Boob(s On Your) Tube: SHE IS RISEN!

Hello and happy Friday afternoon, my friends. I’m still not caught up on Person of Interest, but I promise I will force myself to finish it this weekend so we can talk about it on Monday. In the meantime, a super huge mega thing happened on Orphan Black last night and I want to holler about that for a little while! The only other big thing that has happened since Tuesday’s Boob(s On Your) Tube is that Pretty Little Liars announced Paige McCullers will be back for season seven!


Orphan Black

Thursdays on BBC America at 10:00 p.m.

she-is-risen

This has been the best season of Orphan Black since the original one, in large part because the writers have finally realized we’re really, really willing to suspend our disbelief so there’s no need to zig-zag around at lightspeed with storylines and constantly shifting big bads to keep us from having time to think about how the science on this show is absurd. It’s always been absurd! We’ve never cared! Season four has been digging deeper into the Leda clones and examining more and more of who they are and why they do what they do, and it’s been a joy to experience. Also a joy is the fact that the Castor clones are no longer relevant outside of Ira being a vanilla lackey, and Paul is gone, and so really honestly it’s just women doing it for themselves and for each other. And Felix, too, of course. Brother-sestra forever.

The best joy, though — the super number one top mega joy — of this season is that DELPHINE CORMIER IS ALIVE. She told us not to be scared. She promised us she would never leave us. And it was true! “The Mitigation of Competition” ends in a shack in the woods (presumably on the island where Cosima is working with Susan Duncan right this very minute). Delphine is listening to some French music and doing some calculations and science things at a table with a desk lamp. She’s working to save those sestras, just like she promised Cosima she would do. Getting shot in the chest did not stop her, no it did not! Maybe she even faked her own death!

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My friend Valerie and I watched this episode together last night and she guessed almost immediately after it was over that Delphine has one real eyeball and one Rachel Duncan-style eyeball and she’s communicating with her on purpose with it. I mean, immediately after we both leapt up from the couch and danced around and high-fived and hugged and both nearly fainted dead away. 2016 has been a horrible TV season! Delphine’s resurrection felt almost too good to be true! Actually, no. It felt like something we deserved, goddammit.

There’s going to be so much to cover in next week’s finale.

Krystal’s memories of what happened to Delphine, for starters. And somehow Rachel’s going to have to get back to the island to figure out how to literally chop the head off of Neolution like Delphine’s been figuratively showing her how to do with their robotic eyeball connection. Cosima and Charlotte have to get away from Susan and also get cured; they’re both fading pretty fast, it seems like. We’ve got to put Evie Cho and Brightborn to bed, which shouldn’t be too hard since Rachel has basically delivered her to the Feds wrapped in a bow. And Lord, the dead bodies Helena and the Hendrixes are going to have to bury and clean up after. That house is a perpetual snuff film these days!

Speaking of which, did you notice Orphan Black hadn’t played Helena’s trademark skreee-skronk music all season until she fired that arrow through that Neolution guy’s skull? I loved Ali’s face when she looked over and saw Helena standing there in her beaver-trapper outfit with longbow in her hand. Just like of course.

Orphan Black is the only show on TV that consistently flips the gender paradigm on its head. It’s always the women, the mothers, who are the ones doing the saving. Helena is about twenty months pregnant, making sure Felix doesn’t need to be rescued and then assuming (correctly) that Donnie and Alison do.

“You are safe?” With Helena and Delphine around, we always will be.

I am eager to hear your thoughts and feelings about Delphine and what the heck you think is going to go down in next week’s finale.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 902 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. I think this was the best episode of the entire season. I knew Helena was going to rescue them, but still, her barging in with that HAT and that BOW and shooting ManBun right in the throat was the most glorious thing I have ever seen. Angry angel, indeed. God, I’ve missed her.

    And DELPHINE. I’m going to be really interested to hear about what she’s been up to, and why she hasn’t been able to contact the sestras until now. And what the hell the swan-killing camp in the woods has to do with anything!? And how Krystal ties into it?! So many loose threads and only one more episode – I can’t wait!!!

  2. Looking forward to this so much.

    Great description of Helena’s music. I HATE Helena’s music almost as much as I love Helena. She doesn’t need it! She is already creepy and lovable and perfectly formed without it!

    • Heh. Can’t trust anyone anymore, can we?

      But fwiw, on “After the Black” the guests (the actors who play Felix and Donnie) were saying they’ve known all season that she would be back, and they’re aware of the issue we’ve been dealing with (of getting killed wantonly in every show) and they were having a hard time keeping mum about her return, because they knew how important it was.

      So hopefully it’s not some BS like was pulled by we-all-know-who.

  3. This was an amazing episode for several reasons, first, the obvious one, Delphine is ALIVE. Then we have Helena (I’ve missed you girl) and Machiavellian Rachel making a comeback.

    So this was me last night…

  4. Am I the only one who never thought Delphine was actually dead? I thought it was pretty clear when we didn’t see her body that she’d be back at some point, though I think the show has been brave to leave it this long in the season before she came back. It was interesting to see how Cosima reacted to events when she thought Delphine was gone, and how important the knowledge that she was alive was to her.

    I also loved how Helena turned up just as Alison was praying to God to save her. Bringing the whole angel symbolism back was a nice touch.

  5. I got so emotional this morning when I thought about how BIG this reunion is gonna be next week (assuming it happens in the season finale). We were a hairsbreadth away from a Romeo and Juliet moment before Felix told Cosima that Krystal saw Delphine alive (it’s complicated). She thought she was dead and so she was going to kill herself! (“”for science””) But now they have a one-up on even fucking Romeo and Juliet because they’re both alive and on the same island and they are going to be together again because they are so in love that they can’t die!! like bye this is too much. OK I’ll collect myself a little. But it just seems amazing that there’s this BIG, epic romance going on that’s referencing the Great Western Romances, and it’s two women. It’s just nice to see.

  6. So, it’s just me or Evie Cho is the worst villainess in history? That woman can’t catch a break with her evil doing, every single crap she tries backfires. Even the cartoonish villains in the 60’s Batman got their way from time to time.

    • Not just you. I’m really hoping in the finale we find out that there is someone above her pulling the strings, because otherwise she’s probably the least-scary Big Bad of any season of television ever. Where’s Marion Bowles? Did she just leave Charlotte with Susan and then disappear? Can she come back? She’d make a much better villainess.

    • Dunno, I think the entire stretch from the end of episode 6 to the end of episode 7 is quite possibly the worst a Big Bad has laid low the sestras in this show. And that’s not even counting that shit Evie pulled with Beth.

  7. I’m interested to see how Orphan Black is going to explain the really gross interview they released 3 days before the season premiere that “confirmed” Delphine was dead, in which Tatiana Maslany said it was reductive to make the reaction to Delphine’s death about the fact the she was bisexual/part of the trop. Also, one of the showrunners made a joke that if they just did what the fans wanted, “Delphine and Cosima would just be naked in bed and that would be the show”. Was it supposed to be satire? (https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2016/04/11/tatiana-maslany-laments-reaction-to-spoilers-death.html)

    I love the robot eye communication idea! I hadn’t thought of that but it’s a brilliant idea. I almost melted when I heard Helena’s theme. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until I heard it. I hope she goes back to her little fur house and stays safe during the finale. I cry a small tear of joy every time Sarah and Helena call each other and say “sestra” and “meathead”. Their relationship has developed so much since season 1 and it’s beautiful.

  8. The “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer” and “Wynonna Earp” parallels are getting scary.
    Wynonna is Buffy, the reluctant Slayer that is trying to get the job done.
    Willa is Faith, the girl who started out good, but has gone dark and wild.
    Waverly is Willow, the studious researcher who has a connection to magic, and she’s…kind of gay.

  9. DISSENTING FEELINGS REPORT:

    I’m (I guess) the only one who was firmly on team ‘Hopefully Delphine is dead’.
    I just found her presence hindering to the storytelling and to Cosimas arc and Cosima actually connecting with the larger story. How much stuff has Cosima done this season compared to when Delphine was present? SO MUCH STUFF. I hope they meet, make their peace and part ways (but instead it’s gonna be live-action fan fiction because her role is primarily to be one half of Cophine).

    I know this is unpopular. But it’s how I feel. I think every storyline featuring Delphine has been a dead end, I think her exit made perfect sense (if anything she was kept on longer than she should’ve been) and I’m ambivalent at best about them walking it back. She couldn’t exit without dying because they’d written themselves into a corner when they doubled down on the undying love bullshit – she won’t leave, Cosima won’t let her leave, she has to die when her storyline meets it’s natural end as a result. Backlash has let them walk it back and I disapprove. They should’ve let them break up in season 1 so both characters could do something other than circle each other in distrust and lust.

    I also question why all talk about queer women on Orphan Black center around Delphine instead of Cosima (who’s had a great season!) – nothing about Orphan Black got less queer with Delphine gone and the storytelling certainly didn’t suffer. Their commitment to keeping the queerness going on this show has been interesting and welcome. I think that’s quality representation.

    Anyway, Delphine – ugh. I don’t understand why this character was missed or why people want her around.

    • Until 4×07, Delphine was the only bisexual character on the show. So for a lot of people, supposedly killing her off — not to mention ERASING her bisexuality from S2 onward — was a shit move. Meanwhile, Cosima and Felix are allowed to live. (I have similar criticism regarding the show’s treatment of Tony Sawicki. You introduce a trans Leda clone, send him away with a clone phone, and we don’t hear from him after that? Really? Even Clone Clubbers have erased him.)

      Personally, I’m glad Delphine’s alive and am curious to see what went down the night she was shot (who shot her? Who carried her away? Where is she now?), and I am still grateful that she exists as a character, as it is incredibly rare to see someone on TV who realized they weren’t straight until they were well into adulthood (IT ME). But I haven’t shipped Delphine and Cosima since the beginning of S2. IMO, there’s still a part of Delphine who considers Cosima and her Leda siblings (hello, Tony Sawicki is still out there somewhere!) as property and not people. I also am one of the few who thought Cosima did nothing wrong and didn’t need to apologize to Delphine for anything back in 3×10; it should have been the other way around. There was a very unhealthy power dynamic there, and it’s Delphine (not Cosima) who needs to sort out her bullshit before they can even consider rebuilding a relationship (one based on trust and honesty, not on lies and deception). And given the showrunners have said Cophine is end game… well,…

      Pretty much the minute various Clone Clubbers saw Delphine in 1×05, they were in love, and many of them became Evelyne Brochu fans as a result of this show. To a certain extent, she’s kind of eclipsed Tatiana in popularity among fandom.

      • ‘I am still grateful that she exists as a character, as it is incredibly rare to see someone on TV who realized they weren’t straight until they were well into adulthood (IT ME).’

        Exactly. The fact she actually talks about realising she is bi on the show makes her a really important character for me.

  10. You know, this show definitely has a Dumbledore vibe:
    There all of these huge organizations, military, mercenaries, zealots, millions and billions of dollars at their disposal, trying to hunt down the seestras, but they always come up short due to the love the seestras have for one another and their connections to others born out of the same sentiment.
    I mean, just look at Ms.S, Art, Delphine, Paul, Felix..
    That said, I can’t wait for Alison and Helena to finally, really connect and to learn Delphine’s story.
    As perfectly as I thought her exit was orchestrated, I’m really glad the puppy is back.

  11. I meeaannnnnn I never really thought she was gone but also, I hadn’t seen the ep yet and the headline/photo combo from the website landing page was an instant spoil D:

    Could it be changed to some ambiguous general Orphan Black photo with the tagline ‘THE ANSWERS YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR’ or something so that others can be spared the painful spoilered fate? (Even though I’m also pleased I’ll be seeing Delphine’s outrageously lovely blonde French angel face again soon?)

  12. You guys. I’m thinking about the Cophine music (you know the music, their music) that will inevitably serenade them in their finale reunion and it’s honestly a bit much to be honest??

    *sobs into nearest ravine*

  13. I was more excited than I thought I would be to see Delphine – my cheer went up when I saw Helena in her unbelievably awesome bear trapper outfit and her ‘place of her own’. She is by far my favourite character on the show, if not on TV.

    And I LOVED the exchange between her and Adele – “Did you just step up to me, little triplet?” cracked me up – oh, Adele. Just try to get through this alive, you glorious, gorgeous drunk.

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