Here’s my review of Orphan Black season three finale “History Yet to Be Written.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.
In the season opener “The Weight of This Combination,” we began the episode with Helena’s dream sequence of having a happy family together with all of her sisters. When we began the season, this seemed like an unrealistic dream. With all the craziness and conspiracies from season two, it didn’t seem like there would ever be a time for the group to sit down together and just have fun. And yet, by the end of “History Yet to Be Written,” we see everyone gathered together in Alison’s store, having a celebratory meal. It’s a great payoff from the struggles we’ve seen all of them go through during this season.
And in contrast, the season finale opened with a dream as well, but this one was Rachel’s as she remembers her childhood with her father and also his suicide from last season. As an antagonist, she’s not a part of the sisterhood and not really welcomed at all. This just serves to show how alone she is. At first, I thought it was a bit strange to open with the focus on Rachel since she’s not very involved with the current ongoing storyline as she jetted off to Europe a few episodes ago. But as it turns out, you can’t truly take a clone out of Clone Club. The reveal at the end of the episode showed that Rachel is still going to be connected to the story since she’s now in the hands of her mother, Susan Duncan, someone they all thought was dead. Sometimes I’m a little wary when a story spends too much time setting up future plots instead of focusing on the current one, but the balance in this episode worked. Rachel only appeared at the beginning and the end. It was just enough to get me curious about next season.
As for the rest of the season finale, it was a bit underwhelming in terms of action. Maybe after we’ve already seen Helena make her dramatic prison escape and Paul blow himself up with a grenade, anything that followed would have been underwhelming. In particular, the fight between Helena and Rudy wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be. Rudy has been set up as the most dangerous of the Castor clones. He’s the “loose cannon,” the “wild one.” But Helena begins their fight by smacking him in the face with a roll of duct tape and it’s all downhill from there. She defeats him easily by shoving a screwdriver through his arm. Of course, we all knew Helena would win, but there just wasn’t a lot of tension to the fight since it didn’t last very long. Another example of underwhelming was when Ferdinand came to take the samples. It was tense at first but then he easily switches sides once Delphine tells them of the Neolution plot. The shift in allegiance was great because it was unexpected, but it also shifted the potential action away from our main characters. Sarah didn’t do much in this episode but stand around. (I mean, even Felix got to kick a door down!!)
But even though dramatic moments were mostly averted before they got too intense, the episode still had a lot of great interactions between the characters. Mrs S got to talk things out with her mother Kendall Malone, the Leda and Castor original. Delphine had the chance to make up (and make out) with Cosima. And in the end, everyone gets to celebrate Alison’s school board election victory. These scenes all added the emotional element that the audience needs to connect with what they’re watching. Orphan Black is a show that always shines when it allows moments like these to occur between all the craziness of the science conspiracies and such.
Overall, I thought the finale was a good wrap to season three because it wrapped up a few plot lines and seeded a few more for the future, all while still letting the characters create emotional moments. It’s going to be a long wait for season four.
Classified Research Notes
- Let’s take a moment to remember Delphine. Evelyne Brochu really took the character up a notch this season, so it’s a shame to see her go. At least she got to uncover the Neolution conspiracy before she went.
- Helena and Donnie being besties now is great, but the return of Jesse (Patrick J. Adams) was super random and felt out of place.
- Do you think they’ll finally introduce Krystal to clone club now??
- Felix kicking that door down just adds fuel to my desire for a Felix/Art buddy cop spinoff show. The shenanigans they could have together!
- The dinner scene was a testament to how nice the special effects are on this show because Tatiana Maslany was playing FOUR different characters in that scene. WOW
- What was your favorite moment this season? I think mine was Helena’s buttery prison escape.
So what did you think? Like it or hate? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!