Orphan Black Recap: One Day, I Kill You All

Orphan Black
Episode Title
Formalized, Complex and Costly
Editor’s Rating

What to do with a body? It's an age-old question, in TV generally but especially on Orphan Black. One thing I do love about this show, more than others, is how authentically cumbersome these characters' choices can be. As much as I wish Rachel would have been killed by that pencil bomb, brain damage is a lot more realistic. It's not easy to cover up a murder — we can't all be Dexter Morgan — so when one of the clones actually does kill someone, the decision rightly comes with the very real anxiety of "Oh, shit, now what?"

Which is exactly how we return this week: Sarah and Felix are contemplating, in peak Breaking Bad form, how to get rid of Seth’s dead body. (No acid.) For now they’ve dumped it in Felix’s bathtub, which seems as good a plan as any — until Art bangs on the front door. Quelle coincidence, monsieur cop. Of course, there’s literally no way to hide the massive puddle of blood that already pooled around his lifeless corpse on the living room floor before they dragged him to the bathroom, so Art, who is clearly still very sad about Beth, quickly discovers the mess. Instead of taking Sarah’s advice and leaving before he can be further implicated, he super-wisely decides to continue helping Sarah in her crime-filled quest to find Helena. Like I said, he’s still very sad about Beth (more on that in a minute).

Sarah calls Cosima, who says she and Scott need to look at Dead Seth's brain to understand how and why he glitched, because it might be key in understanding what is going on, so they’ll keep the body for now. Art reveals that he initially came over to tell Sarah he got a lead on our Human Torch clone, Mark.

Gracie is starting to get curious about Mark’s secrecy back at the motel. Also, they’re married now, so they bone! Afterward, just as they seem to be enjoying postcoital, spooning bliss, Mark drops the bomb: He never went AWOL, like he said. He’s actually still "in the Army" and on assignment to get the source material from her dad, but now this dude Willard Finch has whatever it is her dad needed to hide. Gracie, understandably, totally flips out, about the lies and probably a little bit about the whole “your psychotic, abusive, dead dad had a lot more secrets than just forcing you to carry his baby” thing. At least she and Mark got a little action in beforehand!

Mark feels so bad he caves and lets Gracie go to Finch instead, at her insistence. Finch seems like a garden variety perv-slash-opportunist who makes some leery comment about her being grown up before. He gives her her dad’s box o’ stuff, but not before trying to extort her for a thousand bucks. She doesn't have that kind of money, but she’s got wits, which she uses to make an empty yet impressive threat that it’s really not a good idea to make an enemy of the Proletheans over a handful of cash (she’s right, of course, but she’s not exactly acting on their behalf right now).

In the Middle East Wherever This Base Is, Rudy and Paul return home, only for Virginia Coady to smack Rudy in the head for disobeying extraction orders, especially since the disobedience cost Seth his life. Paul defends Rudy and gives Coady a case of Marlboros — her favorite! — and they discuss the clones in private. She tells him Helena doesn't have “the defect” (that's what the stress tests were for, apparently) but that the cure for whatever tweaked out poor Seth lies within the source tissue they’re trying so hard to find. She says “the Director” (of the CIA?) wants to see Paul, presumably to pack in the whole operation, so she tells him to stall for time while he’s there.

Coady meets with Rudy, who scoffs about Mark being a traitor; she tells him not to underestimate his better-groomed brother, and then Rudy gets really sad about Seth, which prompts the weirdest hug in this show’s history. Rudy calls her “Mom” and sucks his thumb as he wraps his arms around her waist like a child. So we’ve got mommy issues, too, eh, Rude?

This is all happening while Helena lies in a dead-eyed daze in her sun-baked prison. Rudy comes to meet her — the psycho-maverick clones meet! — and they hit it off right away, aggressively trolling each other about their respective siblings. Paul shows up, and Helena "offers" herself to him, since he's already boned two of her sisters anyway (yessss, more women-making-men-uncomfortable-by-talking-about-their-bodies material!). He says he's sincerely sorry that “it's come to this,” and she counters by vowing to one day kill them all.

Awesome! Cosima and Scott are sawing through Dead Seth’s skull! To scoop out his brain with a pair of barbecue tongs! (Felix is there, too, conveying all of our collective gag reflexes.) There’s also a cute moment between them when Cosima calls Scott, also a little green around the gills, the “Igor” to her Frankenstein to make him feel better. SCIENCE!!!

Ugh, Rachel is STILL alive and, what’s worse, seemingly improving. Dr. Nealon is conducting neurological tests with her using picture flash cards. This scene is mainly here so that Nealon can tell Rachel (and us) that Delphine told Topside that Rachel died in a car crash, and that she's "more valuable than she knows," meaning this evil a-hole is probably about to become a sleeper cell, of sorts. For what, though?

Pharmaceutical entrepreneurs Alison and Donnie are predictably making bank selling their "soap," which, believe it or not, actually is soap — each bar just includes a few extra add-ons sprinkled into its cutesy artisanal box. Mean Girl Marcy drops by in a pathetic, borderline desperate attempt to convince them to move to a great new house — in another district. Nice try, Marcy. I admit, even though this subplot is rather boring, it is nice watching Alison tear this smarmy jerk to pieces with her words. Who knows, maybe this will end in murder again!

Sarah and Art are hot on Mark’s trail, first finding and getting info out of the Proletheans’ banished midwife, then finding Finch, who tells them about Gracie’s visit after they threaten him. (This guy is a skeeze, but wow, for a criminal, he’s really easily manipulated!) In the car on the way to Finch’s farm, Sarah gets it out of Art that he was actually in love with Beth (I mean, duh), which is why he’s so masochistically obsessed with helping Sarah now. Finally, she convinces him, by exploiting his residual feelings a little, to go back to work and let her handle things on her own, because he's definitely AWOL right now and can't afford to be suspended again.

Back at the motel, Gracie’s dad’s box contains a bunch of papers, but no tissue samples, as he’d assumed there would be. He decides to go back to Finch himself, and even though she tries to keep him from going, he goes anyway. Anyone else feel like these two have approximately zero chemistry? When he says good-bye and kisses her, I called B.S.

That banished midwife, who thanks to Sarah and Art now knows Gracie and Mark are at the motel, snitches on the couple to Gracie’s creepy mom, in return for being un-banished (though why you’d want to be un-banished from that house … ).

Meanwhile, Sarah finds Gracie at the diner near the motel. She tells her that Mark is a clone and shows her security cam photos to prove it. For the second time this week, Gracie flips out (remember, clones are abominations to her family, even though she’s carrying Helena's kid and all). Sarah leaves to go find Mark back at the Finch barn again, and Gracie returns to her room, only to discover her mom has found them! She's still messed up about the my-new-husband-is-a-clone thing and of course Mrs. Johanssen exploits it, while also calling her stupid for believing anything Mark has said (even though everything he’s told her is true). Mom comforts Gracie, reminding her they're not like other people, that they still have a purpose; it’s all very crusade-y.

Mark partakes in some sweet, sweet gore with Finch by pounding the old man’s fingers like they're Whac-A-Moles in an attempt to find out the location of the tissue samples he’s convinced the guy still has. Bummer for all, though: Finch has a heart attack and dies before Mark manages to get any information out of him.

Sarah shows up soon after, just as Cosima is calling her with some initial test results from their Abby Normal clone brain: In a twist that is shocking to basically no one (at least no one who reads these recaps and/or literally anything about Greek mythology, let alone how prevalent it is in this show), it turns out the Leda clones and the Castor clones ARE ALL SIBLINGSSSSSSS! I mean, seriously, was anyone actually surprised by this? Not I.

After they hang up, Sarah comes upon Finch's body, and Mark comes upon Sarah from behind. Being the Über-brave idiot she is, she tells him she told Gracie that he’s a clone, and then just up and adds that, oh yeah, they’re brother and sister so he can’t kill her. He’s furious and also in denial, so he puts his gun to her head, but then leaves to get Gracie instead — only to be shot in the leg as he approaches his truck ... by Gracie’s mom, who, of course, has a shotgun.

Mrs. Johanssen is a pretty fascinating character, if you ask me. Not only has she been brainwashed by her now-dead cult-leader husband to the point where she allowed him to impregnate their own daughter with his child via IVF; now she’s wracked with grief at his death and has essentially taken his place as the head of household, doing whatever she can to avenge and protect her family-cult’s “purpose.” Plus, she’s pissed that this scumbro managed to seduce, kidnap, and deflower her daughter! She follows him into the corn field as he tries to drag himself to safety. Alas, the argument "Please, I love her" is basically the worst possible way to talk yourself out of this, Mark.

"Not like her mother," she responds calmly and pulls the trigger.

Next week: Alison gets patted down, and Cosima joins Tinder!