Previously on Orphan Black, ‘Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate’
For much of this season I have felt that Orphan Black was trying to introduce far too many new characters without spending the time to flesh them out. What I’ve come to realize is this is only really a problem with the Castor clones. I don’t fault Ari Millen’s acting – from Mark’s character alone we know he’s capable – the real issue is with the individuality of the characters he’s playing. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof. In just a few short scenes, I already feel like I know more about who Krystal is than I do about Rudy, who’s been around all season.
With the Castor clones I feel like I have to keep track of them, but with the Leda clones it’s easy to remember each one because they genuinely feel like separate people. Krystal is different from the Leda clones we know in both appearance and demeanor, and she enters the story with an almost entirely fully formed presence. Where her addition could have easily felt exhausting for the audience, it’s because of this immediate distinctness that her addition to the club feels natural.
Unfortunately for her, Sarah isn’t ready to take another sestra under her wing. To her credit, Sarah believes leaving Krystal in the dark is the best thing to do, “she doesn’t need this shit.” Nevertheless, Krystal is just a pawn in the game of figuring out Duncan’s code. In exchange for translating her father’s message, Rachel wants out of DYAD and out of the country. Since Rachel is dead, on paper anyways, she’ll need another identity to get around with. That’s where poor Krystal Goderich comes in.
Felix reluctantly agrees to help Sarah steal Krystal’s ID, but it ends up affecting him more than he could have predicted. At first going undercover seems like a bit of fun for him, “you’re not the only hustler in the family,” he tells Sarah. But the situation becomes all too familiar pretty quickly. Krystal is far more perceptive than she lets on and she’s incredibly suspicious of all the strange events that seem to be going on in her life. She may look and act different than his clone sestras, but it’s obvious Felix sees all of these women in Krystal and he so desperately wants to help her.
Sarah keeps him in check however and he manages to successfully steal her wallet, while at the same time discovering just how observant Krystal really is. She’s got a little pink book keeping track of all the weird shit that happens to her and she’s investigating it. Unable to do more, Felix gets as sincere as possible with Krystal before he bails. He cuts the Canadian accent he’d been disguising himself with and tells her, “you’re a survivor, Krystal and you’re not alone.”
Meanwhile Cosima, under the haze of lust, decided to show the secret DYAD lab to Shay. She spots the Dr. Moreau book before Scott can frantically conceal it in his bag. When Rudy shows up at Scott’s apartment later on looking for the book, it becomes clear Shay must be the one responsible for leaking the information to Castor. I never liked Rudy from the start, but I hate him even more now, and Felix perfectly sums up why: “what kind of monster threatens a man’s cat?” I knew it was wishful thinking to assume Rudy and his mama wouldn’t survive Dirty Paul’s grenade.
For a moment, it looked as though Cosima was going to confide in Delphine. When they hit yet another road block in the search for the original genome, there’s a glimpse of the old, likeable Delphine. When she places her hand on Cosima out of concern for her health, it feels genuine. Any reconciliation is put on hold however, when Scott calls the lab in a panic. Cosima and Delphine are once again at odds, with Delphine pissed no one told her about Duncan’s book. Luckily, Scott and Cosima made a copy of it, even though they tell Delphine otherwise.
There were several laugh-out-loud moments this week, but my favorite was definitely when Scott was busting Rachel out of DYAD. Understandably, Scott is in a hurry to get her escape over with, but Rachel’s “top speed” in her wheelchair is no faster than a snail. They do manage to arrive at Siobhan’s place with no problems, and Sarah, Rachel, and a pencil are reunited. Rachel manages to decode only one page of the book before Dr. Nealon shows up. Delphine knew there was a copy and she sent the doctor to retrieve it. Devastated, Rachel falls from her chair to the floor and has a seizure.
Shame on me for thinking that Rachel could ever be a character we sympathize with. For most of the episode I thought Delphine was out to kill her and I was actually worried about it. Rachel hasn’t changed one bit though. While acting like the underdog in front Scott, Cosima, and Sarah, she was busy devising a master plan with Dr. Nealon to put herself back on top. She didn’t have a seizure at all and despite what Dr. Nealon tells Delphine, Rachel is not in a coma. While Ms. Duncan made her way out of the country, Krystal was put in her place at DYAD and it looks like she’s about to lose an eye so she can truly fit the part.
After handing in her resignation, Cosima does end up confiding in Delphine but on a personal level. She tells her about the near-death experience and admits it was the vision of Delphine that made her fight to stay alive. They kiss, but the reconnection is short lived. When it becomes clear they have been keeping many secrets from her, Delphine is forced to accept Cosima’s resignation and she fires Scott at the same time.
The one page Rachel decrypted from Duncan’s book implies there may be answers in London. Siobhan, Felix, and Sarah agree this is their best (only) lead and it looks like they’re going to take a trip home next week. It’s possible Rachel has already made her way across the pond and surely Rudy/Castor won’t be far behind. So, it’s become a race to find the Castor original. I wonder who will get to him first?
Alison & Helena
One of this episode’s greatest strengths was in bringing all the sestras back into the mix of the main storyline. Alison and Donnie have been wrapped up in drug dealing and election campaigns, and while that has been enjoyable, it’s nice to have them connected to the other plots again. Though Donny is resistant to the idea, Alison has agreed to take Helena in – it really is her turn at this point. She and Donny have already hired Gracie to work at Bubbles and as Felix points out, “she and Helena are a package deal.”
Helena and Gracie’s reunion was so touching. Gracie is remorseful for losing “their” baby, but Helena assures her that she still has a place in all this: she will be another auntie to Helena’s child. Looking beyond adorable in Alison’s clothing, Helena learns from Donnie how to make the soap. She immediately warms to Donnie, telling him that Alison has good taste, in men. Donnie makes Helena laugh, hysterically, and it’s clear that the two of them are going to have an amusing relationship going forward.
Alison confronts Jason about their kiss from the campaign mixer – well, Jason and Cosima’s kiss to be exact – but the two of them just end up kissing instead. Alison makes it clear however that she’s married and that this has to stop. Donnie isn’t convinced though and he texts Jason, as Alison, to meet him at Bubbles later that night. Donnie tries his best to stand his ground with Jason, though his slaps were pretty weak, but Jason ends up knocking him out cold in the end. At least Donnie got this line in first: “I may be a bitch, but I’m Alison’s bitch.”
I’m not sure exactly where this is going, but something is bound to happen with that nitrogen tank Helena has been carting around. Also, are we sure Dr. Nealon is truly on Rachel’s side? Whoever that blonde woman was he spoke to on the phone sounded both mysterious and dubious.