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Orphan Black - Guillotines Decide - Review: “Tragic Sacrifices” + POLL



That episode was a serious rollercoaster ride of emotions. From happy moments to tense ones then complete and utter tragedy. The standard rule in television is that if things are going overly well for a character they are either destined for tragedy or about to be killed off. Still, we as viewers never want to believe what we are watching. It is ingrained in us from the time we are children to always root for the happily ever after ending. Some of the very first stories we are told are fairy tales where everything ends perfectly for the heroes and heroines of the story. So that blinds us to the fact that not every character in every story gets a happily ever after and that is especially true in a story like Orphan Black. The deaths of Gracie and Ferdinand weren’t huge surprises, but the killing of Mrs. S. certainly was an immense shock.

Surely Mrs. S. should have been part of Sarah, Kira, and Felix’s happily ever after at the end of this whole Neolution mess. Sadly, she wasn’t meant to stand at the finish line with them, but in her own special way, she got her happy ending with them. When she left this world she did so knowing that Neolution was on its last legs and that each of the people she loved were together and on the track to winning the war. Now, there is always a possibility that she survived that bullet. It seemed like she was gone as the episode faded out on her, but weirder things have happened in television and on this show for that matter. The promo for the next episode seems to confirm the obvious though, that Mrs. S. was killed by Ferdinand’s bullet, but at least she took him down with her in epic fashion.

Mrs. S. did a lot for everyone in this fight. Even if she couldn’t always explain everything she was doing it was always for the betterment of her family and those that they love. She quite literally gave her life for theirs. She loved Sarah, Kira, and Felix with every ounce of her being and she came to love the other clones with an equal amount of her heart. In the end, she got to have one last final peaceful day where she saw both her children and her granddaughter at peace. That was her final gift to them, one moment of peace as a family as she carried other burdens in secret so they wouldn’t have to. They still have a major fight ahead of them in these last two episodes, but there is no doubt that they will use the loss of Mrs. S. to fuel them in their mission to ensure that her loss wasn’t for nothing. They are all her legacy and in them she will live on and in them she will get a happy ending.

It turns out that Ferdinand was the mysterious informant that Mrs. S. used to lead them to Coady. Sadly her worry about involving him was warranted. He is one of the most unstable characters they’ve met along this journey and that’s impressive given the massive number of opponents they’ve been up against. He only cares about himself and money and maybe a very tiny bit about Rachel. It is that tiny smidge of care that led him to do as was asked of him when he went to get Rachel out of Dyad. Luckily, even with just a single eye, Rachel was able to see his insincerities. She ultimately ended up siding with her sestras which seemed just as shocking to her as it was the audience. There are still a lot of less than desirable characteristics about her, but when it counted the most she did make the right decisions. She gave them the final piece of the puzzle that allowed them to effectively sink the myth of P.T. Westmoreland. Even though she did the right thing by betraying Ferdinand it ended up costing a lot of lives both within Dyad and out. It will be curious to see how she reacts to Ferdinand’s death.

None of the other sestras will mourn Ferdinand anytime soon, but the loss of Mrs. S. is surely going to devastate them all. Even though it seemed like Delphine was the driving force behind recent actions it would seem that her late night visits were simply just her offering herself up as an operative letting Mrs. S. lead things. Delphine went and did what Mrs. S. asked of her. They were working towards the common goal of saving the Leda sestras at any cost. Delphine escaped that part of the mission unscathed and into the arms of Cosima. They now seem like a team and their trust of one another is at an all time high. Scott may have questioned Delphine, but Cosima was okay with letting Delphine run off to take care of her business without question. Sarah, on the other hand, was considerably less trusting of Mrs. S. and Delphine until she realized exactly what they were doing. They took a lot of big risks and made some big gambles to save them all. At least, in the end, Sarah knew how hard her mom was working to protect and save them all. Perhaps in homage one of Helena’s twins can be named after their fallen matriarch.

That is if they can manage to rescue Helena in time and save the twins from P.T. and Virginia’s absolutely insane plans which terrifyingly enough involves global sterilization. After losing Mrs. S. there is no question that the team will go after them with everything they have especially since they have one of their own. This is one group that P.T. shouldn’t piss off on a good day, but when they are united and fighting for a common goal they are far more dangerous than him. It seems likely that there will be a major battle at what remains of Revival. The odds are good that more characters may be lost in that fight, but this family won’t go down without a fight. They do have a few more cards to play. Mud is likely still on the island and pissed off at P.T’s lies. And even though Mark has been swayed by Virginia’s false hopes of a cure he’s likely to snap when he learns that Gracie was killed. He only cared about the cure so that he could live out his life with her. It’s likely that he made a deal with Virginia to keep her alive, so her murder will probably really haunt him and fuel his anger. However, Castor’s aren’t necessarily known for their forward thinking, so it’s possible he didn’t even imagine what Virginia would have done to his beloved Gracie. Still, even if that’s the case, he was still culpable in giving up her location, and there is no way he’ll be okay with what happened to her as a result. Then there are the hoards of angry former Neolutionists who would probably be willing to take on P.T. for all he put them through. P.T. may have Helena and the unborn twins, but there is absolutely no way he will prevail in his nefarious plans. P.T.’s days are numbered and there isn’t anywhere he will be able to hide from the wrath of the sestras.

There was a lot of chaos in this episode, but the central point of everything was Felix’s return and his big art gallery show. It was a huge moment for him and it’ll likely always stick with him that his mom got to be there to share that moment with him. The memories he had with Sarah and Mrs. S. will be with him for all of eternity. That was a family moment of peace that he has long hoped for. Though, his family is ultimately much bigger now, so it was a very full house with Allison and Cosima also showing up as well as Adele and all of their respective significant others and friends. Donnie came with Allison to support Felix and to likely and they provided a lot of amusing moments. It was fun watching Donnie desperately trying to push the right buttons to get his old Allison back. He got awfully close a few times. Hopefully, by the end of the next episode, she’ll be back to her old self bossing him around. And Art was there to try and protect everyone. Sadly he was in the wrong place, but at least he gave it his all to try and protect as many of them as he could. Delphine even contributed to Felix’s night by buying his canvas of Cosima. It was interesting in that moment that Cosima noted that Delphine now owns her. An interesting choice of words that showed how confident she was in the fact they were about to destroy P.T. and that she’d be free and there was only one person she’d want to be owned by. Though, the truth is they’ve owned each others hearts from the moment they first met.

Despite everything going on with the sisters and their respective significant others, this night was about Felix, and they were all there for him. Thanks to him this was an event that none of them will soon forget. And how sweet was it he even got to introduce Collin to his mom as the man who he’d likely marry one day. The one thing every person at the event had in common is they wanted to make sure it was perfect for Felix and it seems they succeeded because by the end of the night he was all smile. Thanks to everyone pitching in his event went off perfectly. And he even had all of his sisters by his side, including Adele, and gave that provided one of the most beautiful moments of the episode which was his speech. His words were from the heart and exactly what his mom and sisters needed to hear. Adele has been instrumental this season so it was nice to see him give her a shout out too. Everything was coming together so nicely before it all fell apart.

Sadly while they were all enjoying themselves big things were happening at the convent. Helena’s time around her sestras has softened her just a tiny bit to the way of family. Everything from her upbringing told her not to trust Gracie, but ultimately she did because she had come to understand the meaning of family. She showed Gracie compassion, far more than even Gracie expected, and almost succeeded in stopping the horrible events that transpired. If Gracie hadn’t needed to talk to Mark so badly she would still be alive and Helena wouldn’t be in the predicament she’s in. It was such a sad situation all around because ultimately Gracie wasn’t a bad person and did not deserve the fate that was inflicted on her. Hopefully, her demise won’t be for not and it’ll inspire Mark to do what he has to in order to help everyone else.

This was a powerful episode that likely knocked a lot of viewers straight in the gut. That final closing scene of Mrs. S. clinging to the photo of her family was gripping and almost hard to watch. Maria Doyle Kennedy is a force to be reckoned with. She is an exceptionally gifted actress who has brought a ton of depth to Mrs. S. over the seasons and she ensured that the writer’s dignified ending was portrayed in a poignant way. In the end, Mrs. S. ended Ferdinand to prevent him from harming anyone else and to avenge MJ. As the episode faded away Mrs. S. drew her final breaths as a hero who will not soon be forgotten. That whole sequence was beautifully written and poignantly acted. It was a hard thing to accept but in its own way a fitting end for this ferociously protective character. Now the final battle begins and this might not be the last sad loss everyone has to endure.

Don’t miss the penultimate episode next Saturday, August 5th at 10/9c on BBC America.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Will you miss Mrs. S? Were you shocked by all the deaths in this episode? Which shocked you the most? Did you enjoy seeing everyone happy if just for a moment?


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