Helena and Sarah show us yet again that sestra love conquers all in Orphan Black 5×09
BBC America’s hit show Orphan Black exploded into its penultimate episode this past Saturday in one of the most emotionally draining and exhilarating episodes of the series. It offered a little bit of everything for true Orphan Black fans. While we were expecting to be blown away by the episode, the bond between Sarah and Helena (Tatiana Maslany) took center stage and made us realize yet again just how captivating their relationship really is. The episode kicked off with something that the fans have been craving more of since the season premiered nearly 5 years ago, a flashback and glimpse into Helena’s backstory. We learned exactly why Helena grew up to be so aggressive and angry towards her clone sestras. Seeing where Helena came from has us reeling because we know just how far she has come to be where she is now. The episode also offered us a chance to say goodbye to our beloved Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) through a brief, but meaningful and beautifully written funeral scene.
With so much happening with Helena, who later tried to commit suicide because she devastatingly thought she wouldn’t be a good mother to her babies, the episode also delivered us a chance to see Rachel (Tatiana Maslany) playing for the good guys for a chance. Who didn’t want to see that? All the sestras working together for one common goal? Yes, please. Maybe she cares a little after all. Emotionally hard hitting is an understatement when it comes to finding the words for how it felt when the episode was over and we realized there’s only one episode left.
Since 5×09 was in fact Orphan Black’s penultimate episode, there is so much we have to talk about with our roundtable guests. Will they feel the same way that we do about this episode? Who knows? Let’s meet our guests and find out.
Kennedy (@Lo_206) – “Clone Clubber. Kitten Lover.”
Tiffany (@cosimasnautilus) – “Feminist, film geek, reptile enthusiast.”
Yenifer (@riggshawniall) – “Clone Club (Mexican) member, Student.”
Destiny (@CN324B21)- ” 823B53. Tatlyne Broslany. Gay AF.”
Monica (@Monsauce) – “Real life scientist, improvisor, and champion of Orphan Black.”
1) How you do feel that we finally got to see a little bit of Helena’s backstory?
Kennedy (@Lo_206): Orphan Black writers made these characters so complex and original that I think it was only natural for viewers to want to know their backstories. Helena was no different. She was wild but innocent, a murderer but so soft and sweet with children, so I was really curious as to how her character was molded and what she had been through with Tomas. Getting a glimpse into her character before the sestras was heartbreaking. The whole time, I just wanted to give her a hug.
Tiffany (@cosimasnautilus): I love Helena, so I was super excited to get a taste of where she came from. I feel like they could have taken this episode in so many directions, but they focused on Helena’s issues with herself. As a woman, that aspect felt very relatable. The episode also portrayed Helena’s humanity that so many people have questioned, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Yenifer (@riggshawniall): Good. It was very interesting. I even think I would like an spin off about how she ended up in Canada.
Destiny (@CN324B21): I’m glad we finally got to see how some of Helena’s childhood has influenced the person she is now. I guess I’m kind of salty that it was left pretty much until the end of the show, but hey, at least we got to see something. I really do hope it changes people’s opinion of her, especially if Season 4/5 hasn’t.
Monica (@Monsauce): I think it was great to flashback to a time of innocence for Helena. At the beginning of the series she was the villain, and seeing how she was molded into the villain is another recurring and important theme in the show on the importance of nurture. Helena was not born the villain, but made one and it was the nurture from the sestras, S and Felix and brought her back from villainy. I think it represents that people are not inherently good or evil but a product of their environment.
2) Do you think the funeral for Mrs. S was enough? We kind of felt like she deserved a little more.
Kennedy: From the viewer’s perspective it was short and sweet and I think that was all you needed. Episode 508 gave us a good wrap up of Mrs. S so I think 509 gave us just enough to acknowledge her and honor her memory.
Tiffany: I wish that scene was longer, but I will say that they put in just enough to make me ugly cry. RIP, mum.
Yenifer: It kinda felt like she deserved more, but the woman singing was a little touching. Kira crying and Felix reading S message made me cry a little.
Destiny: Unfortunately with Orphan Black, characters on the show don’t really get a lot of time to grieve. Especially as we are coming to the end of the show, there’s still a lot to be done in such a small amount of time. I think the funeral for Mrs S could’ve been different, but I think it was what she wanted; Siobhan wouldn’t have wanted much ‘fuss’ I guess, I think she’d understood that people will grieve over her. I think she wouldn’t want it to effect Sarah or Clone Club majorly at the moment, as there’s still a lot to do, and in reality she did die fighting for Sarah and her sestras.
Monica: It seems that some time has elapsed between the episode 8 and the funeral – enough time for some of the raw sadness to fade amongst the family, but I for one did want more. I wanted to see Sarah reflect the sadness we would expect from someone who just lost their mum – because that’s how we were feeling. I am glad we got to find out what was written in her note though and I predict we will revisit the death in the finale in some form since they alluded to Sarah not really mourning the loss yet.
3) What would be your ideal ending for PT Westmoreland? He’s caused so much heartache and chaos for the sestras.
Kennedy: He’s selfish and I kinda hope he just gets killed off at the hands of Rachel.
Tiffany: I want to say murder, because after all that he’s done, it would be awesome to see Helena around him with a bunch of sharp objects. However, I think his ultimate fate is happening before our eyes. He has taken lives and manipulated everyone around him without a second thought, all in the name of science. To see the science that he has dedicated his life to ultimately deceive him, to essentially see the fountain dry up, would be his worst nightmare. Because after all of it, he remains a withered nobody.
Yenifer: I feel like Helena or Rachel killing him would be good, they are the ones that have been the most affected by him. PT kidnapped Helena, rushed the birth or her babies, and had Gracie killed in front of her. As for Rachel, well, PT did kill her mother, manipulate her, and while she was thinking that he trusted her, she realized that he never did. I know Cosima or even Delphine (to be honest all the sestras have been, indirectly) were affected too, but I just don’t see them killing PT. Maybe Sarah will or already did. I mean we didn’t see if he gets medical attention after Sarah was taken to give Helena her blood. But I’d like more if Helena or Rachel would kill him. Also, he dying on his own would be good because his life work and all the pain that he has caused did not turn out well and he failed.
Destiny: Honestly I think everyone wants to see that shriveled maggot dead. Although I want him dead, it wouldn’t be enough; that’s too easy. I’d love to see him suffer and I don’t know how, but he deserves pain, and lots of it.
Monica: I want him to realize the Future is Female, not because they are a means to his end – he’s always just used women to get what he wants (clones, female scientists leads) but rather that they are going to lead the world in a future he never imagined. I want him to watch the sisters triumph over him dismantling Neolution.
4) We have always loved Art and Scott. Were you happy to see them more involved this episode/season?
Kennedy: ART AND SCOTT!!!! I love them! Getting to see them more was a nice treat, but also getting to see them working together was really cool. The sestras have always had behind the scenes characters working to help them and protect them and it’s nice to see them highlighted.
Tiffany: Of course! I think OB emphasized the good guys in this episode like never before. After all they’ve done, they deserved that.
Yenifer: Oh yes! But it kinda has me worried. I think one of them if not both might die in the finale.
Destiny: I was super happy to see Scott and Art get more involved with all this crap, as we’ve only seen them a few times getting their hands dirty; and that’s only because they’ve been ‘offscreen’ helping out Clone Club I guess. It’s great to see Art take his own lead on a few things in this ep, as he is still doing this for Beth, but yet also Sarah and the rest of Clone Club. It’s also crazy to see how Scott has changed from Season 1.
Monica: Yes and Hellwizard! In the episode 8 Cosima tells Felix “you are one of our best guys” along with the Art and Scott. Although this is a female led show (which is one of the many strengths of the show) it is refreshing to see males in roles as supportive allies.
5) Helena is one of the most unique characters on TV. If you could say one thing to her, what would it be?
Kennedy: You’re more beautiful than Cinderella. You smell like pine needles and you have a face like sunshine.
Tiffany: After this episode, I really just want to hold her and tell her that she’s perfect.
Yenifer: ”In some way you are a role model for me, even if you don’t see or think of yourself as one. You are a woman I can look up to. I admire your strength and I hope one day I can be as strong as you. I am so sorry for the way you were treated as a little girl, no one deserves that. I admire how you manage to turn all that into the woman that you are now. I mean, just look at you! Now you are with two babies and you are part of a sisterhood. You protect people. You’re doing your best to be better and you’re doing it amazing. You’re an inspiration to me Helena, and I will always carry you with me”
Destiny: I absolutely adore Helena and I’d tell her so much. I’d love to just tell her that she is loved, and that she is going to be a brilliant mother to her two babies. I’d also want to tell her that her past doesn’t matter, and that the person she was before can still live in her, as I believe she can control her aggressive side and use it for the better.
Monica: Your babies deserve you.
6) What were your three major emotions while watching this episode?
Kennedy: Excited. Hopeful. Sad.
Tiffany: Heartbroken, anxious, and… proud of how far everyone has come.
Yenifer: Oh god I screamed, I cried, and I was so intrigued by Helena’s backstory and relieved when Sarah and Cosima were together. Then I was like, ”Oh my lord the babies are coming” and now I can’t wait to see the finale. I want to see it so bad, but at the same time I don’t want because is the ending. I mean there will not be more episodes, there is only this one.
Destiny: Heartbroken because of multiple things throughout that episode, for example I honestly thought Helena was going to die, and I was not prepared to see my smol bean go. I actually had to pause the show just so I could comprehend the potential loss. Also when I saw Helena cry, it literally tore my heart to pieces because she’s changed so much and I just can’t even. Angry, because of the way Coady spoke to Helena about being a terrible mother. I actually wanted to smash her face in, so I’m glad Helena did that. I’m also angry at the nun who literally dunked Helena’s head in bleach, like she was a child, you don’t do that.. PT made me so angry with the way he spoke to ‘Rachel’. I’m still wondering if Sarah (as Rachel) cried because of him mentioning ‘mother’, or if that was just meant to be Rachel or something. I also felt skeptical because of the way the episode ended, I wasn’t expecting it to end like that.
Monica: What are you going to do with those scissors Helena!?
Oh man something is going to happen to Art!
Only one more episode left 🙁
7) Do you think there’s a major twist coming in the series finale that no one is expecting?
Kennedy: Delphine is the head of Neolution and has been behind this the entire time. I wouldn’t want that to happen, but it would be an insane plot twist!
Tiffany: I don’t think Orphan Black would be Orphan Black without one.
Yenifer: That’s classic Orphan Black, so yes I think it there will be one or even two. You never know with this show.
Destiny: To be honest, it’s Orphan Black, so anything could happen. They could keep the finale straight forward and simple. They could implement a huge plot twist. They could leave the show on a cliffhanger. Whatever they do, I’m sure it’s gonna effect us for months to come, maybe even years.
Monica: Knowing the history of the show I can’t imagine everyone is going to ride off into the sunset. I do expect some kind of twist – not all the sisters will make it to the end.
8) What is your hope for the last episode of Orphan Black?
Kennedy: Peace for the sestras. A moment for them to breathe a sigh of relief that they are together and safe.
Tiffany: It might be too much to ask, but I want a happy ending for the sestras. They represent all of us. I just want them defy all odds and have the opportunity to be their best selves.
Yenifer: A huge battle is coming and even if I don’t want the characters to suffer, I know they will, but deeply inside. I just hope all the clones and everyone who has helped them can make it. I don’t want more deaths I just want everyone being happy after this huge battle. But what´s happiness without suffering first, right? And If there’s gonna be deaths I hope that we will see the best of those characters, that they will be gone with a perfect death and they just had given the best of themselves.
Destiny: I’d just love to see all the clones safe and sound, without a single scratch on them, but that’s not really gonna happen knowing John and Graeme. I’d love to see Helena with her twins, all happy together, and maybe if a twin cries, she’ll get all protective and aggressive towards others thinking that someone has made them cry; like I’d want to see Helena be super protective of her babies, in the most cutest way. I’d also want to see Cosima and Delphine stress free, without any distractions, they’d just have each other, even if they’re doing science stuff (interpret that how you please) I hope to see Sarah a bit more relaxed, with Felix and Kira, but part of me also wants to see her grieve properly? To sum it up really I just want Clone Club to be safe and sound, without a fear of anyone taking someone from it or following them around.
Monica: Freedom. Freedom for the sisters to live their lives like you and I do. And of course Cophine. Felix’s interruption was not coincidence, they have teased us about them for 5 YEARS. They better get to ride into the most glorious sunset imaginable.
Final Verdict: Orphan Black 5×09 delivered the emotions in spades and left fans completely shell shocked in its 10/10 penultimate episode
“One Fettered Slave” did what every stand out penultimate episode of a series should do. It made you feel every emotion that you could possibly feel in such a small amount of time. Between seeing Helena’s childhood, (the acting by young Helena, Habree Larratt, was a standout of the entire season. That girl has serious talent and a major career ahead of her) to later seeing the desperation in her hospital bed that almost led her to carrying out her mission to commit suicide, and Sarah’s heartbreaking pleas for her “meathead” to pull through, we were left completely emotionally exhausted by the end of the episode. That’s not even mentioning the gut wrenching letter that Felix read at Mrs. S’ funeral. The writers of Orphan Black have perfected every aspect of these characters and in doing so, they have connected us to each sestra in such a different, but incredibly heartfelt way. The only complaint we have is that the series itself is almost over and we wish there was more time to delve into characters back stories like 5×09 did with Helena. With that being said, next week is the series finale of Orphan Black. There’s no way to put into words how excited, sad, and anxious we are to see how it all plays out. Orphan Black set up the series finale well with 5×09 and because of it, we’ll be waiting on the edge of our seats, most likely with tears in our eyes, until it airs next week.