SPOILER ALERT: Please do not read on unless youâ€™ve seen the Season 3, Episode 2 of Orphan Black, titled â€œTransitory Sacrifices of Crisis.â€
One down already, and weâ€™re only two episodes in!
Deranged and obviously defective Project Castor clone Seth was shot to death by his brother Rudy, who either couldnâ€™t bear to see Seth suffer anymore, or couldnâ€™t be bothered to continue cleaning up his messes. Seth, we hardly knew ye. I will miss that moustache. It seems rather early in the Orphan Black season to bid farewell to such a potentially rich character (not to mention the possible dynamics between he and his brothers), but it might be a device to draw our attention to the obvious comparison pairing: Helena and Sarah.
I could argue that Helena is â€œdefectiveâ€ like Seth, but I donâ€™t really see her that way. I see her as a product of abuse, hyper-intelligent, and street-smart. Yes, her one confidante at the moment is a scorpion, but you try being in a crate for an extended period of time and see how youâ€™re doing! Anyway, we can see how much Sarah is driven by her desire to save her sisterâ€”no matter what the cost. Enough, in this case, to send Kira to Iceland with Cal (oh, Cal) so she can resume her Helena search-and-rescue without endangering her daughter.
And Helena, even though sheâ€™s been sold to the bad guys by Mrs. S., is still loyal to her sisters. When Dr. Coady (â€œMommyâ€) tries to sway her with platitudes and compliments, Helena simply utters â€œI donâ€™t believe you.â€ At this point, she still believes she has an ally in Sarah and the girls, and thereâ€™s no way Sarah betrayed her. Sheâ€™s right, of course, but itâ€™s only a matter of time (and waterboarding) before Helena is reprogrammed to go against her fellow Project Leda members. Lest we forget that sheâ€™s pregnant, tooâ€”a very valuable thing to every camp on the show.
Seeing Cal, Paul and Art for the first time in Season 3 reminded me just how weak the male characters are (with the exceptions of Felix and Donnie). Cal exists as a device to take care of Kira and physically protect someone when he needs to, plus heâ€™s easy on the eyes; Paul is also the stereotypical â€œhotâ€ guy, but he doesnâ€™t really do much of anything other than threaten on occasion and lurk in the shadows; and oh man, Art. I can see heâ€™s no better at policing than he was in the series premiere.
On one hand, as Iâ€™ve expounded above, itâ€™s irritating to have all these fringe male characters (other than the clones) just popping up when necessary to move the plot forward. But on the other hand, itâ€™s interesting to see the gender flip, and I wonder how many current TV shows have unjustifiably weak female characters, merely there to be eye candy. On a show like Orphan Black, which is female-strong, I think itâ€™s an acceptable thing (for now) to have these supplemental people contribute now and then.
Ari Millen was more prominently featured in this episode, and that was a pleasure. Obviously an outstanding actor, he brings a lot of charisma to the male clones. He is at once convincingly scary (as Rudy) but also sincere (as Mark). I think itâ€™s going to be fun watching him unpack the characters over the remaining eight episodes. His scenes with Tatiana are just a joy.
I am also a big fan of the nerd duo, Cosima and Scott. With Delphine â€œaway in Europeâ€ (a.k.a. Evelyne Brochu shooting another TV show), the two scientists are working together to figure out where they stand with Dyad. Theyâ€™ve got the key to Ethanâ€™s work, and thatâ€™s their ace in the hole. Weâ€™ll have to wait and see how they wield it.
As for the Alison, Donnie and Ramon side-plot, I donâ€™t want to spend too much time on it because I think itâ€™s ridiculous. As much as I love to watch the married couple bicker and be silly, the idea of running for school-board trustee while being everyoneâ€™s drug dealer just makes no sense. Why would anyone willingly elect their drug dealer in a position involved with their childâ€™s education? Alison would have no power over these people. Sure, she knows that they do drugs, but so what? Surely there are other ways to get money. I donâ€™t know, the whole thing just seems very random.
Weâ€™ve trudged through the beginning here, but the through-line for the season seems clear: Sarah is now on the hunt for Helena, phalanxed by Mrs. S., Felix and her sisters, and Project Castor (along with Mommy) and Dyad are after them. Like Sarah says: â€œNow we find Helena and finish this shit.â€
Keep it simple, Orphan Black.
Clone of the Week: Rudy. Convincingly terrifying and engaging, I wanted to see more of him. Also, second episode in a row featuring Ari Millenâ€™s ass.
- Anyone else counting the minutes until Mrs. S. and Mommy throw down? Mother-figure fight!
- Thanks to the readers for pointing out my errors last weekâ€”I could swear Alison said â€œdiddle,â€ but apparently it was â€œdoodle.â€ Also, the new Leda clone is spelled â€œKrystal,â€ not â€œCrystal.â€ Love you Orphan Black fans, so dedicated!
- Felix on the new clone phones: â€œBlue as the skies of Lesbos!â€
- Donnie: â€œFist me.â€
- The fake moustache budget for this show has now substantially declined.
- That hockey-in-the-house scene with Cal, Kira and Sarah was so contrived I had to hold in my laughter.
- Michiel Huisman (Cal) is so drastically underused on this show, itâ€™s almost criminal. See: Game of Thrones.
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.