Orphan Black recap: 'Manacled Slim Wrists'
Krystal stumbles onto a massive break in the Neolution investigation, as only she could
Serious question: What if my entire recap was just “OMG, KRYSTAL” copied and pasted approximately 100 times?
I won’t subject you do that, but after an episode last week that felt lacking, it was so refreshing to get back into some good old-fashioned clone drama and some Grade-A Krystal-idiocy-disguised-as-wisdom (or is it the other way around?) as she and her beauty vlog stumbled smack into a Dyad smoking gun.
Those revelations aside, there was a lot more that happened here, too — particularly the folks at Revival getting a rude awakening to the fact that their 170-year-old man isn’t quite what he claims to be. But attempts to usurp him don’t go well, to say the least.
Without further ado, it’s time again to run our clones through the Orphan Black Clone Status Hyper-Sequence Generator Calcutron and — in honor of Krystal doing her best attempt at espionage — export our subjects based on their undercover skills this week.
Krystal’s detective work this week is somehow both spectacular and spectacularly terrible. Since we last saw her, Krystal and her roommate Bree have been cohosting a popular beauty vlog that teaches you how to use party straws as hair curlers but also exposes the lies of “Big Cosmetics.” You know, the usual. But when Bree tries to take her hair out of their lifehacked DIY pin curls, her hair straight-up falls out, which sends Krystal back to the Clone Club convinced her friend has obviously been poisoned by those corporate enemies. DUH. (“What’s confusing about that?”)
Art calls Sarah, who’s also ready to dismiss this as typical Krystal nonsense, until she mentions crossing paths with the CEO of a company called Blue Zone Cosmetics… which is on S’s list of the companies purchased by Dyad.
Record scratch. Stop the presses. So… all that time Krystal was convinced Neolution was tied to the cosmetics industry… she was right????? Unleash all your screaming face and laughing-crying face emojis. It’s just too perfect.
“Did Krystal just fall ass-backwards into something big again?” marvels Sarah. Looks like it. As S points out, cosmetics is a billion-dollar industry, so it’s no surprise Neolution wants to get involved. But could their interest have anything to do with Lin28A? Sarah suggests they use Krystal’s access to that CEO, Len, to try to find out more. This is the part where you think it’s clone-playing-clone time (my favorite time!), but Krystal has other plans — she doesn’t want Art and Sarah (a.k.a. “that Australian girl”) messing things up with her source. So, she sneaks out of the safehouse and goes back to her apartment to take the meeting with Len herself… but sets up a surveillance camera and earpiece so Sarah and Art can watch and communicate with her from outside. This girl never ceases to amaze me.
She of course does the opposite of what Art and Sarah tell her to — flirting and making out with the guy right when he walks through the door, and flat-out demanding to know why his company was bought by Dyad instead of casually steering him towards the subject. (She claims to know of the deal because of their “insider” status in the beauty industry.) He claims to have no idea why Dyad would want to buy a cosmetics company, but it’s not that lie that makes Krystal mad — it’s when he’s sarcastic about liking her beauty vlog.
When Scott phones Art and Sarah with another bit of intel — Bree stole some face cream from Len’s house during a party there, and it may have been experimental (hence why her hair fell out) — Krystal gets relayed that information at the same time Len finds the cream and confronts her about why she has it. When she says Bree got sick after using it and he calls her stupid for taking what is indeed a prototype, she kicks him in the balls, pins him to the ground, and threatens to use the cream on him unless he talks. (Look, all those self-defense classes last season paid off!) He admits the cream has a dermal delivery system, which is what Dyad is after — something that works on a cellular level. This version, as Bree learned the hard way, made subjects’ hair fall out, so Krystal smears it all over his face and tells him to get out. So, mission accomplished? Sort of?
Aside from the Krystal Undercover aspect of this week’s episode, Sarah also dabbles in deception when they help Kira fake sick to get out of her visits to Dyad (she throws up on Mr. Frontenac’s shoes, which makes the illness seem legit, but they really just gave her ipecac syrup, which can induce vomiting).
After Mr. F leaves, Sarah reveals that she now knows S has been in contact with Delphine, who warned them to keep Kira away from Dyad. And as if we didn’t hear it enough last week, Sarah and S explain again that they’ve identified the gene they were looking for in Kira, P.T. Westmoreland’s so-called “fountain of youth” gene, Lin28A.
Delphine’s next stop is Geneva to rendezvous with Felix and Adele, who’ve found new dirt as they play Follow the Money with Neolution — our little science-loving friends have made big acquisitions in the healthcare sector and some other ventures as well (which, we know, also includes the beauty biz). And S says again that Delphine wasn’t her source who found Virginia Coady, but then…who is?
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Cosima’s still behind bars in Westmoreland’s Basement of Fun, trying to convince Mud that the man upstairs isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Despite the guilt she feels over Yannis’ death, Mud still says she’s just a girl from Seattle whom no one cared about, but then she came to Revival and saw all the “wondrous things” happening here. Cosima then tries pleading on behalf of Kira, explaining that Neolution wants to harvest thousands of eggs from her young niece and implant them in surrogates (experimenting on a child, just as P.T. did with Yannis), but Mud still won’t to let her out to warn her family.
Upstairs, Susan drops a massive (but, expected?) bombshell about P.T.: She calls him John and tells him she still remembers who he is, even if no one else does. But in return, he has a surprise for her: Virginia Coady, sprung from that mental health facility. The old gang, back together again! But Susan is definitely not happy to see her! “She is not a Neolutionist — she is a maniac,” she says of Coady. Despite their differences in philosophy, Westmoreland wants them all working together again, just like old times.
When Ira meets Coady in the lab, he notices she’s drawing blood from the children at Revival. He reports that news back to Susan, who deduces Coady is taking blood from healthy children to give to P.T. to help extend his life. (“Parabiosis” is the scientific term she uses for the practice.) And, since she noticed his dialysis machine earlier, there’s maybe a way they could use this news to put a stop to P.T. once and for all.
The problems on the island crank into high gear when that young girl Aisha dies, and the villagers see the fountain and their founder maybe aren’t so magical after all. Mud overhears this and goes to tell Cosima, and Ira intercepts the two of them and says Susan has a plan for them to “take a stand” against Westmoreland, but they need Mud’s help. She’s resistant at first, but after they explain about the parabiosis and she opens up about her backstory (she was a former drug addict who awoke at P.T.’s house after emerging from an overdose-induced coma), she agrees to help.
The plan plays out like this: When P.T. sits down for his round of dialysis, Susan crashes the party and subtly injects something in his IV line while Mud distracts him. While that happens, Ira busts Cosima out, but begins glitching again. She tells him to get Susan to the boathouse while she gets Charlotte and the cure, and he gives her an envelope with something inside to take too, “just in case.” When Cosima gets to the village, she comes across the angry residents who accuse her of working with P.T. and experimenting on them, and she pulls back the curtain on the whole operation, telling them P.T. isn’t 170 years old and showing them proof: the photo Ira gave her of a young PT Westmoreland with Susan Duncan in the ‘60s — when, if he were as old as he claims to be, he still would have been an old man. Busted. The fountain isn’t real, she tells them, and P.T. deceived them all. They let her leave, and she grabs Charlotte and bolts just in time, because that village now has some serious angry-mob vibes.
Up at the house, Susan is watching Westmoreland (they recite poetry, a Wordsworth poem with fitting lines about “what man has made of man”) when Coady (tipped off by Mud) comes in and rips out the dialysis line, telling him Susan was trying to kill him. Also busted.
Cosima and Charlotte make it to the boat, but they’ll be going back to the mainland alone — Ira finds Susan dead with the poisoned IV line she tried to use on P.T., and Ira, bleeding out and very obviously not well, stays by her side. Meanwhile, P.T. watches the village burn from the window, and Mud sees the destruction from the ground, where she comes across the photograph Cosima showed the village. Will she regret turning them in now that she’s seen the truth?
No subterfuge this week on Rachel’s part, just her usual level of scheming. When Kira “comes down with the flu” and skips her Dyad visit, P.T. gets wind of it somehow and calls Rachel demanding to know why she didn’t come. He reminds her that all her recent acquisitions with Dyad are useless without Kira’s part of the puzzle.
This leads her to drop by S’s house late at night to pick up Kira for a “benign” (suuuuure) sleep study. Kira goes willingly, but S gives Rachel a warning before she goes out the door: “There will come a day when you’ll need us.” There are only four episodes yet, so that day is probably soon.
Additional Genetic Material
-“It’s difficult at first, but you get used to it” — Scott, on being ghosted. Awwww, Scott…
-Sarah imitating Krystal to Mrs. S: “Seriously, you don’t?”
-When Ira asked Coady if any of his Castor brothers were still alive, she didn’t answer. Could there be more Castors lurking in the wings?
-Rachel is surprised Westmoreland called her because he apparently doesn’t like the phone. Sounds just like someone pretending to be 170 years old.
-Anyone else now shipping Scott and Bree? She’s into smart guys now, so it could be, like, totally perfect. <33