Cosima's research leads her to a dinner party — and into even greater danger
We’ve officially hit the halfway point of Orphan Black’s final season. How are you feeling, Clone Club?
Season 5 got off to what I thought was a strong start, but last week’s episode and this one felt, well, a bit more lackluster? There was a whole lotta science/story dropped on us, and with just five more episodes to go, I don’t know that we needed this much time with P.T. Westmoreland, his “monster” in the woods, Delphine coming and going, and hearing “Lin28A” over and over and over again. It’s hard seeing the sisters so far apart when there’s only so much time left to see them together. But, on the bright side, we did get more clarity on Kira’s healing abilities, which have been mysteriously teased since Orphan’s early days. And the preview for next week teases Krystal’s return, which is joyful news in itself.
With that mixed bag of clone goods, let’s put our beloved characters through the Orphan Black Clone Status Hyper-Sequence Generator Calcutron and see where everyone stands this week.
In the season premiere, Cosima told Sarah she wanted to stay at Revival so she could follow the crazy science. And man, did it turn out to be crazy.
As Cosima sciences up the tooth from the man in the woods, it reminds her of when she found out her DNA was technically property of Dyad. Delphine was there for that Earth-shattering revelation; she reminded Cosima that they don’t own all of her — not her wit, her integrity, or her intellect — and that she’ll always be there to protect her. “Defy them,” Delphine urges her. There’s also kissing. Lots of it…
But Cosima is snapped out of it by the commotion outside the lab. The “monster” in the woods — which we now know is the unlucky test subject of P.T. Westmoreland’s early human experiments — attacked one of the villagers, and despite what people at Revival are being told, it’s most definitely not a bear. The village goes on lockdown, and a task force goes out in search of the monster-man. Mud tells Cosima he wasn’t always so vicious — he even had his own room at the house once, but after a new round of experiments left him locked up downstairs in that basement cage, she couldn’t bear it, and she set him free.
In other news, Delphine is back! But only for just enough time to relay a warning to Cosima, rat her out to the Neolution bigwigs, attend a fancy dinner party, and then get the heck outta Dodge again. Talk about an efficient trip! To start, Cosima tells Delphine that she’s realized P.T. Westmoreland’s experiments are manipulating the same gene in both Aisha and the man from the woods (the “Lin28A” gene we’ve heard so much about), but Delphine warns her to pull back because the Neos know she’s digging around — and now that Rachel has access to Kira, she could be in danger if Cosima asks too many questions. “We’ll learn more if we play along,” Delphine tells her.
Cosima hears this, but then she immediately blurts out what she knows about Lin28A — P.T.’s so-called “Fountain” — and demands to come too when the Messenger summons Delphine for that dinner party. It’s not quite playing along, but it gets her in. Which leads to my favorite part of the whole episode: They’re told to dress up for the occasion, and there are a bunch of fancy dresses at P.T.’s house for them to choose from, but Cosima rightfully says “frock that” and dons a tuxedo instead. Essentially, it’s the family dinner from hell — Susan, Rachel, Ira (who manages to whisper her a “your people wish you well”), Delphine, and Westmoreland — who offers Cosima a literal seat at the table. She deduces they’ve isolated a gene mutation in Kira, and by the looks of the rest of the table, she’s right — Kira’s healing abilities are related to a mutation of that supposed Lin28A wonder-gene.
Dinner is cut short by a quick series of events: Rachel gets ready to depart, P.T. reveals he knows Cosima was in the basement, and Delphine admits ratting her out but says she did it so they’d let her go to Geneva (which is where she’s working with Felix and Adele on that side of this whole mess… but she can’t tell Cosima anything about it). Delphine also reminds her of the promises they made when Cosima first learned she was sick — that Dephine would protect her, that Cosima would defy them — and then they part ways again. Back downstairs, P.T. fills in his earlier experiment’s backstory — they found him in a Latvian orphanage, and he became their first Lin28A subject, as well as his “biggest regret.” Susan adds that she synthesized the gene and put it in the Leda genome in the hopes they’d have the same accelerated healing powers… which, of course, they don’t, save for Kira. (So that explains why Helena’s babies have it too — it’s the second generation where it manifests.)
That’s interrupted by the news that the “monster” — who attacked another man in the woods but luckily spared Mud — is now in the house. As Susan, Ira, and Cosima hide, Susan reveals Dyad’s plan for Kira: they want to harvest her eggs to see if her healing traits are heritable, and they plan to test it out on 1,300 surrogates they have at the ready. When Cosima rightly points out Kira is just a kid and these are her children they’re talking about, Susan basically argues it’s better to keep P.T. in line than try to combat him. So Cosima heads downstairs herself to confront the man (Westmoreland) and the monster (whose actual name, we learn, is Yannis).
But that doesn’t go well, either. She confronts P.T. for destroying Yannis’ life to try to extend his own and calls BS on him being 170 years old. Westmoreland’s response is to offer her a gun and say if she wants to do the “ethical” thing, she can shoot him and end his suffering — but she won’t do it: “You gave me life; I know you can take that away, but you can’t take away my humanity.” (You tell him, Cos!) When she goes to comfort Yannis, P.T. takes the gun and kills him, leaving Cosima locked up in the same basement prison Yannis was once in. What will he do with her now? (Recap continues on page 2)
We covered Rachel’s illustrious presence at the Neolution dinner, but before that, there was a mother-daughter reunion with Susan up at the house. (“They’ve hidden the knives,” Ira tells her when she walks in. Ha!) Susan knows her daughter needs her help with the revived cloning project, but while that’s true, Rachel repeats that she’s very much in charge. “Corporate runs the science.”
And one other note: P.T., as a thank you for her hard work getting the pieces in place for the cloning project, gives her the injection devised by Cosima to treat the clone illness.
Sarah and S are being more open with Kira about what they’re up to — she’s not getting all the details, but they explain they’re trying to find out more about what the Neos did in the past so they can try to guess what they’ll do next.
But Kira has information to share, too. Sarah tells her daughter she visited Helena to try and learn more about the connection she has to the other clones — the one Sarah can now also feel. She wants her daughter to teach her about it and offers to tell her about the grown-up clone club stuff they all do in return. Seems like a pretty good deal.
And, finally, Delphine pays a visit to S before heading to Geneva, giving her a flash drive with all of the details on what Dyad is after with Kira. More interesting that that is the fact that Delphine asks if S’s Deep Throat source could help them again. The other week, I guessed S’s Neolution source was Delphine, but this appears not to be the case. So… who could it be?
Additional Genetic Material
– Susan still tests Ira to see if he glitches — just to change the subject, allegedly, but if you resurface a Castor mutation in Act 1… and Cosima notices him acting strangely in Act 2…
– “We can’t predict all outcomes, can we? For instance, Aldous Leekie. Could you have predicted that he would wind up buried underneath some random crone’s garage?” — P.T. to Rachel, complete with an Alison burn.
– Did you catch that vintage photo of Susan Duncan on Scott’s timeline board? What. A. Babe.
– Follow-up on the timeline: S tells the lab team to look into men who might have died around the time Neolution was seemingly revived around the 1950s. Finally, someone brings this up (and Cosima says it to P.T.’s face later) — isn’t there a chance the man who says he’s 170 years old, well, isn’t?
– “You have a lot of dead things in here” — Cosima commenting on P.T.’s decor choices
– “This is what [Westmoreland] does: He divides women” — Cosima to Delphine as they kiss goodbye (true of both clones, and keeping the two of them apart)
– That Revival song at the end? CREEPY CITY.