'Orphan Black' Boss on the Finale's Loss and Season 4's "New Kind of Enemy"

Co-creator Graeme Manson talks with THR about the third season finale and the road ahead.
Steve Wilkie/BBC AMERICA

[WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the Orphan Black season three finale, "History Yet to Be Written."]

Orphan Black's third season featured a number of deaths  most of the Castor line, Paul (Dylan Bruce), most of Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and Alison's (Tatiana Maslany) drug-related cohorts  but the finale's most brutal blow was Delphine (Evelyne Brochu), who was gunned down.


But is she dead? Despite Delphine receiving a warning earlier in the episode that she wouldn't survive the day  and Delphine taking that note and saying goodbye to her ex-girlfriend, Cosima — viewers didn't see her final moments. (A rep for the show had no comment on Brochu's status with Orphan Black going forward.)

Fans might have good reason to be suspicious of any deaths on the show, thanks to the finale's other twist: Rachel's presumed-dead adoptive mother, Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore AKA one of Project Leda's main scientists  was revealed to be alive and the one overseeing her daughter's care.

To get a little insight into what the developments mean for Orphan Black's upcoming fourth season, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with co-creator Graeme Manson.


What led to the decision to have Delphine get shot in the hour, and what that means for the character going forward?

We wanted to make a really strong choice with the character this season, and worked with Evelyne to craft the role of Delphine — stemming from that promise she made to Cosima  and to tell a story about true love, but impossible love. As for next season, that remains to be seen.

How serious was the gunshot wound?

It looked pretty serious.

Read more 'Orphan Black' Postmortem: Creators Dish on the the Leda-Castor Reveal

So just to clarify, will Evelyne Brochu be a part of Orphan Black season four?

I'd love to see her somehow. But the story is going to have to dictate it, and all of the other elements will have to come together. We'd love to, but there has to be a great story reason. God, we wrote that role for Evelyne. We all had a great time working together. We hope the character can loop back into the story, somehow. I don't know, what do you think? More dreams?

Until viewers actually see a character take their last breath, any "death" could be questioned…

That's probably a good idea.

Cosima, unknowingly, has the green light to share the truth of her sisterhood with Shay (Ksenia Solo). But in light of what may have happened to Delphine, how will the Cosima and Shay relationship be evolving next season?

I don't know at this point.

Elsewhere, Rachel's presumed-dead mother was revealed to be alive. How will Susan's presence shake up the story?

We opened the door for an interesting story about Rachel, and another side of the mystery. If she's with Susan Duncan, she's with the only surviving creator. So that's the mystery moving forward.

Given the massively traumatic year Rachel has had, physically, how will this emotional shock shape her going forward?

I would never underestimate Rachel Duncan. And her pea-sized little heart.

The reach of Neolution was truly felt for the first time in the finale. How will that change the way the sisters go about their fight going forward?

On the one hand, Sarah's finally fought her way through the factions to look behind the curtain, and she'll have one main foe. On the other hand, Neolution is diffuse; it's everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It's a new kind of enemy for us; it's cool.

Read more 'Orphan Black' Co-Creator, Stars Promise Answers in Season 3

Ferdinand very quickly hopped onboard with the Leda line once he realized he couldn't trust anyone, thanks to Neolution. Given his complicated relationship with several of the clones, how will the new alliance be shaping up?

We love having James Frain on the show, and we really have a good time together. It sure would be nice to have Ferdinand come back. I'd be interested to see what kind of circumstance he comes back in. We know he has a soft spot for Rachel.

How will the worm-like creature viewers saw play into the science of season four?

It's been part of our unfolding science, and unfolding bio-horror aspect. And bio-tech. Those elements are something we're really interested in. Like [the finale] said, "The science is far beyond what you could imagine."

Will the series be going into a more fictionalized territory as the show ramps up to its final arc of the series?

No, we'll always keep our science grounded in current cutting-edge science. The fun is where you take the little step into the sci-fi category, you know? Rather than [a huge leap].

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) got a little bit of resolution with her mother in the hour, after discovering she was the reason Sarah was placed with her to begin with. How will that peace impact Mrs. S and her motivations going forward?  

The cool thing about that is Sarah's moving forward with four generations of her family. She's got her original clone sister, she's got Mrs. S, she has herself, and she has [her daughter] Kira (Skyler Wexler), which is more family than any of them has ever had. The main part of Sarah's journey is that responsibility to protect her family; now that responsibility includes the original Susan Duncan.

Read more 'Orphan Black's' Tatiana Maslany on Sarah's "Selfless" and "Painful" Decision

Sarah had a lovely reunion with Kira in the finale. Was that a one-time thing, or will Sarah now be able to bring her daughter home?

I don't know. Truthfully, we haven't got there yet. (Laughs)

By the end of season three, most of the male clones had been killed off. What role will they  specifically Mark  be playing in season four?

We'll definitely be seeing Ari Millen next season.

Now that Krystal is awake and aware she's being held, against her will, in a questionable facility, what can you share about what role she may have in season four?

We left Krystal on a really interesting note, which is something we always wanted to do with one of the clones: meet someone who is naive and choose to leave them naive. Choose not to tell them who they are for their own good. Krystal has shown us she's not just a bimbo; she knows something is up. It'll be interesting next year  what will happen if Krystal does find out who she is? Yeah, we'd like to see Krystal again.

Alison did get a win in the finale  she won her election. Will she be satisfied with that win, or will she get bigger ambitions going forward? And what will that mean for her relationship with Donnie?

Team Hendrix has come through the season pretty strong, which is good, because we do like Team Hendrix; I don't think Alison is going to be torturing Donnie anymore. (Laughs) A bunch of things happened at the end of the season, which I think are going to follow them into next year. The Hendrixes will continue their hijinks. And Alison, if anything, is going to get closer to her sisters.

What did you think of Orphan Black's season finale?

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