“Orphan Black” Episode 505 Recap: Defy Them

MY DREAMS CAME TRUE. Just like there was an Alison-centric episode, we now have a Cosima-centric episode, and hoo-boy was it a doozy. So much science, of the regular and crazy varieties.

We open with the regular kind of science, because Cosima is examining the tooth that no one seems to have scolded Charlotte for picking up but whatever. While she sciences inside, outside a dude follows food scraps in the wood like an idiot in a horror movie following a trail of blood, and then is SO SURPRISED when he’s attacked by the definitely-not-a-bear in the woods.

As Cosima waits for her results she’s reminded of the last time she sequenced DNA and it came back that she was intellectual property. We know the scene well, we’ve seen it a thousand times, but we didn’t see what happened between when they realized it and when Cosima called Sarah to warn her that they could claim Kira.


Cosima stands up, shaken by this news. They own her. She’s property. But Delphine comes to her immediately to try to calm her own; they can own her biology on paper but they can’t own her. She takes Cosima’s hand and puts it over her heart, so Cosima can feel that Delphine means what she’s saying, can feel a heart beating just for her. They might have made her body, but Cosima’s humor, her intellect, all of the things that make her her, they can’t own that. They can’t take that from her.

Delphine holds Cosima's hand over her heart

“Do you feel my heart saying hi?”

And even though over the coming months they will try and try and try, they will never take Delphine from her, either. “I will always work to protect you,” she vows.

And then she gives Cosima one task: Defy them.

Delphine nad Cosima are poised to kiss

Existence as resistance.

Cosima snaps out of her flashback to find she has fallen asleep at her science table like the precious little nerd she is and hears a commotion outside. The “bear” attack has sent everyone into a bit of a tizzy, and the hunters seem ready to stop the madness. Cosima breaks from the chaos to follow Aisha back to her tent and ask to examine her, where she discovers her tumor shrinking significantly. Aisha attributes it to magic water, but Cosima isn’t so sure.

Cosima smirks at Aisha

“That sounds fake but okay.”

Cosima asks to keep Aisha’s journal, which involves stickers and descriptions of how she’s been feeling, along with notes from an adult about a corrective gene, and Aisha agrees.

Back home, Mrs. S says she’s going to go to the comic book shop to get some answers from her band of merry nerds, and Sarah just wishes she could talk to Cosima, but I guess reception isn’t great on the Island of Dr. Moreau. Kira realizes Mrs. S and Sarah are going to talk about grown-up stuff and starts to trudge upstairs but Sarah is ready to start looping her in if it will help her stop looking for answers under her own skin.

Back on Revival, Mud’s wide-eyed kind-of-creepy perma-smile is failing because the hunters are going to go after the man in the woods – whose name we later learn is Yannis so I’m just going to start calling him that now for simplicity’s sake – but Mud insists he doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

The hunters talk about Mud as if she’s not there, saying her being there might calm “it” down and so they decide to take her with them. Before they leave, Cosima grabs Mud and asks what’s happening but Mud just says he wasn’t always this feral; they started doing more experiments on him, so Mud set him free.

Cosima looks pretty concerned about what Mud is saying

“Listen I’m not the queen of good choices over here but that just seems like a bad plan.”

So Mud and Cosima part ways, but on her way back to her yurt, Cosima sees Delphine going up the stairs to the big house and is a little offended she didn’t know she was back.

Upstairs, Delphine waits outside while PT pours a glass of wine for Rachel and they chat about the 1300 surrogates they chose for the new clones. He gives her Cosima’s cure, which he says she deserves the most, which is just another sign that PT doesn’t live on the same plane of reality as the rest of us.

Delphine’s on my side of this one.

Delphine holds her head in her hand

This is the classic queer woman’s “fed up with straight white dudes” face, just ask Alex and Maggie.

Rachel wants to kill the “creature” in the woods but PT won’t hear of such a thing. To change the subject, he calls Delphine in, and Rachel calls her windblown as if it’s an insult when in reality she looks like maybe she flew here on the back of a Pegasus.

Delphine looks fly af and Rachel is just jealous


Delphine makes this really great face though that I interpreted as her not giving a flying fuck what Rachel thinks. It must be easier not to take someone too seriously when they look like your girlfriend playing dress-up.

Her mission in Sardinia was successful and is surprised she wasn’t sent right to Geneva, but he says there’s a reason she’s here. PT calls Cosima Delphine’s “friend” and Rachel thinks Cophine being galpal’d is hilarious. It really sets us up to hate PT and Rachel even more and it’s very successful.

I know at this point there are still people who don’t trust Delphine, but I think this scene proves what I’ve been saying all along: she’s doing all of this for Cosima and her sestras. She doesn’t love any of this.

Rachel goes to visit Susan and continues to be awful, telling her she’s in charge now.

Delphine goes to Cosima’s yurt, and is so happy to see her girl.

Delphine is smiling so big


Cosima is happy too, even though she’s a little salty about the fact she went to see PT before her. But she can’t stay mad for long because she has science to share. Cosima shows her everything she’s learned about Delphine’s patient, Aisha, and Delphine makes the connection to Leekie’s study of a gene in spiny mice.

Delphine and Cosima kneel by the bed to talk science

Have I mentioned lately that smart is sexy? Because I mean.

Spiny mice like the one Rachel gave Kira, who Kira is currently introducing to Sarah. This science is all true by the way; spiny mice really do have a regenerative genes and some scientists are trying to figure out if they could use that information to switch on that same regeneration process in humans. I just doubt they have anyone chained up in a basement to test on but WHO KNOWS.

Sarah tells Kira she went to visit Auntie Helena, and Kira says Helena misses Sarah. And how hard it must be, for this tiny human to be carrying the emotions of goodness-knows-how-many full-grown adults. Empathy is hard enough to bear when it’s not so literal. No wonder she’s started acting out. Sarah tells Kira that she wants her to teach her everything she knows about this connection, because she’s just finally starting to feel it, too; finally letting herself feel it. In reality I think she’s felt it for a long time; I think that’s why the clones can imitate each other so well, I think it’s why Cosima and her bonded so quickly – she was the first one Sarah let in. But she needs help figuring out what it all means, and frankly so does Kira, so why not help each other.

Meanwhile Mrs. S is at the Rabbit Hole getting the scoop from her minions about the timeline of Neolution and Coady and all the clone nonsense. Mrs. S has been quietly running things for a long time, mostly just guiding Sarah quietly like a really sexy guardrail, but lately she’s taken the wheel and it’s been so exhilarating to watch.

In (at? on?) Revival, Delphine and Cosima are doing some more regular science.

Cosima and Delphine are literally just standing there and I can't handle how beautiful they are


Delphine notices some DNA in the sequencer and Cosima confesses about Yannis’s tooth; he’s been experimenting on someone. (And listen I know she’s ~cured or whatever but Cosima coughed in this scene and I DIDN’T LIKE IT.)

Cosima starts rambling more science stuff – the human experiment and Aisha have similar genomes and so there’s obviously something there, but Delphine interrupts her. It’s actually almost scary, maybe the loudest we’ve ever heard Delphine get. She begs Cosima to stop, says she’s pushing too hard, and risking all the work Delphine’s putting in behind the scenes. But Cosima is frustrated because she doesn’t understand what that means since Delphine is keeping her in the dark.

But if she would listen for one second Delphine will tell her! Rachel has access to Kira now, to test her. Which breaks Cosima right open; this is exactly what they’ve been trying to avoid. But before she can get more details, the Messenger comes in to invite Delphine to dinner. Cosima informs him that she will also be attending dinner because she just saw Wonder Woman so she’s going to Diana Prince her way into the room where it happens.

The Messenger brings them to a room full of what might be PT’s parents’ clothing and tell them to dress for dinner. Which is creepy and weird and I hate it. Delphine is going to do it because she’s more of a tow-the-line-and-wait-for-your-moment type of gal. Cosima, decidedly, is not.

Delphine puts a calming hand on a fired up Cosima's arm

“Please no punching men before dinner.”

Cosima comes out of the room, dressed in a full tux, holding her GIRLFRIEND’s hand, and it’s a beautiful fucking thing.

Cosima is in a full tux and Delphine is in a vintage wedding gown

*screams in lesbian*

The Messenger hates it, which only adds to my enjoyment of it. PT wants to talk to Delphine alone before dinner, so he whisks her away momentarily, and she comes back on PT’s arm. But she’s no stranger to wooing icky old dudes to get what she wants, so she lets herself be lead to the table.

Cosima looks like a hedgehog while she watches this, and when PT invites her to sit with them, she’s not sure she wants to anymore. Being involved with him seemed much more exciting when it was all cheese mites and metaphors and not creepy dress codes and human experiments.

Dinner goes about as well as you’d expect; it would have been less awkward if it was a murder mystery dinner party. Cosima doesn’t help things by being hilariously cavalier and sassy, pissed to find out these assholes have thrown ethics to the wind.

Delphine looks terrified but so in love

“Please don’t get yourself killed, we only have five episodes left and I’d really like us both to survive them.”

Delphine is equal parts terrified Cosima is going to make things worse and amused because no one does defiant quite like Cosima Niehaus.

Cosima is leaning back in her tux looking like she owns the place

Not giving a fuck while in formalwear is one of my favorite things.

PT tries (and sort of succeeds) to shake Cosima by asking about her parents in what sounds like a thinly veiled threat. Instead of totally backing down, though, she explains how difficult she’s made her life. She hasn’t been able to talk to her parents – which isn’t too weird because they think she’s in school and they’re professors on a houseboat BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY ARE – or tell them that she’s part of an illegal cloning experiment or that she’s sick or anything.

Cosima (still in her tux) holds up a finger mid-explanation

I hope this is what I look like when I go on feminist rants.

PT doesn’t seem particularly sympathetic, and to make matters worse, Rachel shows up late like that family member you were kind of hoping wouldn’t show up after all.

Back at Mrs. S’s house, Sarah and Kira are having a dance party and giving everyone nicknames. My favorite I think was that Cosima is a sunfish, because it made me think of that marine biologist’s rant about sunfish where she called them a “complete failure of evolution.” Mrs. S comes home and Kira says she’s learning to be a hustler and Mrs. S thinks maybe Sarah swung the pendulum a bit too far in the other direction.

Sarah looks up at Mrs. S, confused as to why she's in trouble

“What? She already knows how to shoplift.”

At the uncomfortable family dinner, they talk about LIN28-A, which is what they actual have meant all this time when they’re talking about the fountain of youth. Cosima and Delphine quickly figure out what this means and Rachel is a little more alarmed than she should be, given they’re both scientists. (Though I guess maybe she didn’t realize they knew she was studying Kira.)

Rachel looks dumbfounded

I love love love when someone surprises Rachel.

Dinner comes to a bitter end when PT reveals that Delphine told him that Cosima found Yannis’s cell in the basement, but before Cosima can flip her lid about it, he sends Delphine off to Geneva, telling Cosima to get out of his face and say goodbye.

They go back to the dressing room and Cosima is indeed flipping her lid while Delphine is stripping which would have shut me right up but Cosima has FEELINGS. But Delphine cuts her off – there’s a reason for everything she does. She had to give PT some information to gain his trust; and she’s going to Geneva because Felix is there. There’s a reason for everything she does, and that reason is Cosima. She puts Cosima’s hand over her heart again and reminds her of her promise, and reminds her what she asked Cosima to do.

Delphine holds COsima's hand over her heart again

“I swear fealty to you.”

This has been their pattern all along, hasn’t it? Delphine is doing seemingly shady shit and Cosima pushes and pushes for more answers and the answer is always that she’s doing it for Cosima. Delphine says probably it will always be this way, so they can choose now whether to end it or continue on. Together.

As a response, Cosima kisses her.

Delphine and Cosima are a breath away from kissing because honestly usually kissing pictures are just smooshy mouths so this one looked the nicest

What a beautiful disaster these two are.

Oops just kidding that was from the flashback kiss that ended up here TOTALLY BY ACCIDENT. Yup there’s no way I can edit that out, sorry, what’s done is done. Here’s a shot from the actual scene where they kiss and make up:

Delphine holds Cosima's face gently

:deep sigh:

Calm now, Cosima realizes that this was exactly PT’s intention all along. Together they are smarter than him, and they represent the one thing he can’t create in his lab: human connection. Love. So Delphine tells her to act like his plan work, pretend like they have been successfully pitted against each other.

Outside, Mud and the hunter found Yannis but Yannis gets spooked and kills the hunter. He almost kills Mud, but she says his name, he drops her and runs off.

Cosima goes back to PT, who tells her that they found Yannis in an orphanage and then Susan synthesized his accelerated healing gene to put into the Leda clones. It didn’t show up in them, but it showed up in the kids they designed the Leda clones to not be able to have. Ironically.

Cosima is standing in her tux with her hands in her pockets


Another hunter comes in and warns them that Yannis is on the loose so they hide Susan and Cosima away in a room with Ira. Cosima gets out of Susan that they’re going to harvest Kira’s eggs and put them in the 1300 surrogates. Which is fucking bonkers. Cosima doesn’t understand how none of them seem at all perturbed by the utter lack of morality in any of them, but Susan insists there’s nothing she can do.

Cosima storms out to stop PT herself, and as she leaves Ira blurts out the answer to a question he was asked by someone else entirely like a dozen scenes ago and Cosima realizes he’s glitching.

Cosima finds a terrified Mud who spills that PT is sick and begs Cosima to stay away from him but Cosima is on a roll of doing exactly the opposite of what she’s told today so she storms down to the basement to see him. Cosima confronts him, accusing him of doing all this crazy shit because he’s dying, including hurting Yannis, who is now back in his cell, injured and cowering.

She all but calls him a lying monster and so PT hands him a gun, telling her to do the “ethical” thing and kill Yannis. She holds up the gun, but she can’t do it; he’s still a human being.

She tells him the one thing he can’t have of hers is her humanity, just like Delphine taught her, so she puts the gun down and goes over to Yannis to apologize and introduce herself. She’s talking to him sweetly when PT shoots him SQUARE IN THE HEAD. Then just watches as Cosima sobs for having been present for too many of these exact situations.

Meanwhile, back home, Mrs. S, Sarah and Kira are cuddling like the adorable little family they are.

Kira, Sarah, and Mrs. S are spooning

Just a girl and her mother and the woman whose mother’s DNA was used to make her mother.

Mrs. S hears a noise so she grabs her shotgun and heads downstairs, but it’s just Delphine, there for another secret rendezvous. Delphine reveals that she wasn’t actually the one who told S about Coady, because she asks after said source, and Mrs. S isn’t sure they can trust that source but Delphine says they’re running out of time, because whatever they’re doing with Kira is happening sooner than they thought.

Delphine looks at Mrs. S importantly

“And it’s only a matter of time before this trajectory of getting more and more beautiful turns me into a literal ball of light.”

Cut back to PT’s basement, where Cosima is still in the cage with Yannis, because PT locked her in. Which can’t be good news for our girl.

And honestly, no words could possible capture how much I loved this episode. I loved how much we learned about Cosima, I loved seeing more interaction between her and Delphine, and I loved the call to action: Defy them. Cosima was told her body was an object, her body didn’t belong to her. Delphine told her to defy them. Right now we’re being told our bodies don’t belong to us, or that who we are or who we love make us somehow less than. We have to defy them. We have to go in the rooms they tell us not to go into, we have to learn more about the things they tell us to leave alone, we have to stand up, speak out, fight back until they see us and hear us and cannot deny us. We have to defy them. Together.

Flashback Cosima and Delphine kiss

Kiss the girls you wanna kiss.

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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 548 articles for us.


  1. good lord did i love this episode.

    also, is Yannis the official spelling of his name? my brain went straight to Janus, aka the Roman god of thresholds and beginnings. i thought it was another cool mythology callback given this show’s repeated references to Greco-Roman mythology.

    • Just did a little research and found a post by the writers on BBC America and you are correct, it’s Janis! (They spell it with an i.) My bad, good call!

  2. My favourite thing about this episode was that it proved ONCE AND FOR ALL that Delphine IS ON THEIR SIDE. Yes she lies. Yes she keeps information from them. Yes she is mysterious. Yes she often divulges important information to their enemies. But Delphine PLAYS THE GAME better than any of them. That’s the difference between her and Cosima (and Sarah, and Siobhan) which is why they so often butt heads. They both want the same things, they just have such different methods. And I think this is the first time in the series that the two of them have ever addressed their different methods.

    (Sidenote, I did NOT love Cosima’s line “you do things without my consent”. I think in that context, “you do things without my knowledge” would have been more appropriate, and I would like these two to have a nice long discussion about consent and bodily autonomy as soon as Neolution has been defeated for good.)

    • I disagree. I think the word consent in this context is very very important because this show is all about agency, and trying to reclaim it. Cosima is trying to reclaim her agency as a human being and Delphine doing things behind her back is taking some of that agency away too (agency to decide what to do about her life).

      • Oh, I completely agree with you both. Delphine HAS done a lot of things without Cosima’s consent, and their argument about “my biology, my decision” has spanned the entire series.

        The problem is that after Cosima calls Delphine out for doing things without her consent…she then basically says it’s fine, and tacitly gives Delphine permission to keep doing it? Which was weird? So it was kind of like Cosima was giving Delphine her consent for Delphine to do things without her consent? Which makes no sense. And thus why I thought replacing “consent” with “knowledge” would have made more sense in that specific context.

    • I think she used “consent” on purpose, similar to what Chloe said, because she’s been saying things like this to Delphine all along – “My biology, my decision.” But I think also she’s still a little mad and phrased it in the most hurtful way she can think of, something we know Cosima can do when she’s upset – “It showed.”

  3. I thought this was probably the best episode of the season so far and not just because of Cosima and Delphine although they were a big part. When you (Valerie) said that Sarah and Cosima connected so quickly because of whatever that thing is they have I was like “Yes” they are sisterly soulmates probably even moreso than Helena and Sarah but outside of their biology, they are so much alike in how they react to situations. The only difference is Sarah acts on instinct whereas Cosima acts on an dogged search for truth based on principle. I’ve said this before elsewhere but Cosima and Sarah are their own worst enemies. They push when they should concede and rethink and concede when they should push. Mrs. S and Delphine are so much better at playing whatever role they need to in order to reach the endgame and have done right by keeping them (Saraha and Cosima) in the dark because giving them too much information is a mistake.

    I hope and pray to whatever god is actually out there that there is an episode that shows Adele, Felix and Delphine in Geneva together. Can you imagine? Please make this happen.

  4. That first shot of Cosima in that tux and holding Delphine’s hand made my heart explode. Like a great big beautiful firework it exploded.

  5. Holy moly, I am shook.

    First of all: all of the emotions.

    Secondly: holy crap.

    I don’t know, seems I’ve lost all words.
    *screams in lesbian*

  6. Hi I’m here to say that Evelyne Brochu appears to be really really really good at kissing girls

      • I have to say that your evidence is pretty evidential. (Slightly fixed URL http://tatmaslany.co.vu/post/162773300106/i-made-a-promise-i-promised-to-protect-you-and-i )

        As for Evelyne Brochu, she really is not one of the typical type of women I fancy, but she does a great job of this. None of this usual straight actress “I’ll make it look good but eh” (*cough* Cate). She really commits to it.

        And I like the fact Delphine gets a little butch on with her make-out sessions and then relationship with Cosima. It’s great. I admit part of my queer identity is about luring the straight women along the scale a bit, and when “nice” ladies start really getting into doing BAD things with other ladies. Then comes the identity-shifting. Delphine’s character seems to be following that kind of arc.

  7. I, too, am deliriously in love with Cosima Niehaus/Tatiana Maslany in a suit. Orphan Black reminds me how much I love it, like, fifty times an episode, but the tux thing was definitely one of my favourite moments of the entire show (the snogging was pretty fab, too).

    What a wonderful recap of a fantastic episode.

  8. The showrunners were totally trolling us by cutting that scene together to look like a wedding in the promos, but daaaaaayum, they delivered so spectacularly that I can’t even be salty about it.

  9. So this episode was terrific and my favorite thing is that we FINALLY learn about Cosima’s parents, which I’ve always been curious about. My other favorite thing is Cosima naming the not-great dynamic of her and Delphine’s relationship: “I push too hard; you do things without my consent.” GOOD JOB, COSIMA; GOOD JOB, SHOW. BUT. I am so, so angry at the response of “We have to just accept it for what it is.” NO. no no no. You have to work to change that dynamic to get to a better and happier and healthier place of mutual trust and support!

  10. So lovely. Cosima is still the sensitive one and PT knows it. Any other clone would have shot him with that gun but never Cosima.

    Who could the source be? I suppose there’s no reason for the source to be Tony? But I’ve forgotten most of the other absent characters.

  11. I was totally lost in love with this episode… finally a COSIMA EPISODE! Oh man… her in that tux made my fucking year. She looked AMAZING next to her beautiful Delphine! I love these two so much. I’m just hoping that they aren’t setting us up so that one of them dies and breaks my heart into infinity. I’m getting so nervous because shit’s getting real and the writers have been known to have some epic shocking twists up their sleeves (Donnie accidentally blowing Dr. Leaky away in the car)… so I’m glued to Apple TV until the end of this ride and I’m going to savour every last minute.

  12. This episode was so good! Cosima being defiant af, Delphine scheming and unwavering in her intent to protect her love (all of them). Throughout the series, I was wondering what the essence of their relationship is, crazy science, manipulation, illness… or being each other’s light at the end of the tunnel. I guess, variations of these, plus choosing each other again and again (apart from that one time when Delphine put her job before her relationship, that was heartbreaking– still not sure if necessary).

    Anyhow, loved the episode and this recap. Thanks, Valerie Anne.

    PS: I also hope this wasn’t peak Cophine, and it’s all going downhill from here…

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