Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 1 (courtesy of BBCA)

Orphan Black Review: The Few Who Dare (Season 5 Episode 1)

Orphan Black, Reviews

I have been waiting for this day for over a year!

Orphan Black Season 5 Episode 1, “The Few Who Dare,” opens right where the Season 4 cliffhanger left us: Ferdinand holding Mrs. S and Kira, Sarah stumbling through the jungle, Helena and the Hendricks’ in the woods, and Cosima in a yurt.

Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 10, “From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths” was a twisted and sickening finale, but it also didn’t leave us with the happy sisterhood ending that we’re accustomed to.

While Orphan Black always gives the clones some new problems to solve, it usually ties up some old ones. The absence of a scene like the Leda Clone dance party in Season 2 or the dinner in Season 3, where all the clones get to breathe and experience a bit of levity is a little distressing, and it changes the tone of the series, and I absolutely love it.

Cosima (Tatiana Maslany)

Going right into the action has given Neolution some claws and sharp teeth. One of my biggest issues with Neolution as the Big Bad,is that it never really felt like something that could be fought.

It felt like a nebulous idea, but giving us the village, the presence of P.T. Westmorland, and the sinister environment outside of Revival itself, all serve to sharpen it’s teeth.

While the episode picks up with each of the clones, I’m walking away from feeling like I learned more about Revival itself.

I have to admit, I am a little disturbed by the setup there. On the surface, it looks like a utopian environment, where you have many different cultures from all over the world selected to help bring forth the next major evolutionary developments in the form of a decades long longevity experiment.

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Under the surface of all that, is a lot of science talk that just screams eugenics. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but there is definitely something about this island that feels off and prison-like. I think it’s most obvious where Delphine and Cosima concerned. Delphine’s work is kept under close guard, and Cosima is a prisoner.

Then there’s the cloud of mystery around the motivations of Revival. We get hints about a fountain, and some sort of plan that P.T. Westmorland has, but I am confused as to where the Leda clones fall within the grand scheme of things since they aren’t fertile.

Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany)

Then you have Mud, a new character who seems to simultaneously know everything we’re all wondering. Mud has both a wealth of information and no information at all, and yet presents herself with a perky demeanor that makes me wonder if there is something in Revival’s water.

I get the feeling that we aren’t going to get all the answers regarding the island, or Revival, in the first few episodes, but right now, I honestly wonder if all of these people are really drinking P.T. Westmorland’s Kool Aid.

While the premiere gives us a good sense of where all the clones are, there really isn’t a lot of progress on each of the clones’ stories. Ample time is spent on each of the clones, and it’s very clear that something is threatening their safety.

But, there is also talk of a truce. So while premiere sets up for what I hope will be an exciting final season, I am still trying to figure out what the heck is up with Neolution, and I am hoping the next episode will yield some more concrete answers.

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Stray Thoughts:

  • Felix, the Frying Pan, and Art, is a bit of comic gold! I am so glad they put that in there and Jordan Gavaris and Kevin Hanchard played the scene really well.
  • Speaking of Art, he has a new Neolutionist partner, who I can’t seem to read in the five minutes she’s on screen this episode. Is she on their side? Is there some master plan with the clones? Someone please give me some answers.
  • Cosima found her cure at the end of Season 4, but she was finally able to administer it with the help of Rachel. My trust is Rachel is so clouded at this point that I am not sure she actually cured Cosima. I am hoping I am wrong, because Cosima has worked so hard to find a cure, and if she dies in this season I will sob for days.
  • I really liked Sarah’s flashes of Kira whenever she was knocked unconscious. Since the series began, everything Sarah has done has been to keep her daughter safe. Yes, that means dealing with some super-secret clone stuff, but ultimately, she’s fighting for her daughter’s safety.
  • Helena and the Hendricks’ in the woods continue to be amusing, especially the way Helena taught Donnie to do loon calls.
  • When Donnie leaves Allison alone after she’s apprehended by Neolutionist goons, I was a little ticked off, but then there was the fight scene near their car that ended with a “stick in baby” so he clearly needs to be available to get Helena to get Helena to the hospital. Of course, I fully expect Allison to slap him in the face when she sees him again.
  • What are they doing with Delphine? I am not happy that P.T. Westmorland is sending her off to Sardinia, but I am also hopeful that this isn’t going to be the last time we see her.
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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 Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.

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