Back to IndieWire

Review: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 3, Episode 7, ‘Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate’: Life With the Hendrixes

Review: 'Orphan Black' Season 3, Episode 7, 'Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate': Life With the Hendrixes

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 3, Episode 6, ‘Certain Agony of the Battlefield’: In Which We Say Goodbye

Cloning Around

After
last week’s heart-wrenching episode, it was time for a little bit of a
breather. And a breather certainly came, in the form of soccer mom clone Alison
Hendrix. As the character’s election campaign kicked off in full gear, she was
also dealing with several hiccups along the way. Such as random panic attacks
from her mother (guest star Sheila McCarthy), Donnie dim-wittingly switching up
the envelopes with the drug money and her campaign signatures, Cosima
attempting to get her urine and a certain former flame continuing his hot
pursuit of her affections. Not to mention having to actually deliver a campaign
speech and deal with frenemy Marci. Really, it was quite the week for the
image-conscious mom, and we loved every stressful minute of it. Especially when
it led to another clone-imitating-clone moments, when Cosima was forced to
impersonate Alison on stage with the world’s worst speech. There was a
surprising amount of suspense built into that scene, as we wondered if Alison
would ever make it on time.

Mother May I

Sheila McCarthy as Alison’s mom Connie was brilliant
casting: Her overbearing, perfectionist ways spoke so much to Alison’s
composition and stressed-out mannerisms — a classic nature vs. nurture, if you
will. The scenes between McCarthy and Tatiana Maslany in this episode were
definite highlights, and really showcased a lot of the comedy that’s been
somewhat missing in this dark third season. The final moments, when Alison
attempted to explain Cosima’s existence, were brilliant. Half-sisters indeed.

As an added bonus, Connie’s appearance also gave us another
golden nugget of information: Donnie’s real last name is Chubbs. He took his Alison’s
last name when they got married. Perfect.

Science Class

Over in the lab, Scott proved his worth as a real
supporting character this season when he made a power move with Rachel to get
her to show him the code in the book. Their cover? “Agricola,” which in
real life is totally “Settlers of Catan,” a game that was first
introduced in Season 2 as an homage to a friend of creators John Fawcett and
Graeme Manson.
 [Update: “Agricola” is in fact a real game! Though very “Catan”-like.]

Naturally though, once Rachel deciphered the pages,
she would only share the results with Sarah. Since Delphine has become the new
big bad (or is about to at any rate), we see a new “sestrahood”
emerging in the near future. Hey, it isn’t impossible. Remember when Helena also
tried to kill everyone?

Sick Day

As much as we’d love to get behind the Shay/Cosima
pairing, Shay’s spy-tastic ways and all-knowing nature still aren’t sitting
very well with us. But, since Delphine has developed into a colder, harder,
jealous ex (with a little too much power for our liking) we’re into it for now.
What didn’t work was Cosima playing hard and fast with her health in order to
spite Delphine. She’s been sick for a while now, a fact that has been
downplayed for most of the season. So when her numbers dropped to dangerous
levels, you would think she’d stand up and take note. (She is supposed to be
the smart one, after all.) Then again if she had, we wouldn’t have had those
aforementioned impersonation scenes with Alison, or that cliffhanger ending in
the bathtub.

READ MORE: 5 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Orphan Black’ and Tatiana Maslany

Family Feud

Over in Mexico, Mrs. S showed up to escort Helena
and Sarah out of the country. It was probably the least amount of Sarah time
that we’ve had since the beginning of the series, but that was absolutely fine.
After everything the character has been through, so far this season, now is a
perfect time for her to take a pause and recharge. Meanwhile, we’ve all seen
Helena hold a grudge, so her threatening to kill Mrs. S was pretty predictable.
But we all know that deep down Helena just wants to be loved and accepted, so
that hug was the perfect way to end the brawl. Now the question is whether
Helena has for sure let it all go. She’s crafty, so pretending to accept the
situation while she plots out some other revenge is still on the table. Here’s
hoping not though, and it all leads to some character development instead.

Tatiana Who?

This third season has seen a serious lack of Felix,
so it was great to have him back in his prime as Alison’s campaign manager. All
episode long, his stress levels were just as high — if not higher — than his
candidate’s, which always adds to the show’s comedy. (No one else’s one-liners
come close.) Plus, he was back helping the clones look like each other, in his
backup job as makeup artist. Seriously, where would these ladies be without
him?

No Boys Allowed

With so much focus on the ladies in this episode,
there was no time for the male clones. That may mean we have to wait for news on
Dr. Coady and co. following last week’s explosion, but it was OK because it
brought us back to the heart of the show. We didn’t realize how much we missed
all of the light-hearted interactions; the Clone Club universe has grown so
large over the course of three seasons that it’s easy to forget how much the
core clones brought to the series in the first place.  

Lab Results

With Cosima’s health in question and Rachel ready to
talk, things will probably take on a more serious note next week. But with so
much tension and build-up (kidnappings, multiple deaths, miscarriages, torture,
infertility) it was nice to take a moment and just enjoy being with the
characters for an episode. This show is always at its best when it doesn’t take
itself too seriously, and “Community of
Dreadful Fear and Hate” was a perfect example of that.

Quote of the week

“Sometimes family is more than just the people
under your roof.”

– Alison, nailing the theme of the episode with her
epic speech.

Grade: A+

Orphan Black” airs
Saturdays at 9pm ET on Space and BBC America. Next time: Sarah returns home and
Rachel makes her demands.

READ MORE: ‘Orphan Black’ Origin Story: Co-Creator John Fawcett On How the Show Nearly Never Happened

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,