'Orphan Black' Season Finale Review

Sabrina Petrafesa ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
While good overall, the Orphan Black season finale, “History Yet to Be Written,” still felt like it fell a little short. There was so much going on and so many people involved, but it still didn’t feel like it was enough. The plot twists weren’t shocking, and what really carried the episode were the performances given by Tatiana Maslany and Maria Doyle Kennedy. In the final episode of the season, we find out that Neolutionists have been infecting Dyad for years, Rachel’s mom is alive, and Delphine is dead.

Photo Credit: BBC
Photo Credit: BBC
A few weeks ago, viewers thought the finale might bring something absolutely crazy for the Castor boys, and that the writers wouldn’t put this season’s “big bad” on the back burner for no reason. Turns out this prediction was wrong. Ari Millen has proven himself an amazing counterpart to Maslany’s clones, yet in the final episode of this season, his clones were nothing but pawns to be used and forgotten like nobody’s business. Although on a larger scale, Millen’s characters had little impact, it was still quite a sight to see this man’s talent shine through in the last moments of Rudy’s life. The connection between Rudy and Helena in the aftermath of their fight to the death was completely stripped down and shown as just an attempt at something more than what his life is in his last moments. Helena just killed this man—or at the very least brought him to death’s door much sooner than he thought—and she gives him this last piece of human kindness, yet still keeps it clear that he is the bad guy. Tatiana Maslany’s delivery of the line “No, you are rapist” had some viewers cheering. As per usual, Maslany took control over the scene even when the focus should have been on Rudy, but no one really cares about Rudy, do they?
Maria Kennedy Doyle deserves all the awards. This episode, viewers saw more raw emotion from Mrs. S egged on by the presence of her mother than they have seen in all three seasons of the show so far. She dominated every scene in which she appeared while carrying a baseball bat, threatening anyone who dared threaten her children. Mrs. S preparing a “chemical bath” for her mother was awesome, and finding out it was her revenge for her mother killing her husband was absolutely fantastic. However, the scene that took the cake was the one between Mrs. S and Kendall Malone (Alison Steadman) when Kendall reveals to her daughter that it was her who made sure little Sarah was sent her way so that a little piece of her would still be with her daughter. The scene was emotional and beautiful and downright amazing. It didn’t have Doyle talking much, but her performance is what took over the scene and stole the show, especially with her choked up “Ma” at the end.
Photo Credit: Vulture
Photo Credit: Vulture
The reveal that Neolution has been inside Dyad for years, with its own spies, felt like information viewers already knew. Dr. Leekie was in charge of Dyad for years, and it was no secret that he was a Neolutionist, so why wouldn’t he hire some of his friends on the down-low? Is this really a surprise? Was this really what the writers were leading up to this entire season? It seemed like a bit of a letdown, honestly. Of course the show is science fiction, so no one stays dead. With this revelation, viewers also find out that the Neolutionists have Rachel (Maslany)—and isn’t it a letdown that Rachel won’t be donning an eyepatch anymore? Pirate Rachel was the best. The person watching over her is Rachel’s mother, Suzanne Duncan, which wasn’t a very shocking reveal, either. Her father was alive, so why not her mother too? They were both seriously connected high level scientists involved with Dyad. It also just makes sense that if Rachel’s father was against Neolution, her mother was for it, and that would be the reason they separated in the first place. Obviously, they weren’t just dead.
Last, but certainly not least, Evelyne Brochu’s performance in the finale was amazing, but her plot line was strange. The entire season built up this version of Delphine that is powerful and in charge, and when Delphine is finally caught up and learns everything about the clones… she dies? It’s set up in an eerily similar way to Beth’s death in the first episode. It doesn’t even seem real, because it probably isn’t. Delphine is not dead. The only time a character is not given an immediate kill shot during an assassination is when they are near a loved one and the writers want to give viewers a heart-wrenching goodbye, or when they have no intention of killing the character off, so to trick the audience, they have the character shot, but nothing happens that might cause permanent damage. So it’s probably the latter, and the reason is probably because Shay (Ksenia Solo) shot her. Shay is still incredibly sketchy as a character; it’s hard to pinpoint why she was introduced at all. However, the person who shot Delphine was not shown, and that was for a reason. If it were some random Neolutonist assassin, the writers would have given viewers a visual. But they didn’t, so viewers know the shooter—Shay was in the army, so she’s probably a great assassin—has a personal reason to keep Delphine alive—killing her would probably ruin everything she has with Cosima. So Delphine is totally not dead.
Photo Credit: BBC
Photo Credit: BBC
The season ended the way it began, except this time set in reality. A big family-style dinner with all the sestras sitting around a table enjoying family time with the extended family and friends. It felt too happy for a season finale; for a moment viewers almost forget it is even the season finale. It simply did not live up to Orphan Black season finale expectations. Maybe the intention was to create a “calm before the storm” feeling, especially since Sarah has reunited with her daughter Kira once more—the ultimate sign that things are better, that things are safe. Really, it just kind of left viewers hanging. Where was the suspense? The action? Everything pretty much went according to plan. Maybe what’s weirdest about this season finale is that for once, viewers have more answers than questions, and the questions aren’t even all that immediate. We don’t need the answers yet; we can wait for them.
Episode Grade: B
Season Grade: A-

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One Comment

  1. I really don’t think it’s Shae who shot Delphine. Dr.Nealan told her she would be killed within the day. It’s obviously someone she knew and that the viewer know also. Maybe we don’t know that that person has ties with Neolution but I would be surprise if it’s Shae. I don’t believe she is a double agent or anything.

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