Orphan Black Season 3 Premiere Review

Orphan Black returns with “The Weight of This Combination.” Here's our review...

After too long of a hiatus, we are back, Clone Clubbers, for a new season of Tatiana Maslany goodness. It’s been a brutal wait between seasons, but let the Clone Dance Party begin because Orphan Black is back!

So, let’s get caught up with our sistras. First up, we have Helena. When last we saw dear Helena she was abducted by a very mysterious faction for unknown but presumably nefarious purposes. This week, we got to kick off season three with Helena and a pool side fantasy. Helena’s dreamt that she was very pregnant and frumpy, sitting with Sara (who was rocking a killer Clash tee), while Felix, Cosima, and Alison cooked copious amount of delectables for her.

Now, we know how much Helena loves her munchies but, sadly, it was all a dream as she then woke up stuffed inside a box with only a huge, growling scorpion to keep her company. Helena being Helena, she became pals with the scorpion and even had conversations with it. Of course, the scorpion has Tatiana Maslany’s voice so add yet another character to Maslany’s resume. Now, this sequence told us two things. One, Helena is still batshit crazy even though she is on the side of the angels and two; she really sees the world very simplistically-but sweetly. The poolside dream showed that all Helena really wants in the world is her sistras – and food.

It really was kind of moving that while her reality is so complex with layers upon layers of pain, betrayal, and conspiracies, Helena’s dreams involved comfort and family. Sadly, by episode’s end, Helena was still in her box and being watched by a mysterious woman and another one of those boy clones we met at the end of last season. 

Ad – content continues below

The episode featured the arrival of new male clones at a furious story pace. Played by a delightfully frightening Ari Millen, these clones sprung into action this episode after first being revealed last season. This week we were introduced to a clone being held prisoner by Dyad and another clone who attacked and violently questioned Mrs. S. In addition, we met a third boy clone who oversaw the captured Helena. It was a bit confusing keeping track of this influx of identical new characters, but I think the show creators meant for this feeling of fevered befuddlement. If viewers are confused over the arrival of a legion of clone adversaries, imagine how the sistras will feel.

The sistras might have felt confused but Cosima was feeling physically better as her treatments seem to be working. We didn’t get to see a ton of Cosima this week but we did get to see her bond with Kira and also see her reunite with her science nerd pal Scott, whom she gave that ever important copy of The Island of Dr. Moreau to. Scott is still part of Dyad and I hope Cosima does not regret her literary gift. Yeah, Scott is nerdy and seemingly loyal but considering that all the information on the clones’ DNA is written in the margins of that novel, let us just hope that Scott is as loyal as he seems.

Cosima was indeed getting better but Delphine Cormier; the most important woman in Cosima’s life was darkening considerably. With Rachel out of action due to a bad case of pencil in eye, Delphine has stepped up and become the head honcho of Dyad. Now, Delphine was the string puller, and while she was helping Sara and the clones, there was a new darkness to Delphine. Perhaps that saying about absolute power is true. In one of the episode’s most startling scenes, Delphine questioned a bedridden Rachel. The usually gentle Delphine pressed her finger into Rachel’s empty eye socket and questioned the former head of Dyad. Rachel had information that Delphine needed, but Delphine took an obvious glee in dominating Rachel and causing her so much agony. It was hard to watch and a reminder that Orphan Black is a show that is not afraid to push the envelope. 

Speaking of women capable of tremendous violence that takes us to everyone’s favorite soccer mom Alison who took that title literally this week as she had now become the coach of her daughter’s soccer team. But there is trouble in suburbia as one of Alison’s rivals has decided to change the zoning regulations of the local schools which would mean Alison’s kids would have to attend a new place of learning. Well, our Ali did not like this one bit and decided to run against Marci and her fake smile. The last time Alison confronted a rival, that rival was choked to death by a garbage disposal while Alison watched so Marci better be very careful going into election season.

Alison’s contribution to the episode extended beyond her neighborhood as Sara and Delphine called on Alison to pose as Sara to pull the wool over the eyes of Dyad’s soon to arrive cleaner, a man named Ferdinand. Ever loyal to her sistras, Alison jumped into action much to Donne’s chagrin (who, by the way, lost his job this week as well). Of course, Alison did not regard Donnie in the least and posed as Sara while Sara posed as Rachel. Felix proved very useful by making Sara up as Rachel and the con was on. Ferdinand (played by James Frain who has now officially been a part of every genre show ever), did not suspect the identity switch. Of course, the whole scene had layers of awesome as Maslany played two characters pretending to be other characters played by Maslany (whew, soooo meta). Despite his cool veneer of control, Ferdinand fell for it hook, line, and sinker. He even revealed Rachel’s plans to Sara who lost it when she heard that those plans included the eventual abduction of Kira. As Rachel, Sara wrapped her belt around Ferdinand’s neck.

Ferdinand thought it was some sort of S&M game that he had played with Rachel before and was a willing participant. Let’s just say “Do you remember our safe word?” will become a classic line in the annals of Orphan Black’s history, as will Sara’s reply of “No.” Yipes! Luckily for old Ferdinand, Delphine burst in just as he was about to go purple. Delphine gave Ferdie the boot but not before she and Sara called off a hit on Alison and her family. 

Ad – content continues below

Whew, layers and layers and the boy clones haven’t fully played their hand yet. A riveting and refreshingly risqué beginning to a series that was greatly missed this past year. 

The Good

  • Felix’s make up skills
  • Cosima on the mend
  • Safewords
  • Helena’s scorpion pal who really needs its own comic series by Art Baltazar and Franco
  • “Chewie, we’re home.” It just needs to be said, you know.

The Bad

  • What can be bad now that the Clone Club is back? 

The Ugly

  • Pencilectomies
  • Delphine’s new found streak of cruelty
  • The forgetting of safewords
  • The fact that one of the boy clones easily took out the badass Mrs. S. That can’t bode well. 


4 out of 5