Previously: Sarah and Helena, together again, right up until Helena escaped without Sarah.
Certain Agony of the Battlefield
Jessica: Sarah’s asleep in captivity. A bright light shines on her face, waking her up as the cell door creaks open. Eerie music plays as she walks around an abandoned Castor Military HQ. She hears a giggle and runs after it, while my brain goes “ah, dream sequence.”
Marines: It’s cool that her dream self is all gross and sweaty too, though.
J: “Kira!” she shouts, and Kira appears before her, smiling. Her vision goes in and out, blurry and clear, as Kira dances around the HQ in a dress. Kira then goes inside a blanket fort, like the one she was in when Rudy kidnapped her, and the sky changes into nighttime, lighting up the tent. Sarah crawls inside, calling out for Kira, but it turns into a military tent, where she watches blood get transferred from one body into another. The body receiving the blood transfer is hers, and the one giving it is Rudy. He stares at her creepily, puts his finger to his lips and caresses her arm, licking her hand.
Sarah suddenly wakes up, sits up and vomits on the floor. She’s all sweaty as she lies back down, and we see the gauze on her neck, right where the blood transfusion tube was in the fever dream. Well damn, this isn’t good.
Mari: Yeeeaaah, if real life is matching up with fever dreams, decidedly not good.
J: Welcome to the world of Orphan Black, everyone. DNA AND SCIENCE AND NEAT-O SCREENSAVER.
Paul has a meeting with a government guy on a park bench. He hands him Parsons’ logbook of girl conquests that he found in the last episode. Government Guy tries to explain it away but Paul is firm that this needs to be looked into. GG finally says that he’ll take it to the director but he needs more proof. Paul says he’ll get it and my brain is going, “Shady government guy, I’m not sure we can trust him ….”
Mari: TRUST NO ONE.
J: Siobhan’s house. She and Felix are talking to Kira via a Skype-like program. They joke a bit, then Kira’s face falls and she asks if her mother’s mad at her. They say no, but leave out the part where she’s missing/kidnapped by the government, and say goodbye.
After turning Kira off, Siobhan says her people are working on finding Sarah, though Felix is skeptical, saying he thinks of “her people” as “nine squatters sitting around a tire.” Burn! Siobhan reveals that they think the Military HQ is somewhere in Mexico. Felix says he’s just crazy sitting around doing nothing for five days, while Gracie brings in a tray of tea. Siobhan kindly says that she doesn’t have to serve them, but Gracie finds it easier to have something to do.
They exposit that Cosima is working on what caused Gracie’s illness last episode and miscarriage. Siobhan hands Felix a cup of tea and says, “If Sarah’s taught me anything, it’s how to survive worry.” I bet that’s true!
Mari: This show hasn’t taught me how to survive worry, just how to hide behind my hands and shout things. Wait, maybe that’s surviving worry.
J: Not sure. Siobhan isn’t a very shouty person, but this show definitely requires hiding behind hands and shouting at times.
New set! It’s Shay’s house – the not-Tinder date from last episode who occasionally dresses like Carmen Sandiego (#nevergonnaletthatgo). Cosima wakes up and answers her phone, while Shay comes over, saying Cosima slept through three other phone buzzes. She offers some sort of licorice root smoothie (eeew) but says Cosima has to earn it – Cosima starts kissing – by telling her who Sarah is. Cosima immediately tenses and gets defensive. Shay claims Cosima said the name in her sleep. “She’s like my sister,” Cosima says. “A wilder version of me.”
Suburbs. Rap music plays while Donnie and Alison dance on their bed as though they are in a rap video, making it rain with money. It’s hilarious and weird at the same time.
J: On the one hand, I like how they’re exploring the quirkiness of the Alison character and didn’t fall into the easy cliche of making her your typical suburban soccer mom beyond her outward appearance. On the other hand– cannot stop gif staring…..
As I’m sure most parents can relate, the rap video ends when their daughter walks in on them, and witnesses a scene she’ll probably end up telling to a therapist some day. Or at least to a concerned friend over many glasses of alcohol.
Daughter has a my-brother-did-something-annoying complaint and Donnie pushes her out of the room. Alison and Donnie get dressed, talking about parent things, like who’s taking what car. Alison is meeting Drug Dealer With A Heart of Gold Jason later and when Donnie says he wants to be there too, she insists it’s strictly business and has nothing to do with them being high school sweethearts. He says he’s jealous, but like, in a sexy way? She kisses him and the rap music starts up again.
Dyad Lab. Scott’s mad that Cosima is late and didn’t answer his calls. He tries to warn her but she brushes past him into the lab to find Delphine waiting. Delphine came back from Europe when she found out Sarah was missing, and is angry that Cosima didn’t tell her. She insists that she and Topside are doing all they can to protect Leda, but can’t do much against Castor, and blames Sarah for her predicament.
Delphine has a lot of other questions too, like how they got their hands on a Castor brain (as though we could forget dead Seth in a bathtub) and why they are studying Gracie. She reveals a comparison between the two samples– the same unique protein found in both Seth’s brain and in Gracie. “Now that, to me, warrants a followup. Don’t you agree?” she says all superior and I-told-you-so.
Mari: Delphine’s just mad because she’s out of the Clone Club. You don’t get secrets, Delphine.
J: Military HQ. Paul arrives to find Sarah’s cell empty. She’s in the medical bay, handcuffed to a bed. A Castor clone comes to attention when Paul arrives, then leaves. Paul asks what happens and Sarah says they did something to her last night. She’s still sweaty and feverish and mumbles, “I don’t feel right.”
He gives her a drink of water. She asks him to help her get out, and he says he’s trying, and looks really concerned/guilty. She asks for a car and a gun, but he refuses. “You’re the worst of them!” she suddenly shouts at him. “Because I love you and I know where you stand” – is what I think she says, though it was hard to tell even after rewinding. The ‘I love you’ part was clear though, which is a bit of a revelation. Sarah loves Paul? But what about the suuuper handsome guy who is taking care of your daughter in Iceland right now, Sarah??
Mari: That’s not what I heard at all. I got, “You’re the worst of them. You know that? Because I don’t even know where you stand.” Sorry, Paul. No love.
J: Ah, interesting. I bet you’re right. Maybe Paul’s handsomeness affected my hearing. The Force is strong with it.
Dr. Virginia appears, and plays off Sarah’s condition as something minor, while Sarah argues that they did something to her on purpose. Paul pulls his hand away from Sarah’s and follows Dr. Virginia out of the tent. Sarah calls out to say that Helena got away, but Dr. Virginia is confident that if she doesn’t die in the desert, Rudy will get to her.
Desert. Helena is run-stumbling along, while Rudy and another military guy drive around in a truck, looking for her. She falls down on the sand, and the scorpion spirit animal appears to taunt her. It says she regrets leaving Sarah behind and Helena insists, “I regret nothing!” Then she grabs the scorpion spirit animal, holds it up and lowers it into her mouth, eating it all wiggling and squirming.
Mari: How fulfilling is a spirit animal? Important questions.
J: Military HQ. Paul talks to Dr. Silver, the military doctor below Dr. Virginia. He claims he wasn’t involved with Sarah’s treatment, that it was all Dr. Virginia. Paul asks what happened, because he thought they were working on the cure for the Castor soldiers. Dr. Silver says that when Paul left for months, “the science took a turn.” It happened after Rudy brought home a girl he’d slept with, who showed the same signs that Gracie has been. Dr. Virginia treated her on base and then everything changed.
Now, all the soldiers bring home hair samples from their sexual partners, which Dr. Silver thinks are for Dr. Virginia to get baseline numbers from, before they get sick. He’s not sure what she’s looking for exactly, but tells Paul that she keeps that material in her own quarters.
Dyad Lab. Delphine and Cosima stand awkwardly waiting for the elevator. Delphine plays the jealous girlfriend part, obviously asking about Cosima’s love life without saying the words, but Cosima won’t rise to the bait.
Mari: Even though an argument can be made that she’s totally winning the break-up. If you ignore all the crazy clone stuff, that is.
J: The elevator opens, with Felix striking a pose in a red jacket, and Gracie standing next to him. Delphine assures that she’s there to help. Cosima tries to break the ice, saying that the technology in the lab will help them make sure Gracie is ok.
Felix holds Scott back outside the door and asks him to take him to Rachel. Scott hesitates but Felix insists, saying he’s desperate and he thinks that Rachel might be his only chance to find out where Sarah is. “Now nut up, and lead me to the cyclops.” Man we’ve got some good lines in this episode.
Military HQ. Paul corners Mark, who’s limping and walking with a cane, in a narrow alley between two buildings. Mark says he didn’t know who Paul was when they last met out in the field — I think this was sometime in Season 2. (M: When Helena was dancing with trucker hat guy?) Paul says they were both undercover and he was keeping it that way. Oh shit, so I guess that means Paul recognized who/what he was right away at the time. Interesting. Something to keep in mind upon re-watch.
Mark explains that he brought Sarah in because Rudy was there, and his only other choice was to kill her. He also admits that he fell in love with Gracie. Paul wants his help, and Mark looks nervous.
Drug Deal Parking lot. Alison gives the money to Drug Dealer With A Heart Of Gold Jason in a pink bag, complete with a little hand-written card. DDJ says they’re even so they can quit the business, but Alison wants to “take it to the next level.” A car screeches into the parking lot and Jason pulls out a baseball bat, but it’s Donnie. He bought it with cash and DDJ’s like, yeah, you’re not ready for the next level. They need a business to launder money, he says. Alison says she has a business plan she’s been mulling over, and DDJ looks skeptical.
Mari: And he doesn’t even know about the rap music and money throwing stuff.
J: Right?? Business plans are secondary to money-throwing moxie.
Military HQ. Mark hands Paul the keys to Dr. Virginia’s office, saying they have five minutes. He stands guard outside the door while Paul goes in. Simultaneously, Cosima is explaining to Gracie about the protein, that’s now in her blood, from Mark. Paul reads Dr. Virginia’s records while Cosima explains. The protein transferred by the Castor clones causes rapid degeneration and ovary atrophy in the women they come into contact with. The defect is contagious and sexually transmitted. Mark – the world’s worst lookout – comes in and finds out too.
Medical bay. Sarah is feverish, receiving medication or more treatment. Her vision is all blurry of Dr. Virginia and Dr. Silver. Paul enters and says Dr. Virginia is under arrest for sterilizing women. One of the military clones reaches for his gun but Paul draws on him. Dr. Virginia admits she gave Sarah two units of Rudy’s blood, while Sarah hallucinates (or does she??) the little clone girl from the end of Season 2, Charlotte, who tells her to take her hand. Paul puts Dr. Virginia in handcuffs and hands Dr. Silver a gun, telling him to keep everyone out.
Sarah blinks and follows Charlotte down a long stone tunnel, toward a bright light. I don’t know, going toward the light is usually not a great idea, which is the look on Sarah’s face as she watches Charlotte disappear.
Now, Sarah is reliving memories of watching the videos of Beth, way back in Season 1, when she was trying to become her, before she learned about the clones. (M: I was not expecting the associated nostalgia. Season 1 feels so long ago!) She enters Beth’s house and finds her in the kitchen. Beth talks about the day Paul moved in, how she should have seen the warning signs that he wasn’t who he said he was. She calls Paul and Sarah liars and grifters. “I didn’t know you Beth when I took your life,” Sarah says.
Beth yells that Sarah’s not allowed to miss her, that she never knew her in the first place. Sarah insists that she’s trying to finish what Beth started, to take care of the sisters, but she’s failing. Beth says she let herself get consumed, killing herself because she couldn’t understand everything. “Neither do I,” Sarah says. “You’re starting to,” Beth answers. Sarah says she took over Beth’s life for Kira. “Stop asking why,” Beth says. “Start asking who.” Then she turns and walks into the light, with the sound of trains.
Sarah wakes up and asks Dr. Silver where Paul is. Paul’s in the room where Dr. Virginia was doing experiments on Parsons, the guy Helena mercy-stabbed in the brain. He’s on the phone with Government Guy, talking about all the proof he has, including the Johansen baby skeleton in a box. Dr. Virginia is confined, and all the clone soldiers except Rudy, who is still out looking for Helena. GG tells Paul to hold tight for six hours in order to get backup, and Paul says he can do it.
Dyad. Rachel is painting in her room. Scott and Felix enter.
Felix reminds her about how she stabbed him in the neck with a needle last season, and demands to know more about Castor. She resists, and he paints an eye on her bandage, then shows her a mirror. She yells at Scott to get Dr. Nealon but Felix ignores them both, saying no one is coming for Rachel, no one cares, and he gets more and more angry, grabbing her by the throat and yelling at her to tell him where they took Sarah.
“Get me out of this place,” Rachel says. Felix gives up and storms out. Scott picks up the paintings that got knocked to the floor, and sees symbols on them, the same symbols from the Dr. Moreau book. He looks thoughtful and walks out.
Mari: Watching Felix get this worked up was tough. Also, we grew to hate Rachel but seeing her like this is tough. Basically what I’m saying is that this well acted scene was rough on the emotions.
J: Felix’s actions were really intense. He’s normally the least violent and most gentle of the bunch, so seeing him manhandle a crippled woman definitely shows how on the brink he is with Sarah missing. Rachel, too, has changed so much since she was the spider in the middle of her web.
Suburbs. Alison reveals her plan is to take over her mother’s soap business, Bubbles, and use it as a drug front. DDJ arrives as well. They walk around the closed, empty store. Alison gives her pitch and DDJ says it’s perfect.
Dyad Lab. Gracie is in shock from the news that she’s sterile. “I was supposed to have children,” she says, trance-like. “It was expected of me.” I don’t even have enough time/space to touch that one. Basically, Proletheans suck. Cosima says supportive things, and Felix takes her home. Delphine tells Cosima that she misses her. Cosima tears up but walks away without saying anything.
Desert. Rudy is on the phone, apparently hearing about the Paul takeover. He gives up on the Helena hunt, for now.
Dyad Lab, late at night. Delphine is looking at pictures and also a video feed of Cosima and her new girlfriend. Apparently she was the one taking pictures during their first date. Oooh, not good, Delphine. Creepy Ezra-like stalker activities do not look good on you. (M: ON ANYONE.)
Cosima appears at Shay’s door and they make out for a bit. Then Cosima’s phone rings. It’s Scott, telling her about Rachel’s symbols matching those in Duncan’s book. He thinks she knows the code.
Military HQ. Paul is telling Sarah about the human trials and sterilizations, but also that she hasn’t shown the same symptoms as the other women. “Did you love Beth?” Sarah asks, segueing. He’s taken aback by the question. He answers it indirectly, saying he feels guilty, and they thought Dyad and the Leda clones had answers to the cure. Sarah wants to talk to Dr. Virginia.
Dr. Virginia is looking at photos of kids, maybe the little clone boys as six-year-olds? (M: Yep.) Sarah wants to know why she was given Rudy’s blood, and Dr. Virginia notes that she seems to have recovered from her fever. She’s the one they’ve been looking for. Castor and Leda have the same disorder — attacking the boys’ brains and the girls’ ovaries, which is why the other girl clones can’t have children. But Sarah and Helena are different, for some reason they’re fertile, able to fight it off.
Sarah says Dr. Virginia’s infecting women on purpose, and Dr. Virginia claims it’s totally for scientific research reasons and that makes it ok. The infection must be engineered, Sarah figures out, but by whom? (Asking the question Dream!Beth told her to ask) Paul comes up with the answer– it’s a weapon, they want to isolate it and figure out a way to use it. “It could end wars in a generation,” Dr. Virginia says, “without spilling a drop of blood.” So, if I’m understanding this right, they would sterilize their enemies and basically make them extinct? Damn. (M: What. the. hell.) “Who wants it?” Sarah asks, but Dr. Virginia just looks at them.
Mari: I hope dream!Beth and dream!Sarah didn’t think it would be as easy as just asking.
J: LOL. She had to try, though. Rudy’s truck arrives at the HQ, but the guy driving claims Rudy was on foot and they lost contact. The guards put the driver under arrest, while Rudy drops to the ground from the car’s undercarriage. The ominous music is so loud that the soldiers mere feet away don’t hear him roll to the other side of the car, and don’t notice him get up and walk away into one of the nearby alleyways.
Guard room. Rudy stabs the guard IN THE NECK and lets his brother out, handing him the guard’s gun. They go to hunt down Paul and Sarah.
Sarah and Paul leave Dr. Virginia’s room. Sarah says they should leave, but Paul is waiting for Government Guy to come through. He says none of this is the clones’ fault. Mark appears from under the stairs with information about Rudy’s patrol coming in without him. Turns out, the phone call Rudy took earlier alerting him to the takeover situation didn’t come from the HQ, but from Arlington. What, the government is evil and was part of the plan all along? I am so shocked. Paul looks pissed and calls his GG buddy. GG does a terrible job of being casual and Paul’s suspicions are confirmed. Paul hangs up and tells Mark to get to his bunk and stay out of things. Mark, apparently the only Castor clone with a conscience, tells Paul to “make this right.”
Paul and Sarah run off, looking for a way out. Just-Released Castor Clone comes down the alley and Paul jumps him. He tries to subdue him but gets stabbed in the gut several times, so he kills him with a snapped neck. Sarah runs up and stares in horror at his gaping flesh wound. She helps him up and they make it to a grate in the wall. Sarah goes in first, but then Paul closes it behind her and locks it.
He tells her instructions on how to get out, but she insists she’s not leaving without him. He starts to walk away and she calls out after him. He stops and turns around. “It was never Beth I loved,” he says, smiles a little and walks away. Sarah looks down, remembering the video of Paul and Beth she watched.
Rudy smiles creepily and points a gun at Paul. Paul asks if Rudy knows what he’s done to the women he’s slept with. “I know exactly what I do, sir,” he says sarcastically, clearly enjoying the fact that he’s an evil maniac. Dr. Virginia gives him a disapproving “Rudy” and he looks at her all disappointed in spoiling his fun. She turns to Paul, saying his devotion to “my boys” was something she could always count on. Paul urges her to cure them, and turn away from the weaponized sterilization path. “The science in this room could rewrite the very nature of humankind,” she says. “You ask me to turn my back on it?” Then she takes out her own gun and SHOOTS HIM while we’re intercut with video memories of Beth and Sarah.
At the grate, Sarah realizes Paul isn’t coming back and starts crawling away sadly. Back in the room, Paul is dying, but as he does, he lets his hand holding the towel fall back, revealing a grenade. Rudy grabs Dr. Virginia and runs out of the room. As it explodes, the tunnel around Sarah rumbles, throwing her to the ground and showering her in debris. She has visions, intercut with Beth, Paul, Kira and little girl Charlotte from earlier. As the dust clears, Helena appears like a dusty angel, crawls forward and lifts Sarah up. “Come sestra,” she says. “People miss us.”
Mari: I’ll have Paul feelings in a moment, but this “people miss us” moment is such a gut-kick call back to Felix telling Rachel that no one is coming for her. Helena and Rachel are both insane in their own rights, but Helena has her sisters and Rachel doesn’t. This whole idea is confirmed by the next segue:
J: Rachel is painting alone in her room. She paints another symbol, drawing her brush down the page, to where a picture is taped of her and her father, Dr. Duncan. She starts to sob. End of episode.
Mari: I felt real bad for Paul. Naturally, last episode I said a lot about Paul and kind of coming to terms with who and what his character was and then BAM. This episode, they kill him. I was no fan of his for a while, but he’s been around since the beginning and I thought that perhaps Paul and Sarah were still end game. Well. There goes that.
I was hooked this whole episode, though. Really high stakes and well done. Okay, gonna go eat my emotions now.
Next time on Orphan Black: Sarah and Helena escape, while Alison faces drug dealing problems in S03 E07 – Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate.