“Orphan Black” Episode 501 Recap: Once More, With Feeling(s)

The bittersweet time has come for us to say hello to Orphan Black one more time before we say goodbye again. Our girls have been through the ringer, and the stakes are still high as we pick up right where we left off. Before we just into the episode, let’s check on where we left some of our girls:

Helena and Alison were on the run and camping out with Donnie in the woods. Cosima ran with Charlotte to head for a boat to freedom but almost got hypothermia and Delphine had to use her body heat to warm her. Rachel had snapped and attacked Susan and Sarah. Sarah escaped within an inch of her life and scrambled across the island, bleeding out from a stab wound in her leg from her darling robo-eyed sestra.

We pick up from there, Sarah beaten down and bloody, dragging herself across an island she doesn’t know how to get off. She uses her 2% remaining phone battery to call Felix and tell him that Kira and Mrs. S were kidnapped by Ferdinand and send him to check the safe house. She also mentions Rachel’s hostile takeover, and that she’s not coming back without Cosima.

Sarah is on the phone looking hella stressed

“This isn’t the time for ‘new phone, who dis’ jokes, Felix!”

Felix has Ira tell Sarah where they could be taking Cosima, and Ira gets out something about it being downstream from “the village” before Sarah’s phone dies.

Meanwhile, in said village, Rachel is ascending a long, ancient-looking staircase, looking pleased as a peach whose manic dreams are coming true.

Sarah luckily has a book of matches from Bobby’s bar on her, and (terrifyingly) uses a picture of Kira as kindling. She wraps her broken fingers and uses a tampon to stop the bleeding from her stab wound, though as she tightens the tourniquet around her leg, she passes out and dreams of Kira begging her to wake up. “There’s so much to do today,” the prophetic little angel monkey hallucination says.

Sarah wakes up and hears a noise in the woods, which is frankly probably not the friendly neighborhood unicorn.

Sarah hears a noise and looks around worriedly

Or hell even a deer would be swell.

Something attacks her and rolls around OVER THE FIRE with her for a bit and we never get a good look at it but it gave me some serious Island of Dr. Moreau vibes. She beats it off with a stick on fire and whittles a part-walking stick, part-weapon until it’s light enough to continue on.

Across the island, Cosima wakes up in a yurt, alone but alive. I spent some time in a yurt at this year’s A-Camp, but Cosima’s seems to be lacking an inflatable unicorn full of beer and La Croix. Instead, she has a door that’s locked from the outside, her bag missing the cure she stole from Rachel, and a note presumably from Delphine that says, “Follow my lead.” Speak of the beautiful bisexual scientist, she’s outside fighting with the man who is called simply The Messenger. Cosima knows now, though, that Delphine is alive, that it wasn’t a hallucination.

Cosima holds a wee piece of paper

“Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

A young, plucky girl comes into the yurt and says her name is Mud. Which…is fine, I guess. She tells Cosima this place is called Revival and that they’re an almost-entirely-self-sufficient, off-the-grid community. She smiles creepily and watches Cosima a little too closely as she shows her around, telling her she won’t be allowed to call her sisters in the same chipper tone she tells her they have a fish farm.

Mud says that people are selected from all over the world for this community to build a genetically improved human race. “We all contribute and we all benefit.” Yikes.

Cosima asks about her stolen science and Rachel Duncan, and Mud gets all giddy as she explains that Rachel is “in seclusion” with P.T. Westmoreland, The Founder of Neolution, age 170.

Cosima finds Charlotte in a little school hut and Mud calls them “Tweedle Tall and Tweedle Small” which prompts Cosima to tell Charlotte to ignore her. It was subtle but hilarious and the delivery was just A+. They do indeed ignore Mud and talk about how Delphine will have their backs and Susan will probably pull through.

Cosima and Charlotte smile at each other like the cutie patooties they are

It must be so weird to be talking to someone who looks like you as a kid.

Meanwhile back on the mainland, Felix goes to the safe house to find a bloody mess and almost attacks an intruder with a frying pan, only to discover it’s Art. Art is stressed because between the police and Vice milling about the station, he can’t tell who’s Neolution and who’s not anymore. He tells Felix to warn what sisters he can, so Felix calls Allison and tells her to stay put.

Unfortunately staying put isn’t exactly in Allison’s repertoire, so she starts packing everyone’s things up almost immediately upon hanging up the phone.

When Art does get back to the station, he’s told he has a new partner. Her name is Maddie, and she’s ditching her last partner because apparently she was too nice. So now she’s Art’s problem.

Maddie is making a deceptively cute little pouty face DON'T TRUST HER

10/10 would let her punch me in the face

(Queer Trivia Sidebar: Maddie is played by Elyse Levesque, who also played the Guinevere to Sara Lance(lot) in the Camelot episode of Legends of Tomorrow last season.)

On the island, Sarah is hiding in the reeds and hears men hunting her down to bring her to Revival with “the other one” which is a VERY RUDE WAY to talk about my Cosima, SIR. So Sarah hobbles across a river, dragging her injured leg, blood still on her face, determined as ever.

At Revival, Delphine is working at the clinic and treating a little girl from Afghanistan. Her mother says they came here for “The Fountain” and this news makes Delphine do the most heartbreaking thing with her face before giving the girl a small, sad smile.

Delphine looks so so sad about how much hope this family has


After the girl and her mother leave, Delphine closes and locks the door and starts mussing about, hiding Cosima’s cure in the lab fridge, pocketing the little girl’s file, and stalling while The Messenger demands she come unlock the door right this instant. She smoothly lies and says the newbies must have locked it accidentally on the way out, but The Messenger doesn’t care that much. He’s just here to…well, deliver a message. “He” wants to see Delphine right now.

Back at Rabbit Hole Comics, the boys are feeling stumped without any of the sestras to help them. But prodded by Felix’s sass, Scott, Ira, and Hell Wizard come up with a plan to use Kira’s Minecraft game to try to reach out to MK, the only sister who can help them now.

Out in the field, Art’s new partner is showing how charming she is by brushing her teeth in the car, and then playing her hand.

Maddie watches Art read her file folder of doom

Spoiler alert: all her cards are jokers…plus probabl y at lest one of those little information cards you forget to take out of the deck before you deal

Her hand being that she knows he knows more than he’s letting on about the clones, and if he doesn’t help her find them, he’ll regret it. Maddie drives this point home by including, in this file, a picture of Art’s daughter.

Out in the woods, Donnie and Helena are loon calling to each other. That is a sentence I never could have dreamed, but holy doodle do I love it so. But wait it’s about to get better: Helena sees a man lurking nearby so switches to the EMERGENCY LOON CALL.

Helena is in full outdoorsy gear doing the loon call

I can’t tell you how badly I want to learn how to do this so I can emergency loon call my way out of awkward situations at bars.

But it’s too late, the men black bag Allison and carry her away, and though she calls out for her husband, he runs to the pregnant clone instead, wheely bag dragging behind him.

When Felix arrives back at the safe house to get the Minecraft laptop, a man named Mr. Frontenac surprises him and, after explaining that there’s just one faction now, and it’s Neolution, makes it clear that Felix has few options besides coming with him.

Alison is taken to the side of the road where Art and Maddie were waiting, and is asked where the rest of the clones are, starting with Helena. Alison doesn’t know, and when she keeps insisting she doesn’t know, even through Maddie kidney-punching Art and holding a gun to his head, Maddie accepts her answer. And I’m starting to think maybe this Maddie gal is a bit…unhinged.

Maddie smiles suspiciously at Allison

Her mouth is smiling but her eyes are stabbing.

Back in the yurt, Charlotte reads the book about Revival to Cosima and even she can tell something ain’t right about this place. Cosima starts to explain to her that myths usually combine fact and fiction to teach a lesson.

Cosima and Charlotte smile over a book together

I want in on this book club.

But before she can tell us what lesson we’re supposed to be learning in this cult city, Delphine comes in and they can finally talk. Cosima tells her she thought Delphine was dead, but Delphine explains they wouldn’t let her contact Cosima. The Messenger is looming and Delphine says pointedly, “We each have a role here,” as she tells Cosima she’s being sent to Sardinia and if people could stop sending Delphine to countries where Cosima is not that’d be GREAT THANK YOU.

Delphine gets the Messenger to give her and Cosima ten minutes alone, where she quickly catches Cosima up on getting shot in the gut but saved by the science of Revival. Cosima is still stuck on the idea of a 170-year-old man, but Delphine says the science is real. As if to prove it, Cosima lifts Delphine’s shirt, and when she sees a scar right where Delphine said it would be, she kisses her belly.

Cosima leans down to kill Delphine's scar and it's not as weird as it sounds it's actually surprsingly cute

How funny would it have been if Cosima blew a raspberry though?

Delphine explains that Revival is a decades-long longevity study that uses risky and rare science experiments to genetically approve the human race, starting with being able to live a long-ass time. Revival is the heart of Neolution. Self-directed evolution. Delphine says that Rachel is doing something to ramp things up, which surely can’t be great, but that she thinks the little girl she treated has something to do with it. She slips Cosima the girl’s file, a key to the clinic, and directions to her cure as the Messenger comes in to tell them their time is up.

Delphine pulls Cosima in for one last kiss, full of desperation, full of hope.

Delphine kisses Cosima and it's perfect

Happy Pride Month, one and all.

And as she pulls away she looks in Cosima’s eyes and says, “Follow the crazy science.”

Delphine and Cosima sit a breath apart


Delphine exchanges one last look with Cosima, and then she’s gone.

Cosima looks VERY SAD as Delphine leaves. Like. VERY SAD.

Is love not allowed in this genetically perfect society or?

And I’ve watched that scene a dozen times and every time tears spring to my eyes. Surely that won’t be the last we see of Delphine, but it sure felt like goodbye.

Delphine looks back at Cosima one last time before leaving

Can we keep a lock of your ha—NEVERMIND JUST PLEASE DON’T LEAVE

In the woods, poor Sarah is still hobbling around trying to avoid the men with guns and tracking dogs like she’s in my least favorite part of any video game. She finds a tower with some furs, and falls almost directly on an animal that has been stabbed with a makeshift spear and gutted, which she uses as a distraction as she hides behind a nearby log. One of the men on this hunt is a little alarmed by the hanging furs and the stabbed animal, but another man says it’s a bear in a way that says he knows it’s not a bear but they’re not going to talk about it being anything else but a bear.

So they give up and head back to the village, offering an insincere “good luck” in Sarah’s general direction.

At Revival, Cosima is eating when creepy cult music plays from the speakers, and Mud grabs her and drags her to the stairs, because PT has a message for them. Rachel descends the staircase and address the crowd like a brainwashed drone clone and says that they’ll be drinking from the fountain first, those here at Revival. She might as well have called it kool-aid for the look on her face when the crowd cheers.

Rachel looks positively batty basking in the applause of the village

Is Rachel going to start marrying all the village’s women now? That’s usually next, right?

Sarah made it to Revival just in time to catch the end of that speech and is feeling very WHAT IS HAPPENING about the whole thing. Which, same.

Now, earlier I said Donnie was opting to save the pregnant clone instead of his already-captured wife, but as he uncovers and unlocks their getaway car, I’m now not so sure he wasn’t just going to save his own butt. He’s set upon by another man with a gun, but is saved by a SCREE SCRAW and Helena pouncing on the man. They knock the guy out but when Helena fell to the ground, a branch stabbed into her stomach, so Donnie has to get her to the hospital STAT.

Later that night, Cosima sneaks out through the yurt window, creeping past Mud, asleep on her watch. She makes her way to the clinic and finds her cure, right where Delphine said it would be, and opens it with shaking hands. Sarah appears then, scaring the crap out of her, and saying she’s here to get her. Cosima looks at her supposed savior, bleeding all over and limping, and tells her to sit down so she can treat her wounds.

Sarah sits and Cosima crouches in front of her to talk

Just Tatiana treating Tatiana’s wounds and casually patting Tatiana on the knee, nbd

When they’re done, Sarah says they should leave now, who cares about a 170-year-old man, but the thing is, Cosima does. Cosima says that if she leaves now, the sestras will never be free. So sorry she hobbled all this way, but she can’t go with her.

The Messenger finds Mud asleep at her post, and starts a search for the missing clone. Sarah doesn’t want to just leave Cosima, or go back out to face the Not-Bear, but tells Cosima to find some answers and take care of herself and heads out. Together so briefly.

Cosima quickly puts on gloves and is working up the courage to jab the needle with her cure in it into her own uterus when she’s interrupted by The Messenger, Rachel Duncan close behind. Rachel tells The Messenger to leave, then surprises us all by taking the needle from Cosima, only to offer to do the procedure for her.

Cosima looks doubtingly up at Rachel

I wonder if it’s easier or harder to trust someone who has the same face as you.

Rachel says PT wants Cosima to be part of “this” whatever “this” is so she injects Cosima with the cure. Finally, finally. The music is triumphant, and Cosima looks like she let out a breath she’s been holding forever, a breath we’ve all been holding; her for months, us for years. And Cosima finally, finally has some relief.

Cosima cries a tear of relief; she's finally sure she's going to be okay

I don’t know how to cry happy tears but I SURE CAME DAMN CLOSE

Outside, Sarah lurks about until she finds the rumored boathouse, but because life isn’t fair, as soon as she has the keys in her hand and the boat untied, she’s hit with a tranq dart. Her vision flashes between more hallucinations of Kira and the actual sight of Rachel looming over her, until she loses consciousness completely.

Sarah looks up at Rachel as she starts to pass out from the tranq dart in her NECK

“You know what? Fuck it. I needed a good sleep anyway. Night, bitches.”

And there we have it! We laughed, we cried, we quirked our eyebrows and cocked our heads. So help me out, friends: what in the sam heck is going on?? What are these Neolutionists up to, and what on Earth is that “fountain” business all about? Tell me all your thoughts and feelings please and thank you.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 565 articles for us.


  1. I don’t know about you guys, but I sure died a little when Cosima said “I just need something to hold on to.”

    Also, Valerie Anne, I don’t know you, but damn, I’m your newest fan. How dare they refer to Cosima as “the other one”. She is the best one, damn it!

    MORE, PLEASE. ALSO, DON’T, I don’t want it to end.

  2. Valerie Anne, I sure do love your screen caps! My favorite thing to do is read your screen caps before I watch the episode.

  3. I am assuming “The Fountain” is whatever PT used to not die, and others are interpreting it as a “Fountain of Youth” but I am betting he looks like 500 kinds of fucked up and decaying but just alive.

    Also: COPHIIIIIINE forever

  4. Donnie’s “Oh Jesus” when he sees Helena behind the black ops guy was the hardest I have laughed at this show in a long time. Donnie and Helena together remain one of my very favourite scene pairings in this show.

    Bets on whether Westmoreland is actually alive, or is someone pulling the strings like some kind of Wizard of Oz shit?

    Also, is there ANYONE out there who can explain Rachel’s motivation to me? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND her endgame, or any of her reasons for doing the crazy fucked up things she does. It seems her reasons change from scene to scene, from episode to episode, season to season, depending on which faction of evil she’s currently working for/with/against and depending on which sestra she’s interacting with.

    • I’m thinking Rachel is just someone who’s been manipulated all her life and is just using the tools that she was taught to regain control of her own life

    • I think she’s just Slytherining her way through this world and will do whatever it takes to be on top.

      • So you think all she wants is power? Does she really care about finding a cure? Does she really care about wanting a child? Does she really care about her parents? Does she really care about Neolution?

        • I think she wants autonomy over her own body. This is what the show is about. Sarah is fighting for her autonomy the only way she knows (with her fists and street smarts) and Rachel is fighting for hers the only way she’s ever been shown (by rising to the top)

    • I think that Rachel is deeply resentful of the fact that she can’t have children. She’s idolized her parents, who were “dead” and couldn’t contradict her picture of them. Then, in the space of a REALLY short time, she finds out that Sarah was originally supposed to be their child (and that she was the consolation prize when Sarah went missing), that Sarah can have children, that her father designed her the way that she biologically is, and putting all of those things together she sees that Sarah was supposed to be the Duncan’s “special” child that could have children, and that she was just supposed to be another of the experiments. That might have an effect on someone’s mental state of being. But now she’s corrected all of that, and all of the frustration that she’s felt has been lifted.

    • I don’t remember thinking ‘Damn!’ like I did during her first scene on OB, so, most definitely, yeah.

  5. Hello Clone Club! It’s that time of the year again! It’s CLONESBIAN CHRISTMAS! I’m SO EXCITED!

    So… I think P.T. Westmoreland is long-dead, and the powers that be (whoever that is/they are) are using ‘him’ as a ploy to attract willing subjects for their experiments by giving them a fake leader and false expectations. Has anyone in Revival actually seen the guy? Why is Rachel (and Susan before her) passing on his message, rather than P.T. just doing it himself?

    Also, WHERE DID REVIVAL GET THAT CREEPY CULT SONG? Did they recruit the guy who composed the song for that disturbing Willy Wonka puppet show, give him a bunch of acid, and tell him to ‘do his thing’?

    Lastly, I was hoping this season would be at least 55.6% Cophine fluff. There’s still time, though; I bet there isn’t any Eskimo Pie in Italy, and Delphine will be wanting a fix ASAP.

    • Oh, wait, someone else already commented a similar Westmoreland theory. I guess this means it must be true, then. He fake.

  6. I stopped understanding/caring what was going on with Neolution a couple of seasons ago, but I don’t care. I watch it because I love the sestras, both individually and their relationships with each other. I also watch it for Tatiana’s brilliant acting. An indication of how good her acting is is that in a previous season Helena wasn’t in it for several episodes in a row and I genuinely found myself wondering if that was because the actor who plays Helena was busy doing something else.

    • sometimes a clone has a scene with a character i don’t normally see them with and i’m like ‘oh, it’s nice for those two actors to finally have some time together’

    • So glad it’s not just me! I have also on one occasion thought “Alison just looked like Sarah a bit” before remembering that they are the exact same actress… I is phenomenal how amazing her acting is.

    • I remember that one time watching a panel with the actors. So Tatiana was here, and then there were the actors playing Felix, Art, Donnie, etc.

      And I thought: wait where are all the other actresses playing Helena, Allison, Cosima,…?

      Oh, yeah…. XD

    • I think this all the time. Have you ever watched the bloopers? TM is SUCH a good actress that even in the bloopers, I think she’s different people. There’s one where Alison is doing a scene with Donnie and they’re laughing and messing up and I kept thinking, ugh, that actress annoys me… BUT IT’S LITERALLY HER EVERY TIME I JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE TALENT ALSO SHE’S SUPER CUTE SUE ME

  7. SAME I have no idea what’s going on in the main plot anymore but I tune in just to watch these characters grow.

  8. Valerie Anne,

    “…looking pleased as a peach whose manic dreams are coming true.” Really? I don’t know about you Valerie, but I have never known of a peach that had dreams, manic ? or otherwise…

    Jayne. ?!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  9. 1) I must take exception to the idea that Donnie was just being a coward. I think he saw what was happening, knew he’d have no luck on his own, and decided the best way to help Alison was to get the baddest ass of all time (Helena, duh) to help. [Side note: when can we have the sitcom featuring Alison and Donnie and the wacky hijinks that ensue when sestra Helena and/or boy sestra Felix comes to visit? PLEASE NOW THANKS]
    2) Like other commenters, my current theory is that PT Westmoreland died some time ago. It’s not too hard to keep this a secret when you’ve got the whole “brilliant leader who is also reclusive” thing going on.
    3) I OBVIOUSLY love Cosima/Delphine but honestly I still have doubts as to whether she can be fully trusted. She loves Cosima, to be sure. I’m just not convinced that the “crazy science” doesn’t overrule her love sometimes.

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