A Look at Orphan Black- Series Finale: “To Right the Wrongs of Many”

Well, here it is.  After so many mysteries, discoveries, and adventures with the sisterhood, it’s time to close the book on Orphan Black.  Let’s take one last ride with Clone Club in the series finale: “To Right the Wrongs of Many.”

The episode begins with a flashback as S and Sarah talk about an upcoming appointment outside Planned Parenthood, as Sarah considers having an abortion.  Siobhan asks Sarah if she’s ready to raise a child.

In the present, Sarah and Helena are on the move, though Helena naturally is having a harder time moving.  While the doctors help up Dr. Coady, they find that, yes, Sarah and Helena have escaped.  PT, naturally, is pissed that Helena has escaped, but Virginia is confident that Sarah and Helena are still in the building.  Plus, Helena’s water has broken, so she couldn’t have gotten far.

Indeed, Sarah is forced to lay Helena down.  While Maddie explores the compound, she finds herself attacked from behind by Art, who then handcuffs her to a stairwell.  A woozy PT tells Virginia to find Helena.

Well, she’s on her back and in pain, but doesn’t want to have the baby right here, even though Sarah insists that there may be no choice.  Sarah gives Helena a blade before heading off for any kind of help.

As luck would have it, she ends up in the same room as Virginia and another DYAD member.  When Virginia leaves, Art surprises Sarah, who informs him that Helena is about to give birth.  Art gives Sarah his gun while she goes to get some medical equipment.  Art then informs Sarah that Felix and Donnie are waiting in a getaway car and they can’t trust any of the officers stationed outside

PT advises a doctor to inject him with methamphetamine, even though the doctor would rather not do that.  When the doctor also advises PT to stay where he is, he’s killed for his troubles.

Another officer finds Maddie and alerts Virginia that not only is Maddie out of commission, but her radio has been taken.  As such, Virginia tells everyone to go radio silent.  She spots some blood on the floor and arrives in the room where Helena is resting. She asks about her contractions and wants to get back to the procedure.  She then calls PT and tells him to stay where he is, but to send help.

Art soon finds Helena, but it’s a setup, as he soon has his gun taken by Virginia.  Well, that worked.  She pushes over her bag of supplies and tells Art that tonight, he’s the midwife.  Clearly, this was not on Art’s list of things to do tonight.  Helena, meanwhile, wants to move, but she starts bleeding.  When Virginia gets close enough, Art takes her gun and Helena stabs her in the face.

Sarah enters the lab and hears PT’s voice all around her, taunting her about finding Helena.  When Sarah opens fire all around her, PT’s voice stops…for a moment, until he ambushes her and begins to suffocate her.  Sarah manages to fight back and push PT off of her. She tells PT that all of the clones have survived him.  This, she says, is evolution.  And that’s when Sarah takes the oxygen tank and smashes it onto PT’s face.

After another flashback of Sarah telling S that she’s going to keep her baby, we return to the present where Sarah joins Art and Helena to help with the birthing.  At the same time, Sarah has flashbacks, but she coaches Helena through the pushing just as Siobhan coached Sarah when she gave birth.  At last, Helena’s baby boy comes sliding out.  Not long after, out comes baby number two.

Sometime later, Helena is now a mother and taking care of her two boys.  Sarah, meanwhile, is studying for her GED and is getting some help in science from Scott and Cosima.  Kira soon heads down for school and tells her mother to try her best on her upcoming test.

Donnie joins Helena to help take care of one of the babies, Orange.  The other is Purple.  Go figure that out.  Donnie, now a regional manager, takes the baby to Auntie Alison just as he’s set to head off for his business trip.

Scott, Cosima, and Delphine are still hard at work when they receive word of another clone from Colombia: Camilla Torres.  Cosima is stunned at how many clones there are.  This new one makes the total now seven.  For now.

Back at the house, Sarah finds S’s birthday note when Felix arrives back at the house.  Also, Felix asks why there’s a ‘For Sale’ sign outside the house.  Felix asks if Sarah has a plan for her and Kira, but right now, she’s going to wing it.  And yes, if the past is any indication, this conversation will be put off until Sarah finishes school.

When Sarah arrives at the school, she gets a call from Helena, who asks to confirm if Sarah is coming to the baby shower.  Right now, Sarah will be there, but she’s been preoccupied with school.  Doesn’t help that she’s so much older than the other students.  Apparently Sarah never watched Community.  Either way, Sarah decides that she won’t be taking the test.

As if to drive this point home of how she wants to do things her way, even against other’s wishes, we get a brief flashback of Sarah telling Siobhan that she doesn’t want her help or support in raising her child.

We then get a scene that’s almost identical to the dream sequence Helena had back in the Season Three premiere as everyone has a party at Alison’s home.  Though it’s not a baby shower this time.

Sarah soon arrives, grabs a brew from the refrigerator, and drops off a box.  Delphine enters from outside and tells Sarah about how much she respected Siobhan.  She second-guesses her decisions and wonders whether she could’ve done different, but Sarah tells her to accept that Siobhan did what she did for all of this.

Others arrive and asks about Sarah’s test, but like most things, Sarah ducks and dodges the answer.  Felix, meanwhile, receives notice that someone else is coming to the party.  Art joins Helena and holds one of the babies, though Helena tells Art that she’s worried about Sarah.

Turns out the box Sarah gave was full of toys, which is good, considering Helena gives rocks to her children.  Alison asks Sarah about the ‘For Sale’ sign, as she wants the sisters to remain together, but Sarah insists that she needs a change.  Though Alison feels Sarah’s loss, she wants Kira to have a home here with her cousins.   But Sarah lashes out at Alison, saying that Kira shouldn’t live in the home where S was killed.

Out front, Felix enters a car and speaks with, of course, Rachel, as well as meets her Uber driver.  Rachel uses Uber.  How about that?

Sarah admits to Cosima, Alison, and Helena that yeah, she didn’t take her test.  She has no idea what she’s doing, but carries around a bunch of mistakes and doesn’t know how to be happy.  After all, there’s no one left to fight, sure, but she’s still a shit mother.  Then Alison shares a story about how she raged at and scared her daughter.

Helena, meanwhile, lets her children eat sand.  And Cosima?  She’s not maternal at all.  Truth is, for all their smarts, the clones are still scared.

When Rachel asks how everyone is doing, Felix reminds her that she can’t come in, though the last thing Rachel wants to do is see another face that looks like hers.  With that, she gives Felix an envelope and Felix bids her farewell and wishes her a nice life. Brief as these scenes are with Rachel, I do like them and am glad that if anyone had the final word with Rachel, it was Felix.

Anyway, following this, Felix joins the sisters and hands over an envelope containing a complete list of the Leda sisters, as well as what’s needed to cure them.  There are, count them, 274 sestras.  That’s a lot of inoculations.  But enough about that.  Helena finished her book, which she has chosen to title “Orphan Black.”  Roll credits.

Later, Donnie walks in on and begins to perform a striptease while Alison practices on her keyboard.

Elsewhere, Delphine operates on the Camilla, who recommends that she head to a particular restaurant.  As the woman leaves, she narrowly misses a hiding Cosima.  And the two are headed to Brazil.

While Helena cares for her children, Sarah, Felix, and Kira head off for their fishing trip.  Looks like she decided to stay after all.  She closes the door and we’re left on a long shot inside Siobhan’s home as as Orphan Black and five seasons worth of adventures from Clone Club comes to a close.

As with a lot of series finales, there is indeed a sense of finality to all of this.  More than that, Orphan Black avoids a lot of conflict in this ending by dragging out the conflict against the opposition.  Coady and Westmoreland are taken care of in no time at all and the bulk of this finale is devoted to the emotional core of the show: the sisters.

In a way, that’s related to the one letdown I have not just for this episode, but the season as a whole: the antagonists.  Granted, this show has always been about the clones, but PT Westmoreland was a real letdown.  After all the buildup and mystery surrounding him, he was nothing more than a fraud and an old man clinging to life. Hardly a challenge for our heroes.

As a secondary antagonist, maybe I could bear him, but since there was so much focus and intrigue surrounding his history, it’s disappointing that he never struck me as a credible threat.  As much of a Bond villain as Rachel could be at times, she at least had moments where she proved to be a challenge.  She left an impression.  The same can’t be said for Westmoreland.

But, again, this finale wasn’t about him and I think it speaks volumes of how little importance he really was as a character when he’s taken out so easily by Sarah.  No. This finale was about closure.  A lot of series finales like to wrap things in a nice bow and end on a high note, and Orphan Black is no exception.

Because the threat is dispatched of so soon, we get to spend these last minutes without any tension and get to bask in the same happiness that the clones have craved for so long.  Given everything that they’ve endured and lost, it’s a moment that the show more than earns.  Having come this far, the clones could use some uninterrupted joy in their lives.  And a quieter ending is a nice change of pace from the drama.

That’s not to say that the clones were devoid of conflict.  We spend more time with Sarah processing her future now that Siobhan isn’t a part of her life.  And as we’ve seen her do before, she’s ready for a change.  Not necessarily to run away, but to find some meaning.  All she’s been doing is fighting, and Siobhan was a big part in keeping her together.  Without her, what’s Sarah’s next move?

Side-note, while it was nice to see Maria Doyle Kennedy again, I could’ve done without the flashbacks because they just reinforced what we already know about Sarah and her relationship with Siobhan.  Some nice parallels between S being there when Sarah gave birth and Sarah being there for Helena in the present, but it wasn’t needed.

But with S gone, Sarah doesn’t have that emotional rock to fall back that wasn’t Felix, Kira, Art, or any of the clones.  However, by episode’s end, Sarah learns that S’s legacy not only lives on, but everyone around her feels her pain and is willing to be there for her.  It’s why Alison was so adamant that Sarah stay and be with her family, even though at the end of the day, it’s Sarah decision whether she wanted to leave.

Could it be a bit of selfishness that the clones wish that they all remain together so their children and families grow up together?  Maybe, but it’s not out of character for Alison to want Sarah to remain since they’ve fought for so long to be together.  And with all they’ve endured, for Sarah to run off again would be splitting up the family.

It would be easy to make all of this feel cheap and sentimental, but it’s all genuine. The clones coming together with Sarah to show that they’re all afraid is a very warm moment, worthy of five seasons of development as they’ve grown as as family.

And at this point, what’s left to say about Tatiana Maslany’s performance?  The woman is talent personified.  I still have to remind myself at times that she’s playing most of these characters, but between her performance and great direction, she’s given each clone great, emotional depth and effortlessly juggles each role without missing a beat.

On that note, it’s great that we get some closure for the clones, but still a taste of where their lives will lead them.  Cosima and Delphine no longer have their love interrupted, so they can travel the world and vaccinate all of the other clones.  How they’re paying for all of this travel, I don’t know, but whatever.

Helena gives birth and we get a great payoff to the Season Three premiere, “The Weight of This Combination,” but instead of a baby shower interrupted by a scorpion, there’s nothing but jubilation here.  And even an oddball like Helena still shows genuine concern for Sarah.  Plus, after all she’s endured, she’s ready to tell her story about her sestras.  Not too shabby for a clone who started off as a killing machine.

Sarah said that freedom looks different to everyone, and that’s very clear in where Rachel ends up by the end.  Even with the changes she’s made and how she’s proven herself an ally to the clones, she’s still not welcome into their circle.  Not now.  It would be too sudden if she were to appear at the party, and now that she’s forced to live under the radar for fear of being detected, freedom isn’t really free to her.

What good she’s done doesn’t overlook the bad and if the clones were to forget all of that for the sake of a happy moment, it would’ve robbed the scene of its genuine feeling.  So while it is tragic that Rachel ends up at this point, at least we’re left knowing that she’s still helping the clones from afar.  And though Rachel knows the clones don’t accept her at the moment, we do see shades of a good person under that cold exterior.

And so it’s come to this: the end of Orphan Black.  It’s been an interesting ride from start to finish.  For me, coming into the game and catching up before Season Three began, my experience with this show no doubt differs from someone who has followed from the start, but I’ve still had a great time watching it.  Were there hiccups along the way? Sure.

Was this an explosive, knock your socks off finish?  No, and it didn’t need to be.  The heart of the show has been the sisterhood and with their challenges behind them, they can enjoy their lives together as a much stronger family.  Us watching will no doubt miss it, but the legacy of Clone Club lives on.  So for everyone involved, John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Tatiana Maslany, and all the folks behind Orphan Black.

We thank you.

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