Orphan Black - Manacled Slim Wrists

"Oh, chicken, no."

Here's Tatiana at her best.  When she plays a character, playing another character or at the very least, playing "at" another character.  In this case, spoofing the poor befuddled Krystal.

Contrast this image with the one of P.T. Westmoreland as the episode drew to a close.

Good grief, he looks like Satan.

This was a pretty fun episode that eventually devolved into the maudlin.  But when the good times rolled they really rolled.  So, let's not get too far ahead and start at the beginning.

A Breath of Fresh Air

I can only imagine Tatiana Maslany insisted Krystal Goderitch get some face time as the series drew to a close.  I can't imagine the rest of the production staff putting up much of a fight.  

"No Krystal, were done with her and she doesn't fit into our plans!"


When the episode opened with Krystal and her pal, Brie, a huge smile went across my face.   It had been a long day and I just needed a break.

Thank you Krystal!

I laughed out loud at her infectious enthusiasm.  Okay, not "at", with!  She was just the tonic I needed.  (Does anyone say "tonic" anymore?)  How Maslany pulls this off is a wonder.  I'd ask for a Krystal Goderitch spinoff show but I'll just tune into her Vlog.

As it turns out, Krystal was on to something. She suspected Big Cosmetics was up to no good as her pal Brie was losing her hair in outrageous clumps.  As luck would have it, an ex-beau of hers was into cosmetics and had just sold his business to Dyad.  After a little investigative work and a swift kick to the groin, we learned Dyad want to use the cosmetics as a dermal delivery system.

Does this part of the plot strike anyone else as convenient?  It was pretty thin. Why would Dyad need a dermal delivery system?  To cure the world or cull it?  Susan did mention something about genetically advancing the human race.  But through cosmetics?  It seems a little strange.

Well, no matter, any excuse to bring Krystal on is okay with me.  A bit of a stretch but I'll take it.

Plus, it gave us terrific reaction shots such as this one.  Art and Sarah collapsing back in their chairs in total exasperation with Krystal.  Too stunned for words.  

How fascinating it was to watch a character watch another character each played by the same actress?  I'll answer that question right now.

Very fascinating.

Which leads me to my next subject before we get to the maudlin.


Just look at this wonderful shot.  So meta!

Grant Harvey directed this episode and, oh, how I wish I caught the name of the DP.  (Director of Photography.)  Terrific work.

This shot above proves it alone.  Here, we have look at a character, a look that we are actually sharing with the character.  It's a moment of self doubt tinged with sadness at a betrayal.  A moment where Krystal isn't her usual exuberant self.  (I felt badly for her.)

The thing that works so great for this scene is, we know Tatiana plays several characters on this show.  But we get this look at a character looking at several images of herself that are all looking back at her.  So introspective.  It works on so many levels.  The meta one is just one of many.

Mind blown just a little.

Take a look at this gem.  Virginia Coady is back (no surprise) and she is having her face-off with Susan Duncan.  See how Coady blocks the light on the left where in contrast,  Susan is nearly bathed in the white light to the right?

Susan is also angelically dressed in white with her golden locks flowing while Coady is dressed darkly with her hair pulled back.  There is also a slight blue tint to the right while Coady's dark side is tinted in red.  Good versus evil.  (Yes, Susan you're the good guy.)

Note how P.T. smiles in the middle of it all, knowing how both sides are set against each other.

This was well staged.

I loved this shot too.  Cosima and Charlotte make their quiet escape from the boathouse.

My first impression was how C & C slipped out of the envelope of darkness and into the light of freedom.  (Even though this was at night.)  The boathouse with it's claustrophobic feel was analogous to the all encompassing choke hold Westmoreland and his minions had on the island and its people.  Cosima and Charlotte manged to break free from that grip.

The blue tint of the night sky was an amazing counterbalance to the pitch black of the boathouse.  A great perspective.  It's as if they are being reborn.

I wanted to include this slightly alternative look at P.T. and the end of this section.

Look at the way he is cast through the glass with the Revival village burning in the reflection.  It is very intense.  The fire is also reflected in his eyes giving him that demonic look.

The fires of evil burn deep within.

The Maudlin

Things started going straight to Hell once the Devil's handmaiden entered the scene.

Right after seeing Coady the unnerved Susan slaps Ira.  (I winced at that.)  Naturally, this seemed to have an accelerating affect on Ira's glitching.  Either that, or the stress got to Ira.  Which is saying a lot because he is a pretty placid guy.

Coady also plants the seeds of doubt in Ira by teasing him with a cure and how dare Susan never explore a cure for him.  Boy, she is on her game

We grieve for Sal who died in the last episode at the hands of Yanis.  Interesting we revisit this character.  Usually characters like this are "one and done" because they are just used for exposition.  This memorial service gives Sal agency which was a nice touch.

It wasn't long thereafter we learn Aisha has died.

The hits just keep coming and this is especially painful since everyone on the island was led to believe she was getting better.

Mud confesses to being a "Dirtbag junkie".  Ouch.  Poor thing.  She's a great little character and obviously she's conflicted.  She wants to do the right thing but feels beholden to P.T.  That's like owing Satan a favor.  Is she trapped on the island with Ira?

Want more of the maudlin?

See what happens when you play the angel earlier on?

Don't tell me you didn't feel something when Susan was revealed as dead.  She was just turning the corner and now this.

This was a little heartbreaking.  Look at poor Ira.  Susan was pretty much his world.  Now he and Mud are left on the island and all hell is breaking loose.  Hmm, left behind for a narrative reason?  To exact their revenge?  Not a crackpot theory but it fits.

Mud stands in the middle of all the chaos.  The devil can't be happy about all this.  Plus, two deaths in this episode!

Who's next?

We'll find out on the next Orphan Black.



  1. Can you explain why on earth the inhabitants of the island burned down their only means of shelter and sustinance?

    1. Ha! I was guesting on the "C" Word podcast last night and we discussed the same thing. I remarked something like, "If you're a villager, you don't burn the village, you march on Frankenstein's castle!" Oops for them, I guess they didn't watch too may horror movies. Hopefully the burned all the boats and the helicopter too. Duh!

    2. LOL Glad I didn't miss something.


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