Orphan Black, S3 Ep1 -The Weight of This Combination

Orphan Black didn’t hold back any punches during the season 3 premiere! With new clones, a breakup, a double clone swap, and more, this episode hits the ground running.

To quote Alison: Holy doodle, here we go.

Orphan Black, S3 Ep1 - Cosima in Helena's dreamThe episode opened with a four-clone scene – a bright, cheery dream of Helena’s where her sestras were throwing her a baby shower. While the reveal of it being a dream came as no surprise, the scorpion crawling out of her clothes was my first ew what is going on moment of the night.

Turns out Helena is actually being held inside a wooden box, along with the scorpion – that talks! – which she calls Pupok. (Fun fact – “Pupok” translates to “bellybutton.”) Tatiana Maslany voices the scorpion as well, so add that to her resume. Pupok tells Helena she’s being tested, and “No one said it was gonna be easy, you know.” To which I thought, has anything been easy for anyone on this show? That’s the last we see of Helena until almost the very end of the episode, when one of the Castor clones goes to unlock the box, after stating that she’s been in there for almost 48 hours. “Congratulations,” the imaginary Pupok tells Helena, “you’ve escaped the first box.”

Surprisingly it’s Delphine who ties many of the storylines together this week. With Rachel out of commission due to that pesky pencil in her eye (and that shot of the pencil being pulled out was way beyond my comfort zone), Delphine has stepped up and is taking on extra responsibilities. This includes convincing Sarah and Alison to help trick Ferdinand (a “cleaner” who has been sent by Topside to assess the security risk of the Leda clones) and questioning Rachel for information, using some very questionable methods.

And in order to keep her promise to Cosima to love all the sestras equally, Delphine has to stop playing favorites, and ends things with Cosima. I don’t count Cophine among my ships, but still, that scene between them was painful.

Orphan Black, S3 Ep1 - Sarah questions Castor cloneSarah tries to find a bit of normality by visiting the “beach” with Felix and Kira before Delphine finds her, and brings her to meet one of the Castor clones who will only speak to Sarah. While learning more about these new boy clones – who are apparently attempting to kidnap Leda clones – Sarah also learns about the existence of another one of her own sisters, Krystal Goderich. The Castor clone, who refuses to give his name, taunts Sarah to count her sisters, which causes her to further worry about Helena’s disappearance.

Sarah and Felix meet up with Mrs S and discover she had a run-in with mustached Castor clone, who was after Duncan and his research. Mrs S came off worse in the fight, but she did manage to stab him in the leg with a pen. (But really, what is with all the stabbing with writing utensils?) Mrs S also reveals to Sarah that she’s the one who turned over Helena, in exchange for Sarah and Kira’s freedom. “Please, don’t turn your back on me,” Mrs S asks as Sarah storms away, “Not on your people.” To which Sarah coldly replies, “You’re not my people.”

We also see Alison making an attempt at normality – driving the Soccer Starz bus, considering running for School Trustee, reviewing finances with Donny, who has just lost his job (but he has $347.82 in expenses from when he was a monitor, so, that’s good) – but then a call from Delphine pulls her back into the crazy.

Orphan Black, S3 Ep1 - Alison as SarahAnd this leads to a glorious double clone swap, where Sarah finally agrees to impersonate Rachel, in exchange for help with the Helena situation. (Did anyone else wonder why they just happened to have a wig around that matched Rachel’s hair?) The shot of Sarah-as-Rachel coming out of the elevator is just another example of how amazing Tatiana is – even before she steps forward, her posture as she stands still and uncomfortable makes it clear that even though she looks like Rachel, she’s definitely Sarah.

Sarah is unable to make the quick exit they’d planned on when Ferdinand requests that “Rachel” stay during his meeting with Delphine, and he throws another complication in their plan when he insists on questioning Sarah. Thankfully, Delphine thought ahead and already has Alison posed in disguise as Sarah – who is eager to pull out those oy-oys.

Ultimately, through the ruse they discover that Rachel had been in cahoots with Ferdinand to proceed with an operation dubbed Helsinki, which would kill Sarah, Cosima, and Alison, and their families – all so they won’t expose Topside, and Rachel can take Kira for herself. A similar event took place in 2006, when 6 clones were eradicated, along with 32 collateral. Following this discovery, Sarah nearly stabs Ferdinand with a nail filer (why all the stabbing??), but instead distracts him and nearly chokes him to death instead. He only survives thanks to an interruption by Delphine, who then essentially blackmails him into calling off Helsinki.

Delphine’s parting words to Sarah were instructions to stand down until Delphine can learn more about Castor: “Don’t try anything else.” But when has Sarah ever listened to orders, especially ones telling her to stay still?

Finally, the episode ends with mustache-clone breaking scar-clone out of his basement confinement. We still know very little about them, but the little we do know makes it obvious that Sarah and her sisters aren’t safe with them on the loose.

And because Orphan Black has so much fantastic dialogue, a few more quotes from this week that I was especially amused by:

  • “Well it has been a while since we’ve been back to shite beach. I think it was your memorial. That was lovely. Vic spoke”
  • “Any boy clones who crosses the Hendrixes is gonna get his butt kicked”
  • “It was frickin glorious.”
  • “You have a cleaner named Ferdinand?”

So Clone Club, what did you think of the season 3 premiere? Have any theories for what the Castor Clones are up to? Let us know in the comments below!