Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6 Review: Manacled Slim Wrists

Fan favorite clone Krystal goes undercover in this episode of Orphan Black.

This review of Orphan Black contains spoilers.

Orphan Black: Season 5, Episode 6

It’s the return of Krystal, y’all, and I could not be more pumped. Her surprisingly competent antics serve as the perfect counterbalance to the Revival storyline which, while full of developments of either action or new information, somehow felt a bit flat this week. I like PT as a theoretical villain, but so far he’s not as much fun to hate as Rachel, Ferdinand, or Aldous Leekie.

Krystal goes undercover

Everything about Krystal and Brie’s beauty conspiracy-themed YouTube channel is pitch perfect. Once again, one of Orphan Black‘s greatest strengths is the unexpected alchemy that comes from mixing and matching the many rich characters the show has spent five seasons developing. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching Felix interact with Krystal in the past, Art and Scott are two of the best straight men this show’s got, and they make excellent scene partners for Krystal here. I hope we get more of Brie and Krystal, and this is a great way to give Scott and Art better material. I couldn’t help but love Scott giving Krystal love advice on how to cope with being ghosted.

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Perhaps the best thing about Krystal is that as usual, it turns out she is on to something, and she is completely capable in spite of all appearances to the contrary. I love that about Orphan Black. On any other show, Krystal would have been a one-note punch line of a character, but instead Tatiana Maslany’s performance brought her to life. The writers were smart enough to recognize what they had on their hands as well as the warm reception from fans, and grew her role beyond the clone of the week to be perhaps the most beloved clone outside our four sestras, and certainly one of the fan favorite minor characters, even among those not played by Maslany.

Kira plays hooky

All those con lessons from S and Sarah are paying off, because Kira is getting pretty good at tricking people. It doesn’t entirely work, of course, but that’s really been the way of things this season: Dyad and the Neos are just so much more in control. On the bright side, it looks like all those code names Kira has been making up will come in handy on next week’s episode when everyone has fun with video chat.

This plotline is really more about building for next week and filling everyone in on what they missed, except for the pieces that S is still keeping a secret. That one still plays her cards pretty close to her vest.

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Revival goes up in flames

I love that in the last few episodes, we’ve finally learned a few personal details about Cosima’s parents and her upbringing. She’s the sestra whose history we have always known the least about, with her story always focusing on the present tense. Other than being adopted by professors, we’ve had no idea, though fans have often wondered about their race, given Cosima’s looks. I hope we learn even more about her parents, and perhaps even see them, before the end.

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Our island comrades come up with a plan to take down PT (real name: John; real age: close to Susan’s, definitely not over 100) after realizing that he’s using the literal blood of children in an attempt to prolong his life, like some kind of OG Brothers Grimm fairy tale villain. While Cosima and Charlotte escape, poor Ira is still glitching when he finds a dead Susan, presumably killed by Cody, given how feeble Westmoreland seemed at the time. I’ll miss Susan’s historical perspective (a role Cody can fill), tie back to the mythology of the early seasons, and incredibly narrow threading of the morality needle. Without somebody to say no to genocide (and little else), the science is about to get a lot more mad on that island.

Mud’s awakening to PT Westmoreland’s corruption and lies was heartbreaking, because having a community has always clearly meant so much to her, and tonight we finally found out why: she doesn’t think she has a home to return to, after struggling with addiction. While Mud’s role in the coup was covert, Virginia Cody will certainly suspect her even if PT doesn’t, and the conflict outside the mansion will make Mud’s next move even more difficult. Without the boat, how will she leave even if she wants to? At this point, the I think the illusion has been completely shattered, but she and Ira might be safer playing along until they can find a means of escape, at least within the walls of the house. But on the rest of the island? That’s an armed and upset population, and if their treatment of Cosima is any indication, Mud may not be any safer on the outside.

Okay, I’m ready to see Felix and Adele in action now, please. This is our second Hendrix-free week in a row, which I understand, but makes it harder to justify no Felix as well as the fact that there has been far too little of our favorite pregnant (former) assassin. I know there are a ton of characters to balance, but I’m hoping that bringing Cosima back home will make that a little easier going into the final push. 


3.5 out of 5