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‘Orphan Black’ Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: “Scarred by Many Fast Frustrations”

orphan black scarred by many fast frustrations

Love, betrayal, death… and alcohol induced dancing. All in one episode of Orphan Black.

While this week’s episode focused on less character plots, “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” filled itself up with enough drama to make us forget about the lack of certain favorite characters (coughAlisoncough).

When we last left Sarah, she was in the hands of Castor hands, being sent off to what was most likely the military base. This is now confirmed: Sarah and Helena have become prison mates. Once Sarah realizes that Helena is next door, she is extremely thankful and tries to talk to her and make amends. Helena on the other hand fully believes Sarah was behind her capture, and therefore has no room for forgiveness.

In the meantime, Art has acknowledged that Sarah has gone missing for a couple of days now, but is distracted by a new guest. Gracie arrives at his apartment, and reveals she has no home and has miscarried. Art brings her over to everyone’s favorite foster home residence, hoping that Mrs. S and Felix will be able to take care of little Gracie. While Felix is reluctant, Mrs. S is welcoming.

Gracie isn’t the only one being helped by Felix. Over at a local bar, Cosima is about to meet someone for a date, courtesy of the app Sapphire. Fee tells her to “not bail” and give it a chance, considering how badly she reeked of Delphine only just recently. She meets the lovely nutritionist/masseur “Shay” and they instantly hit it off. The only thing of suspicion is that they’re being watched by an unknown photographer from the outside.

Now throughout her tenure in the prison room during this episode, Sarah tries to appeal to Helena’s better side. She tells her about her troubles in trying to find Helena, but much to her dismay, Helena won’t budge. While Sarah is later taken to Dr. Cody and has blood drawn out of her (before calling her a “psycho-bitch,” a term she previously used on Rachel) presumably for research purposes, Helena’s gears are turning as she figures her way around her room for escape.

Mark has been cleaned up and well taken care of, after his unfortunate incident with Gracie’s mom, at the military base. When Dr. Cody sees his wedding ring and questions it, she understands it’s an act of true love. However, there’s no room for love in their undercover operations, and tells Mark to “forget about it” and that it never happened.

Over at The Help, Felix and Gracie share a hilarious dynamic together as they try to synchronize both worlds (“You know I sleep with men, right?” “I’m not stupid”). For what it’s worth, Gracie has been subjugated to the worst possible conditions an adolescent could want, and she honestly needs a break – she’s a teenager, anyway.

Mrs. S tries to console Gracie’s anxiety by telling her a story of another failed wedding – her own. It turns out that S’s husband had a very traumatic end to his life, and S had a dreadful time dealing with it. Gracie asks her if she’s her penance, but S simply wants to make her feel more at home, as a guest. Who knew that Mrs. S, gun-wielding and cold-blooded murderer Mrs. S, would be the humanizing factor in this season?

The only person who may be disapproving of Sarah being the new cell-mate at the military is Paul. And it turns out, he is. Paying a visit over to her cell doesn’t exactly help either of them – Sarah remains hostile towards him, but understands that he may be a way out. And while Paul may still have a soft spot for Sarah, his hands are tied. Helena tries to get the action going between them, not acting in either’s favors.

Paul furiously rushes over to Dr. Cody to have her explain why Sarah is being locked up. Dr. Cody emphasizes the genetic value of both Sarah and Helena, especially together, but Paul remains tense. “What are we doing Virginia?” Looks like there’s more under wraps that’s yet to be discovered.

When Sarah breaks down in front of Helena (talking about how she abandoned Kira and doesn’t want the same for her relationship to her “sestra”), Helena finally agrees to cooperate with her in escaping. They plan out an elaborate sequence of events, which involves Sarah being captured intentionally, extracting a pair of tweezers for Helena to get out of her shackles, swinging over a bar opener to Helena’s cell (timed at perfect intervals so that they miss the security camera), and Helena breaking out a bar from the door and sliding herself through, thanks to a whole ton of butter. She switches off the camera in the corner, and when a security guard comes to investigate the camera, she very easily kills him.

It looks like things are going super great for this duo – that is, until, Helena doesn’t open Sarah’s door. Turns out that Sarah’s testimonials did nothing really to convince Helena that Sarah never sold her out. Sarah proceeds to somewhat lose her mind, as there really is little way of escaping without Helena’s expertise. Helena manages to get out of the military personnel’s keen eye, and very nimbly escapes. Her disappearance of course, is immediately noted, and the military are warned within 5 minutes that she is missing. While Helena has a moment of reluctance to go back and get Sarah, she ignores it and trudges on.

Meanwhile, Gracie has taken it upon herself to don Sarah’s punk-rock attire from her teenage years and go out to the clubs, or wherever else they sell Mai Tai’s. Felix manages to steer that accident waiting to happen, and instead the three of them host their own little dance party, complete with gin and juice and old records. Things are going great and Gracie is totally getting hammered, until Gracie collapses onto the floor clutching her stomach.

At that moment, Paul is flipping through Rudy’s log-book, where he finds hair samples taped to each page with a description of its owner and various other characteristics. In another part of town, Art is visiting a house in suburbia, where he meets with Patty (the girl from the second episode of the season who is unwillingly forced into a threesome with Seth and Rudy). She takes off sunglasses and shows him completely red eyes. At S’s house, Gracie opens her eyes to reveal a redness spreading over her corneas.

Final Thoughts

First off, let’s talk about Gracie. It’s safe to say that she really doesn’t have a family at the moment (I mean, her mom first shoots her husband to death for hurting their family with betrayal, and then casts her daughter out for having a miscarriage. Things are rough.) I like that she’s been taken under the arms of Felix and S temporarily, though this is just a continuation of how their plots are being sidelined throughout the season. As for the whole eye phenomenon, it may seem that the Castor clones (specifically Rudy) knows something is up, and therefore takes note of who he’s slept with to check up on them later (or maybe it’s for other reasons).

I really love the dynamic between Shay and Cosima, and it looks like it could be something new and fun for Cosima. The photographer at the beginning doesn’t bode well for her however: here’s hoping that Shay is just another blonde that won’t betray Cosima at any point.

Scientific exploration remains completely vague for us at the military. All we know for sure is that Dr. Cody, Paul, and the rest of the Castor Clones in the military are essentially a family, and will do whatever it takes to survive. At the moment, this means trying to find some way of curing their mental breaks of instability, and this is where Helena, Sarah, and even Parsons would come in handy. The words “genetic material”, “viable source”, “genome”, and more have been thrown around plenty, but it’s enough to keep us in the dark as to what truly may be happening over at the base.

Sarah and Helena have gone through some rough patches, but perhaps not as rough as this. Even at the end of Season 1, Sarah knew that she wanted Helena dead and shot her with no remorse. Now there’s remorse on both ends, which makes forgiveness hard. For someone like Helena who is inherently kind-hearted (beneath all those layers of murder and sweat and blood), betrayal is the worst. As Shay puts it, in the words of Pablo Neruda: “Loving is short, forgiving is long.”