The latest Orphan Black, “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations,” had plenty of twists and turns. Helena and Sarah’s reversal of fortunes came about organically. Helena’s been on the short end plenty of times that it’s fitting that she escapes her prison cell, while Sarah cools her heels. Bu the twist where the male clones pass on some sort of disease to any woman they have – ahem – relations with came out of no where and felt forced.
I think this is the episode that shows just how big the cast of Orphan Black has gotten. The writers jammed as much plot as they could into “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” and we didn’t get a single scene with Alison (her story, while interesting, has nothing to do with anyone else’s) and this is the second week in a row where we haven’t seen either Delphine or Rachel. Granted, I don’t think we’ll see Rachel again any time soon, but there’s so much going on this season that you can’t latch onto one character before another one takes their place.
Rachel made a compelling villain last season and no one has stepped into her shoes—yet. There’s still another half to Orphan Black’s third season, but Castor needs to grow an identity. I’m still not sold on Ari Millen as the male clones because they act the same way. I know that all of the boys are part of the military and that’s part of it, but there needs to be some variance to how these guys act and I haven’t seen much if any. And the mother character is too shrouded in mystery for her own good. She’s kind of like a less interesting Mrs. S.
Speaking of which, Mrs. S opened up about her husband and I liked that a lot. We knew she was married before and it was touching to see her open up to Gracie, and I also liked how Gracie is Felix’s new pet, now that Cosima’s back on her feet.
The scenes with the Maslany female clones were stellar. Cosima’s new relationship broke up the other clone girls’ escape plan. Helena’s the most abused female clone and it makes sense that she can’t trust her sister Sarah—it also makes sense that she can’t leave her either because she has no one else.
As a result of these disparate story arcs, “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” teetered between good but shaky and excellent, and we’re left with an interesting crossroad for Orphan Black by episode’s end.