‘Orphan Black’ Review – “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow”

Maya Reddy ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
As a precursor to the series finale of Orphan Black, “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” should have been prime opportunity for new twists and turns to send Cloneclub into even more of a frenzy. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reveals of the episode felt overwhelmingly anticlimactic. Especially when compared to huge reveals concerning Rachel and Krystal, last episode.
The concept of bringing Sarah, Felix, and Mrs. S back to the UK was definitely effective in emphasizing this endearing family dynamic between the three, which was one of the highlights of this otherwise uninteresting plot. Maria Doyle Kennedy got to show off her impressive singing abilities, while Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris entertainingly reacted to this performance with a mixture of surprise and awe. When Sarah disobeys Mrs. S and decides to go on without her, we get a glimpse of what Sarah and Felix’s childhood might’ve been like. Felix has always been the more rational of the two, but in this context as he repeatedly tells Sarah that they should do what Mrs. S told them to do, we really get to see that sibling dynamic shine.

Photo Credit: Indiewire
Photo Credit: Indiewire
Unfortunately, beyond that focus on their relationship, the actual information regarding Ferdinand held little interest. He was at his most interesting and entertaining when we saw him from the point of view of Rachel (Maslany), now he’s just another mysterious bad guy in charge of something – reminiscent of Leekie but with less motive. To be fair to him, we’ve only seen him a handful of times this season, so he definitely needs some depth fast, especially if a confrontation between him and the clones is looming.
And on to who the real Kendall Malone is. While this viewer didn’t completely see the reveal of her as Mrs. S’s mother coming, it still didn’t feel like a huge game changer. Which unfortunately seemed to be the intent. Yes, it makes the Castor and Leda clones linked even more since their original is the same person, but it’s not as if they didn’t already have such an immense link to begin with. If the reveal was supposed ominous and overwhelmingly important, it definitely didn’t feel that way. One positive to this reveal, was to see where Mrs. S came from. Her and her mother do have an interesting dynamic that almost shadows that between Sarah and Mrs. S, but with more venom. Not to mention, Alison Steadman as Kendall does an excellent job at giving us a glimpse into this person that made Mrs. S who she is.
Some of the most touching moments of this episode came from Helena (Maslany), which isn’t completely unusual because Helena is a character who loves intensely and will do almost anything for a person she deems worthy. Her relationship with Donnie (Kristian Bruun) has definitely grown since she’s started spending time at the Hendrix’s and seeing her newfound closeness with Donnie culminate in a classic Helena beat-down for him was charming to say the least. Not to mention the end of this plot will hopefully bring Alison, Donnie, and Helena back to the central plot for the season finale.
Photo Credit: BBC
Photo Credit: BBC
Seeing Delphine’s shift in character this season has been jarring but not entirely unwanted. And while it doesn’t feel intentional that her motivations are hard to place, it sure does make her a lot more interesting this season and definitely gives Evelyne Brochu far more to work with. Although Delphine threatening Shay (Ksenia Solo) is creepy in its own right, seeing the mixed emotions in her eyes when she finds out Shay is not a Castor mole is one of the most intriguing moments for this character so far. It almost seemed as if she was disappointed that she wouldn’t get to kill Shay, which while definitely a speculation, was completely unnerving to watch. The reveal that Gracie was the real Castor mole, also didn’t come as much of a surprise, but was something that was still kind of disappointing to see. Her character growth seemed completely lost in her complete betrayal of the Leda clones, and her love for Mark felt like weak reasoning behind her actions. It doesn’t seem as if this is the last we’ll see of her though, and considering she definitely felt regret for what she did and Mark displays a far greater sense of morality than any of his brothers, there is definite room for an alliance with the Leda clones in the future.
As a whole, “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow” was very underwhelming, but it does seem to set up the season finale significantly. To be fair, compared to the last several episodes that were some of the best of the season so far, it makes this episode seem even worse than it probably is. It’s just disappointing seeing such a sacrifice made for the season finale, when past seasons had no need to do such things.
Episode Grade: B –

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