Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen "Guillotines Decide" or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.
I'm going to give you one more chance to duck out before I get started, because there's no being coy about the events of Episode 8 in Season 5 of Orphan Black. If you wish to remain unspoiled, turn back now.
For the rest of us, what can I say, chickens? This one hurts. To be honest, I didn't think Siobhan would make it out alive, but there was a part of me that conveniently forgot about my prediction that she'd die before the season ended. Because who wants to believe that a woman as smart, tough, and loving as Mrs. S wasn't going to make it out of this thing so she could finally give her family the life she always wanted to give them? But S. knew better than I did, and I take comfort in the fact that she went out on her own terms and took Ferdinand with her.
There's no doubt that we're in the endgame now and sh*t just got real. Neolution's been exposed, Rachel's untethered from both Dyad and Westmoreland and in hiding, Helena's been captured, Gracie's dead, and Virginia Coady seems to be controlling the muscle, which means the gloves are totally off.
But one of the beautiful things about this episode was its ability to unleash hell while keep most of Clone Club in a protective bubble, and give both the viewers and the online family they've come to adore a way to celebrate what makes us love Orphan Black so dearly.
I hope someone edits together the scenes from Felix's art show so we can spend some time appreciating each of the sestras and how unique they all are. For those minutes, we can see a future in which they're all happy, where they're all alive, and where they all have a family that loves them.
Oh great, I'm crying again. I keep doing that!
So let's drill down a bit into what happened and what we know now.
If anyone knew the risks going in, it was S, and she, more than anyone, knows how to make hard choices when no one else will make them. Especially when she knows the consequences mean someone's going to die. She's also pragmatic, and in the end I think she was right to do what she did. Someone had to make a deal with the Devil. Someone who'd convince Ferdinand they were willing to play hardball to get what they want and still make him think he was getting the better end of the deal. Siobhan's the one. No one else, no matter how clever or passionate or deadly, could have made all of this happen and, really, she only made one mistake; she underestimated the level of Ferdinand's rage. If she'd known, she'd have hidden her guns in better places and she'd have come in the door with a bazooka (I have no doubt she'd find one), but I also think she was tired and that may have played a part.
Maybe S thought she had past deeds to pay for and, while she'd have loved to have lived, the ledger needed to be balanced. Either way, I'll miss the hell out of her.
For all of us who had a feeling Delphine was up to something, now we know what it was and why she couldn't say anything. It not that we didn't know Delphine loved Cosima, but to see how far she went and the amount of danger she put herself in to save the woman she loves (and all of her sisters and friends) was so incredible. She's been the double agent, the information gatherer, and the boots on the ground through so much of this, and we finally understand what she and S. were up to together.
That last scene where she and Cosima send off the Neolution info and both of them finally being able to release the tensions and emotions of this whole journey felt like the exhale so many of us didn't know we needed right up until that moment.
Curated commercialized evolution.
Talk about a brave new world. The science, the money, mass genetic testing. Imagine what Neolution could do with that data. If they're not stopped, they'll be able to bioengineer humans with longer lives and healthier bodies–– to anyone who can afford it.
On a related note: I saw this article about scientists who have had a breakthrough in gene editing using a program called CRISPR. Imagine what they could do with Neolution style research.
Deals made and deals broken.
S. knew exactly what to offer Rachel: freedom. If Ferdinand hadn't been so hell-bent on being richer than Croesus, maybe both he and S would be alive today. But I think both S. and Rachel knew what was coming. Like S. says, they each do their own part to help the others.
Poor kid. She was doomed from the beginning, wasn't she? Mark may think he loves her, but he wants his life more and Gracie ends up dead on the floor because she tried to love him. Maybe Castors really are cursed.
Felix, the art show, and Clone Swap
What do I even say about this whole section? It's such a celebration of everything the Sestras are and what family means. Everyone's there for Felix, and he's made magic through art by bringing the clones together. Even the ones we've lost, Beth, M.K., they're all there. The whole sequence is wonderful, and I want to watch it multiple times.
Sestra Shenanigans -- new band name or new sitcom? You tell me.
Sarah knew something was up with S. She KNEW. Because she knows S doesn't take breaks. It's so interesting to watch once you know what happens.
"It's settled. We're gonna take a day off from crazy." -- I love Felix.
144 doses of inoculate. Could there really be that many Ledas? How bonkers would that be?
Helena's going to get free and kill the Neos. I have no doubt. And I think her babies will be born. But I'm not sure Helena will live to see them join their miracle family. I hope I'm wrong.
If one thing sums this episode up, it's Felix's speech at the end. It's why we love the show and why we care. Each clone is someone from a different home and a different life, but each of them is family. It's a discussion of nature over nurture, both the scene and the show. Who are we really and what makes us ... us.
I don't know about you, but I'm wiped emotionally. That said, I'll be back next week and I hope you will be, too.