Orphan Black creator answers season finale burning questions
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Thursday’s season 4 finale of Orphan Black.]
Bad Rachel is back in a big way. The evil clone went haywire in the season 4 finale of Orphan Black, stabbing her own mother, Susan Duncan, and then stabbing Sarah as well, who limped off in agony. Sarah wasn’t the only one in danger. As things wrapped up, her family was being held hostage by Ferdinand while Alison and Donnie were hiding out from nefarious henchmen with Helena.
It wasn’t all bad news, however. Cosima was finally reunited with Delphine, and was in possession of a viable gene therapy to finally cure her terminal illness… or so we hope. And then there was the bombshell that the man who seemingly started Neolution back in the 1800s was still alive… somehow.
We spoke to Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson to get some answers to our finale burning questions, and to find out what is coming up next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about this P.T. Westmorland character who literally wrote the book on Neolution over a century ago and apparently is still around?
GRAEME MANSON: Apparently, the man never died. It’s been a long crawl and climb for Sarah and all the clones, Rachel included, to get to the top of the pyramid. And now Rachel is looking at the eye — or through the eye, perhaps. Obviously this is going to be a large part of our mystery for next year. The man wrote the book in what, 1870 or 1880? How is he still alive?
Let’s talk about Delphine and the reunion between her and Cosima, which is a huge moment so I’m sure you thought a lot about how you wanted that to go down. So how did you come up with this plan for them to meet up in this little village on the island?
We have our Island of Doctor Moreau fetish on Orphan Black, as well as our Mary Shelley Frankenstein and our vintage science-fiction respect. So, we had this vision of an island, and [co-creator John Fawcett] in particular had a directorial vision of a mysterious village that we discover on the island, and it kind of got us juiced on The Island of Doctor Moreau, Lord of the Flies, a bit of Apocalypse Now thrown in there. And again, we’re setting the table for next year. Who are these people? And what are they doing there? That will be pretty fun to figure out. [Laughs] Got any ideas?
How much of Evelyne Brochu, who plays Delphine, will we see in season 5, because I know she has other projects that she works on?
I guess that remains to be seen. We had to keep this secret of Delphine’s death going all year. It’s not even a secret. We had to flat out lie!
You guys are used to that.
And we had to take some heat from the fans while we were doing it, and we had to wear that. But you’re right, the truth of the matter is that Evelyne Brochu is a busy actor. We always wanted to continue to tell the story of Delphine and Cosima. We did the best job that we could with what we had. We’ll do the same thing again next year.
So does Cosima have the cure now that she stole the Leda/Castor genetic union? Is she finally in the clear?
By her own hands and Susan Duncan’s she has a viable gene therapy now. So, yes, Cosima has a cure, or at least a therapy. Let’s remember that this is experimental science. It’s experimental science in the real world and it’s experimental science on Orphan Black too.
So we can’t breathe easy yet, is what you’re telling us.
Switching gears, every time we think Rachel is going to turn good, you have her do stuff like stabbing both Susan and Sarah. Is it fun for you all when Rachel breaks bad?
Yeah, we all like Rachel breaking bad. And, you know, Tatiana does too. I think Tatiana finds Rachel to be one of the most fascinating characters she plays, along with Helena, and it’s funny how those two are different sides of the same coin. And it’s endlessly interesting for us to take these characters and look at them not just in what we need to do on screen, but who they were and how they were raised and how they reflect the theme of nature versus nurture of Orphan Black. And then to use them to surprise the audience. Rachel is Sarah’s nemesis, and I think it’s safe to say in season 5 — fingers crossed — we will be going back to that elemental Sarah versus Rachel nemesis dynamic.
Unlike the past two seasons in which all the clones came together at the end with a dance party or a dinner party, this time all the clones are separated in different spots. Why keep them apart this time?
It just sort of felt like last season we ran to a great climax and then we took the foot off the gas and we gave them that little break. We let Sarah go to Iceland. We let things by okay. And then coming back this season to do something a little different we went back to our season 1 or season 2 pure cliffhanger — every thread ends in a cliffhanger. We wanted to probably pick up next season on the run again, but we’ll see about that. Driving the bus off the cliff is kind of what we do, and we went back to a real high cliff and a big bus.
Krystal is so much fun. Do you see her becoming at least a semi-regular presence in season 5?
Yeah, I do. We all love Krystal and she’s become an audience favorite so we certainly want to bring her back next year. And her character hangs on this great question of, do we or don’t we tell her she’s a clone? Or will she or won’t she figure out she’s a clone? And that’s a nice question for us to keep asking next year. It hasn’t worn itself out. She’s just so much fun. I love seeing her with Felix. I like that she kind of likes Art. And the scene with Sarah in the basement, that’s pure Tatiana gold — one Tatiana refusing to recognize the other Tatiana.
What is the status of the Castor clones? What is the future for Ira?
Ira is still ticking. We like Ira and I’m sure Ari Millen is going to be back next year. We’ve also left a Castor or two out in the wind.
Yes, Mark. And there may be other Orphan Black characters we’ve met over the past few seasons still in the wind that we would be very interested to somehow roll back into our story next year.
Where are you on breaking story on season 5? How deep are you into that?
We’re sort of at the place where John Fawcett and I stare at each other across the table and scratch our heads. And then we start throwing out really cool ideas and we get juiced on certain things and we start to set up some tent poles and some big ideas. We look at where we leave everyone and where they are to date and get some big ideas to take into the writer’s room which, fingers crossed, starts real soon.