Orphan Black S1 Ep10 – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

I started off watching this show on a whim without knowing exactly what it was about. To say I bit off more than I could chew is an understatement. Especially when it was so, so damn delicious. To be honest I didn’t think the show would keep my interest, that it would buckle under the weight of its own mythology or spiral out into a clone-of-the-week. I’m glad it did neither.

Orphan Black S1 Ep10 BirthmotherThis jaw-dropping finale starts with Art and Angie arresting Sarah at Mrs. S’ when Art learns of Sarah stealing Beth’s identification way back in the first episode. During the hubbub, Helena, who was moved into the basement, escapes after learning that Sarah is her legitimate twin. With Sarah in custody she has to make a tough call of divulging what she knows to Art, or protecting him from the crazy that has become her life. The hard part obviously would be to get Art to believe it all. And right as her moment of truth comes a-calling, so does a corporate lawyer from the Dyad Institute (the peeps behind the Neolutionists) ordering her release.

Warned to back off of their investigation of Sarah, Art and Angie decide to follow up on people from Sarah’s past, namely Vic the (very unfortunate) Dick. How far Vic has come since his run in with Paul and the nail gun, also the macing from Alison, and the finger amputation, that he is now a member of a rehab group. Facing a charge against selling stolen salted pork he gives them Alison, whom he still thinks is Sarah, rather than getting arrested. When they pull up to Alison’s house, they see another Beth lookalike but can’t make sense of it.

Now freed, Sarah is taken in to the Dyad Institute to meet last week’s mystery woman. If you guessed the mystery woman was a clone raised within the corporation with full knowledge of what she was, then you guessed right. So the mystery business clone is Rachel, and she offers Sarah and Kira protection if she signs a contract with them. They want to figure out who she is and what she knows about the conspiracy; in short, it’s thinly veiled threat in the form of hush money. She’s given twenty-four hours to think it over.

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Alison is approached by Dr. Leekie with a similar proposition: If she consents to bi-annual check-ups and testing, her monitor will be lifted and she can go back to how life used to be. Very tempting to not have a neighborhood watch party interrupted by your clones and their baggage.

Cosima also gets an offer from Leekie when she lands in town for the clone meetup. Here she is offered a job position to help study herself and her sisters, and as a token of good faith Leekie gives her a hard drive with her genetic sequence in it. To say Leekie “blinded her with science” is totally acceptable at this point. I’ll allow it. Cosima is also showing signs of respiratory problems and is coughing up blood, something that plagued clone Katya.

While the clones sit about discussing the pros and cons of their offers, Sarah wants more answers before she signs her rights over. So she decides to check back in with Mrs. S and her surrogate mother, Amelia. While Sarah preps an emergency runaway bag for Kira with a shotgun-toting Mrs. S, Amelia is meeting who she thinks is Sarah over at Beth’s. Not Sarah, no, it’s “How-could-you-let-them-do-this-to-me-mommy?” Helena, and she has that crazy knife. And the crazy knife stabs Amelia right as she was about to divulge information on Mrs. S. What a dangerous web is being spun here.

Back in suburgatory Alison sees that Aynesley is moving out. Thinking this is the promise of Dr. Leekie removing her monitor, she goes over to gloat around the bush. What happens is delicious voyeurism of accidental auto-asphyxiation. Yeah. These are the left turns this show so happily takes. So when Alison coyly confronts Aynesley about her move, Aynesley flips out about how Alison ruined their friendship and her marriage, so now she has to move. Aynesley’s so angry that she takes a felt angel Alison made for her and tries to jam it down the garbage disposal, only to have her scarf get caught in it. And rather than helping out, Alison she hesitates and watches her die. To her defense I thought she was going to interrogate her like she did Donnie, but then I wondered if part of Alison did want her to die because of the humiliation she visited upon her.

Rather than stick around and anonymously call for an ambulance, Alison runs home back across the street.  But not before removing her fingerprints from the home.

Finished up at Mrs. S’ house, Sarah heads off to meet with Angelia only to discover an empty house and a lot of blood on the floor. As if on cue, Helena calls Sarah for a family reunion. Sarah arrives just in time for Amelia to pass on a photo before bleeding to death. The photo is a picture of a young Mrs. S in a lab coat with another doctor and a guard. The back has all but blacked out information about a Project LEDA from July 1977. Seems Mrs. S isn’t as ignorant of the conspiracy as she let on.

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Helena confronts Sarah and they argue about being a family. Some light life-threatening wrestling occurs and Sarah fatally shoots Helena. Sarah has little time to comprehend her actions or what she sees in the photo, when she decides now is the time to call Rachel on her deal as a means to save her from the insanity around her. On her way there, though, Cosima cracks the code in her genomes and discovers that signing the papers is just a front. All of the clones and potentially Kira are already patented and owned. The Dyad Institute could legally do whatever they wanted with them; the contracts are just carrots on a stick, an illusion of choice.

Now knowing this, and with a strange pep talk from Paul, Sarah rescinds her agreement with a tactfully worded text. Alison, on the other hand, doesn’t get the memo in time. That, and with the added mental and emotional anguish of letting Aynesley die, she wants to start her life over and signs the contract. As a sign of turning over a new leaf, Donnie decides to go for a jog to show that he’s changing; he doesn’t get too far down the road. No, he gets into a limo with Dr. Leekie, confirming that Alison has signed. Yeah. Donnie was her monitor all along, whereas Aynesley got the rap for it and died.

Oh, but we ain’t over, ladies and gentlemen. After her eff-you message to Rachel Sarah heads back home to start over with Kira, only to find an abandoned and disarrayed house. Rachel wasn’t too happy with Sarah telling her “No,” so she made a brief phone call and now Kira is gone.

Orphan Black S1 Ep10 Orphan

Cue a thousand “What?!”s.

I forewarned everyone not to expect a lot of answers from this finale. Once they got contracted for a second season I knew that there were going to be loose ends dangling before our eyes. I just didn’t expect them to hurt as much as they did. Well played.

The main questions left are who Rachel called, was it Mrs. S or someone else, and did Kira take off through the open window on her own, or was she caught. That is one of the things that get to me the most: the fate of children.  I may not like child actors a lot of the time, but it doesn’t mean I’m callous to what happens to a child on a show. So now I’m going to spend the next year hoping that Kira doesn’t get hit by another car or worse.

I’m kind of hoping that next season they explore the Prolethians and Maggie Chen a bit more, as well as shedding light on Mrs. S’ involvement. I had always suspected Mrs. S of knowing more than she let on, to the point that I was sure she splintered off from the Dyad Institute/Neolutionists to protect Sarah out of some feeling of guilt. Seems I might be right.

The revelation of Rachel shows that they aren’t done introducing us to more clones, so I am expecting a few new faces this next go-around. And while we’re at it, I hope we meet the original. You can’t just make a clone out of thin air; you have to have an original to copy. Unless we discover these aren’t strictly clones, but rather copies of an artificially sequenced human embryo. I will also settle for the revelation that the original is a cryogenically frozen fertilized embry,o and the clones are all the potential lives it could have had. But I am fully expecting the original to be an old woman.

Sorry, my mind treats things like this like a Baskin Robbins amusement park where I can create 21 different rollercoaster rides.

Wow. Hats off to everyone involved in this show. It really impressed. Now I am off to find more stuff done by these John Fawcett and Greame Manson guys. Does anybody have an extra Tatiana Maslany show I should watch? I could watch her eat a sandwich as eight different people.

 

Catch up with the Orphan Black finale, or with the whole season, on Amazon Instant Video.