Orphan Black S5E01 “The Few Who Dare” REVIEW

Orphan Black S5E01 “The Few Who Dare” REVIEW

0 comments 📅11 June 2017, 14:01

Airing in the UK on Netflix, Sundays
Written by: Graeme Manson
Director: John Fawcett

Essential Plot Points:

If you’re in need of a reminder of what happened in the season four finale, you’ll find it here!

  • On the island, Sarah is injured on the beach after being wounded by Rachel during their fight. She calls Felix to tell him that Rachel is on the rampage, and Ira lets slip that there is a village on the island. Then Sarah’s phone dies.
  • Someone attacks her and she fights them off.
  • Cosima wakes up and finds a note, presumably from Delphine: “Whatever happens, follow my lead!”
  • A young woman named Mud (“My name is Mud,” she says, and you have to wonder if she’s ever realised how that sounds…) shows her around the village of Revival. “Sustaining life off the grid since 1908,” she says, chirpily.
  • She tells Cosima the village is run by PT Westmoreland, who was 170 last June, and he’s currently having a meeting with Rachel.
  • Felix goes to the safe house and meets Art there. They look at the fall-out from a struggle between Mrs S and Ferdinand and they wonder where she and Kira are now.
  • Felix calls Donnie and Alison – who are hiding out in the woods with Helena – and they’re advised to sit tight. Alison is having none of it and decides to leave.
  • Art is assigned a new partner, Enger, who is working for Neolution and is on the hunt for the sisters.

  • Sarah, who is hobbling around the island, is being hunted too – by a group of villagers with guns. She finds a wolf that has been staked to the ground and the sight freaks them out so much that they leave. There’s clearly something on the loose in the woods, and it must be what attacked Sarah the night before.
  • Felix takes Ari to see Scott and Hell Wizard at the comic shop. They look for the village on the island but the maps are blurry. They decide to find MK for help.
  • Neolution raid the forest camp and take Alison prisoner – and an outnumbered Donnie runs away.
  • Felix meets a new player, a Mr Frontenac, and goes with him.
  • Art’s new partner, who really is a right pain in the arse, threatens him in order to force Alison to reveal where Helena is. Alison doesn’t give her up.
  • Properly reunited, Delphine tells Cosima she is going to Sardinia. She says the island is “the heart of Neolution” and is a decades-long longevity study. She also tells her she hid her treatment in the lab, and then she has to go.
  • Rachel gives a speech to the people of Revival, promising them that after hundreds of years of research, they can now “drink from the Fountain [of youth] first”.
  • Donnie is almost taken prisoner, but Helena throws herself on the guy. Donnie knocks him out… but not before the pregnant Helena gets a “stick in belly”. He rushes her to hospital.
  • After dark, Cosima sneaks into the surgery – just as Sarah arrives there! She tends to her leg, but refuses to go with her when asked because she’s intrigued by the whole immortal thing. “Whatever this place is, it’s the answer,” she tells her sister. Sarah leaves.
  • Cosima goes to inject herself with the cure. Rachel arrives and Cosima chickens out – but Rachel does it for her.

  • Sarah goes to steal a boat, but is knocked down by a drugged dart.


It’s with mixed emotions that we welcome Orphan Black back onto our screens: mixed because while it’s lovely to hang out with the sestras again, this will be the final season. But who would have thought when it debuted that a sci-fi show with such a bonkers premise – and a lead actress playing so many roles – would have lasted for five seasons? We suspect that these final ten episodes won’t fail to do justice to all that has gone before, and episode one certainly doesn’t disappoint.

As always, the writers manage to balance drama with comedy to glorious effect, and as always, Alison and Donnie are the ones responsible for making us laugh (Alison’s “Poop on a stoop!” is just perfect). Donnie running through the forest with his little suitcase, not to mention the hilarious sequence of him performing bird calls with Helena, are welcome light relief from the stuff going down in Revival.

Important Things are happening there – it’s some kind of breeding ground for immortality; a town full of brainwashed Stepford types. Cosima’s guide, Mud, is played with such bouncy likeability by Jenessa Grant that you really want this place to be as perfect as she thinks it is… but we doubt it.

We’re not privy to what goes on between power-crazed Rachel and the Methuselah-like Westmoreland in his little palace, but when she emerges she’s got that terrifying, fanatical glint in her eye that promises all sorts of trouble. Thankfully she still comes to Cosima’s aid in the final few scenes – and yes, the idea of sticking a needle that size into your own belly is not a nice one, so we understand Cosima’s hesitation. Hopefully the cure will live up to the hype now.

There’s another great female character debuting this week, too, as Elyse Levesque (who you may know from Stargate Universe and The Originals) teams up with the unfortunate Art to hunt down Alison and Helena. She’s bloody brilliant, too; a force of nature who has Art on a knife edge. It’s amazing how with just a few scenes – scenes that show her blatantly giving no f**ks about everything from dealing with colleagues to cleaning up her car – she’s already a female character with more life than some who get an entire show to themselves.

But of course it’s what we’ve come to expect from the superbly female-centric Orphan Black: what other show would open a season by showing a tampon in its first few minutes?

The Good:

 Cosima kissing Delphine’s bullet-scar is wonderfully sweet and weirdly erotic.

Did anyone else notice that all the female stars have now been separated from the men? Felix now has a little male posse to help find them! Also, because we haven’t said it since last season, we love Scott.

The Bad:

We’re not sure what the whole “There’s something in the woods” thing is about, although we suspect it’s some kind of Frankenstein’s monster created by Westmoreland that went rogue. Although that seems way too obvious, so hopefully not.

All that bloody sneaking around by Sarah and Cosima to get into the medical hut and the first thing Cosima does when she sees Sarah’s injury is turn on a light. Way to get noticed! Luckily the villagers don’t seem to be as bright as the lamp.

The Random:

Sarah not only staves off hypothermia by burning a picture of Kira, she dreams of Kira telling her to wake up – just in time to fight off an attack. We’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that was little Kira’s psychic doing.

Best Quote:

Felix: “Corkscrew through the back of the hand. Pub-fighting. Classic Siobhan.”


Donnie: “Is that the emergency loon call?”

Reviewed by Jayne Nelson

See all our reviews of Orphan Black.

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