Orphan Black Season 3 Finale Review: History Yet to Be Written

Orphan Black ends the season by defining it. Here is our spoiler-filled review of "History Yet to Be Written."

Well Clone Clubbers, it looks like another season of Orphan Black has come and gone. This season, this series felt a little bit low stakes. There weren’t many moments where it felt like our heroes’ backs were against the wall. In fact, there really was no weighty villain at all, just a series of problems for our clones to solve. That’s not to say that there wasn’t tons to love in this, the third season of Orphan Black as the show’s character work was (as usual) exemplary and it was such a joy to watch Tatiana Maslany become even more awesome week after week.

The finale really epitomized the entire season. It was fun, at times it bordered on awesome, but the stakes were low. Last week, we learned that Mrs. S’s mother, Kendall Malone, was the genetic original for both the Castor clones and the Dyad clones. This week, Dyad was after Malone and Sara and Mrs. S’s plan went into action to take down Castor once and for all. And you know what. It worked. Without any hiccup or real drama, all the clones did what they did best to take down Castor. Sara hatched the plan, Cosima did the science, Alison set the trap, and Helena won a brutal knife fight -and Castor was done. On the one hand, it was very cool to watch the clones all work together like a well oiled Maslany machine but on the other hand, there really was no drama at all to the final battle.

That isn’t to say there wasn’t very satisfyingly cool character work going on. First we have Helena. Last week, Helena saved Donnie’s bacon by dismantling an entire Eastern European drug cartel with a paper cutter (they shouldn’t have threatened babies). This week, Donnie thanked Helena by finding her boyfriend from last season. Remember the trucker dude that Helena made out with on a pool table? Yeah, trucker was back and Helena got another make out session before she was called into action by her sistras. Turned out, Castor sent male clone Rudy to take out Alison, but Helena was ready and the two engaged in a prison knife fight. Now, I was nervous for a second there because it is television 101 that a character that wins a chance at love will probably die right before they can achieve happiness. But not Helena, not in a knife fight as she systematically dismantled Rudy (granted, Rudy was in the advance stages of clone degeneration, but still). Rudy was gone and Alison and the clones were safe. Rudy we hardly new ya, but good riddance you rapist piece of clone trash.

Rudy wasn’t the only male clone that was front and center as we did get to see the more altruistic male clone Mark this week after last week’s reveal that his wifey Gracie was a Castor mole (or a mole from somebody at least). Mark helped Sara and company protect Malone by disguising himself as Rudy and contacting Castor boss Coady to come retrieve the genetic template. It was all a trap and Dyad heavy Ferdinand got to Coady first essentially taking Castor off the table as a viable threat. 

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With Castor gone, you would think there would no real threat left but that is not so. Remember the Neolutionists from the first season? Yeah, the dudes with the grafted on tails and what not? Turns out, they were pulling the strings of everyone all along, even the strings of evil Rachel who is now in Neolutionist custody. And the Neolutionists have taken a nasty turn. The first revealed Neolutionist attacked Delphine and tried to infect here with a mouth worm. It was like something out of The Strain, but the always ready Delphine was able to blow the creep away before she was infected with-whatever. But now Delphine knew she was marked as an enemy and would be hunted by the Neolutionists. So our clones defeated Castor but there was a price to their victory.

Delphine knew she was a dead women walking and gave Shay her permission to romantically pursue Cosima. Delphine also discovered that it was not Rachel in Dyad custody but the pure, hapless manicurist clone Crystal. Delphine presumably freed Crystal and gave Shay some important information regarding an eventual cure for Cosima. It was all selfless and brave and the last thing Delphine did before getting blown away. Until she was gone, it wasn’t really clear how important Delphine was to our sistras. She was the inside woman inside Dyad and she was loyal to a fault to Cosima who wasn’t always loyal back. But in the end, Cosima sacrificed everything to protect her lover and her lover’s sisters and isn’t that all that matters?

Speaking of loyalty, it became very clear that Sara’s safety and well being was due to the protection of Mrs. S. Unlike Delphine, Mrs. S was rewarded for her loyalty this week as she was able to reconcile with her mother, Kendall Malone, who was full of more piss and vinegar that ten Helenas. It looked like Malone will be a cast member moving forward but she will also be the most wanted woman in the world of Orphan Black as her genetics hold the key to the clone puzzle.

For now, Malone was secure in a safe house located some place very snowy.  All our clones had a happy ending and the season is over. Sara was reunited with her daughter. Cosima is back with her sisters and will soon find warmth in the arms of Shay (although she is in for her share of tragedy when she finds out about Delphine), Helena has her trucker boyfriend and is very happy living in Alison’s garage, and Alison won her school election (FU Marcie Coates!). Even Crystal was freed and still has both eyes. Only Rachel is in danger in the clutches of the Neolutionists. Or is she safe, because it was revealed that the Neolutionist leader was none other than Rachel’s adopted mother? And what is the Neolutionist long game?

So things are in place for season four, and while season three never was able to find a stable dramatic footing, we will still miss our sister clones, the strongest female protagonists on TV, bar none.  See you next year. Clone clubbers and keep twerking. 

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3 out of 5