Orphan Black: You Can’t Take Cosima’s Humanity From Her

Title: “Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 5: Ease for Idle Millionaires
Genre: Science fiction, Biopunk, Drama, Thriller
Platform: TV – BBC America
Director: Helen Shaver
Writer: Jenn Engels
Rating: TV-PG
Release: July 8, 2017
Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Garvaris
Feature image: Source



Island Retreat
Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) is drilling the Creature’s (Andrew Musselman) tooth to get a DNA sample. A man is out in the woods for a smoke. The Creature attacks him. Cosima runs tests. In a flashback, Cosima and Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) discuss Cosima being someone’s intellectual property and her illness. Cosima is still upset that Delphine was her monitor. Delphine gives Cosima some encouragement. Delphine: “I can promise you one thing. I will always work to protect you.” While kissing Cosima, she tells her all the things Dyad doesn’t own of her. They promise to defy them. When Cosima awakens from her memories, she realizes the village is in an uproar about ‘the bear’. Cosima sees Aisha (Sirena Gulamgaus) and asks her and her mother if she can examine her. Aisha’s tumors are getting smaller and it seems she is getting better. Aisha has a book that charts her treatments and Cosima asks to borrow it.

“It didn’t always used to be like this. He used to have his own room upstairs. And then…they started doing these new experiments.” Mud  Orphan Black

The village creates a hunting party to find the Creature. Mud (Jenessa Grant) defends the Creature. Cosima tries to talk to Mud about the Creature. Mud tries to explain what happened recently, “It didn’t always used to be like this. He used to have his own room upstairs. And then…they started doing these new experiments.” After they locked him up in the basement, she set him free. She advises Cosima to keep her head down, some VIPs, including Rachel (TM) are meeting in the big house tonight. Cosima sees Delphine walking up the stairs to the big house. P. T. Westmorland (Stephen McHattie) greets Rachel, she is glad to be home. Ira (Ari Millen) tells Susan (Rosemary Dunsmore) that the village is in an uproar about the Creature. To change the subject after Ira brings up Westmorland, she asks him about the color of the roof in their villa in Sicily. He assures her he isn’t glitching and she tests him when she wants to change the subject. Westmorland is giving Rachel a shot. She tells him they have 1300 surrogates ready for implantation. Pleased with her, he tells her, “If anyone deserves Cosima’s inoculation, it’s you. More than any of them.” She thanks him. Westmorland wants Rachel to visit her mother to keep the operation running smoothly. Rachel asks him why he doesn’t have the creature eradicated. Westmorland: “Because this mutation is important to me? Because life, long or short, is never perfect?!” He continues, “We can’t predict all outcomes, can we? For instance, Aldous Leekie. Could you have predicted that he would wind up buried underneath some random crone’s garage?” He calls in Delphine. Rachel snidely says to Delphine, “You look so windblown!”  Delphine has something important to do in Geneva and wants to leave as soon as possible. Westmorland is going to reveal something big tonight. He changes the subject to Cosima, he complains she is crossing certain lines and upsetting research. Delphine asks what they need to know.

Rachel goes to visit Susan. Ira brushes past Rachel and says, “I’ve hidden the knives.” The mother and daughter reunion is chilly. Rachel: “Hello, mother. You’re looking well.” Susan: “The prodigal daughter returns.” Susan tell Rachel that she needs her for the surrogacy program. Rachel reminds Susan that she told her that the Neolutionist would never respect a clone. Susan admits she was wrong. She commends Rachel for securing Kira Manning (Skyler Manning) in ‘our’ care. Rachel reacts badly to this and viciously pokes her mother where her knife wound is. She emphasizes ‘my’ care. Rachel: “Corporate runs the science.” Susan fearfully acquiesces to her daughter.

“You’re pushing too hard. They know you’re digging.” Delphine Orphan Black

Delphine visits Cosima. Cosima is upset that Delphine didn’t see her sooner. After finding out what Delphine is supposedly doing for Westmorland, Cosima begins explaining what she has found out about Aisha. They are using gene therapy on her Wilms tumor. Delphine saw Leekie do something similar to a spiny mouse. Cosima used the DNA she got from the creatures tooth to test against Aisha’s DNA. She discovered they are manipulating the same gene from both Aisha and the Creature, LIN28A. Delphine warns Cosima, “You’re pushing too hard. They know you’re digging.” She fears Cosima will mess up what she is actually doing on the outside. Cosima asks her what she is doing; Delphine won’t answer. She does tell her that Dyad has access to Kira. Cosima is alarmed. The Messenger (Geza Kovacs) interrupts to fetch Delphine for the dinner. Cosima invites herself along. The Messenger tells her she isn’t invited. She says LIN28A and tells him to tell Westmorland that she has found the Foundation.

The Messenger takes Cosima and Delphine to a room where old-timey dresses are being stored. They are to wear one of these dresses to dinner. Cosima wants to find out what their plans are for Kira. Delphine: “We’ll learn more if we play along.” Cosima won’t wear the dresses so she puts on a tuxedo. The Messenger: “This is not appropriate.” Cosima: “It’s totally appropriate.” Cosima is surprised when Delphine leaves her. Ira and Susan are already in the dining room. Westmorland walks in with Delphine on his arm. Cosima isn’t pleased. Cosima begins with ‘polite’ conversation, “You have a lot of dead things in here.” Westmorland is proud of all the stuffed animals in the room and talks about his old buddy Charles Darwin. He gets some of his facts about Darwin wrong, and Cosima quickly corrects him. He asks about Cosima’s parents. Cosima hasn’t spoken to them in a while. They are professors who live on a houseboat. They think she is still in school in Minnesota. She hasn’t told them about her illness. It would lead her to have to tell them she is a clone, and how their lives have been a lie. In an uncaring voice, Westmorland says, “What a delicate balance you have between the clinical and the humane.”  Rachel makes her grand appearance.

“This is what he does. He divides women.” Cosima  Orphan Black

With Rachel joining them, Cosima explains what she knows. LIN28A is the fountain of youth gene. Kira’s ability to self-heal connects to it. When she mentions the Creature’s connection to it, Westmorland ‘casually’ drops that Delphine told them she had been in the basement. Cosima is shocked and hurt by this portrayal. Westmorland is tired of playing host and sends Delphine on her way. He shouts at Cosima that she can say goodbye to her. Cosima follows Delphine out of the dining room and asks her why she threw her under the bus. Delphine explains that she did it so she could get to Geneva. Cosima asks what’s so important there. Delphine explains that Felix and Adele are there and they are working on the end game. She asks Cosima does she remember the night they found out about Cosima’s illness and Delphine promised to protect her. This is her keeping that promise. Cosima admits she pushes too hard, while Delphine does things concerning her without telling her. Delphine tells her that’s how it has to be for now, unless she wants to end it. They kiss confirming they are still together. Cosima talking about Westmorland, “This is what he does. He divides women.” They decide to let him think he succeeded.

While the dinner party was going on with the higher-ups, the villagers are hunting the Creature. Salvador (Victor Gomez) is using Mud as bait to flush him out into the open. The Creature gets behind Salvador and kills him. He roughly grabs Mud but he doesn’t hurt her. Cooper (Stuart Hughes) comes after the Creature has left and finds his friend’s body.

“We have to know if the trait is heritable.” Susan  Orphan Black

After Delphine leave, Cosima rejoins Susan and Ira. Susan fills her in on the Creature’s history. His name is Yannis; they found him in an orphanage. His self-healing ability was remarkable. Susan synthesized his genes and put them in the Leda clones genome. It didn’t manifest in them. It skipped another generation to Kira (and Helena’s twins). Yannis has returned to the house. They lock Cosima, Susan and Ira in a room for their own safety. Cosima tells Susan that the chickens are coming home to roost. Susan won’t accept her responsibility in this. Cosima asks Susan, “How are you going to exploit Kira’s mutation?” Susan begins by saying, “We have to know if the trait is heritable.” They will find out with the surrogacy program. They are going to harvest Kira’s eggs and implant them in the 1300 women in it. Cosima reminds her those will be Kira’s children, Sarah’s grandchildren. She asks Susan to stop it. Susan says she can only mitigate it. Cosima is going to try to stop it herself. She tells Ira to lock the door behind her. He tells hers, “Roof red. It was red.” She asks him if he is glitching. Her expression says it all; I don’t need this now.

“You gave me life. I know you can take that away. But you can’t take away my humanity.” Cosima  Orphan Black

Cosima runs into Mud. She begs Cosima not to go downstairs. Westmorland isn’t well. Cosima hears music and goes downstairs. Westmorland is listening to the music while Yannis sadly tries to put his manacles back on. She tells him why he is doing this. Cosima: “You’re dying; P.T. Yannis was a healthy kid – like Kira. And you dismantled him. All this suffering just so you can extend life.” She also tells him he isn’t 170 years-old. That seems to jolt him out of his melancholy. He points his gun at her but gives it to her instead to put Yannis out of his misery. Cosima points the gun at the poor creature, but she can’t pull the trigger. She turns to Westmorland and says, “You gave me life. I know you can take that away. But you can’t take away my humanity.” She puts down the gun and tries to comfort Yannis. Westmorland picks up the gun and shoots Yannis. Cosima screams in anguish. It’s apparent Westmorland wasn’t doing it for humanitarian reasons.


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The Mainland
Siobhan is going to see Scott (Josh Vokey) and Hell Wizard (Calwyn Shurgold) to check on their research. She and Sarah (TM) whisper about their interaction with Dr. Coady. Kira is upset that they are excluding her again and prepares to go upstairs, but this time Sarah and Siobhan tell her what they are doing. Siobhan will leave Sarah to tell Kira more. Kira explains spiny mice to Sarah. Sarah tells her that she saw Helena, and that Helena misses her. Kira knows. She tells Kira how she saved her life on the island. Sarah: “If you can teach me everything you know about that feeling, then I’ll tell you everything you want to know about all the grown-up stuff we do.” Kira says okay.

Siobhan is with Scott and Hell Wizard discussing their research. She wants them to figure out if the man who disappeared in 1898 is the same man who is on the island now. Siobhan returns home to find Sarah and Kira are besties again. Kira wants to join in the fight. She proudly says she wants to be a hustler like them. Siobhan doesn’t look to sure about that. Kira wants to hustle Rachel. Siobhan asks her some hustler’s principles. How do you gain someone’s trust? Kira answers that you have to figure out what they want and give it to them without them realizing it. Siobhan asks Kira what Rachel wants. (We know the answer but they don’t yet.)

Kira, Sarah, and Siobhan are all peacefully sleeping in the bed together. Siobhan hears a noise downstairs. She goes to investigate with her shotgun. It is Delphine in the kitchen. She gives Siobhan a flash drive on their gene research. She warns her they are after Kira. She asks if Siobhan’s source who helped them find Coady (Siobhan’s source wasn’t Delphine it appears.) will help them again. Delphine doesn’t know exactly what they plan to do to Kira, but it is soon.

The final shot of the episode is Cosima locked in the basement.


This was a very Island centric episode. There were only a few short scenes in the mainland. Sarah didn’t even leave the house this episode, and when has Sarah Manning not been out and about kicking arse. The only major thing that happened in the mainland was Sarah letting Kira in on what’s happening. It is going to be fun watching our newest hustler in action.

We know Westmorland’s plans for Kira, and they are as horrible as you thought they were going to be. They are going to harvest her eggs and implant them in the woman of the surrogacy program. Westmorland proved himself in this episode to be pure evil. I can’t think of an admirable trait to assign to him. He was completely monstrous, from the little things like trying to make Delphine and Cosima dress in those 19th century dresses, to his plans for Kira, and killing Yannis. His every action is an attempt to manipulate and control everything around him. His right hand, Rachel isn’t much better. She feels so good about herself right now because Westmorland has made her HBIC. When Clone Club starts to level Neolution, I hope she is laying in the same ditch with Westmorland. You can throw Coady and Susan in there too. They are all horrible in their own special ways.

It was an excellent episode. We received answers to what Neolution plans are. It raises the stakes for the final episodes in the series. The dining room scene was frightening, suspenseful and funny at the same time. The scenes with Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu were romantic and sexy. The scene in the basement with the Creature was tragic. I hate Westmorland.

Clone MVP: Cosima

If I said anyone other than Cosima Niehaus, you should smash the devise you are reading this on against the wall. This was Cosima’s episode, and she knocked it out of the park. Like Alison’s episode a few weeks ago, this reminds us how much deeper our scientific bohemian is. Like her other sestras, she has an iron will. She wouldn’t let Westmorland and the rest of them push her around. She stood her ground, no matter the consequences. Cosima is the closest to the Neolution of the sestras (with her being a scientist), but she has something the Neos don’t have, humanity. She actually cares about people and will do what she can to protect them. Her strength and decency makes her the MVP.

Grade: A-

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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