Inside her cell after killing Parsons, Helena finds a small nail and reengages in her wing cutting process. The camera follows her little scorpion and we discover Sarah Manning in the cell right next door. While Sarah is happy to discover Helena is alive, the blonde-haired clone wants nothing to do with her sister. Helena blames Sarah for her imprisonment.
After her miscarriage, Gracie turns to Art Bell for help. Mrs. S and Felix are worried they haven’t heard from Sarah, but at the moment are more concerned about Cosima on her first Sapphire date. Cosima worries she “reeks” of her despair over the breakup with Delphine. In walks Shay, played by Ksenia Solo from the tv show Lost Girl. Blonde and into hollistic medicine, Shay quickly takes a shine to Cosima and they share their date horror stories. Shay’s description of her worst date sounds a bit more like Ksenia’s character Kenzie on Lost Girl, and I don’t think that’s an accident. Rare for Cosima’s character, she takes Shay back to Felix’s apartment for alone time.
Art delivers Gracie to Mrs. S and Felix. Mrs. S tells Gracie about her husband’s death and how she was taken in by her aunt, and therefore has a small idea of what the young cult castoff may be feeling. Helena and Sarah work on a plan to escape, and for the first time we have an idea of where this secret base might actually be located. Sarah spills her guts to Helena and talks about how she spent her year away from Kira and her regret over it. Helena agrees to work with Sarah to escape. Sarah allows herself to be struck so she can go to the medical ward and try to get tools for escape with Helena.
In Felix’s apartment, Shay gives Cosima a clothed massage and offers to listen to her story about Delphine. Cosima debates over whether to keep Shay there, and then blurts out details about her break up. Shay kisses Cosima in response. While the scene is sweet, there is still the sense that Shay could just be a new monitor.
Felix confronts Mrs. S regarding her husband’s death, wondering why she never told he or Sarah about it. Mrs. S explains what happened to her husband. Gracie interrupts wearing a very immodest outfit and declaring she wants to go out and live her life. Mrs. S and Felix convince her to stay home and learn to drink and dance under their care. Gracie learns about Gin and Juice and rock music, as well as the proper way to dance in public. She suddenly collapses in agony and Felix calls for help.
In her cell, Helena covers herself in butter she’s hidden from her food trays and works to break a lose bar out of her cell. She gets out, kills a guard, but manages to leave Sarah behind. Art discovers that one of the Castor clone’s sexual partners is deeply sick with an unexplained illness. Her eyes are bloodshot. We then return to Gracie to discover she also has red eyes. What horrible disease are the Castor clones giving women? Is this why they’ve been tracking their sexual partners?
Ksenia Solo as Shay is making me so happy. I will admit a biased love for her after her time as the bubbly Kenzie on Lost Girl. She helps support anti-bullying campaigns and is just generally a great person. It is wonderful to see her in another role, even if we as the audience don’t quite know who exactly Shay is.
As seems to be the theme of the season, Orphan Black is hitting home with difficult topics for women. When Mrs. S addresses Gracie’s miscarriage, Gracie tells her she doesn’t feel sad she’s lost the child. “My father put that baby in me and my mother let him,” she says. This statement will likely hit home for anyone who was sexually abused by a family member and it was never reported or stopped. Mrs. S goes farther in depth with the concept of what makes a woman a woman when she chides Gracie for thinking female clones were only half people, as they are for the most part infertile. “Fertile, infertile, they’re all just people love,” Mrs. S declares. This message is important in a culture that villainizes women for being unable to carry a child or those who choose not to have children. It is such a rare thing to see on a TV show that I had to go back and rewatch this sequence just to make sure I heard everything correctly. You go, Canada.
The idea that the Castor Clones are willfully infecting women with a disease is a terrifying concept, but sadly not something out of fiction. A recent news story talked about an HIV positive man who knowingly infected at least 30 people with the STD. Are the clones keeping score? What is the purpose of spreading this disease. We as watchers can’t help but be terrified at the prospect. Safe sex people!
Oh, and in case you didn’t get the memo: Orphan Black has been renewed for a fourth season.