ORPHAN BLACK Review: “Guillotines Decide”


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We say goodbye to mother hen in this week’s episode of , “Guillotines Decide.” We’ve reached the point in the final season where the deaths are higher stakes and harder to take. It’s Fred Weasley all over again. If you haven’t watched this week’s episode, I suggest you do before you read on, because spoilers abound.

It’s a pretty small premise episode – Felix returns and is debuting his artwork in his first ever art show while Mrs. S has something planned that she won’t tell Sarah about, and the Neolutionists Sarah and Kira have gone AWOL after Rachel’s leak about P.T. Westmoreland’s true identity. All seems calm and quiet – but, in true Orphan Black style – this is simply the calm within the eye of the storm and won’t last. Sarah seems to know this, and though everyone around her wants to take the day off and celebrate Felix, she just can’t seem to relax.

She has good reason to worry, but that won’t prevent her family from being angry with her for putting Felix’s moment on the backburner of her mind. In the opinion of Felix and his biological sister, Adele, they’ve properly put Neolution in its place, and they’ve earned a vacation. Though Mrs. S agrees with them outloud, behind everyone’s back, she’s already brewing up the next step in her plan to end Neolution once and for all.


While this is all happening, Helena has taken in Gracie as her family. Gracie has come to find Helena, not out of malice, but out of desperation to help Mark secure a cure from Virginia, who will only treat Mark if he gives up Helena’s location. Unfortunately for both sides, Virginia doesn’t have a cure for Mark – as far as we know – and likely will never actually work on a cure for him. Gracie changes her mind about giving Helena up to the Neolutionists after Helena tells her that they are family and introduces her to the twins she is carrying. However, when Mark her, he can hear in her tone that she’s lying to him, and they trace the back to Helena’s location. Helena discovers that Gracie has lied about Mark dying, but she forgives her when Gracie explains why, and tells her they have to run. Unfortunately, they aren’t fast enough, and the Neolutionist team – including Art’s cop partner who has been MIA for a while – capture Gracie and Helena.

The news isn’t much better on Sarah’s side of things – though she doesn’t know that yet. Mrs. S turns to Ferdinand to save Rachel from the hands of Dyad. After she’s plucked her eye out and passes out from blood loss, he scoops her up out of corporation hands and takes her to an apartment where a private doctor works to patch up her eye socket. Of course, she’ll now be blind in one eye for the rest of her life, but she’s still alive and she can still think properly.


Mrs. S comes to her, after Ferdinand has saved her and she’s conscious and healing again, and asks for her help. While Felix, Adele, and Delphine have dug up a lot of dirt on P.T. Westmoreland and Neolution’s global plans, it’s not enough to prove anything. Mrs. S needs the dirt only Rachel can provide, and thankfully, Rachel has come to her senses, realizing that the only way she will truly be free of Neolution is if they take it down. Unfortunately, Ferdinand wants to try and ring Dyad for all the money they can get, so Rachel hangs him out to dry by sending him into the grasp of Dyad’s financiers without the information he needs to blackmail them.

This, of course, makes Ferdinand furious when he realizes he’s been stabbed in the back by the woman he thinks he loves. After avoiding the hands of Dyad, Ferdinand returns to Rachel, almost choking her to death, but he can’t do it. He’s unhinged, but emotionally still attached. Instead, he goes to lie in wait for Mrs. S to return home.


While at Felix’s art show, Mrs. S gets the call from Rachel that Ferdinand has survived Dyad. Mrs. S isn’t surprised. Thankfully, she’s already sent the information off with Delphine and Cosima, who submit it to the public to take Neolution down. So there isn’t anything left for Ferdinand to use to blackmail Dyad. That doesn’t rid him of his anger and thirst for blood, though. He shoots Mrs. S in the chest, fatally wounding her. She doesn’t die right away, though. She has time to surprise Ferdinand with a hidden gun and shoot him fatally in the throat. A bittersweet ending for Mrs. S, she has time to retrieve a photo of Sarah and Felix so that they are the last things she sees before the light goes out in her eyes. Her last words? “Chickens.”

I’m not crying, you’re crying! Let’s hope there’s no Lupin and Tonks deaths to follow in the last two episodes of the series.
Season 5, Episode 8 (S05E08)
Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10PM on BBC America

Read all of our reviews of Orphan Black here. 
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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in . Originally from Kansas, when she’s not about or watching , Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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