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Sarah and S at Felix’s art show

Orphan Black Double Recap – Gag or Throttle and Guillotines Decide

It has been two whirlwind weeks of Orphan Black, Clone Club! This double recap is ready to roll and give you all the (gory) details. First up, I’ll discuss “Gag or Throttle” and then “Guillotines Decide”. Honestly, I’m still reeling from the end of this past week’s episode (“Guillotines Decide”), as we lost one of our own. I doubt it will be the last casualty, but I’m getting ahead of things.


Gag or Throttle

The flashbacks with tiny Rachel, as portrayed by the same actress who plays Charlotte but with an adorable British accent, gave us some insight into the most ruthless clone. Rachel kind of hogged the spotlight in this ep, ya? But for good cause, as we see the power plays that she, the Board of Dyad/Neolution, and P.T. Westmoreland (aka John) are making. Even Dr. Leaky makes a few appearances in flashback. Since, as tiny Rachel says, mitochondrial DNA is passed on through the mother only, Neolution/Dyad need a “new Eve” – that would be Kira. The egg harvesting procedure is set to begin shortly. When Kira complains to Rachel about all the needles hurting her, Rachel is strongly reminded of her own childhood as a test subject who grew up in a lab. Kira also gives Rachel a friendship bracelet, which I’m sure is the only time Rachel has received such a gift. What’s more is she actually wears it – not quite the stone-hearted bitch she poses as.

Cosima and Charlotte have made it to the mainland, and are warming up with Team Science. It is great to see Cosima and Scott being all nerdy again! Cosima is a font of useful info as usual, and tells the team about the plans to harvest all of Kira’s eggs and implant them in surrogates. As S says, they “are doing it again, to another generation of women” and wants to storm the gates, but they need to hold off until a better plan is in motion. Team Science then finds out exactly who P.T. Westmoreland is and how he faked his death to assume the Neolution myth – John Patrick Matheison is definitely not 180.

Rachel visits the Island (Wonderland), where P.T. tells her that he considers her a daughter while they overlook Susan’s and Ira’s graves. Yeah, right. He then tells her she needs to undergo some testing, where she signs once again on the line by her clone ID tag. Despite her owning the intellectual property unique to her clone number – 779H49, if any of you are interested – she realizes that Dyad and Neolution still view her as property. P.T. is also keeping watch over his property – he sees everything Rachel does through her synthetic eye.

The best and most insane scene stems from Rachel discovering that she has been watched this entire time. After drunkenly watching home videos of her parents, Rachel texts Art, covers her eye, sedates Kira and wheels her out of the exam room to meet Art, S, and Sarah in the elevator. Kira is thankfully not used as the next Eve, and Rachel has seen to it that the Board finds out Westmoreland’s true identity. She then breaks the stem of her wineglass and STABS OUT HER OWN EYE. Blood is everywhere and the episode ends on that grisly note.

Virgina Cody with the newly returned Mark

Other important tidbits – Castor clone Mark, who fled the religious cult where Helena’s eggs were taken, comes to the Island and talks to Virginia Cody. His redheaded wife, Grace, finds Helena in the convent. Allison is back from her retreat in California with short hair and purple streaks, a Thoreau quote tattooed on her hip. She’s a bit insane as usual, but is trying to mask it with her new-age attitude.

Guillotines Decide

There was no preview for “Guillotines Decide,” as BBC said it was “too shocking for TV!” I can assure you that it was not more intense than Rachel stabbing out her own eye, but our beloved Mrs. S died at the hands of horrible Ferdinand and I am still upset about it. She did take out Ferdinand before she left, however, which is the only bit of good news that can come from such a tragic loss. I think they sent her off properly, at least, although it was quieter than I thought it would be. She did feel like the Dumbledore of this series, however, and we all know that the mentor never makes it to the end.

Allison, with her new hair, at Felix’s art show

But first – Felix’s art show. He’s been painting the sestras since the beginning of the show, and it is finally time to reveal them to the world. He and Adele even met a high-powered gallery owner in Switzerland that they invited to the show. I enjoyed Felix’s re-entrance, as I have missed his levity these past few weeks. He busted into S’s house and shouted, “Greetings, North American scum!” as he’s so very Euro now that he’s spent time with the Swiss. Much is made of everyone taking a break from the drama to support Felix, so of course you know that shit will go down anyway.

At the convent, Helena is being surprisingly nice to Grace, who is lying about Mark being dead. As you can imagine, that goes poorly. Helena is captured by Dyad and the dirty female cop, even though Grace did not reveal their location (but her cell phone signal did). Grace, for her troubles, is shot in the head. Helena goes out kicking and screaming, but they can’t harm her for fear of hurting the babies. SIGH.

Helena confronts Grace

Before putting in appearances at Felix’s show, Delphine and S go to see Ferdinand and Rachel. Ferdinand, on orders from S, stopped at Dyad and scooped a bleeding Rachel off the floor and saved her life. Now they are hiding out in the hotel, where S hands them the entire paper trail – Board members, money laundering, Dyad secrets, BrightBorn, etc. etc. Rachel has the smoking gun, it turns out, with payoff amounts and dates. She supposedly gives all this to Ferdinand for leverage over the Board – he wants to use them for massive payouts, while Rachel just wants to be free of it all. This is the deal breaker, however, and as Ferdinand attempts to scam the Board, Rachel is really giving the documents to S.

Cosima and Delphine upload the evidence

S sends them to Delphine and Cosima, who upload them to the right places so the entire network is exposed. The project is essentially over and discredited, from Westmoreland up through all the fake corporations Dyad/Neolution has set up to the clones being created as “property”. The clones also have their innoculations ready because of Cosima’s and Delphine’s hard work. Cosima begins to cry from relief as Delphine holds onto her. They did it, and it is a cathartic moment.

As everyone converges at Felix’s loft for the art show, we see him theatrically bring out the clones (but only one at a time, so it looks like the same girl) as a performance piece. Allison is the soccer mom, Cosima is her eccentric self as she dances with the audience, and I would like to note that the DJ is wearing a “The Future Is Female” shirt, which is awesome. Sarah is revealed last as Felix pays tribute to not only her as his sister, but to S, who took them both in as orphans and raised them as her own. He says “we are all mysterious works of chance and choice, of nature and nurture” and toasts to his “galaxy of women”. It’s pretty awesome! So, of course, the awful part is up next.

S heads home as the party continues around her after getting a text from Rachel that Ferdinand is not dead – they expected the Board to kill him and they almost did so. But not quite. Ferdinand is waiting at S’s house and they both draw guns on one another. After a tense exchange, they agree to lower their weapons. Ferdinand is a huge ass, obviously, and has another in his pocket. He shoots S in the chest and she manages to make it to her chair while bleeding. She asks him to hand her a framed photo of Felix and Sarah. He looks away to pick up the photo, and she pulls a gun out of the chair cushions. She shoots him in the throat and he dies first, gurgling and spitting blood. She picks up the photo and says “chickens” (her pet name for the kids), succumbing to her wound.

The final act for Mrs. S

Ahhh!!! So depressing! I know we have to face down the ultimate bad guy, which is Westmoreland (and a little bit Virginia Cody, but she still owes Sarah/S for busting her out of her drug-addled state), but losing S to Ferdinand was pretty traumatic. But I have to be honest – for a show that does twists and turns and complexity so well, it was really obvious that S was going to die. They had her cutting roses, writing a letter and crying, Felix’s tribute, and the culmination and positive outcome of her hard work gathering all that info on the nefarious Dyad Board. I’m glad we got all that closure for her, and for the sisters. Cosima’s reaction in particular, having found the cure and uploading the damning evidence, was a great moment for the show and for us as the audience. Triumph! But now it is made tragic, as S gives her life as the price of such a triumph.

With only two episodes left in the entire series, this is the time to ponder how we’d like to see it end. I’ve become very flexible and forgiving of finales over the last decade of actively watching and engaging with my shows. Fans moan about the way Lost ended, or Battlestar Galactica, but I always ask – well, what would you have had the writers and producers do? It is harder to tie up loose ends than we all think! As for Game of Clones here, I’d simply like to see Sarah, Cosima, Helena, Delphine, Felix, Art, and Kira survive and be happy. I suppose Allison and Donnie can live too! Maybe Crystal will meet her sisters for real? Everyone will need to band together to save Helena and finally end Westmoreland. I don’t know if they will end it on the Island (that would be some Lost-esque business!), or at the Dyad Institute, but things are going to hit the fan in a huge way. I can’t wait to see what they do! I trust the showrunners – they’ve given us five outstanding seasons of TV.

What do you want to see happen? Tweet me @lightstar1013!

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Amy Imhoff

Amy Imhoff is a writer and editor who blogs at Shoes and Starships, a geek lifestyle blog that specializes in genre fandom, pop culture, travel, fashion, and feminism. She is a featured convention panelist, podcast contributor, and interviewer. Amy has her masters in literature, enjoys a slightly unhealthy obsession with all things British, and likes to sniff old books. Amy is based outside NYC, where she lives with her husband and two silly cats. Find her freaking out about X-Files and Star Trek @lightstar1013

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