Orphan Black‘s final season continues, with character committing acts of brutal violence, villains corralling the clones, and significant questions lingering.

Will we finally see the Cow? And what rough shape will it take?

Title: “Clutch of Greed”

Cast and Crew
Director: John Fawcett
Writer: Jeremy Boxen

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Alison Hendrix / Helena / Rachel Duncan / MK
Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins
Kristian Bruun as Donnie Hendrix
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Evelyne Brochu as Delphine Cormier
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Dylan Bru Kevin Hanchard as Art Bell
James Frain as Ferdinand
Josh Vokey as Scott
Ari Milen as Ira
Cynthia Galant as Charlotte Bowles
Jenessa Grant as Mud
Elyse Levesque as Detective Maddie Enger
Calwyn Shurgold as Hell Wizard
Glenda Braganza as Dr. Slaight
Sirena Gulamgaus as Aisha
Homa Kameh as Aisha’s Mother
Simu Liu as Mr. Mitchell
Karen Ivany as Vice Principal
Sheila McCarthy as Connie Hendrix
Ryan Blakely as Reverend Mike
Bas Reitsma,Tim Beresford as Neo Agents
Dalton Derek as Security Guard
Paula Barrett as Nurse Wennie
Stephen McHattie as P.T. Westmoreland

Premise

The Neolutionists claim the clones, Ferdinand kills quite bullishly, Helena escapes, Kira breaks with her mother, and Cosima meets the 170-year-old P.T. Westmoreland.

High Point

P.T. Westmoreland—or whoever that is—didn’t remain hiding for long. We have enough mystery surrounding the man without keeping him behind the curtain for half a season, and a lesser show would almost certainly have played that game.

Low Points

Unless it makes up an as-yet-unexplained part of the Neolutionists’ plan, or Dyad’s plan, or someone‘s plan, I have to ask why everyone easily blows off the top-notch security and surveillance. Yes, Siobhan, Sarah, and Felix have experience with lawbreaking and running, but no one’s escape plan should work that well, under these circumstances. If they hadn’t decided to listen to a child’s demands, they would have made it.

The characters’ actions, ending up in certain places at certain times, feels a little forced this season. In deference to its past seasons, I’ll give the series the benefit of the doubt for now.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 4/6

See High and Low Points.

Acting: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 Given the number of emotional things that happen—Kira’s response to her mother, and MK’s brutal death, I’m surprised my own reaction wasn’t stronger. It feels like we have so much happening and so many new mysteries presented in such a labyrinthine fashion that reaction becomes blunted, no matter how horrific the events.

YMMV.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 The plot moves forward with this year’s mysteries. Given that the villains appear to be winning with little resistance from our heroes, we really must question what we’re being shown. We get a broad view of Revival, and we see few signs of its supposed age. We meet Westmoreland, but nothing we see confirms that he is who he says he is. MK, no longer around to reveal what she knows can find no information or records of his continued existence which, as she notes, does not entirely make sense.

Delphine’s role also remains uncertain, in part because she’s not where she’s supposed to be.

Things are not as they seem.

In total, “Clutch of Greed” receives 34/42

Lingering Concerns

In its final season, Orphan Black has much to overcome. The early seasons had the compelling mystery of the clones. Even as we learned the truth, they existed, not only as intriguing characters, but as means to reflect on such things as identity, individuality, nature versus nurture debates, and corporate ownership and responsibility. The clones, by this point, have become familiar. Compelling characters, to be sure, performed by a brilliant actress, but they’ve lost the other aspects that made the show worth watching.

The show’s villains, meanwhile, proved a complex bunch. We had many factions, with disparate motives, complex disagreements, and fallible, changeable plans. Now that they have (or so it seems) joined forces under one master villain, the show’s conflicts risk developing the kind of simple, unrealistic dichotomy that is such a staple fare of pop culture, online conspiracy theories, and contemporary American political rhetoric.

I’m hoping for the best; the show has come through before. Otherwise, it risks finishing, as so many other series have, as a mediocre version of its former self.