A Look at Orphan Black- Season 3, Episode 3: “Formalized, Complex, and Costly”

My brother, my sister, where art thou?

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Art finds Seth's body in Felix's tub

The episode begins with Seth’s lifeless body resting in Felix’s tub, as he and Sarah contemplate their next move.  They aren’t given much time to think about this, as Art is at the door and instantly realizes that something is amiss.  To be fair, Sarah and Felix don’t do that convincing of a job of pretending to be normal.  Plus, there’s still blood on the floor.

Art is in a bit of a pickle.  He can’t just look away.  Even if it was a bag of pot, as Felix suggests, he could look away and it could go up in smoke.  Agreed.  Anyway, Cosima calls in via Skype and Art learns that Cosima once knew Beth.  She and Scott are still conducting research, but it appears as if Seth had a neurological design flaw.  It’s still possible that the original genome would be vital to finding a cure, but this is all hypothetical…unless Cosima examines Seth’s brain.  Art wants no part in this.  Hell, he’s only here because he got a lead on Mark.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Mark and Gracie talk

Speaking of, we then cut to Mark in the hotel where he and Gracie are staying.  Gracie pops in with breakfast, though Mark, protective and paranoid man that he is, tells Gracie to never leave the hotel without him.  After all, her family will be on the lookout for them.  Gracie wants to know why the two are hiding and how come Mark won’t lay with her?  It’s not a sin since they’re married.  Also agreed.  Time to get to the loving.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Alison and Donnie court voters

But we don’t get to see that.  Instead, we follow Alison and Donnie as they talk with potential voters about Marci’s rezoning plans.  Well, they’re more here to offer Ramon’s drugs, but you get the point.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Mark and Gracie post-coitus

Back in the hotel, post-coitus, Mark reveals to Gracie that, in the academy, some of the other men there got up to some frisky activity, but not him.  He wanted to wait.  Gracie correctly guesses that the two aren’t just laying low for nothing.  Willard Finch is there.  Mark brings Gracie up to speed and admits that he’s not who she thinks he is.  He said that he went AWOL, but he never really left the Army.

Gracie’s father stole some materials that Mark had later been assigned to recover.  Gracie, naturally, is upset about these lies, but the two are not clear of Mark’s people yet.  She had to know that her father had secrets.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Art and Sarah confront Alexis

Art and Sarah go through some photos.  They need to pursue the Proletheans, but they all scattered after Helena torched the ranch.  The two then spot and confront the midwife, Alexis, about Helena, but Alexis has been cast out of the family due to Helena’s actions.  She’s shown a photo of Mark.  As far as why Helena was there- her eggs were processed by the father.  Alexis is just upset that she had to break bread with such an abomination.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Gracie feels her child

Gracie feels her child in her stomach- Mark knows what it is.  She tells him that they can’t do this alone, but Mark promises that he’ll be there for her.  He does need to pay Finch a visit, though, since they’ll need the missing research.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Gracie meets Willard Finch, played by Nicholas Campbell

So Gracie drives to a farm and meets Willard Finch, played by Nicholas Campbell, who remembers Gracie from when she was younger.  She’s there to collect what he held for her father.  Problem is there’s a $1,000 storage fee.  Well, Gracie doesn’t have that, but she warns Finch that Proletheans make fast friends, but fierce enemies.  Would Finch want Gracie to disrupt her mother’s grief to tell her that Finch is holding out for his 30 pieces of silver?  Finch eventually concedes.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Art and Sarah talk about Mark and Beth

On the road, Art and Sarah wonder why Mark would take Gracie with him.  Turns out that Finch was an animal vet in Halton in the 1980s.  Sarah, though, wonders why Art is getting involved when he doesn’t have to.  Hey, it’s because he’s riding with his partner.  Sure, Sarah isn’t Beth, but they’re still sisters.

We then learn that Beth called Art the night that she killed herself to talk, but he just thought it was the pills and other bullshit.  He turned his back on her when she needed him the most, but Sarah tells him that he couldn’t have known.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Paul and Rudy return to base

While Helena stews in her cell, Paul and Rudy return to base.  Rudy is greeted with a slap from Dr. Coady for killing his own brother, but he defends himself by saying that Seth was Stage Five in the field.  Coady responds that if he had followed Paul’s extraction orders, they would both be at home.  She sends Rudy to his office.

Dr. Coady’s day is made better when Paul brings her some cigarettes.  The defect is getting worse, but luckily, Helena doesn’t have it.  Her biology may hold answers, but the fastest way to a cure is still the original genetic material.  Paul wants Rudy confined to base, but it’s Coady’s call.  It also isn’t getting any easier: as the Director wants Paul in Arlington.  Their weapons system has a glitch and they are one budget review away from oblivion.  These men, though- Paul served with them.  If he can protect them, Coady can cure them.  She just needs more time.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Cosima removes Seth's brain

Scott and Cosima work on Seth’s body, though Cosima is enjoying this infinitely much more than both Scott and Felix, who looked over when he shouldn’t have.  Cosima eventually removes Seth’s brain.  Yum.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Dr. Nealon helps Rachel regain her motor skills

Dr. Nealon performs some examinations with Rachel in order to help her regain her motor skills.  The official word is that Rachel Duncan died in a plane crash, though.  I highly doubt DYAD would buy that, but sure, let’s play along for now.  At least Rachel is more valuable than she knows.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Dr. Coady speaks with Rudy

As Rudy watches the recording of Helena’s waterboarding, Dr. Coady enters and wants the room cleared save for the two of them.  She lets him know that Mark has gone dark, but warns Rudy not to underestimate him.  Rudy is still upset over what he did.  If there was any chance that Sarah had the samples…he just had to try.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Marci tries to court Alison and Donnie

Alison courts two more undecided more voters who are still thinking about their decision.  As she and Donnie work in their basement, Marci enters and is impressed with their ‘soap making’ operation.  Who wouldn’t?  She wants to know Alison’s secret, but Alison says that there isn’t one- she’s just stumping.  Marci, though, has a proposal: it’s an amazing deal on a house, but it’s in a completely different school district.

Marci isn’t concerned.  Alison may be able to carve away a bit of her support, but not enough to win.  Plus, does Marcy seriously think that people are going to trust their children to an infamous alcoholic?  Why not?  They trusted a conniving, second-rate realtor.  Now, Marci, go sell a house.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Art and Sarah talk to Finch about Mark

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Finch gets a surprise visit from Sarah and Art.  They show him a photo of Mark, but he claims to not know him, even when threatened with the possibility of Feds combing through his corn field to find his arsenal.  He does, however, remember Gracie stopping by to deliver the bad news.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Alexis returns to Bonnie

Alexis returns to Bonnie with news of where Mark may have taken Grace.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Mark goes through Finch's box

At the motel, Mark goes through Finch’s box and finds nothing but some notebooks and papers- no test tubes, slides, or anything of that sort.  Biological samples need to be kept cold, so Mark asks Gracie if she saw anything like a tank or cooler.  Mark decides to go himself and gives her money for a special treat.  He just has to return so he doesn’t leave Gracie all alone.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Sarah and Art discuss Beth at a diner

Art and Sarah chat at a diner.  Sarah wants Art to head back to the precinct since he’s risking his job by aiding her.  She knows when he’s holding back.  What Art isn’t telling her is something that he never said: he loved Beth, but they were partners and would never have been together.  However, it still happened.  Sarah is just as fierce.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Helena and Rudy talk

Miller comes face to face with Helena and taunts her for being sold out by her sisters.  Just as Helena beckons him to come inside her cell to tell him how she really feels, Paul tells Miller to stand down.  Helena then turns it on Paul, saying that he messes with Helena’s sisters and can have another if he enters the cell.  One day, though, Helena promises to kill them all.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Sarah meets Gracie in the diner

Gracie should really learn to pray to herself because she attracts Sarah’s attention.  Same diner.  Small world, isn’t it?  All Gracie knows is that she left Helena at the ranch when she fled.  Mark and his brothers know about her whereabouts, though.  Sarah knows that Gracie is carrying Helena’s baby, which would make Kira and this future child cousins.  Sarah now needs to find Mark.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Mark tortures Finch

He’s with Finch, who learns that, in the field, there are two types of prisoners: assets and liabilities.  He can be an asset, but since he doesn’t cooperate, he gets a hammer to the finger instead.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Bonnie meets up with Gracie

Bonnie meets up with Gracie and lets her know that her family cares for her.  Even though Gracie admits she made a mistake, Bonnie comforts her by telling her that Mark just took advantage of her and her stupidity.  The family let a wolf into their flock and Gracie chose to run.  Even still, they have purposes.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Cosima and Scott still examining Leda DNA

Scott and Cosima are still hard at work, with Cosima cross-referencing against Leda DNA to see if it brings up a new synthetic sequence.  She soon calls Sarah- who is infiltrating Finch’s farm- to let her know that there are a dozen short tandem repeat loci in common, meaning the Castor clones are their brothers.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Sarah and Mark face-off

Mark confronts Sarah and the two face-off- Finch having already died from a heart attack- with Sarah spilling that the clones are family.  Think about it: Castor and Leda, two donors, two originals equals siblings!  Mark doesn’t accept this and rushes off to find Gracie.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Bonnie confronts Mark

However, Bonnie fires a shot at him, forcing him to retreat into the corn fields.  This is what happens when you mess with family.  The episode comes to a close with her firing another shot.

“Formalized, Complex, and Costly” thickens the plot of the Castor clones through the brother-sister revelation.  This twist was a bit unexpected and it seemed to come a little fast, though I’m sure we’ll get some more explanation on this in episodes to come.  However, now it looks like both the clone club and the Proletheans will be coming after the Castor clones.  Whether Mark is dead remains to be seen since the gunshot was off-screen, but if he is, then the show is doing a good job of killing off the male clones when we as viewers still have a lot to learn about them.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Alison and Donnie talk with Marci

As for the other clones, Alison still has, to me, the most enjoyable storyline since it’s actually humorous and it doesn’t appear to have any impact on the main plot yet.  This is much better than watching her stint in rehab or act like an unhinged drunk.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Art shows Alexis a photo of Mark

We learn a bit more about Art this week as Sarah tries to dissuade him from helping them, which I understand, but given their friendship, I would think that Sarah would want as much help as possible.  His past relationship with Beth- I didn’t see that coming because I got the sense that their friendship only went as far as being partners on the force and nothing more.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Cosima finds a brain

Oh, as for a plot that did impact the storyline, I do enjoy the ongoing adventures of Scott and Cosima to learn more about the clones.  They’re given just enough screen time for us to know what they’re doing.  Plus, there’s something morbid about Cosima having so much fun handling a brain while Scott isn’t as enthused and Felix wishes that he didn’t look.

Formalized, Complex, and Costly- Gracie threatens Willard Finch

Plus, as far as the Proletheans go, at least Gracie got to be the interrogator for a change instead of just being the soft-spoken wife.  She doesn’t know as much about this clone situation since Mark isn’t giving her all of the details, but I’m glad that her talk with Sarah- convenient as it was that they’d be in the exact same diner- helped open her eyes to what’s happening around her.

All in all, “Formalized, Complex, and Costly” was a good episode.  I still don’t find the Castor clones as interesting as I’d like to, and it seems like the show is trying to think out their ranks, so I hope we get some more time with them later.

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