Orphan Black - To Right the Wrongs of Many
They nailed didn't they?
Stuck the landing. Made us happy. There were a few tears yes, especially in having to say goodbye.
But they totally nailed it.
I had fears the Orphan Black series finale would become a "Deathapolooza". One rife with revenge and characterized by carnage.
To be fair, Orphan Black has always had a fair amount of violence. From grisly human experimentation to stabbings and gunfights to self mutilation. I just didn't want them to become obsessed with it in their final episode when there was so much story to get to. Not to mention the all important closure we all needed.
As to the violence, as seen in the two pictures immediately above, OB had to make sure Coady and P.T. Westmoreland got their just deserts.
For some reason the bloodied but unbowed Coady had to linger on for one more episode. The head slamming Helena gave her wasn't satisfying enough from the previous episode. Coady had to get a total screwing over.
With a screwdriver.
Not that I'm against the beating she took. She definitely deserved it. But why extend this beating over two episodes? It makes me think they filmed the last two episodes together and there was a certain continuity to it. It's possible they were filmed separately and they lost track of the narrative surrounding Coady's beating. But, it felt like the episodes were filmed back to back and if you'll pardon the pun, the beat just had to go on.
Again, not that she didn't deserve it.
P.T. got his just due also.
Sarah made sure she put her personal stamp on Westmoreland's demise. Clank right to the forehead with the O2 tank!
She had managed to gut-shot him when she sprayed the lab with some bullets. But it was more satisfying to put a dent in the man and have him bloody well, "Shut up!" (He was such a Bond villain. Gloating to the end.)
Anyway, OB got it's thirst for vengeance out the way and it was on to greater things.
In typical rough and tumble fashion Orphan Black got to the business of Helena having her babies. Nothing ever comes easy for out favorite clones. So why should this miraculous event be any different?
It actually speaks to their grit and courage as sisters and clones. They can make the best of any situations and they are fine with doing anything themselves. They don't need the help of major institutions such as hospitals. Nor can they be stymied by them be it the Neolutionist movement or Dyad.
It's an important point to make as the Clones have always been made to go it alone. They hide themselves from society for fear of being shunned. Yet the conduct themselves with dignity and courage no matter what is thrown their way.
Perhaps we can label them as true pioneers of the future.
I'd like to add it was so great that Art was there for the "blessed event". Not only a brother in arms but like a real brother in reality. OB was definitely a female empowerment show. But characters such as Keven Hanchard's Art and the wonderful Donnie (Kristian Brunn) were main cogs in the machine and the salute to their contributions at the end with the renaming of "Orange" and "Purple" was a great tribute.
There were so many great shots from the birthing scene too.
Maslany gave quite the credible performance in giving birth to the twins. As Helena she looked to be suffering from real pain. The tears looked utterly convincing.
The baby looked pretty convincing too. They couldn't have used a real child could they? The squalling and post birth look seemed to be utterly real and they lent themselves to the joyous chaos that was going on.
The look on Art's face really sold me too. He looked totally relieved at the advent of the first child and the look of sheer happiness made me think Helena was really having a baby!
Once again Tatiana Maslany kills it by offering us a look of pure joy mixed with the aftermath of pain. When she hears the baby cry the look on her face as Helena is one only a mother could give. It is one of tenderness, love and the sadness for her little one.
The scene was given additional gravitas by punctuating it with flashbacks to Kira's birth. We were granted additional looks at "S" when she was there with Sarah. It was both powerful and sad because it lent itself to the stress Sarah was going to feel later on.
All in all one of the most convincing birthing scenes I've seen on TV.
We move ahead to a time where "Purple" and "Orange" rest comfortably in the safety of their garage apartment. Of course the Hendrix garage has been turned into a nursery! Only Orphan Black would take the site of two buried bodies and make it into one of bliss and safety. OB has such a wry sense of humor.
But, aha, We've skipped ahead in time. There no investigation by law enforcement. No screaming headlines of murder. No one is shackled with handcuffs. No careers are ruined.
Do we care that Orphan Black has decided to skip ahead of any recriminations of the Dyad shooting with bodies left everywhere?
I don't really. There is too much story to tell than to get bogged down in real life court cases, lives ruined by the carnage and the probable incarceration of all involved.
No, something happened and it all went away for the Clone Club. Did Art and his Lieutenant cover it all up and make the grisly tale go away?
Sure, why not.
It's not all hearts and flowers though as Sarah returns home. She looks about the old homestead, things are in disarray and an image of S looks forlornly from the mantle.
"S" not only haunts the old manse but she seems to be stuck in Sarah's psyche too.
While the joy of family is lost on Sarah it has reinvigorated the Hendrix household. Balloons, lanterns and the color blue abound as Donnie and Alison prepare for the big baby shower.
There's a little time for each other too.
Looking back at the time where Alison took the time to rediscover herself I've come to realize how healthy it was for her.
Cosima always had Delphine. While they were on the island they also came to an understanding about trust in their relationship. A very healthy thing to do.
Plus, Cosima could always lose herself in her work even under those somewhat hostile conditions. Now that she is free, the work continues and she is surrounded by her team.
Helena had snuck away to the convent. Even though that stay was rudely interrupted, she did have time to work on her journal. Now, of course, she is thoroughly involved with the twins.
But what of Sarah?
She's the one that stayed on mission despite all the other events swirling around her. She had smelled a rat when "S" was involved with her intrigue (the inside man Ferdinand Chevalier) and this just added to her burden.
Now that there is time to decompress she doesn't have "S" to bring her back to center. She's lacking focus as exhibited by her dismissal of her school studies. Her only other main family ally, Felix, is busy with his art and his new found relationship.
What is left for her?
This is where we all say, "What about Kira?"
That's a fair question. You'd think leaning on Kira would help. She could dive into the obligations of her own motherhood and lose herself in whatever her own daughter would need. This would seem particularly obvious in the wake of Helena having children.
But Sarah has created a dodge for this. She blurted out how she can't live in a home where Kira's grandmother had died. A reasonable argument. But it's more of what is known as "Projection". In other words, a defense for herself attributed to her daughter's needs.
Then there was this admission as the "Sestras" gathered in the kitchen during the baby shower.
I think it was Alison that bore the brunt of this stinging rebuke.
Just about everyone froze in the kitchen as Sarah lashed out.
Even more stunning was the sad admission Sarah can't find happiness.
A very serious problem.
What to do?
Help came on two fronts.
The Clones admit to their inner most fears. Cosima's was particularly funny/poignant when she admitted she had difficulty just holding one of the babies.
This proved to be very therapeutic for Sarah. To know her sisters are suffering from deep seated problems of their own. Sarah is not alone.
There was another important development.
One last return for Rachel. She's still too radioactive to meet with the other Sestras but she has brought along something of almost incalculable value.
A list of more Sestras!
A list of 274 to be exact.
This could be just the tonic Sarah needs. A new mission! The creative team behind Orphan Black have claimed they are interested in making an Orphan Black movie. Now the mission could go worldwide.
The revelation of the list and Helena's reading from her journal have a calming effect on Sarah. Hopefully her emotions are not just sublimated. Having her Sestra's around should have a lasting effect on her. With the possibility of a new mission on hand it should help with her focus. (Just don't forget Kira.)
It's all over but the dancing right?
Hold on a second Donnie. We've got a visual coda to take care of and you're part of it.
We catch up with Delphine and Cosima in sunny Columbia. The worldwide effort to eradicate the clone disease in on! This may well serve as the seed to any upcoming movie.
The patient seems to be Camilla Torres and naturally she thinks Delphine is hot. (We're not talking about the temperature here.)
Lest you think there were any lingering problems netween Cos and Delphine you can forget it.
We drift back to the bucolic setting of the Hendrix backyard.
There is a quick look at a Cross as we pan by. A memorial to "S" or a final resting place for the former garage denizens of the deep? Reader Ken L. suggests the cross acts as a marker where Helena buried her canister full of eggs. That certainly makes sense as the camera then pans to Helena and her babies.
Helena tend to the boys in the warm embrace of the sun. No more "Purple" and "Orange". The boys are dubbed Arthur and Donnie after two of great male heroes of this series. Orphan Black was and always will be a show of female empowerment but the indefatigable Arthur and the lovable Donnie should get their due.
We are left with this lovely "still life" of a living room. The family is off to catch some "Shite" fish and what they leave behind is something that reflects the warmth and happiness of home well lived in.
Orphan Black had a great run. There were a few viewers that drifted away from the show when the plot expanded to corporate intrigue. But the diehards stayed and were rewarded with a performance by Tatiana Maslany that eventually made her a star. The rest of the cast and crew was outstanding as well and it will be sorely missed.
Okay, now it's time to dance!