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'Orphan Black' creators break down the latest twist

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BBC America

[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Saturday’s “Formalized, Complex, and Costly” episode of Orphan Black.]

The twists just keep on coming on Orphan Black. On Saturday’s “Formalized, Complex, and Costly” episode we got the latest development—the female clones of Project Leda and the male clones of Project Castor are actually siblings. How will each person on each side react to this discovery? We asked the show’s creators—John Fawcett and Graeme Manson—about that as well as Art’s big revelation, Rudy’s thumb-sucking, Rachel’s recovery, and whether Mark is actually dead.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with Cosima’s revelation from Seth’s brain that the male clones of Project Castor are the brothers of the Leda girls. How does this change everything—or maybe change things for one side more than the other?

GRAEME MANSON: Its an interesting revelation for us because they are genetic siblings and since we are a show that talks a lot about family, it raises a whole bunch of interesting questions about family. Like, these dudes have not acted like our brothers. They are not good dudes to us thus far. So going forward, how do you choose your family? They’re biologically related to us. Is that going to affect them and are they going to start to treat us differently? It’s that type of question.

And I have to assume each clone within each side could be answering that question differently.

JOHN FAWCETT: That’s absolutely right, and I think that’s what’s interesting about how we step forward beyond this. Sarah’s going to have one reaction to this. I mean, Sarah’s been having to swallow a lot and grow a lot over the last two seasons. How does she deal with this new information? Each one of the clones is going to take this differently. But to Graeme’s point, these guys are kind of bad. It’s interesting going forward: Are we going to get a chance to see any humanity here with the Castor clones? Are they going to act like their brothers? Or are they just going to remain our enemies?

Let’s talk about one of those Castor clones with Rudy. Really intriguing scene as we see him with his so-called mother, and he has seemed like such a tough guy out in the field, but then we see him here and he retreats into this very childlike posture as he’s sucking his thumb and needing a hug from mommy. Clearly this guy has some issues and it calls the maturity level of the Castor clones into question.

MANSON: It’s pretty interesting. We had that scene in mind really early on. We were like, if these guys were all sort of raised with this one mother figure, how would they treat her? And what are their weaknesses and what are their vulnerabilities? And also just—thumb-sucking is kind of weird. [Laughs] And the role of Dr. Coady played by Kyra Harper—we really like that actor and the role. We called her Bad Mother from day one in the writer’s room.

Let’s chat about Art a bit. Sarah asks him why he’s going through all this and he says he gets to ride with his partner again and that he was in love with Beth. Is he crushing on the clones a bit?

FAWCETT: For Art, we’re starting to poke into some backstory. The relationship between Art and Beth is important. There’s a lot of uncovered truth. A lot of the show is about how the secrets of the past hold the keys to going forward in the future. And I think that what went on with Beth is a really interesting and an important aspect of the show.

MANSON: But Art is not crushing on Sarah. I think he says, “I’m not confused. I got the clone thing down.” And that’s important. Art has separated the clones. He is a member of Clone Club. He knows what’s going on. He’s not confused about individuality. He’s not going there. Art’s an ally and we really like having Kevin Hanchard and look forward to seeing more of him in season 3 and 4.

FAWCETT: It is really an interesting aspect. This other layer of discovery to Art—to find out that he had real feelings for his partner—it’s not just a dead partner to him. There was something going on between Beth and Art and that is a really fascinating new thing that Art exposes us to some part of the truth. And it plays forward for us. We always thought there was more going on with Art, so that’s an exciting new aspect.

You guys are playing a long game with Rachel. We haven’t seen a lot of her but we got another quick taste of her here as she is slowly recovering from that pencil in the eye. I can’t imagine she is too thrilled with finding out Delphine is now running the show.

GRAEME: That’s one of the fun things we’re doing this season is we’ve taken that character of Rachel who was so powerful and so on top of it and considered herself elite to the other clones—now we’ve put her in the situation where we’ve removed her power. We’ve broken her down. And we all found that fascinating to get to know Rachel a little better when she’s at the lowest depth. John loved it, I loved, it, Tatiana loved it, and Évelyne Brochu loved that aspect as well.

You know what they say: When you don’t see the body, they’re not dead. And even sometimes when you do see the body, like with Helena, they’re still not dead. So what can you say about the status of Mark, who got shot by Bonnie at the end of tonight’s episode?

FAWCETT: [Laughs] You see crows fly out of a corn field. That’s it! That’s all you get to see! You get to hear a gun shot.

MANSON: It’s all about the crows.

FAWCETT: This is TV at it’s finest, Dalton, don’t you think? This is one of our strongest cliffhangers ever, don’t you think?

What’s interesting about it is that I had not been thinking a lot about the Proletheans. We haven’t seen them much lately and so much has been made about the new threat of Project Castor that I kind of forget about them, and then here comes Bonnie Johanssen with her shotgun!

FAWCETT: Bonnie is dangerous. The woman frightens me.

MANSON: It’s the white running shoes that scare John. He’s terrified of the white running shoes.

FAWCETT: As soon as you see those white running shoes coming, you know bad things are going to happen.

MANSON: You know—she’s not jogging.

We get to see Tatiana’s performance double Kathryn Alexandre again as Alexis. I have to image she was pretty excited to get to show her acting chops on screen again.

FAWCETT: Yeah, it was nice to actually put her on camera again because we love her.

Any other quick teases you want to give about the next episode?

FAWCETT: The big exciting thing is: How does Sarah deal with this new information—the new information that the Castor clones are actually their brothers? This is obviously taking the show in a new direction and Sarah is the one that has to deal with the information the most.

For more ‘Orphan Black’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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