Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6

Orphan Black Review: Manacled Slim Wrists (Season 5 Episode 6)

Orphan Black, Reviews

Things are getting real on Orphan Black as the tension mounts to save Kira and stop P.T. Westmoreland.

Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6 “Manacled Slim Wrists” is a brilliant mix of comedy and intrigue that whets our appetites just enough to see the endgame.

And we still have three more episodes until the series finale.

Let’s start with the comedy.

The out-there, totally oblivious Krystal is back on this episode, this time with a vlog she’s started to fight Big Cosmetics. Krystal is a character that seems like she’s just here for comic relief. But in the past, when she’s shown up, there’s usually a truth bomb.

Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6
Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6 (Ken Woroner/BBC AMERICA)

The out-of-the-loop character doesn’t seem like she should have a place in the penultimate storyline, but her plot fits, and regardless of her methods, she gives us valuable information.

Sure, it’s somewhat hilarious when she lays out why she’s seeking Scott’s help, and they look at her like she’s nuts, and she says: “What about that is confusing?” What lies underneath the quirky storyline is a very interesting piece of the puzzle that I don’t think we’d have seen otherwise.

What Krystal uncovers is a dermal delivery system and that this “test batch” makes hair fall out. It’s pretty obvious why Dyad would want something like this. If the end goal is to keep humans healthier for longer, then being able to put gene therapies in a face or skin cream would be ideal.

This all ties into the Kira plot, which has progressed nicely since Delphine clued Mrs. S in on what she knew at the end of Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 5. Now, Sarah knows what’s going on, and Kira is working with them instead of just being the object they have to protect.

While the methods may not be ideal, we have to consider that these women have always put Kira first. Neolution is planning to harvest Kira’s eggs. It’s too dangerous to leave Kira in the thick of things and have her be blind to their intentions.

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A part of me feels for Kira, because she’s only eight years old and she has all these adults fighting over her. Yet she’s handling it with all the maturity of an adult. I am really hoping that in the end, this series works out so that Kira gets to have a childhood, go to school, and be happy.

I don’t think her life will ever be “normal” because her mom’s a clone and she can feel all of her mom’s genetic identicals. But if anyone deserves a happy ending in all of this, it’s Kira.

While Mrs. S and Sarah bought some time with Kira, that doesn’t stop things from moving forward with Revival. But things are different now because children are dying to keep P.T. Westmoreland alive.

The more I see of this man, the less I like him. I realize I am not supposed to like him. He’s a liar who has deceived hundreds of people. (Plus, I still don’t get that whole cheese, mites, cow speech!) What really gets me is that while these questions are being answered, we’re still in the dark about the inception of this whole plan.

Think about it. Somewhere along the way, John, Virginia, and Susan had to decide that they were going to create the Neolution texts and create this “founding father” myth. This is a fraud that has been in motion for over 40 years, and I am left asking: “How did they do it?”

The episode closes out its final act with an attempt to take down John once and for all. Susan attempts to poison him, but Virginia intervenes and turns the tables on Susan. They leave Susan in the greenhouse, where Ira discovers her body.

I never expected all of our main and recurring characters to come out of Orphan Black’s final season alive. M.K’s death in Season 5 Episode 2 “Clutch of Greed” was shocking, but Susan’s was a quiet and scarier approach to a character’s death.

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For all that Susan has done, it’s really a sad moment to see Ira sitting there crying for her. But it also feels right for the sake of Ira’s character.

Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6
Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6 (Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA)

Ira is devoted to Susan, and she kept him from seeking treatment for his glitching. From what we saw with Castor in Season 3, the cure Coady promises isn’t going to work. If Ira stays on the island and seeks treatment, it gives him access Coady and could be a way to bring down the main pillars of Neolution if these violent impulses continue.

Susan’s death also has me wondering how Rachel will react to the news. Rachel stabbed her mother, so clearly they’re on the outs. However, I keep going back to when Rachel’s dad died in front of her. She had a reaction and seemed sad for a moment. If the same holds true for her mother’s death, I wonder if this will tip Rachel’s loyalties at all.

And if it does tip Rachel back towards the Leda clones, can they trust her?

Overall, Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 6 “Manacled Slim Wrists” sets up what I expect will be a great final four episodes. There are still many storylines to tie up, bad guys who need to see retribution, and two babies to be born. Can they get through this in four episodes?

Stray Thoughts:

  • S has a second source! Who else do you think it could be? My guess is Ferdinand. Or Susan Duncan. Maybe both of them. (Don’t forget we’ve seen Ferdinand cooperate before when it was in his interest. And isn’t it odd that Mrs. S’s second source would become a plot point after Ferdinand ended up on the outs with Rachel?)
  • You know, Cosima bringing up her parents and the house boat suddenly makes a lot more sense. Glad they laid the groundwork to explain how she could operate a boat, although by now I probably wouldn’t question it.
  • I have to talk a little bit about Mud! The question of who she is has bugged me ever since her character first showed up and hinted at “living here.” The idea that “Westmoreland” saved her and brought her back from a vegetative state is a great detail, but I am unsure of where she fits in with the rest of the narrative. If P.T.’s work all revolves around LIN28A and that isn’t actually curing disease, just manipulating it, how did they explain Mud’s cure?
  • Is anyone else relieved that the angry mob in Revival didn’t destroy the Leda cure? Because I was very worried about that until I saw Cosima leave with Charlotte and the cooler.
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What did you think of this episode of Orphan Black? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10/9c on BBC America.

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Lauren is a tomboy, vixen, maverick genius who loves complex characters. She has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence and takes every project just a little bit too far. Her greatest wish is to figure out how to manufacture units of time.

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