Orphan Black s3ep3: What is the show’s timeline?

The episode otherwise known as: Formalized, Complex and Costly

An episode of weird coincidences, I think, and some unexpected badassness. And no, not Alison.

And also, Art and Sarah working together like they haven’t for 2 seasons now. I think this is the episode in which they’ve spent the longest time together in season one. It’s a treat to see them back together, but the disconnect between the lack of Art/Sarah since season 1 and this looms large in my head. I think in part as it was pointed out to me on Twitter yesterday, that the show might have a shorter timeline than the 3 years of real time in which I’ve been watching, so we’re talking a span of months as opposed to years.

That said, I can’t actually figure out the show’s timeline for the episodes – does anyone know over how long these seasons span? It’s going to bug me now.


But, back to the episode – Felix is back, and he and Sarah are !!! together. No really, I was !!!! when I saw them working together to get rid of Rudy, the dead clone from last week. A family who gets rid of bodies together, stays together. Yup, they’re in this together for life.

Art however interrupts with news that he’s got word of Mark and he and Sarah go off together to find him. Here we have some Art and Sarah bonding, a little too late, despite the para above about timelines. But, still good to see. Art confesses that he loved Beth, and I can’t help but think it’s a way to reinvest him in the clone’s storyline given how absent he’s been from their orbit. I liked that he wasn’t a potential love interest for any clone, because Sarah with Cal AND Paul, and then Rachel and Cosima’s love interests… it’s all getting a bit too much. Art being in love with Beth and wanting to help Sarah and the others because of it just feels shoehorned into this episode and his character. And also I think he might die this season given the wealth of confessions in this episode.

Whenever Art is onscreen he’s grounding – he’s got a job to worry about, superiors to answer to and he’s blessedly normal, and Sarah and the others need that. But, even his job is of no concern to him until Sarah forces him to pay attention to it in this episode.

Meanwhile, Alison continues on her plan for neighbourhood domination by selling soap and drugs to her future constituents. She’s taken to it like marvellously and even Donnie crows they should have been drug dealers earlier. Donnie, hon, it’s your wife that’s making this work. Marcy, Alison’s rival in the election is starting to feel threatened and offers Alison a compromise, which she knocks back. This promises to be an ugly election. It’s delicious, isn’t it?

The friends who dismember together stay together – Cosima, Scott and Felix are tasked with getting rid of Rudy, but Cosima runs some tissue tests and realises the Castor clones are their brothers. And you thought your family was weird!

Mark actually does seem sane in this episode, and truly in love with Gracie. He was planted in the Prolethean camp by the army and confesses this all to Gracie to convince her to help him find the tissue samples to save himself and the Castor clones. She gives me a lead to Mr Finch, a friend of her father who she knows is holding something for him, and that leads them to a box of papers – that no one reads and gets stuck under a bed – that’s going to come back later, I’m sure. Despite that, Gracie does reveal herself to be far more adept at planning than Mark is. And also creepy threatening like her father, without resorting to violence.

Sarah and Art meanwhile, through a coincidental set of circumstances, moreso than I remember before in this show,  just miss Gracie at Finch’s (Art’s lead) place, and then Sarah finds her praying over her food in a café, saying Mark’s name out loud. Yeah. I expected better from Orphan Black. But through all this investigation, she does find out that Helena and Gracie are pregnant.

But this left me scratching  my head: Art came to Sarah with news of Mark, but Sarah leaves Gracie, to go back to Finch’s place. She doesn’t know where Gracie is going after, and she’s her closest link to getting Mark, but she goes back to Finch’s place anyway. There she meets Mark, and tells him they’re family. He doesn’t believe it, but before she can convince him, he’s killed by another Mother, Gracie’s mother Bonnie (who found Gracie and is taking her back to the farm), who is proving to be as formidable and creepy as her husband in leading the Proletheans.

Yeah, there are Mothers all over the place this episode. Well two really – both vicious, ruthless and about as un-motherlike as you can get, and I kept thinking of Mrs S, who doesn’t bear the title of “mother” but wears it well nonetheless – barring trading Helena for Kiera that is.

We get a glimpse of Helena, messing with Seth and Paul and it’s glorious. She promises to kill them when she escapes, and she keeps her promises (hopefully). And we also learn there’s a director in Washington that the Castor clones’ mother wants to keep appeased in order to keep the program going. Hm, cue another addition to the cast?

Overall, a good episode, but the search for Mark and then Gracie felt a bit muddled.


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