If you’re not watching Orphan Black, I really don’t know what you’re doing with your life. The Canadian sci-fi drama series, which originally premiered in 2013, is currently in its third season on Space (Canada) and BBC America (US). Orphan Black follows a series of women, all identical to each other, who discover they are in fact clones that came out of an illegal experiment thirty years prior. The key word in that sentence is identical: all of the clones are portrayed by actress Tatiana Maslany. They’re have been countless female clones in the three seasons that have aired, but the most notable are Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena and (of course) Rachel.
The first two seasons of the series mostly followed the women discovering the origins of the clone experiment that resulted in their births. Sarah is arguably the most interesting clone, having been raised by foster families and become a streetwise con artist, as she is the only clone who is able to conceive biological children. All of the clones were designed to be sterile, but Sarah has a biological daughter, Kira. The end of season one and beginning of season two began with clone Rachel, who was raised self-aware that she was a clone in an experiment, attempting to get Sarah to surrender herself to the Dyad Institute, the lab that “owns” the clones. Rachel became ruthless in her pursuit and this eventually ended with Sarah stabbing her in the eye with a pencil in order to escape. And now, in season three, we’ve learned that while “Project Leda” is the experiment with female clones, “Project Castor” is the experiment with male clones. Dun dun dunnn. Actor Ari Millen portrays the male clones, all of which are incredibly sly and rather hypnotizing.
I’m loving the third season of Orphan Black because now that the origins of the clones and the experiments are somewhat explained, there is room for other story aside from the entire focus of the show being the clones and how they came to be. Here are three reasons why I’m loving season three:
1. Alison and Donnie’s storyline. Like I said above, now that most of the clone drama has subsided, there is room for other story and one that is certainly enjoyable to watch is that of female clone Alison and her husband, Donnie. The first two seasons saw their storyline revolve entirely around her being a clone, but now, they’ve started their own under-the-table drug dealing business after Donnie lost his job (which is ironic, as Alison dealt with prescription pill and alcohol addiction in season two). While the clone business is still going on, this storyline has given viewers a chance to see inside Alison and Donnie’s world, who they really are, and of course, watch Alison say, “What the dickens?”
2. The male clones. Just like the female clones in the first season, we knew next to nothing about them and it was oddly scary yet entertaining to watch. Ari Millen’s portrayal of the male clones are pretty creepy, yet at the same time, hypnotizing. I can’t help but wonder where the mysterious “Project Castor” boys will lead us next (hopefully to a psychiatrist, these boys could definitely benefit from that).
3. Tatiana Maslany, of course. It can’t be said enough about how Maslany is just flawless. The way she transitions from clone to clone is just pure magic; Sarah is a streetwise con and Alison is a tightly wound housewife; for a brief moment, you might forget they’re both played by the same actress. Same goes for the rest of the clones; Helena, the damaged girl with the sketchiest of backgrounds, scientist and part-time nerd Cosima (who has dreadlocks), and ruthless Rachel, who, I believe, will end up being the key to all the unknowns that this season has brought (right now she’s a little disabled and wearing an eyepatch so we’ll give her some time to find herself). And, I must say that I hope Maslany is not subbed YET AGAIN for a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black is great, I’m sure, but does she play over nine different characters and make them all shockingly unique?
Catch Orphan Black Saturdays on Space (Canada) or BBC America (US).