Orphan Black returns for its fifth and final season. Tatiana Maslany remains in fine form as various clones; whether the labyrinthine plotting and byzantine backstory can maintain the season until the end remains a mystery.

Title: “The Few Who Dare”

Cast and Crew
Director: John Fawcett
Writer: Graeme Manson (with Renée St. Cyr, Natalia Guled, and Aisha Porter-Christie)

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Helena / Rachel Duncan
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine Cormier
Dylan Bru Kevin Hanchard as Art Bell
Ari Milen as Ira
Ron Lea as Lieutenant Gavin Hardcastle
Jenessa Grant as Mud
Elyse Levesque as Detective Maddie Enger
Géza Kovács as the Messenger
Andrew Moodie as Mr. Frontenac
Cynthia Galant as Charlotte Bowles
Calwyn Shurgold as Hell Wizard
Stuart Hughes as Cooper
Victor Gomez as Salvador
Sirena Gulamgaus as Aisha
Homa Kameh as Aisha’s Mother
Vas Saranga as Amar
Andrew Musselman as the Creature
Millie Davis as Gemma Hendrix

Premise

An injured Sarah discovers several characters living on the island. Cosima takes a possible cure, Rachel and the elusive Dr. Westmoreland appear to have consolidated the various factions, Felix and company reach out to MK, Art Bell finds himself with a Neolutionist partner, Alison gets captured, Helena gets injured, and several mysteries stalk the island.

High Points

The scene between Cosima and Rachel reminds us again how much this series owes to its principal actor. We have a powerful, nuanced encounter that makes even a seasoned viewer forget that the same person plays both parts.

Low Points

As the show extends beyond its original premise, the mysteries and backstory grow more convoluted. The show has come through before, so I am hopeful, but they have a lot to explain, and I don’t now that the new characters will help matters.

Bell and Enger really feel like a sideshow, despite their obvious connection to the main plot.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 Maslany remains in fine form, and other series regulars do well in their brief appearances. The supporting actors vary in their performances.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 I remain cautious but hopeful for the final season.

In total, “The Few Who Dare” receives 34/42

Lingering Questions

Does Dr. Westmoreland continue to live, or is this some kind of Oz-some charade? And if it is, who lurks behind the metaphoric curtain?

Revival has sophisticated science, a greenhouse, a fish farm, and a children’s book explaining its history. Apparently, it has existed since 1908. Why, then, does the village look like someone threw it together last week?