I don’t think it would be controversial to say that for a lot of fans, myself included, season three was a letdown in a lot of ways. No offense meant to Ari Millen, who I enjoy quite a bit as Mark, and also as general hairstyle inspiration, but legit, nobody cared about the Castor clones. We watch Orphan Black for our Leda ladies, and their long time associates, not a convoluted new plot surrounding a bunch of dudes. Luckily it seems as though the show heard our groans of disappointment and is getting back on track. With what I don’t want out of the way, lets go over what I do want, very much so.
1. Art Bell. As in more. As in, who is Art Bell outside of Clone Club, his odd couple friendship with Sarah, and his love for Beth. It’s not exactly news that black male characters tend to be treated as canon fodder on genre shows, so while Art making it to season 4 is reason alone to celebrate, he’s been increasingly sidelined as the series went along (again, unfortunately not uncommon for black male characters on genre TV), especially in the overreaching mess of S3. Now, with flashbacks to Beth as a seemingly central focus to S4, this would be a great time to explore Art more as a full fledged person, not just as an errand boy for the sestras.
2. Krystal, my queen. Unlike Art, Krystal Goderitch just showed up as S3’s newest Leda clone, but she’s already SO IMPORTANT to me. In my write up of the Wynonna Earp pilot I talked about how rare fully fleshed out working class characters are on TV, now take that rarity and divide it by a million and you have roughly how often we get three-dimensional pink collar workers on TV. Nearly never, and with the painful loss of Angie Martinelli in S2 of Agent Carter there’s a void in my heart that needs to be filled by a sharp talking, clever lady who works in a traditionally feminine industry. Krystal was practically designed to fill that void, bubbly and seemingly ditzy on the surface, in her brief appearances in S3 we already learned that Krystal is more than meets the eye, with her notebook of evidence and refusal to just let her experience go.
3. A Shay not shady. I know this will make me a target for the massive contingent of OB fans who ship Cophine to the end of the earth, but I had (have? Delphine girl, you ok?) very very major reservations with Cosima and Delphine’s relationship portrayed as romantic after the duplicitous way it started. I’m a soggy dishrag, I know, but I think consent should always be both informed and enthusiastic, and Delphine broke those rules by actively using sex to get information from Cosima. I disliked Paul for the same reason, and may have cackled with cold-hearted joy when he got blown up. I know the entire point of the show is a conversation on autonomy and consent, I’m not a dum dum, but I think we can have that conversation while our ladies get some healthy happy consent filled loving. So, my undying love for Ksenia aside, I’m rooting for Shay to be on the up and up, and while I’m at it, here’s hoping for the same for Cal and Jesse.
4. Alison fighting side by side with her sisters again. Listen, I understand that the show can get really dark, and we need some comedy to lighten things up, and I know it’s ridiculous to complain about a character getting sidelined when the same actress plays the entire main cast, but goddamnit Alison Hendrix is more than just cheap comic relief. Alison is brave, and loyal, and fierce, she’s smart, and loving, and the Alison I grew to know and love in S1 and S2 would not have spent all of S3 separate from the incredible danger people she cared for were facing. She just wouldn’t. Things took an upswing at the end of S3, with Helena and Gracie moving into the Hendrix house, so I’m hopeful we get Alison’s full return to the action in S4. Team Hendrix is fun, but Alison belongs at the heart of the story too.
5. Team Let Felix Get Some Booty and A Nice Nap Too. Poor Felix, dealing with the blowback of Sarah’s bad choices his whole life, only to discover there’s way way more where she came from. I know Fe loves Sarah and the rest of Clone Club, but he deserves some Fe time too, a night with a nice fella without getting cock-blocked by clone drama, his loft to himself for at least long enough to get some rest and work on his art. I’m not suggesting cut Felix from the plot, rather let him have his own, Felix’s story, not Felix the forever sidekick. I liked seeing him con Krystal and kick in the door on Gracie and Mark, he has the skills, let him show them off more.
Orphan Black returns in less than a week, on April 14th on BBC America, at which point I’m sure all my hopes will be shattered in an addictive mess of pain and angst, but until then, I can dream.
About the Author: Jay Jaqobis is sometimes Jessi Bow Spence and frequently just Jessi but also sometimes Jay and will respond to any of the above, and also “Hey, you with the face.” Ze lives in the midwest with a cis dude spouse and the world’s greatest dog and does a mean impression of a housewife while battling agoraphobia and general bouts of ennui. Ze cofounded GenreTVForAll and wrote a chapter on Teenage Girls with Superpowers for the Geekiary’s e-book. Ze likes vegan food, pictures of shih tzus, and long naps. You can find zir on twitter and instagram @jessilikewhoa