Orphan Black #CloneClub Recap: “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”
"It's one of those bad [colds] that messes with your... syntax."
Welcome to this week’s Orphan Black #CloneClub Recap! Episode 9 of the season, “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow,” gave us the ANSWER TO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ON THE SHOW! Which, of course, only leads to more questions. Spoilers, of course. Let’s dive in!
Rudy has started to glitch, which makes Dr. Coady all the more determined to find the Castor Original.
Helena is settling right into her role as babysitter/soap-maker for Alison and Donnie. She might be going a little overboard, though. When practicing tae kwon do with Alison’s daughter, Gemma, her coaching went into eye-gouging territory, which Gracie thankfully stopped before it went too far. Gracie then said goodbye to Helena, telling her that she had to go to a doctor’s appointment but hugged Helena a little too long for it to be a doctor’s appointment. Hmmm.
Meanwhile, Donnie was hiding his face from everyone (especially Alison) after his run-in with Jason. He gets a visit from Ponchy’s enforcer at Bubbles saying that Jason now no longer vouches for them, so Donnie needs to give them their pills or their money back. The enforcer sees the tank with Helena’s embryos in it, and saying “This looks important,” takes it as collateral until Donnie produces what Ponchy wants.
When Donnie goes home for the pills, Helena sees his injured face. After tending to his wounds (with a mint concoction she learned to make for bruises when she and the other orphans were getting beaten by nuns in Ukraine), and demanding to know the truth of what happened, Donnie tells her about Ponchy and the stolen embryos. Helena agrees to go with him to take care of biddness. And take care of it she does. Donnie gives them the pills and gets the tank, but when Helena comes in impersonating Alison (HILARIOUS!) to check on Donnie, and Donnie asks for reimbursement for the pills he’s giving back, Ponchy says that he and Alison “work for [him] now,” Ponchy’s daughter threatens the lives of Donnie’s kids, and Avenging Angel Helena springs into action. “You should not threaten babies.”
We don’t see exactly what happens. All we know is that after sending Donnie out of the warehouse, she comes out a while later looking like this:
So, Helena pretty much sliced and diced her way into drug dealer money, grabbing way more than what was originally owed Donnie. And as horrified as Donnie was by whatever it was that Helena did, when they got home and she genuinely thanks him for saving her embryos, he seems to have warmed to her in spite of everything. Alison comes home to find Donnie’s face all messed up, and more money in their freezer than they’ve ever had.
Cosima has started to become suspicious of Shay, thanks to the File Folder of Mystery on her that Delphine gave her before she left Dyad. Mostly because of a photo of Shay in the military (could she be working with the Castors??). Worried that her budding feelings for Shay blinded her to possible danger, and fearing that she put her sisters in danger because of it, she goes back to Dyad and tells Delphine that Sarah, Felix, and Mrs. S have gone to London in search for the Castor Original, based on the info provided by Rachel. Sure that Shay is responsible for leaking information about Dr. Duncan’s cipher, Delphine pays Shay a threatening visit to get information out of her. But that’s when Cosima calls her with the news…
Gracie didn’t have a doctor’s appointment at all. She calls Cosima to thank her and to apologize, but she was the one who told the military about the book so that she could be with Mark. So, she’s leaving with him forever, and she’s completely screwed Clone Club. Dun-dun-DUUUUUUUUUUUN!
And now, for the meat of the episode (as if all that weren’t meaty enough!). Sarah, Felix, and Mrs. S go to London in search of the Castor original. They meet up with an old associate of Mrs. S’s—Terrence—who lets them know that the number Rachel wrote down after the nursery rhyme when decoding the cipher is actually an old-school prison number, and he agrees to find out whose number it was, as that number would belong to the Castor Original!
However, Terrence wasn’t entirely forthcoming. He’s also been working with Ferdinand from Topside, but when he doesn’t let Ferdinand know that Mrs. S and Co. are in town immediately, Ferdinand has someone beat the living snot out of him. Mrs. S finds him just in time for him to give her the name associated with the prison number before he dies, but rather than pursue it, Mrs. S immediately wants to go home.
Sarah, because she’s Sarah, can’t leave it alone, she steals Terrence’s phone and calls the number associated with the last incoming call. That ends up summoning Kasoff, the guy who hid Sarah and Felix when they were little. He gives them the name he gave Terrence—Kendall Malone—and takes them to the address associated with that name. As Sarah goes into the apartment to kill Malone, and Felix stands watch outside, Ferdinand arrives and kills Kasoff.
Inside the apartment, Sarah finds a woman with a knife ready to defend herself. Sarah has a gun, and they face off as Sarah demands answers. Mrs. S arrives, having followed Sarah and Felix, and she recognizes the woman. It’s the woman who killed her husband and also happens to be HER MOM. That’s right, Mrs. S’s mom, who went to jail for killing Mr. S, is the Castor Original! Apparently, Dr. Duncan came through the prison back in the day testing women, and when it was discovered that Malone had absorbed a male twin in the womb, thereby having a male line of DNA, she was used as the Castor Original.
What’s more, as Sarah pointed out, that would also make her the Leda Original, too! Meaning that they can’t exactly kill her—even though Mrs. S was totally willing to kill her own mom to protect her kids, hesitant though she was when she first heard who it was. Their relationship is complicated.
- FINALLY! We have some answers that tie some important story elements together. We now know why Mrs. S is tied so closely to this, and I love the complication of the Castor Original also being the Leda Original.
- I want a buddy flick starring Donnie and Helena. That is ALL I WANT. They are so amazing together. And Donnie had the best line of the episode when Ponchy asks what’s wrong with Helena’s voice, Helena says “I have cold,” and Donnie replies, “Yeah, it’s the kind of cold that messes with your…syntax.” Brilliant! Helena continues to be fascinating as she’s trying to “walk a different path” now, but will totally go back to her own path if there are children, or if there’s anyone in her family, in danger.
- While I was disappointed, I also understood why Gracie sold them out. Her character’s been interesting to watch, and while what she did hurt Clone Club, I was also glad to see her making a decision for herself. She’s had people deciding for her her whole life. I wish her and Mark every happiness, and hope they get as far away from all these shenanigans as possible!
- I’m so glad that Shay didn’t betray Cosima. However, the scenes from next week show Cosima kissing Delphine, so it looks like Shay might not be around for much longer. Which is also a good thing, as she’s very pretty, but very boring.
- What they’re doing with Delphine really bugs me for some reason, and I’m not sure if it’s the directing, the acting, or the writing. Probably all three. But I’m annoyed by the tinge of Jealous Girlfriend that seems to color everything she does—especially since Delphine is in such a position of power over Cosima. Genuine feelings or not, if Delphine were a a man, I feel like more fans would be calling out her behavior toward Cosima, but now we’re so excited by a female couple that it’s…OK somehow? Is she less threatening because she’s a woman? What do you all think about that?
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, when we’ll be talking about… Rachel being locked up again? ‘Til then, make sure you don’t threaten any babies this week.
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