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4 thought-provoking observations from Season 3 of Orphan Black

Orphan Black has given us a glimpse at what the implications of human cloning might look like in the future, albeit with much more murder and conspiracy than we’d hope for in reality.

Season 3 of Orphan Black has officially come to close, and of course, not without a lot more insanity to keep us waiting for more.

It was only a matter of time before more of the characters we’ve grown relatively close to, for better or worse, were killed off. When considering the well-being of the Leda clones, these deaths were likely for the better.

Rudy, the most sadistic and brainwashed Castor clone, had a good run. Helena, who encountered Rudy in a may-the-best-man-win brawl, had the final word with him before he died, and it was bizarrely sentimental. His intentions were always questionable and perverse, but at the end of the day, they were technically related. So as he took his final breath, Helena compassionately got on the floor next to him and they shared a moment that was unconventionally touching.

Dr. Cody is gone as well, and at the end of the episode, Delphine was taken out by an unknown assasin. It might seem that these eliminations would simplify the whole clone/Dyad debacle, but things have actually gotten more complicated. We learned that the Neolution premise behind Leekie’s work is at the base of it all – Dyad is basically just an illusory component of the entire operation.

We’re left with many more mysteries, like what Rachel’s situation really is as she’s held captive after believing replacing her comatose self with Krystal, drugged, was a way out.

But instead of predicting what Season 4 may bring, here are a few themes/plot points we’ve covered from this season that are thought provoking, especially as we currently live in a world where human cloning and such advancements in biotech aren’t really so far-fetched.

1. Clone psychology could closely resemble that of orphans or children who are adopted. Some traits that could overlap include poor self-regularity, learned helplessness, self-stimulating behavior and feeling of entitlement.

2. If scientists were to start cloning humans, what traits would be more desirable than others, beyond the unlikeliness of illnesses? Who would be a desirable “original”?

3. For a clone, who is entirely capable of interpreting their reality like the rest of us, how much knowledge of their creation is appropriate? Like orphans or people who are adopted, would it be useful and beneficial for them to know where they came from and know that their existence isn’t organic in the traditional sense?

4. In the ninth episode of Season 3, we learned that both the Leda and Castor clones came from one original source, who turned out to be Siobhan’s mother, Kendall. This revelation provoked questions about vanishing twin syndrome and whether or not there would be biological benefits to a clone operation that only involved one genetic provider.

At the end of the day, I do love Orphan Black and have a solid fondness for the Leda clones. And I think the show provides an entertaining (although dramatic) perspective on the future “sci-fi” aspect of this area of biotech. But, I also think writers can get a little bit obsessed with cliffhangers in an attempt to maintain a loyal audience. The acting, production and visual aspects of the show are stellar, but I’m starting to smell a hint of desperation with the writing.

We’ll see what comes next, but for now, may Rudy, Dr. Cody and Delphine rest in peace.