Saturday, June 6, 2015

REVIEW: 'Orphan Black' - Rachel Escapes Dyad and Felix Visits Krystal in 'Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method'

BBC America's Orphan Black - Episode 3.08 "Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method"

When Rachel makes a promise to Sarah, it comes with a hefty price. Helena and Gracie work with Alison and Donnie, while Donnie takes Jason to task. Coady and Benchman scheme to track down the Castor Original, and Rudy descends on Dyad for a much needed asset.

The start of this third season of Orphan Black introduced a new Leda clone to the mix in Krystal. She has never been important except in showing that the Castor clones are actively targeting Leda. She helped established the urgency of the narrative this season. She hasn't been seen since. Everyone else is doing whatever they have to do in order to protect the people they care about. They simply didn't want to add to that list. Krystal has just as much right to know the truth as everyone else. But they all just chose to ignore her and keep her unaware of her true existence because they had much bigger concerns to worry about. But now, Sarah has to deal with Krystal. Her presence is crucial in getting Rachel to translate Duncan's book for the clones and unlocking the key to their genetic structure.

It's easy to look at Krystal as nothing more than a naive airhead. That's Delphine's assessment in the aftermath of Krystal's encounter with Castor. Sure, she likes to over share with every person who comes into her workplace. But she is optimistic and capable of putting the pieces together just like everyone else. It's just so tragic watching her throughout this episode. Everyone has knowledge that she doesn't. She desperately wants it. Everyone believes they can easily manipulate her and not hurt her. The damage they would do to her is less than the potential devastation that Castor poses. But that's also asking a lot from the members of Clone Club who are openly emotional about their circumstances. Rachel can use Krystal to secure her release. No one will miss her or care that her identity has been stolen. Sarah and Felix have to lie to Krystal in order to do their simple mission. But it's devastating to Felix to do so. The more time he spends with Krystal the more insight into her hidden depths he sees. She is aware of all the incredulous stuff happening in her life. She is carrying out her own investigation which could hurt her much more than what he and Sarah are doing to her right now. He is capable of keeping the truth from her. He is successful in that regard. But he also has to make sure that she knows just how special and strong she is. That was a nice genuine moment of concern on Felix's part. Krystal is incredibly grateful. And yet, that's not enough once she comes into harm's way once again later.

Early in the episode, it is established that Castor and the military have someone undercover in Project Leda. The answer seems pretty apparent (though I'll leave speculation for the bulleted thoughts below and in the comments). But the episode also hinges on suspicion falling on Dr. Nealon for a little bit. He suddenly appears at Krystal's workplace at night. He's obviously there to do her harm. And then, the next beat features Rachel's escape from Dyad and her attempt to translate the book for Sarah, Felix and company. Nealon sudden breaks into Siobhan's house with a skilled team ready to take Rachel and all the important information back to Dyad. Something is definitely amiss throughout the whole sequence because there is still the lingering question with Krystal. It turns out he's not working for Castor but is just loyal to Rachel and all of this is part of her much more elaborate scheme to escape. She now has Krystal as her placeholder at Dyad. Delphine doesn't know any better nor does anyone else. They all believe that Rachel is in a coma and may never recover. Meanwhile, Rachel is getting another surgery to give her a new eye with the plan to escape without fear of anyone running after her. Or she could be using all of this to stealthily plot taking over Dyad once more.

That leaves Sarah and the rest of the team without Duncan's book and no way of translating the pages they have copied. Rachel was only able to provide them one page of information. All of this could be seen as the show prolonging its central mystery once again. The one page that Sarah, Felix and Siobhan have to go on talks completely about Castor. This season is so intently focused on them. They have become slightly prioritized above the Leda clones. It really does feel like the show will solve the Castor mystery this season. Sarah, Felix and Siobhan are headed back to London in order to figure out what happened to the Castor original. They do so out of the hopes that Castor will no longer create problems for them. That way the team can focus on themselves. A cure can be found for their own defect and Sarah and Kira can be reunited as a family. That probably won't happen in the end. But it's that hope that is fueling so many of the character's actions right now.

Castor can literally appear in anyone's lives at any given moment. There is still a shock value to that device. When Rudy appears in Scott's apartment, it's surprising. Scott doesn't have the skills to effectively take on Rudy. He has no choice but to hand the book over. That's a scary prospect. Castor is disruptive of the lives the central team want to be living. Sure, that threat has brought them closer as a family. Sarah, Felix and Siobhan have been able to bond again because of the torture that Sarah endured from Castor. Helena and Gracie are together again. Them living with Alison and Donnie is only possible because Castor caused them pain. However, the season is heading into its homestretch. Only two episodes remain for the season. A trip abroad could be the precise thing that finally brings answers to the show. Or it could just bring about even more conspiracies and mysteries. The team is hoping for clarity. But will they actually get it?

Some more thoughts:
  • "Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method" was written by Graeme Manson & Chris Roberts and directed by Aaron Morton.
  • Cosima used her resignation from Dyad as a way to stall Delphine and get Rachel out of the building. And yet, it's a move that will actually stick because of the massive betrayal that Delphine feels in the aftermath of how terrible letting Rachel out turned out to be.
  • Also, everyone seems to be afraid that Delphine can't be trusted because she has to report to Topside. And yet, Delphine really is kept out of the loop on basically everything. What is she actually doing to control the project? What is her importance?
  • When did Scott start taking Duncan's book home with him? I always thought he and Cosima kept it at the office.
  • There's no way Donnie would have physically confronted Jason if Helena didn't compliment his appearance, right? It was that moment of confidence that made him comfortable with her staying at his and Alison's house while also being misplaced in his handling of the situation with Jason. Not that Alison is doing a much better job anyway.
  • Helena and Gracie reuniting is filled with incredible tension because they spent so much time together with the other Proletheans. But now, they both seem to forgive the other very easily. Also, how will Helena continuing to store her "babies" come into play in the final two episodes?
  • Okay, in regards to the Castor mole in the Leda project, it's clearly Shay, right? I mean she was the only other person who knew that the book existed. Delphine has always been skeptical about her. And now, there may be proof that she may not be good for Cosima. Of course, those answers will have to wait until next week. But who else could it possibly be?