Orphan Black returned this week and the mind-fuckery was on full display from the opening dream sequence right up to the sexual-tension-filled Castor clone hug that wrapped the episode. Along the way we get a glimpse inside Helena’s mind, discoveries not only of more Project Leda clones but of further division in the ranks of Dyad, personality upgrades for both Delphine and Donnie, motherly secrets revealed, and more of the always impressively entertaining Tatiana Maslany playing clones masquerading as other clones. Seriously, that never gets old. So let’s get this party started, shall we? And by party, I of course mean the garden party of Helena’s dreams. Literally. The opening sequence is a perfectly-imagined glimpse inside of Helena’s psyche, as her sisters throw a party for her to celebrate her pregnancy. Everybody’s there in all their hyper-idealized glory: Sarah is leather-clad and sporting badass sunglasses, Allison has baked more cupcakes than anyone could hope to eat, and Cosima shows up in full Ukrainian folk-costume with traditional food from Helena’s homeland. All to the tune of “Wouldn’t it Be Nice?” We know immediately where this is heading. As ideal and happy as the dream is, we have to know that Helena’s reality is going to be equally bad. And Orphan Black does not disappoint. Helena’s trapped in a box. Again quite literally. But at least she’s not alone. Sort of. If you want me to get on-board with you and your spirit animal, make it a huge black scorpion. It worked for me when King Mob sprang his psychic trap in The Invisibles, when the story of the scorpion and the frog was told in Natural Born Killers, and when I finally get that tattoo I’ve been talking about for twenty years, it’ll probably be a scorpion on my back. The scorpion is a symbol of death and rebirth, signifying that a transition is in effect, and that’s just what Helena’s scorpion guide tells her. Yes, the scorpion talks. And as one might expect, it is voiced by Maslany. The scorpion tells her that she is being tested. “Picture a box inside a box inside a box.” Once she passes the first test – 48 hours in the box – she is freed to move on to the next box and the next stage of her transformation. I, for one, can’t wait to see where show co-creator and episode writer Graeme Manson is going with this. Haven’t we moved past the old “one episode a week” paradigm yet? The frustration, it burns. I think Daredevil ruined me for watching TV like a normal person. Turning our attention to the upcoming Clone Wars, we get a glimpse into the personalities that Ari Millen is bringing to the table this season as the Project Castor clones, and fuck if they aren’t all disturbing in one way or another. If there was any doubt that one of this season’s highlights was going to see the Clone-Off between Maslany and Millen, those doubts are put to rest this week. And as we’ve seen over two seasons of watching Sarah develop free-range, once the clones are out in the wild, they’re a bit more dangerous; a bit more chaotic. And our first episode of Season Three makes that point in dramatic, bloody fashion, as two Castor Clones make life painful and difficult for our heroes. Fauxhawk-sporting Rudy and mustache-sporting Seth have an agenda that doesn’t seem to entirely line up with Project Castor, and Rudy’s obvious admiration for Sarah – and disappointment at seeing her working with Dyad – raises some very interesting questions about what’s coming down the line. When Seth confronts Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) he lets slip that he’s not under Castor’s thumb, but wants Duncan’s research for his and Rudy’s own agenda. So it looks like all is not well in the land of Castor or Leda, with two sets of Clone Club up and running, parallel to each other. What do you want to bet that those lines aren’t so parallel after all and their goals will intersect at some point, for better or worse? But is Dyad still the enemy? With Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) on top, Sarah and the girls have an ally in just the right place to make things a little easier, and once Sarah discovers Castor has Helena, she decides to press Delphine for help. This sets up one of the most disturbing moments in the episode – yes, more disturbing than watching that pencil be pulled from Rachel’s eye. Topside has sent in a cleaner. His name is Ferdinand and he’s played by James Frain, who has apparently cloned himself in real life, as he shows up in pretty much every show on television these days. And that’s not a bad thing. The man is awesome. Do you want threatening? He can do it. Do you want smarmy? He can do it. Do you want slightly unhinged heroic? He can do it. He won’t be doing that last one here, but threatening and smarmy are definitely in demand. In order to find out what exactly Ferdinand has been sent for, Delphine pays a visit to Rachel — who has only gotten out of surgery hours earlier after not only losing her eye, but with undetermined potential brain damage. Does that mean we’ll get a Rachel with a brand new personality and stylish eye patch in the near future? Color me curious! As is all the rage these days, Delphine decides to torture the information out of Rachel in a move that is sparking some split allegiances over at /r/orphanblack. As well it should. Is this going to be a case where we finally have a benevolent dictator at Dyad or will her power corrupt? Or, better yet, is she going to use the pain of being forced to break up with Cosima to fuel her rage toward Dyad and turn into something nobody expects? This new ferocity allows Brochu to finally bring a little more depth to her performance and let Delphine develop in a new direction as a character. But is this representative of something darker going on inside her? It looks like every hot show is going to start sparking discussions about the uses of torture by our heroes. Oh yeah. That secret? Rachel knows about Helsinki. What’s Helsinki? Turns out that’s another cleaning project of Ferdinand’s. Six clones dead in 24 hours back in 2006. Looks like Sarah and Clone Club aren’t the first time Dyad’s lost control of a gaggle (A pack? A murder? A flock?) of clones. Luckily before the Helsinki protocol can go into effect, Sarah impersonates Rachel and goes all 50 Shades on Ferdinand, nearly killing him in the process. I love how nearly every episode works to expand the mythology of Orphan Black, building a whole new world with secret nooks and crannies yet to be explored. The other personality upgrade this season is Donnie’s (Kristian Bruun). He opens the episode by telling off his boss and getting himself fired in the process. And without his income, the Hendrix household is quickly running out of money. That means one of two things, either Allison goes to work for her mom (whom she apparently hates) or she and Donnie need to team-up and figure out a new source of income. To make matters even more complicated, it looks like Allison will be running for School Trustee in order to save her district and keep her kids from having to switch schools. And the way Donnie says “Marci’s got to go” throws an element of potential dark comedy into the mix. I think Donnie may have gotten the murder bug. And Allison might not be inclined to rein that urge in. It’s all about protecting their kids, after all. Right? Speaking of protecting kids, Mrs. S decides that after a right arse-kicking from Stache-Clone Seth, and then being mysteriously left alive for Sarah to find, it’s the perfect time to admit to selling out Helena to Project Castor in order to save Sarah from their attentions. So once again, Mrs. S is on the outs, working her own agenda, and not caring who finds out. My only question is did she provide Seth with intel to go rescue Rudy from Dyad? She must have done something to keep from ending up dead. And it wasn’t just me that thought the Rudy/Seth reunion was dripping with sexual tension, was it? I’ve got to hand it to Millen. He’s bringing his A-Game to Orphan Black and could very easily find himself becoming a breakout star. Orphan Black 3.01 "The Weight of This Combination"Paul's Rating4.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Autumn Jarvis Nice recap! But it’s Alison in the dream, not Rachel. 🙂 Paul Brian McCoy Argh! I swear I remember fixing that! Thanks!