Season 3, Episode 4: “Newer Elements of Our Defense”
The Leda Sisters go digging for bullets, bones, buyers, and brains.
This week got deep. By digging. Digging, digging, and more digging. Sarah goes digging in Mark’s wound and the origins of the Proletheans. Helena goes digging around inside Castor; figuratively and literally. Gracie does some self-digging and doesn’t like what she finds. Alison digs herself in deeper as the dark nature of the drug trade is revealed to her. The only one not digging is Felix; specifically, Felix is not digging Cosima’s sweater. Oh Cosima, how can you be so smart but so out of touch?
Secrets! So many secrets being uncovered! Each one drives in the Orphan Black hook deeper. You need more. You need next week, right now. Each week is pushing the limits of what can be shown on television. You thought Cosima’s game of Operation last week was bad? Be happy it was out of shot. Be happy we didn’t see much. Be happy that subject was dead before someone went poking around in his brain. This warning probably comes a little late; but if you’re squeamish, Orphan Black may not be the program for you. If, on the other hand, you’ve been anxiously pining for Hannibal’s dark feast of brilliant disturbment, consider this a quick fix until season 3 begins in June. Sure, no one here has eaten their own nose (yet), but no one on Hannibal ever impregnated a man with a cow fetus. Yeah, there’s some pretty sick stuff on television these days.
What sets Orphan Black apart from the rest? First is Tatiana Maslany, the sheer awesomeness of whom cannot be adequately summarized in less than a full-length novel (title suggestion; I Am Legion). Second is the utter genius that is the Leda/Castor project conspiracy. Every week brings new developments that never fail to blow your frigging mind. Third is the dark sense of humor so distinct of John Fawcett, a prime example of which is showcased in this episode. On Alison’s journey to become the Canadian Walter White, the one thing she was missing was a threat. For all you Breaking Bad fans out there, remember Tuco? How about his cousins? Gus? No drug kingpin is complete without a dangerous opponent who will murder their family and dump them in an unmarked grave at the slightest provocation. It was only a matter of time before Alison met hers. But true to form, she keeps her head high, her manners impeccable, and her facade unbroken. Their first meeting is one of the funniest scenes you will see on television this week.
Next week; Dating with Cosima!
Clone of the Week: Alison Hendrix
Alison has very much been keeping to herself thus far in the season. Her focus has remained on her efforts to run for School Trustee. You can’t even say that sentence without stifling giggles. It’s such a kindergarden title, “school trustee”. But Alison is willing to bribe, threaten, and deal her way into a position of power over what school district her children are in. It’s such a messed up community, equal parts suburban and psychotic, like a darker version of Tim Burton’s neighborhood from Edward Scissorhands. And considering what a messed up place it is, who better to be its school trustee than Alison Hendrix, ex-alcoholic pill-popper, soccer mom, pharmaceutical entrepreneur, and former community theatre actress? Honestly, Alison is so out there, being a clone is an almost forgettable detail. She has such wicked sway over this freaky community, she’s the only logical candidate for school trustee. Ha ha ha ha, still can’t say that without laughing.
Episode Score: 9.2