Spoiler Warning: Go no further if you haven't watched tonight's season finale of Orphan Black!
Three words: Clone. Dance. Party.
We don't think we've ever been so thrilled by a scene on TV. From Helena's wild hopping to Allison reluctantly just going with Felix's butt-wiggling, we couldn't stop grinning tonight.
While we're utterly intrigued by Project Castor and the fact that male clones are now a thing, the real highlight of tonight's finale was Helena finally meeting Cosima and Allison, and the aforementioned dance party that followed. The war between Rachel and Sarah had come to a conclusion of sorts, with Rachel laying on the floor with a pencil in her eye as Sarah, Cosima, and Kira all escaped, giving the clones a moment of much-deserved peace and a chance to let loose before all hell broke loose with Helena's kidnapping by Paul and the Project Castor discovery.
We chatted with co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson all about that finale, what's to come, and how they pulled off four Tatiana Maslanys all dancing with themselves.
What was the decision behind making Mark the clone for Project Castor? Why not, Paul, Cal or Felix?
Graeme: If there's an option, we've probably already thought of it.
John: Listen, we knew between season one and season two that we were going to introduce this new part of the puzzle and what we didn't know as we started shooting season two is we weren't sure who was going to represent the male clone. We went through a lot of different permutations—we talked about Cal, we talked about Felix, we talked about Paul, we talked about everybody. Anybody that was a male on our show was looked over and we even talked about bringing in somebody brand new. And really, to be honest, we love Ari Millen and we cast him in the role of Prolethean Mark and at the beginning that character, actually was scheduled to die.
When we hired Ari, we said, 'Hey, by the way, we think this is just six episodes and then you die at the end of episode six.' but he just blew our minds over and over with all of these great scenes and we just say all this great potential in that character and it really wasn't to much later that we decided to definitely not kill him and in fact use him as the male clone that we introduced. And it's an interesting bookend.
Graeme: yeah we like the fact that it offered us the chance to have the end of the season double back to the beginning of the season, in that, the same face that is terrifying Sarah in the end is the one that started this season off terrifying her. And then we had the awesome experience of phoning Ari just before the final 210 script were sent out and telling him that he's the new clone. he literally didn't know until just before the scripts went out.
So just to clarify, DYAD took control of Project Leda and the military took control of Project Castor?
John: That is correct. It is two separate experiments that apparently—if it wasn't for Paul infiltrating—they wouldn't have known about each other. No they're in the situation where it looks like Castor knows much more about Leda than Leda knows about Castor.
So are the girls from Project Leda and the boys from Protect Castor supposed to be brothers and sisters or destined soul mates?
John: I think that is certainly going to be part of what we're tracking down in season three. Who are they to one another, is obviously a question right out of the gate.
Maryanne mentioned that it took over 400 attempts before they were able to make her daughter, was this because they were missing Professor Duncan's sequencing codes?
John: They were missing something ad this was kind of part of our puzzle for next season. We're giving the news at the end of season two and a kind of spring board for next season and creating the questions that we need to have answered for the following season.
What was the decision behind finally letting Helena meet her other sisters? Did you feel like she had been tortured enough for one season?
John: We just thought that Helena had earned it after everything that she's been through and really it was a bout this long season of people attempting to divide the clones and then the realization that they're strong together and that their family includes Helena.
The clone dancing scene will forever remain our favorite moment of the entire series, how did you pull that off?!
John: Well obviously it was a lot of work. It was obviously extremely technical and it took a lot of preparation early on. That scene was just kind of this random card on the wall in the writers room that said "Clone Dance Party" that Graeme and I laughed a lot about because we never knew where it was going to land, or if it was going to land at all. We just through it was going to be a funny thing to do and as it turned out, we found out that it was really going to be something strong for the season finale. I think we are always about trying to be bigger and badder and better and we wanted to do something with four clones you know, we hadn't done that just yet. It's also very triumphant and it was a way for us to give the season and emotional climax and a triumph and a coming together of the sisters. So it took a lot of planning, it took two days to shoot that scene.
Grame: The scene where Helena met her sisters and then the dance took two days to shoot. so because of the extra production time, I was pitching the idea to the networks, to get the okay for this, back in November. We knew we wanted to do it, but we knew it was going to take a lot of planning. We thought that this was great, not just for the show but for the fans and we made this cool sequence, it was a lot of rehearsal, there were like three separate dance rehearsals. It was very complex from a visual affects point of view but it was really fun to watch.
John: It was like a little oasis of relief in this jam-packed episode. I love the fact that Cosima, the one who is facing her mortality, is the one who dropped the needle and started to dance. it was a dance of life for her. We wanted the audience to think that this was Cosima's last dance and we purposefully wanted to play with the audiences emotions in that scene.
Why do you think Helena didn't tell her sisters that she's pregnant right away?
John: I think that yeah, Helena's very, very internal, and that information is far too personal to spit out in that first meeting with her sisters. It doesn't see like Helena's ever been really out with what Helena thinks or feels or anything. She's a bit of a strange cat. It's nice kind of never really knowing her completely . It's good when the things that come out of her mouth are unexpected, or she does things that are unexpected, and I think that that slightly off-kilter-ness, or largely off-kilter aspect to her character is part of the fun of her. There's this childlike innocence, and then there's this real dangerous side to her. I think that she's just someone you can really kind of embrace from that point of view. You can love her and be afraid of her at the same time.
Even though she ended the season still alive, Cosima's not out of the woods yet, right?
Graeme: She's not well. She's not out of the woods yet. The thing that we did feel is that we felt like it's been a very emotional season, not just for the character, but for the fans.
John: I think what's nice here is that Cosima is very sick – there's no question about that – but we liked the feeling of leaving her with this book with this code from professor Duncan in her hands at the end of season 2, as a kind of hopeful gesture towards…
Graeme: I mean I think it's certainly giving Cosima hope, and if Cosima has hope, so should Clone Club.
We loved when you messed up Rachel's perfect demeanor with that contraption. Was that the idea behind it, just messing up her perfect world?
John: We wanted to mess up her perfect world big time, and her perfect face.
Graeme: I was inspired by watching a Bill Nye the Science Guy sequence where they actually shot a pencil through a 2x4, and I was like, well that's an interesting science lesson.
John: I think there always needed to be some conclusion to this war that we've set up between Rachel and Sarah, and we knew we kind of wanted to hurt Rachel. We kind of wanted to do something bad to her, and so Graeme kind of pitched this idea that we were going to fire a pencil into her eyeball, and I think we kind of thought that was ridiculous, and a lot of the time, when we go, that's absolutely ridiculous, those are some of the best ideas. So that's where that one stuck.
Graeme: When I came in and said we're going to shoot a pencil in her eye, I just got a lot of blank stares.
What is something that fans can look forward to in season 3? Where are we headed?
John: I think we're going to see obviously some of the new things we've set in motion, like Project Castor, with our male clones, and with the hope that the science with the synthetic sequences may aid us in our final answers. These are all things that are going to kind of be springboards for the next season. Even though Helena is gone at the end of season 2, we don't know where she's been taken, and that is certainly something we probably will want answers to in season 3.
Graeme: I think the fans can look forward to sort of the same fast-paced show that you watch on the edge of your seat, and now we've got this added element of the boys against the girls.
John: Yeah, there are some large, big answers coming in season 3.
So what did you guys think? Are you excited to learn more about Project Castor? Or do you just hope season 3 is just one big happy clone dance party? Do you, like us, plan to just watch the dance party scene over and over again until season 3 premieres? Sound off in the comments!