Be Very, Very Afraid Of The 'Orphan Black' Finale

During Sunday's panel, Orphan Black fans were instructed not to rest easy at the show's Austin Television Festival screening. After a group viewing of the episode "Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method," co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristrian Bruun (Donnie, aka Mr. Alison Hendrix) took the stage to strike fear into the hearts of the Clone Club. "No one is safe," Manson cautioned when asked about science-y clone Cosima's worrying health woes.

There are only two episodes left in Orphan Black's third season, and Manson promised that everything would come to a head in terms of furtive Projects CASTOR and LEDA. He also pledged that fans would learn the identity of the mole within LEDA "very soon." Paul's dying heroism aside (RIP Paul, you were hot and also very noble. Respect.), the embers of Project CASTOR are still burning and Dr. Coady can't be so easily dissuaded from her mission. "I would be very worried," the showrunner insisted, and OK, thanks, I am.

Aside from the confirmation that my constant state of Clone Club anxiety is very much warranted, the panel also revealed some other Orphan Black behind-the-scenes goodies.

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  • Manson and co-creator John Fawcett have notes on this show dating back to 2001. The first realized, scripted scene that Fawcett shared with Manson was the opening of the pilot: Sarah witnessing Beth's suicide.
  • The casting of the lead role arguably spelled transcendence or certain doom for the show, hence the presence of a whopping 17 executives present in the audition process. Tatiana Maslanay won all 17 over not only with her raw talent, but also with her instantaneous chemistry with Jordan Gavaris (Felix). Manson: "They hadn't even spoken to each other before they met inside the room."
  • Bruun's favorite clone to act opposite is reforming assassin Helena. "I mean, I love Alison. She's my wife," he insisted. "But Helena is such a trip." Bruun and Manson assured fans that more Donnie/Helena hijinks were to come in the season's close-out, so hopefully more ham-fisted flirty talk about baby oxen. Bruun also teased that he and Maslany like to start each scene early, on their own. So on some cutting room floor, there's a treasure trove of unseen moments between Alison's husband and her sestra. The DVD special features menu is aching for those.
  • Manson knew that the "boy clones" would come about, but he wasn't sure which current character would be the initial member. Bruun knows why his alter ego wasn't chosen: "Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie. That's too much sexy on screen." The honor was given to Ari Millen (Mark, et al.), who quickly learned the ropes from Maslany in terms of making multi-clone scenes work.
  • Prodded for clues about the fate of Delphine and Cosima, Manson spoke the words that no 'shipper ever wants to hear: "Some 'ships are made to be sunk." The couple's relationship has been shaded by mistrust since the beginning, but there's still something there: "I don't know," Manson hedged. "You saw that kiss."
  • Kristian Bruun recreated what's a hard entry into the show's top five ever scenes: Donnie and Alison twerking to their pill-popping payday. "I will never live this down," he sighed, as he gamely assumed the position.
  • New clone Krystal was based on a character that Maslany developed "in her free time." She plays more roles than any other actor on television, but she's still creating on her days off. I hit snooze three times this morning.
  • More earned praise for Maslany: The process of filming multi-clone scenes requires the actress to pace each take exactly the same as the last, down to the movement of a hand, so that the editing process would be smooth. "I have nothing but mind-blown respect," Bruun said.
  • "Rachel is back, for sure," said Manson of the eye-patched, sell-out LEDA sister. Love or hate her, Rachel's resurgence will make for an explosive finale.
  • "We've always had an end point in mind," Manson answered an audience question. The question is whether to hit that end point and reboot the next year, or to add another season to solving the mystery.

The Orphan Black and finally is coming in hot, Clone Club! And after this panel, I don't think we're at all ready for it.

Images: Steve Wilkie/BBC America; Giphy (2); ariimilen, chrisevans.xyz/Tumblr