The end is finally here, Clone Club. Our favorite, twisty-turny sci-fi drama has come to its inevitable conclusion.
Series finales are a tricky thing to do right. Shows need to balance wrapping up loose ends without seeming too pat, all while giving us enough of a look forward to leave us feeling satisfied about the futures of the characters we've come to know and love.
Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 10 accomplished all this in spades. In fact, I'd argue that it's one of the greatest series finales of all time.
First, I need to voice my appreciation for the re-appearance of Maria Doyle Kennedy as S in this final hour.
Siobhan has been an incredibly important part of the show since the beginning. Though she sacrificed herself to protect the sestras on Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 8, it was unthinkable that the series finale wouldn't include her in some way.
The use of flashback sequences woven throughout was perfect for this purpose.
As Helena was giving birth and as Sarah was flaking out on taking her GED, Sarah was flashing back to important moments with her adoptive mother.
We'd never before seen pregnant Sarah (not as far as I can remember, anyway). But the flashbacks to Sarah deciding to keep Kira and finally becoming a mother served perfectly to bring the story full circle.
When Orphan Black first started five years ago, Sarah's story centered around trying to become a mother to Kira once again, so this was very fitting.
The juxtaposition of Helena giving birth to her twins on the floor of the Dyad basement with Sarah giving birth to Kira was incredibly powerful. It truly brought me to tears, thanks largely to the phenomenal performances by Tatiana Maslany (as present-Helena, present-Sarah, and flashback-Sarah).
In fact, Helena's birth scene was one of the rawest, realest depictions of birth I've ever seen on screen. Fittingly unglamorous and emotional.
Guys, I'm completely gob-smacked that Art survived. Don't get me wrong – I'm happy about it, just totally shocked!
I've been voicing my distress all season long that Art would lose his life in the crossfire. Instead, he was one of the main heroes of the series finale.
Make no mistake: Sarah, Helena, and those babies would not have made it out alive if not for Art. I'm so glad he became such an important member of the team – and that he got a chance to knock out Enger! That was extremely satisfying.
Also satisfying: Helena finally killing Virginia Coady.
I wasn't surprised that Coady was still alive after Helena brutally bashed her face in on Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 9. That lady just refused to die for so long, I was starting to think nothing at all would kill her.
But a stab to the neck finally ended Coady's cruel reign of terror. Good riddance. Leave it to badass Helena to shank a woman right in the midst of active labor.
Westmorland's death was equally satisfying. I was glad that Sarah was the one to finally do the deed and end him once and for all.
The Neolution founder has been spiraling for the entire second half of the season, but he was completely mad by the time Sarah and Art snuck into Dyad to save Helena.
Shooting that doctor for literally no reason cemented that – the dude was totally nuts.
I survived you. We survived you. Me and my sisters together. This is evolution.Sarah
Sarah surviving Westmorland's attempt on her life and bashing his head in was the only way this could possibly end. Lab rats no longer, the sestras conquered their final enemy and welcome Helena's "beh-bies" before the finale was even half over.
That left plenty of runtime for viewers to find out what the sestras would do with their newfound freedom. And where we left them was extraordinarily satisfying.
Alison and Donnie are continuing on with their picture-perfect (albeit now a little more relaxed) existence, and they're helping Helena raise her babies from their converted garage. That all seems perfect given Alison's struggle over not being able to have biological children of her own.
Helena, meanwhile, took to motherhood seamlessly (except for allowing the babies to eat some random sand...).
And can we just talk about the fact that those babies have little baby hammocks instead of cribs?! Only Helena.
Sarah: How are the boys?
Helena: Dangling in their sacks.
Delphine and Cosima also got a happy, fitting ending – they are in love and off traveling the world together, saving Ledas. Surprisingly, that's all thanks to Rachel.
I was a bit surprised that Rachel survived the end of the series. But it was clear to me that, no matter what, Rachel could never become one of the sestras – she'd never be part of Clone Club. Too much damage has been done for her to ever be truly forgiven and accepted.
But I do think that her final send-off with Felix was perfectly done and perfectly appropriate.
Rachel: Felix. You’re looking well.
Felix: Who’s this, then? Got a new manservant already?
Rachel: This is Yusef. My Uber driver.
Rachel has always prided herself on being the proto-Leda. Now, she is solitary because she needs to be, in order to survive. She has no one, and we have no idea what she'll do from here on out.
Hopefully, though, she finds some peace. And maybe, eventually, a friend or two.
I have a glass eye, no friends, and no identity unless I want to be found. Leaves little room for elitism.Rachel
Giving Felix the complete list of all Leda clones was a great, selfless last thing for Rachel to do. It also served as the final broken link of Neolution – it's all put to rest now that all of the Ledas are identified and can be cured and saved. Then, and only then, can the sestras finally move on with their lives.
Helena found happiness in motherhood, Alison and Donnie in one another and their suburban life, and Delphine and Cosima in being able to travel the world and accomplish their work together.
For Sarah, her ending was less decisive and less straightforwardly "happy." But that fit for the protagonist we've come to know over these past five seasons.
Sarah has always been a complicated, solitary character. Fighting Neolution gave her a purpose she didn't have before – it gave her a family. With Neolution gone – and S gone – Sarah understandably came untethered.
It felt real that Sarah would still be grieving Siobhan – after all, S raised her and died horribly protecting her. If S had just been forgotten or swept under the rug, it would've felt just wrong. Sarah struggling with managing that grief felt honest and true to character, as did her solution: to bottle it all up and retreat into herself.
But in a true testament to how far she's come, her sestras were able to be there for her and pull her out of her funk – or at least begin to.
The post-party scene served as this season's version of the famous Dancing Clones scene, with the four main clones – Cosima, Alison, Sarah, and Helena – coming together to lift one another up. As per usual, I couldn't believe all four characters were played by Tatiana. Truly incredible.
And, of course, we finally found out where the show gets its name – from the mind of Helena.
Helena: I finished my book. It’s a story about all my sestras. I call it "Orphan Black."
Sarah: Oy, that’s weird.
The reveal that Helena had written the story of her life and her sestras and named it "Orphan Black" was a perfect moment. Usually, I think it's cheesy as heck when a show name-drops its own title. But here, it really worked.
"My story is an embroidery, with many beginnings and no end. But I will start with the thread of my sestra Sarah, who stepped off a train one day and met herself."Helena
And just like that, Orphan Black comes to an end. Except, as Helena said, there really is no end here – just a new beginning.
- I loved the little detail of Camilla, one of the Ledas cured by Cosima and Delphine, hitting on Delphine. Such a great, small moment.
- Damn, Alison really knows how to throw a party, as per usual! The decor was fantastic.
- One final goofy/sexy Alison/Donnie moment to close out the show – much appreciation for that strip tease!
- I really love that the entire next generation of girls are all friends and "cousins" now, but I couldn't help but feel that Alison's son was totally left out! Poor kid.
- Adele didn't have much to do during this final hour, but I'm glad she ended up sticking around and is now truly part of the family.
- For a minute, when Felix was talking about the mysterious person he was expecting, I thought it might be Cal (Sarah's ex and Kira's dad). What ever happened to that dude?
- Helena naming her twin boys after Art and Donnie made me so very happy.
What did you think of the series finale? Share your thoughts by commenting below. Don't forget that you can watch Orphan Black online here at TV Fanatic, to relive the entire series now that it's over!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.