Like much of the imagery in Orphan Black, this or any season, you are not always quite sure if what you are seeing is happening now, is a dream, hallucinations, memories. All of the above? Just one of the shows many mind games. In the season three finale, the eye-bandaged Rachel appears to be remembering old times when she was a little girl with her parents. Memories, then, is how I was perceiving this at the time of viewing. And was that the Northern Lights I got a glimpse of? Rachel wakes alone, seemingly having been operated on, and finds she has a new prosthetic eye. We’re not quite sure where she is or why, and her cries of “Where am I? Who’s keeping me here?” means she is in the dark too. So to speak.
When Rachel actually wakes up later in the episode I was scratching my head as I was now doubting if the opening scene was a reality or a dream (though not doubting it now). With Delphine at her bedside scoping Rachel’s nice new nails – wait a minute! That’s not Rachel at all, it is Krystal all bandaged up. She recognizes Delphine from the salon, but is more concerned about why she is in this predicament. Removing the eye patch there are sighs of relief all over the place when we see her eye is still there. Didn’t see that coming, though. Where’s that scheming Dr. Nealon?
Cosima visits Shay with the largest piece of humble pie, still unwilling to explain the whole clone mystery to her. Surviving the razor blade interrogation / chat with Delphine, Shay feels very downtrodden. Fair enough, but as it goes Shay is so far down the character pecking order, we are forgiven for not caring more than we perhaps should about her feelings. In a no-nonsense kind off place, Cosima now arms herself with a gun in preparation for a meeting with Ferdinand. Unbeknownst to him, Sarah is also here to make a deal, on her terms.
Art, the detective, finds Sarah and Felix a safe house. Well, it is more like a warehouse, but hopefully safe nonetheless. Scott is there too, to do the, you know, science stuff. Siobhan brings her mother Kendall along, not for the ride, but because she wants her in clear sight so she can incinerate her rather than those Castor clots getting hold of her. I’m no genius, but that particular mother-daughter relationship needs a bit of TLC. Cosima soon arrives too, to take some blood, and handles the hostility from Kendall marvelously, almost taming the beast. I guess she has a right to lash out given the weight of Leda and Castor in her blood. I would also like to add that actress Alison Steadman (a former Mike Leigh favorite) is terrific here, chewing up as much of the scenery as she can without breaking sweat.
Elsewhere, it’s Election Day for Alison and co. Not far behind them, with little interest in who wins the school trustee position I suspect, is Rudy. He and Dr. Coady are now clutching at straws, and are way behind the race. And Donnie has found Jesse and his tow truck as a surprise for Helena. It’s a sweet, guilty-pleasure moment, for we want Helena to ride off into the sunset with her cowboy one day. But before Helena can get jiggy with her “boyfriend” she is requested to stall Rudy as he is lured back to Alison’s house. Helena wants a knife fight though, prison style, beginning with her kicking a roll of duct tape right into his face – nice move. Following a brief duel, she pierces his arm with the screwdriver, which is all the more impressive as she did tell him she would do that. He appears to die in front of her, both temperamental souls share childhood memories as he passes. Aww.
What else? Tracking down Mark (and Gracie), Felix surprises himself (and Sarah) when he kicks down the door like a TV detective – reminding us he is still important here. Having found Mark and Gracie, Sarah and Felix take the Castor boy to the warehouse where they trick Dr. Coady to meet them there. AKA he pretends to be a beaten Rudy via video chat. Ferdinand gets to Coady first, shooting the driver, and joining her in the backseat.
It all comes to blows when Dr. Nealon, for the moment a hostage, tries to kill Delphine. The very weird part here (because people trying to kill each other is commonplace) is Nealon tries to omit a creepy worm from his own mouth into Delphine’s, but she shoots him. Before he dies he tells her she won’t survive a day. Delphine calls Sarah in the nick of time, looks like the Neolutionists were behind this after all. And “they are everywhere” appears to the last words from Ferdinand’s henchman’s mouth following a head-bashing with a baseball bat. Ferdinand implores the gang to move Kendall on, to hide, while he disposes of his former employee.
The finale attempts to end with some reminder that we have managed to muster some closure here. Alison wins the election by the way. When the Leda sestras (as well as Art, Donnie, Felix, Mrs. S et al) all sit around the table for what could well be a roast dinner, you can’t help be touched. It is nice to see them all together, for one, but toasting to Beth Childs and all the sisters united might bring a tear to a few eyes. You know while watching this, though, there may be too much comfort and sentiment for it to end there.
True to the show’s form, Cosima is asked to meet Delphine outside, who effectively says goodbye without actually using those words, and they kiss. Delphine is later shot before she gets in her car by someone she knows. The final sequence has Rachel reunited with her mother Susan, and the Leda child we saw last season, Charlotte, gives Rachel the news she will be her mommy now. Amidst a snowy landscape, Sarah is reunited with Kira.
Loose ends are tied up, and many of our characters know a little bit more about where they stand, and where they are going next. But this is not over yet. It’s a fitting finale to the twists and turns we have had to endure thus far in Orphan Black. This final episode feeds us enough to ease our nerves and settle our hearts, while leaving a few doors ajar, as well as opening a couple of new ones. I am more worried about how I will get through the next nine months before the birth of Season Four.