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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

Black is Back: “Orphan Black” – Episode 8 “Ruthless in Purpose and Insidious in Method”

Orphan Black is a critically acclaimed sci-fi series from BBC America featuring human clones. Its first two seasons garnered rave reviews, and its third season airs Saturday nights at 9/8c on BBC America and SPACE. Our writer, Janna Jeffrey, recaps every episode of the third season here on The Hudsucker. Orphan Black is back!

Beware: As this is a recap column, there are spoilers ahead. Read on if you dare!

Credit BBC America

In last week’s episode of Orphan Black, Alison bought her mother’s store, Donnie almost had his nose chopped off, Sarah and Helena were on their way home, and Cosima had a health scare. In this week’s episode, Orphan Black reminds us that people are not always as they seem and no one is safe. This is yet another gripping installment of Season 3!

Episode 8 of Orphan Black’s third season opens with Delphine getting a manicure. Strangely normal, you think? Sure… until we see the face of her manicurist. It’s another Leda clone! This one is named Krystal, and she’s yet again wildly different from the others. Krystal is prim and sweet and bubblegum pink all over. Once again, I bow before Tatiana Maslany’s talent! As Krystal does Delphine’s nails, she gossips about her encounter with identical twins that tried to abduct her. These identical twins were, of course, Rudy and Seth—we saw the Castor boys attacking her in security footage earlier in the season. Poor Krystal was pretty freaked out by all of that. After her manicure, Delphine meets up with Dr Nealon on the street by the salon. She fills him in on Krystal, discussing another monitor switch situation for her. They also briefly touch on Rachel—Nealon says she still has value, while Delphine believes she’s a liability. Dr Nealon is one shifty fellow. I don’t think I trust him. As for whether or not I trust Delphine… well, that tends to fluctuate on a per-episode basis.

We are brought briefly back to Mexico, to the same cantina from Episode 7. Guess who’s sitting at one of the tables? Dr Virginia Coady, of course, because apparently she’s able to survive a grenade explosion with mere cuts and scrapes. Magic. Dr Coady asks the bartender about Helena and Sarah, but the bartender insists she’s never seen them. After the bartender leaves, Dr Coady talks with her table companion about the Castors desperately needing the original genome. He agrees, and also mentions something about a spy infiltrating Leda’s faction. Oh, god—is there another double agent out there? I thought our double agent days were done without Paul! Now I’m worried.

Back home, Cosima and Sarah are Skyping. Cosima reassures Sarah that she’s fine, and they discuss their genetic disease and Dr Coady. They have a sweet moment together where they check in to make sure they’re both getting what they need to stay sane. I love how close the sisters have gotten, especially when I think back to how different and at odds they were when the show first started. It warms my heart! Cosima also asks Sarah to get in touch with Scott—he needs her help.

Meanwhile, Donnie and Alison are arguing in the suburbs. Their arguments are usually pretty entertaining, but here’s the best part: they’re arguing over whether or not they’ll be taking in Helena! The thought of Helena staying with the Hendrixes fills me with glee. Donnie is against it, but Alison and Felix are insistent: Helena stays. Helena and Alison’s daughter bond, and then Helena dresses up in Alison’s clothes. It’s delightful. All of it is delightful.

Sarah Skypes with Scott. (What a sentence.) He shows her the Doctor Moreau book, explaining its contents. He tells her that Rachel wants to speak to her. Sarah isn’t willing to trust her—she thinks Rachel might give the info to Topside—but she is willing to speak with her. Scott gets Rachel set up with the laptop so that she and Sarah can talk. Rachel asks to see her father’s book, but Sarah is reluctant to hand it over to her. Scott explains that Rachel has proven she can translate it, and that Rachel is afraid that Delphine will eliminate her. She says she’ll decipher the book in exchange for being taken out of DYAD. She wants a quiet life in Taiwan, apparently. All of this is so conflicting! Apparently Rachel can’t get to Taiwan as herself, given that she’s listed as being killed in a plane crash, so she wants Sarah to steal Krystal’s ID in order to get her out of the country. Yeah, this plan can’t possibly go wrong.

Credit BBC America

After the Skype session, Sarah, Felix, and Mrs S discuss their options. Mrs S is wary of the whole situation, afraid to go behind Delphine’s back and ruin their alliance with her. But Sarah insists that they need to know what the book says. Mrs S relents, giving Sarah and Felix her car keys to go see Krystal.

Cosima, in a rather risky move, shows Shay around her office at DYAD. Isn’t all this supposed to stay top secret? She introduces Shay to Scott, who adorably bumbles through his introduction and asks if he can sequence her genome. Aw, science nerd love. Adorable. Shay browses through the lab, eyeing up their collection of board games, and eagerly pulls the Doctor Moreau book off the shelf. Cosima snatches it away, hastily explaining that Scott’s private about his things. Delphine arrives, which ushers out Shay and Scott fairly quickly. Cosima is upset with her, but Delphine asks if they can put aside their relationship issues for now—she wants to talk science, and she doesn’t have good news. Uh oh.

Donnie teaches Helena how to make soap. The pairing of Donnie and Helena is essentially the most amazing character combination ever, and I want an entire spinoff featuring the two of them. She’s quite taken with Donnie as he teaches her, and while the two are awkward at first, they eventually start joking around. It’s awesome. Donnie lets Helena step up and take over, and heads back into the main store to talk to Alison. He wants to talk about Jason Kellerman’s kiss. Alison tries to brush it off as nothing, but when Donnie insists, she promises him she’ll talk to Jason. Just then, the door to Bubbles opens, and in walks Gracie! She’s been hired to work at Alison’s store. Aw! Family helping family! Donnie and Alison welcome her, sending her into the back to put down her things.

When Gracie steps into the back room, she comes face to face with—who else?—Helena. Gracie and Helena have a tumultuous history, as you’ll remember—one that includes attempted strangulation and forced impregnation. It’s awkward, the two of them coming face to face again, and Gracie looks a little scared. Not shocking, given what Helena did to Gracie’s father during their escape from the Proletheans. Gracie apologizes to Helena for losing her baby, and Helena—sweet, sweet Helena—hugs her and tells her it’s okay. Gracie will be her baby’s aunt. It’s wonderful. I love when Orphan Black gives us little character moments like this!

Felix and Sarah arrive at Krystal’s nail salon. Sarah, of course, can’t go inside lest she tip Krystal off about the whole clone situation, so it’s up to Felix. Sarah instructs him to get her wallet and passwords so they can give the information to Rachel. She also tells him to keep Krystal in the dark about Clone Club. Felix heads on inside, walks right up to the counter… and speaks in a Canadian accent. His British accent is gone! You know what else is gone? His sexuality. He’s flirting with Krystal! He’s playing straight! Felix as a straight Canadian man is both hilarious and fascinating, and Krystal warms up to him at once. Excellent. I want twelve hours of scenes with the two of them together.

After a long day at work, Scott heads home. He says hello to his cat, hearing her meow as he enters, and comes face to face with Rudy. Ah! No!!! Rudy sits in the semi-darkness, holding Scott’s cat. I swear, they had better not harm that sweet little cat. I might have to quit the show right now if they do! Scott, obviously fearful, tries to keep calm as Rudy talks to him. Rudy pretty clearly knows about the Doctor Moreau book, somehow, and he wants Scott to give it to him. Uh oh. Do what you have to do, Scott! Save your cat!!!

Credit BBC America

Back at the nail salon, Krystal and Straight Canadian Felix are chatting away. She’s telling him her identical twin abductor story, chattering on and flirting. Felix has a Bluetooth speaker in his ear for Sarah to listen in on their conversation, and she’s pretty amused by his acting choices. Felix and Krystal play “What’s your porn star name?” to get her first pet’s name and her mother’s maiden name. Clever, Felix! Krystal muses over what’s been going on in her life, talking about how strange things have been—she’s clearly been noticing some stuff. Felix excuses himself to go to the bathroom, and as soon as he’s out of her line of sight, slips into the staff room to go through her things. In her purse, he finds her wallet… and a notebook full of notes about her identical twin abductors. She’s investigating them, trying to figure out what’s happening! Felix heads back out into the salon, making excuses to leave. Krystal takes it personally and tears up a little. Felix, having taken a liking to her, decides to get real with her. He removes the headset, drops the Canadian accent, and speaks to her honestly—he tells her that she’s a survivor, she’s unique, and she isn’t alone. Aw, Felix, that’s so sweet. Krystal finds his words comforting, and she smiles after him as he leaves. Felix delivers the wallet to Sarah, telling her that he feels like shit for deceiving Krystal. I can’t blame you, Felix—Krystal seems pretty great. I like her.

Jason Kellerman arrives at Bubbles—Alison has asked him there to talk. He feigns innocence as she bumbles through her conversation opener, but she eventually manages to bring up the kiss. She wants to talk to him about it. He responds by kissing her. Ugh! Jason, stop! You’re the worst! And… oh, man, Alison kisses him back. No, Ali! After several moments, though, she pushes him away and tells him they need to stop. He tries to press the issue, telling her they can keep this quiet and no one needs to know, but she isn’t having it. She wants a business relationship only. He agrees to leave, but tells her he knows that kiss made her feel something. Jason, stop meddling in the Hendrix’s relationship. Go jump in a lake.

At DYAD, Cosima and Delphine examine the files of the deceased European clones. They discuss Cosima’s treatment—within a month, she’ll need more stem cells. Cosima refuses to harvest Kira for more. They’re in the midst of discussing what to do when Delphine’s phone rings. It’s Scott—and based on the look on Delphine’s face, he doesn’t have good news.

We cut back to Scott’s apartment, and… yes! His cat is alive!! She’s safe and sound, lounging on the desk. Oh, bless you, Orphan Black. No kitty murder. Scott apologizes to Cosima and Delphine—he gave Rudy the book. Cosima understands, but Delphine is pissed. She’s mostly pissed that no one trusted her with the information about the book, and now it’s been taken. She asks if they made a copy, but they tell her they didn’t. Oh, man. They’re in trouble now.

The information has obviously been relayed to Sarah, because she, Mrs S, and Felix are sitting around discussing the situation. They’re talking about Castor, trying to figure out who was the rat that told Castor about Cosima’s book. I personally have my own theory on the matter (hint: my suspect’s name begins with an “S” and ends with a “HAY”), but we’ll see in due time, I suppose. Their speculation is interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s one of Scott’s board game buddies! He’s delivering a copy of the Doctor Moreau book—turns out Cosima and Scott did make a copy, after all. Sarah gets Cosima on the phone, and it’s official: they’re going through with their deal with Rachel.

Credit BBC America

Back at the lab, Delphine is lecturing Scott and Rachel. She’s certain that Rachel is the one who told Castor about the book and sold out her sisters. “I should have let you die,” Delphine says to her. Ouch. Damn, Delphine. You’re so hardcore this season. Delphine gets a text from Cosima, requesting to meet with her, so she leaves Scott and Rachel to their board games. Of course, once Delphine leaves, another one of Scott’s board game buddies lets Rachel and Scott out of their room. He tells them where to go to get out and wishes them luck.

Upstairs, Cosima meets with Delphine. She hands her a letter—a resignation letter, effective immediately. Delphine is upset. She tries to talk Cosima out of leaving the lab, insisting that she can’t trust anyone out in the world—including Shay. Cosima, desperate, asks Delphine to let her go. She tells Delphine of her near-death experience, and how it was a vision of Delphine that brought her back. She asks to be let go if Delphine won’t be on her side. Moved, Delphine kisses her. She says that she wishes Cosima would have trusted her.

It’s nighttime now, and our sleazy buddy Jason slips back into Bubbles. He whispers for Alison, but surprise! Donnie is waiting for him instead. Donnie swiped Alison’s phone to ask Jason to come over. It’s a showdown for Alison’s love! Donnie is threatening, telling Jason to back off. He won a long time ago. Jason isn’t having it, though, and tells Donnie that if he wants his wife, he’ll take her. Donnie doesn’t like that at all, and the two of them get into an honest-to-god slapping fight. Oh, man. Donnie’s never quite as tough as he thinks he is, is he? He also utters the most amazing words after Jason calls him a bitch: “I may be a bitch, but I’m Alison’s bitch!”. I love it. I absolutely love it. But then Jason punches Donnie, hard, and he goes down. He’s out cold. With Donnie on the ground, Jason sneaks out again.

Rachel has been brought to Mrs S’s. Sarah gives Rachel Krystal’s ID, and then hands her the Doctor Moreau book. She tells her to translate it cover to cover or she’ll be sent back to Delphine. Rachel translates several sentences about London and the Original, but before she can get very far, men with guns interrupt them! The men storm the place, holding everyone at gunpoint, and Dr Nealon walks in. He takes the book from Rachel’s hands—turns out Delphine knew all along that they had a copy. Rachel tries to fight back, struggling and falling out of her wheelchair. She has a seizure, shaking violently.

The medical team rushes Rachel back to DYAD to examine her. Dr Nealon exchanges words with Delphine, steps into the elevator with Rachel… and then, once the doors are closed, he and Rachel exchange the tiniest of glances. I saw that! What was that? What are the two of you doing? You’re in cahoots! You must be in cahoots!

Credit BBC America

Several hours later, Delphine and Dr Nealon return to Delphine’s office where Scott and Cosima are waiting. Dr Nealon tells them that Rachel’s been put into a medically-induced coma and he doesn’t know if she’ll ever recover. Once he leaves, Delphine snaps at Scott and Cosima—she says the Doctor Moreau book would’ve been safer with her. She fires them both, on the spot, and sends them out. Oh, man. Poor Scott. He’s been caught up in so much insanity!

Back at Mrs S’s house, Felix puzzles over the bits of the book that Rachel did get a chance to decode. The section she decoded mentions London, and Mrs S thinks it’s a lead. She thinks the Castor original is in London—and they need to get to him before Castor does. Oh yeah, everyone, looks like Orphan Black is heading across the pond!

At DYAD, Dr Nealon treats Rachel alone in the lab. He gets a phone call, and—hold onto your hats, Clone Club—it’s Rachel on the line. Rachel! Rachel, who is clearly lying unconscious in front of Dr Nealon, is calling him!!! WHAT?! But, you see, it isn’t Rachel in front of him.

It’s Krystal.

Oh my god, they kidnapped Krystal. They kidnapped Krystal, swapped her with Rachel, put her into a coma, and sent Rachel to Europe. Rachel is safe, somewhere, and Krystal’s been pulled into DYAD’s game. Oh my god.

Why must you do so many mean things to our characters, Orphan Black?!

Well, this episode has certainly shredded any sympathy I was feeling for Rachel prior to now. She’s still as conniving, self-serving, and cutthroat as ever. Why couldn’t that pencil have finished her off last season?! Oh, man. This was a good episode, though—lots of focus on Cosima’s story, Helena and Donnie interacting, and the introduction of Krystal, an awesome new clone. (Though she may not be so awesome after this awful thing that’s happened to her!) And, don’t forget, this episode also gave us Straight Canadian Felix. What more can you ask for?

Two more episodes left in the season, Clone Club. Things are ramping up. The next two aren’t going to go out easy. Prepare yourselves!

EPISODE RATING: B

BEST LINE: Helena, as Donnie teaches her to make soap: “You are strong, like baby ox. This, I like.” Yes!

FAVORITE MOMENT: Everything having to do with Krystal, our newest Leda clone. It’s amazing, watching Tatiana Maslany work—seeing all the different facets of her acting abilities. We’ve never seen her play this sort of bubblegum pop character before; none of the other Ledas are like this. I really love that Krystal wasn’t just a bimbo like she could’ve been—she had depth, humour, heart, and clearly more of a brain than met the eye. I really hope we get to see more of that and that Dr Nealon and Rachel’s plan hasn’t ruined all of that. Also, the introduction of Krystal gave us Straight Canadian Felix. A true blessing to us all.

What did you think of this episode of Orphan Black? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

HEY, CLONE CLUB! There’s more Orphan Black coming your way this week. Check back at the end of the week for an exclusive interview with one of the actors from Orphan Black! We’re bringing you a great piece with one of the cast’s bubblier members. Get it? Keep an eye on this spot.

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