Orphan Black “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” Review (3×09)

14 Jun


“I am a mother now. I walk a different path.”

Even though it features quite a few major revelations, season three’s penultimate episode isn’t as meaty of an hour as the show’s last few installments. It’s still a twisty-turny 42 minutes, but it doesn’t quite possess the propulsive plot that drove episode six or the pure emotion that drove episode seven; it lies in a middle ground of sorts, never quite gelling, but still delivering a thoroughly entertaining set-up for next week’s season finale.

Near the midway point of the episode, Donnie tells Helena that he’s making a “decision for the family” and that she’s “part of [the family] now”. It’s relevant because one of the show’s major themes is the uniting force of those very families, of those people you care about and love, and we see that these connections are being forged between people who aren’t biologically related. We have people like Felix and Mrs. S and Donnie and Scott who are integral aspects of the sestras’ lives, even though they aren’t clones themselves; even as conflict is springing up between various factions, what doesn’t change is the need for connection.

One of the stronger connections we have in this world is one between a mother and her children, and that’s the connection explored throughout this penultimate episode. After Pouchy and co. end up with possession of Helena’s babies, for example, she sets out in full force, unable to impersonate Alison well but 100% ready to unleash her Helena on those three poor people. Killing a few people and walking out with your clothes covered in blood isn’t exactly the most conventional way to show motherly love, but that’s the point that the episode is trying to make: motherhood as a role is conventional, but the specific experiences we have with our mothers are unique. There should be no reason to compromise who you are just to fit into a role.

The big revelation, of course, is that Kendall Malone, Mrs. S’s mother, is both the Castor and Leda original. I don’t think it has the same impact that previous revelations have had, but it’s still a fairly intriguing note to end on. After all, this is supposedly the big uniting force between Leda and Castor. If the two originals are one and the same, then the question becomes whether Leda and Castor can ever work together. Is this a larger family to be formed, or is it something that will go down in flames?



-Nice juxtaposition with Mrs. S singing and Ferdinand’s man–I was wondering where Ferdinand had gone–beating up Terry. Goes to show you that in this world, the fun is never too far away from the danger.

– “I have cold.” “Yeah, it’s the bad kind that messes with your…syntax.”

-Helena and Gemma’s little karate session is a great moment at the beginning of the episode.

-I’m glad Shay isn’t some double agent or something. It’s pretty cliche to have a new love interest be working for the bad guy, so I’m glad it’s not true. It’s also an interesting way to convey Delphine’s dark side here; I don’t know if it works that smoothly in this episode, but there’s no doubt that Evelyn Brochu is handling it well.

-This review is late because I was busy watching the Chicago Blackhawks move one win away from another Stanley Cup. Oh, what a time it is to be a Hawks fan.

Photo credit: Orphan Black, BBC America


2 Responses to “Orphan Black “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” Review (3×09)”

  1. Linda June 14, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    I have to say I really enjoyed it. Anytime I can get a large dose of Helana I’m happy. Donnie’s syntax comment was so typical Donnie and made me chuckle.

    I was surprised with the Gracie reveal. I did not see that coming at all! At least we now know what happened to Mark.

    The Leda/Castor original being the same person was another WTH moment at least for me and being Mrs. S’s mother was a double WTH.

    Can’t believe we are at the season finale! It seems we just started.

    Regarding last weeks episode. I totally loved the scenes with Felix and Krystall!

  2. Matthew Thompson June 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    Finally catching up on my TV. This was a good episode, but I really don’t know how I feel about the final reveal, especially it being Mrs. S’s mother. I guess it is one where I will have to wait and see what happens next to know if I like it. I loved Helena this episode. She has been amazing since coming to Alison’s house and she had more great moments this week. Her and Donnie together is great fun. Also like you said in the bullets, I’m happy Shay wasn’t the mole or whatever. That would have been lame. Looking forward to the finale!

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