Orphan Black draws nearer the last episode with “Guillotines Decide,” the 8th episode of season 5. In this episode, it was the best of times. It was the worst of times. This is a recap. There are spoilers. Continue Reading: Orphan Black S5 E8 Guillotines Decide
Orphan Black episode 2, “Clutch of Greed,” has Rachel winning. And winning. Things don’t look good for the sestras and freedom. This is a recap. There are spoilers everywhere.Continue Reading: Orphan Black S5 E2 Clutch of Greed
Orphan Black season 5 begins with “The Few Who Dare.” We’re right where we left off, with Sarah injured on the island, Cosima and Charlotte in the village on the island, Delphine looking after Cosima, Mrs. S and Kira held by Ferdinand, and Rachel thinking she’s conquered the world. Spoilers ahead, this is a recap. Continue Reading: Orphan Black S5 E1 The Few Who Dare
BBC America released 10 new images from season 5 of Orphan Black. They also issued a warning that “walls are closing in” on Sarah when nearly all her sister clones and their allies are “brought to heel” by Rachel. Apparently that includes Sarah’s daughter, Kira. Continue Reading: Orphan Black Season 5 Photos Released
Orphan Black ends season 4 with “From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths.” We didn’t see any dancing mice. We saw one very welcome face and one hugely dangerous psychopath. Spoilers everywhere in this recap.Continue Reading: Orphan Black S4 E10 From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths
Orphan Black S4 E4 “From Instinct to Rational Control” shows the Leda clones dancing back and forth between instinct and rationality, from self-interest to self-sacrifice. We learn what MK’s (Tatiana Maslany – a whole cast) has been after and we learn one of the Hendrix’s secret sex games.Continue Reading: Orphan Black S4 E4 From Instinct to Rational Control
Orphan Black gets creepy in “The Stigmata of Progress.” Sarah tries to figure out what’s implanted in her cheek, Felix has big news, the Hendrixes go on an archeological dig, Kira sees strange visions, and Rachel is back in operation.
Spoilers ahead. Continue Reading: Orphan Black: S4 E3 The Stigmata of Progress
“History Yet to Be Written” is absolute perfection as a season 3 finale for Orphan Black. It takes us back in time to tie up questions, while opening up new directions for season 4. There are some losses and some happy moments. I’m going to start with the technical achievement of the season: the four clone dinner party.
— Orphan Black (@OrphanBlack) June 21, 2015
Alison (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) wins the school trustee election by 56 votes. She gathers everyone in the bubble gum world of Bubbles for a family dinner. They toast each other, even clink glasses. This season it’s Donnie (Kristian Bruun) who moves around the scene, filling wine glasses. They are all safe and happy and have hope for the future science to come. This scene is bound to be a favorite topic because of the difficulty of filming it.
Okay, how did episode 10 get us to this happy family moment? I’m going to summarize out of order, but the big reveal is that the Neolutionists from season 1 have been in charge of both Dyad and Topside all along.
Kendall Malone, the original
Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) brings Sarah and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) into a big warehouse where Scott (Josh Vokey) is constructing a clean room of sorts out of plastic sheets. When they are sure everything is ready, Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) brings her mother into the room. Kendall (Alison Steadman) complains all the way about her treatment, and because Mrs. S is herding her along with a baseball bat in her hand.
Cosima meets Kendall, and tells her that Kendall is actually the older sister of the clones. Cosima disarms Kendall with charm and takes blood samples from her.
Mrs. S burns with rage at her mother. It seems Kendall had something to do with John Sadler’s death. Mrs. S unveils a tub and several bottles of sulfuric acid, which she tells her mother she plans to use on her.
Mrs. S tells Kendall that Kira (Skyler Wexler) is Kendall’s niece. She asks Kendall to explain who she is. Kendall said Duncan had come to her 5 or 6 years after he’d harvested her. Duncan was in fear for his life from something called Neolution. He said they’d poisoned the science and corrupted his wife, Susan. He’d hidden Kendall from everyone.
Duncan told her there was one child outside it all, lost in the foster system. Kendall sent him to her daughter, the rebel. Siobhan had the connections to hide the child and Kendall sent the child to her. So Kendall put Sarah and Mrs. S together, who have been blood relatives all along. Mrs. S reacts to this news by forgiving her mother. Maria Doyle Kennedy performed this emotional moment of release with perfection.
Siobhan Sadler is actually a blood relation of all the clones. Isn’t that an interesting new fact?
Sarah and Felix find Mark (Ari Millen, an army). They bring him to the warehouse where he pretends to be Rudy and calls Dr. Coady (Kyra Harper) with the address about where they are. When she arrives with armed men, Ferdinand kills her driver and takes her captive.
Ferdinand (James Frain) comes to the warehouse for the blood he was promised by Sarah. At that moment, Delphine calls with the news that the blood will go to Neolution. Delphine tells Sarah not to let him have any blood and to tell him Rachel is still alive. Ferdinand is quite interested in this bit of news about Rachel and in the announcement that they are all just pawns of Neolution.
Ferdinand calls Neolutionists “genetically obsessed zealots” and says he hates them.
Ferdinand kills his helper with Siobhan’s baseball bat. It’s the acid bath for the poor fellow. Ferdinand tells them to hide Kendall away, he doesn’t want to know where. He says he’ll be in touch. I guess Ferdinand is going to be one of the good guys now.
Sarah and Mrs. S take Kendall to Iceland.
The episode began with Rachel’s dream of ice and love, and it ends with the joyous reunion of Sarah and Kira (Skyler Wexler) on a vast plane of snow.
Helena spends a lot of time in the Hendrix garage in this episode. First she’s reunited with Jesse (Patrick J. Adams). Jesse seems as happy to see her as she is to see him.
In his tow truck, which is half-in, half-out of the Hendrix garage, Helena climbs on Jesse’s lap and tells him “I have science babies inside me, but you are my first.” Helena’s lust is pure animal instinct, just like the rest of her personality. Before they can actually get it on, she gets summoned to help the sestras. Both of them promise to return to the moment.
Rudy is following Alison around during the election proceedings. Alison lures him to her house and he is met in the garage by Helena in assassin mode. She’s duct taped weapons to her hands and is ready to fight to the death.
Rudy dies, partly from a wound from Helena but mostly because he was dying anyway like the other Castor clones. They have a tender moment discussing their childhoods before he dies. Helena can go from assassin to empathetic listener in 1/10 of a second.
Ferdinand shows up thinking he’s going to take over from Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). Sarah offers him a deal to get some of the genetic material from the original, but only if the perverted Castor military experiment goes away.
Delphine goes to check on Rachel (or what she thinks is Rachel). She realizes it’s Krystal when she sees the good manicure on Rachel’s hand. Krystal wakes up, scared and confused.
Now that she knows about the Krystal deception and that Rachel is in Austria someplace, Delphine has Dr. Nealon (Tom McCamus) put in custody. She questions him and discovers that Neolution has been orchestrating everything from the first moment. He calls Castor and Leda Neolution’s Adam and Eve. He says there’s a place for her at Neolution. She turns down the job.
Nealon squiggles his jaw, leaps up and pins Delphine to a table. He tries to insert a worm from his mouth into Delphine. Luckily she’s packing and she shoots him and takes the worm as a specimen.
Delphine was invited to the family dinner but didn’t go. She texted Cosima to meet her outside. Cosima says, “I understand why you did what you did. I’m sorry to make you have to make so many hard decisions.” Delphine asks her to keep the blood safe and to make sure Kendall is safe.
Delphine tears up and looks at Cosima with a great deal of love. Delphine gives Cosima what looks like a heartfelt and passionate goodbye kiss, and leaves, saying, “My love to all the sisters.”
Delphine parks in a parking garage. She realizes someone is following her and turns. She says, “What will happen to her?” and is shot. We don’t know who shot her and we don’t know if she dies. Whoever shot her walked loudly, perhaps from wearing high heels?
The opening scene is Rachel waking from a dream about playing in the snow with her parents. She gets up and discovers she has a bionic eye and a museum-like display of finches in her room. She has no idea where she is or who is holding her.
Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) enters the room and says Rachel is going to be her new mom. Then Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) enters and says, “Hello, dear Rachel. Welcome home.” Rachel answers, “Mother.”
Cosima attempts an apology to Shay (Ksenia Solo), who is understandably upset by the death threat from Delphine. Cosima still can’t tell Shay anything about who she really is and Shay angrily sends her away.
Later Delphine shows up at Shay’s apartment. She tells Shay that she’s sorry, that she knows Cosima really cares for Shay, and that Cosima and Shay are a good fit.
Delphine says she won’t be around any more. She tells Shay to tell Cosima that she should tell everything to Shay if she wants. She gives Shay a card to show Cosima as proof that she means it.
We know how Kendall, Mrs. S and Sarah connect. What about Felix? A bit of history yet to write in season 4?
The count of male clones is down to only Mark. And he’s helping the sestras. All the murder-machine male clones are dead.
We can’t tell from the episode, but I think Delphine is actually dead. Based on this interview with John Fawcett, and this tweet, it seems she won’t be back.
And thanks for your questions, support, sense of humour, art, sense of solidarity…just thanks. You guys are the best. Bisous.
— Evelyne (@EvelyneBrochu) June 21, 2015
A big bisou to you, Evelyne. Love you.
I’m sure there will be mourning for Delphine and talk about the dead lesbian trope, but I actually feel all right about Delphine. It works with the story better than the dead lesbian story usually does. However, if Delphine really is dead, what’s going to happen with the worm Nealon apparently carried around in his mouth on the regular?
Shay, on the other hand, may be around for season 4. Based on this tweet it looks like she’s here for a while. Maybe she’ll be let in on the secrets like Felix, and become another important member of Clone Club.
‘WHATEVER COMES NEXT WE WILL FACE IT TOGETHER’ I Love U#CloneClub. ThankU4 accepting me into ur world. ThankU@OrphanBlack 4 a wicked season. — Ksenia Solo (@KseniaSolo) June 21, 2015
It looks like Krystal will be around for season 4, which makes me very happy. I liked her a lot. Who knows, at the end of season 4 we might have a FIVE clone scene as a grand finale!
Ferdinand and Rachel definitely have a thing, but he hates Neolutionists and Rachel’s mother is apparently a Neolutionist. Where will that go in season 4?
What do the Proletheans have to do with all this? If Helena carries her child to birth, or if they do something with the frozen embryos they have, will that be a corruption of the clone genome or a correction? More fodder for season 4.
I love this show! Three cheers for season 3 and much anticipation for season 4.
The Title Quotation
Winding up a season of foresight from Dwight David Eisenhower, we close with this thought.
“Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”
“Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” is the title of this episode of Orphan Black. Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude), Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) head for London in search of the original Castor clone. Bodies fall like ninepins and surprise twists hit every plot line.
In London Town
Mrs. S, Sarah and Felix enter a bar where Mrs S has a friend named Terry (Daniel Fathers). They learn from him that the number Rachel transcribed out of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” is a number from the English prison system.
They talk about the old days a bit. Terry reveals that Mrs S was in a band. Her old band mates show up – she calls them geriatric wankers.
Sarah and Felix are delighted to discover things about Mrs. S’s past, including where she used to go to shag Carlton.
Mrs. S gets up and sings a song with the old band. While she’s singing, Terry goes back to his apartment, where he gets beaten to almost dying by Ferdinand (James Frain). When Mrs. S finds him there, he whispers the information about the Castor original in her ear and dies. Mrs. S tells Sarah and Felix that it’s over, they’re going home. She sends Sarah and Felix out.
As Sarah leaves she picks up a phone. She calls a number from the phone as Ferdinand observes them. Sarah and Felix get picked up in a cab. They guy driving knows Mrs. S. He delivers them to the house of someone named Kendall Malone. The house looks dark. Sarah goes inside looking to “kill an innocent old man.”
The cab drives off. Ferdinand jumps in and kills the driver. Then he calls Delphine and tells her he’s been chasing Sarah Manning around London when she was supposed to be locked up at Dyad. Delphine asks Ferdinand to come to Dyad for a meeting.
In the house, Sarah finds a photo of a younger Mrs. S holding a baby. A woman (Alison Steadman) appears and says she is Kendall Malone. Sarah was expecting a man.
In walks Mrs. S and says, “Hello, mother.” Mrs. S obviously hates her mother, but she asks what Professor Duncan had to do with her. Kendall says Duncan came through testing inmates when she was in prison. He was looking for a donor and he found one in Kendall. She was both the male and the female original because she had absorbed a male twin while in the womb. She laughs, “I got two cell lines, me.”
Mrs. S wants to burn down the house with her mother in it, but Sarah points out that Leda needs the original cell line.
Cosima & Her Girlfriends
Cosima reads the file Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) gave her about Shay (Ksenia Solo). She immediately concludes that Shay is not trustworthy when she sees a photo of Shay in an Army uniform.
Cosima rejects Shay’s attempts to talk about dinner and blows out of Shay’s apartment like her pants are on fire. Shay is puzzled by her behavior.
Cosima talks it over with Scott (Josh Vokey), who points out that nothing in the file really proves that Shay is the spy. Cosima feels that she’s put everyone in danger by being fooled once again by her attraction to someone.
Cosima goes to Dyad to “eat shit” in front of Delphine. She admits that Sarah is in London looking for the Castor original.
Delphine goes straight to Shay’s. Shay seems innocent. She claims not to know what Castor is. Delphine threatens to put her in the bathtub and slit her wrists and the arteries in her ankles if she doesn’t talk. Delphine fills the tub and brandishes a razor blade.
The Hendrix Family Business
Gracie (Zoé De Grand Maison) begs off work to Alison, claiming an appointment.
Gracie stops by the garage where Helena is gleefully dancing and making soap. She hugs Helena in a lingering goodbye.
Donnie (Kristian Bruun) was beaten to raw hamburger. Now the drug dealer Pouchy (Tony Cianchino) want all the pills back because Jason no longer vouches for the Hendrixes. A thug comes to get the pills. He takes Helena’s canister of frozen embryos with him because he can’t find the pills.
Donnie goes home to get the pills and Helena makes some gunk to put on his face to stop the pain. He tells her that the bad guys took the tank. “My babies?” Helena asks. She wants to know where the drug dealers are.
Donnie takes the pills to Pouchy. They give him the nitrogen tank, but don’t return his money. Helena, who was supposed to wait in the car, comes in. Pouchy refuses the refund and threatens Donnie’s kids. Helena pushes Donnie and the tank out the door.
When Helena comes out, she’s carrying a bloody machete, a very large bag of cash, and a pound or two of extra blood. She tells Donnie, “We should go now.”
At the same time that Delphine is threatening Shay, Gracie calls Cosima and apologizes for being the rat. She was trying to save Mark (Ari Millen). Gracie runs away with Mark.
Cosima calls Delphine and says that Shay is not the one who stole the book or told Castor that she was sick – it was Gracie. Delphine looks at Shay like she wants to kill her anyway, but she leaves Shay in one piece.
You can buy albums of music by Maria Doyle Kennedy from her website. So glad we got to hear her sing a bit in this episode.
This episode changes a lot of things and we have one more episode before the season ends! What can they possibly have left to amaze us with?
Mrs. S’s mother is the original for both Leda and Castor clones. That’s an amazing plot twist, but in looking back on all three seasons, I’ll bet John Fawcett and Graeme Manson had that in mind from the very beginning. It’s so delicious. Even though Mrs. S didn’t know it herself, it explains so much.
Alison Steadman as Kendall Malone is an excellent casting choice. She looks believably like Tatiana Maslany might age to look, although it’s a stretch to see any of Ari Millen in her face.
Then there’s the plot twist with a whole shit ton of money in the Hendrix deep freeze while a litter of dead drug dealers mean their new business is kaput. Probably a good thing – Alison and Donnie are terrible criminals.
And Shay! Shay is apparently just a girl, standing in front of a beautiful lesbian, wanting to be loved. Hot diggity dog, maybe that means Ksenia Solo will be around in season 4!
The Title Quotation
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Speech to the Nation in 1961 pointed out everything we were going to get wrong in the future and advised us against it. We didn’t listen. Here’s the paragraph with this week’s title.
“Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”
Orphan Black kicked off season 3 with “The Weight of This Combination.” The ride was both delightful and scary. We begin mere seconds from where season 2 stopped.
The Female Clones
The episode opens with a 4 clone scene. It’s a candy colored world where a very pregnant Helena (Tatiana Maslany, a multitude) is surrounded by love and food at her baby shower. Cosima is dressed in a Ukranian folk outfit, Sarah is in black leather, Alison is all in pink and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) grills in a tennis outfit with a martini in his hand.
Helena wakes up from this hallucination trapped in a big coffin-like box, where she conducts a conversation with a scorpion. The scorpion was played by Tatiana Maslany – both voice and all the other noises the scorpion made. I got the idea that the scorpion was as imaginary as the baby shower. Yep, Helena is losing her marbles.
Cosima is feeling better and staying at Felix’s place. She amuses herself playing with Kira (Skyler Wexler) and hiding “The Island of Dr. Moreau” from everyone but Scott (Josh Vokey) because she no longer trusts anyone, including Delphine.
Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) breaks up with Cosima but still loves her. Delphine is taking over Rachel’s job and is living a double life as 1) a corporate drone, 2) the protector of all the sisters.
At the now united Hendrix household, Alison can’t stop touching newly jobless Donnie (Kristian Bruun). Alison plans to run for school trustee against the evil Marci (Amanda Brugel).
Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) confesses to sending off Helena to wherever the scorpions talk, so Sarah is obsessed with getting Helena back throughout the episode. Helena does not get rescued in this episode, in spite of all Sarah’s efforts.
Nobody is paying any attention to the big container of liquid nitrogen Helena left in Felix’s apartment. But Kira starts to play with it, so hopefully it will come to Cosima’s attention the same way she discovered the gold mine inside “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”
Fun with Ferdinand
A creepy guy named Ferdinand (James Frain) shows up at Dyad intending to carry out “Helsinki” which translates to: Kill All The Girl Clones. First he wants to have S & M sex with Rachel. Except Rachel is in a hospital bed with her eye poked out, so Sarah pretends to be Rachel. And while she’s doing that, Alison pretends to be Sarah. Tatiana Maslany is so fabulous at this stuff, it all makes perfect sense.
Somehow Rachel (AKA Sarah) gets rid of Ferdinand, gets Helsinki canceled, and makes sure everyone knows she’s looking for Helena. By the way, Sarah in a Rachel wig is talented with a belt, as the marks on Ferdinand’s butt and neck prove.
The Male Clones
There are apparently a whole army of male clones (Ari Millen, an army). Last season we met Mark the Prolethean, the ugly haircut guy who followed Helena into the bar, Scarface the crazy guy in the basement, and a grim soldier outside Helena’s plane. Now we also meet Faux Mohawk and Mr. Moustache. (Scarface and Faux Mohawk may be just one guy. I’m still trying to get a good count of the boy clones.)
Mr. Moustache, who may be named Seth, beat the crap out of Mrs. S while trying to find Ethan Duncan. Mrs. S put up a good fight, though! Mrs. S: ever badass.
The male clones – the soldier boys – are not warm and fuzzy fellows. The male clones run around trying to find and kill the female clones. This lets us meet Krystal Goderich, a previously unknown female clone. We see Krystal making out with Faux Mohawk in an elevator, then going into a hotel room with him. There is one more male clone in this scene. Delphine reports that Krystal survived, so maybe we’ll meet her again.
The male clones all know about each other. The Orphan Black terminology here is “self aware.” Now, if I were a male clone and my job was to kill female clones, I might start to get a little worried about job security. Not these boys.
The Title Quote
Last year the titles were all quotes from Francis Bacon. The first episode this year uses a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
We’ve left nature vs. nurture in season 2 and are moving on to the military-industrial complex. Project Castor is the military side of the clone experiment, so it follows quite logically.