Airing in the UK on Netflix, Sundays
Written by: Renée St Cyr, Graeme Manson
Director: John Fawcett
Essential Plot Points:
- It’s the series finale – strap in for the final 44 minutes!
- Flashback: we see Sarah and Mrs S outside an abortion clinic, discussing whether she should have the baby or not. The baby is, of course, Kira, so we already know the answer.
- In the present, Sarah and Helena are trying to escape the building, but Enger is hunting them.
- Westmorland is not happy to see they’ve escaped. “Where are they?” he yells, having a hissy fit.
- Art knocks out Enger! Woohoo!
- Westmorland takes a turn for the worse, worrying a bloody-faced Coady. They need those babies fast to help him.
- Sarah leaves Helena alone so she can look for water, clean sheets, supplies… and help.
- She’s briefly cornered by Coady, but isn’t seen.
- Art finds Sarah instead, giving her his gun.
- Coady then finds Helena in the basement. “Ah, Helena. Let’s try this again…”
- Westmorland, who is increasingly erratic, shoots his doctor for calling him old. Wow, touchy.
- Art is captured by Coady. She forces him to become Helena’s midwife (luckily he has loads of kids and knows what he’s doing, hurrah!).
- Sarah, still looking for supplies, meets Westmorland. “You’re the only set of twins we ever had. Fertile freaks,” he taunts her.
- Coady gets a chisel through the neck from Helena, and that’s the end of her. At last! (Er, not that we’re advocating violence, of course. But still…)
- Sarah shoots Westmorland. He’s only injured, so there’s a fight. He tries to smother her with a plastic curtain.
- She fends him off and gives him an earful. “This is evolution!” she yells, and caves his head in with an oxygen tank.
- That’s it! Westmorland is dead and the threat against the clones is finally over!
- Flashback: Mrs S in the car, with Sarah saying she wants to keep the baby.
- In the present: Helena gives birth, aided by Sarah and Art, as Sarah has flashbacks to giving birth to Kira.
- It’s a boy! And then there’s another boy! It’s just one big, teary mess and everybody is happy!
- Time passes…
- Sarah studies for her GED test with Cosima’s help.
- Helena is living in Alison’s garage, raising the boys (nicknamed Orange and Purple) with their help. Donnie is now a regional manager at an architectural firm.
- Cosima is curing clones, but she’s stressing about the fact they can’t find them all. Delphine and Scott are being awesome and supportive.
- Felix returns from his art opening in New York (you have to wonder how he did it without the seestras doing their performance art pieces). He’s dismayed to find Sarah is selling the house.
- Sarah is clearly having issues: she walks away from her test.
- Helena has a baby shower. Everybody’s enjoying themselves, but they all notice that Sarah is clearly struggling. “I am worried about Sarah, she is not mended,” says Helena, prescient as always.
- Sarah finally reveals what is wrong: she’s living in the house where Mrs S died, and she’s terrified she’s a bad parent. The other seestras all chime in to say they understand and they struggle too. It helps her.
- Felix meets with Rachel, who gives him the list of all the Leda clones around the world – a whopping 274 of them. Now Cosima and Delphine can cure them all!
- For old time’s sake, we see Donnie dancing in his pants again as Alison laughs.
- Delphine and Cosima start to save the Ledas, travelling the world to do so.
- Helena finally names her sons: Arthur and Donnie.
- And Sarah finally comes to terms with both parenthood and the loss of Siobhan. She keeps the house, now hung with Felix’s bright, jolly paintings. And it’s a happy home.
Hang on, there’s something in our eye. Both eyes, in fact. Hmm, better go wash our whole face. Nope, still there. Could it be… is it… tears?
After five seasons of hardship, horror, twists, turns, tragedy and a fair bit of hilarity (Alison and Donnie, we’re looking at you), Orphan Black is finally over – and what a fantastic ending. With the exception of the loss of Mrs S, the show managed to deliver the happiest finale we’ve seen in a television show in years: those final scenes of the seestras sitting around in Alison’s garden and bonding are a delight, and the final shot – as we realise Sarah has finally come to terms with her losses and focused on her loves (including that all-important home) – is enough to get even the most cynical viewer’s chin a-wobbling.
The first half of this episode does suffer a little from the old “characters skulk around corridors with torches” trope, making events seem a bit standard horror-thriller, and Westmorland’s histrionics seem peculiarly daft given that the bad guys on this show used to be a monolithic corporation that chilled us to the heart. However, that aside, once Sarah has finished him off (and good heavens, what a death that was! Don’t mess with Sarah!) things soon turn into a glorious celebration of Clone Club birthing.
Whoever decided to intercut Kira’s birth with the arrival of Helena’s boys was a genius: it adds a beautiful poignancy, reminding us of how special these new babies are, and also underlines how twins Sarah and Helena are connected by more than just the fact they’re both clones. Having Art there is a master stroke, too: we’ve complained in these reviews for weeks that he hasn’t had much to do, but here he’s simply superb as both an experienced police detective (taking out Enger) and father (helping Helena give birth)… proving that men can be tough guys and sensitive all at once. We’re so used to Orphan Black’s awesomely-delivered feminism, it’s lovely to see that message being put across about a male character as well – although obviously it’s not the first time it’s happened.
You also have to hand it to Tatiana Maslany – for the millionth time – as the poor actor had to film two birthing scenes for one episode, and one of those scenes was from two viewpoints! That must have been pretty damn intense. And that’s without the tears in the back garden, as we see her let go of her grief and her fears about being a bad parent. The ladies come together as a family and it’s a joy to watch.
We’re also glad that Rachel comes through for them one last time, handing over the list of Ledas around the world (well done, Felix, for wheedling that out of her). All of which means that we can now imagine Delphine and Cosima travelling the world to give them the cure and having adventures along the way – how wonderful. Although just how many languages can Delphine speak? She puts us to shame.
And so, after five years of torment, our unique sisters finally have their happy endings. Most gloriously of all, their adventures have been chronicled in a book written by Helena named “Orphan Black”. Alison says, puzzled: “We’re not black.” Everybody laughs. They might not be black, but thanks to the end of this fabulous series, we’re definitely a little blue.
- A raving Westmorland randomly saying, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
- Despite being half-dead from blood loss and in terrible pain from her labour, Helena still has the energy to spit on Coady’s body.
- It’s incredibly unusual to see someone on TV or in film giving birth the way Helena does: in a crouching position, which is actually the more ‘natural’ way to do it (certainly more natural than flat on your back with your feet in stirrups). This is so fitting with Helena’s character.
- Helena’s home-made mobiles are a little Blair Witch, aren’t they?
- Sarah: “Oy, meathead! How are the boys?”
- Helena, looking at her babies in hammocks: “Dangling in their sacks.”
- Did you spot the white cross, a little nod to the frozen eggs in the Hendrixes’ garden that Helena buried?
- “I have a glass eye, no friends and no identity unless I want to be found. Leaves little room for elitism.” We don’t envy Rachel’s existence now.
- Jam burgers.
- How in the name of creation is Coady compos mentis after that horrible attack? She mops some blood off her face and carries on as normal. Talk about a hardnut!
- What happened to Scott in the end? Did he wind up settling down with Krystal’s friend, Bree, from a few episodes ago? We hope he found happiness and a life of his own. (The same goes for Hell Wizard too, obviously.)
- Oh, and how did Art explain away his links to Neolution and the fact Enger was (presumably) found cuffed in that building? He seems to have done so, though – and possibly adopted Charlotte to the bargain, although we’re not quite sure; she certainly went to stay with him, and turned up with him to the baby shower.
John Fawcett has suggested there could be more Orphan Black in the future: “We’ve talked since the beginning of wanting to do some kind of feature or some kind of two-hour continuation of the series,” he told Deadline Hollywood. So who knows? Maybe Clone Club will be back one day… Although, even if not, we’re still happy with this lovely finale.
Art: “Are you alright?”
Helena, on the floor at gunpoint and in labour: “Most excellent.”
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson