Orphan Black season 3 episode 10 review: History Yet To Be Written

In the season finale of Orphan Black, Ferdinand is terrifying, Delphine is doing her best, and a season one plot-line returns...

This review contains spoilers.

3.10 History Yet To Be Written

It’s been so long since someone on this show even so much as said the word ‘neolution’ that I honestly had written that plot off a long time ago. At best, I assumed it died in that car with Leekie. It happens sometimes in other shows, ideas will be introduced as writers keep their options open, and then get discarded when they’re no longer needed.

“On other shows” is the important part of that sentence, though, because on this show, the writers forget nothing. Everything is so carefully planned that things I thought we’d never hear about again, whether that’s neolution or Helena’s boyfriend, eventually come back to us. That’s amazing and it’s part of what sets this show apart from virtually everything else on TV. The writers know it inside and out, and they trust us to know it, too.

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So, here’s what you really need to know about the episode: this thing goes higher than Dyad or the military, which we’ve known for sure since it was revealed the Castor boys were the Clone Club’s brothers. I couldn’t have guessed who’s really behind it, though, not even with all the hints in the world. The neolutionists have been running this thing from the very beginning and Rachel’s mother is in on it. It was Mrs. Duncan who we saw in Rachel’s operating room and who gave her a new bionic eye. It also seems she’s the head of the neolutionists.

Ferdinand, surprisingly, is not a neolutionist. In fact, he’s so anti-neolutionist that he beats his cohort with a baseball bat and then dumps him (still alive) into sulphuric acid when he realises he is one. James Frain has managed to make that character terrifying by the way he plays Ferdinand’s calm, seemingly relaxed demeanor; it makes it all the more terrifying when he lashes out because you can’t predict what will cause the change. He seems like a coiled snake; you always have to be on the lookout for him to strike at you.

For me, the other big surprise in this episode was the Shay/Cosima/Delphine storyline. Like Delphine, we’ve gotten ourselves so paranoid that we expect Shay to secretly be evil, especially once it was revealed she was in the military. But it seems like she’s just a woman who told a few white lies in order to impress Cosima. Considering the lies Cosima has had to tell to hide the truth of her genetics, I think it’s forgivable.

What’s even more shocking is that Delphine grants Shay her blessing and instructs her to have Cosima tell her everything. That’s pretty much when I knew Delphine probably wasn’t making it out of this episode alive; it felt like a woman saying her goodbyes and tending to her final affairs. I learned my lesson with Mark surviving his gunshot earlier in the season; I’m not going to jump to assuming Delphine is dead after being shot by an unknown assailant in a car park, but I won’t be surprised if she’s not around next year, either. A lot of her scenes in the second half of the episode felt like a goodbye to the character.

There were other surprises in the story, too, some of which were good (Kendall put Sarah into Siobhan’s care) and some of which were horrifying (worms in the neolutionists), but it was nice to have a brief scene of Clone Club sitting down for dinner together and enjoying each other’s company. It wasn’t quite as cathartic as last year’s dance scene, but it felt good and was a nice reminder of how much we love these characters, and how much they all love each other.

It’s been a joy to recap this season of Orphan Black for you. See you next season!

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Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, Insolvent Phantom Of Tomorrow, here.

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