Orphan Black Episode 301 Recap: Clear Eyes, Straight Hair, Don’t Care

Felix and Sarah go back to the river to drink more beers and talk about S’s treachery and figure out how to break into a super top secret privately funded military compound and rescue Helena. Delphine calls and promises to throw the full weight of her new straight hair superpowers behind the search for Helena if Sarah will just please come to DYAD tonight and pretend to be Rachel for like ten minutes. Felix is whispering, “Tell her you didn’t even finish high school!” And Sarah is all, “Fine. I’ll be your Rachel, but don’t fuck it up.” And Delphine is like, “You don’t fuck it up!” And then they race to see who can hang up on the other one first.


So, but like, you’re still gay, right?

In Felix’s apartment, Kira is crawling around with a metal tank of some kind, which I thought was Cosima’s highly compressed oxygen situation that was sure to blow the literal roof off of this joint by the end of the season, but my friend (and Orphan Black OG) Valerie told me she thinks it’s Helena’s harvested eggs and the key to curing Leda Lung Syndrome because of unicorn stem cells like what Kira has in her body. That’s a good smart theory, right? I think she’s correct.

While Kira is playing with the tank, Scott shows up to see how bad Cosima is dying today, and it’s not too bad at all, actually.

Cosima: I’ve stopped taking French lessons though. Waste of time.
Scott: Right. See. Here’s the thing. This job is like one-half getting killed by science armies and one-half lesbian drama, so I think maybe I just want to stay in school.
Cosima: That’s because I haven’t shown you the cipher hidden in this pulpy sci-fi book that was the property of Duncan.
Scott: Goddammit.
Cosima: So you’ll stay and work with me?
Scott: Until I am stabbed to death later this week, yes.
Cosmia: Word. I’m going to hide this book right out in the open here, in this apartment where the lock on the door is just a screwdriver.

In the ‘burbs, Allison tells Donnie he’s got to go back to work so they can pay their mortgage, but he has a better idea: He thinks she should go to work with her mom again at the store called “Bubbles.” She shoots that idea right out of the sky, and he’s just about to propose that they become a team of contract hit men when Delphine calls the ClonePhone.


Get out, I have to try on clothes.


Okay, but I super know what you look like naked.

Felix makes over Sarah to look like Rachel, but not before Sarah confirms for the sixteenth time that Delphine is going to help her with Helena. Felix settles on a white suit and gives Sarah a wig that’s like the Kohls version of Rachel’s Saks hair.

Sarah as Rachel meets with Ferdinand and pretty much the first thing out of her mouth is, “Castor kidnapped Helena.” But he doesn’t give a shit. He just wants to see Sarah and her magical ovaries with his own eyes and get going. Problem? No. Because Delphine has recruited Alison to stand in for Sarah.


It never stops being amazing, looking at your face.


I know. I have a mirror.

She straight up goes, “Oi! Oi! Rachel!” And then tries and fails to keep Sarah’s accent during the interrogation. When Ferdinand starts feeling her up to see if she had her surgery yet, she loses it on him. Okay, and then Tatiana Maslany pretending to be one character pretending to be another character slaps her own self (who is pretending to be a different character pretending to be a different character) right in the face. And you feel the weight and hilarity of the whole thing because all four of these characters have distinct voices and mannerisms and personalities and, like, even when you’re just looking at their eyeballs, you know what is happening. You can see Alison’s eyes as Sarah’s eyes going, “You did not just slap me. And Sarah’s eyes as Rachel’s eyes going, “Look, I’m sorry, but what else was I going to do?” You can hear their very individual voices BY LOOKING AT ONLY THEIR EYES.

Gods balls, how? How does Tatiana Maslany do it? Don’t tell me to stop marveling about it because it’s season three. I will not and I never shall stop marveling about it!

Delphine pulls Ferdinand out into the hallway and explains that they were unable to remove Sarah’s ovaries because she is ovulating and they’ll get on with it soon enough. He makes plans to hang out with Rachel tonight, while they wait for the surgery.


Cosima, do I hear Taylor Swift?


I hear it too.


She’s the only one who understands me!

Sarah: I’m just hanging out in Rachel’s apartment waiting for this dumb fuck to get here so I can probably claw him to death. You okay, Allison?
Allison: Rattled, but fine. Rehab and killing a person have steadied my nerves.
Cosima: We really can only trust each other.
Sarah: And Helena. We’ve got to find her.
Allison: We will. I’m going to decompress by listening to death metal while I scrapbook.
Cosima: I love you guys.
Sarah: Yeah, I love you too.
Allison: Me too. Talk soon.

Ferdinand shows up wanting to have sex and talk about Helsinki. It’s the code name for this thing that happened like ten years ago where some clones in Helsinki started acting out, so Topside went in and killed them all, and like 40 other people as collateral damage. That’s what Rachel was planning for these Toronto-based clones on account of them gaining self-awareness and falling in sestra-love with each other. And, in fact, Canadian Helsinki is underway right this second. A hit man is hanging out in Alison’s backyard, in fact. Realizing that she’s only got about five seconds to act, Sarah makes the split-second decision to 50 Shades of Rachel him, kicking him in the balls and wrapping a belt around his neck for sexual purposes. But actually for murder purposes.


Make another joke about how fast the French surrender.


Go on. Tell me again how Paris smells like piss.

While this is happening, Delphine is visiting Rachel in the hospital. She didn’t bring balloons or flowers or a teddy bear or a get well card. She brought only the fingers on her bare hands, which she uses to push on the bandage covering Rachel’s now-missing eyeball, so she’ll start talking about what she knows about Helsinki. There was this one time in an elevator when Delphine said to Rachel that if she tried to stand in the way of curing Cosima, she was going to take it personally. So now she’s seriously poking her thumb into Rachel’s brain and legit going, “I told you it was personal, bitch.”

After Delphine gets the deets on Helsinki, she flies over to Rachel’s apartment, bursts through the door where Sarah is strangling Ferdinand, and goes, “Get up, come on, stop crying, let’s go. Call off Helsinki.”


This is misandry.



And he does.

Once he’s gone, Sarah whips off that wig and feels only a little bummed out that Allison has still killed more people than her.

And at Project Castor HQ, Pupok the Scorpion congratulates Helena for leveling up to a bigger box.

And at DYAD, the Castor clone with the ‘stache shows up to break out Rudy.

Next week: One of the Castor people tries to convince Helena that her sestras sold her out, and so she fuels up on Jello and murders every one of them.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1717 articles for us.


  1. Okay, first off, brilliant recap! Love it, and the captions were amazing, and I was this on a tshirt or something “Neither boss ass bitch can live while the other survives.”
    “That’s the opposite of feminism. Get in the car.”

    Delphine is soooooooooooooooo awwessssssssssssooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmeeeeee as a boss. Holy shit. Like, I liked her because she has the most perfect angelic hair and a sexy accent and seems nice, but now she’s instantly become my favourite character. I love that her character has been amplified so much. More lady-bosses. More misandry.

    Also, as a Ukrainian, it really got me in the feels to see traditional costumes and food and actually hearing Ukrainian on TV! For the first time! I have never ever seen a Ukrainian character on TV like this, and I have never heard Ukrainian (not Russian ugh) on my TV screen before so this was just the most wonderful and validating scene ever. A queer scientist dressed up in traditional costumes serving kovbasa and paska while Ukrainian music is playing in the background, hello, that is me, thank you for letting me exist on TV.

      • The opening scene made me tear up, and not just because it was cute. Considering how most of the world assumes we’re just like Russians, it’s really important for me to know that Tatiana is Ukrainian, and that Helena is Ukrainian and have that identity mean something more than “dumb gangster who works for Russian mobsters”. Representation, y’all. It does things to the tear ducts and heart.

  2. Goddamn, but you are the World Grandmaster of recaps.

    I felt a little whiplashed by this episode. The Castors made me want to leave the room, and it was extremely hard to watch Siobhan being brutalized, even if I completely don’t trust her (how the hell does she already know about Castor?).

    A little side note. There’s a piece by Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess where she talks about her prosopagnosia (face blindness) and mentions how it complicated her appreciation of Orphan Black. The whole piece (like the rest of her blog) is brilliantly written.

  3. The more food and cupcakes and whatnots kept appearing, the more I just wanted to hug the shit out of Helena.
    And all the while the episode reminded us of season one, where “someone” really creepy and scary was after the clones..what a long way we’ve come in twenty episodes. Great callback.
    Did anyone else notice that Helena is a literal Schroedinger’s cat this episode?
    Just how awesome is that?
    I’m still a little confused by Delphine, but thank you for the hero explanation, Heather, that really is starting to make a lot of sense!
    Did I miss something or was Mrs.S somewhat out of character, pleading with Sarah like that?
    I’m not yet sold on the Castor clones. Making all of them loopy and putting a pull up bar in a cell with gratuitous nudity isn’t helping so far.
    I’m also not convinced that directly juxtaposing another actor next to the amazing Maslany (especially while supremely maslanying all over the place!) is a well founded idea in general.
    However, I’m super happy that OB is back and thanks for the recap!

    • I thought the same thing about Mrs. S, but then I started thinking about how complicated her relationship to Sarah is. Mrs. S is tough as nails, but she loves Sarah. She knows she has seriously jeopardized the relationship by messing with Sarah’s family – her people. And that’s when Mrs. S becomes vulnerable, when she stands the risk of losing Sarah.
      That at least is how I read it.

  4. This is such a good recap! Thank you!

    While the break up kinda ripped my heart out a little, I think that Cosima and Delphine are both gonna be more interesting characters apart than together, and I’m excited to see where they take that next.

    My god, can Helena catch a break ever??? Why can’t Helena have nice things???

    I also had the same EXCUSE ME reaction to the Castor clones for all the reasons you listed. And also, like, is it just me, or is it kinda awkward that Tatiana Maslany is able to make all these totally unique and instantly differentiable characters, but I literally can barely tell the boy clones apart except for one has a mustache I guess? I was talking to my sister about it, and she suggested that maybe they’re less variant because they were all raised military or something, which I suppose makes sense but I don’t know.

    • I thought that Mark and Rudy and Mustache all had distinct body postures, but since we’ve only met them (and they don’t have any major focus WHICH GOOD), there’s probably not as much that we need to see them as wholly different individuals.

      I’m hoping they stay at this level of storyline because then that means that the Leda clones are still the primary focus.

    • I think more similarities makes sense if they were raised together and self-aware. If you know that you’re all the same and one of the others gets praised for something, I think it’d be likely that you’d imitate them because if you’re the same, you can do it too, right? You’re just as good as them right? (I think this inadequacy feeling is central to creepy mustache Castor, thus the rage when Mrs. S insults his intelligence)

      Not to mention that Leda clones are all different as they were raised in varying environments, but Castor was all raised together so similarities are more likely. (Though that article does mention that Millen is working on the differences between the Castor clones. It’ll be interesting to see that over the season!)

      But yeah, as PaperOFlowers says, we also got very little time or focus with them so our evaluations at this moment are likely a little superficial.

  5. – Everybody in the Helena dream was spot on, especially Alison…except for Cosima. She was a little “WTF?”
    – Of course Helena’s spirit animal is an orphanblack emperor scorpion.
    – Listen to the Castor Sarah. Don’t trust Marion.
    – Sarah/Rachel and Alison/Sarah is perfect.
    – Is Cosima the only main clone that hasn’t impersonated another clone?
    – I knew that that was Alison playing Sarah in the preview.
    – I love Rachel, so when Delphine did her eye push, I hated Delphine.
    – The clones seem to have an innate ability to imitate each other. It’s bordering on the supernatural. Is it something like the Kira special abilities?
    – When Ferdinand said that what Rachel wanted more than anything was a child, I think that Sarah saw into her with total clarity.
    – I thought that one of the Castors was going to kill henchman, and stop him from killing Alison

  6. Well I think I’ve thoroughly blogged the hell out of this.


    -I’m way psyched for next week.
    -Delphine now terrifies me in a way that’s borderline sexy and in total conflict my core non-violence clause.
    -Kira, you supernatural lizardchild empath, what are you hiding what do you know
    -Everyone is alone now except for Team Hendrix and I don’t like it.
    -I’m really excited to see where the frontal lobe damage plot arc takes Rachel/DYAD
    -Someone needs to save Helena. Someone who is not a figment of her imagination. Someone who is preferably not a scorpion. Even if that scorpion is Tatiana Maslany.
    -Someone also needs to protect Cosima’s fragile baby science heart.
    -Where is Cal? What wild computer hack-y, secret lumberjack darknet stuff is he up to?
    -What’s Gracie going to do when she finds out Mark is part of the brother project of Leda, which she hated?
    -Tony has a Clone Phone. Where is he, is he ok, and is he coming back? I want him to come back.
    -Krystal is supposedly still alive. What does she know, or not know? What’s her deal?
    -Why do the Castors want to kill Leda anyway? How do they know so much? What’s their motivation? So far they’re pretty flat characters. All I’m picking up from them are threats, violence, and butts.

  7. I am in agreeance, why must they add boy clones, when Tatiana Masly is SO PERFECT. I can’t get over how amazing she is, and why doesn’t she win every award ever? Also, the fact that you can TELL that Sarah is playing Rachel and Allison is playing Sarah, that they aren’t the same characters, blows my mind…WHEN IT IS ALL THE SAME PERSON. I love this show so much.

    I like your take on Delphine, Heather, because I was feeling eh about her being in charge. I liked sweet Delphine, girlfriend to Cosima-but the eyeball scene was pretty badass.

  8. This episode made me wonder what Delphine went through/was like before Cosima met her. Her change is terrifying and I feel like there had to be a kernel of monster in her before everything went down.

    I also kind of wonder if there isn’t some kind of psychological conditioning that happened- it’s hinted at in last season with Rachel, maybe they did something to Delphine?

    I totally agree that Helena brought the babies with her. I also think, given the shots, that no one is going to notice & the eggs + Dr. Moreau will soon be stolen.

  9. -first of all holy shit Delphine has really come into her own, i love how the creators are very slowly giving us the goods.
    -after this episode I really feel like the series needs to end with Sarah becoming a legit actress and wins a Tony, Emmy and an Oscar in the same year and the final shot is her looking directly into the camera and lifting a single perfect eye brow.

  10. “This show takes some of the best and grossest things about Pretty Little Liars and cranks them up to eleven, because this is 10pm on BBC America and sex doesn’t have to be a metaphor.”

    PLL and Orphan Black are my two favorite shows and just earlier today I was ruminating on thematic similarities between the two. Thanks for articulating what I sensed about these shows!

  11. “This show takes some of the best and grossest things about Pretty Little Liars and cranks them up to eleven, because this is 10pm on BBC America and sex doesn’t have to be a metaphor.”

    PLL and Orphan Black are my two favorite shows. Nothing do i love more than seeing A’s ridiculous shenanigans and the feverish activity of clones. and just earlier today I was ruminating on the thematic similarities between the two. Thanks for articulating it!

  12. Heather, when I watched the episode I was excited but also a bit underwhelmed because I thought it was all over the place.
    Then I read your recap and I’m excited all over again because you’re contagious.
    Thank you so much for giving this to us <3

  13. OMG DELPHINE! I got scared a little!
    OMG FELIX! Your lines never get old, you are awesome, Fee!
    OMG ALISON! I LITERALLY HAD TO COVER MY GAPING MOUTH! I can’t bear if they hurt you!
    OMG COSIMA! I want to hug you! They way you said “I love you” — UGH! </3

    *Can't wait for the next episodes and recap!
    **I missed our weird little clone show! #cloneclub

  14. I….honestly didn’t expect to see this on Autostraddle, and no one else has commented, so I guess I will:

    Every time you refer to them as boy clones and girl clones, Tony and I die a little on the inside.

    (Alternatives: Leda clones and Castor clones, Tatiana clones and Ali clones, the clones we care about and the clones we don’t care about, etc)

  15. Shannon, thank you for addressing that — Tony is also a “boy clone.” I vote for calling the clone sets LEDA and Castor, or just Maslany and blah.

    ALSO, everything else that I would have wanted to say has been said, except for the fact that I was dying of laughter at the Marcel the Shell thing! That is so spot-on and hilarious, Heather Hogan!!

  16. “Nearly every other TV show in history, Paul is the hero. Paul is the main character. Paul is running around sticking his dick everywhere he wants like James Bond and crashing through windows to save the day and condescending to Sarah or Rachel while solving their problems and fucking them. Right, and Donnie is whatever Kevin James character. And the female clones die so the men can learn lessons, and the female clones are exposition vessels, and the female clones are there to listen and be pretty. But no! This show is the opposite of that; it flips everything upside down, and instead of these male clones taking over, it is Delphine who has kicked it up to a completely new gear with new hair and new motivations that are twisty and complicated and loving and nefarious and queer.”

    THIS! THIIIIIIS!!!!! I can’t even add anything intelligent to this discussion because your recap is basically my thoughts put coherently into beautiful sentences. Amazing recap, thank you!

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