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Season 3, Episode 3: “Formalized, Complex, and Costly”

byDan Tomasik

The Basic:

Mark and Gracie run into newlywed issues. Some less orthodox than others.

The Trip:

This week took a turn for the gruesome. Cosima’s playing Operation with/on a Castor, Mark is getting information the old-fashioned way (farming tools, ugh….), and then, BOOM, twist. You’d think we would be beyond the point where anything could rattle the Clone Club. You’d be wrong! Sit back and feel your brain explode.

Lots of crazy girl power this week. Top of the list, Gracie. A girl who proved this week that she is not just a modest religious mouse, but well suited to hold her own in the real world. Gracie, like so many others, is full of surprises. She still has nothing on that terrifying mother of hers. For the tiny fraction of screentime Bonnie Johanssen (Kristen Booth) has had, she has made a big impact. That woman has a shrill scream that would make the most battle-hardened man pee his pants. It feels less like a call for help and more like an open declaration of murderous intention. She may well be the scariest character in this whole damn show.

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Alison is quietly getting in touch with her inner Heisenberg. It’s funny, but for a character so fixated on family values and her small town community; Alison can’t seem to be satisfied unless she’s breaking with the image she struggles so hard to maintain. Alison can never just be the soccer mom, she has to be armed, alcoholic, off-the-chain, or burying some dark secret. Alison cannot be stable unless she’s unstable. It’s a fascinating paradox. Speaking of a fascinating paradox, how about Rachel Duncan, the cold, calculating invalid of the Dyad Institute. She’s almost unrecognizable in her current state of helplessness, but it’s opened up so many different avenues into Rachel’s character.

Then there’s Paul. His motives and allegiances are so enigmatic, it’s become impossible to formulate a response to his actions. One can’t tell if he’s betraying a side or putting on an act or moving independently anymore. Paul is Paul, and maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll have some idea of which side (if any) he’s on come the end of the season. Maybe. Then again, considering Orphan Black’s record for answering questions with fuzzy brain puzzles, Paul may forever remain a mystery.

Clone of the Week: Mark

ProCreate Orphan Black

Let’s talk about Mark. Mark has proven himself an anomaly. A Castor clone deep undercover within the Proletheans, he is a combination of the two greatest threats in Orphan Black. He wants nothing to do with either. Forsaking his brothers, his mission, his organization, and his faith for a girl. It’s a tale as old as time. Boy gets cloned, boy joins military, boy leaves military, boy joins a crazy religious sect, boy meets girl, boy burns girl’s home/crazy religious sect to the ground, boy gets married, boy burns off tattoo with blowtorch, boy and girl live weirdly ever after until (spoiler alert) boy gets shot by girl’s mom. (end spoiler)

Episode Score: 8.2

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Dan Tomasik

An East Coaster by birth, Dan Tomasik has established a solid reputation as a Guru for all things TV and movie-related. Fueled by a passion for great storytelling and equally great criticism, he comes to you now from Los Angeles. Opinionated, judgmental, sarcastic, but never unfair; welcome to TV Reviews.

Cast and Crew

Directed byJohn Fawcett

Written byChris Roberts

Air Date: May 2nd, 2015

Episode Score: 8.2/10

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