'Orphan Black' S3E7: Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate

I’ve been ignoring Alison’s storyline for a little while, and I apologize for that. It’s not because I don’t love Alison, it’s just that in comparison with all the Castor stuff that’s been going on, her arc felt a little silly. Well, this episode was super Alison-centric and I’m so delighted I get to write about her shenanigans again. This episode felt like a return to form with all the comedy of errors going on in Alison's old high school. The gist of it is, Alison has a candidate's mixer the same day she and Donnie are supposed to make a big drug deal, so the two decide to divide and conquer, with Alison giving her speech at the mixer and Donnie teaming up with Jason to buy the drugs from an even bigger supplier, Pouchy. But first they have to see Alison’s mother to convince her to sign her store "Bubbles" over to them. They need the store to front their drug business and since it’s a soap and fragrance store, it’s already the perfect cover.

The first hitch in their plan comes when Alison's mother stalls their purchase of the store. She never liked Donnie (she calls him Mr. Chubs which, surprise, is his actual last name as he took Alison’s name when they married) and doesn’t like the idea of him co-owning the store. They leave her to review the paperwork.

Meanwhile, Cosima and Shay are going strong! They’re being sickeningly sweet together in Shay’s (am-ah-zing) studio, when knock, knock! Delphine’s at the door. She says she’s worried about Cosima’s numbers, and she needs a pee sample in order to study the defect protein. She’s been testing all the Leda girls, but she didn’t show up in person to collect all their samples! Delphine, you are not as sneaky as you think you are. Shay is however, she’s sneakily listening to their conversation from the bathroom. Is it just out of curiosity or is she working for someone? Cos basically tell Delphine to take a hike then calls Scott to tell him she’s going to be late to the lab. Scott reminds her of the importance of the urinalysis as he casually studies Dr. Moreau. Cosima warns him not to show the book to Delphine and Scott’s like, yeah Cos, I’m not a complete idiot. Cosima asks him to try and get the code from Rachel, but he admits Rachel scares him. Cos agrees to talk to Rachel, adding one more thing to her overflowing plate.

Orphan Black S3E7

As Donnie leaves for the drug deal with Jason, Alison heads to the mixer being held at her old high school. Felix is there, all decked out in Team Hendrix merch. Obviously he would be her campaign manager — I love their relationship. Alison gets a text from Cosima asking for her pee. My question is, why would Cosima ask Alison for her pee and not just give Delphine her own sample? It’s not like she can fake the urinalysis, we already know they have different synthetic sequences. Alison says if she wants it, she’ll have to come pick it up herself; nothing is going to distract her from the mixer. That is, until her mom calls claiming she’s having a heart attack. Alison leaves to help her mom and gives Felix the envelope of signatures to hand in to Sarah Stubbs (remember her friend from the play?) which looks suspiciously identical to the envelope of cash Donnie took to the drug deal. Sure enough, they switched the envelopes! It turns out Pouchy is the same guy that chopped off Vic’s finger with a paper cutter, so while Donnie is held down poised to have his nose cut off, Jason is tasked with getting the money from Alison at the high school.

When Alison arrives at Bubbles she asks her mom why she had a panic attack. Her mom confesses that she can’t sell her the store, not when Donnie is listed as co-owner. Alison argues that this isn’t really about Donnie; no one is good enough for her mom, not her dad, not Donnie, and not even Alison herself. Now we can see where Alison gets her uptight attitude from. Having met her mom, it’s actually a miracle Alison lets loose as much as she does. Imagine if her mom knew she was a drug dealer and using Bubbles as a front. It would shock that silk scarf right off her neck. While Alison reasons with her mom, Cosima arrives to collect Alison’s sample. Sarah Stubbs sees her and mistakes her for Alison, giving Felix an idea. Using the school’s drama department, he makes her over as Alison so she can pose for photos in Alison's place.

Orphan Black S3E7

Back at Dyad, Delphine wheels Rachel into the lab, interrupting his game of Agricola. Rachel notices her painting on the table so Scott flashes her the book to show her not only does he know what the symbols are, but he’s working on deciphering Duncan’s code. Rachel feigns interest in the medieval farming game and asks Scott to teach her to play Agricola in order to get him alone and discuss the code. When he begins to go over the rules, Rachel explains she wasn’t serious about wanting to learn. Scott says with glee that they have to go through the game in order to keep up the charade. It’s obvious how much he loves having power over Rachel — Scott: 1, Rachel: 0.

Alison arrives back at the school just in time to see Cosima taking photos as her. Realizing what’s happening she quickly ducks out of sight before anyone can see her, but Jason finds her and tells her about the envelope swap. Alison eyes up the envelope, figuring out how to make her move when her mom arrives. "Holy fricking Christmas cake!" Alison exclaims. You said it, Alison. Her mom is there to confess that Alison was right, her dad wasn’t good enough for her mom, in fact she asked for an "upgrade" at the in vitro clinic. So if her mom ever seemed disappointed in Alison, it wasn’t a reflection of her feelings toward her daughter, it was because she didn’t show the traits her mom had asked for. Wow Mama Hendrix, you are a piece of work. Alison doesn’t have time for this — she asks Jason to distract her mom while she deals with the envelope (and clone) swap. She tells Felix that instead of handing in the signatures, he gave Sarah Stubbs 30,000 in cash. Obviously Felix is suspicious, so Alison comes clean to him about her drug dealing business.

With Donnie’s nose hanging in the balance, Felix distracts Sarah Stubbs as Alison flawlessly switches the envelopes while fending off accusations from Marci Coates. Jason is hard at work convincing Alison’s mom to give her the store, playing to her disapproval of Donnie. Alison runs out to meet the drug dealer’s niece in the parking lot, just as her speech is about to begin! She s-l-o-w-l-y counts the money, but it’s all there so Donnie and his nose are safe! Cosima has to go on in Alison's place, adorably babbling about family values and coloring outside the lines before outing herself (aka Alison) as a lesbian before she hastily covers, "uhhh I mean LGBTQ supporter." Alison arrives just in time to see Cosima making a fool of herself, so Cosima coughs her way offstage and swaps with Alison. Cosima walks out the back of the auditorium and Jason kisses her, thinking she’s Alison of course. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Alison begins her prepared speech, but puts down her notecards in favor of Cosima’s theme of family values and absolutely KILLS IT.

Orphan Black S3E7

Alison finally meets Cosima in the bathroom to give her a pee sample and Cosima tells her about the kiss with Jason. Cosima wants to know if she’s having an affair, but Alison refuses to play ball (or pee) until Cosima tells her why she needs the sample so badly. Cosima denies that it’s about her health and begins to explain about the Castor protein, but Alison reminds her that they need Dyad when it comes to their health, even if it means doing embarrassing stuff like peeing in cups and reporting their menstrual flow. Suddenly Alison's mom comes in and Cosima quickly hides in a stall. She loved Alison’s speech and says she has her vote and the store. Perhaps in the spirit of family, or more likely to spite her mom for implying she should have chosen Jason over Donnie, Alison introduces Cosima to her mom. But instead of introducing her as her long-lost twin or something she comes out to her mom as a clone!! She basically says, joke’s on you mom, you were implanted with a clone! Her mom doesn’t believe her and concludes that the clinic must have been peddling the same donor’s sperm to all the hopeful mothers in town. I loved the themes of extended family in this episode, with Alison, Cosima, Felix, and even Jason and Donnie all working together in some way, and Sarah, S, and Helena reconciling down in Mexico (I left that bit out, but that’s all you really need to know).

At the very end of the episode, Rachel declares she’ll only divulge her father’s code to Sarah. It always comes down to Sarah, doesn’t it? Well, Sarah had better get over her grief for Paul and get back from Mexico quickly, because Cosima’s going to need access to Duncan’s research ASAP! While she’s unwinding from the day’s events with a nice bath, Cosima comes clean to Shay about her illness. Right on cue, she starts bleeding in the bathtub. Come on Sarah, you have to pull it together and save Cosima!

MVC of the Week: Cosima. Any time a clone stands in for her sister, I’m going to pick her for being such a team player.

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