Orphan Black ended this summer, and in the finale, we got to see a little of what most of the clones were doing post-big battle. Sarah, Helena, Cosima, and Alison all came together at Alison’s house to discuss their experiences with motherhood and sisterhood; a fitting cap to a series that held these concepts at its core. Another clone, Rachel Duncan, wasn’t involved in this healing conversation — she hovered on the outside, giving Felix some information about the remaining Leda clones, but stopping short of going in the house and joining her sisters. This was probably as much as could be expected — throughout the series, Rachel was undoubtedly an antagonist, one who did terrible things to her sisters despite being a victim herself. She’s a layered, complex female character who really got to epitomize Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s “cool motive, still murder” test, which is a status usually given only to white male characters. Still, part of me was hoping that Rachel could have been given a just a little more development than what she got in canon. Fortunately, today’s fanfic does just that.
A few weeks ago we reviewed Orphan Black for the last time. Religion played an important role in Orphan Black‘s worldbuilding, but the writers never truly moved beyond offensive religious stereotypes. In a show about bioethics, identity, and power, religion should have played a major role in creating diverse characters and showcasing different perspectives. After all, the show’s ultimate thesis was about women having the freedom to pursue their own definition of happiness and fulfillment through self-determination. Different versions of Christian religion and philosophy make an appearance in the show, but they’re never a good thing. In fact, religion ends up being a minor antagonist throughout the show.
Luce: Well, guys, it’s been a long journey to the finale. Five years of twists and turns later, we’ve finally reached the end of the journey (or, at least, this journey) for Clone Club. But how did our favorite clones fare at this, the end of all things, and did they all make it through unscathed? Reviewing the end of Orphan Black is too much to take on alone, so I’m super glad to be joined by all of our faithful Orphan Black review team for this very last review.
Spoilers after the jump!
Now that’s what I call good backstory! This week’s episode of Orphan Black was the first episode that really showed Rachel’s youth and inner thoughts. Though we’ve gotten hints at how this clone was raised in the past, none of those hints painted as clear a picture of Rachel’s life as “Gag or Throttle” did. We know that Rachel was torn from her parents, Susan and Ethan Duncan, at a young age, and then grew up under the thumb of Dyad and Neolution. She seemed to miss her family and to want a child of her own, but we only ever saw her and her emotions from the outside—until now.
Spoilers for the episode after the jump! In a very Orphan Black move, this episode has gore, extreme eye violence, and nonconsensual body modification, so please consider yourself warned for that as well.
If you’re all caught up with Orphan Black this season, you’ll know that the second episode of the current season featured the truly egregious death of one of our clones. Not only did said clone die, she was also killed in a dehumanizing manner that spoke to neither her narrative nor her personal agency, and after watching the episode, I was desperate for something to get the bad taste of it out of my mouth. Fortunately, I found a great fanfic for today by another similarly-aggrieved Clone Club member.
Spoilers for the current (fifth and final) season of Orphan Black after the jump.
We left last week’s episode with Cosima locked in Westmoreland’s basement and Kira determined to take a more active role in her family’s crusade against Rachel. So of course the clone we start out with this week is… Krystal? With only a few episodes left, it makes sense that she would come back to wrap up her plotline, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it quite so much.
Spoilers below the jump!
If two weeks ago was an Alison-centric episode, and last week was mostly-Sarah-plus-everyone-else, Cophine fans can rejoice this week. “Ease for Idle Millionaires” showcases Cosima working out just what’s going on behind the scenes at Camp Revival, and the answers are horrifying. The last few seasons of Orphan Black have been too complex for its own good; it’s hard for the un-obsessive viewer to keep track of all the plot threads. Luckily, this episode stays fairly straightforward in its reveal of P.T. Westmoreland’s nefarious plans, allowing more time to consider what they mean for Clone Club.
Spoilers after the jump.
Exciting and terrifying as Orphan Black tends to be, it was a bit of a disappointment for me this week when Orphan Black‘s fourth episode this season ended up being… a little boring? The season started off with Sarah fighting for her very survival on a strange island, followed by a problematic death and a shocking twist, and was topped off nicely by a screamingly suspenseful Alison-centric episode. Yet “Let the Children and Childbearers Toil” wasn’t focused on any particular clone and, in fact, ended up talking a lot about characters I didn’t particularly care about.
Spoilers and a trigger warning for frank discussion of human experimentation after the jump!
Welcome back, Clone Club. This week’s episode is centered almost entirely on Alison. During the last few seasons, Alison’s plotlines have functioned more like comic relief than anything else. She’s a sparkly, suburban foil to her darker, more serious sestras, and it’s easy for all of us (including the viewers) to not take her seriously. This episode changes that. Because it’s the final season, we’re actually getting an Alison-centric episode that explores the depths of her heart.
Spoilers, of course, for “Beneath Her Heart” below.
Orphan Black’s premieres are often shocking in some way, but the following episodes are usually a little less explosive. Not so this season. The final season of Orphan Black looks like it’ll continue ratcheting up the tensions every episode until the ultimate finale, but as this episode shows, the writers may not always pull the right strings with these new twists.
Massive spoilers for “Clutch of Greed” below.