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‘Orphan Black’ Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: “Newer Elements In Our Defense”

orphan black newer elements of our defense

Newer elements indeed, as new artifacts posing great upheaval and change in the stories are introduced to the Leda-Castor world.

Episode 4 begins right where last week left off: Mark has been shot down by Gracie’s mother and lies awaiting death in a cornfield. Sarah struggles to hold her cover, but ultimately manages to get Mark away from the ensuing Proletheans.

She is able to carry him over to an abandoned house, where she takes out a bullet lodged in his leg, much to her disarray. Before he passes out, she makes it very clear that the only reason she’s helping him out is really to just bring Helena home. Mark tells her about his mission to bring back his military original Castor DNA, and that that was the only reason to stay with the Johannson’s for that long. He additionally mentions that he found something in the farm (from last week’s episode), though it was seemingly not valuable at all to him. Sarah extracts keys to his motel room and leaves him to a 911 call.

At the motel room, Sarah successfully finds the box and takes a closer look at its contents. What she finds surprises her: Johannson used to be a lab assistant for Ethan Duncan, and actually took some of the original clone genome to make his own. Turns out that his first ever kid with his wife, a son, was the first recipient of this stolen genetic material. Sarah quickly informs Cosima of this and is about to leave when she’s interrupted by Mark, who very surprisingly was able to follow her all the way to the motel and sneak up on her. Props to him.

She tells him about her findings in the box, and understanding that Mark had lived with the Johannson’s, asks him if he’s ever heard of a son of theirs. They drive round to the Johannson’s first ever house, where they do end up meeting the son: in the graveyard. It turns out that they’re first child, embodying the original Castor DNA, died at birth. Mark sets Sarah up to dig the baby’s coffin so that they may extract DNA, and just as Sarah pulls out the box, they are greeted by a very familiar face: Rudy.

While Sarah really is in no state to negotiate….she does anyway. Unfortunately Rudy has the upper hand and soon she runs off into a neighboring barn. She is ultimately found by Rudy again, and just as he’s about to do some serious damage, Mark intervenes and saves her. While Rudy and Mark’s relations seem very tense at first, they warm up soon afterwards (Mark is Rudy’s superior), and everything seems okay, for now at least. And by for now, I mean just for one second. Rudy turns to Mark and says “ we don’t ever leave loose ends”, obviously referring to Sarah in this case. Mark agrees, and closes up on her, undoubtedly taking her to visit Dr. Cody at the military base.

Meanwhile at the military base, Helena is suddenly faced with a reinvigoration to bust herself out of this damn cell. I mean, she is Helena after all.

While physically she is very able to protect herself, she finds herself vulnerable to the military’s drugs, thus quelling her senses should she attempt to escape. She manages to leave her cell only once, and thus begins a very strange and haphazard journey through the military base. Just before she’s about to pass out, she peers through a medical door and sees Dr. Cody operating on yet another Castor clone, someone going through some serious pain.

She makes it back to her room knowing that there’s no way the drugs won’t prevent her from escaping. But she’s not quite done yet. She manages to take a bone from her daily meal, mold it into a key, and unlock her prison door with precision and agility. She probably could make it out, but stops by that same hospital door of the new Castor Clone and enters. Approaching him, she lifts off the covering from his head to find…his head. Half open. Brain exposed and being operated on. Extremely gross. Pupok reappears and urges Helena to leave this guy for her freedom, but as he yearns for her to just kill him, Helena has so much sympathy and carries out his request. His death triggers an alert, and soon Dr. Cody is on the scene, but not before this clone could be saved.

Now over in Alison’s neighborhood, things are getting pretty exciting (well, as exciting as you’d get in a drug-dealing suburban household). Donnie comes home one day, alarmed that a car was following him. Alison quickly brushes this off as a threat, but suggests that they should take out all incriminating drug evidence from their house, just in case. As they’re transporting the goods, they find a man sitting in their driveway, who informs them that Ramon wasn’t actually dealing on his own – he belonged to a bigger company, and all collateral that Alison received wasn’t actually for herself. Turns out Ramon didn’t actually go to college!

Allison, Donnie, and this drug-circle representative meet up the following night at the soccer field parking lot (where it all began, so fitting), and upon arrival of the drug dealer boss, is informed that this boss would only like to speak to her. It turns out that the leader is actually a high school boyfriend of Alison’s, who is indefinitely surprised to hear her name in his niche of the world. As they chat each other up and share some tender glances (no Alison, no), Alison sweet-talks her way and manages to convince him to let her continue the drug-dealing, with twice the amount of profits than before. They have a deal!

Gracie’s storyline becomes increasingly worrisome for herself. When we last saw her, she was being driven by her mom back to the Prolethean’s new establishment, a random house in the countryside. Gracie is welcomed back into the family with open arms, though the patriarch of the household can sense that something is wrong with the child inside of Gracie. Lo and behold, not long after her arrival, Gracie is surveying her new clothes and room when she experiences horrible cramps and blood coming out between her legs: it appears that her child has been lost. Soon, he mother catches wind of this, and while the extended family holds a mourning session for Gracie’s dead child, her mother is outraged and bans her from the family.

Over on Cosima’s end, everything seems pretty stagnant except for the pursuit of whatever message Ethan Duncan was trying to send across in the The Island of Dr. Moreau with Scott (I just love their bromance). Felix walks in and is disturbed to see her physical state: everything she is emanating just exudes “pining” for Delphine. Cosima tries to brush this off, but Felix knows better, and convinces her to come down for drinks to loosen up.

Sarah’s storyline seems to be mimicking what happened last season: the “bad guys” take someone she cares about, she is captured and brought over to their side, and awaits trial. Who honestly knows what the military could do with Sarah. I am thoroughly looking forward to her reunion with Helena.

Gracie is quite intriguing to me as a character. While I could care less about the Proletheans, her variance from her family values makes her unique from the rest, and since she is an outcast as of now, she’ll definitely be running into more familiar faces in the real world.

While the Castor clones remain enigmatic as ever, they also remain to be…boring. There’s not much Their association with the Leda clones as their siblings makes their story all the more unique, but it’s still generic. I honestly would love to see more screentime for Alison and Cosima, who are doing their parts as the comic relief/backstory people.

Now that the military has the original genome, anything could possibly happen. Helena managed to catch a glimpse of some of their projects with the new clone “Parsons” who begged her to kill him. How Helena fits into everything is still a mystery; with Sarah joining her side however, I’m confident that shit’s seriously about to go down.