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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: Stop Asking Why, Start Asking Who

Hello sestras and brothersestras alike: this here recap is the epitome of Spoilerville. So unless youโ€™re all caught up on Orphan Black‘s most recent episode, “Certain Agony of the Battlefield,” we’d highly suggest maybe NOT reading this recap. Because weโ€™re serious when we say it is chockablock with spoilers.

Welp! This just changed absolutely everything, didn’t it? After last week’s bombshell that the Castor boy’s genetic defect is contagious and sexually transmitted, we weren’t sure where the show was going to take us next. Well, now we have our answer: over the ledge and into totally crazytown territory never-before-seen on this show.

Oh and also Paul is now dead. DAMNIT, PAUL! NOOOOOOO ๐Ÿ™

But before we get to all of that sadness, let’s check in with the other clones and characters, shall we? Like our favorite low-level criminals, Team Hendrix, who spent much of the episode (when they weren’t dancing in their piles of drug money) trying to get Jason Kellerman on board with laundering their illegal funds through Alison’s mother’s store that’s up for sale, Bubbles. After a bit of Donnie posturing (he wasn’t all that keen on Jason as a person because, y’know, jealousy) Jason got on board the bath products train, ensuring a veritable smorgasbord of tomfoolery is ahead of us.

But right now all we want to do is look at this hilariously amazing GIF:

And also this one because LOOK AT THESE HUMANS:

Over on Planet Sapphire, Shay and Cosima have gotten really comfortable with one another …but not so comfortable as to tell each other the whole truth (at least we’re assuming on Shay’s part, we don’t totally trust her/that she’s not a monitor BUT MORE ON THAT LATER). Apparently Cos told Shay she studies the universe and black holes โ€” although Shay’s more curious about the name she shouted in her sleep (Sarah). Uh oh.

Even more uh-oh-y, though, was the reveal that a very angry, very hardened looking Delphine has returned from her vague lil Topside mission and she’s pretty upset. Not only did she know Sarah was missing, but by processing all their lab work on Seth’s brain and Gracie’s illness, both Delphine and Dr. Nealon actually know what’s up. Which… isn’t great for that whole “keep it on the DL” thing Cosima and Scott had in mind. To Delphine’s credit, though, she did figure out that the protein causing Gracie’s illness was the same as the one causing problems in the Castor boys’ brains, so! Y’know, not totally useless, that one.

Though we’re less than keen on her spying and videotaping Cosima while she’s with Shay. HI SINGLE WHITE FEMALE MUCH? Honey don’t. It’s not a good look no matter how much you really care.

While Cosima and Delphine did some further research with Gracie (brought in by Felix), Scott brought our favorite brothersestra over to visit Cyclone (that’s cyclops and clone combined GET IT GET IT?) Rachel who’s become quite taken with art therapy. Felix, on the other hand, has gone full-on Bad Cop, interrogating and torturing Rachel for more information about Castor and Sarah’s whereabouts. But all poor Rachel could muster was a “get me out of this place,” which was both heartbreaking and anxiety-inducing because for the first time we’re really, really worried about Rachel. Damnit, Orphan Black โ€” just when we think we don’t care about someone, you reel us back in.

Of course the biggest reveal of the evening did come from Rachel: the realization that she knows Duncan’s cipher. Gotta love that Scotty boy for pickin’ up the pieces (literally and metaphorically), don’tcha?

Now, though, it’s time to talk about Sarah.

It was an interesting evening for Sarah, who was injected with Rudy’s DNA in an attempt on Dr. Coady’s part to figure out more about the boys’ genetic defect. This sent her into two hallucinatory spin cycles: one where she saw Kira, and the other where she spoke extensively with Beth. Being the level-headed cop that she was, Beth led Sarah to the sort of questions she’d need to start asking if she wanted to get any real answers. It’s not so much the “what” or the “why,” but the “who” that needs to be uncovered.

…And by the looks of things that “who” is the U.S. government. After figuring out that Dr. Coady had the boys keep sexual history logbooks, Paul went to his bosses in Arlington to try and shut the whole thing down. But after alerting him to how much he knew about what Coady was doing with these biological experimentations, the shadow-y head honchos in Arlington went on the defense. Because this wasn’t just about finding a cure for the defective gene, it became so much more: an attempt to figure out how to weaponize the defect for fighting war. BECAUSE OF COURSE IT IS, that is literally the only thing the U.S. government cares about (or at least that’s how it feels most days).

Ultimately, Paul’s care for the clones as people is what did him in. After finding Sarah incredibly sick, Paul and Mark the Prolethean One (a.k.a. the only good guy clone it seems so far), he decided to salvage as much as he could: meaning Sarah’s life and Mark’s. But even after getting shanked by Miller (whom he then neck-snapped like a terrifying professional), Paul’s mission was clear. So he took a grenade and blew up Coady’s precious experiments …and maybe also her and Rudy, the jury’s still out on that one.

Thankfully, Sarah’s remarkable biology overcame the pathogen’s lethal side effects, just in time for her to hear the heartbreaking truth: “It was never Beth I loved.” UGH MY HEART IT HURTS AND BLEEDS FOR YOU, PAUL.

Paul’s death signifies a major turn for our beloved Clone Club: without a known ally on the inside, the women are going to have to rely on themselves now more than ever. And while we’re thrilled Helena found Sarah โ€” “Come sestra, people miss us” โ€” we hope Mark gets saved, too. Because he seems like a good one and so they might as well, right? One thing is certain, though: “We do terrible things for the people we love. Stop asking why and start asking who, sister.”

Needless to say, next week’s going to be a doozy of a fallout episode, isn’t it?

Other Stuff and Things

  • More Donnie and Alison doing ridiculous stuff with money, please. Scrooge McDuck pool, anyone?
  • Line of the night: “Now nut up and lead me to the cyclops.” โ€” Felix
  • Didn’t you secretly hope Sarah would tell Beth that Art loved her?
  • Anyone else looking forward to Helena and Mrs. S going at it?


What did you think of the episode? Let us hear it in the comments.

Alicia Lutes is an Associate Editor of The Nerdist. Find her on the Tweet Machine @alicialutes.

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