A Look at Orphan Black- Season 5, Episode 8: “Guillotines Decide”

Time for some escalation.  And a farewell.

The episode begins with S and Sarah waiting in their home while, over at DYAD, Rachel collapses to the floor, still in pain from removing her eye.

Not long after, she’s being operated on by a doctor who is stitching together her eye.  She soon awakens and finds Ferdinand at her side.

No movement on Sarah and S’s part, though they’re to continue waiting for S’s friends.  Not long after, Kira comes downstairs and is introduced to Charlotte, who will be going with Kira to stay with Art’s ex.  S figures that Neolution has figured everything out, which could explain why no one is following Art.

Cosima and Delphine discuss safeguarding Neolution’s data, as they have an upcoming Skype date.

Sarah, meanwhile, wonders why S is so calm when Felix and Adele suddenly return just in time for his Felix’s big art opening.  Delphine and Cosima can’t come, though.  It’s Felix’s first show and he won’t have any sestra shenanigans.  Also, the Hendrixes are coming.  Sarah wants to focus on PT since he’s probably on the ropes, but S tells everyone that they deserve a break.

At the convent, Gracie thanks Helena for letting her stay.  Helena learns that Mark died two weeks ago and asks how Gracie found her, though she’s a bit suspicious of Gracie, never mind what her father did.  Gracie attempts to leave, but Helena presses Gracie’s hand to her stomach and tells her that she still has a family.

Alison and Donnie indeed arrive to help with the setup, though Alison learns that Felix doesn’t want her there, even though she’s already brought her keyboard.

As S and Adele prepare for the morning, Sarah continues looking over Neolution paperwork and the slush fund.  S then prepares to leave, telling Sarah to be at the opening so there’s no trouble.

Over at the comic shop, Scott prepares the inoculate, as Cosima’s plan is to inoculate the Ledas.  Delphine prepares to leave a bit early and promises to meet up with Scott and Cosima later.

She soon meets up with S, and the two meet up with, of all people, Ferdinand, who brings them to none other than Rachel.  Granted, Delphine doesn’t like this arrangement, but S affirms that they have similar interests now that Neolution is after Rachel.  Delphine presents her evidence and needs Rachel to prove it.  Then S needs to speak with Rachel alone.

While Sarah tries to get Adele to talk, S goes over Delphine’s information with Rachel on selling Neolution data.  Given that Rachel saved Kira, that makes her valuable, so S presents a flash drive that Rachel rejects.  However, S still wants Rachel to give herself a chance to be free.

Alison badgers Felix on letting other clones come, but he just wants her gone as he continues setting up his art show.  In enters Colin, who is introduced to Alison’s very bad impersonation of Sarah.  Well, all the impersonations can’t be gems.

Back at the convent, Helena writes in her diary when she tells Gracie that the two of them will need to take care of the convent while one of the sisters leaves.  However, when Helena leaves, Gracie makes a call to Mark and says that she hasn’t found Helena yet.  Mark’s still depending on her for the cure, so Gracie tells Mark that she’ll be checking another convent soon.  Coady, meanwhile, asks Mark if Gracie is lying.

Over at the art show, Alison tells Felix that she wants the clones to be put on as part of the show.  He goes over to Ezra, played by Kent Staines, and introduces him to Alison, who has been instructed to be herself.  One of the men notes that Alison looks different from the painting.  That much is true.

While Alison takes her leave, Scott and Cosima enter.  Felix introduces her to the crowd and tells her to do whatever comes naturally.  So she begins to bust a move over a painting of Rachel.  He said naturally, Cosima.

Sarah continues to think that S and Delphine are up to something, but Adele tells her that the entire time she and Felix were gone, he was painting different versions of her.  Delphine, meanwhile, did whatever S told her to do.  That and Adele brings up a phone call with a French guy by the name of…Ferdinand.  Whoops.

Speaking of, Ferdinand and Rachel go over the Neolution information.  Rachel figures that S came to her because she’s the smoking gun.  The two realize that this could give them leverage and freedom over Neolution.  Rachel may have saved Kira, but she figures that she doesn’t owe the clones any more than that.

We return to the art showing with Felix asking Delphine if she and S are up to something, given that he’s getting texts from Sarah.  Art, meanwhile, tells Donnie to let him know when Sarah arrives.

Rachel tells Ferdinand that the board is assembling in an hour.  When Rachel writhes in pain, she tells Ferdinand that they can make her information public.  She has a sizable nest egg, but they could destroy Westmoreland and Neolution, and then go somewhere warm and off the grid.  It’s a lucrative dream, but Ferdinand wants to build a dynasty.  With that, Rachel gives him the thumb drive.

Delphine is distracted by the possibility of being able to do anything, but before the two can kiss, Cosima must be swapped out now that Sarah has arrived.  With Cosima out, Sarah and Adele soon arrive.  Sarah confirms that S is in leagues with Ferdinand and possibly cutting a deal with Rachel.  Bad news, but time to present Sarah as Athena, goddess of war.

As S locks and loads, she writes a note.  At the same time, Delphine leaves the art show just as Sarah meets up with Art.  He tells her that he’ll be staying, but Sarah wants him to keep an eye out for S.

Helena has found Gracie’s phone and confronts her about it, but Gracie admits that she didn’t tell Mark about their location.  Nonetheless, the phone can still be traced, so it’s time for the two to leave.

Ferdinand faces the Neolution board, which agrees that it no longer takes orders from Westmoreland.  Ferdinand presents his evidence, but when he inserts the thumb drive, there’s nothing found.  Don’t you hate when that happens?

Rachel, meanwhile, laments doing this to Ferdinand, given that he did love her, but S tells her that they do what they can for the people they love.  However, Ferdinand isn’t without options.  He kills two guards and leaves the board.

Gracie and Helena, though, aren’t so lucky, as they find themselves cornered and forced to their knees by Maddie and some Neolution henchmen.  And Helena is left to watch as Maddie executes Gracie.

S finally arrives at the art show and when Sarah confronts her over working with Rachel, S tells her that she gave them the key to Neolution’s dark money bribes.  As in they’re ready to expose Neolution.

Delphine shows Cosima the findings and they’re ready to send it off and expose Neolution.  They send it off and now wait.  Cosima weeps from excitement at this all possibly being over.

Over at the art show, Felix introduces his muse, Sarah, to the crowd, followed by S, and tells everyone that S chose him and Sarah for her.  They are who they are because S brought them to this point.  Felix toasts to his galaxy of women.

Ferdinand confronts Rachel on her sending him into a death trap.  Rachel only sees a win if Westmoreland is exposed and tells Ferdinand that there’s nothing left for him.  He reminds Rachel that he’s done everything for her and begins to choke her, but soon lets up and storms out of the room.

As Felix presents Colin to S, Hell-Wizard gets the party started while S gets a call from Rachel, who tells him that Ferdinand made it out, as S expected.

S soon returns home and, of course, finds Ferdinand waiting for her.  The two talk during their standoff.  S tells Ferdinand that all of this is going public.  But yes, Ferdinand did find S’s other stashed weapon and he fires at her left ventricle, so she’ll die in no time.  But when S asks Ferdinand to get her a photo of Felix and Sarah, she fires from her own other hidden gun.

As Ferdinand slowly dies, S grasps the photo of Felix and Sarah and she leaves this world as the episode comes to a close.

Let’s start with this title: “Guillotines Decide.”  A guillotine is an instrument of death.  It has the ability to take life, though it’s the person operating it who has the decision on whether to lower the blade on the victim.  In this instance, let’s say that Neolution is the victim and people like S, Delphine, and Rachel are both the blade and ones with the option to kill.

For so long, Neolution has been in a thorn in everyone’s sides, and with Rachel coming to the realization of how much this organization has messed with her life as well, what were once enemies have banded together to eliminate a common enemy.  And up until now, it’s seemed rather easy: Westmoreland is exposed and the information regarding the Neolution dark money trail is soon to be made public.

As I watched S’s grand plan play out, I kept thinking to myself ‘It can’t be that easy.’ There’s no way this show would just let Clone Club walk out of this unscathed.  And for every surprise along the way, such as Ferdinand’s escape, there was a backup plan. So it seemed like S had thought out every possible angle in the event that something went wrong.

For that, it makes sense that she would take this on herself and only let in Delphine. Sarah no doubt would have tried to intervene because that’s what she does.  Same for Cosima if just to try and protect Delphine.  I think some of what S does was too telegraphed in setting up her death, but at the same time, things like her not taking backup to confront Ferdinand would have been out of character.

As much as the clones have each other’s backs, S is still the mother hen.  She’s instilled great values in them, made very clear and very on the nose through Felix’s speech, and would do anything to protect them, even at the cost of her own life. Though one wonders why Ferdinand did the dumb villain thing of giving the dying victim an opportunity to strike back instead of finishing Siobhan off when he had the chance.

Regardless, it’s a very touching sendoff for Siobhan.  She’s played her part and has taught so much to Sarah and the others that now they must pick up where she left off and finish this job.

And to the show’s credit, even though Cosima and Alison get wrapped up in Felix’s party, Sarah isn’t just left around doing nothing.  I mean, she is, but she’s still being proactive by looking into the Neolution paperwork and asking questions.  She’s not going to lower her defenses just because S did and she’s naturally wary of what Neolution could do, so good on the writers for keeping Sarah busy.

Felix’s art showing was a nice counterbalance to all of the drama and a great way to bring him and Adele back into the fold in a big way.  I still wish we’d gotten to see some of their investigation instead of it all happening off-screen, but they played their part in getting the details needed to expose Neolution.  Now they have their time to celebrate and great way to shuffle each clone in and out of the party and still showcase them.

Another time, I’d like to think Rachel would’ve agreed to Ferdinand’s proposal of starting a dynasty, but he was too busy looking at the bigger picture.  Rachel just wanted to be rid of Neolution and have her life back, never mind the future.  And as she told S, Ferdinand did care for her, but the two had different goals in mind.  He wanted an empire.  She just wanted her freedom.

While Ferdinand’s death was expected and it does feel deserved, given what he’s done, the same can’t be said for Gracie.  She shows up one episode prior and ends up dead in the next one.  What was the point of bringing her back just to off her one episode later?  Especially if all it did was bring Maddie to Helena.  Sure, Helena reminded Gracie of their connection, but we knew of that, so this didn’t tell us anything new.

Still, that’s a minor qualm in a very good episode of Orphan Black.  Clone Club has the advantage over Neolution with the information going public and now the goal seems to be getting rid of Westmoreland and Coady.  Siobhan made the ultimate sacrifice to protect her children.  Now to honor her sacrifice by finishing the job.

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