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A Week in Review

June 15 – 21
By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” | Orphan Black

Orphan Black tied up its second season with enough twists and turns that’ll leave viewers dreading the year long wait, but with the perfect amount of heartfelt scenes that’ll never stop being discussed. 

Most Exquisite Scenes: After last week’s Skype session, I’d written in our review that my hopes for the finale would feature the three of them reuniting in person – and my heart is extremely happy because the scene included Helena, Felix, Kira, and Cal as well. There couldn’t have been a more tender and exciting scene in Orphan Black history. From the moment Alison and Cosima gave their approvals of Cal to the moment Cosima realizes Duncan has given Kira the book, Felix’s apartment was a place as happy as Disneyland – if only Helena hadn’t left.

The primary concern between Cal and Sarah fans worldwide –myself included– is “please don’t die” and “please don’t be bad”. Their relationship has never felt as raw and charming as it did in the season finale. Cal’s choice to take Sarah and Kira in along with everything they’re bound to, and everyone they care for is what makes him a remarkable partner. And now that there aren’t any secrets between the two, the sheer complacency in their moment in the hallway is the final piece they’ve needed to mark them as a duo whose goals aren’t for the happiness of themselves, but the other’s and Kira’s. The best relationships are stemmed from earnestness and passion, Cal and Sarah are now a couple, who in a short amount of time, have unlocked the key to a successful relationship. Michael Huisman and Tatiana Maslany’s chemistry is yet another great contribution to Cal and Sarah’s relationship, thus the concerns from above stand for that very reason. I’m certain I speak on behalf of many when I say I’d love to see more of the two of them using every ounce of strength and vulnerability they’ve got in them to be parents to Kira and partners to each other. This is a dynamic far too enjoyable to watch to have it crumble down.

What follows next is the graceful meeting between Helena, Cosima, and Alison. Cosima’s gentleness radiates a prodigious matter of compassion and playfulness. Maslany played that moment with the right amount of vulnerability as Cosima may have felt this was the only time she’d get with Helena, and strength as she made certain no one saw how broken she actually was. Additionally, Maslany brought Helena’s inner timidness and warmth to life masterfully as the first words she spoke to Cosima were “you should not be up.” Maslany made you feel just how much Helena cares in her own unique way by the mere look in her expression, tone of voice, and stance. And even the meeting with Alison, though they’re each reserved to an extent, you could see that this is a moment both women are glad to be living. Helena’s comment about being married someday and Alison’s about it being great when we get through the rough patches were genius. Just as Helena and Cosima bonded over fabulous hair, Alison and Helena got to share their appreciation for love.

Furthermore, Helena’s reunion with Kira surrounded by Sarah, Felix, Alison, and Cosima wearing contently enthusiastic smiles is another amazingly brief scene packed with great depth. My Orphan Black motto stands as: if Kira loves someone, then so do I. Kira’s love for Helena is ardently precious – the honesty, concern, humor, and compassion made for a reunion unlike any other.

Then comes the most exquisite dance scene in television history. Tatiana Maslany was able to give each clone their own distinct means of dancing which in itself gave them even more personality than we’d already seen. The pure love that emanated the room with inspirational closeness and comfort is everything I personally could’ve ever wanted for the Clone Club. If this were in fact Cosima’s last dance, it was the most glorious; however, let’s pretend she’s not sick.

Lastly, Cosima’s conversations with both Sarah and Kira. The conversation with Sarah was filled with immense love and respect – these are two females who’ve grown to need each other in ways they never imagined. It’s ultimately about how far they’ve come. They’ve gone from cursing each other to stating that this journey will be nothing without the other. And mentioning how different they are served to glorify the most significant fact that beauty is everywhere. Your profession, passions, drives, sexual orientation, physical appearance, how you dress, etc. contribute to your unique beauty. This is one of the gorgeous messages Orphan Black emphasizes often and it’s essentially a vast reason why the show and its characters are so beloved.

Furthermore, Cosima’s scenes with Kira throughout the episode were things I had really wanted but didn’t expect to get in such incredible ways. Bound by a kind of irreplaceable love without even meeting, their relationship as aunt and niece was fortified through instinct, a kind of pure and selfless love simply because they’re family. Cosima reading to Kira, and Kira giving her Duncan’s book represents much more than just bonding. It represents life for the two of them. At the end of the day, Kira’s helping Cosima live, and Cosima, like most aunts, is teaching Cosima vital entities about life.

Most Noteworthy Performance by an Actress: Tatiana Maslany. Maslany is the actress of our generation and if she’s this flawless now, I cannot imagination the amount of greatness when we see her take the industry by storm, one role after the other. She’s also an actress whose work I feel no one is qualified to critique and there aren’t nearly enough words to describe how immaculate she really is. It’s no surprise that to be an actress you’re supposed know how to perform every emotion, every type of character, etc., but what distinguishes Maslany is the meticulous choices she makes for each individual clone, for a clone impersonating another clone, for a clone’s chemistry with another clone. Tatiana Maslany is the kind of performer whose every move is nothing short of a work of art. It’s not about being able to bring certain emotions to life in order to make the audience feel what the character is enduring, but it’s about making sure the scenes aren’t under or overplayed, and week after week, Maslany achieves perfection.

Most Noteworthy Performance by an ActorJordan Gavaris. Just as Orphan Black is entirely unimaginable without Maslany’s prestigious performances week after week, so is Gavaris’. Felix is more complex than meets the eye and it takes the right performances for an audience to grow an attachment to him. He’s not just the brother who’s easily adored, but the backbone no one could ever do without. What Gavaris does most wonderfully is brings Felix to life with an enormous amount of heart laid bare with every scene. With this week’s episode especially, packed with the right amount of humor –“oh hello, steamy potatoes”– to the ache and distress in the first minute alone, Gavaris brought Felix to life as gorgeously and uniquely as the works of art in the loft. Gavaris brings comfort to Felix and in doing so provides the audience with the same amount of serenity Felix brings to the Clone Club.

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