SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the season 5 first episode of Orphan Black.
That deafening roar coming from the Dolby Theatre tonight on Hollywood Blvd was the packed house completely ecstatic that it was about to watch the first episode of Orphan Black‘s final season, two and a half months ahead of the June 10 premiere.
And while Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany, the Orphan Black cast and EPs Graeme Manson and John Fawcett kept their deconstruction of the episode to a bare minimum following the screening, the conversation onstage promptly sprung to clone Rachel, the show’s baddie who we’ve seen over time become more complex than innately evil: In previous episodes, we see that Rachel finally meets the mother who dumped her at the cloning org DYAD.
“I feel like Rachel had the biggest arcs and she’s gone through a lot of transformation; she’s had a lot of things that changed her power entirely and now we see her clamoring back into power,” explained Maslany.
“We wanted her to rise through her villainy,” said Fawcett. “We love her so much, we can’t help but make people sympathize with her.”
However, behind Rachel there’s a guy called P.T. Westmoreland – a Neolutionist – who is well over 100 years old and wrote the quintessential paper on cloning. He’s secretly presiding on the island where we find most of the sister clones in this season’s first episode.
“John and I knew for a long time that in this feminist show, that there was a man on top,” quipped Manson to great laughs and jeers by the house and the cast.
“He’s a character we had for a long time in the (Island of) Dr. Moreau aspect,” said Mason who added that mysterious creatures will appear on the clone island where the season five first episode is set.
Without giving away too much, let’s just say that the sister clones struggle to be in contact with each other. Some are reunited, one is captured. The camp near Westmoreland’s mansion is called Revival, and it’s a self-sustained community for the next generation of clones. Clone Cosima believes that the answers to her sisters’ survival and existence reside at Revival, and she can’t leave just yet despite the fact that Sarah is looking to rescue her. But chaos abounds on this isle and the question of future-lives hangs by a thread, as another one of Maslany’s clones is injured (not Sarah), and another…injected.
As we saw in the season finale, Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) is reunited with Cosima at Revival. But does Delphine stay for long?
For Brochu, her onscreen lesbian relationship has been one of the most revolutionary roles she’s ever played.
“The main problem was never that they were two girls in love, and I think that’s liberating and fantastic,” says the Quebec-born actress who is approached by fans daily about the show’s sincere portrayal. “When fiction inspires reality to be more of what it should be, there’s so much pride. That’s why it’s the most important character I’ve had to play.”
“Most of the loves stories in Orphan Black are familial, but this one was the most romantic,” says Manson.
“It speaks to the heart of the show. It’s a clone show that’s about diversity. The partnerships in the Orphan Black world are full of trust and heart, and they should have the same weight as any straight relationship on TV. It was important to us that we didn’t oversexualize the relationship. These are just two characters in love with each other. What’s wrong with that?”
Production on the final season wrapped this week, and at the top of tonight’s session, the cast shared the emotions expelled. Kristian Bruun who plays Donnie Hendrix, the husband of preppy suburban clone Alison, said “Everyone would start clapping, and it morphed into yelling and screaming” as each main character took their last shot on set.
Also at tonight’s event were actors Jordan Gavaris, Kevin Hanchard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Ari Millen, and Kathryn Alexandre. The final season of Orphan Black returns on BBC America on Saturday, June 10 at 10PM.