Clone Club MVP: Orphan Black “The Weight of This Combination”
Season three of Orphan Black has returned and our favorite clones are back in action! Tatiana Maslany knocked it out of the park as usual, bringing back all five clones, and a glimpse of a sixth. But each clone has a different personality, a different story to highlight, so each week we’ll choose one Clone Club MVP from the latest episode.
This week our Clone Club MVP is Sarah Manning. While the other sister clones (Alison, Cosima, and Helena) get a lot of the “favorites” credit (Alison is mine), Sarah is the glue that holds the ‘sestras’ together. She’s the one they all call when there’s trouble. In this week’s premiere, “The Weight of This Combination” Sarah showed her MVP worth by once again doing whatever it takes to protect her sisters from trouble. Sarah is just concerned about her sisters this season. She’s uninterested in the Castor Clones, is furious with Mrs. S for giving up Helena, and wary of Delphine’s intensions.
With Rachel, ahem, detained, Delphine looks to Sarah to play the CEO of Evil Science Incorporated in order to keep, Topside’s Ferdinand from realizing how much of a threat Sarah and her sisters really are. He asks ‘Rachel’ to see Sarah, so Alison comes in her place. It’s amazing watching Maslany layer her characters, especially twice in the same scene. Sarah reacting to Alison’s ‘Sarah’ is pricelessly funny but also fraught with suspense as Alison’s performance has more on the line this time, which messes with her focus. Sarah comes in with the ferocious save, punching Alison to distract Ferdinand from the weak ruse.
When Ferdinand asks to meet “Rachel” later, Sarah has to channel her inner dominatrix in a very tense scene where any misstep could out her to Topside. Sarah is brilliant at living lives that don’t belong to her: with quick action, deflection, and sexual distraction. We’ve seen all of these skills before when she initially impersonated Beth. Sarah uncovers Ferdinand and Rachel’s plan to pull a Helsinki—kill all the problematic clones in one fell swoop—just as a bald man with villainous eyebrows enters Alison’s garage. Sarah rushes to the bathroom to warn Alison, but manages to switch back to Rachel’s persona just in time to distract Ferdinand by any means possible.
This is why Sarah is this week’s MVP. She will do anything it takes to save her sisters.
Helsinki is called off, Cosima decides to study Ethan Duncan’s book in secret, Delphine pulls a Game of Thrones style move on Rachel, and Helena must find her way out of several boxes, led by an imaginary scorpion. But Sarah got the most to do this week and had the most compelling performances. Orphan Black has great twists and turns, but we watch for the characters (and the Maslany) who gave us some excellent scenes to convince non-Orphan Black fans to become clone club converts.