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Review: Orphan Black — The Six

SPOILER ALERT: Please do not read on unless you’ve seen the Season 3, Episode 8 of Orphan Black, titled “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method.

Orphan Black episodes like this week’s bring to light just how remarkable Tatiana Maslany is. We almost take it for granted now, that the manic laughter of Helena, the tepid murmuring of Cosima, the dastardly side-stare of Rachel, the uptight cleanliness of Alison and the dark edge of Sarah all come from the same person. When you think about it, it seems insane that a show can be as engaging, as interesting, with one actor as the crucial centrepiece.

And of course, was playing a new clone (who we saw before, briefly, at her encounter with the Castors): Krystal Goderich. In her push-up bra and blonde hair, Krystal is instantly memorable and pretty much exactly how Felix describes her—as Sarah would be if she went to college. Maslany plays this character so easily, like Krystal’s been on the show since the beginning.

Jordan Gavaris also got a turn to shine, and it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a chance to see his chops, which I recall from Season 1. (That’s CHOPS, not CHAPS.) He was woefully underused in Season 2. Finally we’re freed from boring housebound Felix, and we’re treated to hardcore street punk Felix. When he slapped on the headset and spoke in his straight Canadian man accent to Krystal, it was one of my favourite Orphan Black moments to date. This is the fun stuff, this is the kind of thing fans are after.

Same goes for the Cosima/Shay/Delphine plotline, as many fans have a lot invested. I’m actually strangely invested myself, probably a testament to the realistic relationship being portrayed. OK, so it involves a clone, a progressing mystery disease and a multinational conglomerate, but I mean the emotions and the dialogue, guys. When Delphine and Cosima kiss, in my head I could hear “No! No! Don’t cheat on Shay!” and silently cheered when Cosima backed off. But at this point, we obviously can’t trust Shay. She’ll end up being a spy and then Cosima will get back together with Delphine. With all this talk about death and near-death experiences, seeing Delphine in a light … makes me concerned that Cosima will die in the end with Delphine by her side. Food for thought.

Even the Alison/Donnie plot is getting darker. Now Jason is very much a threat to their marriage, and it’s apparent that Alison is barely hanging on to her convictions. I gotta hand it to Donnie, he tries to get in there. He’s beaten to a bloody pulp, but at least he attempts something. I personally can’t wait until the drug-dealing scheme is over. Take the money and run, Hendrixes.

Of all the main characters (Maslany played six of them tonight), Scott got the s**t end of the stick. I have grown quite fond of the gentle nerd over this season, with his real estate fantasy board games and extensive sci-fi book collection. Not only does he get held up by Rudy, he loses the Island of Dr. Moreau, has his co-plan foiled and then loses his job. Oh no, wait. Krystal gets the s**t end of the stick if they’re doing what I think they’re doing, which is taking her eye for Rachel and then keeping her for tests/as a Rachel replacement. Yeah, that’s far worse. I hope she doesn’t die, she would make for an interesting character going forward. Things are looking sour for everyone, and judging by clips of the next episode, they’re going to get worse before they get better.

Off to London next week. Cheerio!

Clone of the Week: This is a toughie. I’m going to have to say Krystal. She was engaging (more than likely because she’s new), and it always fascinates me how Maslany wraps herself around these roles.

Random Thoughts:

  • Emmy submission! Globe submission! Seriously, I know sci-fi is an underrated genre, but c’mon six very different characters—often more—in one episode? Is that a world record?
  • Did I hear mention of a Polish clone? Sigh. That is just wonderful.
  • Felix: “Did I just get seconded into this s**t?”
  • Shout-out to the Firkin on King! Drank there many a time.
  • LOVED that shot of Rachel looking through the magnifying glass with her good eye. There were actually a ton of good shots tonight, but this one particularly stood out.
  • Krystal: “Bitch Mistress Cums-a-Lot.”
  • Helena + Gracie, co-workers, friends for life.
  • Delphine: “I’m French. We enjoy lovers.”
  • Rachel’s “top speed” in her wheelchair. I totally appreciate these quick quips you throw in there, writers!

Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Chris Jancelewicz

Chris Jancelewicz

Chris has been an entertainment reporter for almost a decade, covering Canadian and international TV and movies for numerous publications. Mostly known for his work at The Huffington Post, Chris has conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews, including Hugh Hefner, Scarlett Johansson and Michael C. Hall -- just to name a few. You can follow him on Twitter at @CJancelewicz.
Chris Jancelewicz

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4 thoughts on “Review: Orphan Black — The Six”

  1. The writing has been back to awesome these past few episodes. I’m excited for next episode. I’m hoping we’ll get to see more Mrs S, Felix and Sarah backstory. I saw Mrs. S was singing in the preview for next week and that’s intriguing.

    Questions I have for this episode that will hopefully get answered by the end of the season:
    1) Did Mrs. S recognize that doctor when he stepped into her house to get Rachel?
    2) Will we find out why Mrs. S adopted Felix?
    3) Will any of the Clone Club figure out Crystal is in the lab?
    4) Will Cosima live?
    5) Did Shay inform Project Castor that Cosima was quick to take away The Island of Dr. Moreau so quickly and figure out the book had relevance? Or is she not working for Castor but actually is a monitor for Project Leda?

    As a sidenote, I’ve really enjoyed watching Innerspace: After the Black after the episode airs. I like that they have one or two cast members there to discuss the episode.

  2. Hi, Chris!

    I always enjoy your work. :) You’ve mentioned Cosima dying a couple of times now. The Internet also seems awash with speculation that Delphine is a goner. (Nooooo!) However, I have a theory I thought I’d toss out here just on the off chance it’s correct: why not kill Alison?

    My reason for considering it is that OB needs to up the stakes with the death of a core clone. Sarah can’t go, obvs, and Cosima is such a fan favorite (and a lesbian–there’s a sad history of killing lesbians on TV) that it seems OB would risk a ratings tank it can’t afford with her death. Also, who could step into her needed science role? Delphine and Scott could sadly carry on without her, but there is no clone available to take her place in both function and tone.

    But with Alison, there is now Krystal. Assuming she can be saved, exploring Krystal’s world instead of Alison’s would offer the same light-hearted tone but perhaps in a lower-key Kimmy Schmidt-way rather than the Desperate Housewives/Weeds-way Alison’s world employs.

    And Alison has been delving into some deep doo-doo (I feel she would use that word) with murders and drugs for three seasons now, and it’s all been played for laughs. I think she has some reality coming her way and most would never see it coming.

    As for Kristian Bruun, let him stretch and get out of the constant comedy mode and play the shocked and grieving husband. He can have comedy again later (platonically with Helena or Krystal or whomever).

    Anyway, I’m sure I’m wrong, but killing Cosima seems too obvious and too difficult to recover from. Plus, like I said, there’s no clone replacement standing by for her. So maybe she’s a great big red herring (complete with red coat). Alison has gotten away with a lot and lived in her own world, which more and more seems to have no connection to the central plot. Killing her would finally make her relevant and shake everyone up for S4 and S5, which is supposedly the last season.

    Go ahead, tell me I’m crazy! LOL :)

    1. I wouldn’t have a problem killing off Cosima. To me, she’s the least interesting of the clones. However, I haven’t really liked Alison’s side story too much and I hope that if she’s around next year that she’s part of the main story again. My favourite clone is Sarah and as long as she, Felix and Mrs. S stay alive I’m happy. Out of the 14 current regular and recurring cast members, I think the most expendable right now are Gracie and Art.

  3. Alison could die for the reasons stated above. Another possibility is she goes to jail for drug dealing. I don’t really see them restricting themselves to a jail story and they said some sort of “soft reboot” is coming at he end of this season. So maybe a time-skip to after Alison gets out and Helena’s already had the baby? On the other I don’t so how Dyad and everyone would be okay with one of their self-awares going through the public court system especially when Alison could spill the whole clone secret at anytime.

    In terms of a death I’m betting Felix or Mrs. S, especially if Dr. Coady dies, Rudy will get payback on Sarah by killing either the person she considers her mother or brother.

    Who was the Mystery Blonde looking after Rachel? My guess id her mother Susan Duncan. She’s supposed to be dead but so was Ethan.

    And hey, the hunt for the Castor Original probably means the Leda Original can’t be far behind!

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