“Chickens.” How could one little word be so devastating? After five seasons, it was time to say goodbye to a beloved fan favorite: Mrs. S is dead. Sure, we’ve had deaths happen on Orphan Black before, but it’s rare when it happens to one of the core characters from the beginning. It’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s an iconic moment that will no doubt be in the top 10 best (and most shocking) Orphan Black scenes of all time. In fact, everything in “Guillotines Decide” makes it one of the best Orphan Black episodes ever.
After having much of the group separated for Orphan Black season 5, the characters were finally reunited for a celebration – their coming together has been sorely missed. We haven’t seen these people happy in a while. The events on Revival, the threats by Neolution, and the personal struggles all brought Sarah and co. to their breaking points. I love the intense and suspenseful moments on Orphan Black, but when it connects to the theme of family, their genuine happiness makes me smile. And the pure celebration at Felix’s art show was the perfect backdrop.
Felix has been relegated to the background for a while now; in fact, I was surprised he disappeared before with Adele to hunt down Neolution’s money. He was essentially written off the plot. Having “Guillotines Decide” be used to recognize his artwork and the love for family/friends makes up for all that early season backseat. Felix’s speech was beautiful – kudos to the Orphan Black writers! It tied together their family history, brought Adele further into the Clone Club family, and it was emotional. It was a touching monologue that needed to be said.
Speaking of things that needed to be said, claps to Adele for calling out Sarah. This has been a realization she needed to hear for a while now. Neolution and their war has consumed her for so long that she forgets everyone else around her – this was her brother’s art show and all she could think about was Mrs. S and Delphine being shady.
In addition to Adele, I loved how the writers effectively used the supporting characters. Moving Kira and Charlotte early into the safe house was the best decision for them at the moment, and it opens up time to other characters. The return of Colin at the art show made me happy. We haven’t seen him and Felix together since Orphan Black Season 2. I shipped these two way back when; hopefully they will stay together and start a relationship once the story is completed.
Did anyone think Gracie would die? I had not expected this twist at all. Having her find Helena was a bit suspicious, and there was definitely something she was hiding, but she didn’t deserve to go. At least she had her redemption moment and wanted to help Helena in the end. Coady, Maddy Enger and Mark are evil! Though, we should be scared for Helena now – Helena’s fetuses have the genome. With Kira in hiding, Neolution needs to get it from somewhere for their business and scientific goals.
Alison/Donnie and Delphine/Cosima should run off into the sunset now; they’re having their perfect moments and I don’t want anything to ruin it. Even though I wish they didn’t bring Alison back, her inclusion at the art show was needed. She’s changing for Donnie and being more accepting. Delphine, on the other hand, isn’t perfect – she was still hiding things – but it’s clear she loves Cosima. Purchasing the painting and holding her when she uploaded the files is the core of their love – it’s subtle and tender. Though, Cosima dancing on a drawing of Rachel’s face is still the highlight Cosima moment.
Rachel’s redemption has been touch and go. There were moments this week that I wondered if she would be going back to her old ways – the worry was for naught. Rachel is unofficially in Team Clone Club. Having her betray Ferdinand and choosing defeating Neolution over money is a complete change. Villainous Rachel would’ve gone for the quick dollar over helping her Sestras. Rachel started Orphan Black season 5 as an enlightened person under P.T. Westmoreland, and it seems to still be the case, but now it’s on the side of good. I’m not sure if this is Rachel’s last episode, but if so, I’ll miss her since she’s one of my favorite clones.
Mrs. S dying wasn’t too surprising in the grand scheme; a lot of her past scenes were foreshadowing her death. She and Sarah had many mother/daughter moments during the mystery, and “Guillotines Decide” alone had the characters talk about the family love. I’m happy the writers had her go out a hero by stopping Ferdinand; she went down fighting and took out the monster who killed M.K.
Maria Doyle Kennedy is a superstar. The raw emotion she exuded during her final moments were so strong it even brought my friends to tears during our Orphan Black episode viewing party. Though, it’s safe to say many others were probably crying, too.
“Guillotines Decide” was an incredible episode that showed Orphan Black at its best. The eighth hour of the final season delivered a perfect mix of Neolution corporate drama and family heart. We got a celebration, twists and moments that brought back Orphan Black to the tone we all fell in love with during season 1 and character development that tugged at the heartstrings to send off characters who left their mark. We need more episodes like this. Hopefully in the final two hours, this will continue the momentum for a satisfying end.