Orphan Black S05E06 “Manacled Slim Wrists” REVIEW

Orphan Black S05E06 “Manacled Slim Wrists” REVIEW

0 comments 📅17 July 2017, 15:00

Airing in the UK on Netflix, Sundays
Written by: David Bezmozgis
Director: Grant Harvey

Essential Plot Points:

  •  Krystal returns – this time hosting a makeup vlog with her friend Bree (“Kay-Bee Natural Beauty”). It’s not just about makeup tips, however: it’s trying to expose the evils of cosmetics companies trying to take over the world!
  • Bree’s hair falls out during a recording, which is unfortunate. They go to see Scott and Artie, hoping they can help. “She’s been poisoned by big cosmetics,” snaps Krystal. “What about that is confusing?”
  • Kira pretends to be poorly so she can stay home from Dryad. She barfs on Frontenac’s shoes. We approve.
  • Cosima is still locked in the basement. She tries to convince Mud that Westmorland is a fraud, but Mud isn’t having it.
  • Artie puts Krystal in touch with Sarah (who, of course, thinks she is an operative working to bring down evil cosmetics companies). She reveals that she’s been seeing the head of Blu-Zone Cosmetics – a company Dyad just bought.
  • Westmorland and Susan want Cosima to help them with Kira; Cosima isn’t interested.
  • We hear Susan called Westmorland “John”! They’ve known each other since the 1960s.
  • Coady arrives. “You weren’t the only scientist I bought, were you?” smarms Westmorland. Susan ain’t happy, because Coady wants to cull humanity, and Susan doesn’t like this kind of soulless behaviour.
  • Ira, meanwhile, wants to see Coady, as she’s the woman who created the Castor clones and he’s glitching. Susan doesn’t want him to.

  • Krystal sneaks out of the comic shop while Scott and Bree are flirting.
  • She meets up with the Blu-Zone head, Leonard Sipp, and they start making out. Which is embarrassing, because she’s filming it for Sarah and Artie to see.
  • Finally pulling away, she tells him off for selling his company to Dyad.
  • Meanwhile, Scott tells Bree she wasn’t poisoned and she’s not going bald. It was just an allergic reaction to a face cream… which she actually stole from Leonard during a party.
  • Cosima and Susan discover that Westmorland is using the blood of the younger residents of the island to extend his life. Horrified, Susan tells Ira she’s going to bring Neolution down.
  • While Krystal is in the toilet, Leonard discovers the cream among Bree’s things. He realises it was stolen and confronts Krystal about it.
  • Krystal kicks him in the balls.

  • In agony, poor Leonard reveals that it’s a dermal delivery system and that Dyad wanted it. It causes hair loss. Krystal wipes it all over his beard and kicks him out!
  • Alas, on the island, Aisha has died. The villagers are getting restless.
  • Mud goes to see Cosima just as Ira releases her. They then ask for Mud’s help.
  • Largely unwillingly, the young girl obliges. She helps as Susan injects something into Westmorland’s transfusion bag; but he praises her for being his friend, and she leaves, distraught.
  • Rachel goes to see Kira and takes her away, saying they need her for a sleep study. There’s nothing Mrs S can do about it.
  • Cosima collects her cure from the lab, but the villagers confront her, angry that she’s working with Westmorland and that he’s not saving their lives as promised. She tells them that he is a fake – and shows them a photo of him looking young in the 1960s.
  • They’re horrified… and then they’re angry. They start to riot.
  • Just as Westmorland is starting to feel the effects of whatever Susan injected into him, Coady turns up – Mud has tattle-taled! Coady saves his life.
  • Ira, who has packed everything and is ready to leave, goes to find Susan (while suffering a nosebleed; he’s seriously buggered now). He finds her dead. He sinks to his knees at her feet; it’s all over for him.
  • Cosima and little Charlotte finally escape the island.


Welcome back, Krystal! After the somewhat claustrophobic antics on the island of late, it’s nice to see some life and colour back on our screens right from the first seconds of the show – what a breath of fresh air! Krystal’s vlog is wonderful. Hell, Krystal is wonderful. After all this time, it’s hilarious that she still thinks the world is being run by shadowy cosmetics company cabals, and brilliantly, this week she’s right (well, in a way).

Kudos to the writers for finding such a clever way to bring her back onto the show, and for giving her the balls to, well, kick an arsehole in the balls. While we do feel for Len (that really isn’t pleasant, and there are men on the show far more deserving of such treatment), it’s still a superb comedy moment. Krystal is, as always, a force of nature, even if she is a slightly misguided one.

Elsewhere, there’s some more wonderful bonding going on between Sarah and Kira; it’s hard to recall now just how estranged they were from each other when this show began. Despite only being ten years old, Skyler Wexler is such a natural little actress that all her scenes are totally believable, and Kira is being written a maturity that feels real despite her tender years. However, our heart sinks at what awaits her at Dryad now – the process of harvesting eggs from a child can’t be anything but painful (not to mention deeply unethical). Hopefully the seestras, or a furious Mrs S, can save her before anything happens.

And finally, goodbye to both Susan and Ira – the latter of whom, presumably, dies at the feet of the woman he loves so unconditionally. We might not miss her (she’s evil ‘n’ stuff), but we’ll certainly miss this Castor clone. Bye bye, Ari Miller: you were superb.

The Good:

  • Everything Krystal says or does, basically. Particularly this bit: “I’m peeing and then I’m gonna kick him in the balls.”And whaddya know? She does.
  • Krystal thinking that Sarah is Australian.
  • Krystal being unable to keep her hands off Len (kudos also to Tom Cullen for being able to inhabit a tiny role so forcefully in such a short space of time).
  • The ladies joint-screaming when Bree’s hair falls out.
  • Also, the little spark between Bree and Scott is adorable; we’d like Scott to end the series with some genuine happiness, as he’s been a rock from start to finish. Could Bree be his soulmate?
  • The way Coady smokes this cigarette is brilliant. Even her fag breaks are aggressive.

The Bad:

  • We’re gutted that Mud betrayed Cosima. Gutted. However, in terms of her character’s motivation, it made perfect sense: the island had put her back on her feet after her overdose, and she owed Westmorland everything. But still… goddamit, Mud!
  • What will happen to the islanders now? Will they be able to ask for rescue? With them smashing things left, right and centre, you have to wonder if they’ll destroy communications with the outside world by mistake…

The Random:

  • Jenessa Grant, who plays Mud, can also be seen these days as Ofsamuel in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Best Quote:

Krystal: “How could you sell to Dyad? They, like, product-test on bunnies. [Pause] And humans.”

Reviewed by Jayne Nelson

Read all our reviews of Orphan Black here.

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