Orphan Black S5E08 “Guillotines Decide” REVIEW

Orphan Black S5E08 “Guillotines Decide” REVIEW

0 comments 📅31 July 2017, 10:32

Orphan Black S5E08 “Guillotines Decide” REVIEW

Airing in the UK on Netflix, Sundays

Written by: Aisha Porter-Christie, Graeme Manson
Director: Aaron Morton

Essential Plot Points:

  • The mutilated Rachel is rescued from her office and taken to a hotel room, where a doctor performs surgery on her eye. She wakes up to discover that her saviour was Ferdinand!
  • Sarah and Mrs S are getting twitchy, but nobody has come for Kira yet. Did they get away with taking her? Perhaps the cabal backed off, after hearing that Westmorland was lying.
  • Artie arrives and takes Kira and Charlotte to his ex’s house to stay with her and his kids. They’ll be safe there.
  • Delphine is upset to hear that, thanks to Neolution, countries around the world are going to be harvesting DNA for Neolution to use. She has to do something about it.
  • Felix and Adele return from Geneva, ready for Felix’s art show that night. Mrs S says everybody should go out and support him to celebrate what they’ve achieved.
  • At the convent, Gracie lies to Helena, saying that Mark died weeks ago, and Helena believes her.
  • Mrs S and Delphine have a Top Secret meeting, much to Sarah’s curiosity. They’ve kept her out of it for one good reason: they’re meeting with both Rachel and Ferdinand.
  • It’s a four-way plot to bring down Neolution, who want to sell “curated, commercialised evolution to the 1%” and sterilise the rest. Wow.
  • Mrs S begs Rachel to help them bring down the company.
  • Gracie calls Mark when Helena is out of the room, and tells him she can’t find her. It seems the sight of a very-pregnant Helena has swayed her not to give her up.
  • Felix solves the problem of all of the seestras wanting to attend his exhibition by introducing them, individually after one has just left, as though they are different goddesses. It’s brilliant!
  • Adele lets slip to Sarah that Mrs S may be meeting with Ferdinand. Sarah is outraged.

  • Ferdinand and Rachel discuss how they’re going to use the dirt Rachel has on the company to get a cut of all their future business.
  • However, Rachel seems more willing to just take them down and then leave with Ferdinand, living on their nest egg. Unfortunately, he wants none of that: he wants to build a dynasty.
  • Ferdinand’s a dick.
  • Helena finds Gracie’s phone and knows she spoke to Mark. She says they have to leave because it would have been traced. However, it’s too late: they are captured and Gracie is shot dead!
  • Ferdinand goes to the cabal at Neolution to present his blackmail plan, but the USB stick Rachel gave him is blank. She double-crossed him! Go Rachel! More of this and she’ll actually be a nice person!
  • Elsewhere, Cosima uploads all the dodgy information about Neolution to global financial and ethical regulators. That’s it! It’s done! All that evilness has finally been exposed!
  • At the show, Felix gives a heartfelt and beautiful speech about how much he loves his sister and mother (and adopted sister too, of course). Our chin wobbles a bit.
  • Ferdinand storms into the hotel room and tries to strangle Rachel. After almost succeeding, he changes his mind and leaves. Rachel calls Mrs S to warn her he’s on the warpath.
  • Mrs S leaves the art show and goes home. Ferdinand is waiting. After some verbal sparring and a lot of hatred, they shoot each other dead. Bye bye, Siobhan…


Arrgh, isn’t it annoying when a show decides to kill off a main character, then spends so much time giving them poignant moments in the 45 minutes leading up to their death that you guess they’re going to cark it, therefore destroying any of the total shock you should have felt? Poor Mrs S got a great send-off from Felix (whose little speech about carrying orphans on her wings was beautiful), but it felt like a eulogy because we’d already seen her writing a goodbye note and lining up her guns… wouldn’t it have been better if we hadn’t been tipped off?

That’s not to take anything away from her final scene, however, because Siobhan was as bad-ass as always, even when dying of a gunshot wound to the heart. Maria Doyle Kennedy has always been a class act, and you really feel a wrench here that you won’t see her again. The fact Mrs S took Ferdinand with her was glorious, and even her final word (“Chickens!”) was perfectly poignant. And hey, if nothing else, she died just as Sarah had exposed Neolution and Felix’s art career had hit the big time. Job well done, mother hen. Rest in peace.

The art show itself was wonderful – not just for the sight of the amazing artworks we’ve glimpsed in Felix’s studio over the years finally going on display, but for his clever working of the seestras into the mix, making it a performance piece. Each clone’s reaction to their role was fabulous, too, particularly Cosima gettin’ down to dance and Sarah (as goddess of war!) flicking everybody V-signs.

Most of all, however, it’s amazing to think that after all these years, Clone Club has finally hit back at its tormentors and given Neolution more than just a bloody nose – no wonder Cosima breaks into huge sobs as she uploads the incriminating information on the company. It’s finally over! No more genetic tampering!

However, with two episodes left to go and Helena now in Coady’s clutches, there’s clearly more trouble ahead – and Neolution’s shadowy cabal still wants revenge. It’s not over until it’s over. We can’t wait.

The Good:

  • Hellwizard not only DJ-ing at Felix’s shindig (with a remixed version of last week’s end credits song, “Tainted Love”) but wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the words “The Future Is Female”. Obviously this was filmed before the Doctor Who casting announcement, but we like to think he’s a fan.
  • Adele being so utterly incapable of either staying sober or keeping a secret. This would be annoying in somebody we know, but it’s hilarious with her.
  • Alison trying oh-so-hard not to tell off Donnie for wearing an outfit she’s not keen on. Can she continue on her path to living life deeply, or will the fact he wears plaid flannel just be too much for her? We sense he wants the old Alison back too, as he begs her to tell him where to hang a picture.
  • Last week we wondered what would become of Kira’s mouse; this week it leaves with her to stay with Artie’s ex. Let’s hope she’s not scared of mice, eh? But hey, it’s the continuity with little things like that which can make a show feel realistic – we’ve lost count of shows where characters spend days away from home and you think, “But who’s looking after their dog?”
  • There’s a lovely, sweet, sad moment in which Artie and Sarah pause to look at Beth’s portrait.

The Bad:

  • Poor Mrs S!
  • Poor Gracie!
  • Poor Artie! He’s nothing more than some random bloke who wanders in each episode (if he’s lucky enough to get screentime), does one thing and then wanders out again (this week: offering Kira a refuge). However – and we’ve said this before – it’s still perversely refreshing to watch a show in which a MALE character is underwritten rather than the female one(s).
  • Would Ferdinand really have not checked that USB stick before the presentation?
  • “That’s quite enough lip out of you.” We’ll miss you, Mrs S.

The Random:


  • Was anybody else wondering how the hell Felix found time to work on his career and make all those friends while all the crap and worry with his sister has been going down? That man can really multitask.
  • Best Quote: Cosima: “Do you want to spend the morning safeguarding the genetic future of mankind, or do you wanna have brunch?”

Reviewed by Jayne Nelson

Read our other reviews of Orphan Black

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