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'Orphan Black' creator John Fawcett on Helena-Sarah reunion

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Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Saturday’s episode of Orphan Black, “Scarred By Many Past Frustrations.”]

Reunited and it feels so good…or not. Sarah and Helena came back into imprisoned contact tonight on Orphan Black, then joined forces to stage an elaborate escape. But once Helena freed herself—courtesy of butter, no less—she chose not to free her sestra in the process, leaving Sarah behind in her cell. And that was hardly the most disturbing thing that happened this week: We also learned that the male clones of Project Castor might be spreading some sort of disease through sexual contact, a disease that could now be infecting poor little Gracie.

We tracked down Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett for answers on those things and more, including Cosima’s venture into the world of online dating. (Sorry, Cophine shippers.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you save this big twist for the end, that not only are the Castor boys suffering from some mysterious medical condition, but now the women they sleep with are contracting some sort of disease as well. What more can you tell us about that?

JOHN FAWCETT: A lot of red eye. Obviously, the Castors are causing issues for the women that they’re with. It’s certainly a big part of the fiendish design of Season 3 and something that’s going to play itself out in the next episode.

Are the Castor clones aware of this? Because I can’t imagine Mark would want to infect Gracie. Then again, he’s been off undercover for a while, so maybe he’s not aware.

I would say that… Mark loves Gracie, and I actually think that affection for her is genuine. I never want that to feel like some fiendish plan by the military. I mean, take that for whatever you want. I think it’s better that you just watch the next episode rather than me wreck it for ya. I think the tease is really at the end of this episode, where we realize that that the women that the Castors are sleeping with are contracting some kind of virus or some kind of STD—some kind of weird thing that we’ve never seen before.

A good bulk of this episode centers on the not-so-happy Sarah and Helena reunion. Let’s talk about how you staged Helena’s escape. You build tension with them having to time everything against the movements of the security camera. I thought that was pretty effective, because you essentially put the viewer in that role of a lookout—almost like, “Hurry up, no, get back! Camera is turning!”

When we were designing it, it didn’t feel like we were doing something that I hadn’t necessarily never seen before. But it was definitely different for our show, and it was definitely a fun way to build a breakout, especially between the two clones—Tatiana versus Tatiana. And I love the elements of them trying to help each other from one window to the other—with Sarah swinging the tweezers on a piece of fabric from her pants, and playing that as an interesting clone shot, and seeing the two of them have to work together even though they’re separated by a wall. I think that’s part of the fun of it is watching these two girls, knowing that they’re plotting something and seeing it all come to fruition towards the end of the show.

How did Tatiana feel about smothering butter all over her body, or was that some sort of butter substitute?

[Laughs] It was a butter substitute. It was some kind of coconut oil—we had this sort of weird coconut oil solid thing that was actually for your body, but looked like butter. We had them made and then put in little tin foil wrappers.

Helena busts out, kills a dude, and then leaves Sarah there and says, “We’re even.” I think it’s interesting because before Helena was taken, she was on the verge of joining this family—her first real family. But now, after being betrayed by Mrs. S and then leaving Sarah behind, does that mean she’s going to go lone wolf again?

Helena’s been through a lot, and I think it was just too simplistic to ask of this character to just completely forgive everything that she’s been through and not maybe punish Sarah a little bit, to be honest. I think people are going to be little heartbroken that Helena makes this decision—but to me, Helena’s been through a lot, and I think she is torn a little. At the end of the day, I think it’s a little bit of an “F you” to Sarah. And it’s good because it keeps us guessing about where their relationship is—things aren’t simple between these too.

You know you’re really pissing off all the Cophine shippers by having Cosima get into another relationship with this woman Shay.

Here’s the Cophine thing—sometimes you gotta break things up and realize that what you had in the first place was the best thing. You know what I mean? For me and for [co-creator] Graeme [Manson], we just like it because it makes great drama. And I kind of want to see what it’s like on the other side—is the grass greener? And you know, I feel a little bit for Cosima. Delphine’s taken a new role. Delphine kind of split up with her. Cosima’s been pining, she’s been lonely. I like to see her have somebody, at least. I like to see her be with someone. I like to see some happiness come back into her life.

Something tells me this is all going to end badly.

[Laughs] We have developed that reputation, haven’t we?

What can you tease up in terms of the next episode?

Well, I certainly would like to see some answers in regards to those strong storylines that we left on—which is, what the hell is going on with Gracie? And the Castor clones—I really feel like the audience needs some answers. Episode 6 is a big one for us. It’s really important. It answers a lot of things in the show. It’s kind of a bit of a midseason climax for us, to be honest.

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

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