'Orphan Black' S3E6: Certain Agony of the Battlefield

Sarah wakes up to find her cell door open. The compound seems deserted; where are all the Castor people? She hears Kira laughing and glimpses her as she frolics away, twirling a ribbon. Yup, we are definitely in dream territory here. She follows her into a blanket fort similar to the one they made in Felix’s loft where Rudy held Kira at gunpoint. The fort opens up to a medical tent, where Rudy and Sarah lie next to each other on exam tables. Sarah watches as a fully conscious Rudy pumps blood from his arm into the neck of her own unconscious form. Rudy holds a finger to his lips and then creepily licks the unconscious Sarah’s hand. Sarah wakes from her dream and throws up. She’s back in her cell, but she still has the bandage on her neck, meaning the dream had some truth to it. While the sight of Rudy licking her hand is enough to make anyone lose their lunch, I think Castor did something to Sarah to make her sick. Either it’s research for the Castor cure, or, more likely, they are testing to see if Sarah, and therefore Helena, is immune to the Castor STD. How that immunity will help them, I’m not sure yet, but you can bet if Coady can use it to further her agenda, she won’t hesitate.

Meanwhile, off the base, Paul meets someone who seems to be his contact for the mysterious Director. Paul shows him Parsons’s logbook and explains that Virginia Coady is performing unsanctioned research on civilians by allowing the boys to transmit their STD and observing the results. Paul urges his contact to take the book to the Director. The contact agrees, but he says they can’t act until they have real proof of Virginia’s off-the-books research.

Orphan Black S3E6

Although she’s supposed to be working on identifying Gracie’s disease, Cosima takes a much-needed break to enjoy some time with Shay. She ignores several phone calls from Scott and the two share a nice morning until Shay asks who Sarah is. Understandably, Cosima freaks out and questions how Shay knows that name. Shay explains that Cosima said it in her sleep and she figured she was an ex. Yeah, right. Shay picks up on how uncomfortable Cosima is and she drops it. I still don’t trust Shay, but only time will tell if her intentions are pure or not. When Cosima finally arrives at the lab, Delphine is waiting for her. Guess you should’ve taken those calls, Cos, Scott tried to warn you! Delphine asks where they got the Castor brain and why they’re studying Gracie. She points out what Cosima and Scott missed: that the samples from Seth and Gracie contain the same protein—the Castor defect.

When Paul returns to Castor HQ, he finds Sarah sick and feverish in the infirmary. She begs him to get her out of there, playing to his feelings for her, but he says he can’t. She accuses him of being worse than Virginia and her boys because at least she knows where they stand, but Paul’s true allegiance is unclear. While I don’t doubt he has real feelings for Sarah, Paul also genuinely cares about saving the boys. Rescuing Sarah may mean a death sentence for her brothers. I wonder who Paul will ultimately side with: Sarah, Castor, or maybe the Director, given his clandestine meeting in Arlington? Realizing Paul can’t help her, Sarah goads Virginia with "Helena got away, didn’t she?" Virginia admits she did escape, but she doesn’t seem worried saying, "If the desert doesn’t get her, Rudy will."

Cut to Helena, running through the desert with Rudy right behind her. She is still accompanied by her scorpion who taunts her with "did you hear the one about the pregnant girl who fell down in the desert?" The scorpion insists that it’s not exhaustion that’s slowing her down; she regrets leaving Sarah behind. Helena denies it—she’s not tired or remorseful, she’s just hungry. And in the blink of an eye she eats the scorpion. What??!!! Helena just ate her conscience, figuratively of course. I loved this scene. Helena is such a boss, she will not hesitate to take out anyone who stands in her way—even if it is her own conscience. I am interested to see if it will return, or if this really was the end for the scorpion.

After seeing the logbook and what she did to Sarah, Paul is on a mission to prove Virginia’s up to no good. He corners Dr. Silva to find out what they did to Sarah, but Silva admits that he wasn’t there. Virginia’s the boss and if she doesn’t want to let him in on something, he doesn’t ask questions. He informs Paul that things have changed while he was away from the base. It started about a month after Paul left, when Rudy came back from leave with a girl. She was sick, displaying bloodshot eyes and dizziness. Silva says Coady treated her and he didn’t think much of it. The boys were instructed to keep logbooks after that, including taking hair samples. Silva was tasked with testing the samples for genetic precursors, a procedure that Coady assured him was for security purposes. Silva and Paul both know that’s not true; Silva thinks he’s establishing a baseline, a "before" picture, of sorts. The question is, what will the "after" picture look like? Silva claims he doesn’t know much, but he says all the research compiled on the infected girls is kept in Virginia’s private quarters. Paul enlists Mark to help him break into Virginia’s room. He sees that Mark is conflicted by his allegiance to Castor and his brothers, and his love for Gracie. I think Paul probably sees a bit of himself in Mark and the two successfully team up to find the research on the Castor boys’ victims. What they discover is nothing good: the girls who were infected displayed rapidly deteriorating conditions, including vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and atrophied ovaries. To his horror, Mark finds Gracie’s file. Until now, he was unaware that he’d infected her, but Paul tells him that the Castor defect is contagious and it is spread to women as an STD. Paul realizes that Coady is sterilizing women through her "research" and arrests her and takes control of the camp.

While the camp is on lockdown, Sarah is fighting the effects of Rudy’s blood, which we now know infected her with the Castor STD. This time, instead of Kira, Sarah hallucinates Charlotte, the baby Leda clone (we know it’s Charlotte and not any of the other clones because she’s wearing her leg brace). Sarah follows her down a stone tunnel and as she walks she sees clips of footage Paul shot of Beth training for a marathon; the very footage Sarah used to first impersonate Beth in Season 1. The tunnel lets out in S’s house where Beth is making tea in the kitchen. She and Sarah sit at the table and Beth looks really worn down; this must be how she was shortly before she killed herself, not how she appeared in the training video, alive and vibrant. She takes a pill and tells Sarah bitterly that she and Paul are a good match—they’re both liars. Sarah tries to tell Beth that she didn’t know her when she took over her life, but after everything that’s happened she’s come to understand Beth and she misses her. Beth gets in her face and screams that Sarah doesn’t get to miss her. Sarah explains that she’s trying to finish what Beth started, but she’s failing; she blames herself for letting Beth jump in front of the train. Surprisingly, Beth softens and says it was her choice to jump; she was too consumed by Project Leda, she couldn’t understand it, and it destroyed her. Sarah says she doesn’t understand it either, she doesn’t understand the why. Beth asks why she took over her life and Sarah responds that it was for Kira. Beth tells her "we do terrible things for the people we love." She has to stop asking "why" and start asking "who." What does Beth mean by that? Who does she love? Who she can trust? Or who Sarah’s willing to screw over to protect those she loves? This scene was intense and haunting. It’s the first time we’ve really seen Tatiana play Beth, rather than play Sarah impersonating Beth. I have a feeling Beth may have had more answers than she realized, given her advice to Sarah.

Orphan Black S3E6

After he gets the compound under control, Paul calls his contact and notifies him that Virginia’s been sterilizing women as part of some kind of human trial. His contact tells him to bag all the science as evidence. Paul reminds him the research is also the cure for the boys and they need to make sure its development continues, despite Virginia’s side project. His contact assures Paul that he’ll have a team to the base in 6 hours and then asks if all the Castor boys are accounted for. Rudy’s still out in the desert tracking Helena and the contact says to just leave him out there, Paul doesn’t need the added stress of dealing with Rudy. Unbeknownst to Paul, however, someone tips Rudy off about Virginia’s arrest and he heads back to base.

While Cosima and Delphine are treating Gracie, Felix persuades Scott to take him to see Rachel. She’s painting (never doubt the healing powers of art therapy) and Felix begins to taunt her for information on Sarah’s whereabouts, even going so far as to paint a crude eye on her bandage. Sarah has been missing for 5 days and the only lead they have is that the base may be located somewhere in Mexico. Felix’s treatment of Rachel is uncomfortable to watch, although not as much as when Delphine paid her a visit, but his callous facade eventually breaks and he reveals how desperate he is to find Sarah. It is heartbreaking. Rachel gives them no new information, but instead begs them to get her out of Dyad (interesting…). Felix storms out and knocks her paintings off the table. Scott picks them up and notices some symbols drawn on one of them, so he takes it with him. Back at the lab, Scott compares it to Dr. Moreau and realizes the symbols are an exact match. He notifies Cosima (conveniently interrupting a makeout sesh with Shay) that Rachel may know Duncan’s code! Now the trick will be to get it out of her brain-damaged head. Speaking of Shay, we realize that it was Delphine who was spying on Cosima and Shay! She’s bitterly sitting in her office surveying her stalker shots and sipping scotch. Oh Delphine, that’s no way to get a girl back. I STILL don’t trust Shay, but for now, it looks like her questions about Sarah were just a red herring and Delphine is the one who is up to something shady.

Sarah’s fever breaks after her dream about Beth and she immediately asks to see Paul. He tells her about Virginia’s human sterilization trials and says that she hasn’t shown any of the symptoms the other woman displayed, so she seems to be immune. Sarah ignores this and asks him if he loved Beth. Paul admits that he feels guilty about what happened to Beth, but that Castor was searching for a cure and they believed Dyad had answers. He did what he had to do to help the boys. Paul takes Sarah to see Coady and Sarah asks her why she gave her Rudy’s blood—how did she know Sarah would be immune? Coady reveals that the Castor and Leda defects are actually the same disorder, which attacks the boys’ brains and the girls’ epithelial tissue, specifically in the reproductive tract and lungs. Sarah and Helena’s fertility proves that they can somehow fight off the defect while the others, including civilian women, can’t. Virginia reasons that she didn’t create the defect, she merely found it. Sarah asks who engineered it, but before Coady can answer Paul jumps in (maybe a little too quickly?), saying she’s developing it into a weapon that will, according to Virginia, "end wars in a single generation, without spilling a drop of blood." The question is, who is she developing it for? Dr. Virginia Coady isn’t talking.

Meanwhile, Rudy’s driver smuggles him back into the camp. Rudy kills Miller’s guard and breaks him out of his cell. Mark warns Paul that Rudy is back on the base. He checked Rudy’s satellite phone and it showed that he also received a call from Arlington, meaning it was Paul’s contact who tipped Rudy off!! Paul calls his guy, but the contact plays dumb about his call to Rudy and insists the team is on its way. Paul realized he can’t be trusted and that no one is coming to help him, so he takes Sarah and runs. Miller is right behind them; the two scuffle and Miller stabs Paul in the stomach. He breaks Miller’s neck and somehow manages to keep it together enough to lead Sarah to a tunnel to the garage. He locks the door behind Sarah and, despite her protests, heads back into the base. Before he leaves he confesses that it was Sarah he loved, not Beth.

Orphan Black S3E6

As Sarah heads down the tunnel, Rudy breaks Virginia out (he has a knack for that, doesn’t he?) and they head to her room to secure their research, but Paul is waiting for them. How he’s still breathing, I don’t know, since that wound looked pretty fatal. Paul is not going to let them at the science without a fight. Virginia commends him on his devotion to the boys and he urges her to focus on the cure and forget the weapon. Virginia argues that her research could change the nature of humankind and she won’t turn her back on that. She shoots him, but as he’s dying, Paul drops the rag he had pressed to his stomach, revealing an armed grenade! He blows up the room, himself, the science, and presumably Rudy and Virginia as well. Sarah is knocked down by the explosion and out of nowhere Helena shows up to help her up! Yeah, reunited again! I have no doubt that the sisters will head for the garage, steal a car, and get as far away from the Castor base as possible.

MVC of the Week: Paul, for his pure devotion to curing the Castor boys, for his love for Sarah, and for his sacrifice to the cause. When we first met Paul we had no idea how complex his character would be, and although we couldn’t always tell which side he was on, he fought hard for what was right for the Castor and Leda clones. We’ll miss you Major Dierden!

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Jun 3, 2016 12:41PM EDT

That Donny and Allison dance party had me laughing hard!

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