SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched the season 5 premiere of Orphan Black.
Cosima may be in the woods in some creepy village in the middle of the nowhere, but is she finally out of the woods when it comes to her clone illness? That is just one of the burning questions we had after taking in the Orphan Black season 5 premiere. Also, is Art compromised? Why take Delphine away again? And what the hell was that beast that attacked Sarah?
We went straight to the source for answers and got Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson on the line to discuss the first episode of the final season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about this island village of Revival where Cosima is?
GRAEME MANSON: Without giving too much away, we have arrived at the top of the pyramid, so to speak. We have arrived at the seat of power at Neolution. This is where P.T. Westmoreland, a man who’s apparently well over 100 years old, lives and marshals the global forces of Neolution — those setting out to change the course of human evolution. So this little village on the island is called Revival and this is our sort of version of The Island of Doctor Moreau. We do like our classic sci-fi on Orphan Black.
You give Cosima Delphine, and then you take her away again. Man, you guys are so mean to poor Cosima! How could you do that to her?
It’s the nature of that relationship and the nature of scheduling busy actors. [Laughs] Suffice it to say, Delphine will return. Delphine has many things in those deep French pockets of hers, and there is still plenty of love lost and mayhem in store for those two characters, for Cosima and Delphine.
Cosima gives herself the treatment. Or, rather, Rachel ends up administering it to her. Does that mean we can finally breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to her health?
I mean, it feels like a bigger sigh at the beginning of this season than there ever has been before. Cosima essentially is living with the enemy and striking that Devil’s bargain of continuing to develop the cure to cure her sisters, but she’s working for the dark side now. So obviously, there’s a long struggle ahead for Cosima and well, she’s a pretty good scientist so let’s hope that cure is efficacious this time.
Moving over to another clone, we see Sarah attacked by some sort of maybe half-man, half-beast type of creature in the woods. What can you say about who or what the hell that was?
I don’t want to say too much because you know that in the first episode Sarah saw what you saw there. She got attacked out of the shadows of the deep, dark woods on the Island of Doctor Moreau by something. Something is loose on that northern Canadian island and that’s part of the mystery. It’s a part of the scientific mystery. It’s a thread of the real backstory of P.T. Westmoreland, and the history of this island and community. So, it’s a story we’re going to be picking away at for a bunch of episodes.
Let’s talk about Art for a second, because I think you’re doing something very interesting here. He’s got a new partner, this woman we meet called Maddie. She seems to be an agent of Neolution herself and she’s squeezing him to bring the clones in. So, what does this mean for him in terms of how he’s going to play out this situation?
Well, everybody has a choice to make this year at the beginning. It’s like Neolution finally holds all the cards. Rachel is back on top and Sarah has no choice but to capitulate and give in, and there’s a couple of people that help her make that choice — one is Mrs. S who has never given up before, and the other is Arthur, who’s in that position now. He’s struggled out from underneath it last year with Duko, but now this person is his new partner and he really doesn’t know which way to look. So, this terrific ally in Art is compromised as well. We’re all a little bit compromised at the top of this season.
So we end with Sarah in the boathouse getting shot by a dart and then Rachel comes in and proclaims it a “new day.” What can you say about what’s coming up?
Despite the fact that it’s Rachel’s power play, I think Rachel is showing us some surprising things here. She is the one at the end of the day who administers this cure to Cosima. So, Rachel actually cures one of her sisters. So, despite the heavy hand that she’s laying on all of them, she’s sort of wearing this velvet glove — the velvet crowbar we call it. And that’s how Rachel gets her way. So, Rachel has her hooks in Sarah now, and we’ll see at the top of episode 2 what kind of pressure Rachel’s going to bring to bear to get exactly what she wants.
For more Orphan Black intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.