Little otters, I had some trouble getting my hands on some proper screencaps this week, so I’m light on pics by heavy on love.
Previously on Orphan Black, Rudy shot ol’ Seth in the face when he wouldn’t stop glitching. Helena had a tea and mango party with sweet Pupok in the bowels of Castor HQ. Cosima leveled up her Sass Master game trying to dig up the original Leda genome from the latest dubious doctor controlling Dyad. Alison and Donnie bought a pill-pushing business and renamed it Bubbles. And Sarah sent Kira off to meet Daenerys Targaryen, and maybe help her calm down those angry teenage dragons of hers.
Well, Rudy did not clean up the mess he made when he gunned down his brother, so Sarah and Felix are tasked with dragging his corpse upstairs and into the bathtub and trying to figure out how to get rid of it. Through some basic trial and error, Sarah has discovered that the first thing is you need to dig the hole deep enough that the rain doesn’t uncover the body and send it rolling down a hill and into a rock quarry. Felix is pretty sure disposing of dead bodies is one of S’s specialties, but Sarah still hasn’t forgiven her for selling Helena to Paul, so she doesn’t want her help.
You know who else’s help she doesn’t want? The help of the cops. So it’s too bad when Art shows up banging on the door and pushing his way past Sarah into the loft — grabbing her waist and hips in such a way that made me jump right up off the couch and shout, “NU UH!” — and following the blood trail right to the dead body.
Felix has one idea, and it’s that Art could just leave and pretend he didn’t see anything. Art’s not really feeling that plan. He poses it like it’s the ethics of being a cop, but honestly, I think Art is just bored. It’s a pretty big adrenaline plummet from investigating a clone conspiracy to the next most brutal thing in Canada, which is like people not use their turn signals or not saying “thank you” emphatically enough to the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
They Skype Cosima so she can charm and/or bamboozle Art into forgetting about the dead Castor in the bathtub. It totally works.
Cosima: I guess whatever’s wrong with our lungs is wrong with the Castor noggins.
Felix: Hey, Scott.
Cosima: I’m going to come over there and take out that guy’s brain, cool?
Felix: Yep. Bring some of those Mr. Clean magic eraser scrubber things. Bye, Scott.
Sarah bounces with Art to track down Mark and Grace, which will maybe bring them one step closer to Helena and definitely will bring them one step close to the litter of Helena’s babies that are getting incubated all over the Great White North.
Mark and Gracie are still in that Motel 6 in Nowhere. His arm is all bandaged up now on account of he burned off his Castor tattoo in the bathroom with a blowtorch the other night, you’ll remember. Gracie’s not in the room when he wakes up, so he grabs his gun and assumes he’s going to have to start murdering, but she was just downstairs getting some donuts.
She offers him some pastries and some coffee and also some sex, but he demurs on the last thing. Gracie’s not having that, though. She did not leave the cult compound of her youth — where her father artificially inseminated her with his and Helena’s babies after sewing her mouth shut and making her sleep alone in a horse stall — to hang out in a shady motel watching Judge Judy reruns and not fucking, okay? That is not what Gracie signed up for. So. She and Mark have sex and the whole time he’s like, “Sorry I’m not as good at this as my brothers! I always had to do spy things while they did screwing!” Because Gracie has never had sex or a subscription to HBO, she thinks this is totally normal Doin’ It talk.
Gracie: This town we’re in, one of Daddy’s old hick friends lives here, right?
Mark: Yeah. And I’m pretty sure your dad gave him some top secret science information that I need to recover and return to Mother.
Gracie: Is Mother the army? I thought you were AWOL?
Mark: Mother is more like if the Eye of Sauron breast fed the Orcs, which answers both of your questions.
Gracie: There’s not enough therapy in the world to even make a dent in our collective shit, huh?
Mark: Nope. Wanna learn how to do blow jobs?
Meanwhile, out in the ‘burbs, Alison and Donnie are rolling out their new business, and it is everything I dreamed and more. They’re not selling pills out of the trunk of an SUV. No, they’re pushing a trolley of artisanal body care products down the sidewalk like an ice cream truck and greeting all the Aynsleys with a smile. And inside the trolley are these Etsy-looking packages with like little kaolin clay lavender soaps and Dead Sea mud masks and magnesium bath flakes and also Vicodin. This one Aynsley is like, “I will never buy your soaps and never vote for you for the school board, due to your alcoholism!” But Alison hands her one of the packages and offers her a peek of the pills, and that Aynsley hands over her cash and her vote, and then two other Aynsleys here the news and come running up.
Sarah and Art track down one of the Prolethean ladies who is working as a cook at a diner now that the compound has burned to the ground. (I think the girl who plays this Prolethean is Tatiana’s stunt double.) The Prolethean’s name is Alexis. In one breath, she’s talking about how it’s a miracle of the Lord that Gracie’s dad was able to harvest Helena’s eggs, fertilize them with his own sperm, and then implant them into the uteruses of Gracie and Helena. And in the next breath, she’s calling Helena an abomination. Sarah says, “If Helena is an abomination, I’m worse!” Which I think is supposed to be a threat or an insult to Alexis, but is so weak it’s embarrassing and not at all up to the standard of burns Helena has conditioned us to believe in. Maybe Sarah can coach Helena on how forks work and Helena can coach Sarah on zingers.
After a promise from Mark that he’s going to love her and her babies no matter what, Gracie heads on out to see that farmer friend of her dad’s, and he’s as gross as you know he’s going to be. Perving on her. Confederate flag in the window. And then when he finally admits he’s holding onto some stuff for her dead dad, he also tries to extort money from her to hand it over. She tells him to keep on threatening her and see if she doesn’t call on the Lord to smite him with a fire tornado, and so he relents and hands over the box her dad left. She curtseys and bounces. When she gets back to the motel, Mark is frustrated because the only thing in the box is diagrams and notes about medical research, and he was so sure there was going to be a tupperware container of DNA in there. He gives Gracie five dollars to go buy an ice cream, and goes back to the farm to find the sack of DNA himself.
I can’t figure out how Art and Sarah know where they’re going. It seems like they’re driving around the entirety of Canada, willy-nilly, hoping they’ll find Mark and Gracie trying to hitchhike or something. But road trips are always good for bonding. Sarah figures out that the reason Art can’t stop getting himself tangled up in their clone dangers is because he feels responsible for Beth killing herself. She called him the night she jumped in front of that train and he thought she was just tripping balls, so he blew her off. Oh, and also he was in love with her. So that’s also why he can’t let go of all the faces that look like her face. Isn’t it bananas that these women have men lining up around the planet to be with them and three of them have fallen for Paul? PAUL. Like, do you want some ice cream crunch birthday cake? Nah, I think I’ll just eat a piece of bread.
Speaking of which, Paul shows up at Castor HQ with Rudy in tow, and Mother walks right on up and wallops Rudy right in his face. He says he had to kill Seth because he was glitching so bad it’s like his brain was fireworks inside his skull, and it was the nicest way he could think to handle it.
Paul: I brought you some cigarettes to calm you down.
Mother: I’ll smoke them and maybe burn some of my sons with them. Thank you.
Paul: Rudy was telling you the truth about Seth. He couldn’t even solve a simple logic puzzle about who to rape.
Mother: Bah. Well, Helena’s fine. Her brain isn’t glitching even a little bit, so I guess what I need is for you to buy me some more time so Topside doesn’t shut us down, and Helena will grow her babies, and I’ll harvest their unicorn blood, and then I’ll cure these boys and we’ll have our army working again.
Mother: Why do you look smug and angry, though?
Paul: This is just my face.
Cosima and Scott and Felix extract Rudy’s brain. That’s all I can tell you about it because I got so grossed out I had to close my eyes and cover my ears, but I kept being like, “WHAT ARE THEY DOING? WHAT ARE THEY DOING?” to my girlfriend and she was like, “Talking about the philosophy of what makes a life and sawing open Seth’s head! Don’t look! DON’T LOOK.”
At Dyad, Nealon is pretending to rehabilitate Rachel by showing her flash cards and waiting patiently as she verbalizes what she’s seeing. Cat. Hat. Bat. But really what he’s doing is giving her a Rorschach test. Like, are these ponies, or are they the call sign of the fleet of male clones we used to keep locked up in the basement? Is this a calculator, or is it the keypad that controls the launch sequence of our armada of privately owned intercontinental ballistic missiles, the launch codes of which you alone have been storing in your brain? He shows her a rainbow flag and she’s like “rainbow flag,” but then she goes, “Delphine? Is me now?” He nods, and her face is like, MOTHERFUCKER. And that’s when you know she’s going to will her brain to work properly again and regenerate her own eyeball like a starfish.
At Castor HQ, Rudy and Mother meet to talk about his time in the field. In addition to murdering his brother, he also filled up five Moleskines with his feelings and stole one girl’s hair. Mother tells him he’s she’s sending him back out to find Mark and either deal with his treachery or extract him back to HQ with the information he nicked from the Proletheans. But first Rudy wants to rest his head on Mother’s tummy and suck his thumb. Mother pats his wittle head and thinks about crushing his skull for giggles, but changes her mind and smokes one of her fresh ciggies from Paul. The impulse passes.
Rudy wanders over to the holding cell, where Helena is singing lullabies to her buns in the oven. She hops up and peers at him through the bars on her window and legit calls him “the ugliest Mark yet.” It’s amazing. Helena is so amazing. Her eyes light up even more when Paul walks in. She licks her hand and tells him to come on in there and make it an even four sestras he’s boned.
Paul: I know you don’t believe me, but I’m sorry it played out this way.
Helena: V. excited for the day I kill you and Mother and all the Marks.
Alison and Donnie are making soap in their garage, happy as some homicidal kittens, when Marcie shows up to try to bully and then bribe Alison into quitting the school board race. First of all, Allison has never met a challenge she was afraid to let a garbage disposal strangle. And second of all, she’s well on her way to being a millionaire. She is not backing down. Marcie is like, “Does it smell like the skeleton of a mad scientist in here, or…” And Donnie is like, “THAT’S VEGAN SEA SALT, BITCH.” And so she leaves, which is a good choice. There’s room for a lot more bodies under this floor.
Art and Sarah drive out to the Confederate farm to chat with the good ol’ boy, and he confirms that Gracie did stop by a little earlier, but he didn’t give her any super secret information or clues or anything like that, no boxes of genetic research or maps to Topside hideouts, no Ziploc bags full of DNA. She just came to share the news about her dad getting well and truly murdered to death, and they had a nice prayer for his soul and a quick shot of moonshine, and then she went on her way.
Art and Sarah leave and are discouraged, so they stop for a cheeseburger, and lo! Gracie is at the same diner, praying over a milkshake like, “And Lord, please keep Mark safe as he goes back out to that farm to get even more information than what we just got, including the key to the mystery to these clones and the coordinates of the place where Topside is keeping Helena, whose babies I have inside my womb right now, amen.” Well, Sarah slides right into her booth while she’s praying and when she opens up her eyes, Sarah goes, “Boo!”
Sarah: Well, your milkshake sure does bring all the clones to the yard.
Sarah: You got some clone babies in that belly, you got me, you got a clone husband.
Sarah: Uh-huh, honey.
Gracie zooms back to the motel to pack up her shit and make a run for it, but guess who shows up carrying a sawed-off shotgun and looking pissed as balls? Oh, it’s her mom, all right. She tells Gracie she’s an idiot but that she still loves her because the Lord has a plan for them and where is Mark?
Mark is at the Confederate farm, duh. And so is Sarah. She creeps in to find that he tied up Farmer Joe to torture him, but the old codger went ahead and died of a heart attack. Mark’s not sorry. He needs that basket of DNA! Cosima picks a fine time to call and talk to Sarah about science. Specifically Castor science. Specifically-specifically, Castor clones are Leda clones’ brothers, in terms of genetics if not emotions. Sarah and Cosima seem very shocked by this for some reason, and Mark just straight up doesn’t believe either one of them. But there’s no time to convince him, because as soon as Cosima and Sarah hang up, bullets start flying through the window.
You think it’s Seth come to bring his brother home, right? Or Topside come to shut the whole thing down? Or Rachel has healed herself with her own willpower and bought a gun at a pawn shop and now here she is to settle some scores? But no. It is Gracie’s mom and she’s wielding a shotgun. She follows Mark into a cornfield where she’s trying to escape and shoots him dead in the head.
This episode is kind of what I was afraid of when the Castor guys were introduced. Way too much of them. But at least they’re the expendable ones and not the women, like the normal way stories go. (Especially sci-fi and fantasy ones.)
Sarah peeks out of one of the barn’s windows and wishes she had a protector with her right now, a hardcore motherfucker who wouldn’t mind killing someone else to save the person they love. Someone like Alison Hendrix, for example.
Next week: Alison and Donnie get busted a little bit, Seth smashes Sarah’s head into a pole, Helena meets another Castor, and a bunch of awful old white guys put their hands all over Gracie’s blessed uterus like it’s the goddamn Republican National Convention.