‘Orphan Black’ finale recap: 7 most important revelations


Sarah goes to Marian’s house to find the truth about the clones.

It’s finally the end of “Orphan Black” Season 2, and as is tradition, multiple people were either horribly injured or dead by the end of the episode. And it turns out we haven’t even scratched the surface of the clone conspiracy. Let’s recap with the seven biggest revelations from the finale.

1) Rachel Duncan is so evil that her own father kills himself just to get away from her.

Too harsh? Considering that Rachel winds up with a pencil lodged in her eye at the end, maybe so, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Rachel has proven herself to be a pretty awful person this whole season, and it all culminated with her kidnapping Kira in Episode 9 after drugging Felix. It’s unclear what Rachel really wants, but it appears that she’s still fascinated by the fact that Sarah could conceive a child, and wants to keep Kira in a lab to study her. Apparently, Rachel went through a similar existence when she was little, as she was the only self-aware clone since birth, since it was her parents, Susan and Ethan Duncan, who created the clone experiment.

Anyway, Kira’s really weirded out that she’s being kept in a lab disguised as a little girl’s bedroom — and unlike the rest of her mother’s clone sisters, she doesn’t like “Auntie Rachel” at all. She is one perceptive child; and also brilliant, as she steals a nurse’s cell phone and places a call to Cal, her biological dad, for help.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s terrorizing everyone else: She ships Cosima’s lover/lab partner Delphine off to Frankfurt, even though Delphine would be the best person to help cure Cosima of her respiratory illness. “Cosima will be well-cared for,” Rachel tells a tearful Delphine, though that’s obviously a lie. Luckily, Delphine is able to send one final e-mail on her way out of the building, and ships Rachel’s daily itinerary over to Cosima with one sentence: “It’s up to you now.”

So, it’s Cosima’s job to a) save herself and b) take down Rachel. She gets the chance, but first, things start to spiral for Rachel. It seems like she has everything under control: Sarah’s turned herself in, in exchange for getting to see Kira. Even Rachel’s father, Ethan, is in prison garb and captured. Rachel, clearly still scarred from a childhood of being an experiment, locks Ethan in a room and makes him watch home movies over and over. She serves him tea — though he insists on using his own bag — and guilts him about the fact that she didn’t have a real childhood. He insists that she was loved, even if she doesn’t believe it.

But really, Rachel’s just there to get Ethan’s synthetic code to make more clones — he’s the only one that has the ability to start the experiment up again. Ethan tells her he’s the only one who knows it, and it’s not written down anywhere; after all, he can memorize pi up to 6,000 digits, so he can certainly remember one lousy gene sequence. He tells her he’ll unlock the code to save Cosima, but he won’t give it to Dyad to make any other clones. “Since none of us seem to know what you’re actually for, attempts to make new clones should be met with failure,” he tells his daughter.

Then, Ethan starts shaking — oops, looks like he took some pills along with his tea, killing himself and taking the code with him. Rachel starts screaming that he can’t die, and he whispers something that sounds like “I’m afraid you don’t deserve me.” Then he’s dead.

Rachel, shaking with rage, storms into a medical facility where Sarah is lying on an operating table — she was informed by a new evil doctor, Dr. Nealon, that Dyad needs to remove one of her ovaries to be used in other experiments. Earlier in the episode, Sarah turned herself in to Dyad (“My name is Sarah Manning and this is my unconditional surrender”) and signed away her rights to have her eggs harvested as a trade to see Kira. Rachel makes everyone leave the room and starts yelling at Sarah to tell her the sequence — she’s sure Ethan told her. Sarah, confused, says that Ethan never told her any genetic code. Rachel, now on another-level crazy, doesn’t believe it — and just to prove it, she smashes the jars holding Kira’s bone marrow, ensuring that Cosima’s recovery was just delayed for a while.

It’s around this time that Sarah notices a fire extinguisher lying next to her bed that says “squeeze me,” and remembers odd looks that one of the doctors was giving her (it was Cosima’s fellow lab geek, Scott, disguised as a surgeon). She puts two and two together (somehow) and squeezes the extinguisher, which promptly shoots a sharpened pencil directly into Rachel’s eye. Whoa, Scott and Cosima made a killing machine! We have no idea how they rigged that, but it works pretty well, as Rachel’s on the ground howling. Sarah escapes the medical room as the doctors run over to examine Rachel’s now-ruined eye.

2) Marian Bowles might not be a bad guy. At least, not yet.

When Sarah runs away, she runs directly into Marian Bowles, Rachel’s mysterious boss at Dyad. Marian has put on Kira’s jacket and tells Sarah that she can leave with her daughter now. Really, Marian’s going to let them go? Yes, she is — she tells Sarah that if she wants to know the truth about the clones, she should come to Marian’s house the next day.

3) The clones need to hang out together all the time.

Although this might be a bit difficult filming-technology-wise, the clones need to have more bonding time. In the most delightful scene of the episode, Alison, Cosima, Sarah and Helena all meet up at Felix’s apartment. Helena, who escaped from Pastor Henrik’s house of horrors and isn’t telling anyone that she burned it down, is thrilled to meet her clone sisters.

She even manages to act somewhat normal, after catching up Art and Felix on what she’s been doing the past few weeks (“I fell in love with a boy called Jesse but after bar fighting he had to work and become a tow truck driver.”). Anyway, they all proceed to  have a rocking dance party and a pretty fun sleepover, dancing the night away with Kira and Felix.

4) Cal is a hero.

Good old Cal — after Kira places a call to her dad, he shows up to Mrs. S’s house like the hero he is. Mrs. S is deeply suspicious of Kira’s biological father, but eventually he wins her over by showing her that he’s figured out the clone conspiracy on his own by hacking Dyad servers. It was pretty easy to do that, considering someone was trying to hack  him, and he outsmarted them by being a tech genius.

He shows off his findings: Dyad Institute has many key people, and is funded by dozens of mysterious corporate boards, Super PACs, research groups, lobbyists, etc. Cal claims he found someone working within Dyad who is willing to share information on the “dark Internet.” Cal tells his new friend that he’s with Siobhan Sadler; the friend mysteriously types back “Ask her about Castor.” What’s that exactly? “You’re not the only person with an inside man,” Mrs. S says, adding that she hopes there are still good people in corrupt places.

5) Mrs. S. is still really sketchy.

Mrs. S’s inside man? It could be Marian. But it also could be Paul, Beth’s ex/monitor, who found himself sort of in love with Sarah last season. He shows up to meet Mrs. S in a scary-looking vehicle dressed in a military uniform. “I’ll be impressed if you can actually pull this off,” he tells Mrs. S. No word on what “this” is, but it’s very entertaining to watch Paul and Cal meet.

However, it all has something to do with Helena — after the clone sleepover, Helena slips out of Felix’s apartment with a tank of nitrogen. But before she can go wreak more havoc, she’s kidnapped by two men and thrown in a car, handcuffed, and then marched toward a military airplane. Who’s outside watching? Mrs. S and Paul, hidden in a car. “Sarah will never forgive me,” whispers Mrs. S. “You did what you had to,” Paul replies. (What did she have to??)

6) Cosima might not die, after all.

Even though Rachel destroyed Kira’s bone marrow and it’s six weeks until they can get another sample, Cosima might be saved after all. Turns out that wacky Ethan Duncan did leave the genetic code written down somewhere — in a book he gave to Kira. When Kira asks Auntie Cosima to read her a story, and Cosima sees lots of random things scribbled in the book, she realizes exactly what happened. Looks like she may be cured even without Ethan. Won’t Rachel just love that?

7) There’s more to the clone conspiracy, it’s called Project CASTOR, and it’s horrifying.

Unaware that Helena’s been compromised, Sarah heads to Marian’s house the next day to find out what’s going on. Immediately, she realizes something is not right — she notices an eight-year-old girl with braids who looks disturbingly like Rachel did in her home movies as a little girl. That’s right, there’s another clone out there, just younger.

Marian introduces her as Charlotte, her adopted daughter. She tells a stunned Sarah that Charlotte was the only survivor out of 400 attempts to make more female clones.

But there’s much more disturbing information: Marian explains that she’s in charge of a group that actually steers the Dyad Institute — and that group believes in a future that embraces genetic engineering. “If you don’t profit, someone else will,” Sarah says. Marian says that’s true, but there are other forces at work.

Those other forces? Well, the military never actually shut down Project LEDA, Marian explains. It was compartmentalized into two different operations: Dyad carried the female clones, while a military faction carried the male clones.

Yep — the male clones, otherwise known as Project CASTOR. The final scenes of the season play out in a horrifying way. Remember Mark, the creepy Prolethean guy who tried to kill Sarah in the season premiere and then turned into one of Pastor Henrik’s henchman? Well, he makes another appearance as he and Henrik’s daughter, Gracie, are still driving away from her father’s reproductive farm. Mind you, Gracie is about 15 and pregnant with her father/Helena’s baby, but Mark decides he wants her to be his wife. So, they get married.

And as they do, suddenly, Mark appears not just in the chapel but also outside the military plane carrying Helena. And, as a sweaty, shirtless guy doing pull-ups in a basement in Marian’s house. He gives a terrified Sarah a crazy look through the glass, and it is all to clear: Mark is a clone as well, and the males might even be scarier than the females.

Something to think about for Season 3. (Which, by the way, hasn’t been officially announced yet — what’s going on, BBC America?)

RELATED READING

Recaps: The most confusing thing that happened on ‘Orphan Black’: Season 2, Episode 1; Episode 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6 ; Episode 7; Episode 8; Episode 9

Review: BBC America’s ‘Orphan Black’ returns, engineered to near-perfection

Preview: ‘Orphan Black’: Everything you forgot from Season 1 that you need to remember

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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