TV: Orphan Black season 3 (2015)

orphan-black-season-3-premiereCreators: Graeme Manson & John Fawcett
Language: English
Length: 10 episodes of about 44 minutes
Finished watching on: 21 June 2015

It’s the third season of this show now. I feel like it’s losing the plot a little – that’s not to say that I wasn’t avidly viewing it week-by-week, though. I feel like every season Sarah and her clone buddies defeat the big baddie – in the first season, it was the weird cultists, and in the second, it was the pseudo-Amish – and at the beginning of the next season, there’s a few episodes’ lag while the new season finds its feet and we work out what the protagonists are supposed to be doing.

And this season took a little while longer to get going than its predecessors had. Helena is banished to the Mexican desert under the supervision of creepy “boy clones” (notwithstanding the one transgender male clone that we’ve already met in the previous season, making this moniker factually inaccurate), part of some army experiment. But it’s unclear who they’re working for, at this point. A large portion of the season concerns Sarah trying to work out how to bust her sister out of the prison.

Meanwhile, Alison’s antics – running for local school board elections and starting a drug racketeering business – feel even further removed from reality than they had in previous seasons, and I was getting whiplash whenever the story cut from a more relevant and poignant scene to Alison’s.

Most distressingly, the series has become more openly willing to shake things up from the status quo established in the previous season, and the most notable of those situations was the decimation of Cosima’s relationship with Delphine. Perhaps this is necessary to demonstrate character development of some kind, but it rings hollow in a world where lesbian relationships are regularly not allowed to survive on TV or in movies.

That said, I understand that TV can’t stay in a status quo, or it would stagnate. It’s also good that the season starts to pick up again towards the end, and the climax is satisfactory, if a little strange. Tension still ran high right at the end, even if the ending itself came out of left-field.

There are a few directions in which the show could go from here, next year, and I hope they choose the right one. I’d hate to end up with a show that I couldn’t suspend disbelief for anymore, which (let’s just say) is a distinct possibility. I hope they sort out the relationships of the characters and start answering more of the unanswered questions. I hope that they don’t send Alison careering away from the main arc just for comic relief, as that felt like lazy writing. I hope that there’s more focus on Tatiana Maslany’s clone characters, rather than the new “male clones”. But most of all I just hope to watch it soon! I hate having to wait almost a whole year between doses of shows!

If you got to the end of this review and are looking for a recommendation, you’re looking in the wrong place. It’s the third season, and this review already gave away loads of spoilers for the previous seasons. You’d better go back to those reviews, or just go find it online to watch it from the beginning. Mind you, that sounds like a good idea, to be honest. I don’t want it to sound like I’m completely trashing this season, but the first one was written much more tightly than this one, so rewatching it from the beginning sounds like a nice plan.

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One Response to TV: Orphan Black season 3 (2015)

  1. Pingback: TV: Orphan Black season 4 (2016) | reuoq

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