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Home TV REVIEW: Orphan Black’s Season Finale is an Insane, Frustrating But Compelling Ride

TV REVIEW: Orphan Black’s Season Finale is an Insane, Frustrating But Compelling Ride

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 7 years ago

By Clinton Bell

After last week’s busy episode, an installment that gave us the defeat of Henrik, Kira’s bone marrow extraction, and subsequent abduction, Orphan Black brings us back to where the season began. Kira is gone, and in the hands of the enemy this time.

The season 2 finale — titled “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” — bears most of the qualities that made the show both excellent and frustrating in season 2.

Orphan Black still delivers high-quality acting and tension on a regular basis, but the character motivations have become muddled and it is often hard to tell who is doing what and why. Marion, a high-ranking member of Dyad, is one of several characters with mysterious agendas. She is raising another clone at her home, and is eager to share top-secret information with Sarah for some reason. Marion might be the most cryptic character on the show. She comes across as an ally in this episode, but she is still tangled up with some pretty bad people from a pretty bad organization. Not knowing where every character’s allegiance lies is part of the fun, but also part of the frustration.

Because of all of the hidden agendas, I’m often not sure who to root for or root against. Mrs. S and Paul are also frustratingly cryptic characters that know a lot of secret information, yet mostly keep it to themselves. Even much of their dialogue gives the impression that they aren’t to be trusted.

Also frustrating is Cosima’s ongoing illness storyline. I’m disappointed that we still don’t know what the outcome will be. This storyline was introduced way back in season 1, and I’m not sure why the writers feel like it needs to continue, especially since it looked to be nearing a conclusion two episodes ago when Cosima collapsed.

Looking at the above paragraphs, it would seem that I hated the finale, but I didn’t, I’m just frustrated with certain elements of it. On the positive side, the episode ends with a truly wild twist, with the reveal that the military is running Project Castor and that Mark is one of the many male clones created in the experiment. I didn’t see it coming, and it opens up a lot of new story territory for Mark, a character that appeared to be riding away into the sunset with his new wife Gracie. It’s a smart, juicy twist to end the season on, and one that will likely bring back any viewers that considered abandoning the show.

But despite my issues with the finale and the season as a whole, there’s no reason viewers should abandon the show. When it’s at its best, Orphan Black is one of the greatest shows on TV, and possibly the most eclectic drama at the moment. It combines so many offbeat ideas, that it has a voice unlike anything else on television. Yeah, its insane narrative gets in the way at times, but there are many, many reasons to tune in every week. Even if the clone conspiracy gets more convoluted and less compelling, I’ll still have to watch every episode just to see what sorts of hilarious things Alison will do, or who Helena will kill, or if Art is ever going to understand what the hell is going on.

Clone Dance Party: Are you a Sarah, Cosima, Alison or Helena?