Previously on Orphan Black, ‘The Weight of This Combination’
After a premier that was a hot mess of Hades level temperatures, episode two of Orphan Black’s third season brought things back around to the lukewarm mess of season two.
We open with creepy Scarred Face clone bringing home a low-rent date. While they are in flagrante delicto, Mustache Face clone tries to insert himself into the situation. Unbeknownst to low-rent date, Mustache Face clone has been lurking and watching. The boys tell her they are brothers, and were thus taught to share. Low-rent date says she didn’t sign up for this.
We’re not shown what happens, but the victim later tells police that Scarred Face (Rudy) was very upset on account of Mustache Face (Seth) being rejected. They wrote down all her information, and Seth took some of her hair as if he wanted a trophy.
The next morning, Major Paul visits Rudy and Seth. (Paul was Beth Child’s hot monitor-boyfriend who later fell for Sarah. Last season we learned that Paul really worked for the military, specifically for Project Castor.) Rudy brags to Paul that he’s met Sarah, as if it’s difficult for anyone to meet Sarah. Everyone knows where Sarah lives.
Paul hooks Rudy up to monitoring software and asks him some logic questions copied straight from a middle school standardized test. Rudy passes the test, but Seth gets confused by the last question. To placate Paul, Rudy offers the excuse that Seth has a hangover. Paul tells them they’re going back to the base. This concerns the brothers, as Seth is having “glitches” that are getting increasingly severe.
Next, science nerd Scott shows up at Felix’s house to check on Cosima’s health. Cosima’s medical numbers look great, but Scott can neither explain them nor attribute them to Kira’s tooth’s stem cells. Cosima suggests there might be some spiritual element, but doesn’t mention that she thinks Kira is that element.
While I wonder who has been retwisting Cosima’s fake locs, keeping those roots and edges on point, Felix gives her a new phone. They’re going to be switching phones regularly now, and apparently have enough money to buy smart phones as burners and to buy covers for them. Who buys a cover for a burner phone?
Baby Daddy Daario has purchased a sweet pad with plenty of room for Kira and Sarah. When Sarah asks how he can afford it, he says he’ll make it work. He’s lying by omission. Cal is secretly rich because he used to design weapons for the military. The happy family plays hardwood floor hockey until Sarah gets a call from Art, Beth Childs’ former police partner. He’s a detective again, and he’s handling the complaint by the low-rent date.
Art tells Sarah that Seth and Rudy look just like “that Prolethean freak.” Sarah leaves Kira with Cal so she can look into Rudy, hoping to locate Helena. Before she leaves, they have a hot make-out session.
Meanwhile, Helena is in a room with seven men, enduring a battery of “stress tests.” These consist of waterboarding Helena for a specified amount of time, followed immediately by checking her stats and drawing blood. They’re about to give her two more cycles of the stress test when a Dr. Virginia Cody interrupts. She wants them to cease the tests because Helena is pregnant.
Later, the goons are allowed to give Helena the logic tests that Rudy and Seth received from Paul. The Talking Scorpion, last episode’s most underrated star, shows up to make fun of the questions. Helena tells a Castor clone the best line of the episode: “I met your brother. He’s ugly.”
Felix goes to visit his shady foster mom “S.” He gives her a clean cell phone – another fancy burner! – and instructs her to contact her “dodgy friends” so she can help Sarah.
Allison is still mad about this well-dressed Black woman who’s running for that minor office which Allison wants to run for as well. Because the woman wants to redistrict their neighborhood, the Hendrix kids will have to switch schools if she wins. Allison dramatically says the woman will put her kids in “the ghetto,” where the playgrounds have gravel instead of mulch.
While she’s being dramatic, Donny is trying to be hip. He asks Allison for some dap (which people on TV incorrectly call a “fist-bump”) by saying, “Fist me!” Oh, Donny, you poor, sweet man.
Allison and Donny don’t have the money to run an expensive campaign for this minor office. But when Allison’s former dealer Ramone tells her that he is “closing his business” to go to college, she sees an opportunity. She’ll sell drugs to Ramone’s soccer mom customers, and being their dealer will help secure their votes in this irrelevant election. Allison offers $32,000 cash for the drugs and the customer database. The cash will come from her and Donny’s retirement funds.
Back to science nerd Scott and Cosima. They try to secure the original clone genome from a dodgy doctor. Dodgy doctor says the original genomes for both the female LEDA clones and the male Castor clones have been lost. The Duncans, he says, took the identities of the original donors to their graves. I highly doubt it.
Elsewhere, Sarah questions the traumatized low-rent date from the beginning of the episode. The victim reveals that Rudy and Seth have the same tattoo on their left forearm. The tattoo is a two-headed horse.
Sarah didn’t find Rudy, but Rudy found her. He thinks she has information that could help heal Seth. While he’s terrorizing Kira and Sarah, Seth has a severe “glitch” episode that basically renders him incompetent. Rudy shoots Seth twice, then tells him he loves him. Seth dies. Rudy leaves him in the hallway of Felix’s apartment building.
Sarah sends Kira away with Cal, while she stays behind to find Helena. Not sure who’s going to take over the lease on that fancy apartment; perhaps Cal can afford to keep it while he’s away.
Remember Redhead Prolethean Girl who ran away with the Prolethean clone named Mark? Well, in the last scene she wakes up in a hotel room. Mark is in the bathroom taking a blow torch to his skin. He’s burning off the two-headed horse tattoo, but it kind of looks like he’s caramelizing a crème brulee.
I really didn’t need to see this many characters or this many plots in one episode. If Orphan Black doesn’t slow down, it will become a victim of it’s own pace, unable to save itself with the trick of introducing random new clones here and there. Eh, who am I kidding? We’ve already passed that point.
Once again, all the nuance of the episode was placed in the title. In Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address, he argued that America’s continued pre-eminence would depend on “how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.” He warned against an extensive military-industrial complex, saying, “ […] there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake.”
Make of that what you will, as long as you conclude that the military clones are an evil part of a military-industrial complex that threatens the freedom of all Americans. If only this episode did more to make that point, Google and I would get to do less.