Clone Club, suit up and prepare for battle.
It's the Project Leda clones versus the Project Castor clones on the upcoming third season of Orphan Black, aka the Clone Wars (apologies to George Lucas). The first salvo was fired at the end of last season, when Helena (Tatiana Maslany) was spirited away from her sestras by Castor's military boys. "We pick up very close to where we left off, not quite the same moment, but a day later," executive producer Graeme Manson tells TVguide.com. "Sarah isn't aware that somebody has grabbed Helena at this point. Sarah's hoping they can take a breath and relax, but it didn't seem like it at the end of last season."
If you've forgotten what happened in Season 2 or gotten your clones conflated, we're here to straighten you out before the Season 3 premiere on Saturday (9/8c, BBC America) and give you a glimpse of the insanity to come:
Where we left off: Our hero escaped her oophorectomy intact by shooting her captor in the eye with a pencil, reunited with her sisters for the ultimate clone dance party and learned of a young girl named Charlotte, the only successful clone created 20 years after Project Leda.
What's next: Sarah will speak to Castor clone Rudy, who is a real piece of work (see below) and then do what she (reluctantly) does best: clone swap! But which of her sisters will be she masquerading as this time? Hint: While she's playacting, she'll try to find help for Helena.
Where we left off: Alison had a tough year after getting out of rehab, but she reconnected with her husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and the two bonded over his accidental killing of Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer).
What's next: Team Hendrix and their marriage are still going strong this year, which is handy when Alison decides she wants to try her hand at something a little more serious than last year's musical. "Alison is very determined this year to carve out a little normalcy in her suburban community," Manson says.
Where we left off: After designing Sarah's pencil-gun, Cosima had a near-death experience but came to just in time to realize that the copy of The Island of Dr. Moreau that Project Leda's lead scientist gave to Kira (Skyler Wexler) may hold the key to deciphering a cure for Cosima.
What's next: "Cosima's had a stem-cell treatment from Kira's blood, and experimental treatments like the one she's going through will have ebbs and flows," Manson says. "Cosima is fighting on a spiritual front as well as on a scientific front this season." She will also enlist some help in trying to crack Duncan's code.
Where we left off: After escaping the Prolethians (who were trying to get her pregnant via in vitro fertilization) and dancing with her sestras, Helena got herself nabbed by the Castor clones.
What's next: "Our little monster is pregnant," Manson confirms. So that makes the twins -- Sarah and Helena -- the only two clones who are able to conceive. And since this is Helena we're talking about, expect her to indulge in pregnancy cravings and react to her confinement in her own adorably bizarre way.
Where we left off: To cap off a truly stellar day in which she watched her father kill himself in front of her, Rachel then got a pencil rammed in her eye. Ouch.
What's next: Good news! The pencil is out. Bad news! It went in pretty deep.
Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu)
Where we left off: Rachel appointed Delphine to be the interim director of Dyad's cloning program post-Leekie. As a result, she was transferred her to Frankfurt, leaving Delphine no option but to send a farewell email to Cosima while on the plane.
What's next: She's back and determined to work for the good of all the clones, but it's not necessarily a warm and fuzzy reunion for Cophine. "It's a conflicted relationship," Manson explains. "Delphine is forced to make hard choices for the good of Cosima, and Cosima bucks against those choices and fights for her own independence."
Felix Dawkins (Jordan Gavaris)
Where we left off: After recovering from being sedated by Rachel, he and the Clone Club danced the night away.
What's next: Felix will continue to be the glue holding the sisters together and we'll see him spend more time with the recovering Cosima. "With her he's really relaxed. They're equals, there's no disparity," Gavaris says. "It's great to see a different kind of friendship, a different kind of love. This season he's trying to keep the family unit together because there's a big fracture."
Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce)
Where we left off: It was revealed that Paul was a double agent and made a deal with Sarah's foster mother Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) to hand over Helena to Castor.
What's next: "The cloud of that deal is going to run through the first two-thirds of the season," Manson says. "We get to know his motivation. We've seen Paul make great sacrifices to help Sarah in the past. He certainly has a place in his heart for Sarah." Hey, isn't there another guy who's into Sarah? Oh yeah...
Cal Morrison (Michiel Huisman)
Where we left off: The lumberjack/tech genius/baby daddy figured out Dyad all on his own through hacking and then met with the Clone Club pre-dance party to show off his beard and get their approval.
What's next: Cal is totally there for Sarah and Kira, and has visions of white picket fences, but he may have to rejigger his plans when he receives a special surprise visit.
Mark (Ari Millen)
Where we left off: Shocker! The former Prolethian is apparently a former Project Castor member who went off on his own, got a belt buckle and then married Prolethian girl Gracie (Zoe De Grand'Maison). Like all Castor clones, he was originally raised in the military.
What's next: He's on the lam with Gracie, who's now pregnant with her dad (ew!) and Helena's spawn. He could be a pivotal person and it remains to be seen if he'll ally himself with the Leda clones (whom he's kind of, sort of related to by marriage now) or his brothers at Castor. Or is there a third option?
Who he is: Technically, his face isn't all that fresh, since he's the Castor clone we met imprisoned in Marian Bowles' (Michelle Forbes) basement last season. He's also nicknamed "Scarface" because of, well, a scar.
What to expect: The nickname, the crazy eyes, the mohawk ... yep, Rudy is creepy and enjoys scaring people, especially Sarah. Millen says, "He likes to get under people's skin. He'll pick at you until you blow up and then he's won." And although he's loyal to his Castor brothers, he's also ruthless when necessary.
Who he is: A Castor clone who's still in deep with the military.
What to expect: He'll be instrumental in the Helena story line.
Who he is: He's a mustachioed Castor clone.
What to expect: He'll have a run-in with one of Sarah's family members and later inadvertently reveal a Castor secret.
Ferdinand (James Frain)
Who he is: The man is charming, cultured, stone-cold and has ties to an ethically fluid organization. Remind you of anyone we already know on this show?
What to expect: He will have a semi-enjoyable encounter with at least two of the Project Leda clones, but don't expect him to see eye-to-eye on their agenda.
Jason Kellerman (Justin Chatwin)
Who he is: One of Alison's old flames.
What to expect: He'll run into her "in a typically crazy and hilarious Alison fashion" and is tied to her new goal in life. Should Donnie be worried?
Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper)
Who she is: A military doctor and adviser.
What to expect: She may seem rather sympathetic to one of the Leda clones but is hiding an agenda that even her superiors don't suspect.
Shay (Ksenia Solo)
Who she is: A cheery holistic healer.
What to expect: She'll make a new friend among the Leda clones.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Who he is: The 34th president of the United States. Duh!
What to expect: He's not a character on the show per se, but he did have a behind-the-scenes influence. Orphan Black's science and story consultant, the real-life Cosima Herter, chooses the inspiration for the episode titles each season: Season 1's text was Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, and Season 2's was Francis Bacon's Plan of the Work. This year, it's the speech that Eisenhower delivered when he was leaving the presidency that provided the episode titles for Season 3. Executive producer John Fawcett explains, "The Eisenhower farewell address really hit a number of thematic elements that really were important to us in Season 3... technology and science and warfare. It's about the military-industrial complex, and since the Castor clones are a military product, it spoke volumes to us." Check out the titles of the first six episodes below:
Episode 1: "The Weight of This Combination"
Episode 2: "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis"
Episode 3: "Formalized, Complex, and Costly"
Episode 4: "Newer Elements of Our Defense"
Episode 5: "Scarred by Many Past Frustrations"
Episode 6: "Certain Agony of the Battlefield"
What are your hopes for the Clone Club? Do you want to see Helena be a mom? Will Project Castor and Leda learn to get along... or will they destroy each other?
Orphan Black returns Saturday at 9/8c on BBC America and across all the AMC networks channels.
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