‘Newer Elements of Our Defense’ is not the Happiest Mother’s Day- Orphan Black Season 3, Episode 4


As always, Clone Club, this is littered with spoilers so watch out.


Back out in the corn field, we discover Castor Clone Mark isn’t dead, but Gracie’s Mom still has a gun and is cult crazy. Sarah takes this “he’s my brother” thing seriously and helps him escape from the corn field. Gracie is back with her cult family again and obviously over it. The Doctor (in big air quotes) who birthed her is now blind, but that doesn’t stop him from giving his worthless advice about Gracie. Helena continues to eat a great deal while trapped in a cage and while doing so, discovers her captors have made the mistake of leaving a bone in the meat she was served. Her little scorpion continues to tell her what to do. That’ scorpion is going to be a difficult thing to add to a Helena cosplay this season. She is drugged and carried out, but it is all part of her plan. While in a medical cell, she sees a Castor clone being experimented on but has to pretend she is unconscious.

Back at the ranch, sort of, Sarah has to help dig a bullet out of Mark’s leg. This is a graphic scene and somehow worse than the brain retrieval scene from last week’s episode. Congratulations, Orphan Black has been given a budget!  The two are still unsure of working together, but Sarah runs off to grab the notes Mark retrieved last episode after he passes out on her.


Allison and Donny Hendrix have issues with their merchandise. On routine drug/soap deliveries, Donny discovers he is being followed. They are approached at home by a very gruff looking man who demands the drugs and declares that they were not Ramon’s to sell. They are to have a meeting with the big boss in town. In good news, this big boss drug dealer turns out to be Allison’s high school ex-boyfriend, Jason Kellerman (the adorable Justin Chatwin from Stranger than Love).  While Donny is left outside of the car with the muscle, Allison catches up with Jason in a Hummer and he admits to her that the soap idea is genius. They strike a deal.

Cosima and Scott try to break the code left in Island of Dr. Moreau, but are having very little luck due to the fact they aren’t sure what key goes to what. Felix is having none of this and forces Cosima to come down to the bar with him while they wait for Sarah’s call. At the bar, Felix snaps a picture of Cosima and puts her on a website called Saphire (think this world’s Tindr) and tells her it is time to get over Delphine for good. Sarah calls and sends over pictures from the notebook she finds. Turns out, (surprise) the crazy cult already used the DNA sequence Mark had been trying to find to make a son. Sarah and Mark go to find the missing DNA child, but Mark reveals that the kid has been dead for decades and is buried in a family cemetery behind a house. He forces Sarah to dig up the body so they can gather the DNA. This process is interrupted with terrifying results by Rudy the Castor Clone.

Gracie’s mom continues to be batty and blames Gracie when she has a miscarriage. Gracie is torn between wanting her mother’s love and wanting to get the hell out of this cult situation. Speaking of crazy moms, Helena chews the bone from the beginning of the episode into a key and keeps adjusting it with her teeth until she opens her own cell. While trying to find a way out, she comes across the tortured Castor Clone. His name is Parsons, and the top of his head has been sawed off so that he can be further experimented on. He begs Helena to kill him, and she complies. She is caught by Dr. Coady.


The concept of Nature vs. Nurture is that big angry theme that runs throughout the entirety of the show Orphan Black. In one sequence this week, Mark begins to point out that Sarah shot Helena, so why would she want to rescue the other clone anyhow. Sara replies that “it’s not Helena’s fault she’s a monster. She was trained to be, sound familiar?” This telling moment reminds the audience that Helena was raised by crazy people, just as the Castor Clones have all been raised together as an army. The Leda Clones were all left into the wild to develop their own natures and skills from their nurturing. Some of the girls may be absolutely crazy, but the Leda clones are not the control in this experiment, but rather the adaptation.

Orphan Black continues to grow darker and darker this season. In this episode, I will give them a little more slack regarding their faux brain on Castor Clone Parsons. They at least tried to make this one more realistic. I did gag when Sarah had to stick here finger into Mark’s bullet wound, as actor Ari Millen (aka every Castor Clone) really looked like he was in some serious pain. I will say though, at least all the characters he plays have only minimal changes to hair and makeup. I guess it’s nice to be the male version in Clone world.



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