Friday, August 11, 2017

What I’m Watching: Orphan Black (Penultimate Episode)

Orphan Black: Season 5, Episode 9 “One Fettered Slave” (B+)

We’re almost at the end here, and it definitely feels like it. This episode was eventful and good, but I can’t help but feel that maybe a return to the mythology wasn’t exactly what we needed at this point. There’s a tendency I’ve noticed with a lot of shows to very heavily feature characters introduced late in their runs when the clock starts ticking down even if they’re not as much of a part of the show’s institutional memory. Westmoreland, who looks especially sinister with no hair, is a great example of that, since there were the Lida clones, the Castor clones, and so much more before he ever appeared to dominate this last season. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that he’s much worse than both Virginia and Rachel, who each have their own set of morals that come from somewhere even if they’re far from pure. Featuring Art so prominently in this episode as he killed one person and nearly offed another in fury feels right since he was so prominent on this show at its start and has taken a backseat. The flashback to who Helena was and how she became who she is was very fitting, and seeing her stab herself so that her babies wouldn’t be an experiment was tragic but apparently not all that finite, since the episode ended with her announcing that the birth was continuing. How quickly things change from Sarah dressed as Rachel tied up in the trunk to kill Westmoreland and then working with Virginia the next minute to save Helena – let’s hope that the series finale is satisfying and effective, closing out a unique and addictive show.

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