Title: Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 9: One Fettered Slave
Genre: Science fiction, Biopunk, Drama, Thriller
Platform: TV – BBC America
Director: David Frazee
Writer: Alex Levine
Rating: TV-PG
Release: August 5, 2017
Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Garvaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Feature image: Source

[SPOILERS]
“I am the original. I am the light.” Helena – Orphan Black

Helena Flashbacks

Lil Helena (Habree Larratt) is stealing chocolate. A nun, Sister Olga (Cintija Asperger) comes into her office to pleasure herself, not seeing Lil Helena. Lil Helena hears these strange noises coming from the nun and goes to investigate. Sister Olga catches her staring and drags her out of the room calling her the ‘devil’. The sexually frustrated nun fills a bucket with bleach and dunks Lil Helena’s head in it repeatedly to show everyone the ‘devil that is inside’ her. Lil Helena calls out Sister Irina’s name begging for help but Sister Irina (Eileen Sword) is powerless to intervene. Lil Helena’s brunette hair turns blond and the unhealthy pallor her skin has appears. The nun throws her in a confession booth and Lil Helena finishes eating her ill-gotten bounty.

Tomas (Daniel Kash) comes to the orphanage to pick up Lil Helena. He tells the hesitant child, “You don’t know how special you are.” He leads her away to her new (more horrible) life. We later find her playing with the infamous Barbie dolls. Tomas is indoctrinating her into believing that the other clones are copies and evil. Later we meet a young adult Helena (Tatiana Maslany); Tomas is telling her that she is ready. Helena goes on her first mission to kill her sister clones. Helena goes into a church for her first kill. When she turns over the murdered clone, she realizes the clone looks just like her. She confronts Tomas about this. Helena: “I am a copy.”  Tomas:” No, child. You are the original. You are so special, don’t you see? They copied your body, but not your soul.”  Helena: “I am the original?”  Tomas: “You are the light.”  Helena: “I am the original. I am the light.” Helena begins her practice of cutting herself.

But you all know S didn’t go anywhere without a fight, and that fight was for all of us — her people, her network, her family.” Sarah Manning – Orphan Black

The Present

It is Siobhan’s funeral and a young woman is singing a sad ballad. Sarah Manning (TM) speaks to the mourners, “Some of you know what we’ve been through more than others. But you all know S didn’t go anywhere without a fight, and that fight was for all of us — her people, her network, her family.” She has the letter Siobhan wrote in the last episode. She is about to read it, but Kira (Skyler Wexler) starts sobbing so Felix Dawkins (Jordan Gavaris) reads it for her. Felix: “Just remember my loves, death is nothing at all. I’ve only slipped into the next room; you can call me by my old familiar name, put no sorrow in your tone. I promise we will laugh at this difficult parting when we meet again. All my love, S.” Alison Hendrix (TM) and Cosima Niehaus (TM) are video chatting; they weren’t able to attend the funeral. They will go to see Sarah and the family tomorrow. They both feel horrible for Sarah. Felix said that she hasn’t cried yet. Cosima believes she is trying to be strong for Kira. Alison:  “She always has to be strong, it’s not right, it’s not right.” Cosima assures Alison that they will pick Sarah up.

After the funeral, back at home with a house full of people, Sarah is watching the news about Neolution. They are being investigated and Dyad’s funds are frozen. Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard) comes by to tell Sarah that Siobhan’s sacrifice helped his family too since Neolution was threatening all of them. Anything that Sarah needs, he will be there. Sister Irene stops by and presents Helena’s journal to her. Sarah knows that Helena is in trouble.

Helena is in a van with Virginia Coady (Kyra Harper), Mark (Ari Millen) and a tech. Mark asks Coady where is Gracie, Helena is drugged so she can’t tell him that Gracie is dead. Coady pretends as if she will meet them later. They need to induce birth soon. Why, because of P.T. [John] Westmorland (Stephen McHattie). He is with Mr. Frontenac (Andrew Moodie). Westmorland isn’t doing well. Frontenac gives him an injection, which makes him manic. Westmorland snatches off his wig; he is bald! He goes into the surgical room they have Helena in and tells Coady he is ready for some twins. They need to harvest the babies’ stem cells. Coady tells him they have to wait a few hours, but Westmorland want to rip the babies out of Helena right now. This is even too far for Virginia, or is it? Helena awakes and Coady tells her they are going to induce labor, Helena tells her she is Westmorland’s “puppy dog… and a coward”; she then spits at her.

“Felix. I’m sorry for your loss.”   “Save your breath, you heartless bitch, and turn around.”  Rachel Duncan and Felix Dawkins – Orphan Black

Cosima and Scott (Josh Vokey) are studying Helena’s journal. They give their findings to Sarah, Felix, Art, and Alison over video chat. They know that Gracie found her. They all assume that she was taken to the island. Felix suggests they talk to Rachel, Sarah doesn’t want to, so Art and Felix volunteer to do it. Art carefully enters her hotel room, gun drawn. Rachel (TM) has her back turned to them. Rachel: “Felix. I’m sorry for your loss.”  Felix: “Save your breath, you heartless bitch, and turn around.” When she turns around, they see one of her eyes sewed shut. She puts her eyepatch on. They tell her that Neolution has Helena and they have taken her back to the island. Rachel tells them not necessarily.

Sarah is walking around the house in mourning. She looks at the old height measurements of her and Felix. She smells one of Siobhan’s jackets. Back at the hotel room, Rachel tells them that Westmorland has lost control of the island; the natives are restless. Rachel deduces that Detective Enger (Elyse Levesque) is involved in Helena’s abduction. She is a true believer. Art and Felix leave Scott to babysit Rachel. They head to the police station. Enger sees Art and winks at him.

Lieutenant Gavin Hardcastle (Ron Lea) stops Art to tell him that Interpol has taken over the cases for two murders that are connected to Neolution. Enger has been talking to Interpol about Art. Art decides to come clean with the Lieutenant. He rejoins Felix in the car. Enger is trying to set him up with Interpol but his boss believes him. He wants Art to continue to investigate on the DL. Two Neolution board members are dead. Neolution is trying to clean up their loose ends. They call Rachel to ask where the board’s moneyman, Hashem Al-Khatib (Elie Gemael) is.

Westmorland orders Coady to kill Mark. Coady didn’t order Gracie’s death, that was Westmorland, and she doesn’t want to kill Mark either, because he is the last Castor. Westmorland reminds her that they have always been the two who could act. He walks out of the room screaming, “The future is female.” Coady follows orders as usual and puts Mark down like a sick pet. She gives him an injection telling him it is the cure and it will make him sleepy. He will soon join Gracie. Before he dies, he tells her, “I’m so happy. Goodnight, mom.”

Frontenac is talking to Hashem and intimidating him. Felix walks into the room acting as if he is lost. Art comes in and tells him to put his hands where he can see them. Frontenac tells Art he has a gun, which he has, a permit for, and that he hasn’t done anything. Art warns him again, Frontenac remains cool until he tries to draw his gun, unfortunately for him, Art is quicker and he kills Frontenac.

Art calls Sarah; he is probably in trouble since he didn’t shoot Frontenac while on duty. Since Enger is talking to Interpol, this will look bad. Felix is questioning Hashem. They take him to the hotel so that Rachel can interrogate him. Art helps motivate him by telling him if he doesn’t cooperate, he will shoot him. He doesn’t know where Helena is but he knows how to flush them out of hiding. Rachel has the biggest target on her back. Over the phone, Sarah tells Rachel they are going to have to give her up. Hashem calls Westmorland and offers to trade Rachel for his life. Sarah’s plan is to go disguised as Rachel. Cosima thinks this is a crazy idea. Rachel says [John] will want to talk to her first before he kills her; Sarah has to stall. They have a tracking device on Sarah, when they pick up ‘Rachel’; Art follows them.

My babies. You deserve better than me. You will not be an experiment too. I set you free… My babies.” Helena – Orphan Black

Helena thinks back on her past and her once thinking she was ‘special’. She tells Coady, “I’m not special; I’m a copy like my sestras.” She begs Coady not to take her babies; they need their mother. Coady disagrees, she knows Helena’s past, she was dumped as a child; she is a killer who killed her own sisters. Coady: “What kind of mother could you possibly be?”  After Coady leaves, Helena attempts to escape. She gets a scalpel off the table and tries to cut her restraints off. It doesn’t work. Helena is desperate so she says to her babies, “My babies. You deserve better than me. You will not be an experiment too. I set you free… My babies.” Helena slashes her wrist and waits to die.

Clone Club is monitoring Sarah’s tracker. They are surprised they are heading back to Dyad, but they aren’t going to the main building, they are going to a wing that they haven’t used since Scott and Cosima used to work there. Rachel says with a tinge of admiration, “He’s hiding her right next to Dyad as it self-destructs.” Enger escorts ‘Rachel’ to Westmorland. To get him started, Sarah says, “You’re sitting in my chair.”  [John] begins to rant at ‘Rachel’ telling her personal things he could have only noticed while ‘observing’ her. (Dirty old man) It is going well until Sarah calls him ‘Father’. He tells her she has never called him father before. Sarah tells him she has always thought of him as her father. Westmorland isn’t fooled; he takes off her wig and eyepatch. He pulls a gun preparing to shoot her when Coady runs in. They need a blood transfusion from Sarah because Helena has slashed her wrist.

Scott and Hell Wizard (Calwyn Shurgold) enter the Dyad facility, Hell Wizard as security (he actually did work for Dyad in security), and Scott as a medical tech bringing in a transplant organ. Hell Wizard knows the procedure to get them in without the proper paperwork. Once in, Scott lets Art in. The alarm goes off, but Art doesn’t care, they might be able to use the distraction. Art is in assault gear ready for action.

“Babies coming.” Helena – Orphan Black

Sarah is giving her twin the transfusion and trying to wake her up. Since Helena is unconscious and lost so much blood, Coady is ready to use a C-section to get the babies. Helena awakens and asks Coady for water. Before she returns with the water, Helena gives Sarah a signal. While Coady is giving her water, Helena swiftly bashes her head repeatedly into the table. Helena: “You are shit mother.”  She and Sarah free themselves and prepare to leave. Before they can get anywhere, Helena’s water breaks. Helena: “Babies coming.”

_________________________________

As we rapidly approach the end of Orphan Black, we paused to get Helena’s origin story. At least, her hairstyle’s origin. Thanks to a cruel, randy nun, Helena was introduced to being a bleached blond. It is hard watching a child being abused, even if it is fiction, and seeing Lil Helena head being dunked in a bucket full of bleach was difficult to watch. As bad as her life with the nuns was, it got worse when Tomas showed up. He abused and twisted Helena into becoming an assassin for his cause; having her kill her own sestras. He made Helena feel special and lowly at the same time. It was only through the love and acceptance of her sestras that she was able to break her conditioning. When she was at her lowest this episode, trying to commit suicide to prevent her unborn children from living the horrible life she lived, it was the love, support, and blood of her sister that brought her back. It looks like Helena still has some fight in her (ask Virginia Coady’s head); she’ll need it next week with the twins coming.

The death of Siobhan Sadler fell heavily upon the episode. The funeral was sad and emotional, fitting for a beloved character. It was hard seeing Sarah, Kira, and Felix struggling. Instead of being able to mourn, Sarah was thrown back in the fight to save Helena. With Siobhan gone, Sarah has to take over her role as the matriarch of this family. I hope her sestras give her the emotional support she’ll need to fulfill that duty.

Every episode this season, Neolution exposes itself to be worse than we at first imagined. It’s a movement began by a fraud, with all of its science being developed for his benefit. The methods they used to achieve their goals were heartless, and it not only harmed the clones, it destroyed the souls of the people in charge. Nearly all of the Neolution bigwigs has paid a heavy price for their involvement, and it is Westmorland’s turn next week to face the music. I can’t decide how I want him to die, but I want it to be gruesome. He deserves it.

Clone MVP: Helena

Helena was the big bad of the first season, she was a mixture of the monsters in slasher flicks, with jaws himself, an unstoppable force of nature. She is still that, but she is a force of nature for good. Her takedown of Coady was pure Helena, even though on the verge of giving birth, she can still bring the pain.

Grade: B+

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

A fan, enthusiast, and appreciator of sci-fi, comic books, and fantasy film and TV. kbeartv61@nayahscifi.com
Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

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