Season 3, Episode 10: “History Yet To Be Written”
by Dan Tomasik
A quiet end to a chaotic season.
There’s so much good television these days. So many shows with superb writing, brilliant acting, and unpredictable twists that leave audiences reeling. At the same time, there’s a growing trend of “punishing” TV series. Shows that get their twists by blindsiding viewers with shocking deaths, betrayals, and unspeakable acts designed to provoke the largest possible emotional reaction. Shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Pretty Little Liars, etc. Each week Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter feeds are filled with the tear-soaked outpourings of fans dealing with the latest developments in their favorite shows. Grieving over fictional characters has been taken to a whole new level. One has to wonder if this is the future of television; this weekly kick in the teeth that is justified only because it keeps us on the edge of our seats?
Orphan Black has given us a hell of a third season. New characters, new developments, shocking deaths, unbelievable twists, and a conspiracy that only seems to get larger in scope. It can be overwhelming, but the showrunners have decided on a lighter conclusion to help fans through some of the tough times they’ve experienced. Mostly at the hands of these same showrunners. Every now and then it’s nice to have an ending that sows hope in its audience, instead of just misery. The shocks and revelations are still present, but they are softened underneath layers of positive moments. Family gatherings, day-to-day news, heartfelt apologies, surprise acts of redemption, and a mother reunited with her daughter. Kira has been kept off-screen for most of the season, making the scene with her and her mother especially powerful. Seeing Sarah and Kira lying in the snow together, it’s a wonderfully cathartic scene. Whatever the future may hold, nothing can take away that moment.
Family. That’s what gets you through the hard times. Not just genetic family, but the family you pick up along the way. Friends, loved ones, the people who make your life meaningful. At the end of the day, family has brought Sarah and S closer together, given Helena a home, Donnie a friend within Clone Club, Alison a new way to protect her loved ones, Krystal an escape from life in a medical room, and Mark a reason to live these final few months. That family is also what protected Clone Club from monsters like Rudy, whose own lack of connection with anyone proves his undoing. Project Castor has been an engaging threat this season, opening up new doors for Orphan Black to explore.
This season has truly proven to be a standout for the supporting cast. The supporting cast being everyone not-Tatiana Maslany. Everyone has revealed alternate sides of themselves and taken control over their own destiny; Donnie, Art, Delphine, Mark (and all of Project Castor), even Ferdinand. Ferdinand has proven himself an unexpected ally for reasons only he understands, and who can say what the future holds for his character? He may end up going the way of Delphine, skating back & forth over the line between good & evil. Such a development would be gladly welcomed, as it did wonders for Delphine. There’s also the loose ends of Shay and Jason, one of whom has been offered an invitation into Clone Club, but neither of whom has succinctly embedded themselves in a side.
This has also proven a standout year for Tatiana Maslany. In addition to her continued excellence in her established roles, she’s opened up new perspectives into less-developed roles; most specifically Rachel and Beth Childs. There’s also Krystal, the newest initiate into the web of Project Leda, offering yet another completely unique type of character. What continues to be one of the most fascinating phenomenons of this show is how often you forget 6 of these characters are the same woman. Each is so firmly rooted in their own story that you forget it’s one person. In addition, the characters are so believable and so real that one can even forget they are played by an actress. Cosima feels like a person, so does Alison, so does Rachel. After a while you stop remembering they have the same face, because they’re all such different people of such fundamental levels. That Tatiana Maslany can pull off such a feat and add a completely new person this late in the game is an astonishing achievement. There had damn well better be nominations for her (and the rest of the crew) this year. Ignoring such extraordinary work is just hurting these awards programs’ (already questioned) credibility.
Clone of the Week: Project Leda
This week belongs to everyone in Clone Club equally. All of them need one another, and all of them belong together. In the midst of chaos and danger around every corner, there’s nothing like sisterhood to get you through it. A new chapter is beginning for each Leda sister, and a bright new hope seems to be shining on them that the end of their struggle may be in sight.
Episode Score: 9.5