Orphan Black Review: “Certain Agony on the Battlefield”

This episode resolves some mysteries and points to the solution to a remaining major puzzle. It also confirms what the audience has suspected: not everyone is getting out of this season alive.

Title: “Certain Agony on the Battlefield”

Cast and Crew
Director: Helen Shaver
Writer: Aubrey Nealon

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Helena / Rachel Duncan / Beth / Pupok
Ari Milen as Mark Rollins / Rudy / Parsons / Castor Clones
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Zoé De Grand Maison as Grace Johanssen
Kyra Harper as Dr. Virginia Coady
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Justin Chatwin as Jason Kellerman
Ksenia Solo as Shay
Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierdan
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Josh Vokey as Scott
Carlos Gonzalez-Vio as Dr. Silva


Centers cannot hold, as a coup occurs at the military institution, suspicions arise in Cosima’s new relationship, Helena makes a sandwich of Pupok, the Hendrixes ratchet up their business dealings, and Paul, among others, is dead.

The episode also confirms that the Castor Clone Glitch infects their sexual partners, and Rachel knows something about the missing code.

High Points

This episode features strong moments for most of the key characters, where each faced significant risks, with their actions having real consequences. Unsurprisingly, it appears that some of those characters didn’t survive the episode.

Low Point

Individually, the developments and elements work. However, they don’t all mesh, leaving a somewhat chaotic episode.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6

Effects: 6/6

Story: 5/6 This episode features memorable moments, but it doesn’t feel entirely coherent. What it does do, however, is answer several lingering questions.

Felix works with the Hendrixes next week; maybe we’ll finally see them return to the fold, perhaps financing Clone Club.

Acting: 6/6 The acting remains exceptional, with Dylan Bruce as Paul Dierdan stepping up for his finest moments in the series. It’s difficult to say which Tatiana Maslany character stands out most this week, but the script asks much of Sarah and Helena, and she delivers.

Emotional Response: 6/6 One thing about “Certain Agony”: it leaves us wanting to know where on earth the next episode will go.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 I’m not certain what metaphoric significance we might find in a glitch/virus that attacks men’s brains and women’s ovaries, but at least the show makes us ponder its greater significance.

In total, “Certain Agony on the Battlefield” receives 38/42

One reply

  1. I thought Tatiana’s acting was on particularly superb form this week. Watching her slip back and forth between the various clone characters in the dream sequences – especially when it was still “Sarah” on screen – even managing to top her portrayal of Sarah pretending to be Alison pretending to be Donnie in last season’s sequence at rehab.

    Interesting to see where some of the story arcs seem to be going too, and although I’ve still no idea where Alison & Donnie’s arc is leading money for Clone Club does seem to make some sense. Still, as usual with Orphan Black, I suspect that by the time all the double-crosses and red herrings are played out the destinations will be nowhere near where we expect…

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