The truth about the Castor disease and the Mexico experiments comes out in an episode that packs a body count.
Let’s bitch it out…
RIP Hot Paul (Dylan Bruce). In place a eulogy, or a complaint about how he’s been underutilized on the show in the last few years, let’s just all take a moment to reflect fondly on Dylan Bruce’s massive arms and chest.
Annnnnd we’re back.
Yes, Hot Paul perished tonight from a stab wound, multiple gunshots and a grenade explosion. He’s apparently the Jason Vorhees of Orphan Black. The body carnage occurred after Paul foolishly tried to wrest control of Castor’s Mexican base from Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper), but if we’re being honest, Paul was dead the minute that he met with that generic Washington suit to question the aims of the project. It’s been pretty obvious since we first met Rudy, Seth and Miller (all Ari Millen) that Project Castor is not interested in fluffy bunnies and rainbows. Obviously the unauthorized experimentation to sterilize humans as a tool of war is pretty terrible, but honestly, didn’t we all kinda anticipate that Castor was doing something dark and twisty like this?
Of course, Paul wasn’t solely interested in exposing the truth, regardless of what he promised Mark, the only Castor clone who didn’t try and oppose Paul’s hostile takeover. No, Paul was there to help rescue Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), the love of his life. After discovering that Coady injected Sarah with Rudy’s blood in an effort to discover the secret ingredient in Sarah’s magical pixie-blood, Paul knew he had to make his move. Naturally Sarah makes it out alive; in a sense she hallucinates her way to safety – complete with visions of Kira (Skyler Wexler) and her not-seen-since-S1 doppelganger, Beth, with whom Sarah shares some very candid conversation about failure. In the end Paul sacrifices himself to save Sarah, delaying Coady and Rudy with a well-timed grenade that also destroys all of the sterilization research, including the original Castor sample <sigh – so that farm detour was a red herring?>. I’m sure Paul probably thought he was helping, but there’s no way in hell that Rudy and Coady are dead (perhaps the latter, but definitely not the former) and destroying Coady’s lab leaves Sarah with a huge bullseye on her back because she is now the sole remaining piece of evidence.
The urgency to move beyond the Castor base is evident for both the characters and the series. We learn from S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) conversation that Sarah has been missing five days and Coady is clearly upping the severity of her tests in the wake of Helena’s escape last episode, which means something had to give soon. As a viewer, I’ll admit that the base scenes were rarely my favourite because they kept Maslany (and, to a lesser extent, Millen) silo’d from the other actors and story lines. The end of the base and Helena’s rescue of Sarah should return them to the fold and help streamline the narrative of the remaining S3 episodes.
- Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) remain completely in isolation, stranded in their suburban drug-dealing storyline. After a hilarious, albeit obviously orchestrated GIF-ready sequence depicting the pair slow-motion twerking and making it rain, we learn that Alison plans to launder their drug money through her mom’s soap show. Jason (Justin Chatwin) is legit impressed and he should be…it’s kinda genius, even if it feel like yet another completely different show (Clone Weeds, perhaps?)
- An argument could be made that Cosima is also stuck in her own story line, but at least her interactions with Scott (Josh Vokey) and Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) tie back into the greater narrative. Thanks to Felix’s painterly-attack on one-eyed Rachel, Scott thinks he may have cracked Duncan’s code, although he should have left the lab before vocalizing anything since Delphine has the whole place bugged. Add to this the inevitable discovery by Delphine that Cosima is sexxing up Shay (Ksenia Solo) and the shit should hit the fan shortly.
- A lot of blogs are making a big deal out of Felix’s angry/threatening scene with Rachel, but it feels pretty tame to me. Sure he humiliates a handicapped woman, but it’s not like Felix tortured her. I honestly thought it would go much further than it did.
- Helena makes a run for things in the desert, pausing only briefly to eat her spirit guide / friend. I can’t lie, I am super glad that we’ve seen the last of that damn scorpion. Good riddance!
- Nothing against Zoé De Grand Maison, but why is Gracie still on the show? Is there really more left to explore in her story now that the Prolethean piece has been completed? I just ask because her role this week was serving tea. That’s it.
- Finally, I’d just like to give a shout-out to Entertainment Weekly for spoiling Hot Paul’s death. Normally they’re pretty obvious when someone dies because they run an interview with the actor on their “big moment” on the landing page; this time they outdid themselves by accompanying the interview with a picture of Dylan Bruce clutching his gunshot wound. What a bunch of ass-hats. To highlight my disdain, I’ll link to a different interview about the episode via TVLine, instead.
- Donnie (when Alison asks if his underwear is tear-away): “No, but the elastic is wearing out.”
- Felix (to Scott, requesting a meeting with Rachel): “Now nut up and lead me to the cyclops.”
- Paul (responding to Sarah’s earlier question about loving Beth): “It was never Beth I loved.”
Your turn: will you miss Hot Paul? Did you enjoy seeing/interacting with Beth after so long? Sad to see the Mexican Castor base gone? Are Rudy and Coady dead? Are Cosima and Alison’s storylines tied into the A-plot enough for you? And did you think Felix would go further in his interrogation of Rachel? Sound off below.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on BBC America. Next week: Donnie tries to stand up to Jason, Delphine tracks down Shay and Helena wants revenge on S. Here’s a peek: