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‘Orphan Black’ Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”

orphan black insolvent phantom of tomorrow

Nothing is truly left for certain in the Leda-Castor struggles, from the apartments of Toronto to the streets of London.

Where last week’s episode left off, Sarah and Felix realize from Rachel’s encrypted message that they, along with Siobhan, must travel to London to find the original Castor donor. This week’s episode finds them bargaining more than they probably really wanted to.

Upon arriving in London, they appropriately head straight over to the bar, where Siobhan reunites with an old contact, Terry. She hopes that maybe he can help decrypt Rachel’s message, and it appears that he possibly can: Terry recognizes the six-digit alpha-numeric code to be a prisoner ID number, and leaves to find out who the person is for S.

Things are going pretty chill for Ali, though we most definitely cannot say the same for Donnie. Waking up on the floor of Bubbles feeling like all the bones are broken is probably not the best way to start the morning. Over at Ali’s house, Gracie has told her that she has a doctor’s appointment and won’t be able to help for the day.

Donnie receives an unexpected and frankly unwanted guest at Bubbles: the thug in the beginning of the season (works for Poochie) who was going to burn the Hendrix house. He comes in and demands that they return all the pills they have in their possession, as Jason has essentially cut them out of business. The dude also takes a curious nitrogen tank that Donnie doesn’t know about, as incentive for their impending trade-off.

On her own at Shay’s, Cosima becomes increasingly wary of Shay’s actions and potential role as a mole for Castor. Talking to Scott, she realizes two things that tip her off: 1) Shay’s interest in The Island of Dr. Moreau and 2) she knew that Cosima was sick (something that Rudy had mentioned). Cosima feels horrible and immediately goes to Delphine with this information, along with the fact that Sarah and Felix have gone with S to London to find the Castor original genome. Delphine is obviously frustrated but resolves to figure this shit out.

While lounging in the bar, Siobhan is reunited with her old band-mates and is persuaded to go up on stage one last time, which she absolutely kills. At the same time, Terrence phones her from a meet-up location, telling her that he’s got some answers, but is apprehended by a face we’ve seen in episode 1 of the season: Ferdinand. He and his thug quickly apprehend Terrence and beat him up to pulp.

When Siobhan, Sarah, and Felix arrive on the scene, they’re horrified to find a nearly dead Terrence. After Terrence whispers some things into Siobhan’s ear, Siobhan orders the two of them to leave immediately and meet her later in the bar – but most importantly, do nothing. Of course that’s something not in Sarah’s nature, and while she and Felix leaves, she quickly picks up Terrence’s phone from the ground.

Outside, ignoring Felix’s discomfort and constant requests to just listen to Siobhan, Sarah calls the last number Terrence called, and talks to an unidentifiable person to meet them later in the evening, under the pretense of Sarah being Siobhan. Unbeknownst to the two, they are being closely watched by Ferdinand.

Back at Alison’s home, Helena’s having a real treat making food and cupcakes in the garage. She is greeted by Gracie, who tells her that she’s going for a doctor’s appointment (armed with a suspiciously large carpet bag…) and gives Helena a huge hug, thanking her for everything.

Helena sees Donnie limping in, and helps him in treating all his injuries. Donnie begins to explain the situation, and mentions that the thug took some random nitrogen tanks. Seeing as these tanks are not random to Helena, she freezes up and tells Donnie of its importance. Realizing that Helena is a part of the family and in no way should these tanks be compromised, Donnie tells her that he’ll retrieve the tank while returning the pills.

They arrive on location at Poochie’s place, where Donnie tells Helena to stay in the car. Donnie enters, hands over the pills, and asks for the nitrogen tanks, a process which goes by smoothly. When he asks for reimbursement for the pills, everyone starts laughing – no way that’s gonna happen. At that moment, “Alison” arrives on the scene (it’s Helena, of course), and while Donnie is terrified he doesn’t blow his cover. Upon hearing that compensation is definitely off the table, they’re about to respectfully leave the premises when Poochie’s daughter, who is threatening them to not enter this dangerous game again, mentions to the two of them that they know where their kids go to school.

This immediately seals the deal for Helena (“you do not threaten babies”). Sending Donnie away and locking the door, she advances on them. Donnie knows all too well what’s going to happen, and bangs on the door pleading Helena to stop. After around 5 minutes, I’m guessing, Helena emerges, bloodstained with a huge knife, and a bag full of his compensation. Donnie understands what he’d see if he walked back in there, and he quickly herds Helena away.

Knowing that something is fishy with Shay and is in no doubt of wanting to interrogate Shay, Delphine bursts into her apartment with security, demanding for her to tell her everything. Throughout the whole ordeal, Shay tries to reason with Delphine, telling her that she has no idea what Castor is and that she’s a crazy bitch. Things are about to get really horrible as Delphine pulls a cutter and goes to the bathtub, telling Shay a story about a girl’s attempted suicide in a bathtub with a cutter.

At that moment, Cosima receives a call from Gracie. Gracie tells Cosima thanks for everything and that she’s sorry. So sorry, in fact, that she had to be the mole and give all the information to Castor. Apparently, Castor had told Gracie she could help with Mark and that they would be reunited – throughout this whole time, Gracie had not forgotten him. She had betrayed Cosima and Leda for love. Cosima realizes the huge mistake she’s made, and calls Delphine just in time to correct it, essentially saving Shay’s life.

Back in London, Sarah and Felix arrive at the agreed upon location, and are greeted by a rough taxi driver. When they stop driving, the taxi driver pulls Felix out and demands Sarah to explain what’s going on, as she’s clearly not Siobhan (the taxi driver is the person she called). Sarah explains who she and her brother are, and the taxi driver lets them go, as he dealt with them over 20 years ago, when he transferred them from foster home to foster home. On Sarah’s request, he shows them what he had shown Terrence earlier: the address to the original Castor donor.

Sarah asks Felix to keep watch while she enters the apartment. She slinks her way in and finds nothing really, until she gets apprehended by the owner of the apartment, an old woman. Sarah is cornered and is doing her best to not instigate a fight herself and the old woman until Siobhan walks in. They’re all pretty much related, as the old woman is actually Siobhan’s mom.

Tensions are running high as confusion seems to layer itself more and more on the current situation. As the mom explains her side of the story, it seems more messed up than ever. Apparently, when she was locked up in prison, Dr. Duncan was walking through the aisles looking for a participant in a “cancer research study”. He was looking specifically for a male, and while he found one, it was in a thoroughly unexpected place: Siobhan’s mom. Sarah and Siobhan are bewieldered. It turns out that S’s mom had absorbed her unborn male twin’s body, and therefore adopted his DNA as well.

At that point, Felix from outside senses someone is watching and alerts Sarah inside. She and Siobhan know they gotta move, but Siobhan has some extra measures in mind: to burn the place down and take her mom down with it. Sarah pleads with Siobhan to spare her mom’s life, as she has a gun targeted towards her forward. She reasons that her mom is the link between Leda and Castor, and that she is a well-intended ally for both parties as they’re siblings, and more specifically to Leda. As we see Siobhan struggling to decide what to do, the episode cuts to an end.

Final Thoughts

Well if the storyline wasn’t entangled enough as it was, it is now. Introducing Siobhan’s mom as the central linking point between Castor and Leda seems extremely rushed and not really thought out through. It’s a surprise all right, but I’m not really confident that her introduction will answer all questions, and even if they are, if it’ll be a smooth transition and storyline. It seems all too crazy and bizarre to be true, but I guess that’s the true intended nature of Orphan Black anyway.

Delphine’s involvement with Shay is quite interesting. I’m not 100% convinced of Shay’s innocence: I can fully anticipate seeing a turn-around in her character in next week’s season finale. However, if there’s going to be a huge conflict between Shay and Dyad, I can imagine it being over Cosima’s love interest as well, to an extent of course. Gracie’s involvement in betraying her new Leda friends was actually unexpected for me, but not unimaginable. Now that she’s reunited with Mark, it seems like some good is happening. Since there’s kinda been a lack of visibility with what Castor is doing the past couple of episodes (other than a glimpse of Rudy’s malfunctioning, where Dr. Cody promises that the original genome will soon be in their hands to help him); however, things seem to be quite precarious on both ends, and I’m really not sure where the season finale will lead us.

I’m really confused by Ferdinand’s place and involvement within everything. Topside has been pretty detached in this season, with involvement only in the first episode of the season. Ferdinand’s attitude towards helping the Leda clones seems a bit bitter (not completely surprising, if we remember how his day went in the premiere); however, his interactions with Delphine could definitely not be good, especially in the grand scheme of things with all the different shit happening from different places.

And last but not least, what the hell is gonna happen with Ali and Donnie? There’s either one of two scenarios that may occur: one being that Helena really ticked off the drug dealer circle and will consequently become Ali and Donnie’s bodyguard, the other being Helena completely scared off all present drug lords in the area, thus cutting off all connection that Ali and Donnie have with “the bad guys”. I’m leaning towards the latter, but that’s totally the easy way out of this. Things are about to get super messy next week.