Bysethbdeadwood, writer at

It's understandable that so many Orphan Black fans were worried that last season's introduction of boy clones might mean impending doom for our favorite show. With any show that relies on consistent escalation of both drama and craziness, there is a constant risk that each new twist will be the one that goes too far. Some fans seem to live in perpetual fear of jump the shark moments. They've been burned one too many times before, or maybe they just never recovered from that one time the Fonz lost all his cool when he couldn't turn down a dare from snotty Californian.

Personally, I'm not that sort of nerd. Absent any clear and present signs of fucking up, I try to give the writers, actors and whoever else the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. When I see an entertainer performing a virtuositic juggling act, I don't need to remind humanity that no one is perfect, or worry that the entertainer will drop the balls. Shows will go on, with or without my back seat driving. To each their own, tho. We all handle our fandoms and obsessions differently.

Project Castor definitely stunk of jump the shark potential, tho. It felt like the sort of thing that if not handled gracefully, might undermine a lot of the strong ideals set in motion by the show's early days. Worse: it could have made Sarah and her sisters seem a little less special in the show's world. If you're more of a doom & gloom type person, I could definitely see how last season's twist could give you lots about which to worry.

The season three premiere should dissuade those fears. ORPHAN BLACK is clearly a circus in charge of every ring on its show. This is still the story of Sarah Manning trying to keep her family safe, discover her past. The Boy Clones, Project Castor and the Military outfit that screwed them all up are just another Big Bad. Another set of assholes out to get their hands on the "good stuff" of which Sarah and her sisters are made.

We don't get much in the way of actual information about the Boy clones. "The Weight of This Combination" is little more than a tease of what's to come, but it's enough. Mark, the newlywed Proleathean from last season, is wholly absent. I'm guessing he'll be the Sarah Manning of the boy clones, or at least as close as they can get.

What little we see of his brothers - Seth (a Creeper with poor taste in mustaches who's a day late in his torturing of Mrs S for info about Ethan Duncan) and Rudy (the fellow with the ducktail haircut and the scars that Marion Bowles was keeping in her basement) - it's clear something isn't right with them. Maybe it's just Ari Millen's excellent manic energy, but they all have a very sinister, almost Joker-type psychotic look in their eyes that suggests maybe the Military screwed them up worse than Leda did with the girl clones.

When Mrs S gets indignant with her torturer, saying she had a deal with General Whatshisname, Seth the Clone states that he's not following his orders. Is he just being pedantic? Meaning that he's just taking his orders from a different general, or is he conspiring with some yet-to-be-named faction? None of that is clear by episode's end, when Seth kills a bunch of dudes to get Rudy out of the basement.

The only glimpse we see of the fourth boy clone (whom Wikipedia says is named Miller) is when he appears in military fatigues at episode's end to release Helena from the torture box. He appears to be taking orders from a more dirty hippy-looking version of Mrs S, whom I assume is working for Project Castor. Based on the previews for next week, it looks like we'll be spending more time with these characters.


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