Orphan Black has always had us on the edge of our seats with its twists and turns, and season 3 was no different. After a finale that tied up a lot of loose ends while still delivering some cliffhanger worthy shocking moments, we're all eagerly anticipating what revelations season 4 will bring to answer our burning questions. And of course the most burning question of all: is Delphine alive?
Going from duplicitous monitor, to scientist girlfriend, to ruthless Dyad boss, Delphine's development has been fascinating to watch. She's always been one of the more morally ambiguous characters, though underneath it all we were sure that her love for Cosima and compassion for the clones was her ultimate redeeming feature. Killing her off at the end of season 3 seems like a vicious move on the part of the writers, but is it really the best thing for the show?
Delphine: Hero or Villain?
Cosima's relationship with Delphine has long been one of the highlights of the show. Defying stereotypes and making a strong case for the fluidity of sexuality, Cosima and Delphine have that kind of tragic romance that pulls at our heartstrings each episode.
It's fantastic that the writers didn't just sideline Delphine as Cosima's love interest: from season 1 Delphine's choices have been the lynch pin of the plot, as she chose to stand with the clones and try and protect them from within Dyad. Delphine was the connection between the Clone Club and Dyad, trying to work with both parties to reach some kind of harmony within the Leda experiment.
Her rise to power and character development in season 3 wasn't really out of the blue: she's always stayed true to Dyad despite their often adversarial position to the Clone Club. In season 3 we saw her try and grapple with the vicious authority of Topside, and it was clear that despite her increasingly ruthless methods Delphine was trying to reach a point where the Clone Club and Dyad could come to terms: she truly believed that the best way to protect the clones was from a position of power. Graeme Manson shed some light on Delphine's situation in season 3.
"Delphine’s in this conundrum, in this position, that a number of our characters are where they’re torn between their heart and their allegiances. The heart hasn’t changed for Delphine. The real question for us in the writers’ room was, OK, Delphine made this promise. She made this promise to Cosima that she would keep her sisters safe and love them all equally. So how far will she go to do that?"
As it turns out, very far. Delphine could very well have sacrificed her life to protect the clones, though who shot her and why is still a mystery. The crux of the matter does seem to have been Cosima though: Delphine recognises her would be killer and asks them "what will happen to her?" before she is shot, and the creators later confirmed that yes, she was referring to Cosima.
Though it would be very sad to see Delphine depart the series for good, after such a great storyline her death has an ironic tragedy about it - that in such a position of power she couldn't even protect herself - as well as demonstrating how far she would go to protect the clones. And of course, Delphine's death would provide good character development for Cosima...
Cosima's Journey In Season 4
After spending a lot of season 2 making exciting discoveries and struggling with her illness, Cosima took a bit of a back seat in season 3. Of course her role was still crucial to the plot, but she had less science and more romantic drama in her story, as she started to question the motives of new girlfriend Shay.
In season 4 however, creator John Fawcett has promised that with the rise of Neolution we'll get to see Cosima going back to her "evo-devo" roots, with plenty of bio-technology for her to play with. This is fascinating, as Orphan Black has dealt a lot with morality and the personal drama of the clones, and less with the science of their creation. That will all change in season 4, as Cosima steps up to have a bigger role in the plot. And Delphine's death may well pave the way for Cosima to start making some big waves at Dyad, as well as getting to grips with this crazy science.
"[Delphine's death] was a necessary move to make. And its necessary in Cosima’s story and it’s necessary going forward in subsequent seasons—in season 4 and season 5."
Will Delphine's death force Cosima into taking more risks with Dyad? Or will she set out to find Delphine's killer with a vengeance? We can't wait to find out, but it's good to know that the creators aren't just killing off Delphine for shock value: they have a plan, and they're taking into account the effect her death will have on Cosima and the plot of the show. Besides, losing their greatest ally at Dyad will have a big impact on the Clone Club's survival...
Of course, as Delphine is "Orphan Black dead" she could always make an appearance later on, which would also be interesting plot wise. So what do you think: would you like to see Delphine survive, or is her death important for Cosima's development? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!