All season long, TVLine has obsessed over BBC America’s smart, inventive clone-conspiracy thriller Orphan Black. But we have to admit, we also fretted that the season finale might not be able to satisfy and shock us under the weight of all the impressive episodes that came before it.
We were wrong to worry.
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Not only did the hour pack a large death toll — the casualties just kept coming, one after the other, didn’t they? — it also confirmed some suspicions, uncovered a secret past or two and revealed a new thread in the clone science. The jam-packed finale even managed to find the time to introduce another doppelganger!
Since there were so many “OMG!” moments to discuss, we decided to go bulletpoints-style with the biggest revelations, twists and cliffhangers:
— First up, the deaths: Doing her best Sarah impression, Helena kills birth mom Amelia. Sarah arrives too late to intervene, then (seemingly?) takes out her twin sister with a gunshot to the chest — RIP, you crazy, but fascinating Ukranian. And in a particularly gasp-worthy moment, Alison lets her suspected monitor Aynesley, whose scarf has gotten trapped in the garbage disposal, asphyxiate.
— Dr. Leekie and his cohorts approach the main trio (Alison, Sarah and Cosima) with the one thing each of them most wants. Alison will get her normal life back and her monitor will be lifted. Cosima — who’s coughing up blood just like the German in the pilot — is offered the clones’ complete genome sequence. For Sarah, it’s all about Kira’s safety and protection from Helena. All they have to do is sign a contract, promising to come in for the occasional medical test. (Being a clone comes with potential health issues. Cough, Cosima, cough.)
Cosima, with Delphine’s help, discovers that a patent(!) is coded into their DNA, meaning the sign of goodwill and the promise of freedom is all B.S. Unfortunately, Alison’s already signed, scanned and emailed her contract.
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“We’re property. Our bodies, our biology, everything we are, everything we become, belong to them,” explains Cosima. And that means they could claim Kira, too.
— Meet the newbie, Rachel Duncan, a pro-clone who works (or perhaps calls the shots) for the enemy (along with Leekie). Her role is to transition Sarah to self-awareness. And she knows about Kira. Welp, that’s not good. Sarah’s reply to her offer of protection after learning about the patent: “UP YOURS, PROCLONE.” In response, Rachel places a call and ominously says, “You know what to do.”
— No Paul/Sarah hanky panky this week, but he does confess to her that he killed six marines as a private contracter in Afghanistan. “They” covered it up, so that’s what they have on him.
— Art and his partner track down Vic, which leads them to the ‘burbs and Alison. “That is another person entirely,” marvels the cop.
— Alison’s hubby Donnie promises her a fresh start…and then meets with Dr. Leekie! “She’s not easy,” says Alison’s not-so-better-half/true monitor. No kidding!
— Before she bites it, Amelia tries, but fails to give Sarah a message about her foster mother. An old photo hints that Mrs. S was a professor with something called Project LEDA in 1977. When Sarah returns home at the end of the episode, she finds that Mrs. S has run off (or been taken away) with Kira. Anyone else thinking Rachel called Mrs. S to give her the signal to run, and that now Sarah will have to play nice to get her daughter back?
Orphan Blacks fans, grade the season finale via the poll below and then hit the comments with your thoughts/theories! Also, how awesome was that musical score during the last act? And is there anything Tatiana Maslany can’t do?