Orphan Black Episode 305 Recap: Sestra, Sestra

Art’s at home flipping out about how Sarah has disappeared, when Gracie shows up looking for a place to crash. The last woman he let hang out here after she left the Prolethean compound ate all of his snacks. So Art takes Gracie to S and Felix instead. Ms. S feels a deep sense of empathy with the lost little widowed chicken, but Felix does not. His emotional chain of command goes: Loyalty > Fierceness > Flawlessness > Gayness > A bunch of other things > Empathy. And since Gracie comes from a religious cult that keeps kidnapping and murdering his sisters, he’s not feeling particularly gracious toward her. And I’ll tell you this: Felix is more of a brother to Helena and Alison and Cosima and Sarah than those Castor jerks EVER will be. Fuck the DNA. (You heard me, hard science. I said: Fuck. The. DNA.) Felix eventually relents and helps Gracie settle into Sarah’s old room that is now Kira’s old room. He gives her a box of Sarah’s clothes but doesn’t warn her that people that one person per day dies in this house.


No, check this. She doesn’t even know who the Kardashians are. I’m like, “Kimye” and she’s like, “Is that a sandwich?”

He does tell her he’s gay in an attempt to throw her off her recent birth into the secular world, but even Gracie’s not that sheltered. She says she knows and it’s whatever. No big deal. It’s not like he’s an abomination, like a woman who can’t have a child or something.

Castor HQ.

Sarah: Okay, look. I know I shot you one time. And I’m sorry. But this one wasn’t me, Helena. You’ve got to believe me.
Pupok: She’s just going to crush you again, like some hot butter.
Helena, verbatim: Shut up about the butter!
Sarah: You’re a jerk.
Helena: You’re a jerk!
Sarah: Fine! I want my #EvanRachelWould t-shirt back and don’t ask me to cover for you again when you’re out stabbing people in the guts!
Helena: FINE! And you don’t ask me to spy on your boyfriend when he’s bonking the rich one!

One of the Castors and a not-Castor come clanking in and feed Helena a tray of food through a slot in her door. They drag Sarah to see Mother. The first thing out of Sarah’s mouth is not, “Let me go!” Or, “How dare you!” Or, “Oh, you wait until Alison finds out about this!” The first thing out of Sarah’s mouth is, “What the fuck did you do to Helena?” In this world of constant flux and assholery, one of the only things Sarah knows she can count on is Helena’s generosity and affection, however cuckoo bananas those things manifest themselves. Well, Mother says not even to worry about it because Helena has been in a cage her whole life and so this is probably comforting to her. And then she extracts one gallon of Sarah’s blood for the potion she’s making with the baby bones.


I hope you never win another Motherboy pageant!

Back in her cell, Sarah argues with Helena some more about how she probably likes being institutionalized. Helena doesn’t know what the word “institutionalized” means, so she just catalogues it as a general insult to employ at her leisure.

At the Cubby Hole, Shay and Cosima are getting flirtier by the second, talking about holistic medicine (which is always just an excuse to touch someone you like, I think) and the science of sensing another person’s sexual consciousness with your mind. The whole time they’re leaning in on each other, someone’s outside snapping photos like Initiation Day in Rosewood, PA. (Step one: Here’s a supernaturally amazing lesbian human. Step two: You’re getting stalked. Step three: Enjoy this hole in Spencer’s backyard, bye.) Cosima asks Shay if she wants to peace to a more private/comfortable place, and duh, of course she does.


Life is but a dream, Hanna. And I’m your nightmare –A


Oh, whoops, sorry, wrong number. – A

Back at Castor HQ, Paul comes busting in, which means we get to hear Helena call him “Dirty Paul” and make smoochy noises at him through the vent while he chastises Sarah for screwing up the hero narrative he’s writing for himself in his imagination.

Paul: I saved you, I am Batman!
Sarah: No, you ass. You hurt Helena; that is the opposite of saving me.
Paul: Well, I saved the brothers, too! That’s my whole thing! I saved the brothers like you saved the sisters!
Sarah: Yeah, forging a trail of destruction in every direction to keep a bunch of brainwashed rapist soldiers alive is real heroic, Paul.
Paul: Helena kills people too!
Sarah: Yeah, to put them out of misery when their brain is poking out the top of their skull.
Paul: Well, this is out of my hands now.
Sarah: Gosh. Not having control over what happens to you or the people you care about, that must really suck donkey nuts. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. What next? The government will start regulating what you can and can’t do with your dick?
Helena: [giggles]
Paul: I am just going to make this face I make.
Sarah: Yep. That’s the face you make.

As Paul is storming out, Helena teases that maybe he’s the one she’ll kill next and Sarah smashes her face into the bars to agree about it.


Knock, knock, Dirty Paul.


Yeah, guess who’s there, Paul? It’s us and we’re going to murder you! 

Paul’s next stop is the infirmary where Mark is recovering from his shotgun wounds. Mother is just pulling his wedding ring off his finger and handing over one of those sexual encounter diaries, when Paul busts in with his existential crisis. This is what it has taken for him to start questioning what he’s doing with his life. Seducing Beth and building a life of deceit around her, letting doctors experiment on her in the middle of the night, bartering Helena like a piece of property, twiddling his thumbs while people tinker with an alive guy’s exposed brain: Whatever, NBD. You do you. But now Sarah’s calling him a wanker, and he’s like, “But Mother, are we monsters?” (Spoiler alert: Yes, Dirty Paul.)

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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, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1417 articles for us.


  1. Getting to see Cosima be a total dork on a date with Kenzi was such a delight. I’m also completely incapable of calling her Shay. Partly because Kenzi, but also because she is decidedly not Shane’s little brother.

  2. Delphine is so endgame. But I’m cool w Shay because Cosima should have somebody, and it opens it up for Delphine to do something super loyal and heroic down the line. I’m pretty sure Shay has other motives, but then again they already did that with season 1 Delphine.
    The next episode is really hyped, I’m pretty excited.

  3. Shay,Shaw,Shane,Kenzi, Bo, Cosima, puppies and Pupok.
    Gracie in Madonna’s Erotica outfit.
    And Helena battered in butter.
    You know, I’ve taken to watching Orphan Black twice.
    Once when it airs, and then another time, a couple months later, when I’ve stopped blinking and wrapped my head around everything that just happened to appreciate the plot.
    Paul reminds us,that Helena is a killer, and we’re graphically reminded of this.
    Maybe this isn’t a story about good or bad, but about brothers and sisters and family and the more threads they unravel, the more complex it gets.
    Maybe Paul is a brother to the Castors the same way Felix is to the girls?
    Maybe there is a difference,though, and the difference is unwavering loyalty and genuine affection, well, Love, to name it, because that is what drives Mrs.S and Delphine to protect and shelter and fight, while with the Castors…they follow the science.
    Without mercy.
    I can’t wait for Delphine to return and for Helena to go on a desert hike with her seestra.
    And I do love Art, but the love struck thing for Beth he had supposedly going on..I see how that works for the theme of the show, but I’m not really buying it,yet.

  4. – I was hoping that Sarah would see and hear Pupok.
    – Cosima and Shay. Two tiny people having fun together.
    – I think that Shay works for Delphine/Dyad. The photographer was just documenting their date. #MonitoringNeverEnds
    – Is it possible that “Mother” made their problem into an STD? That way the clones spread it. Any woman who survives may have a genetic cure,and the Castors have already collected a DNA sample.

  5. “And that about sums it up for Cosima, whose pants are on fire right here in Toronto, but whose heart is 4,000 miles away sipping on a Bordeaux and snacking on some cheese and making science sound like foreplay.”

    Ah, Heather, you always sum everything up so perfectly. This was my exact reaction whilst watching this scene. Ksenia Solo is brilliant and hot and I definitely would (if you know what I mean), but Delphine…is just, Delphine! The Frenchness and the science and the amazing chemistry. And the hair, did I mention the hair?

    I literally cannot wait for Saturday’s episode. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

  6. I love this show on so many levels! SO. MANY. LEVELS. But one little consistency thing that bugs me is that we never see Helena’s angel wing scars anymore. I know, they were mostly on her back, I know, she’s got tank tops that largely cover them, but we’d see some of it. Those things were huge!

    I guess there’s only so much time one human can take sitting in the make-up chair, even if the human is a god like Tatiana Maslany.

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