Orphan Black: First Season Finale

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And so here we are …

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First, some words about the score by Trevor Yuile. I saw the finale twice, the second time with a good set of headphones. Yuile’s score is just amazing. There’s a hint of Helena in the score for Alison. And the final minutes took my breath away. A perfect match of visuals and mood, creating a dark inevitability. It wound me up just like the montage music by Frans Bak for Forbrydelsen. I hope he’ll be doing the second season because his scoring is a part of the storytelling just as much as the acting, writing, and directing.

For this expression alone …

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… Tatiana Maslany should get an Emmy.

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And we were all outsmarted …

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… it was never a voicemail to Art. It was a voice memo she saved on the phone in the hope it would be found if she had been killed. And @avidmysteryfan was close:

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And BAM! —

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Another clone! But wait! All of you saw just that. This is what I saw:

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Tatiana Maslany portraying Helen Mirren portraying Ayn Rand! And before you think I’m totally nuts, this is a series with a detective named Art Bell, for god’s sake. And then there’s this from episode five which I just realized this morning:

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Trexcom. Trex. T. Rex. That’s a Jurassic Park nod. You can call me crazy, but: Art Bell!

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Amazing compositing —

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And this deserves a series of photos …

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… that death is right up there for WTFery with Mal kicking a guy into the engine intake in Firefly!

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And Felix delivers the knockout line:

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“Now I get it.”

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And oh Mrs. S! Is she even really a Mrs?

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And it pays to Google. There’s a real-world Project Leda. But I’m sure they mean this Leda. (Some of you are now thinking my Maslany-Mirren-Rand association was not so crazy after all.)

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Is Helena dead? Are you nuts? Because, retrometabolism (yeah, they’re going there). Remember the rebar she took to the gut in episode three?

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Ainsley got killed …

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… yet he was the Monitor all along!

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“You know what to do.” Was she speaking to Mrs. S or do they just want us to think that? Nothing in this series is what it seems.

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My jaw dropped in every single act. I didn’t see any of what happened coming. That is what writing is supposed to do.

And there are more layers to this cake. “Topside?” And what about Tomas in the cage on the ship? And how did Helena go from England to a convent in the frikkin Ukraine, of all places? And what did Sarah’s lawyer mean, he worked for Leekie “indirectly”? What’s the purpose of the clones to begin with? How can Alison be incapable of having children yet Sarah did? Is Kira supposed to be a Kwisatz Haderach? And, still, what about Maggie Chen? How did she wind up in that alley? And why did Beth kill her? And then why did Beth kill herself? And if Beth, Alison, and Cosima have Monitors, what about the other clones? And is Rachel Duncan without a Monitor? If so, why? And what will Art do now? Sarah saved his life — does he feel any obligation?

And what allusions and references buried in the series have I flat-out missed?

This series is a mixture of Forbrydelsen, The Prisoner, and Persons Unknown. That’s not to say it’s at all derivative. I’m saying if you liked any one of those series, you’ll love this one too.

Spring 2014 for the second season is so very far away…

Previously here:

Orphan Black: Episode Nine
Orphan Black: Episode Eight
Orphan Black: Episode Seven
Orphan Black: Episode Six
Orphan Black: Episode Five
Orphan Black: Episode Four
Orphan Black: Episode Three
TV: Orphan Black

4 Comments

Filed under TV

4 responses to “Orphan Black: First Season Finale

  1. Keishon

    Sorry this is long and rambly and I edited down….some.

    First, some words about the score by Trevor Yuile. I saw the finale twice, the second time with a good set of headphones. Yuile’s score is just amazing. There’s a hint of Helena in the score for Alison.

    I just remember the score for Helena which was pretty good and you could tell just from the score that Helena was present in the scene or coming up. I loved it. Also that’s a great pic of her reaction to the news of her birth mother.

    “You know what to do.” Was she speaking to Mrs. S or do they just want us to think that? Nothing in this series is what it seems.

    My thoughts exactly. Did Mrs S take Kira and run? One of the questions I was left with after finishing was who is Mrs S? The birth mother was killed before we were able to ascertain much of anything. Only that the twins were dropped off with a foster parent and the convent.

    So it was a voice memo! I stand corrected. Didn’t even think of that.

    You’re right, I didn’t picture Helen Mirren when I saw Rachel but her look was different enough to make me look twice.

    So, Alison’s husband was a monitor all along even though he went through great pains (literally) to prove that he wasn’t. I never wavered on that though. I just knew he had to be one and with the death of her nosey neighbor you just knew that he was it.

    Yeah, I don’t think Helena’s dead either. You pretty much covered everything in your post so I don’t have very much to add since I agree with just about everything you wrote. There are questions still left unanswered but I thought the Margaret Chen one was answered already? I’d have to go back but it’s in episode nine. She was in alliance with the religious guy, the one who held Helena captive. Still, that doesn’t explain why Beth killed herself. I wonder what could be SO awful that she had to do that?

    Oh, the references to Jurassic Park, etc, well, I don’t think they could be wrong per se since they share the same subject matter of genetics/cloning. Not a follower of Ayn Rand’s work having only read one book by her so I can’t say much for those references either. I’m glad I watched Orphan Black. This series was pretty good due mainly to its star – Tatiana Maslany. I’ll come back and comment if I think of anything else. I feel that this is the type of series you can watch more than once and pick up on any missed clues or allusions you may have missed.

    • mikecane

      >>>There are questions still left unanswered but I thought the Margaret Chen one was answered already? I’d have to go back but it’s in episode nine. She was in alliance with the religious guy, the one who held Helena captive.

      Yeah, she was also said to have “created” the clones — or worked on creating them. But why she was killed is still a mystery to me. And what did she tell Beth before she was killed? Given the respiratory illness Cosima has developed, I wonder if Beth was told that all of the clones have an “expiration date”?

      I’m going to wait to re-watch this until just before the second season begins. Maybe. I might crack before then. It’s a long way to Spring 2014.

  2. Martin

    Great finale…. you right, to far away the next season with to many questions…I do not think Helena is dead. Where was Felix at the end? with Mrs S?
    I love the intelectual property thing…

    Off topic.( erase this if you want)
    Great job with your China crusade…
    You should set up a donation fund and travel to China so you can test clones tablets there. Seriously.

    • mikecane

      Ah, Felix! In all the excitement I lost track of him.

      Thanks for the comments about China, but I’m not sure I’d be welcome there.

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