Hello brothers and sestras, welcome to another recap of Orphan Black. Recap = spoilers. Like all of them (literally). SO if you haven’t seen episode 4, “Newer Elements of Our Defense,” we’d highly suggest you turn away now. Thanks!
Well that was a frustrating hour of television, wasn’t it? With more information coming out about the Castor boys by the veritable boatloads these days, it’s amazing that Orphan Black‘s clones are still at odds with one another. But I suppose that’s what military indoctrination does to a clone: makes it really hard to deviate from the script. Still, after last week‘s bombshell reveal that Leda and Castor are biologically related, we expected a little bit more at-the-ready behavior than we got.
Everyone felt a bit off their game, didn’t they? Well, everyone except for Helena, of course — because Helena is an intrepid beast of brutality and brilliance in confined situations. But for the rest of the girls, missteps abounded — particularly with Sarah, which: totally unexpected, right? We’re not sure what’s gotten into the girls but we hope they snap out of it. And soon.
First let’s talk about Cosima though, because hers was the most uneventful storyline of the evening. Why? Because all she did was mope around Felix’s apartment in Delphine’s old things, stuff her face with their favorite treat (eskimo pies), and contemplate just how hard it’s going to be to figure out Ethan Duncan’s cipher without the key. (Oh and she also told us Kira’s stem cells are making her better — hooray!) But that key …it wouldn’t just so happen to be held within those myriad notebooks and scrap papers in Henrik’s ol’ mystery box that Mark and Gracie found, would it? Rhetorical question because it must be: right? It would make sense, too, since we discovered Henrik was the lab assistant to Ethan Duncan’s Leda project, meaning of course he’d have access to those documents. Ooh la la, intrigue and god complexes!
…Except neither Sarah nor Cosima have managed to put those pieces together yet, which is equal parts frustrating and surprising. Sarah acted oddly out of character the whole episode, fumbling and making bad choices in every scenario minus saving Mark’s life and leg. There, her maternal instincts clearly kicked in for the better, but she let her guard down and suffered for it in almost every other instance. Like how long she stayed at the motel room, only to be nabbed by Mark who keeps narcoleptically disco-napping to, y’know, stay alive or whatever.
Speaking of Mark: he’s an interesting cookie, isn’t he? He clearly plays both sides to the middle (Gracie and the Proletheans/Project Castor), making it hard to identify his true allegiances. But after surviving being shot by Angry Kate McKinnon Gone Religious, he refused to go to the hospital lest “his people” find him, which leads us to believe he’s totally rogue/only looking out for himself. Trying to survive, just like Sarah. It’s no wonder they’ve become kindred spirits in a way (how sweet was that moment when their foreheads touched?).
Mark, you see, has been out on his mission to recover the genetic samples from Henrik for over a year. As is standard with his military upbringing — something he and the other clones were indoctrinated into since before he can remember — he’s on the hunt for that genetic material. Only …it’s already been used and abused! In exchange for helping Mark remove the bullet from his leg, Sarah wants answers. And in the process of that they uncover where that material may have gone: before Gracie was born, Henrick and AngryKate allegedly tried to make a clone baby from the original material, only to have it die shortly after birth. But, see, the great thing about this dead baby (said no one, ever, until this moment) is that it holds the original, non-synthetically altered genetic sequence within its DNA, meaning they might be able to create an antidote, using the original material to ferret out which is which.
But it isn’t long before Rudy is on their trail, finding Sarah neck-deep in a gravesite, pulling a tiny coffin out of the ground. Thankfully, Sarah’s second act of idiocy (heading INTO A BUILDING rather than running into the open air of the great outdoors? REALLY SARAH?) gets erased by Mark’s post-disco-nap order drilling. Miracle of miracles, our boy Mark here outranks Rudy, saving Sarah from certain demise at the hand of his shovel.
They boys — of course — don’t let Sarah off all that easily, though, cutting to black before we can see what they did to her. Sarah! Are you alive? Beat up? Being carted off to the mysterious homebase of Castor operations? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out. If we’re being real we sorta hope Sarah ends up at HQ, though: a twin reunion with Helena would be awfully nice right now. The girls have been really separate this season.
Elsewhere in the episode, we were given a bit more plotting than anything else. For Alison, it’s the revelation that Ramon’s drugboss is actually her ex-boyfriend from high school Jason Kellerman. This works in Team Hendrix’s favor — at least on the drug-muling front, looks like Ms. Alison might still have a bit of ladywood for Jason, though. (TWIST.)
And last but not least, we have Helena. Oh Helena, always the scrappy little crazy-genius, isn’t she? If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the entirety of Orphan Black, is to never underestimate Helena. Homegirl knows how to work almost any scenario to her advantage. By tying off her arm she was able to stave off the effects of the sedative Dr. Coady gave her after she went apeshit and fashioning a key out of an old porkchop bone. Naturally, she did this in order to have time to case the place and figure out the layout.
Only the whole thing led her to an even worse discovery: that of Parsons, a clone being kept under brutal circumstances: his brain literally exposed in order for Dr. Coady and her team to perform experiments.
It’s a horrifying bit of business: his skull removed, his body incapacitated. Clearly we underestimated just how desperate the entire Castor operation is to uncover a cure for the male clones’ glitching. Helena, the compassionate and sad lil lonely lady that she is, though, ultimately listens to her heart — and Parsons’ pleasing — and mercy kills the poor lab rat. So much for that casing mission: her murdering of Parsons alerts the whole military operation to her whereabouts. Guess we’re back to square one. Again.
Oh and Gracie apparently lost the baby, meaning the open-arms welcome she got at creepy ol’ blindman Prolethean’s home has been officially rescinded. Her mom’s all BYE FELICIA because her mother is the actual worst, but there’s no way this is the last we’ve seen of Gracie.
Best Quotes and Other Things:
– Most Heartbreaking: “We’ve both been abandoned by our families, left to suffer. I will make it go away. No more pain little one. Sleep now lambchop. Sleep.” – Helena, bringing the feels.
– Most Real Talk: “You say you love boys, but you lie! You’re a shit mother.” – Also Helena, being the boss.
– Funniest/Realest: “Why are you sweatier than usual?” – Alison to Donnie.
– Also, Donnie brought a gun to a drug deal? YOU NEVER BRING A GUN TO A DRUG DEAL.
– Awkwardest/Bestest: “Stick it in fast so it’ll hurt less.” – Mark “You must be one hell of a first date.” – Sarah.
What’d you think of this episode? Leave your thoughts in the comments.