[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Orphan Black's Season 3 premiere. Read at your own risk!]
"Holy doodle... here we go!"
Thanks for expressing my sentiments exactly, Alison. Orphan Black returned for its third season Saturday with enough clone-swapping, intrigue and laughs to satisfy all of us in the Clone Club. Although I'm still not sure if I'm on board with Project Castor, we got a healthy dose of our Leda girls (and maybe a glimpse of a hitherto unknown blonde clone?).
I have thoughts about the premiere, so let's just dive right in:
Hell no, Helena! How did Helena become the most endearing of all the Leda clones in just one season? Remember when she was scary and killed her own mom? Anyway, her baby shower fantasy made me realize I'd love to live in a world of her own devising, complete with a foreign language cover of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" and baskets full of babka and kielbasa. Unfortunately, the reality was that she was abducted and imprisoned in a crate (with a talking scorpion?!). Apparently Game of Thrones and Project Castor use the same large-mammal shipping company because those crates look far too well-suited for humans. And she's pregnant... so we may hear her mutter "my babies" sometime this season. What will those hormones and cravings do to her?
Sarah the sadist It's kind of silly when I know how amazing Tatiana Maslany is as an actress to constantly be surprised at just how nuanced the performances are. The clone-swapping scenes aren't just filled with dramatic irony and humor because we're in on the secret, but they're also fascinating to see how subtly Maslany makes the Leda clones break character so you know that there are two layers going on. In this instance, you have to respect Sarah's dedication to finding Helena because while posing as Rachel, she not only stayed on message but also picked up on all of Ferdinand's cues and gave him the ride of his life, but not before buckling him up for safety. He and Rachel apparently had quite an understanding in the bedroom. Fortunately, Sarah also stopped Helsinki from happening all over again, which was apparently code for an operation to kill all the Leda clones.
An acting gig for Alison Following last year's disaster of a musical, apparently Delphine decided Alison was still able to handle playing Sarah. Yep, a double clone-swap episode! After all, Sarah as Rachel couldn't very well interrogate herself now could she? Alison as Sarah laid it on a bit thick with the "Oy, oy, Rachel," but not bad for a soccer mom. It's Alison's personal story line, however, that really has me intrigued this season. There is nothing better than Alison with a grudge, and I love how Donnie says, "Marci's got to go!" as if he'd want to off her like he did Leekie. Let's see where Alison's competitive spirit takes the Hendrixes next.
Crying with Cosima Having one of the clones with a genetic illness creates higher stakes, but after a season of her coughing and being miserable, I'm more than ready for Kira's stem cells to do their magic. So far, I'm hopeful since her temperature stabilized and she's on the quest to unlock Duncan's cipher using The Island of Dr. Moreau notes. As for Delphine... ugh. I've always put up with her since she made Cosima happy, but I don't think I can say that anymore. They just seem toxic for each other. Leave our girl alone! Also... what was that about the out-of-body experience last season? Cosima referenced it again to Kira, so it looks like we may be exploring that. How will she reconcile that with science?
Rachel's recovery As the doctors extracted the pencil from Rachel's eye, I assessed it with the trained eye of someone who pretends to know what I'm doing when I check my oil. What was that — maybe 5 inches of blood on that thing? Orphan Black successfully made me Google "trauma to the frontal lobe," and the possibilities could be detrimental to her memory, increase impulsiveness or even affect her personality. The only other real thing of note about her plot this episode is that it exposed Delphine's ruthless side when she jammed her thumb into Rachel's injured socket. Ouch! I've never liked/feared Delphine so much.
Project Castor Mark the Prolethian was the only one we got to know previously, and I have no emotional connection. As for crazy "Scarface" Rudy... well, he seems to have taken the mantle from Felix for most toned tush. Like any scary dude with homicidal tendencies, he likes to work out in the buff (why is that a thing?). He also threatened Sarah and told her to count her sisters, which makes me instantly dislike him. As for Seth, the one with the tiny mustache, he beat up Mrs. S, but since she sold out Helena, I'm totally OK with that. Also, I don't feel the same connection and ownership as I do with the Leda clones. Is that deliberate? Will that change? And how many configurations of facial hair do you think we'll see? I vote for Mutton Chops Clone next.
A new Leda clone? It was hard to tell from the elevator footage, but it certainly seemed that Rudy was romancing a blonde Leda clone named Crystal. "Crystal never knew what she was made of, found it all very confusing," Rudy noted. And then of course, he also said that Sarah was "made of the good stuff." This Castor perspective, having been raised self-aware of being clones, seems to have affected the way they think of people — less as individuals and more as their components. It's disturbing.
"Enjoy your oophorectomy." — Sarah, reciting my favorite Rachel line from last season.
Ferdinand: "Who's a dirty clone?"
Sarah as Rachel: "You are..." (places foot strategically)
"Rachel has powerful friends, and you put a pencil in her eye." — Delphine to Sarah
Ferdinand: "Do you remember my safety word?"
Sarah as Rachel: "No." (strangles him)
"I can beat her, Donnie. I can beat her like a French meringue." — Alison to Donnie in scenes from next week's episode.
And not so much a quote, but Helena's blissful reaction after eating the babka pretty much sums up how I feel about Orphan Black's return.
What did you think of the episode? What were your favorite moments?
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9/8c on BBC America.
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