Orphan Black: “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” Review

orphan-black-season-3Well, this week’s super-tense episode was just chock full of revelations, and I’m kind of psyched to see what happens in the finale.

Spoilers after the jump!

One thing this episode definitely had going for it was that, unlike a lot of this season, the clone’s storylines actually intersected in an interesting way. While this is good news for viewers, it’s kind of bad news for me, because it’s a lot harder to recap when I usually go clone-by-clone.

Apparently Siobhan used to be in a band?

Apparently Siobhan used to be in a band?

Let’s begin with Sarah, Felix, and Mrs. S, who have headed back to Siobhan’s haunts in London to track down the Castor original. They have a good time reminiscing while her contacts track down leads—that is, until an old friend of S’s ends up beaten to death for asking questions someone doesn’t want asked. “Someone” in this case turns out to be Ferdinand from earlier in the season, reappearing just in time to add some stress to the lead-up to the finale. As S mourns her friend’s death, Sarah and Fee use the dead guy’s phone to continue tracking him, which takes them, eventually, to the house of one Kendall Malone, the storied Castor original.

Alison is conveniently out on the campaign trail for most of this episode, so even though we have a nicely clone-integrated story this time, Alison still gets the shaft. I’m kind of okay with it though because Helena and Donnie’s interactions are delightful enough that I almost forgive Donnie for being the worst ever. After his altercation with Jage last week, Donnie finds his invitation to sell Pouchi’s drugs revoked, and Pouchi’s enforcer at his door looking to repossess his product. When the guy can’t find the drugs at Bubbles, he takes the most mysterious and important-looking thing in the room instead: Helena’s frozen embryos. When Donnie explains to Helena what happened, she insists she ride with Donnie to Pouchi’s place to return his drugs. orphan-black-helenaOnce there, she poses as Alison (the poorest clone/clone impression so far, bless Helena’s heart), seizes the embryos, locks Donnie out of the warehouse, and then emerges, blood-soaked, with a huge sack of money. It’s all the cash Alison and Donnie fronted Pouchi for the drugs and much much more, and I get the feeling Pouchi won’t be missing it (or doing much of anything else, ever again).

Finally, Cosima’s in deep shit this week. Frustrated at losing The Island of Dr. Moreau, she decides the only person who could have leaked it is Shay. Shay saw the book in Cosima’s lab, and the files Delphine gave Cosima last episode reveal that Shay used to be Special Forces. Cosima then begrudgingly shares her suspicions with Delphine, who immediately goes to Shay’s apartment with some cronies and threatens to murder her and stage it as a suicide if Shay doesn’t reveal her corporate spy status. Jesus Christ, Delphine. Meanwhile, Gracie, who’s been acting kind of sketchy all day, calls Cosima to come clean: she was the mole. Castor promised to reunite her with Mark if she provided the book info to them. Cosima calls Delphine before she starts murdering Shay, but to be honest, it’s unclear whether or not Delphine didn’t still cut her up. We don’t see her again before the end of the episode.

sarah kendall monroeThe episode isn’t quite over with that; no, we have one more huge reveal. Sarah heads into Kendall Malone’s house to put a bullet in his head, to discover that he is a she. And when Mrs. S appears on the scene, we discover that she is not only a she, but she’s also Mrs. S’s mother. And yes, she’s also the Castor original. She apparently absorbed a male twin in the womb and therefore carries two distinct genetic codes. Mrs. S wants to kill her and burn down the house to wipe out any trace of the Castor line, so the Castor people can’t find it, but Sarah stays her hand, because if Kendall is also the source of Leda, she carries the secret to their cure as well.

All in all, this was an enjoyable episode. The glimpses into Mrs. S’s past were fun, but the standout scene belonged to Helena. She’ll do anything to defend babies from harm, whether they’re simply potential babies in nitrogen cryofreeze or Alison’s actual living children. I actually texted Luce halfway through the episode hoping that Helena would fuck up Pouchi, and I was delighted to have my wish granted. However, I’m not sure if this will solve the Hendrixes’ problems or just create a new set. For example: are they dead or just very very wounded and cowed? Also, who did Pouchi report to? Will his boss come for Alison and Donnie? What will Jage do when he finds his supplier possibly dismembered in his warehouse?

While I suspected something was up with Gracie throughout the episode, I’m worried about what’s going to happen to her now that she’s in Castor custody. To their credit, we did see Mark with them when they came to take her, so she might actually get to be with him. And while she’s clearly torn up about betraying the Leda clones, they did teach her to have a backbone and make her own calls, and that’s a bed Leda has to lay in now that they’ve made it. Either way, I hope she’s okay and that choosing Mark over the Leda clones doesn’t backfire in a way that really hurts her. (Even if I suspect that will be the case.)

I’m also interested to see what happens with Sarah and Mrs. S’s relationship with the reveal that they’re actually related. I don’t know how much play that will get in the finale, but they already have a very complicated relationship, and Kendall’s revelation throws another wrench into things. Does that make them sisters, biologically? Or does it make Sarah S’s aunt? Their relationship’s a bit of a minefield to navigate at the best of times and I wish the two of them luck after this new hurdle. That said, it is a little weird to me that out of seven billion people the Leda/Castor original just happened to be Siobhan’s mom, but I’ve already suspended quite a bit of disbelief for this show so I’ll roll with it.

After all that, what’s left to dramatically reveal in the final episode? Orphan Black has a tradition of revealing mindblowing developments in their finales—in fact, in the final minutes of their finales. First we learned that the clones were patented genetic products, property of the Dyad Institute. Second season we learned there were also boy clones. We’ve already had the bomb dropped on us re: the Castor/Leda original and the Moreau mole, so I’m not sure how they’re gonna top that next week, or if I can emotionally handle further dropping of this sort of bomb. I can tell you what I’m interested in seeing, though: the fallout of Helena’s bloodbath, for better or worse; delphine shaywhether Shay survived (my money’s on no); what’s going on with Kira, as she’s been offscreen a while; what ramifications the Kendall Monroe reveal will have on both Leda and Castor, and a better explanation of exactly why we want the Castor original dead; what the Castor peeps are going to do to poor Gracie, the precious cinnamon roll who’s certainly been through more than enough already; where the actual fuck Art is, since we were promised more POC representation this season; and of course, Alison on the screen doing real plot-relevant things. Maybe she’ll win the election? It’s the only real plot thread we haven’t begun to tie up, so it has to at least conclude next week, one way or another. And hell, maybe there’ll be another scene where I don’t totally hate Donnie? Anything’s possible!

One more week, Clone Club—till then!

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1 thought on “Orphan Black: “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” Review

  1. Pingback: Orphan Black: “The Stigmata of Progress” Review | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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