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Orphan Black Recap Orphan Black Recap

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 5, “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 5, “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations”

The final act of “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations,” which, as it happens, is an appropriate description for viewers who’ve struggled to connect with Orphan Black this season, is nothing less than a salve. After two weeks in the weeds, “Newer Elements of Our Defense” offered, as I wrote, glimmers of hope for a return to form, and the conclusion of tonight’s episode makes good on the promise in spades. Beginning with the soused, lighthearted dance party among Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy), and the scantily clad Gracie Johanssen (Zoe De Grand’Maison), “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” speeds through tonal registers and narrative twists, devoting particular attention to the relationship we’ve come to care about most, that between Helena and Sarah (Tatiana Maslany). Reaching into the characters’ pasts and pressing forward with ruthless betrayals and shocking revelations, the episode may turn out to be a one-off, but it roped me back in with a reminder of what the series is capable of. “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” is vintage Orphan Black.

Orphan Black Recap Season 3, Episode 3, "Formalized, Complex, and Costly"

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 3, “Formalized, Complex, and Costly”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 3, “Formalized, Complex, and Costly”

“Formalized, Complex, and Costly,” President Eisenhower’s description of the technological revolution that accompanied World War II and the Cold War, is an apt title for tonight’s episode of Orphan Black, which hardens the narrative lacquer smeared across “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” by throwing its full weight behind the ties between the Castor clones (Ari Millen) and their genetic “sestras” (Tatiana Maslany). There’s now no escaping the fact that the series is more or less bound to play out the curdled dramatics of the two groups chasing down their own origin stories, hemmed in all the while by Proletheans, corporate science, and military might. “Welcome to Clone Club,” Cosima says to Det. Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) early in “Formalized, Complex, and Costly,” but on the evidence of the third season so far, it may be time to bid Orphan Black farewell.

Orphan Black Recap Season 3, Episode 2, "Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis"

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 2, “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 3, Episode 2, “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis”

Tonight’s episode of Orphan Black, “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis,” comes all too close to the grievous error of which its title warns. Alone, the phrase, cribbed from Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, may suggest light at the end of the tunnel, but in context it’s the very sacrifices we make on the altar of expediency that set us up for disaster down the line. “To meet it successfully,” Eisenhower says of the Soviet threat, “there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle.” Suddenly consumed by the need to explain Project Castor, by its crisis of narrative, Orphan Black seems increasingly willing to jettison the rich characterization of the “sestras” in favor of constructing conspiracies, and “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” may be the show’s worst episode to date.

Orphan Black Recap Season 2, Episode 6, "To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings"

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 6, “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 6, “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings”

“Dyad’s a hydra,” Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) says in the closing minutes of “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings,” referring to the Institute’s secretive, multipronged structure. The poisonous, many-headed serpent of Greek mythology is a similarly useful metaphor for the episode, which seems to sprout two new twists for each one it threatens to resolve. The episode is either a hideous plot dump or a heady brew of unexpected juxtapositions, and sometimes both at once, forging strange new alliances from the fragments of the season’s first half: between Helena (Tatiana Maslany) and Grace (Zoe De Grand’Maison), Mrs. S and Paul (Dylan Bruce), Art (Kevin Hanchard) and Felix (Jordan Gavaris), Angie (Inga Cadranel) and Vic (Michael Mando).

Orphan Black Recap Season 2, Episode 1, "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed"

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Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed”

BBC

Orphan Black Recap: Season 2, Episode 1, “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed”

Near the end of Orphan Black’s season-two premiere, “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed,” resourceful hustler and human clone Sarah Manning confronts her icy doppelganger, Rachel Duncan, in the offices of the Dyad Institute. As the ethically challenged scientific research center holds a lavish corporate gala, Sarah levies a gunpoint demand that she be reunited with her daughter, who disappeared in last season’s cliffhanger finale. “There are other forces vying for our fate, Sarah,” Rachel replies. “We’ll get Kira back, together.”