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‘Orphan Black’ Season 3 Finale Recap: “History Yet to Be Written”

orphan black season 3 finale

I thought I knew what I was walking into going into the season finale of Orphan Black. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The breakdown of Castor? Check. Alison winning the elections? Check. Neolutions coming back? Nope, not at all.

Everyone remember the Neolutions? Remember how we all thought they were a lost story once Dr. Leekie died? Well it turns out we’ve all been fooled. The Neolutions have been running this whole game since day 1.

It’s safe to say that the finale was predictable in some ways, but actually shocking and wtf in most. Let’s dive into it.

Rachel wakes up to find herself in a beautiful and elaborate chateau. Completely in the dark as to where she is, she goes over to a bedside table, reads the letter for her, picks up the mirror, and slowly peels off the bandage over her left eye. We’re all holding back as we know what is sure to be there: Krystal’s eye. But we’re blindsided ourselves when the big reveal reveals a bright blue eye. A neolution eye.

Cosima pays a visit to Shay, who after the events of last week’s episode, is totally justified in her suspicion and distance towards Cos. Cosima apologizes and tries to sympathize with her, and Shay seems to be forgiving her for her “psycho bitch girlfriend”. But ultimately, what Shay wants is something Cosima cannot give: everything. All the information about Cosima’s past and who she is. She tearfully leaves Shay’s apartment on her orders.

Along with the help of Art and Scott, Sarah, Fee, and Mrs. S have created a sort of safe haven from the restless eyes of Castor in some warehouse. They bring in the special guest of the hour: Kendall, S’s and Sarah’s mom. She’s uncooperative at first, but she doesn’t really have much of a choice. Siobhan feels extremely sour towards her (her mom did kill Siobhan’s husband) and doesn’t show any hesitation in wanting to kill her. But Sarah’s got more up her sleeve.

Over at Dyad, Ferdinand has attempted to coax Delphine into following his orders and “getting under his heel” (ew) when Sarah emerges, letting him know that she has a deal for him.

She reveals that she was “Rachel” during those very awkward scenes in the premiere, and that if he wants to get a sample of the genetic original, she wants him to get rid of Castor.

Cosima arrives at the warehouse to meet her “mother”. While Kendall has very abrasive words and Siobhan and Scott show their concern, Cosima lets them know that it’s all right, and that she can handle it. With her Cosima-magical-abilities, she’s able to relax Kendall and somewhat befriend her, as she asks if she can donate blood to help her out. It works.

Speaking of Castor, Rudy’s been losing his chill slowly and fatefully. He shows none of his lack of demeanor to Dr. Cody, who gives him another mission: find the original. They know that Sarah has it, whoever it is, and Rudy must get to it if he ever wants a chance at survival (and if she’s ever to achieve her goal of weaponization of clone genetics. They’re a normal bunch).

Alison, the sister who’s been the most detached from the entire Leda-Castor drama, has a big day in store for her: election day. She and Donnie feel optimistic about her chances, and head off in her election bus. They notice someone following them, however: Rudy. Ali’s too smart for Castor bullshit, and Donnie quickly lets Sarah know. They all knew that they would be going after “the weakest link”, so they prepare for the backup plan. Step 1: Mark.

Sarah and Felix, thanks to Art’s police-database skills, locate Mark and Gracie in a dilapidated hotel room and bust in. They know that Gracie acted in her best interests to reunite with Mark, but giving the book to Castor was a shitty move. Nonetheless, Mark can help them deceive Dr. Cody and Castor, and he thankfully agrees.

Step 2: Helena. Donnie and Helena have been majorly bonding, and thanks to their newfound friendship and Helena’s ability to wipe out a threatening drug ring, Donnie has a little surprise for her: Jesse, the towing guy! Oh, how I wish Patrick J. Adams could be a recurring character in the show. He and Tat have such great chemistry on-screen. But the few moments they have together are priceless. Shortly into their reunion, Helena is interrupted with a call to help from her sestras, and she lets him know that her family needs her. She can wait a bit longer for him.

Thanks to being head of Dyad, Delphine has been given the abundance of opportunities for the surprising and weird. But I’m sure she was not expecting this: when she visits Rachel downstairs in the medical center, she’s actually visiting Krystal. Krystal quickly makes her presence known, with bandages wrapped around her head and the eyepatch, screaming and demanding what is happening and why “everything is so weird!” (basically our reaction to the show). Delphine refrains from telling Dr. Nealon, as she’s sure he has something to do with this. We all hold our breath as she removes the bandage from Krystal’s eye, and thankfully, both eyes are intact. What a wild adventure for poor Krystal.

orphan black mark

Back at the warehouse, Mark has agreed to help Sarah out and in so, lets her beat him up. Pretty soon his face is all covered in blood. He then makes a video call to Dr. Cody, posing as Rudy and showing Kendall to Dr. Cody. He tells her that he’s won, and he sends her the “location” of where he is.

Well, where is Rudy? Last we saw he was tailing the Hendrix election party bus. They all stop at Alison’s house, and he snoops around into the garage. Much to his surprise, he just finds Helena, taping up screwdrivers to her hands, battling herself for a fight. She recognizes that he’s getting real weak, but he won’t go down with a fight. The battle ensues, and pretty soon Helena has her screwdriver up his bicep. Not even exaggerating. As he falls down and whispers about his time with the brothers when they were growing up and they tasks they had to uphold, Helena lies down next to him, offering her sympathies. She knows all too well about being giving missions.

Just as he falls, Dr. Cody and her team arrive at the location “Rudy” provided. Unfortunately, they’ve walked into a trap and Ferdinand arrives on the scene, shooting Dr. Cody’s driver and letting her know that she won’t find what she wants here: she has lost.

Before Ferdinand arrives to collect his share of the deal, Siobhan, Sarah, and Kendall share a private, intimate moment, something they’ve not really had the chance to have yet. Kendall reveals how she came into possession and learned of Sarah, and much to all of their surprise, she intentionally gave the little clone who was wandering around in the foster system to her own daughter, so that she may feel happy again. Siobhan breaks down, gripping her mother’s hand as they all share this calming moment. She even lets Kendall know that she has a niece, Kira.

Soon enough, Ferdinand arrives at the warehouse, equipped with his thug. Kendall, not screaming so much anymore, is silent as the blood is taken from her. At that moment, Delphine has Dr. Nealon handcuffed in the Dyad basements, as she begins to question him. He tells her to turn on the giant monitor behind them (the same monitor where Rachel watched home videos frequently), and when she does, she finds Rachel in the bedroom we last found her, screaming “Where am I?” and the usual. Rachel, thanks to the little exhibit in her wall to the “Galapagos Finch” knows which direction—rather, evolution—she’s been planted in, and Delphine is about to find out. Dr. Nealon tells her that while Topside is involved with the profits and Castor is involved with the weapons, the Neolutions have been working inside both Leda and Castor all the while.

Delphine turns her back as she’s taken by surprise in this turn of events, but as soon as she does this, she’s toppled over by Dr. Nealon, who suddenly has a worm coming out of his mouth. Super evolved. Delphine manages to shake him off with a gun to his head, and as she stares at him startled, he whispers to her: “You won’t survive.”

Delphine quickly calls Sarah who’s in the process of handing over the genetic material to Ferdinand, and tells her to not do it. Ferdinand will be handing it unknowingly to the Neolutions, who have control over Topside. Ferdinand is just a pawn, and to make him really stop, she tells Sarah to tell him Rachel is still alive. Sarah relays all this information without adding anything else (gotta love her), and Ferdinand is startled, and then angered. He quickly takes a bat and beats the shit out of his thug, who turned out to be Neolution as well. His dying word? “We’re everywhere.” Go figure. It’s comforting to know that someone as repulsive as Ferdinand is on their side too.

As somewhat of an ode to the memorable dancing scene of the Season 2 finale, we get a nice family dinner at Bubbles. Something that Helena has wanted for a very long time, and something they finally all get to have. Donnie, Felix, Cosima, Scott, Sarah, Siobhan, Helena, and Art gather around the table, as Alison toasts them all and reveals that she’s won the election. Comparing this to their shaky beginnings in Season 1, it’s really heartwarming to see how beautiful this huge and dysfunctional family really is.

Cosima gets a call and goes outside to find Delphine. Before greeting Cosima, Delphine was previously at Shay’s place, letting her know that she is sorry for what she did, and that she’ll let Cosima be with Shay now. Delphine hands over a Dyad card with “324B21” written on it, and lets Shay know to tell Cosima to tell her everything.

Back outside Bubbles, Delphine holds Cosima in her face and kisses her, basically letting her know that she’ll always love her. She leaves and heads over to a parking garage, but when she gets out, she’s not alone. She faces her soon to be perpetrator and asks them “will she be okay?” before she gets shot. In the chest. Delphine gets shot. What the fuck, Orphan Black.

Over at Rachel’s premises, she’s suddenly greeted by little Charlotte, creepy as ever. She tells Rachel she doesn’t know where she is either, but that “she” told her that Rachel will be taking care of her. Who is this “she”, exactly? Rachel swivels around to find exactly who, and it’s her mother.

Ending on a lighter, not so heavy note, we find ourselves surrounded by white swirling snow. Kira, in fact. Sarah riding on a snowmobile, followed by Siobhan and Kendall, jumps out and embraces Kira, swirling around in the snow. Quite the difference from the Season 1 finale, definitely much more heartwarming.

orphan black history yet to be written

Final Thoughts

BOY OH BOY. I’m gonna first talk about Delphine, because again, what the fuck. So I’ve been thoroughly invested in Delphine and Cosima, right from the start. Queer representation is always a good thing, especially when it’s as cute and adorable and fuzzy as the relationship between Delphine and Cosima. From their curious beginnings to the heartbreak at the beginning of Season 3, they’ve been on a total roller-coaster. But one thing has remained certain: that they’ve always been in love with each other. Even when Cosima was with Shay, she always felt most vulnerable with Delphine, and vulnerable in a good way. Her last actions, handing the card with their most tender moment together “324B21” and their last kiss shows how impassioned and dedicated Delphine was towards Cosima, and always will be.

Now I’m not so sure that she actually died. It may be a total plot twist, but seeing as unpredictable OB is, I wouldn’t put it against the creators to come up with some crazy storyline. In my opinion, thanks to Dr. Nealon’s last words, I think that the Neolutions are behind Delphine’s shooting. But I don’t think they necessarily shot to kill her. I’m guessing that they intended on weakening her with the bullet, so that they may experiment and strengthen her with the Neolution touch—maybe make her a weapon of some sort and become the foil to whatever Cosima and Leda will do next season. It’s gonna be rocky, but it’s gonna be good (as long as Cophine is endgame, please).

Rachel’s reunion with her mother is very peculiar: I think I speak for everyone when I say out of all people, the least I expected to show up was her. Being in line with the Neolutions adds some more drama to the mix, definitely allowing for the “Freaky Leakies” to have more of a role in the upcoming season. As for Rachel’s emotional connection to her mother, I doubt it will be the stuff of fairy tales and rainbows: her mother has been hiding this whole time with zero contact, after all. It won’t be a nice homecoming.

The Neolutions emerging as the villains is something convenient for the showrunners. Reintroduce a new villain instead of going through the pains of creating a whole class of bad guys once more. And it makes sense in Dr. Nealon’s case: Rachel, the poor victim needs help, and who else to help than a cult genetically improved individuals? In essentially saving Krystal and making Rachel one of their own, the Neolutions are promising to complicate matters even further. At least we can count on Cosima being completely cured and absolved of all her health issues without them, thanks to Kendall’s contribution.

The fall of Castor is predictable. Essentially, all the Castor Clones have been weeded out (sadly, Mark as well), and Dr. Cody’s plans of weaponization are done…for now. I wouldn’t count it against her to show up again. In the wise words of TV show diction, if you don’t see a character’s body dead, then they ain’t dead (99% of the time).

What I’m looking for in next season is more interaction. I want more Leda action with all the sisters acting together, especially Krystal (and Tony. Wherever did he go?). Things got a little muddled up with the Castor drama, and I won’t say that everything is going to be solved with Neolutions emerging as the new villains, but if shit happens with the Leda sestras arm in arm, then I’m good.

On a happier note, family. Family together, family reunited. As I said before, everyone came from pretty broken backgrounds at the very beginning (except for Cosima, to be honest). Alison, who previously shuddered at the words “Clone Club” is now hosting a Clone dinner very publicly at Bubbles. Sarah, who used to shudder at intimacy and long-term relationships, now embraces the warm touches of her sisters and daughter, who she places above all else. Siobhan, the rocky mother, has become a wizened, protective owl, never failing on her daughters (slash sisters, thanks to Kendall’s big reveal). Felix, who always seems to be sidelined in the episodes, is always an equal in love and endearment to his sestras, always available, helpful, loving, and at the ready, with both the action and the sarcastic remarks. And for newcomers to the table, Scott and Art, their devotion has no bounds. As they honor Beth’s memory, Orphan Black shows that it’s family that has the last word and always will.