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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And as she pulls away she looks in Cosima’s eyes and says, “Follow the crazy science.”
Delphine exchanges one last look with Cosima, and then she’s gone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.