Orphan Black refuses to go out quietly, as this week's episode proves

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Sep 3, 2019, 7:23 AM EDT (Updated)

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen "One Fettered Slave" 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.

This week's episode didn't come with a trigger warning, and I usually don't use them, but I'm going to say that if the content of last week's episode was hard for you, this week is definitely tough to watch, and so the recap may be challenging to read.

Show of hands, who's still recovering from the events of the episode? I know I am. Watching it at my place involved a lot of tissues and even some covering of the eyes, not to mention more than one shouted expletive. If all of this went on in the penultimate episode of the series, can you imagine what the finale will bring?

I can tell I'm stalling a bit writing this, so let's rip off the band-aid and dig in, okay?

Saying Goodbye

First and foremost, the funeral. I know some of you were hoping S survived, while others have been mourning her loss since last week. Ultimately, the funeral was a goodbye no one wanted to say. Not Sarah, or Felix, or Kira, or any of us who know the hardest goodbye is a week away. I think a lot of us know we'll see some major losses before the series ends, but it's still hard to be faced with it and experience it as a silent witness to it all.

S wrote, "I promise we will laugh at this difficult passing when we meet again." I'm not sure how long that will be, but I hope she's right. For now, it's just difficult.

Helena Then and Now

It was a long wait, but we finally have more of Helena's backstory. It's supremely f*cked up that she was punished and called the devil because she saw a nun engaged in what we know is perfectly natural but said nun considers shameful and evil. From there, she's given to Tomas, who we already know from previous episodes is a Prolethean fanatic. Still, knowing she was raised by him is altogether different from seeing how she was raised and how young she was when all of this started.

Given the depth of the abuse she suffered, we can see how much her sestras have helped her, but it's seeing her history that made her choice to kill herself in order to save her babies even more heart-wrenching. I'll admit, I first thought she was going to use the scissors to kill her babies, but once I realized what her plan was ... let's just say I don't think I was alone in crying.

Once Sarah showed up, we were once again shown the difference in them and it felt like a direct continuation of the nature vs. nurture conversation from last week. Sarah had S., Helena had Tomas. Sarah is tough, no doubt, but she's horrified by Helena's brutal dispatching of Virginia Coady. For Helena, it's justice –– and revenge.


You have to admire Rachel's steel will even if you hate her. Wounded, trapped, and running out of resources, she still manages to keep her cool. She's also instrumental in turning Al-Khatib and getting Sarah into Dyad, not to mention helping them all figure out that's where Westmoreland is holed up, thereby allowing Scott and Wizard to get in there and help Sarah and Helena get out. I still don't know if Rachel makes it out of all this. Personally, I don't think she can or, if she does, she'll disappear and become a beautifully complicated loose end out there ... somewhere.


What can I say? Sarah's Sarah. Plus, I just love that she calls Helena "Meathead." There's more, sure, but she's about to deliver twins any minute, so let's just stick with that.


When Sarah doesn't have the strength, Felix does. It's what family does. Felix has always been there, and he has a way of being exactly what's needed at the time: distraction, hard-nosed negotiator, truth teller, brother, the base of the pillar that keeps everyone else standing. Sometimes Felix is so many things that it's hard to even talk about him, because you'd go on forever. Needless to say, if Felix dies, we riot.

Virginia Coady

Ding, dong, the bitch is dead. Still, I'm curious as to what Coady's motivation was for all of this now that she's gone. Once upon a time, Virginia Coady was a bright young scientist who had a reason for joining Neolution. She killed the last Castor to appease Westmoreland, so what was it? Maybe we'll never know now that she's dead, but it's an interesting question. But what she said to Helena ... that was the last nail in the coffin.

P.T. John Patrick Mathieson Westmoreland

The man who would live forever is revealed as a sick, drug-using, dying old man who's given into the fanaticism of his own myth and will sacrifice everything and everyone to achieve his goal. He's willing to cut Helena's babies out of her body just for his cure, and he orders Mark's death with no problem. The Helena inside me hopes no one actually kills him. Instead, I hope he dies of old age, helpless to do anything about it. Given his fear of death, it feels like what he deserves.

Collateral damage: Art and Mark

You shoot a guy dead in the Neolution conference room, you're 100% in the mix and off the sidelines, which means Art is just as vulnerable as anyone else now. It's hard to say how all of this pans out, but I think he deserves to go home and start fresh.

As for Mark, he trusted until the end, but he was doomed from the start. At least he had love for a while, which is something in any lifetime.

Final Thought

The preview for next week looks like we'll get some happy with the sad. I have to say, I hope we get more happy. After five years and basically saving thousands of people, I think CloneClub has earned it.

See you then?

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