Monday, May 11, 2015

Orphan Black, Season 3, Episode 4: Newer Elements in Our Defence

Sarah just saw Bonnie, scary Prolethean lady, apparently shoot Mark. Sarah wants none of that, especially not with the ominous music playing, she hides and runs, grabbing Mark’s pistol on the way. In the cornfield she finds Mark – wounded and bleeding but still alive (seriously Evil Bonnie, you couldn’t manage a lethal shot at that range?). She decides to help him, something even he doesn’t understand and drags him away before the cultists can find them (which means the cultists are just damned lazy, to be honest. Cults just can’t get good help these days).

Sarah takes Mark to safety where they have to get the bullet out of his leg for REASONS (bullets are not generally radioactive poison factories that need removing from the body RIGHT NOW or, even, at all for that matter – but you do have a good chance of causing a load of extra damage rooting around for them in amateur, non-sterile surgery). So time for the wound to be cut open with a dirty knife and Sarah to shove her unwashed fingers into Mark’s leg. If you wanted to kill him there are less cruel methods (oh wait they pour vodka on things which makes it all ok). Points for “stick it in fast it won’t hurt,” “god you must be one hell of a first date.”

He tells her all he knows and how the Castors are raised in a very different way to the Leda clones (they’re all raised together with no outside contacts). He also tells her about the stash of “junk” which is all they got from Johanssen, which Sarah is very interested in because she knows what treasures can lurk in this junk. When Mark passes out she leaves with his key –but calls an ambulance for him. Of course this puts Mark back on the Castor radar.

At Felix’s Cosima is spending her time working on the confusing science left by Ethan in the book he gave Kira and pining after Delphine. Felix, recognising his eternal role as providing comfort and support to everyone around him quickly diagnoses this and moves in to help like a good little servant. He takes her drinking so she can unload and introduces her to online dating.

Sarah finds the box of junk Mark had and sees that Johanssen was Ethan Duncan’s (the guy who started Castor and Leda going) lab assistant. Since it’s all science she calls Cosima to bring her up to date and connect the dots. Reading the books it’s clear Johanssen used what he stole from Ethan to make his own clone; basically they’re not looking for tissue samples Johanssen may have on ice from the Castor original, they’re looking for a clone, Johanssen’s son – and the woman who carried the child. Sarah finds a picture –it’s Evil Bonnie, pregnant.

Over to Evil Bonnie - she and Grace return to the Creepy Cult – they have a whole new centre now and a new host: Mr. Appleyard. He is extra specially creepy and the cult has already set the creepy bar high. He uses the excuse of being blind to grope her and obsess about her clone baby.

Except Gracie starts feeling severe pain – and she starts bleeding. They decide urgent prayer is needed which, unlike actual medical attention, doesn’t actually do anything and Grace miscarries. Evil Bonnie, being Evil, blames it all on Grace because EVIL SINNER! She banishes Grace as the only reason they welcomed her back was for the baby. Evil Bonnie is not a nice lady.

Mark doesn’t end up in hospital – he follows Sarah back to the motel and holds her at gun point (which is kind of like a whole family ritual now). Mark knows about this missing Castor son of Johannsen’s – but it died as a baby. They go to the grave of Abel Johanssen. Yay Sarah time to dig up a dead baby – she’s not having the best night. While doing so she explains to Mark her connection with Helena and excuses a lot of what Helena has done due to the way she was raised. She also keeps calling Mark “brother”

But he passes out from his injuries just as Sarah unearths the baby body and scar-faced Castor shows up. He may get another scar since Sarah whams him in the face with a shovel. Cat and mouse game follows in which this Castor shows that he is the creepiest Castor of all – but just as he catches Sarah Mark shows up and orders him to stand down. Seems Mark outranks Creepy – and Creepy Castor tries lots of threats and bravado but ultimately won’t kill his big brother. They take the box – but they also consider Sarah a loose end.

To the military base where Helena is being kept. She has a plan (and I am both afraid and gleeful over this). Tying a tourniquet over her arm she then freaks out, trashing her room, throwing her shit bucket and generally being worrisome. So she gets tranquilised by “Mother” – in the arm she just applied a tourniquet to. Clever Helena.

Since they think she’s unconscious they leave her alone with her happy hallucination scorpion. She scouts around fighting the drugs – before she passes out she finds a lab. Her scorpion leads her back to her sick bed. She also spends her nights carving a weapon from a chicken bone with her teeth. Honestly, there are few things more terrifying than Helena held hostage. She’s so determined and creative.

Helena uses her chicken bone lock pick to escape and returns to the science lab she found – there she finds Parsons, another Castor clone tied to a chair. They’ve sliced off the top of his skull and his brains are exposed – and yes, he is still alive. All part of their drive to find a cure. He begs her to kill him. The scorpion disapproves of her wasting valuable escape time but Helena is more compassionate identifying with the clone who has been abandoned by his family. She kills him

Mother arrives to see that but Helena is now supremely pissed after what she’s seen and calls her a ”shit mother” before the guards take her which is something of an understatement. Well she lost any chance she had of winning Helena over

Allison and Donny continue their little drug dealing escapade though Donny doesn’t really have the nerves for this. Allison is just freakily organised about the whole thing. The person following Donnie isn’t the police though, it’s Ramon’s supplier who isn’t exactly pleased with them taking over the business without sending any money his way. The boss wants to meet and his minion not-very-subtly mentions the names of their kids.

They attend the meeting and Donnie brings a gun which Allison thinks is a bad idea given his past experience with firearms. Of course they’re searched (Allison first because she’s clearly the more dangerous one – the boss doesn’t even want to talk to Donnie).

Turns out the big boss is a man called Jason who went to school with (and dated) Allison. Freaky reunion time –he also still has a major crush on Allison and lots of flirting happens. Allison’s also still a business women and, since she knows the community, she’s sure she can make a lot more money than Ramon ever could – they make a deal

Much as I love all things Helena, my acute loathing of scorpions means I’m throwing this back to Renee so I can go back to skipping those scenes. Especially if she’s going to let it crawl on her hand, gaaaaaah. Though her scenes are incredible and, I have to say yet again, that Tatiana Maslaney is an acting mutant with super powers.

Sarah and Allison don’t need Felix at their beck and call at the moment, so he’s moved on to being  a good little helper to another clone – at least him being the support in Cosima’s life means he’s playing GBF to a lesbian and not another straight woman which I guess is a step up.

Allison the drug dealer – I’m torn. On the one hand it’s funny and weird and cheesey and silly and unbelievable and kind of a fun relief from the rather unrelenting grimness everywhere else – but it feels less relief and more like a complete nonsequiter. Like some dropped the scripts from two different shows and got a few scenes mixed in that have no place here. Not just in terms of plot, but theme, tension, everything just feels too out of place.

Ok let’s unpack this. So Ethan made the Castor and (I think) Leda originals who are related. As to why and the difference in upbringing et al I’m just going to say “for science!” and probably throw in some cackling. Both of these clones have health issues that make acquiring the originals to do some hasty DNA patching a major goal. Johansen (Henrik, head of the Proletheans) stole the research and made his own clone – another Castor (Everyone assumes) and Evil Bonnie carried that child. It’s complicated but when you lay it all out we can see the connections forming – I find Orphan Black is one of those shows where it just helps to draw out a big chart now and then.