes is pretty cool. So the Castor boys aren’t just sick, they can spread it like an STI. This is why you double-bag, kids.
- Cosima meets up with her Sapphire date, Shay (Ksenia Solo) and the pair has fairly significant chemistry. The girls bond over first date jitters, talk of exes and the differences between hard science and homeopathy. They also get a little physical…which means that Shai is probably going to turn out to be a spy or something evil.
- No Alison this week and I’m kinda okay with that.
- Felix (protesting, after Ms. S suggests Gracie looks better than he did when she took him in):“I was not yet formed.”
- Helena (making kissing noises to Paul and Sarah): “Hello dirty Paul”
- Cosima (explaining her attraction to Delphine): “Mostly just really great hair”
Your turn: was it frustrating watching Helena dismiss Sarah? Were you impressed with Helena’s escape? Is Hot Paul going to end up having to save Sarah? What’s up with the Castor STI? Is Shay good or evil? And did you miss Alison? Sound off below.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on BBC America