Orphan Black, Season 3 Episode 9
“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”
Posted by Kayti
On this week’s Orphan Black, old habits die hard. For Gracie, that habit is loving Mark (at the expense of her new clone family). For Mrs. S., that habit is everything that used to be her world and social circle in London — the singing, the camaraderie, the “necessary” killing (or at least planning to kill). And, oh yeah, the homicidal mother. For Helena, that habit is straight-up murdering people. Here’s everything that went down in Season 3, Episode 9 (“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”).
The “S” family discovers the clones’ unlikely origin. Mrs. Sadler, Felix, and Sarah returned to London this week, and it was awesome. Mrs. S. sang. Everyone spoke with very British and/or Irish accents. And there were London taxicabs! Basically, this episode had both “BBC” and “America,” and that is my favorite type of programming. It was nice to see Mrs. S. in her element, Felix and Sarah back in a place where they aren’t the audible outsiders, and for the entire “S” family to take a breath and remember the good times. (And, by good times, I mean that time Mrs. S.’s friends smuggled little Sarah out of wherever it is she came from and to relative safety.)
But it wasn’t all fun and games in ye olde England. Soon, the gang got down to business: finding the Castor original, whom Mrs. S. is set on promptly murdering. Why, you may ask? This is not very well explained. Though S. tells Sarah that they need to kill the Castor original so that Castor will stop sterilizing women, this seems like a convoluted way to go about it — not to mention hella dark. Sure, if all of the Castor clones die out, then I guess they won’t go around sterilizing women anymore, but there have got to be other alternatives, right? Not in S.’s world.
Things get complicated when we discover that the Castor original is not only Mrs. S.’s estranged mother, but also the Leda original. Apparently, Grandma S. (whose name is actually Kendall Malone) has two separate cell lines, thanks to the male twin she absorbed in utero. Or something. When she was in prison for killing Mrs. Sadler’s husband (he was no good for Siobhan, OK?!), Professor Duncan found her as a source for both projects. Trippy!
Though this is kind of a cool reveal, it is also an incestuous one. How did Mrs. S., the daughter of the Castor and Leda Original, end up with Sarah? This has to have been more than a coincidence, right? If it’s a coincidence, I don’t think I can handle it. Clones: yes. This level of coincidence: nope.
Despite her unexpected connection to the Castor/Leda Original, Mrs. S. is still ready to move forward with the original plan: kill the Castor original. She makes moves to shoot her ma and blow up the house, destroying any and all DNA evidence, but Sarah protests. If Kendall is the Leda Original, they need her to cure the Leda clones. They need her to cure Cosima.
Cosima sics Delphine on Shay. Speaking of Cosima, Delphine has finally convinced her that Shay is a spy sent from Castor. How else would Rudy have found out about the book in the previous episode? How else, indeed. Cosima asks Delphine for help, and you can kind of tell that Delphine secretly loves it.
She tells Cosima to leave the problem with her, then hightails it over to Shay’s house with two goons to threaten Shay’s metatarsal veins. Guys, Delphine is super scary. And of course she went to boarding school. This explains so much.
Um, did Delphine kill Shay? Probably not. Right?! I love that Orphan Black has me questioning this at all. On many other shows, it would be a resounding “Of course not,” but not on Orphan Black where morality is directly related to whom you love and how far you will go to protect them. For Delphine, the person she loves most is Cosima and we have seen her dabble with some extreme measures in protecting her ex-girlfriend this season. One can only imagine the sorts of shenanigans she is up to off-screen. Probably drowning kittens and kicking canes out from under people.
Whether she survived past this episode or not, is there still a chance that Shay was informing on Cosima to Castor? She does have a military background. As with Mrs. S.’s very personal connection to Project Leda/Castor, we’re left wondering if this is just coincidence or if there is more intentional purpose to Shay’s involvement in Cosima’s life than meets the eye.
Gracie and Mark reunite. You see, it wasn’t actually Shay who tattled about the book (and Cosima’s illness). It was Gracie, who was told by Project Castor that getting the book could help save Mark’s life. This is probably true, and I can’t really begrudge Gracie for making the same kind of save-the-person-I-love decision-making that most of the other characters on this show make on a regular basis. The only difference is that the person she loves most happens to be a Castor and not a Leda clone.
After leaving the Hendrix home under the (thin and obvious, if anyone were paying attention) guise of a doctor’s appointment, Gracie calls Cosima to let her know that it was her who gave up the information about the book.
Gracie apologizes, in what is possibly the nicest double-cross this show has ever done, and then jumps into the arms of Mark. It’s kind of beautiful. I ship them. Even if it kind of sucks Gracie sold out her sisters for a dude. And even if I think Gracie and Mark are rocking a Romeo and Juliet vibe that has them marked for tragedy.
Helena slaughters the drug dealers. How will Helena react to Gracie’s betrayal? After all, these two are besties these days, but Helena also will do anything to protect her new family, and that is continually growing to include more of the Clone Club. This week, it includes the Hendrix family. When Donnie returns home from getting beat up by Jason Kellerman and threatened by Pouchy’s goon, Helena positions herself to help. She makes some minty gunk to put on Donnie’s wounds and gets him to tell her the truth: Pouchy confiscated some tank and is holding it prisoner until Donnie returns the pills.
Those are Helena’s babies (aka fertilized embryos), Helena informs Donnie. Donnie pledges to save them. Like Helena, his definition of family has expanded, too. He now includes Helena (and, ostensibly, her “babies”) in the group, and he is going to try his best to protect them. And to get a refund. Predictably (but still awesomely) enough, it is actually Helena who gets the refund.
While Pouchy and company return Helena’s babies, they refuse to return the pills or money, instead informing Donnie he now works for them. Helena seems poised to let this go — she walks a new path now, OK? — until Alison and Donnie’s children are threatened. She shoves her tank full of fertilized embryos into Donnie’s arms and both of them out of Pouchy’s shop before slaughtering the entire operation. So long, Pouchy.
What did you think of the penultimate episode of season three? What kind of pain are we in for in the finale? Let us know in the comments!