Orphan Black Review: “Slim Manacled Wrists”

While not one of the strongest episodes, this week’s Orphan Black accomplishes much, revealing the truth behind P.T. Westmoreland, Mud, and the island, reintroducing Krystal for some broad comedy, and setting up the possible demise of several characters by taking the Island of Dr. Moreau parallels to the brink of their dark, logical conclusion.

Title: “Manacled Slim Wrists”

Cast and Crew

Director: Grant Harvey
Writer: David Bezmozgis

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning/ Cosima Niehaus / Rachel Duncan / Krystal Goderitch
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler
Skyler Wexler as Kira
Stephen McHattie as P.T. Westmoreland
Rosemary Dunsmore as Susan Duncan
Jenessa Grant as Mud
Josh Vokey as Scott
Kevin Hanchard as Art Bell
Cynthia Galant as Charlotte
Cara Ricketts as Brie
Andrew Moodie as Simon Frontenac
Ari Milen as Ira
Kyra Harper as Dr. Virginia Coady
Sirena Gulamgaus as Aisha Yasin
Homa Kameh as Aisha’s Mother
Tom Cullen as Leonard Sipp
Vas Saranga as Amar
Deborah Grover as Yolanda
Humberly González as Ana


The situation on the island degenerates as a character dies and we learn the truth about Westmoreland. Cosima plans her escape.

Kira, Sarah, and Siobhan plot against Rachel.

Krystal and her bff Brie provide Clone Club with some key information, and the audience with some comic shenanigans.

High Points

The comedy went over the top, sure, but the Krystal scenes this week provide a lot of laughs in a frequently dark show. Art Bell, once again, has very little to do, but the actor plays straight man effectively.

Low Points

While the episode provided the answers to some final-season mysteries, it did so through unimaginative exposition.

The comic scenes with Krysal work very well; the ones with and Scott and Brie feel a little too silly, reminiscent of Ginger using her feminine wiles on Gilligan’s Island.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6

Story: 4/6 We have an episode that sets up the rest of the series, interrupted by some amusing shenanigans with Krystal.

Acting: 5/6 We get, as always, exceptional performances of the leads—including Maslany as Krystal and faux Krystal. Some of the other acting feels a little forced. The scenarios required more time to develop; secondary and tertiary characters had to work with what they were given.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 The explanation for Westmoreland and the island, while outlandish, at least makes sense in the context of the show.

Now can we please stay on the mainland?

In total, “Slim Manacled Wrists” receives 32/42

One reply

  1. While the explanation for Westmoreland’s age and motivations makes sense in context, I think we’re still missing a major piece of the puzzle as to the Neolution end game – presumably all this has a bigger purpose than Westmoreland’s personal gain, otherwise why would Duncans, Coady, etc. all go along with it? What’s in it for them? Did they genuinely feel that the potential gains for humanity justified the means (Neolution’s efforts certainly seem to have helped with Mud’s situation), but lost their moral compasses along the way? Whatever the end game is, I think it’s pretty clear from Krystal’s discovery that it’s not something that the general public is intended to have much of a choice on.

    I’d like the show to stay on the mainland too, but given how many key characters remain on the island, I don’t think we’re quite done with it yet.

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