Orphan Black Recap: Manacled Slim Wrists
Greetings, Clone Club! This week was more like it, ya? After finding out last week that Dyad wants to harvest Kira’s eggs, activate the Lin-28A anti-aging gene and implant them in 1300 surrogates, our hero team had to work fast to prevent Rachel and P.T. Westmoreland (hint: not his real name!) from putting their plan in motion. But first, Krystal. Ah, we missed ye! “Slim Manacled Wrists” starts out with the newest and sassiest clone talking to her fans via her cosmetics-based YouTube channel. Her friend Bree starts to demonstrate a new hair-curling technique, but to the girls’ horror, her hair falls out. Thus, Krystal calls Art because “big cosmetics” is trying once again to stop her.
Once again, Krystal is actually not that far off – Dyad just bought a major cosmetics company called Blue Zone and Team Science (Scott and Art, mostly) get Sarah on the line so Krystal can tell her what she knows. Meanwhile, Kira has fakes a stomach virus to get out of her Dyad/Rachel appointment that day. She’s in on “the hustle,” which is pretty adorable. I think little actress Skyler Wexler is doing a great job this season!
Back on the Island of Doctor Moreau – which Kira has renamed ‘Wonderland’ to tie in yet another literary reference – Cosima is still locked in the basement with P.T.’s original test subject, Yannis, who is dead. Mud brings her food but will not free her. Mud is also wearing a cowbell around her neck as punishment soooo…yeah. Westmoreland, whom Susan Duncan calls “John,” say that Cosima can rot down there, but Susan points out that Kira might behave better if her aunt is with her, and also casually mentions that Cosima saw right through him and his 180-years-old act. More is revealed about John/P.T.’s past, as Virginia Cody shows up and he talks about how he separated Castor and Leda, giving Susan and Virginia each half of the clone project. Susan hates Virginia, but Ira wants to know more about his creator. He seems to be glitching, but manages to convince Susan that he’ll get close to Virginia and figure out her motivations. P.T. only seems interested in finding a way to live forever, and injecting himself with young blood harvested from the people on the Island. Ira walks in on Susan harvesting some blood from a little boy for just this purpose.
Speaking of the people, they are not happy. Aisha, the little girl with cancer, has died and last week, a woman’s husband was killed trying to recapture P.T.s first testing subject, Yannis. She says that they came for the fountain that could cure illness, but all they’ve found on the island is death. Mud sees this and seems to find sympathy within herself, and presumably heads off to free Cosima. Cosima is also visited by Virginia, who recognizes her scientific talent and tries to sway Cosima to the dark side. Good luck with that.
Sarah initially decides to dress as Crystal to seduce the former CEO of Blue Zone, Len, who Krystal entices over to her apartment. Fun fact: Len is played by star Tatiana Maslany’s current boyfriend, Tom Cullen! However, Krystal wants to do this operation herself, and sets up her remote camera and earpiece so that Art and Sarah can see what is going on. After Art and Sarah enduring her making out with Len for a few minutes, Krystal asks a few direct questions about the Dyad purchase. Len finds out that Krystal’s friend Bree stole some experimental cream from his house when they had partied with him previously, which is why Bree’s hair fell out. He goes to confront Krystal but she’s ready, kicking him in the balls and pinning him to the ground. She demands to know why Dyad bought Blue Zone. Len finally cops to the real reason – they wanted his dermal delivery system, which was shown to be effective with the cream that makes hair fall out. Krystal rubs it all over his face/beard and he runs out, screaming. I enjoyed that part quite a bit!
The dermal delivery system means that Dyad can market cosmetic products and put whatever they want in it, an incredibly dangerous notion. Krystal knows that something is up with “big cosmetics” but hilariously still doesn’t get the bigger picture. I find it kind of nice that we have a clone who is part of the action but also has her own motivations in that she wants cosmetic companies to be transparent about what they are selling. She has the Leda passion and drive, but isn’t applying it to the group goal. An interesting dichotomy!
We end on the Island – the villagers burn things, demanding answers, as Ira and Mud free Cosima. Ira gives her an envelope with a photo of P.T. and Susan from the 1960s, which she uses to show the villagers that P.T. is a liar and isn’t 180. They realize what has been going on (to some extent) and do not impede her progress as she and Charlotte head to the boat house.
Mud allows Susan to poison P.T.’s transfusion IV, and he appears to be dying when Mud has a change of heart. She brings in Virginia Cody, who has a gun and stops the poisoning. Damn it. Cosima leaves with Charlotte, unable to wait any longer for Ira and Susan. Ira was already glitching, and blood runs from his nose as he finds Susan in her chair, poisoned to death via IV. Mud finds the photo of P.T. from the 60’s outside on the ground, realizing her mistake.
That was a great episode! While I liked last week’s, especially the scenes with Delphine and Cosima, this was truly an episode where there was action and movement. The discovery of Team Neolution manipulating a specific gene to prolong life was not very surprising, but it is pretty awful what they are going to do with Kira’s eggs. Fact: The gene LIN 28A exists and has been tested in mice, as it “is thought to regulate the self-renewal of stem cells” (thank you, Wikipedia). The mice showed faster healing and increased metabolic function, which is pretty cool! I can see why the writers chose this gene to anchor the Neolution/Dyad research and this season’s plot.
We did not see Allison, Helena, Felix, Felix’s sister Adele, or have any idea what the last two are doing “in Switzerland” although I was hoping we’d find out. Perhaps next week! I can’t believe there are only FOUR episodes left! In the whole series! This show is certainly going down as one of the most feminist in history, and I particularly liked that in the preview for next week, S said “they’re doing it again, to another generation of women. And we’re going to stop it.” That is really the premise of this entire series – the genetic material of Kendall Malone was manipulated, then Sarah and her sisters, now Kira, by scientists who think they can play god. And while it seems to be masterminded by men like Rachel’s “father,” P.T./John, and Neolution puppets like Ferdinand who have gotten wealthy from gene manipulation, Orphan Black doesn’t shy away from making women like Susan Duncan and Virginia Cody just as complicit. I continue to love and be impressed with how robust the cast is, especially in terms of the variety of roles for women. Take notes, Hollywood – it can be done.
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