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Orphan Black #CloneClub Recap: “Formalized, Complex, and Costly”

"Go sell a house, Marci!"

OB3_EP303_D5_OCT20_SW_0140 (1)

“Now would not be a great time for a phone call.”

Welcome to this week’s Orphan Black #CloneClub Recap! Episode 3 of the season, “Formalized, Complex, and Costly” finds a lot of secrets getting spilled and some new information being discovered about both the Leda and the Castor clones. Let’s dive in!

S3, Episode 3 – The Basics:

  • Art (Kevin Hanchard) comes to see Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) because he has a lead on Mark, and ends up seeing dead Seth (Ari Millen) in Sarah and Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) tub. He agrees to let that slide (they have a brain to investigate, after all!), and he and Sarah go off to find Mark. First, they go to see Alexis, the midwife (played by Tatyana Maslany’s acting double, Kathryn Alexandre), and she tells them that Mark and Gracie ran off together after Helena burned down the ranch. Alexis is not a fan of Sarah’s. They question an associate of the Proletheans, William Finch (Nicholas Campbell), about Mark’s whereabouts. While he doesn’t know Mark, he does know Gracie, and he tips them off as to where she is. Several times during their investigation, Art expresses intense guilt over Beth’s death and not having listened to her when she tried to explain her problems to him, thinking them all drug related. Later, as Sarah is convincing Art that he should go back to the station, and let her pursue Gracie and Mark, Art confesses his love for Beth, and admits that he always comes to Sarah because she and Beth share the same “fierceness.” Sarah coincidentally spots Gracie in the same diner where she was talking to Art, and talks to her – telling her that Mark is a clone, and begging her to tell her where he is. Sarah goes back to Finch’s on Gracie’s tip, and finds Mark. She tells him some very important information about the relationship between the Leda Clones and the Castor clones that she got in a phone call from Cosima. Mark is about to shoot her, but doesn’t.
  • Mark and Gracie (Zoe de Grand’Maison) are “laying low,” and after consummating their hubby/wife status, Mark tells her that he’s with the military and that he has to do one last thing before he can get away from them. Which is sort of true. They’re on the hunt for the original genetic material from the Leda clones. They think that Finch might have it, so Gracie goes in, using her history with him and his history with her family to get it from him. But when the box she returns with contains nothing but notebooks, Mark decides to go back himself, believing that Finch was holding out on her. Mark tortures Finch, and Finch dies of a heart attack. Sarah finds Mark shortly thereafter, and tells him news that horrifies him. The Leda clones and the Castor clones are genetically siblings, which means that the original donors were siblings! (Thanks, science!) Mark runs away horrified, and is about to get into his car when he gets shot! It turns out that Gracie’s mom, Bonnie (Kristin Booth), found Gracie and convinced her to come back into the Prolethean fold. She has then killed Mark to ensure that her daughter won’t leave again – because she still has a purpose.
Mark-and-Sarah-Faceoff (2)

“Cool story, sestra.”

  • Meanwhile, Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) have started their “pharmaceutical entrepreneur” business by disguising it as a homemade soap business, and it’s started to go a long way in gaining her support in her run for school trustee. Her rival, Marci Coates (Amanda Brugel) doesn’t like this one bit. Marci almost stumbles onto their drug enterprise, but sees nothing but soap, and after a bunch of catty threats, Alison dismisses her. Go sell a house, Marci!
  • Back in the sort-of Middle East, or wherever the military are holding Helena, Rudy is brought in and reprimanded by Paul (Dylan Bruce) and Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) for killing Seth. However, he lets them know that he had to, because Seth was “Stage 5” in his glitching, and had to be put down. In a creepy “mother-son” scene between Rudy and Dr. Coady, he starts crying over it and sucking his thumb. He then threatens Helena in her cell, to which she replies One day, I’ll kill you all! while cheerfully making gun sounds.
  • Cosima has cut into Seth’s brain with Scott (Josh Vokey), and discovers the connection between the Leda clones and the Castor clones. She also starts getting increasingly metaphysical, wondering aloud what Seth saw before he died.
  • Dr. Coady and Paul discuss why they’re holding Helena. She doesn’t have the defect that the Castor clones seem to have, and they want to know why. In the meantime, it’s Dr. Coady’s job to find the cure for the glitch, and it’s Paul’s job to keep the Castors safe in the field. Dr. Coady insists that she wants Rudy back in the field to retrieve Mark. Well, that’s not gonna happen…

“Stop being such a Momma’s Boy and get out in the field.”

The Awesome:

  • This was the most tightly-written episode this season, with most of the plot threads connecting around the search for the genetic material. However, they didn’t sacrifice brilliant character moments in order to do that. Watching Gracie come to terms with how she’s been lied to, Art revealing his feelings for Beth (and Sarah?), Rudy need his mother’s love and approval, and Cosima explore her metaphysical side was compelling, because these moments were done simply and organically.
  • Alison’s story provided all the comedy and relief from the main story arc that we needed! I love how into-it Donny is getting, and I love that Alison is just sticking it to Marci at every opportunity and never backing down. While all the other clones are pretty single-minded in their missions, I really enjoy that Alison is both trying to provide for and protect her family, and prove herself as an individual to be reckoned with after a life of being a soccer mom. Helena is still my favorite clone, but Alison is a close second, because her journey has really interesting layers.
  • Moments of female badassery: Gracie taking on Finch, Alison taking on Marci, Helena taking on Rudy and Paul, and yes, even Bonnie taking on Mark – all examples of women being like You know what? You can do what you want to me, but you’ll never control me. 
  • I love how Rudy and Mark are each dealing with being Castor clones. While Rudy feels the strongest connection to his brothers, Mark wants nothing more than to pull away and be his own person – and that juxtaposition is fascinating. Now that Mark is presumably out of the picture, I’d be curious to see how Miller really feels about all this. We haven’t seen much from him.

“It’s so good to see you not playing the back of a clone’s head!”


The Not-So-Awesome:

  • Once again, Felix doesn’t get to do much. WTF?
  • Gracie happening to be at the same diner where Sarah is? A bit too coincidental for me. Also, with regard to Gracie, having learned all she’s learned, it seems unlikely that she’d willingly go back with her mother, Mark or no Mark, after having already had the fortitude to run away in the first place. Now, it’s likely that she is helpless and has no money, that would be reason to go back…I just hope that in future episodes that she’s progressing and not regressing.
  • The military base scenes are always the most boring ones (except for Helena, natch). I’ll be glad when we can follow Rudy in the field again. Either that, or the military plot needs to become real apparent and real interesting real fast!

What did you think, Clone Club?

That’s it for this week! Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9PM EST on BBC America. If you missed last week’s recap, CHECK IT OUT HERE. Also, make sure you’re reading our Orphan Black Science Recaps, which walk you through the plausibility of the science of each episode! See you next Monday! Til then, go sell a house!

(Images via BBC America)

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