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[WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the Orphan Black episode, “Formalized, Complex and Costly.”]
The clone family on Orphan Black has grown a bit more complicated.
Though the male line of clones was only introduced in the second season finale, it took just three episodes of season three for a key piece of the puzzle to fall into place: The clones from Project Castor (the males, played by Ari Millen) and Project Leda (the females, played by Tatiana Maslany) are biological siblings.
“There’s no doubt that’s been a plan of ours for a long time,” Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It does shape the season going forward. We wanted a big revelation about these male clones, and the revelations are going to keep on coming.”
Cosima (Maslany) shared the truth with Sarah (Maslany), and then Sarah informed Mark (Millen) of their connection. And while Sarah has fiercely embraced protecting her new sisterhood, the discovery will lead to her own mixed feelings on the matter.
“It certainly adds a massive layer of complexity for Sarah, especially,” says series co-creator John Fawcett. “She’s just coming to grips with the fact that it really wasn’t that long ago where she was basically running away from her own daughter. Shunning her responsibilities of her immediate, biological family. Sarah’s done a lot of growing up in the past; going from street urchin, running around, avoiding the fact that she’s a mother to changing her life, wanting [her daughter] back, wanting to be a mother, going, ‘Oh my God, I have clones running around.’ There’s been a lot of acceptance and discovery for Sarah through this journey. There’s this other brain-numbing facet that Sarah has to take on board. It’s a big part of the mystery going forward.”
“Bearing in mind, none of these ‘brothers’ are acting very much like siblings,” added Manson. “So, we are also raising questions in terms of family of, ‘What makes family?’ Does biology make family? Do you choose your family? Sarah, like John said, has grown up a lot. She’s choosing her clone family. Are they going to choose the males or not?”
If (and when) the other clones learn the truth, it could lead to some tension within the group as they decide whether they should accept, and trust, their newfound brothers. The male clones “have not acted like family to this point, and we’ll have to wait and see if they learn to,” says Manson.
“That’s part of the fun of it, though,” explains Fawcett. “How do you deal with this? Are they our enemies? Are they our brothers?’ Each of the girls is going to have their own opinion, and that’s an interesting territory for us to explore on the show.”
Elsewhere, the hour featured another reveal, albeit a quieter, and more emotional one: Art (Kevin Hanchard) confessed to Sarah that he had been in love with his partner, Beth (Maslany), prior to Beth’s suicide. And though Beth’s death kicked off Orphan Black, the show will be going back to reveal more about her this year.
“We really liked Kevin Hanchard, and we really like Sarah and Art together,” says Manson. “Putting them back together brings up a lot about Beth. There’s an undercurrent this season of Sarah coming to terms with Beth. And certainly as we go forward, it becomes a large part of our mystery. Though this is a long game; we won’t see it all this season.”
Teases Fawcett: “There are a lot of uncovered secret and truths that we don’t know that hang with Art, that hang with Beth, that hang in the past a little bit. Sometimes you have to find out the truth about the past to go forward in the present.”
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. What did you think of the sibling reveal?
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