More Leda and Castor in Orphan Black Season Three?

It took me a little while to get into watching Orphan Black, but I wasn’t disappointed. This Canadian-made science-fiction and intrigue series drew me in with its unfolding levels of mystery, its interpersonal relationships, and the brilliance of the actress Tatiana Maslany as she plays several clones — each one a different flawed, strong, and complex woman — in a dangerous world of shadow games: where the stakes are freedom and the semblance of a normal life.

Above is a spoiler for some of what is going to happen in Orphan Black Season Three. But for those of you who have been following the show (or binge-watching both preceding seasons on DVD and cable), there are some other interesting, small, little snippets that function as both character sketches, and just what may well go down.

But first, let’s deal with the main clip and seriously take a look at it. Last season, Sarah Manning discovered that the DYAD Institute was not the only organization dealing in clones. While the Proletheans are an extremist religious sect or series of cells that believe in destroying synthetic biology or subordinating it under a belief in God — and they have utilized Sarah’s fellow clone and sister Helena for these purposes — they have not created clones.

The military, however, has been creating more clones: or least they did at one point in time. If you go back into the show’s chronology, you will find out that DYAD or its predecessor had a deal with the military to create the clones for some unknown reason. However what we, the viewers, did not know at the time was that not only was the military continuing its work with cloning, but they seem to have created male clones in counterpoint to DYAD’s female cloning project. Whereas the experiment that made Sarah and the others is referred to as Project LEDA, the male clone project is called Project CASTOR.

But, as usual, there is so much more that we don’t know. However, there are some clues to be had.

Here we have what we already know: that Sarah has been introduced to a captive male clone that Marion, one of the most powerful figures behind DYAD keeps in her mansion. But, very clearly and as per usual, Sarah is her usual gritty and rebellious self. Yet what’s really interesting here is that the male clone, whether he is the captive or one of his brothers working in the military, seems to know that she is one of the renegade among her sisters: that one who didn’t seem to have a DYAD Monitor. Perhaps Sarah is meeting this clone in order to find out where Helena is being held.

There is Alison Hendrix who is facing more kidnapping issues and may well have a reason to want to “kick some boy clone butt”: if the military is now after the female clones in addition to DYAD (assuming DYAD still isn’t, but that is another story entirely).

Of course, there is Helena whom, the last we saw, was “sold” to the military by Siobhan, Sarah’s foster mother, and Paul, Beth’s former boyfriend and Monitor and Sarah’s former lover,  for some reason: perhaps to guarantee Sarah’s safety. It should be noted that Helena has been rather unstable in the past and is trained to be a master assassin by the Proletheans. Maybe Siobhan saw her as a threat, given some of the things she has tried to do to Sarah and her other sisters. But seriously, god help those soldiers that have her now — and the people that handed her over — given the sheer amount of destruction she’s capable of inflicting.

Finally, there is Cosima. It seems as though she and her assistant and friend Josh are attempting to decode the late Professor Duncan’s handwritten notes on their genome in an attempt to reverse its degradation. It should be noted that, perhaps by understanding Duncan’s notes they might also begin to figure out just how just why they were created, and how they relate to the existence of the male clones.

It’s a fascinating situation all around: especially when you consider what Projects LEDA and CASTOR might actually be. Both are tied into ancient Greek mythology. Leda was the queen seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan: upon which she carried two eggs that hatched into four children. Two of those children were Zeus’ while the other two belonged to her mortal royal husband. Her two sons were Castor and Pollux (or Polydeuces).

There is a lot of fan speculation as to what Leda might represent in Orphan Black: not the least of which being that the clones are the result of advanced science and were fostered with normal families in most cases. Castor himself was a warrior along with his brother and it makes a horrible kind of Clone Wars sense for the military to want to mass produce legions of male soldiers.

But perhaps there is more involved here. Is it a coincidence that there were two cloning programs for two separate sexes? And why? Were they supposed to be the first stages of a genetically enhanced breeding program? And, here is something else for you to think about: Castor’s twin brother, Pollux, was Zeus’ son — with immortal or superhuman potential given his lineage — in some mythologies while Castor was just a mortal man. Is it possible that the idea of Pollux might actually play a role in what is to come with regards to these two Projects?

Either way, I have to say that my own speculation aside I very much look forward to Orphan Black Season Three on April 18.

Also, to those who can’t wait for April, IDW Publishing will be releasing an Orphan Black comic book February 25 apparently expanding on the clones’ back stories. Personally, I would love to see more story on the clones that have either already died, or had short thrift so far. Many times the fun.

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About matthewkirshenblatt

I am a writer and blogger living in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario in Canada. When I'm not writing for the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and GeekPr0n, I tend to write science-fiction, epic fantasy, horror, literary and mythological revisionisms, and generally weird fiction stories though I have been known to make poetry, television and comic book scripts. Also, when left to my own devices I tend to write weird and strange hybrid creative opinion piece articles like those you will find on this Blog. I am also very interested in comics, video games, Star Wars, table-top role-playing games, Neil Gaiman's works, H.P. Lovecraft, vampires, zombies, and budgies.
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