The Orphan Black season 3 finale, “History Yet to Be Written,” is everything I love about this show. Just like nearly the entire series, it does not disappoint. Everything and everyone converges, and it all leads to yet another big answer: Who’s a common enemy?
Sarah must make a couple of tough choices along the way, as the number one goal remains to keep any trace of the original out of Castor’s hands. Meanwhile at Dyad, Delphine discovers what she has been kept in the dark about and is left with a decision of her own. Plus, Alison finds out the results of the school trustee election, and Donnie surprises Helena with a gift.
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Keeping Kendall Hidden
Again, the number one goal is keeping Kendall out of Castor’s hands. So thanks to Detective Art “I do what I can for the sisters” Bell, knowing a place that has been tied up in court for months where no one will find them, Sarah, Felix, Mrs. S. and Scott set up the original, (in what is essentially quarantine), wearing a suit to ensure she doesn’t leave any traces anywhere. When Sarah asks why Kendall doesn’t look like her, Scott explains that as a chimera, she has two different cell lines that express differently in combination. Isolating the female genome results in Leda, Mrs. S. takes this opportunity to remind her mother the other half is Castor and she will incinerate her if it looks like one bit of her will end up in their hands. But it’s not just Castor they have to worry about; Topside wants her as well.
When Cosima comes by to get Kendall’s samples, she’s the one who finds a way past her abrasive personality. She helps her out of the suit and has the right response when Kendall says she doesn’t owe her anything: “I owe you. You gave me the stuff of life. And you’re the closest thing I’ll ever get to a cure.” And after that, Kendall gives her her blood willingly.
Mrs. S. is still willing and prepared to kill her mother if she needs to. Sure, she can’t use garden shears. Kendall argues that John started the fight, and she just finished it, to which Siobhan tells her, “I loved him and you took him away.” Mrs. S. does have a bat and knows two ways to thoroughly destroy genetic material: incineration and a tub filled with acid.
Surprises for Clones
Kill a drug lord and get a refund, get a gift. Well, not exactly, but Donnie surprises Helena when he takes her out to the Hendrixes’ garage, has her open the door and reunites her with Jesse. They thought it would be nice for her, Donnie explains, and she hugs him. (I love their strange friendship that I never saw coming more and more with every scene.)
Helena catches Jesse up on what’s happened since she last saw him: A prison break, freeing her sestra, a new mother in Mrs. S., soap making and teaching kids karate. He replies, “You live large.” (Just think about what he doesn’t know!) They kiss, she tells him she has a “science baby” inside of her but he’ll be her first, and he pulls a Jerry Maguire with “you had me at soap making,” but before they can continue, her phone buzzes. Her family needs her, she explains, so they’re going to have to wait a bit longer. I really want to see more of these two because Helena deserves it. But, because this is Orphan Black, a small part of me is also hoping that Jesse’s not secretly a spy for someone.
Why does her family need Helena? With Art’s help, Sarah and Felix track down Mark and Gracie, and the Castor tells them Dr. Coady’s next move: to go after their weak link, Alison. Rudy follows her on election day, making her rounds, and Donnie drops her off at home, where Rudy enters the garage…to find Helena waiting, taping weapons to her hands. Prison rules, she explains. Only one of them leaves. Rudy refuses the tape she offers him, so she kicks it into his face and the fight begins. It’s a short one, with Rudy glitching and near the end, and after Helena stabs him through his bicep, all she has to do is lie next to him on the garage floor as he dies.
“Do you remember your childhood?” Rudy asks while telling her how he and his brothers would “sleep walk out of bed and pile in a corner, like puppies.” Helena then shares her own childhood anecdote: she was forced to shoot a puppy. “We’re just like you. We had a purpose, just like you,” he insists, but she argues, “You poison women. You are a rapist.” And another Castor is dead.
That’s what Rachel wants to know too, when she wakes up in a room with a bandage over her eye, her wheelchair by her bed, an envelope and mirror left for her on the table and a display of Galapagos finches. When she removes the bandage, her new eye screams Neolution. And Dr. Nealon told her it would be a perfectly matched eye…
Sarah Makes a Deal
When Ferdinand arrives at Dyad for his meeting with Delphine to discuss Sarah and the original, he utters his best line up to that point: “There is nowhere I like to be more than under the heel of a woman, but sometimes it makes me seethe.” Speaking of Ferdinand being under the hell of a woman, Sarah steps out, offering a one-time deal and revealing she was “Rachel” the last time he was in town. (“Who’s a dirty clone?” “You are.”) All Topside needs are biological samples, Sarah says. They can have that, but they can’t have Kendall. It’s better for everyone if Castor dies out so Dr. Coady can’t weaponize the pathogen.
As part of the deal, Ferdinand gets Coady, and for that, they use Mark. With a few punches to bloody him up, a hood to cover his head and the right camera angle, Mark video-chats with Dr. Coady as Rudy and claims he found Helena, who led him right to Kendall. He sends along a location, but when Dr. Coady and her men arrive, Ferdinand kills her driver and gets in the backseat of the car with her. “You won’t find what you’re looking for here,” he informs her.
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The Truth Comes Out (for Some) and Can Be Fatal
When Cosima goes to see Shay and apologize, she offers as an explanation that they work on classified science, so they have reasons to be paranoid. When Shay tells her what Delphine did, all Cosima can offer is an apology and then asks why she didn’t tell her she’s in the military and wonder if she’s even practicing Chinese medicine. They met on a dating app, Shay reminds her. She fluffed up her profile and reinvented herself, just like many people do on dating sites. (But is that all it is? Is her being in the military simply just a coincidence?) The problem here is that when it comes to things like that – any lies – Cosima can’t leave it to chance. When Shay brings up Cosima’s own lies, all Cosima can tell her is that she wishes she could tell her the truth, but she can’t. And so Shay tells her to go.
When they have a few minutes, Mrs. S. takes the time to ask Kendall to help her daughter understand who she is. Duncan returned five or six years after harvesting her, Kendall says, and admitted that he had cloned her. However, he feared for his life from Neolution – they had polluted everything, poisoned the science and corrupted his wife (but even she didn’t know Kendall’s identity), and so Kendall sent him to Siobhan so she would hide him. In return, he steered the clone who had been lost in the foster system to her. She had put Mrs. S. and Sarah together, wanting her daughter to have a little piece of her despite everything.
When Dr. Nealon and Rachel first pulled the switch with Krystal, I had said that Krystal’s only hope was probably Delphine. Well, when Delphine takes a closer look at “Rachel” in her bed, she notices the polish on her nails and then Krystal wakes up and slaps her. When she recognizes her as the family doctor from her salon, Delphine realizes what happened. Removing the bandage from her eye assures Krystal that she’s not blind, but the poor unaware clone wants to know, “Why do weird things keep happening to me?”
Delphine then puts Dr. Nealon in Dyad’s cell, and he has her turn on the screen so she can see the camera feed of Rachel. “We were there from the very beginning,” he reveals. “Topside pursues its profits. The military pursues its weapon. We steer it all from within.” Neolution, Delphine realizes. They infiltrated and maneuvered all the players in the experiment since day one, Nealon boasts, calling Castor and Leda their Adam and Eve, and soon, Topside will unknowingly deliver the genome right into their waiting hands.
“Wherever you think the science is at, I guarantee you’re wrong,” he assures her before offering her a job, a one-time offer. “You’re finished,” she tells him, but then sees that the guards in the hall are gone. Nealon attacks and pins her to the table, and Delphine shoots him in time to keep the Neolution worm from crawling out of his mouth onto her. “You won’t live ’til morning,” he warns her as he dies.
Ferdinand and Bulldog have joined Sarah, Mrs. S. and Kendal and are in the process of collecting the original’s samples when Delphine extracts the worm from Nealon and calls Sarah to tell her everything she has learned. Sarah then fills Ferdinand in: Leda and Castor are run by Neolution, they’re all part of a larger agenda, Ferdinand is just a pawn to get the genome, Rachel’s alive and Neolution has her.
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Then comes the moment that makes me go from being indifferent about Ferdinand to making me really start to like him. He picks up the bat and makes his feelings for “those genetically obsessed zealots” very, very clear. “I hate Neolutionists,” he tells them. “I hate them. I hate them.” But he’s not done, as he then turns and hits Bulldog with the bat, over and over. “Hate them. Hate them. Hate them. Neos in Castor. Neos in Topside. Neos right next to me.” “We’re everywhere,” Bulldog confirms.
Ferdinand knows this changes everything and he knows they can’t hand over Kendall’s samples. In fact, he decides this makes them “new BFFs,” sends them off to hide Kendall, even from him, and drags Bulldog, ( “Oh, stop whining,” he tells him), off to what is sure to be a painful death. He does have that tub and the acid right there…
Knowing she’s running out of time, Delphine goes to see Shay. She knows what she did was unforgivable, but Cosima cares about her and she thinks they fit. She leaves her with a Dyad card with 324B21 written on it and tells her to tell Cosima she can tell her everything if she wants to.
Delphine then goes to see Cosima and tells her to keep the sequenced genome safe and Kendall far away. Cosima knows why she did everything she did and apologizes for making her make the hard choices and then blaming her for them. Dephine kisses her and with “give your sisters all my love,” she leaves.
After parking her car, Delphine walks, head held high, but cautious, until she stops, puts her bag down, turns around and nods slightly. “What will happen to her?” She asks before she is shot in the chest and falls back against a car. Is this it for Delphine?
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Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Mrs. S., Felix, Art, Donnie and Scott gather at Bubbles for a Clone Club family dinner and celebrate when Alison beats Marci by 56 votes and wins the election. Sarah toasts to Beth “for giving us all her strength,” and then Alison thanks her seestras “for your bravery, for protecting us, for making us feel normal.” Whatever comes next, they’ll “face it together, as a family.” After Alison’s storyline was so separate from the others this season, I’m happy to see everyone together.
Elsewhere, Charlotte enters Rachel’s room and tells her, “She says you’re going to be my new mom.” (Remember in the premiere Ferdinand told Sarah-as-Rachel that it was all about Kira as Sarah tried to get him to abort Helsinki?) Who’s “she”? That would be Professor Susan Duncan. Yes, Rachel’s mother is alive, and she enters the room to welcome her home.
Finally, Sarah and Kira are reunited in Iceland, as Mrs. S. and Kendall watch. With that, season 3 ends on a somewhat happy note. But will #SaveDelphine join #SaveCosima now?
Orphan Black will be back for a fourth season on BBC America.
(Images courtesy of BBC America)