Orphan Black S40E10 “From Dancing Mice To Psychopaths” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Netflix, Fridays
Writer: Graeme Manson
Director: John Fawcett
Essential Plot Points:
- In a flashback, we find out what happened on the day Delphine was shot from Krystal’s point of view. Duko shoots her and then Krystal’s phone goes off, distracting him and thus saving Delphine’s life – because then Delphine is scooped off the ground by some men in a van and taken to the island, where the mysterious old guy from Rachel’s visions treats her.
- On the island in the present day, Cosima is freaking out – the sequences work and she has found a cure! She’s in the middle of telling Sarah about it when her computer suddenly locks her out and her call fails. What the…?
- Krystal spots the man with the van on television – his name is Dr Ian Van Lier (boy, bet he got picked on at school by kids telling him his pants were on fire). He also works for Brightborn and is the interim CEO now that Evie Cho is under investigation. Krystal calls Felix to tell him the news.
- As if to emphasise how important the cure is, Cosima, while talking to Charlotte, gets a nosebleed and feels faint.
- Ferdinand arrives at Rachel’s door. If she’s teaming up with him, bad things are bound to happen! Oh, and some BDSM sex, of course.
- Evie meets with the shadowy Brightborn board (as Mrs S points out snidely later, “There’s always a bloody board”). She tries to convince them she can rescue them from the carnage her accidental murder confession has caused, but she’s an idiot, of course. And when she threatens to cause trouble, the maggot-bot in her cheek is deliberately activated and she dies.
- Donnie and Alison are living with Helena in the woods, where they’re safe and out of trouble. Although Alison has the squits. That’s not really pertinent to the plot, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s funny.
- Krystal goes to the comic store and demands to know what’s going on. However, after being introduced to Sarah, she refuses to believe she’s a clone and sticks to her belief that the conspiracy is between Estée Lauder and a Norwegian cosmetics company named Neolution. Bless!
- Cosima confronts Susan after hearing her tell Rachel that now they have the technology behind the cure, they can restart human cloning. Susan simply locks her in a room. Meanwhile, Rachel has called Van Lier…
- Krystal poses as bait to lure Van Lier into a trap and Mrs S grabs him. Surprise! Actually it was Sarah in disguise.
- They grill him. Long story short: Rachel is taking control of Brightborn and combining the maggot-bots and Susan’s genetic research to create a race of super-clones. Boo! Hiss!
- Rachel heads to the island to take the research and cure from Susan; Sarah follows soon after after talking Ira into giving her the helicopter. (Just how many copters do these guys have at their disposal?)
- Susan and Rachel face off as Cosima and Charlotte watch. Rachel snaps and stabs her mother.
- Cosima and Charlotte run away, but get lost in the snow on the island. Luckily they’re rescued by the people who live there – the ones in Rachel’s visions. And Delphine and Cosima are reunited!
- Sarah arrives at the house and finds a critically ill Susan – but before she can help her, Rachel attacks! The two struggle and Sarah is stabbed in the thigh. She escapes out into the snow.
- Sarah calls Mrs S for help, but she’s being held hostage by Ferdinand. Rachel has all the cards here. And now she can meet ‘the man behind the curtain’: the old guy, who turns out to be Mr Westmoreland… the man who wrote the book about Neolution over a century ago. What the hell?
Phew, that was a packed season finale – perhaps not quite as explosive as previous seasons, but still exciting enough to get your blood pumping, especially during that nail-biting fight between Rachel and Sarah (although it’s a good thing Rachel’s such a bloody awful shot). Enough red grue was spilt to make this an honorary episode of Game Of Thrones, too, with Rachel’s scheming just devious enough to be worthy of Cersei herself. Although we have to say, it’s actually rather said to see her being so downright evil after working so hard to earn our sympathy earlier in the season as we watched her struggle to heal after her injuries. Still, a leopard can’t change its spots and all that. A double-cross was inevitable, and Rachel was only taking after her mother, after all; also a master in the art of the back-stab. (And now the recipient of a front-stab!)
The existence of the village on the island gives the show a rather Lost-like air, particularly with the addition of some kind of Methuselah who’s been around for longer than anyone else on the planet. Given the prominence that book of his has had this season, it’s not quite as much of a surprise to find out the author is still alive (in fact, we almost theorised about it in a review a few weeks ago, but decided that perhaps we were wrong – should’ve trusted our gut!). But who are the other people? Delphine seemed terrified of Cosima talking about the cure, so what would they do if they found out? Are they prisoners now?
Elsewhere, we adore the fact that even when confronted with a clone of herself, Krystal isn’t buying any of it (“This is what you think I look like?” she complains about Sarah, before saying that Sarah’s looks are a “seven” and she is a “ten”). With so much doom and gloom on this show, the existence of a clone who refuses to believe what’s right in front of her face, choosing to focus on fantasy conspiracies between cosmetics companies, is a genuine joy. How many seestras will she have to see at once before she finally believes? We can’t wait to find out!
So, speaking of seestras, where does this finale leave them? Well, there’s a cure, so that’s good. But now the future of the human race could be at stake unless they can stop Rachel’s plans, and that’s going to be a pretty epic final battle. Will more clones get involved? There must have been a reason the writers got Kira to say, “I’m worried for all the sisters – there’s so many we don’t even know.” Not to mention a point to her weird psychic powers. And what will Helena’s babies be like? What about the embryos buried in the Hendrixes’ back yard? So many plot threads to tie up!
The good news is that season five has just been confirmed, so we’ll get a chance to find out – and as it’s going to be the last one, that epic battle will be final after all.
- Cosima hugging Susan is so lovely, awww. It’s so nice to see her happy! Of course, it only lasts about 30 seconds.
- Did you spot Rachel angrily banging an egg on the head when Sarah calls her? Foreshadowing…
- When Krystal goes to the comic store, the music takes on a spy theme, as though she’s just walked into Del Floria’s in The Man From UNCLE. Nice touch. Also, the fact she gets talked into playing a table-top game with the geeks while Sarah goes off and pretends to be her is priceless!
- Felix has gone New Romantic this week, we see.
- Love Ira’s baffled response to seeing Ferdinand tied up on Rachel’s bed for a sex game: “He has his socks on…”
- Alison’s offer of help is so good they should put it on a poster: “What can we do, Sarah? I have the runs but I’m packing heat!”
- Rachel tells Ferdinand, “I don’t feel much of anything any more.” Some would ask if she ever did. About anything. Always a cold one, our Rachel.
- Just how remote is this island and why did Sarah have a phone signal when she limped down to the beach? Not that it did her any good, of course.
- The final shot, with Rachel smiling after hearing the doorbell ring, is held just a little too long for it to seem natural…
- The final ten episodes of Orphan Black will air next year. Showrunners John Fawcett and Graeme Manson say: “We are excited to deliver an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters. The past four seasons have been a phenomenal adventure and we are eternally grateful to our loyal fans who have loved the twists and thrills of our weird little show.” They wouldn’t be drawn on any plot twists, though…
- Best Quote: Ferdinand: “Room service! Fritatta?”
Rachel: “I’ve already eaten, Ferdinand.”
Ferdinand: “But have you been serviced?”