The Final Trip: Orphan Black 5.05: “Ease for Idle Millionaires”

Five episodes down; five episodes to go. “Ease for Idle Millionaires” marks the halfway point of Orphan Black’s final season, and it brings things to a rather clarifying point, indeed. Without getting into spoilers, I think it’s rather safe to say we better understand P.T. Westmorland and how he wants to achieve his goals. I think it’s also safe to say we understand Rachel a little better too, though like Lisa Weidenfeld at A.V. Club points out, I rather hope we get a Rachel-centric episode before the series is over.

But “Ease for Idle Millionaires” belongs to Cosima, and it gives the viewers a lot of answers. So let’s dive in and talk about what we’ve discovered. Spoilers, of course, through episode 5.05, “Ease for Idle Millionaires.”

  • I think it’s pretty safe to say that Westmorland is a fraud. He uttered more than a few Darwinian mistakes during the dinner party, which Cosima corrected. Later, when Cosima spat that he wasn’t even 170 years old, he never contradicted her. You could argue he didn’t argue because he had no reason to, but given that Mud revealed Westmorland was dying, well. It seems odd to me that a man who’d figured out how to live for a 170 years would suddenly be having trouble figuring out how to stay alive now.

  • Couple this with what we learn about our “bear in the woods,” aka Yanis. A man, once a child, used for his special genome Lin28a, which promotes self-healing (there’s a fantastic science recap that explains how it really works over at The Mary Sue). That genome was inserted into Leda, but the clones never displayed evidence of self-healing. However, their offspring has, which is why Kira (and consequently Helena’s twins) are so valuable, especially to see if the genome continues to pass itself along the genetic line. THIS is Westmorland’s “Fountain,” and in order to benefit from it, it has to be replicated, which means that the reason Westmorland is backing Rachel, and what Rachel really wants, is….
  • Kira’s eggs. That revelation, along with the information that Rachel has gathered over a thousand surrogates, absolutely floored me. Suddenly, the deal Rachel so serenely offered Sarah in episode two? It’s not so great a deal after all, and I’m wishing Kira had shut up and gone into the van with Sarah after all. I wish M.K. hadn’t deviated from the plan so that Kira wouldn’t have felt her death, but then Ferdinand would’ve followed Sarah straight to the escape route, so yeah. That would’ve ended badly.
  • The point is this: Rachel is not a friend to the clones, and Westmorland is feeding her ego. Giving her the inoculation, when he tells her of all the clones, she deserves it the most, Rachel preens. She’s always wanted to be the special one, and Westmorland knows just how to play her. I was a little thrown that Rachel got the inoculation in the arm rather than the uterus like Cosima, but Cosima needed a direct cure because she was already sick. Rachel wasn’t.

  • Speaking of that cure, I really hope it’s working. When Cosima coughed while in the medical trailer with Delphine there, I worried. I don’t think Rachel had the time to switch anything out in the scene we saw in the premiere, but let’s be honest: the cure was in that refrigerator unsupervised after Delphine put it there in episode 1. Who’s to say someone didn’t switch it out between the time Delphine hid it and Cosima found it? Yes, Westmorland confirmed the cure was working, but he’s not above telling people what they want to hear.
  • Ah, Cosima and Delphine. I loved that flashback to season one, knowing what happened after Cosima found out she was property and after she told Delphine she was sick (remember, Delphine was the first person she told). I also loved the parallel to that scene after the most uncomfortable dinner party EVER. Delphine will always do what she can to protect Cosima, even if it means betraying her. And Cosima is always going to defy her creators. I loved watching Cosima defy them, even as I loved watching Delphine pray for her silence.

  • How sad and beautiful was that moment when Cosima talked about her parents? Such a clear threat from Westmorland, but hey, we finally got a piece of background that’s been missing from her story!
  • How rocking was Cosima in that tux?!?!?!?

  • Cosima had some amazing lines: “This is what he does, he divides women.” And when you think about it, it’s true: Susan Duncan and Virginia Coady are bitter rivals now, even though at one time they once worked on the same project. Then there’s Susan and Rachel: this mother/daughter duo couldn’t be more distant now, and while some of that is their own doing, the seeds of that were planted years ago by orders from on high, from the man pulling all the strings: Westmorland. And look at how he set to divide Delphine and Cosima at the dinner party. Coming in with Delphine on his arm, sitting them both at opposite sides of the table, and letting it spill that Delphine revealed a confidence? Yes, he certainly likes to divide these women: it keeps them under his control. Now that Yanis is dead and Cosima is locked up, I can’t help but wonder if he won’t lie to Mud and say Cosima killed Yanis in order to justify keeping her locked away. Certainly, the previews reveal Mud is in no hurry to let Cosima out. Cosima’s other line, “You can’t take away my humanity!” was wonderful, but how long will that remain true, given her position?

  • I never came back to this, but Westmorland’s sheer disdain for Cosima is astounding. Why does she bother him so? He gave her free reign to save her sisters, yes? Did it not occur to him that the free reign would include looking into other projects to learn more? He did, after all, encourage her to “consider the cow,” so to speak. And to think all of it — Yanis, Lin28a, Kira’s eggs — all of it comes down to finding ways to help him live longer? Surely there’s more to his scientific advances than simply immortality, but then again, if one improves the human race, one helps the human race live longer, and hasn’t that been the dream since forever?
  • The only other story this week focused on Sarah trying to reconnect with Kira by letting her in on what the adults have been up to. She clearly made some headway, much to Mrs. S’s chagrin, but they were all still left with the question, “What does Rachel want?” and now that we know the answer, it’s terrifying.

  • Turns out, Delphine is not Mrs. S’s contact. If not Delphine, who could it be? Surely someone we know, right?
  • Also, apparently Ira is starting to glitch. I feel bad for him, but Cosima’s reaction to it was kind of priceless. Yet I wonder: we have the inoculation for the Leda clones. What about an inoculation for the Castors? Who’s left besides Ira? Is Mark still out there?

That’s it for this week. I’m still reeling from the revelations. I’m terrified for Kira, because she’s too young to have to make that kind of decision, and Rachel, a woman who’s always wanted children of her own, should know better. But next week? A fan favorite clone is coming back, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out. Episode 5.06 “Manacled Slim Wrists” airs Saturday, July 15th at 10:00 pm EST, so watch and rewatch all week, and then join me next Friday to chat!

All images courtesy of BBC America and screencapped.net.

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