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In Memoriam: Good-bye Hot Paul, Orphan Black “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” 

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

The Clone Club lost one of our own in “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” and he will be deeply missed. Major Paul Dierden sacrificed himself in the name of honor while trying to hold down the Castor military headquarters deep in the desert of Mexico. Before Major Dierden lost his own life, he managed to save the life of Leda clone Sarah Manning and destroy scientific research that could harm mankind. We salute you, Major Dierden.

In all seriousness, the death of Hot Paul will be felt as Team Clone Club tries to move forward and unravel what is turning into Dr. Coady’s sinister plans. He may not have always actually been Clone Club but we still loved him. Paul has been a bit of a wild card since the very beginning, first as Beth’s monitor boyfriend, then Team Dyad and then the big reveal he was really Team Castor. No matter which team he played on, Paul acted with conviction. He believed in what the original Team Castor was trying to do: save the clones from the genetic defect that could kill them. It was an honorable intention and Paul threw his life into achieving it.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

Paul’s connection with Sarah was arguably the one thing that would make him waiver on what he believed to be right. Their off-the-charts chemistry made you root a little harder for Paul to untangle the military’s plots, so maybe there would be a time when they wouldn’t be on opposite sides of the Leda-Castor fence. Since the discovery of Dyad and Paul moved to side with Dr. Leakey and Rachel, Sarah categorized Paul as an enemy. Yet underneath that ran a current of…dare I call it….trust that he would believe her. While trapped by Project Castor in their secret bunker, Sarah knew that there was something in Paul that she could appeal to as an ally. Paul had enough instinct to trust in Sarah’s concerns to start digging around, which led to the unveiling of Dr. Coady’s twisted human trials with the Castor clones. Once he knew that the cause he had been protecting was compromised into something darker and less honorable, he immediately took action to arrest Dr. Coady and secure the base, with devastating results.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

Paul’s power play against Coady has shown us a few things that will play out in the coming weeks. One: Dr. Coady is weaponizing the STD Castor Clone defect for someone higher up. The big question is WHO. How this STD can wipe out war in a generation (her words, not mine) is a little unclear. Two: her movements are being orchestrated from Arlington, meaning the military is for, not against, her experiments. Three: Castor clone Mark, upon learning that he may have infected Gracie with this mystery STD, will most likely do whatever he can to save her, even if it means going against his clone brothers. With Gracie still with Felix and Mrs. S, Mark may become Team Leda’s new ally.

In his final moments, Paul showed true courage and honor. Upon realizing that he had been set up by his contact at Arlington, Paul moved quickly to get Sarah out. They encountered Miller in their way and Paul got a stab in the belly before taking down Miller. (Another Castor clone down for the count.) Paul got Sarah to an exit grate. As she pleaded with him to come with her, Paul gave us the validation we had been waiting on since season one.

“It was never Beth I loved.”

Rip my heart out, Paul. Sheesh. Sarah sat crouched in the tunnel stunned by what those words really meant. For Paul, a company military man, that admittance is shattering. Paul and Sarah have been adversaries more than comrades, but Paul has always acted to save Sarah rather than sacrifice her. Sarah, being Sarah, could never fully admit what those actions meant. For both, their connection took a secondary place to their mission. But in the final moments, Paul voiced what has always been there, a love that existed no matter the circumstances around it. In the end, Paul loved Sarah and died to save her.

But he wouldn’t go without bringing down what he could around him. Dr. Coady and Rudy encounter Paul on his last breath in their research room, the bones of Baby Johanssen next to him. Coady droned on about not giving up on science before shooting Paul multiple times just as Paul’s hand fell away to reveal a grenade. The explosion rocked the base, leaving Sarah in the tunnels. (She’s quickly found by Helena, over her anger and back to help her sister.) With any luck, Paul’s final sacrifice will set Dr. Coady back and throw up some serious roadblocks to this weird Castor plot of infecting women with poisonous sperm.

Hot Paul and his sexy beard will be missed. How will Paul’s sacrifice and death affect Sarah? Did Paul’s grenade do any real damage to the Castor research? One can only hope that his death wasn’t in vain and that the cause he fought so hard for will be worth it in the end.

Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA
Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

Other moments to catch in “Certain Agony of the Battlefield”:

  • Alison and Donnie underwear cash dance party FTW. They are settling into the drug kingpin life quite nicely.
  • Delphine is back and in uber-bitch mode. She’s not only aware of Cosima’s dalliance with Shay, she’s the one who has been stalking them. Cosima and Shay have been moving at lightening pace but what will Delphine have to say about it?
  • Military clones aka Miller was taken down by Paul, leaving us with two Castor clones left. Could that be right? We have five we know about: Seth (deceased), Parsons (deceased), Miller (deceased? He could just be knocked out), Rudy – the mama’s boy and Mark—the good one. We saw Dr. Coady with a picture of four boys. Assuming they were the Castors, why were there only four? And have any more been made? There’s at least 14 Leda clones we know about….could be more. Interesting tidbit there.

Catch Orphan Black Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America.

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  1. Heather M

    I saw it coming as soon as he called in from the base and then I was just nauseous through to the end of the episode.

    What I most dislike about the arc is that for a brief moment, I thought maybe they were bringing him back into the Clone Club after frittering away season two, where it seemed like he was just around to be Rachel’s errand boy and sex toy.

    One of the things I most liked about season one was his relationship with Sarah after he knew who she was.

    He still needed redemption for allowing Leakey to test Beth in her sleep, and I guess this was that for him, but I wanted more for his character.

  2. Sarah

    I completely agree. I so wanted Paul to get a meatier, juicer bit of the action after barely doing anything with him in season two. I was surprised they took the character our so soon. He’s been a part of the action since the beginning and you always sort of hoped he and Sarah would be back on the same side again. The end of season one was awesome for them. They made a good team and it would have been great if they could have been again. It was obvious he was torn between his duty and Sarah. There was a lot more they could have done with that.

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