So much for easing into the new season.
Orphan Black’s Season 3 premiere, “The Weight of This Combination,” was a distillation of the best parts of its first two seasons all while still setting the stage for what is to come over the next three months.
This episode didn’t cover a lot of new philosophical ground or make many grand statements, but it was a lot of fun - thanks to plenty of tension, plot twists and a scorpion that sounds like Jenny Slate.
Did you hate the Clone Dance Party? Tough luck sucker, because we’re opening with an awesome Clone Baby Shower. Ok, this party is only in the kidnapped Helena’s mind, but who wouldn’t want to hang with a leather-clad Sarah who opens every sentence with “Oi” or a Cosima who wears traditional Ukrainian garb yet talks like Michelle Tanner? BBC America, reboot the ’90s sitcom Herman’s Head with Helena. It would be ratings gold.
Think the show lost a little something when they ditched the whole Sarah double life storyline? Can I interest you in Sarah posing as “Rachel Duncan, Uber Bitch?” Holy doodle, I’ll even throw in Alison as Sarah and a Felix led ’80s movie makeover montage for free.
Missing some “dude with a tail” style weirdness? How about the second trip between Helena’s ears where we’re introduced to the scorpion that talks like Yoda and sounds like Marcel The Shell with Shoes On (and voiced by Tatiana Maslany, naturally). It will help you pass the time if you are ever locked in a box for 48 hours.
Then there’s Delphine. Our fragile French flower has turned crusty as a baguette now that she’s risen to Dyad’s highest ranks. Never thought I’d say Delphine would be the highlight of an episode but damn if it wasn’t the case this time around.
With Marian Bowles in Europe doing damage control (plus I think having Michelle Forbes and James Frain on the screen at the same time causes tears in space-time), it’s Delphine who is riding herd over Dyad and the clones.
Delphine is privy to a bigger picture and doesn’t have time for sentimentality. Before losing her eye and part of her brain function, Rachel put a protocol in motion designed to wipe out the sister clones and consolidate power within Topside with one sweeping gesture.
To thwart those efforts, Delphine uses her new power like a surgeon by masterminding the Sarah-Rachel-Alison con and regaining our respect by messing with the incapacitated Rachel in a deliciously sadistic way. Delphine is kind of a badass who isn’t afraid to make the tough choices (no matter how much heartache they cause). It’s going to be interesting how she fits into the sisterhood dynamic now, especially with Castor clones Scar and Stache on the loose.
This show has ever been afraid to cast off storylines that don’t exactly work and evolve. In one episode, the third season has shuffled the character dynamics and increased the danger to the clone sisters. It’s hard to tell where the journey will take us, but it’s safe to say it won’t be stale.
Craig Wack is a veteran journalist. Please follow his Twitter.