July 22, 2024

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Orphan Black “Certain Agony of the Battlefield”

Season Three, Episode Six.

There is, as always, a lot happening in this episode of Orphan Black.  Alison finds a possible path to launder her ill-gotten drug profits.  Felix finds a way to interrogate Rachel in the most Felix-way possible.  Helena shows her independence from the voices in her head by eating a live scorpion.  Sarah has a hallucination or a near-death experience and actually has a chat with Beth (Beth isn’t happy to see her).

But really, let’s talk about Paul.

See, up to this point, it does seem as if the show wasn’t sure what to do with Paul.  Truth be told, I don’t quite know what was going on with the guy.  He was a disgraced military figure for some reason I don’t quite remember, and he went back to work for Project Castor or something.  I don’t think it matters much why he went where he went.  What matters is, on a show that already had a fairly convoluted plot, it was hard to tell what purpose Paul served the narrative.  Sure, in season one he worked as the spy/love interest, but as time went on, he seemed more like a confused bystander or a convenient plot device.

So, naturally, he had to die.

True, he went out well.  He learned the Castors were having as much sex as possible because the thing that made them infertile was contagious.  All those women they had sex with were rendered unable to have children, including poor Gracie because of Mark.  Mark, at least, seems to be a decent guy who feels bad about that.  Why would that happen?  Because Coady and the various higher ups who are, unsurprisingly, not helping Paul arrest Coady, want to see if they can create a good bioweapon to end threats in a generation.

Paul doesn’t like that, so he helps Sarah bust out, kills a Castor (one who stabs Paul in the act) and after sending Sarah through a tunnel to freedom, tries to stop Coady and Rudy, but instead just blows himself and the Castor genetic material to bits with a grenade.

And then Helena comes back for Sarah.

So, yeah, that’s one way to fix the Paul problem.  It worked pretty well, much better than anything the show had done with the character since the end of season one.