Monday, May 25, 2015

Orphan Black, Season 3, Episode 6: Scarred by Many Past Frustrations

Sarah has several creepy dreams, including Rudy transfusing blood from him into her, and wakes up. With a bandage on her neck suggesting it wasn’t all a dream

Kira is on an iceberg somewhere with Cal where they eat salted fish and skyping with Mrs. S and Felix who try to pretend Sarah is all fine and dandy and everything’s good despite her being missing. Sadly the only research S has managed to drag up is that Sarah is in Mexico somewhere. Gracie’s also around serving tea so she’s not dead.

Cosima wakes up in bed, half naked with an equally half naked Shay being all cute and couply – until Shay asks who Sarah is. Cosima is instantly suspicious that Shay would even know who Sarah is but Shay says Cosima said her name in her sleep. Cosima calls Sarah her friend, like a sister, a wilder version of her.

Cosima goes to work and finds who has been calling hr all morning: Scott warning her that Delphine is back. Set the hostility to max. Cosima isn’t happy, nor is Delphine since Cosima had a Castor brain and Gracie without telling anyone. Delphine has found something in their research though – theirs a unique protein in both the Castor brain (Seth’s brain) and Gracie.

Cosima and Delphine continue to be icy and the temperature drops a few more notches when Felix brings Gracie to the Leda base. They take her for more testing while Felix demands Scott takes him to Rachel.

Paul, having found the creepiest of creepy little black books, takes it (along with its locks of hair and descriptions of women the Castor clones have slept with) to his boss. His boss suggests there may be a non-awful explanation for this. I challenge him to imagine two. Or one. Seriously these books can never be not creepy. Paul isn’t putting up with these excuses – it’s unsanctioned research on civilians and naughty. His boss still demands proof.

Paul returns to the compound to find Sarah extremely sick in the hospital wing; she tells him that the Castors are experimenting on her (really Paul? You didn’t expect this?) Sarah is sure to tell him that a terrible person he is which he thoroughly deserves. When Virginia arrives she also tells them she’s set Rudy after Helena.

Poor Rudy.

Helena didn’t return for Sarah – she is on the run in the desert, Rudy chasing in a jeep. Helena nearly collapses from exhaustion – she’s hungry. So she eats Pupok, her hallucination scorpion.

I… well… behold Helena. Did I mention “poor Rudy”?

Paul questions the doctor about what was done to Sarah and the doctor points out how much has changed while Paul wasn’t paying attention. He tells them about the testing of the hair of the women the Castor clones have “intimate encounters with”. There’s a whole bunch of secret research only Virginia has. So Paul turns to Mark, the only Castor clone with something vaguely, possibly resembling humanity

They examine Virginia’s research even as, in Dyad, Cosima examines Gracie. Separately they both come up with the same conclusion – the Leda disease (which was killing Cosima) and the Castor disease (which killed Seth) are actually the same disease and in the Castor’s it’s an STD: so the women who sleep with Castor men die of the same disease which was killing Cosima (the disease targets women’s ovaries and men’s brains which… is… odd?).

Paul goes to confront Virginia and place her under arrest, he also has her admit that she did transfuse Rudy’s blood into Sarah. But we already know Sarah is immune to the Leda defect (she had a child, the defect hits the ovaries and renders the Leda women sterile).

Sick Sarah hallucinates and sees Beth who reminisces about first moving in with Paul – and how Sarah and Paul are great matches (liars and grifters). It’s a powerful scene of Sarah facing her failing and Beth talking about how the mystery consumed her. She asks why Sarah took her life and Sarah answers the obvious – for Kira. Beth cryptically and ominously says they do terrible things for the people they love – and to stop asking why, start asking who.

Back at Dyad Felix gets to see Rachel and torments and humiliates her to try and get information about the Caster compound and where Sarah is being held. She tells him nothing only asking him to get her out of that place. Felix leaves – but Scott does notice symbols in Rachel’s artwork that looks a lot like Ethan’s research. He tells Cosima that Rachel knows Ethan’s code.

And Gracie confronts the reality that the Leda/Castor illness has made her infertile. The realisation is extremely complicated for her, shaded with her upbringing that told her having a baby was the uber important thing for her making being unable to have one both shocking but almost a relief as well. Felix takes her home leaving Delphine and Cosima to have a moment.

Cosima goes home to Shay while Delphine looks at the stalker pictures she took of the two of them together and hits the hard booze.

Paul calls his boss who plans to have a team there in 6 hours once Paul explains everything Virginia’s done. Except Rudy is still out in the desert and when he hears what happened he returns to base.

Paul tells Sarah everything that’s happened – including Sarah’s immunity to the Castor/Leda disease. Sarah goes to confront Virginia but she’s all awed by Sarah’s immunity. Virginia explains the disease, that it’s the same one and attacks male brains and female ovaries and that Sarah is immune. Virginia handwaves her testing on innocent women and Paul realises that Virginia is trying to weaponise the disease. She thinks they can end wars in a generation without spilling blood…

Rudy returns to camp, kills a guard and frees his brother who I can’t remember. His other brother, Mark, warns Paul that Rudy is out there. He also reveals that Arlington seems to be fine with what Virginia’s doing – no help is arriving. He calls his boss and pretty much gets confirmation before he and Sarah plan to escape.

They ambush Nameless – who stabs Paul repeatedly in the stomach without listening to them, so Paul breaks his neck (Castors don’t last long, there’s only 2 left). Paul is still badly wounded though… He shows Sarah to where to escape – but won’t follow here

The rest of the base is filled with bodies, only Rudy and Virginia left as they goes to the lab to find Paul with the Johannsen foetus (the key to the cure) and all her science. He asks Virginia if Rudy knows what he did to the women he had sex with (Paul holds that the Castor soldiers are victims) and Rudy says he does. Virginia again tries to justify herself – and shoots Paul. He drops the grenade he was holding.

Rudy and Virginia run – but the explosion destroys Paul and everything in the room. Maybe even them – because the explosion is so strong it even knocks Sarah over in the escape tunnel. Where she is found by Helena

She went back for her!

To Alison and Donnie celebrating all their money with near-naked dancing. I… have no words but I think it may be kind of awesome and random and just them. Oh dear gods. And their kids come in in the middle of it which just really sums it up. They quickly segue into being normal suburban parents with schedules – with an edge of drug dealing and Donnie trying to play the sexy jealous man. It’s not a good role for him.

She goes to visit her high school sweet heart dealer, Jason and her desire to escalate their business. All nearly ruined by Donnie showing up, of course. She is furious that he is spending his money so overtly which, as she and the dealer point out, is a red flag for any authorities. They need a front business and to pay taxes.

Such as her mother’s shop, Bubbles, ideal as a front for drug dealing.

Paul is dead. I can’t say I’ll miss him (beyond an eye-candy way) because he annoys the hell out of me. He continually, from the very first episode, did terrible, manipulative, deceptive things while always pretending he was trying to be a good guy. His repeated oh-so-shocked attitude to revelations of blatant evil from the evil organisations he was working for were frustrating in the extreme and the excuses he peddled were too weak even for self-delusion.

This isn’t necessarily bad per se but I think it went too far, Paul’s denial of what was so blatantly in front of him made it hard for me to believe his character and not think of him as a villain who was just lying. Turning it round and revealing that he actually believed his own bullshit as… surprising.

“we can end wars in a generation without spilling blood.” Uh… the disease kills people. It was killing Cosima, it did kill Seth, it has killed several women the Castor’s slept with. How does this end wars without blood? And that’s aside from the only possible interpretation – it ends wars without spilling blood by rendering an entire population infertile. She looking for a genocide disease (and I don’t think that would even work with an STD; as we’ve already seen).

Allison, Allison, Allison… aaie, you know I actually kind of love their storyline? I think it’s hilarious, I think it would make a great new show or even an insert into, say, season 1. But it has no place here. Especially since everyone else is now very much on the same track – either finding Sarah in the Castor base or researching the Castor/Leda illness. As everyone else gets more and more focused on the same track, Allison being so outside of everything becomes more and more glaring especially since their storyline isn’t just separate, but so different in theme. It’s like a tense psychological thriller decided to have a slap-stick interval.

I know I always hail Tatiana Maslany’s acting skill but every episode we have another awesome example. Like now, she hallucinates and goes to see Beth. How does she make each clone so recognisable, even Beth who lacks blatant signifiers like Cosima’s dreadlocks or Helena’s hair or Alison’s pony tail? Sure Beth has that little hair bun – but she’s still so recognisably separate.