Review: Them’s the Breaks on Orphan Black

SPOILER ALERT: Please do not read on unless you’ve seen the Season 3 premiere of Orphan Black, titled “The Weight of This Combination.”

We’re back in Clone Country, and things are just as complicated … perhaps too complicated. The plot and goings-on in the Orphan Black Season 3 premiere are somewhat muddled, and at times it feels like we’re being over-explained to. To be fair, there’s a lot happening with the clones (now both male and female), Dyad, Topside, Mrs. S., Paul, the “cleaner” Ferdinand, Delphine, and some strange plotline with school board trustee Marcie and our favourite suburban couple, Alison and Donnie.

Thank goodness for the Orphan Black humour and visuals, otherwise this would have been a very tough slog. Underneath all of the exposition thrust upon us, there is a simple thread to follow, one that I intend to focus on rather than all the extraneous information that doesn’t really matter in the end. The bottom line is this: Rachel, Topside, Dyad and Project Castor are out to destroy the Project Leda clones, and the sisters have to band together in order to stop them. There. Easy, isn’t it?

The bizarro baby shower dream opening scene is one for the ages: saturated colour, reference to ox liver, Felix at the barbecue, pregnant Helena in her Sunday best. I didn’t believe it was real for one second, but hey, it was still entertaining. And only Helena would have a talking scorpion feeding her encouragement. This is the kind of fun I want from Orphan Black, but don’t always get.

Going by the ads and commercials, I was expecting this episode to dedicate more time explaining Project Castor, their motivations, and who each of the male clones were. While we saw them all, except for Mark (Rudy talking to Sarah and doing naked yoga/exercise, Seth beating up Mrs. S., and Miller freeing Helena)—we didn’t really get much. The show is still focusing on (and trying to make clear) the whole Topside debacle, along with the revelation about the Helsinki slaughter in 2006. I have a feeling Episode 2 will delve deeper into the guys’ backstories.

But for now, we get a lot about Cosima and Delphine, which I don’t mind. Their break-up scene was a heartbreaker, and hearing Tatiana’s crushing “I love you,” complete with cracking voice and tears, was enough to make my chin quiver. For the first time (to me, anyway), Delphine was awesome, concocting elaborate schemes and pushing down on Rachel’s empty eye socket. I was squirming away during that scene.

Straight-up, I’m worried that Rachel will kill Delphine. In fact, I’d bet money on it; but not before she and Cosima have their reunion. Their break-up seemed kind of unnecessary anyway, but I accepted it because Delphine is probably just trying to protect Cosima.

Alison and Donnie’s school board trustee story is out of left field. At least it’ll provide a less-intense side story when things heat up among the clones. It also brings us the glory of Kristian Bruun and his Donnie character, which I suspect is why they’re doing this story in the first place. No longer a monitor, Donnie needs to be integrated into the plot somehow. Also, Marcie? She looks so evil, she’s either A) involved with Topside somehow, B) involved with Project Castor somehow, or C) is both. Whatever the case, don’t trust her.

And I know I’ve said this before, but can I just shout out one more time to Tatiana? I never tire of watching her play a clone playing a clone. She masters it, from the walk to the tone to the accent, and it is a marvellous display of acting. Bravo. Just never play Tony again.

Next week, one of the Project Castor clones has Xs over his eyes. WHY? Can’t wait to find out.

Clone of the Week: Helena. Hands-down, she is the most entertaining clone, from the scorpion-talking to the dream sequence. More, please.

Random Thoughts:

  • Felix: “Delphine has your number? We definitely need new clone phones.”
  • Alison: “Holy diddle, here we go!”
  • Big nerd props to Scott’s periodic table of elements T-shirt. Not gonna lie, I kind of want it.
  • Donnie: “They took the Taurus.”
  • Another clone! Crystal Goderich, blonde, sexy, seductress … hope we get to see more of her.
  • Felix: “Don’t these people know you didn’t even finish high school?!”
  • Ari Millen didn’t have much to do in this premiere, aside from looking crazy and doing naked pull-ups, but I especially liked his Seth character (the moustache). I think he has the most depth, and I enjoyed his mini-breakdown in the kitchen with Mrs. S.
  • Wherever Sarah and Felix go drinking, down by that river—does NOT look appealing. Time for a new spot to set up the lawn chairs and talk clone.

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


4 thoughts on “Review: Them’s the Breaks on Orphan Black”

  1. I wouldn’t bet on Rachel killing Delphine if only because she clearly has brain damage so possibly some physical struggle as well as speaking. I sort of felt bad for Rachel during the eye socket torture but went back to hating her by the end for the Helsinki plan. Anyone who threatens Alison is on my bad side instantly.

    Clone of the week: Sarah as Rachel. Also, the scene of Felix turning her into Rachel felt like a behind the scenes look at the make-up department.

  2. I admit, I was kind of lost during this episode. I probably need to watch it again plus I should’ve rewatched the finale beforehand to get me reacclimatized.

  3. Alison: “Holy diddle, here we go!” typo DOODLE and Crystal is with a K, we know this than ks to an ob crew guy who leaked this info on twitter a month before the premiere, he tweeted some baked goods for the crew with cupcakes acording to the clones and it was writen every name and Krytal, lmao! Also, have you consider all te connections / nods to Blade Runner, now seeing the stills for 302, the guys and Helena have a very similar machine like Blade Runner used to aserted clones? and they are using sylogism for logical (saw this on idiewire interview) OB is losing its magical touch, somehow i watched the show but it feels different, less exciting than the previous seasons, and taking into account that season 2 was messy and overall didnt answer much neither explored in deep the 4 core clones, and i got a feeling they ll be doing the same mistake this season

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