Orphan Black Review: “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method”

While a new clone wrestles with the events surrounding her, Donnie tries to live up to his new role, and Sarah and Associates (aided by a group of gamers) plot, Rachel quietly wins Supervillain of the Year.

Bond’s adversaries wouldn’t last two rounds against this woman.

Title: “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method”

Cast and Crew
Director: Aaron Morton
Writer: Chris Roberts, Graeme Manson

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Helena / Rachel Duncan / Krystal Goderitch
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine
Justin Chatwin as Jason Kellerman
Ksenia Solo as Shay
Josh Vokey as Scott
Tom McCamus as Dr. Nealon
Zoé De Grand Maison as Grace Johanssen
Ari Milen as Rudy
Kyra Harper as Dr. Virginia Coady


We learn a little more of the consequences of that dropped grenade. Meanwhile, the Hendrixes’ drug business develops complications, Scott’s gamer buddies engage in real-world intrigue, and the central characters hatch a plot involving Rachel and yet another Leda clone.

High Points

Maslany again, with yet another brilliant role as Krystal, and several clever interactions between the different clones and other characters.

The script also features complex levels of self-awareness without pandering excessively to its audience: Robert J. Sawyer gets a passing nod, James Bond villains receive a visual reference, gamer nerds play their roles in a real life plot, and the script literally saves the cat, but at a significant cost to the heroes.

Low Points

I know the creators said in interviews last year the show takes place in a “generic-verse,” but Mexico is clearly Mexico and some of the cast will be in London, England next year, so, given that the actors use Canadian money for the second week running, can’t the show just identify Toronto when it’s so painfully obvious that is the prime filming location. Why does the action take place in real locations– except for Canada?

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 It takes effort, after two seasons, to make the introduction of a new clone original, but Orphan Black manages that feat this week.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 6/6 The levels of plotting and counterplotting are truly dizzying, with much likely left unresolved in the remaining two episodes.

Acting: 6/6 Orphan Black remains one of the best-performed series currently airing. The performances all-around are excellent. Jordan Gavaris’s unseen scammer persona plays brilliantly off Maslany’s flaky but not unintelligent Krystal. Bruun’s Donnie steps up his bad-assery, and gets it kicked.

Emotional Response: 6/6 The episode concludes with a devastating twist.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 We knew there would be a back-up of the book, but is it credible—even with the threat of it following into the wrong hands—they wouldn’t also back it up electronically?

In total, “Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method” receives 38/42