The way I first started watching Orphan Black isn’t a romantic one. I wrote for a different website back then, and had just started a few months prior to Orphan Black‘s premiere. I’d seen the ads for it on the subway, some commercials on BBC America, and had been interested, but hadn’t even realized it started, to be honest. When my editors sent out a call for someone to cover the show after season one, episode five showed queer promise, I offered to take it on. I had wanted to watch anyway, and I had only been recapping Once Upon a Time so far, and thought it would be a fun challenge to write about a show with a drastically different tone.
I was assigned the piece on a Tuesday afternoon and ended up watching all five of the aired episodes on Tuesday night. In an email to my editor to let her know the general gist of my piece, I described the show as, “very witty, dramatic, mysterious — with three pretty badass chicks as the leads (all played by the same extremely talented and very attractive actress)” because my love was immediate and deep. I had been right — writing about Orphan Black was different from any other kind of writing I had to do; the show was smart and complex, and I had to find a way to write about it that was clear, but not too dense; even five seasons later it’s sometimes hard to make these recaps not sound like book reports!
A few weeks later, I had an email interview with Tatiana Maslany, my first ever interview of any kind. I went to my first event as press the next year, before the second season started, at the season two premiere event in NYC, where I got to interview Evelyne Brochu and Jordan Gavaris on the red carpet. Right before the second season started, I organized my first fan meetup and met some Clonesbians who are now some of my closest real life friends.
A lot of things have changed in my life over the past four years, some big, some small. But Orphan Black was always a constant; it was the first show I’d recommend to people when they asked what they should watch next, it was a show people would directly send me news about because they knew how much I loved it. My friends who had never seen an episode knew Tatiana Maslany by name because of how much I talked about her. When the website I had been writing for unceremoniously stopped hiring its freelancers back, the way Autostraddle invited me to join their team was, “Will you come recap Orphan Black and Wynonna Earp for us?” (Supergirl came later.)
So I can’t imagine what my life will look like without ten weeks of the year (okay fine, more than that) being dedicated to this show. Without theorizing about who is good and who is evil and if there’s even such a thing as either. Without fearing for Cosima’s life every time she coughs. Without forgetting Tatiana plays all the parts week after week, cast photo after cast photo.
And don’t even getting me started on Tatiana Maslany! Tatiana was never shy about speaking out about feminism, she was a loud and proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community, she cared so much about this show and the characters and the people she was representing with each role she played. She was smart and kind and always the first one to give praise to her unseen costar, her clone double, Kathryn Alexandre. I met her for one brief and wonderful moment, and her eyes were so kind and her smile so genuine; she is truly made of magic.
But before I officially say goodbye, we have one more episode to recap. An episode I’ve been dreading since the announcement, but that ended up feeling like wish fulfilment porn. I cried because I hate goodbyes, because I’m going to miss this show in my bones, but it was a beautiful hour of television.
We start with a flashback, Sarah in the car with Mrs. S.
They’re outside a Planned Parenthood, and discussing whether or not Sarah wants to keep the baby. Sarah sounds defiant, like maybe she does, but maybe only because S thinks she doesn’t. She’s young and she’s scared and S is just trying to be supportive.
Cut to present-day, with Sarah trying to get Helena out of the DYAD facility while Helena is actively having contractions. The alarm is sounding, and fucking Coady is still cheating death somehow. PT comes in and finds her and is pissed she let Helena waddle away. But Coady says Helena’s water broke so she couldn’t have gotten all that far.
And it’s true, because Sarah and Helena are in a basement room and Sarah is putting down some cardboard as a makeshift bed for Helena. Helena doesn’t want to have her baby here, amidst all the danger, but Sarah tells her that the alarm sounding is their people, that they’re coming for them, that they’re not alone.
And as if to prove the point, Art sneaks up on Enger, who is hunting down Sarah and Helena, and knocks her out.
PT is fading fast, getting more and more desperate as his health fails him, and says they’ll have to do the surgery somewhere else because they can’t isolate the mutation in this contaminated area. Coady doesn’t love this plan but is a little scared of the ol’ guy so she agrees. But first they have to find the girls.
Sarah starts to leave Helena to find medical supplies, but Helena begs her not to go. Sarah hands her a screwdriver and tells her she’ll be right back, takes a pipe, and heads into the worst level of a video game where you have to sneak around in the dark and hope no one spots you. Luckily it’s Art who finds her first.
Sarah sends Art back to be with Helena while she looks for medical supplies, so he gives her a gun just in case.
Coady follows Helena’s blood trail to the basement door and goes in, wielding her gun and insults. PT wants to come see for himself but Coady says she needs someone who could actually help her, but instead of sending his doctor, PT kills him instead. It’s chaos.
Art finds Helena and Coady thinks this is a perfect turn of events because now Art can be the midwife while she stands at a safe distance with her gun.
Meanwhile, Sarah is lurking around murder-tarps, trying to get medical supplies.
PT is lurking too, though, and confronts Sarah. He calls her and Helena “fertile freaks” as he moves through the plastic as a shadow. PT says they were the only set of twins they ever produced, and it turns out they only need the one. Sarah shoots blindly in the direction of his voice, and hears a grunt and a thud, but just when she thinks he’s down for good, he lurches out of the shadows and starts to smother her with the plastic.
And listen. I thought this was it. It’s the last episode, Helena’s giving birth in a basement at gunpoint, I thought Sarah and Helena were going to die at the same time, leaving newborn twin babies in their stead. I was crying and crying and my heart was breaking but then!
Helena and Art take out Coady and get her to come close enough for Helena to scree-scraw her to death (for real this time), and Sarah throws PT off of her and says, “I survived you, we survived you, me and my sisters, together,” then BASHES HIS BRAINS IN.
It was the literal opposite of what I thought was about to happen and my tears dried up on my cheeks and I punched the air, triumphant. Our girls won. Finally, finally stopped cutting heads off the hydra and stabbed it right in its stupid, cold, black heart.
So Sarah runs to help her sestra give birth, all the while having flashbacks to when Siobhan was by her side when Kira was born.
Sarah is echoing some of the supportive words S said back then, with an added “Meathead” or two, and laughs with joy the way S laughed when Kira was born.
The twins are born and crying healthy cries and Sarah, Helena, and Art are crying happy cries and it’s beautiful.
Cut to a short time later, with the babies in their cribs with their homemade sestra-mobiles above them. One of the bbs has on orange socks and one has on purple socks and they’re chubby and cute and Helena loves them so much.
Meanwhile, Sarah is Skyping with Cosima, who is talking to her about math, because Sarah’s going to take her high school equivalency test, and it’s the cutest sestra thing ever, and it’s a miracle I didn’t just die of feelings overload at this point.
(Though I’m glad I didn’t because we’re nowhere near peak feelings.)
Cosima (and Scott!) wish her good luck and she says goodbye as she sends Kira off to school. Felix will pick her up from school to take her to Auntie Alison’s house. Because they’re all one big happy family.
Over at Alison’s, Donnie is calling the babies Orange and Purple and Alison is claiming Helena hasn’t named them yet which I think is silly because Orange and Purple are lovely names. Donnie agrees.
Alison doesn’t have time to debate over what words can or cannot be names though because she has to finish decorating for her sestra’s baby shower. Just, being very Alison, new haircut and all.
Meanwhile, down the Rabbit Hole, Cosima and Delphine are trying to find more Ledas. Together. Girlfriends. Doing science. TOGETHER.
They’ve already given the cure to the clones they know of, including Krystal and Tony, but they’re having a hard time tracking down the rest of them; especially since they don’t even know how many there are.
Art is helping though, so they do have their next one, a woman in Colombia. (They actually say “Clone Club Colombia, we’re all over the world.” Which is beautiful.)
But it doesn’t matter how long it takes, Cosima and Delphine are going to save them all.
Over at Mrs. S’s house, Sarah is boxing things up to get ready to sell the house. She finds a card from S that makes me cry but she’s being pretty tough. Felix comes in, a little upset that she’s already packing up, without a real plan, without asking what Kira wants. But Sarah doesn’t want to talk about it, reminds him to pick up Kira from school, and heads to the high school to take her test.
She gets a call from Helena while she’s there, and tells Meathead she’ll come to the baby shower of course, and that she feels weird being the only one here to take this test.
Sarah can hear S’s voice in her head, a conversation they had, S telling her that to be a good mother she should try staying still, Sarah retorting that she doesn’t need anything from S. Sarah decides then to walk out and not take the test after all, despite me yelling NOOO DON’T GOOOO at the screen.
Over at the baby shower, everything is playing out very similar to the way Helena dreamed it way back at the start of season three. Except now their family is bigger than she even imagined, and the babies are born, and everything is beautiful. Cosima got little science monkeys for the babies and shows up with Delphine and the sun is shining in the sky and in my heart.
And then in a moment of hilarity, Felix passes off the baby he’s holding to Cosima and she PANICS.
Luckily Delphine is more comfortable with it, so Cosima coos at the baby from a safe distance.
Sarah heads to the baby shower and immediately goes to the fridge to grab a beer.
Delphine comes in and hugs her, because why not give me surprise feelings in the middle of the kitchen. Sarah spent so long (understandably) not trusting Delphine, Delphine spent so long fighting for Sarah (and her sestras) anyway, and here they are, having a moment alone together.
Delphine tries to express her condolences about Siobhan, that S taught her how to be brave, but Sarah doesn’t want to hear it. She also doesn’t want to talk about her test, even though, one-by-one, people are filing into the kitchen and it’s their first question.
Felix excuses himself because he has a text and Colin follows him. Felix says he’s expecting someone, on the downlow, and y’all I almost had a full-on panic attack. I thought it was going to be revealed that Felix has been shady/on the wrong side of this the whole time, and I was going to have to cry forever/never trust anyone again. I don’t know why I kept expecting the worst! But I did and I was practically shaking with the fear of it until the moment it was revealed who he was talking to. And who he’s talking to is Rachel, who came here in an Uber to make sure everyone is okay and to give Felix an envelope. When she asks about the babies, Felix reminds her that there’s no way she would be welcome at this party, which breaks my damn heart, but Rachel seems more or less okay with it. She’s had her fill of clones. Now she can go live in beach house made of windows and sip martinis to her heart’s content.
Art comes into Helena’s garage apartment and Helena admits that she’s worried about Sarah. She’s still so out of it (she has not mended) and Helena doesn’t know how to help her sestra.
Inside, Sarah brought some of Kira’s old toys, and Alison takes this time to tell Sarah that she doesn’t want her to move. She says Kira has cousins now, that she’s bonding with Gemma, Oscar, Maya, and Charlotte. That they can finally live like sestras, that they’re finally free. But Sarah just grumbles that freedom looks different to everyone. When Alison pushes again, Sarah snaps and says she doesn’t want to raise Kira in the house where her grandmother was shot to death. Which promptly shuts everyone up.
Sarah is sitting alone outside and, one-by-one, her sestras come out to sit with her. Helena asks her to open up, and sitting in this backyard with her sisters, finally together, finally able to relax, Sarah opens up. Breaks herself wide open, admits that she didn’t go to her test, admits she feels like she’s a shitty mother. Ever since she came back to the city, she’s been able to blame these feelings on the whole being-hunted-by-various-organizations thing; anyone would have a hard time balancing that and parenting, right? But now there’s no one left to blame it on, and she’s feeling the full weight of the responsibility. And despite what her younger self said, she relied on Siobhan, she needed her support, she needed her help.
There’s a moment of silence when her sisters let her hold this pain, but then they start jumping in. Alison admits that the other day she threatened Gemma for not cleaning her room, to the point she scared her. Helena admits her babies keep eating sand she can’t find the source of. Cosima admits she’s terrified of babies and doesn’t feel maternal and doesn’t know if it’s because that’s how she is and if so is that selfish, or just because she’s scared?
Cosima holds Sarah’s hand; the point is, they’re all scared. It’s okay not to be okay. Nobody — not a clone, not a human in this world has it totally figured out. It’s okay to feel like you’re failing sometimes, and it’s okay to reach out for help. She’s not alone, not anymore. Not if she doesn’t want to be.
Felix joins his sisters, then, bearing the envelope he got from Rachel. It’s a list of every single known Leda clone around the world. A complete list. Everything they need to cure them all.
And there are 274 of them. The thought of that is…sobering.
But Helena doesn’t want them to dwell on that right now because she has something for her sisters, too. Her memoir is finished and she wants to read it to them. It’s called Orphan Black, and Sarah thinks that’s a stupid name for a thing. They all laugh about it and it’s so perfect. It’s such a wonderful way to pull us all in for one last group hug.
The story is one that has many beginnings but no end, she reads. And it starts when her sister Sarah stepped off the train and met…herself.
And then we do one of my favorite cinematic endings; a “where are they now” sign-off for our four main clones.
Alison is playing piano and Donnie comes home and dances for her, making her laugh.
Helena is playing with her babies in the backyard. Happy, safe. An angry angel no more.
Cosima is with Delphine in Colombia, inoculating that clone Art found for them, Camilla. Camilla is flirting with Delphine, because who wouldn’t, and Cosima is hiding nearby so as not to spook her.
They still have a lot of clones to save, but they have a list now, and they’re going to do it together.
These two have been through the ringer, haven’t they? They started flirting; Delphine because she had to get closer to Cosima, Cosima because she knew Delphine was her monitor. But then real feelings bloomed, and misunderstanding after misunderstanding, some lies, some betrayals, some separation, some anger. But then a coming together, a working together, some trust and a stronger relationship. Stronger at the broken places.
Delphine was not just Cosima’s girlfriend. She was always more complicated than that. And sometimes she wasn’t even Cosima’s girlfriend. Cosima was never the token lesbian — but she was never shy about the fact that she was one. She said literal lines that proved it: “My sexuality isn’t the most interesting thing about me.” and “I’m not going to apologize for my heart, okay?” and it wasn’t and she didn’t. They kissed and had sex and fought and exchanged “I love yous” and broke up and got back together. They were everything.
And hell if they didn’t earn their happy ending.
Sarah is getting ready for a trip to the beach with Felix and Kira, still in Mrs. S’s house. She pauses on the way out, looking back at this home she’s decided to embrace, this life that might not be as crazy as the life-and-death she’s been living, and might not be perfect, but something that’s somewhere in the middle. Something that’s hers.
And then she closes the door.
And that’s the end.
I was so afraid this series finale was going to be a massacre. I thought Sarah was going to have to sacrifice herself to save her fellow Ledas, or it would end with another Helsinki-like event. But instead it was the breath of fresh air these girls have more than earned. It was the bad guys being defeated and good guys winning…and realizing that “good” doesn’t mean “perfect.” (And when every day the news makes it feel like we’re losing, it’s nice to be reminded that it’s worth having hope, it’s worth fighting.) It was four different versions of what love looks like, four different versions of happily ever after, four different-looking branches of one big family.
God, goodbyes feel so impossible. I guess it’s not really goodbye; Orphan Black might be over, but Clone Club is forever. This show will settle onto that shelf in my heart where Buffy is, something I will always be referencing, something that will always be part of who I am in my core. So I guess this isn’t goodbye. Not really. Not forever.
Goodnight, Orphan Black. You’ll always be more than a show to me.
Your evangelism for this show changed my life, in large part because it was a gateway to us becoming such good friends. Thank you for four years of beautiful writing and ceaseless hope in the power of storytellers to do right by the queer women in their audience.
Thank you for being part of my galaxy of women. <3
I’m so, so sorry that I was so late to the party that is your recaps. I wish I could take back the last three years of my life (because I was late to the party..and only joined Clone Club after reading some of your recaps from back when) – but this year you’ve had me here every week, processing the same explosion of emotion that this show brings out in me. (Us?)
I’m having trouble accepting that OB is over. I know that it is. I don’t really accept it. And I also wonder when I turned into this person. I’ve made friends over OB (Clone Club is real, man), I’ve converted people, and most of all, I found myself in this show. Which is incredible.
So thanks, Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany, Evelyne Brochu, Jordan Gavaris, and etc, etc, etc, for all of the tears.
And thanks Valerie Ann, for your captions. They are a gift from the French gay gods.
Eek! Valerie Anne* So much for a heartfelt comment when you can’t even type. I give up. OB took everything I had left.
Thank you SO much. Thanks for going on this trip with me, and may Clone Club never say die. :)
This episode was such a beautiful end to a brilliant show. When I heard about it, I was hooked immediately: I watched season one in a day and season two the next day. It was complex and sciency and full of love and action and just so so incredible. I wonder if we’ll see the likes of it again.
And it’s not “goodbye”, but “see you later”. Because I’ll be watching this again and again and again.
I lost it about 8000000 times during this episode, but I think I started ugly sobbing when Helena named her boys “Donnie’ and “Arthur.” UGLY SOBBING.
Their full names should be Donnie Felix and Arthur Scott to honor the two other great guys in Helena’s orbit.
I sure got my cry on watching this episode. I’m going to miss your recaps almost as much as I’ll miss the show.
I really like the detail that Charlotte is living with Art. That’s so perfect.
And a confession: I always heard Enger’s name as “Anger.”
Well she was become Anger. :)
Art is going to raise a little Beth! D: :D
Thank you for reading. <3
That was a nice touch having Charlotte living with Art.
Valerie, you are the reason I found this show, 4 years ago. I binged the entire first season in one night, mostly because you wouldn’t shut up about it on twitter, and I’m so grateful. I think my series rewatch is going to start next weekend.
In the comments on episode 507, I think I said something along the lines of “the Law of Television means at least one clone is going to have to die before this show ends”. Those are the rules that shows like Buffy and Person of Interest and Skins and Pretty Little Liars and Bomb Girls and so many other shows that I love have taught me over the years. That no one is safe; that dramatic deaths make for “good television”; that going out with a bang is literal; that not everyone can get a happy ending.
I have never, EVER been so happy to be proven wrong. And I cannot thank Graeme Mason and John Fawcett and Tatiana Maslany enough for turning the laws of television upside down one final time.
“mostly because you wouldn’t shut up about it on twitter” is how I get most people to watch things, tbh :)
glad you enjoyed the ride and didn’t just hate me forever. hehe
I’m like you, I expected at least one clone to die in the finale, probably more. Rachel and maybe Sarah were my top bets and just maybe Alison. Art was, I reckoned, more likely to die than not.
I was dreading the finale and watching the clones, and others dying, as well as it being the series finale. As soon as Mrs S appeared I started crying, but by the end the tears were all tears of joy. I loved that they spent half an hour showing us the clones after the fight. I liked that Sarah was finally shown having issues about S’ death and that her sestras were there for her.
And I liked everyone’s happy ever afters, even Alison and stripper Donnie – and I really don’t want to see Kristian Bruun in dancing his underwear however much I love Donnie for his comic timing and “Have a really shitty day” and all his other moments in Orphan Black. Of course I particularly loved Cosima and Delphine and that they’re secure enough that when Camilla flirts with Delphine, Cosima just teases Delphine about it and kisses her.
Orphan Black doesn’t routinely pull fast ones like this (unlike Wynonna Earp) but this ending was so far from what I think anyone expected and was so perfect that, while I’m never going to forget Orphan Black, and I’m going to go back and rewatch it all soon, I’m much more at peace with how it ended than I expected to be this time on Saturday.
I didn’t start reading Valerie Anne’s reviews until… not sure when, this season maybe. But thank you to her for the brilliant captions, they’ve added something too. And an immense thank to all the cast and crew, the famous ones and the more unsung ones that make it work. Since the end of March 2013 when this urchin watched this posh woman that looked like her commit suicide and then nicked her stuff I was hooked. I can’t count the ways this show has touched my heart, made me think and affected so many parts of my life. Thank you all, and thank you CloneClub.
ALSO: Everyone please read this interview with Tatiana!
My favourite part is when she talks about PT Westmoreland as being kind of an anticlimactic Big Bad:
“Given the political climate right now, it’s really interesting to have the person at the top be this desperately insecure, powerful, yet completely inept being—this guy, this patriarch who is completely self-motivated and doesn’t have any interest in whose lives he’s destroying. It’s all about him and all about sustaining life, this legacy of his life that he wants to create. It’s such an empty thing.”
Like, how PERFECT is that!? UGH. I’m going to miss this show.
I LOVE HER
She is amazing.
Thanks for sharing!!!
All aboard the feels train. (I have loved this show so much.)
So I said this on twitter but I wanted to say it here. This summer gave us two shows with happy endings for all its queer characters. Saving Hope with Maggie/Sydney and Shahir/Jonathan and this show with Cosima/Delphine and Felix/Colin. Both shows were produced in Canada so make of that what you will. Also, Art and Maya also got a happy ending so that’s a win for Black folks. I will always hold a special place in my heart for this show and everyone involved with it. Kudos to them for a great ride.
I’m going to miss this show so bloody much. But I loved the finale, every little bit of it. I started watching this show#forthelesbians but never expected to love the other characters as fiercely as I do now, especially Helena and Sarah and Mrs S. (My only complaint is w/r/t to every time they forced me to watch Donnie dance in his underwear.)
Also oh my god when Sarah made that old evil monster man finally stop talking with an “Aaaargh, shut up!” and smashing his face in?
I don’t know about everyone else but I personally found that tremendously satisfying!!!
I couldn’t help but say “Smash the patriarchy good, yeah” at that moment.
I cried through all the episode, but most of them were happy tears. I absolutely love the ending they chose for Orphan Black. At the beginning it started with death, but it ended with life and new beginnings.
This show changed my life for the better forever and I will always cherish it in my heart. Valerie, I would like to thank you for your always spot on hilarious and sometimes deeply touching recaps. I read them all I think and it was always a pleasure for my eyes and for my Cophine heart!
And yes, Orphan Black may have ended, but Clone Club is forever!
Thank you so much, Marie-Louise!
Love this, love you, Valerie! Thank you for your service! <3 I'm so glad this show stayed good right up to the very end.
This is a spoiler buffer sentence for the comment bar this is a spoiler buffer for the comment bar this is a spoiler buffer for the comment bar.
I really loved the way they let Siobhan's storyline come full circle, the way they healed her storyline for me as we watched her show up for Sarah in a way that later gave Sarah the strength to show up for Helena. I love watching these women support each other, even as I forget LITERALLY EVERY MINUTE that most of them are the same actress.
Sarah's only ever known fight or flight so yeah, it's gonna be hard for her to learn to stay in one place, or 'be still' as Siobhan used to say.
I love Helena's nursery, it's so very Helena. And I love seeing her evolution, from season one to now, watching the person who used to be an assassin with a twisted up ideology be healthy and supported and cared for as she raises two little humans.
Augh I just loved it all! Even Donnie in his underpants, which I've kind of always loved, TBH.
Also I loved how when Helena was with her babies, they finally stopped playing her fractured Helena music. She’s pretty peaceful.
Thank you, friend. <3
Yaaaas I think I too have loved Donnie dancing in his underwear, for the same reason that I love how this show writes men, which is as supportive sidekicks who do have their own stories but are basically there for comic relief/to show up for (but not rescue) the women (ditto Scott, and Scott’s friend, the sidekick’s sidekick).
I was so late to the Orphan Black party for a couple of reasons, but I’m so glad I finally made it here. I binged the first 3 seasons last year in less than 2 weeks, mostly on time for season 4 to begin. My mom was inspired to continue watching and I pointed her to your recaps because you were so much better at explaining than I was. Thank you for writing these fantastic recaps!
Orphan Black’s ending was better than anything I had imagined. I think I am so used to shows ending with death that this ending was such a surprise. I was crying, but they were happy tears. And I cried again reading your recap! Thank you again, and thank you, Orphan Black, for being wonderful.
Thank you for liking my recaps enough to share them! :)
Ahh! Valerie this recap is so important for so many reasons, but I have to say that YES, i totally know what level you’re talking about in video games and YES, it’s the exact worst part of every video game with that level!
also your random outburst after “GIRLFRIENDS DOING SCIENCE” being “HEY NOW HEY NOW, THIS IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF” MADE ME DIE AND COME BACK TO LIFE AGAIN.
“Because why not squeeze one more accent/language in there before we leave?” Yes!
Thank you for all your amazing thoughts infused into so many incredibly entertaining recaps of this show. <3
Thank YOU, Sarah.
And I’m crying again! I had the same fear, that the last episode would be brutal and take at least one more character we loved, but it was so perfect and I cried about 100 times. I should start something new from my never ending list of “Shows to Watch”, but I may just start all over again from season 1.
Aaaand I’m crying again! I cried during the birthing scene, I cried at the ending, I cried reading this recap. ALL. THE. FEELINGS. Thank you Valerie Anne for doing this wonderful journey with us, I’ve always enjoyed your recaps. #CloneClub forever! PS. I hope they give another well-deserved Emmy for Tatiana! :)
Thank you so much. #EmmyforMaslany always <3
Thank you all your beautiful writing and passion for this show, Valerie. This recap was amazing, but this sentence captures most what I loved about the episode:
“It was four different versions of what love looks like, four different versions of happily ever after, four different-looking branches of one big family.”
Also, Allison was playing the Orphan Black theme on the piano at the end, haha! Another meta moment, like Helena naming her story “Orphan Black.”
That first meet up you organized was where I met you and others, where I made my first queer friends after moving to NYC. It was life altering. Fandom can change everything. It’s a beautiful, powerful thing. Thank you for recognizing that power and using it for good.
Goodbye, Orphan Black. You were wonderful.
I never cry, but I did during the birth scene and then, I choked up again when Helena got her happy dream party.
I don’t know what I expected from the Orphan Black finale, but it certainly wasn’t this amount of closure and happiness and love.
Orphan Black, for all of its fast paced mystery drama was always, at its core, a show about family.
And having Scott and Art there at the baby shower and all of these misfit toys coming from places of loss and not fitting in and being one, bonded together by love and friendship was so perfect, I can’t even.
Like you, Valerie, I came to Orphan Black while watching Once and that shit storm about the invalidation of adoptive and the appraisal of genetic mothering was such a stark contrast to this little BBC America gem, it only made it shine more for me and walk away from Once without regret.
Delphine’s moment with Sarah in the kitchen reminded me a lot of “You have to love all of my sisters, if you love me.” and it just knitted this finale even more together.
Ugh, so many feelings , still.
And also, I can’t believe we watched Cosima cough blood for three seasons and she got her happy ending.
In this political climate, having a series finale where the women reclaim agency of their bodies, defeat the patriarchy and where they get to have these versions of family where not one looks like what some people want us to believe “family” is… It’s damn revolutionary.
I’ve seen reviews or opinions online of people who think the finale is anti climatic. And yeah… they don’t get it, do they? Every drama on TV is giving us suffering and rape and death and here is a show that was like NOPE YOU GET A HAPPY ENDING because in real life you might not!
Also CAN WE TALK ABOUT ART CALLING SARAH SESTRA???
Upvotes are broken so I have to comment but YES ALL OF THIS!
Finale’s that end with mass bloodshed aren’t INTERESTING anymore. It’s become so rote, so expected, so unoriginal. Ending a series like THIS!? That’s new, and interesting, and much more original.
I’m upvoting all of you in my heart.
I was reluctant to watch this last episode, I love the series and I figured that if I didn’t watch it Orphan would never end. When I finally got around watching the episode and they found this new clone.. from Cartagena (Gasp! My HOMETOWN!!!!) and Cosima knew it was Colombia.. I was glad I got around and watched the episode.
It was so much fun to see Camila Torres flirt with Delphine and invite her to have “arroz con coco” and “pescado frito” I almost died.
Tatiana and Evelyn did such a great job talking in Spanish and my little heart melted with Tatiana’s redition of the Cartagenian accent. I mean… MY HOME F-ing TOWN!!! What were the odds?
Dammit. She got me again! I read this comment and thought:
We never heard Tatiana (Cosima) speak Spanish. Why would she say Tatiana did a great job…?
To the very end she tricked me! Tatiana (Camilla) was great lol!
I’m still crying about this three days later. I can’t remember the last time a show meant this much to me. Thank you for your wonderful recaps – I looked forward to them almost as much as I did the show itself. Your screencap captions specifically, haha. Clone Club forever ❤️
Thank you so much, that means a lot to hear. <3
I was so convinced something schocking must happen, that I was actually schocked with the happy ending. Till the very last second I expected it to be just Helena’s dream, so it left me confused, but really, really glad. I’ll miss this show so much!
And apparently I can’t write ‘shocking’ properly. Which is sad because I’m basically a grammar nazi when it comes to my native language.
Dear Valerie Anne,
These recaps have been intricately woven into my experience of Orphan Black. After watching another emotional rollercoaster of an episode, your words always me laugh and sob and FEEL all over again, as well as reminding me I wasn’t alone in caring so deeply for these characters. Because I did. I do. I LOVE them. And seeing this love mirrored and understood was an absolute joy.
And, well, your captions were spectacular too, of course.
May there be a lot of shows in whose recaps you will be able to draw comparisons to Orphan Black. Because in that case, the future of television is bright and shiny and FEMALE.
*always MADE me
Thank you so much. Writing them has been part of this experience for me, too. It was truly a great joy in my life, and I’m so grateful people were on this ride with me. <3
What a finale! What a series! What a ride! Fully agree with some of the above commenters that I was also expecting more bloodshed on the Clone Club side (given the BBC America finale teaser– those have been somewhat over-dramatic recently, or maybe they have always been). Anyhow, I am glad it went down as it did, quietly, but still full of emotions– and what freedom means to and looks like for each of the (core) sestras.
‘Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.’ (Galatians 3:4)
More general thoughts on the series:
– Dyad, Proletheans, Neolution, Bright Born, PT Westmoreland et al… only Rachel came through, maybe as alone as ever, sacrificing the power she had in exchange for the freedom of all 274 (surviving?) clones. Has she redeemed herself, probably not, but she has made the right choices at the right time.
– Cophine… They lived. Part of me is actually grateful that I haven’t been following the series closely around Delphine’s presumed death. That would have hit me too hard. Knowing she survived that bullet when catching up on S1-4 was just the thing I needed after POI ripped out my heart (nooo, Root!!!) Delphine and Cosima being happy and making crazy science until the end of times gives me life! Kudos to Evelyne and Tatiana for creating this magical ship (and the fandom in elevating it).
– Galaxy of women… Yes, more of these galaxies on TV, film and life in general, please!
– Art, Donnie, Scott and Felix… Yes to supportive male sidekicks and brother sestras! :D
– Amazing use of technology in the multi clone scenes plus Tatiana’s hard work in bringing it all together.
– The OB movie (if it ever comes to life)… What could it explore? New clones? Neolution’s origin story? Sarah’s and Felix’ early years with Mrs S back in the UK? Or Beth meeting Cosima and Alison for the first time? Or would the comics suffice to tell these stories?
Last but not least, thanks, Valerie Anne, for recapping OB all these years – the passion! And looking forward to the remaining Wynonna Earp season 2 recaps and, gulp, future Supergirl recaps (I fear for SG! You have changed…).
I would watch a movie of Cosima and Delphine traveling the world and inoculating clones. Maybe Sarah and Alison join them now and then.
Same, would watch an extended version of Cophine having… brunch, and touring the world to meet up with all the sestras.
I thought Felix would be meeting Cal. Poor Cal.
Or the boyfriend Helena loved with the baseball cap, but he may have been killed.
This was a good consistent finale and season. So often a finale doesn’t work for me at all but this was sweet and satisfying.
RIP Jesse’s Towing
srsly WHERE THE FUCK IS KIRA’S FATHER?!
Also did Art adopt Charlotte?
I’ve waited to read this because I was kinda hoping that if I didn’t read it, it wouldn’t be over? But, jeez, I was already a mess when it ended (my mom let me watch it in her room, she hasn’t seen the past like three seasons but she watched basically the entire thing and let me talk my head off and then like gave me a hug when I nearly busted out crying at the end), but this THIS RECAP I AM INCONSOLABLE it’s beautiful and lovely and thank you so much for putting your heart in this, I so need it.
Also also, I’ve highlighted like ten spots in your recaps and like if I was rich I’d be getting them tattooed tomorrow because just ahhh AHHH AHHHH this is everything I wanted in a recap and more.
Also! idk if anyone else is about that fanfiction but sharkodactyl wrote like 353(?) ficlets between the season four and five hiatus (http://archiveofourown.org/series/499210) and wrote this amazing ending for Rachel (http://archiveofourown.org/works/11793438) and just honestly is one of my favorite Clone Club people if just going into the world cold turkey without Orphan Black is not your thing.
Also also also! Have you read Smells Like Teen Spirit? It’s this AU Orphan Black where Beth is alive and they’re all in high school and I love it so much: http://archiveofourown.org/works/3809770 (There’s also a college spin-off but I haven’t read it yet)
Thank you, Valerie, thank you so much.
Alexis!! Thank YOU so much. Your kind words mean a lot to me. <3