Orphan Black - Formalized, Complex and Costly
Above is Sarah's reaction to seeing Bonnie Johanssen emerge from the cornfield after apparently gunning down the helpless Mark. I pretty much had the same look on my face as the episode conclude with a couple of significant reveals.
"Formalized, Complex and Costly" was another tightly paced and expertly written entry into the Orphan Black pantheon. Director John Fawcett and writer Chris Roberts deserve much credit for this episode that felt like an espionage drama if not a Cop thriller.
The reveals, while not stunning, went a long way into tightening up the new story arc for the season and solidified the relationship of two of the characters and their relationship going forward.
So let's take a look at these reveals and examine what they mean for the show's future.
Brothers and Sisters
This particular nugget wasn't exactly mind blowing for the viewing audience but it was treated as pretty significant by the show's players. The fact that the Leda project clones and the Castor clones came from the same genome source means they are seeking the same Holy Grail.
I don't know why it didn't occur to me that the original genome came from a single source. I guess I figured since the Duncans were working on a line of male and female clones they must have had two different sources. This thinking was further cemented by the two mysterious ailments each clone line seems to be suffering from. Neurological for the males and physiological for the females.
I wonder what could have gone wrong during the initial phase of the Duncan's work that would have split the ailments along gender lines. The answers may actually be hidden in the trove of information secured by Gracie in that ammo box she coerced from Willard and the "Island of Dr. Moreau" book secreted away in Felix's loft.
Still, I can't help but think Orphan Black is still has another card up its sleeve. They've gone to great pains to tell us the original genome source is lost. But, I don't know, I still don't quite believe it. Were the Duncans sterile? I can't quite remember. Ethan Duncan wanted "Little girls" so perhaps so. If not, then would it be a leap to believe they did have a child and if not a single child then perhaps fraternal twins. A boy and a girl?
Will this be the big reveal later on in the season? The genome source was never lost and it exists in the form of a boy and a girl that are still alive and hidden away?
This begs the question, was the Duncan's work corrupted in some way in working with the original genome source that led to the clone's ailment along gender lines? Or did they deliberately corrupt the process not wanting the clones to to be exploited by the military?
The corruption for the males clones would be to insert a ticking clock (the glitching) that would shorten their life spans so the world wouldn't be overrun by soldier clones thrown into battle and used as so much cannon fodder and making the decision to go to war that much easier.
The corruption for the female clones would be sterility so the world wouldn't be overrun with a new brand of female species that was outside "God's plan" to populate humanity
In addition, I think we are also to understand Dyad and the Castor project, while looking for the genome source, doesn't realize the source also means the clone lines are related to each other. Or do they?
Will the answer to some of these questions come to light once Gracie and Helena give birth to their respective children? (Will that make Henrik a god of some sort if a respective cure comes from his seed?)
Okay, maybe this all was a significant reveal after all.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
So this is why Art Bell is still on the show! I guess its not for his mad detective skills. He still carries a flame for his deceased partner, Beth Childs, and sees her every time he looks at Sarah.
For her part, Sarah handled this gracefully. She acted with compassion instead of being freaked out thinking Art might want to rekindle his romance with her. Art seems a little conflicted. He didn't really need to hang around anymore and he kept putting his job in jeopardy by disappering so often. Is he over Beth? I guess not really. I think I heard him refer to Sarah as "his partner" while they were riding together in the car.
Sarah seemed to diffuse the situation but it can't really be over can it? Why introduce this clever plot line if it isn't meant to go somewhere? It has to go somewhere.
The implications of this reveal is that Art will always have Sarah's back out of his love for Beth. Or, Art will unnecessarily jeopardize the lives of Sarah and the other clones because of his obsession with Sarah/Beth.
Odds and Ends
Tatiana Maslany continues to amaze. Her turn as Helena held prisoner by Castor was another gem. When she invited both Rudy and then Mark into her little cell they wisely deferred. Her use of her finger machine gun was chilling and so very Helena. It is so easy to forget all these clones are portrayed by the same actress.
Absolute brilliance. Here's a prediction, the Emmys will snub her again.
Bonnie Johanssen is turning into a fearsome character. Played by Kristin Booth, she adds a nice amount of psychopath to her religious zealot. Did she really kill Mark? I shudder to thin what she has planned for Gracie.
Cosima once again proves to be the brains of the outfit. This was nearly the moment of high comedy for the show what with Scott's and Felix's revulsion over the "brain-ectomy."
Almost, if it wasn't for these two.
Leave to Donnie to aspire to something "greater." Only to be corrected about their vocation by Alison. Ozzie and Harriet do it again.
This was a little disturbing. Does creating the perfect soldier mean they remain infantile in their servitude?
Nealon tells Rachel she is still very useful to the project. How so? He shows her the Castor emblem and she responds, "Horses."
If Rachel had any knowledge of the Castor project she would have responded as such. Either that or her trauma has left her more damaged than Nealon had thought.
Why did Nealon prompt her with that card? It certainly shows his awareness of Castor and it lends credence to my theory that Nealon is playing a double game. He's either a mole for Castor or he's willing to play both sides against each other for his own mysterious ambition.
Does he suspect Rachel of a double game also? If Nealon is loyal to Dyad he could be trying to ferret out the truth behind "Helsinki." Helsinki was where Ferdinand the "Cleaner" and Rachel conspired to eliminate all the Leda clones there.
Maybe I should classify the above as the third significant reveal of the show. A possible nascent conspiracy within Dyad. We'll find out more next Saturday!