Orphan Black wrapped up an uneven third season by making a number of moves that should right the ship in the already announced Season 4.
In the first two seasons there was a clear cut villain, a recognizable Big Bad who was meaning to do the Clone Club harm. There was someone to root against - the Prolethains, Dr. Leekie, Rachel - but this year, Topside never got a face.
The show tried to find a heavy in the Castor clones, Ferdinand or the chain-smoking Dr. Coady, but these obstacles in Sarah & Co.’s way felt like a series of puppets rather than the one pulling the strings.
Give showrunners John Fawcett and Graeme Manson credit. They are not afraid to let their little show about genetics evolve. This stage of Orphan Black’s evolution brought the danger to the Clone Club back to the beginning.
In the first season, the Neolutionists were introduced as a subculture with Max Headroom as its spokesman (Dr. Leekie who is now under that mismatched concrete patch in Alison’s garage) and hipsters with tails as its foot soldiers.
It was really the silliest part of that season of Orphan Black and was pretty well discarded favor of Dyad - the scary corporation - as the show’s main antagonist.
Not so fast my friends. It was revealed in the finale that the Neolutionists have more in common with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s HYDRA than met the eye.
Delphine discovered that it was Krystal in the hospital bed and not seemingly on the loose Rachel, she rounds up Dr. Crazyhair, he spills that the Neolutionists are organized and behind everything: Dyad, Topside, Castor and Leda. He then tries to kill Delphine with a cyborg tequila worm.
The enemy of our enemy has been our enemy the whole time and the brains behind the operation is the presumed dead Dr. Mrs.
The Monarch Duncan and she is holding both Charlotte (who is now mommy-less?) and Rachel, who has a funky new eye that probably shoots lasers or magnifies like the Six Million Dollar Man.
This opens up new avenues and most importantly gives the clones’ main threat a face. Hell, it might even redeem Rachel in the process.
Instead of a dance party we got a Clone Club dinner party, which thanks to the HYDRA-esque reveal reminded me of the Avengers. Sarah is Black Widow (secretive, dark past); Alison is Captain America (straight laced, doesn’t swear); Cosima is Iron Man (smart, scientist, potentially fatal health problem) and Helena is a hybrid of Thor (golden hair) and the Hulk (rage monster). Depending on which she falls next season will make Rachel either Hawkeye (duh, obvs) or Loki (no explanation needed there as well).
Unfortunately before we got our snowmobile reunion between Sarah and Kira in Iceland to close the season (when the hell did the Clone Club get a travel budget?), it appears we lost Delphine. We know she was gut shot by a would-be assassin she recognized but we weren’t shown (Shay, maybe?). They cut to black before the deathblow was struck so all we really know is that Delphine is hanging out in TV character limbo with Stannis Baratheon.
This season had its troubles but it had its amazing moments, too (Helena’s reunion with Jessie Towing and the prison fight with Scar following are right up there). Orphan Black still needs to find a way to bring the clones back into the same orbit, but a common enemy and a common cause is a damn good start.
Craig Wack wishes everyone a bitchin’ summer and hopes to see ya’ll in the fall. Please follow his Twitter.