Stephanie Watches Orphan Black: 5.09 “One Fettered Slave”

Helena (Tatiana Maslany)

“I am the original. I am the light.”

This is our Helena-centric episode of the season. We open the story on baby Helena in her Ukranian convent. (And yes, it threw me off that this was not Cynthia, the actress who plays all the young clones, but they wanted someone who was younger than her and someone who could speak excellent Ukranian. I think this new bb clone did an excellent job.) She’s stuffing her face with chocolate in a nun’s room. And that nun happens to come into the room, assuming she has full privacy, and begins masturbating. Helena watches on in curious confusion, clearly not understanding what she’s seeing. The nun catches her snooping and punishes her severely. Sister Irina is there but powerless to stop her. They dump her head in a bucket and pour bleach all over her head. And then they lock her in a closet. “I once lived in a broom closet for four months. I do not rot.”

Soon, Tomas comes to retrieve her and take her under his wing in that Prolethean, clone-murdering life where we originally met Helena. Most of this we already knew. He taught her some English and brainwashed her into believing there are many copies that must be killed all over the world. But what he neglected to tell her was that she was one of them. So, Helena goes to kill her first copy — and once the girl falls back into her arms, blood spurting from her mouth, she sees that the girl has the same face as her. This messes with her entire belief system.

You are the original. They copied your body but not your soul.”

Helena believes this and begins her mission to destroy all the evil, soulless copies. Until she meets her twin sister Sarah and well, we know that story. To relieve herself of the pain of killing her copies — and all the rest of the pain she’s suffered under Tomas’s abuse — she begins cutting herself. And that’s how she develops those angel wings. We were wondering if she did one slash for each Leda she killed, but we saw her cutting herself in season 1 just to relieve the pressure building inside her.

Back in the present timeline, Helena has been kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location. But it sure doesn’t look like the island, does it? PT wants Coady to perform a C-section because he’s on the verge of death. He needs Helena’s babies so he can use the LIN28A mutation to save himself. Coady, at least in this moment, suggests they induce labor so Helena can have a natural birth, which is safer for Helena and the babies. But PT is impatient — and a little crazy now. With Rachel’s betrayal and reveal of his true identity, he’s lost his grip on most of Neolution. The board members are being systematically murdered and only PT’s fiercest believers remain: Coady, Mr. Frontenac, Enger.

Sarah and her family are reeling from the sudden death and sacrifice of Siobhan. At the funeral, Sarah remains strong for Kira.

Art (Kevin Hanchard), Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), Kira (Skyler Wexler), and Felix (Jordan Gavaris)

Just remember, my loves. Death is nothing at all. I’ve only slipped into the next room. You can call me by my old familiar name. Put no sorrow in your tone. I promise we will laugh at this difficult parting when we meet again. All my love, S.”

It’s sad that Alison and Cosima can’t even go to the funeral since they all can’t be seen out in public together. They’re forced to chat over Skype and cry about what happened. Cosima says Sarah hasn’t cried yet. Alison wishes Sarah didn’t always have to be the strong one. Fun fact (or maybe a really sad fact), this Alison skype call was Tatiana’s last scene she filmed as Alison. Once she was done, she had such a visceral reaction to saying goodbye to Alison that her nose started bleeding.

At the wake at S’s house, Sarah is avoiding everyone. She’s just numb to the world and 1000% done. And really, I can’t blame her. Art comes over to comfort her, bringing her a bowl of turkey chili. (Petition to name their ship Turkey Chili.) Sister Irina arrives to find Sarah and show her Helena’s journal. They realize she was taken and need to find out where. Sarah has to stay behind and take care of Kira, so Art and Felix decide to take this on and pay a visit to Rachel. With board members dropping like flies, she figures one of them must know where PT would take Rachel because she has a feeling it wasn’t the island.

Sarah still hasn’t cried and we see her looking at the height marks S made as she, Felix, and Kira grew up in that home. She sees S’s coat hanging on the basement doorknob and smells it. In the next scene she’s in, we see Sarah wearing it. Ow, my heart.

Felix and Art go to the Neo board room where Mr. Frontenac is about to kill the last remaining member. But they need him to find Helena. Mr. Frontenac is ready to shoot a very stressed out Art, but Art shoots him first — committing his first murder for Clone Club. Oh, Art.

Felix and Art bring this Neo board member dude back to Rachel. “I told you, I don’t know where he’s taken the science.” “Her name is Helena.” Oh, Rachel, I love you for saying that. Look how much she’s grown, you guys!!! Anyway, Neo dude is super unhelpful but Sarah calls them because Kira feels that Helena is in trouble. Neo dude says that Rachel is the one with the biggest target on her back. “Rachel…. If he wants you so bad, I say we give you up,” Sarah says, devising a plan.

Meanwhile, PT has ordered Coady to kill Mark, her final Castor. They’ve synthesized the sterilization pathogen so he figures they don’t need any more “loose ends.” She seems to protest this but doesn’t try all that hard. She pretends like she’s giving Mark the final dose of the cure while he discusses his and Gracie’s future plans but actually kills him. I don’t particularly like Mark (because Ira is the best Castor) but this was still shitty. He never even found out Gracie was killed. How awful. Coady is the worst. And she continues being the worst as she attempts to “comfort” Helena:

“You forget. I know what you are. Dumped at birth. Killer. You killed your own sisters. You stink, like an animal. What kind of mother could you possibly be?”

Helena is an escape artist. “To a rat, a hole is like a doorway.” But even after she manages to get the scissors from the tray, she can’t seem to cut the binds to her restraints. She’s exhausted. And she realizes she can only do one thing to free herself and her babies from the clutches of her captors.

My babies. You deserve better than me. You will not be an experiment too. I set you free… My babies.”

Helena takes the scissors and stabs herself in the wrist a few times, blood squirting and gushing everywhere, machines beeping and signaling the slowing of her heart. It’s just really bad. I can’t deal with it. Coady finds her bleeding to death and undoes her restraint as she tries to save her.

Neo dude meets up with Enger with “Rachel” gagged and tied up in his truck. Since she’s wearing a leather jacket, we can all see this is clearly Sarah. She’s really phoning this cloneswap in. Art has a tracking device on her and follows the car to… DYAD! Ah yes, back to the beginning of all this shit. Helena is being kept in the old wing where Cosima, Scott, and Delphine all used to work on the clone cure. It is a fitting location for a final showdown.

Sarah as Rachel is brought in to speak with a very riled up PT. He says a lot of GROSS shit to her. Ready for it? Here you go: “Secret? I know yours, Rachel. I know how you cup your hands just so, so you can hide the digging at your fingernails that you can’t stop. I know how you constantly write letters to your biological who you’ve never met. I know how you touch yourself in the shower where you think it’s clean.”

Can you imagine being Sarah and hearing all this? Jeezus. I’m actually relieved that Rachel was spared from this. I don’t know if she could have handled it. Sarah is totally horrified and fakes a cry, calling him “father.” This is apparently the moment where he was no longer fooled. Let it be known that PT is the first person in five seasons of this show to ever try and tug on someone’s hair to see if it was actually the right clone. He pulls her eyepatch and wig off, and Sarah jumps up and slashes his neck.

Enger tackles Sarah to the desk and PT grabs her gun, ready to blow her brains out. But Coady runs in at the last moment to stop them. She needs Sarah’s blood to save Helena. So, whether she realizes it or not, Helena saved her sister by trying to kill herself.

Coady hooks Sarah up to Helena. “If you want to save your sister, make a fist and don’t fight me.” Sarah, to her credit, does as she’s told for once. She releases her hand and her blood flows into Helena’s arm. This scene chokes me up every time. The way the camera pans over as Sarah saves her twin. Ugh, it’s just beautiful and so telling of their bond.

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) and Helena (Tatiana Maslany)

Come on, Helena. Come back to me. Come on, come on, come on. Come on, meathead. Stay with me.”

Coady threatens to C-section her babies since she’s unconscious, so Sarah tries to rouse her more forcefully. She wakes up. “I’m sorry, sestra.” Meanwhile, Scott and Hellwizard are working within DYAD to get Art inside the building so he can get Sarah and Helena out safely. He sounds the alarm and alerts everyone. “You did good, Scott. Now it’s my turn.”

Helena and Sarah are confused and both bound to the chairs. Helena starts complaining of pain and asks for water. She gives Sarah a knowing smirk. And then grabs Coady’s head and bashes her face against the metal bed over and over again, complete with the screechy Helena music. “You are shit mother.”

Helena frees Sarah from her binds and Sarah frees her. She helps Helena out of bed but then… her water breaks. They are trapped in DYAD together, surrounded by enemies, and Helena is ready to deliver. Eeek!

Oh, babies coming.”

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