[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Thursday’s “The Antisocialism of Sex” episode of Orphan Black.]
It wasn’t a Neolution assassination plot that almost took out two of our clones in the latest episode of Orphan Black. Instead, two of our sestras almost took themselves out while dealing with the grief of their own mistakes. Sarah and Cosima had bartered with Susan Duncan last week in an attempt to save themselves, but when Kendall Malone was killed by Evie Cho in a double cross, the blood was on their hands for putting Siobhan’s mother at risk. And they did not handle the guilt well.
Sarah’s grieving process began with getting dunk, doing drugs, taking part in a threesome, and then trying to hook up with another guy. “In following Sarah back to her dark side we got a glimpse of who Sarah was in the past and who she was before she stepped into the show and came back to get her daughter,” says co-creator Graeme Manson. “That’s the kind of wild life that Sarah was living, rocking out to [guest star] Peaches.”
“Sarah is feeling a lot of guilt and taking the brunt end of her mother’s grief and anger,” adds co-creator John Fawcett. “It really is a remarkable episode for us. It is a little atypical for Orphan Black and that’s what I love about it so much. It really is a brooding character meditation.”
Brooding indeed, as Sarah eventually ends up above the train tracks where her story began, and this time haunted by visions of Beth Childs. She appeared ready to hurl herself off a bridge before Felix showed up to talk her down. “The thing I love so much about Felix in this episode is that he really is a real hero,” says Fawcett. “It really feels like he saves Sarah. He’s there for Cosima. He really does an incredible job of saving everyone. I really feel like he’s the hero in this episode.”
Ah, yes… Cosima. Stung by the loss of both Kendall and their research, Cosima locked herself in a room, cut open her cheek, and was seconds away from inserting that scary tech bot into her face as a last-ditch effort to gain data, even if it meant her death in the process. “I remember very early on in the writer’s room,” says Manson, “that we knew that at some point that Cosima was going to face down that tech and go, ‘Is this my only chance to take this technology that is very risky?’ Is she willing to take that chance not just to cure herself, but, as she says, the data they will get from doing this will help all her sisters in the end, even if she doesn’t make it.”
Plus, as Fawcett notes, “In this moment, Cosima feels a lot of guilt. She was there when all this went down. And frankly, they have lost everything. And this is a little bit about not just her own guilt, but her own mortality. It also feels a little bit suicidal. It feels self-destructive in the same way Sarah is.”
And who happens to save Cosima? Yep, Felix — and on his way to save Sarah, no less. It is Felix’s phone call that informs Cosima that Delphine may actually still be alive… giving her what Manson describes as “a sliver of hope on all that grief and guilt.” Once again, it’s Felix to the rescue.
“The news comes right in the nick of time,” says Fawcett. “It’s what makes Felix a hero in this moment — he’s multitasking. He’s trying to save them all and somehow he manages to do it. That’s the part that gets me. I’ve seen this episode I don’t know how many times and every time Felix is in the car talking Cosima off the ledge there and saying, ‘Cosima, you can do this. You’re not alone’ — it gets me every single time emotionally. It’s really Felix that has to step in with the two girls and go, ‘Hey, you two, smarten the hell up! We can do this!’”
While it was certainly a big episode for Jordan Gavaris, who plays Felix, it also serves as yet the latest example of the range and depth Tatiana Maslany is able to put into multiple characters in multiple situations. “Tat is soooo good in the entire episode,” raves Fawcett. “She just brings it 100 percent. It blows my mind every single scene there. I just think she’s wonderful and deserves all the awards on the planet.”
Tell us something we don’t know.