A word about remakes and reboots. American remakes and reboots

14th of May, 2018

   Before I can start reflecting on the subject of the article, I have to present two definitions – remake and reboot. Both are many times mistaken for the other. They are similar kinds of movies, yet different.

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   I do not know what is with American producers and eternal remakes and reboots. 2 months ago BBC America annnounced the list of possible and already certain reboots. The list includes those but not all of them –  Charmed reboot set in modern times, darker version of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Murphy Brown and, possible, The Twilight Zone and Party of Five. Charmed Season 2 HeaderThe questions is why to reboot a good show that already ended and left the viewers with beautiful memories? Let’s take Charmed. As a teenage girl, I was obssesed with Phoebe, Prue and Piper – later Paige. Halliwell sisters were strong, brave and caring. CW already ordered a series and it will be on air in 2018-2019 season. The story is set in contemporary times and revolves around three sisters witches – Mel (Melonie Diaz), Macy (Madeleine Mantock) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffrey) who discover their heritage and have to deal with it. Seems the same, right? Fans were not really happy about completely new cast and the whole reboot idea. Even Holly Marie Combs who played Piper she expressed her dissatisfaction on Twitter.

   Myself, I do not think that rebooting original TV shows is a good idea. There are some exceptions, but usually the reboots are not the best.

   Talking about remakes is even more hurtful. Watching movie made by American producers, the viewers never think about whether it is remake or not. Furthermore, person who is not interested in films, will even think it is the greates original American masterpiece. And that is where they are wrong. 002-1-1024x778Researching the subject for the article, even I was surprised and shocked by some titles – Bedazzled with Bredan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley from 2000 for example is a remake of English production with the same title from 1967 with Dudley Moore. The same was with Jungle 2 Jungle (originally 1994 French film Un indien dans la ville), The Tourist with Angelina Jolie (French Anthony Zimmer from 2005 with Sophie Marceau) or even Vanilla Sky! Yes, Vanilla Sky (Spanish original was titled Open Your Eyes – Abre los ojos).
   Sad, isn’t it? It is turning out we do not know what is original and what is remake anymore. The same goes for American The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Only a few people realize that it is the remake of great Swedish saga named Män som hatar kvinnor. In this case Swedish producers made all three parts based on the book and they are 100% better than American one.

   But in this case it is not about which one is better – original or remake, but about the knowledge (or more lack) of the original source. People don’t know and they don’t have a comparison of both versions. That is why I decided to watch and compare. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other. Sometimes both are great or awful. The most important thing is to research and find out.

   On the other hand, I think American producers should admit right away about buying the rights to remake and be a little louder about it. I think that would be great for the movie world.

 

 

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15 Best Female Characters of 2017

by Zofia Wijaszka

December 13th, 2017

2017 was definitely a women’s year. The viewers received amazing, leading female roles. The “Hollywood revolution’ happened, which was one of the most important events for the last few months. That’s why I decided to pick 15 best written female characters and put them all together: omen from TV and cinema, all strong, all with purpose.

15.  Kimmy Schmidt – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

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 “Cause women are strong as hell!” – says the song from opening credits. And it’s true. Kimmy, in a funny way, shows the viewers life after tragic events in her life. After she was kidnapped and held captive for many years, she’s finally free and decides to pull herself together, find a job apartment and even study. The main character doesn’t ever give up, is optimistic (sometimes even too much…) and always helps others.  All of that in a great comedy series.

 

14. Claire Underwood – “House of Cards”

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Claire isn’t one of the good ones. She’s sneaky and manipulative. But somehow she seems to confirm the saying – “behind every great man, there is even greater woman”. In the show she plays president’s wife. Although Frank is the one in charge, the viewers can see that she is the one with the plan. Claire defines strong, independent woman who fights for what’s hers. And, as movie geeks could recently find out, she will be the main character in the last, final season of the show.

 

13.  Jessica Jones – “The Defenders” and “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”

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Jessica Jones is a former super heroine. Due to the post-traumatic stress disorder caused by past events, the heroine decides to give up her costume and open her own detective agency to help others. According to Melissa Rosenberg, savior in her world is a devastated heroine with defects, but the same interesting figure regardless of gender. The new image of the heroine contributes to the cessation of the idealization of women as those beautiful and fragrant, not only in the case of the world of super heroes, but women’s figures in general. Jones shows how to escape from physical abuse and then be stronger everyday.

 

12. Clementine – “The Walking Dead” Game

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Clementine isn’t a typical character I would put into my list. But, as a strong, leading woman, she fits perfectly. She was only 8 when she lost her parents in the zombie epidemic. Since day one with the help of other characters, she was growing up in front of gamers’ eyes to become strong, independent, dangerous young woman. When we meet her in season 3 of the game, she isn’t that sweet girl anymore. She knows how to fight, how to use the gun and – most importantly, how to use words to get what she wants.

 

11. Madison Clark – “Fear The Walking Dead”

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Madison comes from the same created universe as Clementine. A mother of two, she will do everything to protect her children during escape from zombies. The viewers see her, surrounded by male company and see immidiately who rules – Madison. But she has a way. She lets them think they are in charge. That way she can do what she thinks is right.  And mostly all of that turns out to be true.

 

10. Women from “Handsmaid’s Tale”

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Awards come from everywhere – for the show and Elizabeth Moss. Nothing surprising. The series shows how the real world might look like if people don’t do anything about t. That’s why it’s all so real. The cast of “Handmaid’s Tale” is a group of strong women who are being silenced. But they wont’t give up, oh no.

 

9. Women from “Orange is The New Black”

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People are familiar with the show that tells a story of  female inmates from Lichfield. After fifth season that was released in June, everything escalated. As I was writing in my previous post about the show, “The anger, grief after a loss of their friend and exhaustion causes a huge riot where women take hostages (all guards) and threaten not to let them go if MCC and governor don’t do what they want – better education, better treating, nicer guards and most importantly – a trial for the one who killed their friend. “. Characters show us how it’s like to fight for something important, how to make demands and destroy unequal treating.

 

8.  Women from  “Big Little Lies”

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Emmy awarded TV show is now nominated to Golden Globes. Nicole Kidman, Reese Whiterspoon, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern portrayed five amazing women, mothers and wives who will not stand still if something happens. One dark secret connects them all, but they are loyal to each other. The characters break awful stereotype created by media and film industry about female friendship – women can be friends without talking about each other behind their back. The series also touches very important subject – physical violence. One of the characters suffers from the hands of husband, but in society they are both regarded as a wonderful couple. “Big Little Lies” shows how to escape and how hard it is to do it. The creators also scold the question “Why did not she say anything earlier?”

 

7. Princess Diana – “Wonder Woman”

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Patty Jenkins freshened up very known super heroine. After the premiere of the movie, it turned out how important it was for the society, for children to see female super hero on the big screen. Gal Gadot, who portrayed Diana, was touched by how many children thanked her and told her they want to be just like Wonder Woman – not only girls.

 

6. Eleven – “Stranger Things”

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Eleven, the young character with supernatural powers portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown yet again shows the viewers how coming back to life looks like after mental and physical abuse. Eleven also finds amazing friends. She tries her best to protect them from everything. She’s just a girl, but she went through hell. Then again had to hide for a long time. She stayed strong though, because she knew her friends will need her.

 

5. Lorraine Broughton – “Atomic Blonde”

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Long expected movie with Charlize Theron as a main role turned out to be a huge success. As the spy, Charlize had to find out who is who, who betrayed agency and who is on her side. She has only one rule – don’t trust no one. She gets beat up time after time, but Lorraine gets her revenge. The fights scenes are amazing. Lorraine is strong and doesn’t give up. She wants truth and she will get it one way or another.

 

4. Aurora Luft – “X Company”

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Aurora is smart, educated and knows how to fight. She is also a leader of four different spies – men, during the World War II. She’s the first war female character that has to lead men to sabotage Germans. That is why it’s even more important. War times were hard for women, as we know from history. They were only supposed to wait for men coming from war zones. But Aurora is different. She tries her best to plan their mission and also calm down her team when it’s about arguments. She also loses her love, but she gets up and runs. She has to.

 

3. Delphine Cormier – “Ophan Black”

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The real hero, woman in love, scientist. Character portrayed by Evelyne Brochu still divides people – the ones that love her and the ones that hate her. No matter what side (although I don’t understand how not to adore her) is it, she is the savior of the clones from “Orphan Black”. She sacrifised her life to help her lover Cosima and her sister to fight the system. Delphine even took the bullet for them and dissapeared to be found on the strange island. Even there, under the watchful eyes of the creator  of Neolusion, she did everything to help in a fight for freedom. Her character also shows that love is love, no matter who. Delphine helped many young women to find their place, their sexuality in  a society.

 

2. Siobhan Mrs S. Sadler – “Orphan Black”

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The second hero of the show, mother for “chickens” Mrs S, as well as Delphine, sacrifised her life to help her daughter Sarah and her sisters to have normal life. It can be easily said – Siobhan Sadler can be identified as mother archetype. The heroine is always for her daughter, for Sarah’s sisters and her granddaughter Kira. She will not hesitate to use a weapon and kill for the family. She sacrifises her life (which still hurts to see!) for the clones to be free. For them to be who they want.

 

1. Sisters from “Orphan Black”

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Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel, Krystal and many others. 274 women genetically identical to be correct. Main clones that call themselves sisters join their forces to fight the system, to gain a freedom, to escape from creators once and for all. To be seen as people, not experiment. Women fight, they sacrifice everything for that fight, because autonomy is the most important thing to have.

The characters amazingly created by Tatiana Maslany forever influenced society and film industry. The Canadian actress, as all the clones, created manifique, special and unique female characters that were needeed in media. I think more people should watch “Orphan Black” to truly see the galaxy of women and feel the power.

Weinstein Scandal And (not only) Women Spoke Out

9th of November, 2017

Today, surprisingly, not about a new show or women in tv. Actually, it’s gonna be about women in movie industry and the scandal with Harvey Weinstein that led to another scandals and acussations. I’m writing about it, because it’s important for the movie and television industry as well as for women, not only in show business.

One of the first actresses that came out with accusation was Rose McGowan, the actress known from “Grindhouse: Planet Terror” by Rodriguez, “Charmed” and first Wes Craven’s “Scream”. She also spoke out about Ben Affleck’s words that defended Weinstein.  “I have been silenced for 20 years,” she told as I read in “New York Times”. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.” Along with McGowan, more and more movie stars decided to stop hiding and admit to the horrible, sexual harrasment of Mr. Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and many many others accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. The amount of accusations was so huge that Weinstein’s wife decided to leave him.

All the reports somehow signaled Hollywood which led to “#metoo” action started by actress and activist Alyssa Milano who speaks loudly about politic stuff on her private Twitter.

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Little did she know… Milano had no idea she would start a wave of women committing that they were abused, sexually as well as mentally. Suddenly it wasn’t only one woman. It was thousands, millions of them – actresses, singers, writers, ordinary women, women who we see everyday.

Milano showed the huge flaw that Hollywood has. Many actresses claimed that they told someone in the past. But managers told them to be quiet. This time Hollywood decided to change.

Unfortunately, “famous abuse”, how I want to call it, didn’t touch only women. Just little after Weinstein scandal, Anthony Rapp, the actor, accused “House of Cards” Kevin Spacey of sexual harrasment. Rapp claimed that Spacey acted inappropriate towards him when he was 14 years old. In response, Kevin Spacey blamed “drunken behaviour” and right after deflected the accusation by coming out as a gay man.

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His response got loud just to hit him right away. People didn’t like his response. They accused him of deflecting and hiding behind his own sexuality. Which was true.

All those situations from the past month left people whit questions. One that is mostly asked is “why didn’t they talk earlier? Why now? They just want them to talk about them.” When I hear this, I want to scream. Why? Because people don’t know how it’s like. People don’t know the movie business and the fact that actresses and actors are only puppets. Besides, everybody is their own person. Everybody has different feelings and the strength. So before someone says that again, think. Please.

I hope the whole situation with Weinstein and Spacey show not only Hollywood but also worldwide movie industry that sexual abuse is really dangerous and (unfortunately) common thing. We can fight it by speaking out. Everybody. Men and women.

(WO)MAN UP SERIES: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

17th of October, 2017

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“Fear The Walking Dead” is a post-apocalyptic TV show created by AMC Studios, Circle of Confusion and Valhalla Entertainment. Alike “The Walking Dead”, production focuses on a group of people who try to survive the epidemy of zombies. Madison, her husband Travis, their children: Alicia, Nick and Chris as well as Travis’ ex-wife Liza. They move from Los Angeles to Mexico, they do everything for survival. Characters gain new allies as well as enemies. They also lose their loved ones.

“Fear…” is more focused on relationships between people than the whole idea of zombies and, in my opinion, it’s something that attracts people. I feel like walkers are only a trigger for people to start fighting. Throughout three seasons, the wievers have a chance to see characters evolve and change. In the name of the series, I decided to focus on one of the main, two female characters: Madison Clark and her daughter Alicia who are one of the most imporant figures in the show.

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Maddie is with the viewers from the very beginning. She is like mother who leads her children through the pain, laughter and – most importantly, survival. For many reasons, Madison is very alike “Orphan Black’s” Mrs. Siobhan Sadler (I wrote about the show earlier). When she finds out that zombie apocalypse is true, she doesn’t panic, no. A woman decides to find all her family and fight for survival. Many times she is about to sacrifice herself to protect not only her family and children, but also her friends. Maybe her behaviour has a connection to what she used to do befoe zombies? Madison used to be a therapist, some sort of psychologist in high school where also Alicia attended.

She is the one who makes all tough decisions, no matter what people say. Madison doesn’t care what others think. All she wants to do is to keep everyone alive and safe. Althought she loves her children very much, she doesn’t treat them like that. When Nick, her son wants to leave on his own, she lets him. The same goes with her husband and his son. In my opinion,  Madison is the embodiment of a strong, modern-day female warrior. It even comes to her opposing the army and threatening to kill one of soldiers just to get out of danger. And the danger doesn’t come from the walkers, but from the mortals.

Madison is only a human, of course, and sometimes even her loses it. But then she can calm down without doing anything stupid and I think it’s a great quality. The woman breaks a stereotype of weak, unstable female character in a war. She doesn’t need a saviour. She is a saviour. She doesn’t let anybody lead her. She’s the one who leads.

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Her daughter, Alicia, is really alike her mother. She’s young, around 18 years old. Although her age, she is mature enough to take a lead when Madison leaves to look for water and supplies. Alicia, young woman, has to make tough decisions that lead to either death or survival of people on the Ranch (their temporary home). That one situation defiens her, makes her stronger, but also makes her realize that nothing might change. That apocalypse is permanent and they might never have a normal house ever again.

When the viewers meet Alicia, she seems like a spoiled brat, always on her phone and listening to her music. She only cares about finding her high school boyfriend. But once the apocalypse starts, fans have a chance to see a new face of female character – strong, caring about her family etc.

It’s really important for female fans all over the world to see how mother-daughter relationship works here. When Madison is not in charge, she gives Alicia that chance. The viewers can see what zombie apocalypse does to Alicia. She’s not only more mature, she has to grow up faster and become her mom’s partner. But all of that has a price. Alicia seems to lose all hope for the future. Episode after episode her flame goes out. And she has to do something about it.

Besides Madison and Alicia, there is also Ofelia and Liza. But the first two are the ones who the viewers know from the very beginning. They show that women can be very strong, even in the most dangerous life situation. They also can unite if they have to, without any agruments or grudges.

The viewers had a chance to see two hours’ season finale previous Sunday. Hopefully, we will soon see what’s gonna happen with Madison and others as the creators left us with a huge cliffhanger.

“(Wo)man Up” Series: Orphan Black

10th of August, 2017

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Eurythmics once sang along with Aretha Franklin those lines: Sisters are doing it for themselves. Standing on their own two feet. And ringing on their own bells. There are no better words to describe “clones-sisters” from Orphan Black – BBC America production created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett. The viewers will have a pleasure (or sadness and pleasure, because production is one of the best ones) to see the last, finale episode Saturday, at 10 on BBC America channel. That is why Orphan Black will do the honour to begin new (Wo)man Up Series, where I write about women in tv shows and movies (once a week – different production).

Orphan Black is, without doubt, one of the best, the smartest, the most dynamic production people have ever seen. There is action, mystery and incredible chemistry between characters. All those qualities together gave me a thrill I never felt before. Tatiana Maslany, the main actress playing ALL(sic!) clones, is one of the most talented artist entertainment industry had ever seen – no doubt! She played almost 30 or more clones in the show. With the help of Katherine Alexandre – her double stunt – she created a group of amazing, independent, sometimes funny women who are not afraid to stand up and fight for their rights even if it means sacrifise. Oh, there was a lot of sacrifise. Fifth finale season gave fans one of the most brutnal clone death – MK, quiet clone, Helsinki survivor who was helping others. After the episode, Internet literally broke. People were grieving after MK’s death. That only proves how much of a talent Maslany really is: I try to get roles that challenge me in what I can do and who I think I can portray. For me, it’s about creating characters with really fascinating stories, because that’s what I like to watch on TV, said Maslany in one of many interviews.  Every one of Tatiana’s characters had beautiful, often sad story and the acress showed that without any fail.

Throughout all five seasons, the clones, which the audience had the best chance to get to meet Sarah Manning, Cosima Niehaus, Alison Hendrix, Helena and Rachel Duncan. Each of them, together, and also separately have shown that feminine solidarity is one of the most powerful things in the world. Each one is different, has a different way of being, different experiences – Sarah Manning is lost woman with daughter who wants to find her way in life, Cosima Niehaus is a smart scientist, trying to find a love she deserves. Alison Hendrix is not-so-typical soccer mom of two and suspects her husband is her monitor.  Helena is an Ukrainian orphan, Sarah’s real twin, trained to kill others. In her example, you can observe how difficult it is to free yourself from the mental abuse. Helena was raised by Prolethians, the group of dangerous people. Trained, tortured, raised without love, the character is a perfect example of a person, of a woman who survived and wants a change of her life.

 

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Rachel Duncan is a contrast of her sisters. Raised by Neolutionists – the creators of clones, she was being prepared to take over responsibilities of her guardian, Aldous. In many moments, Rachel resembles Helena. Although both women were raised differently, there is a certain kind of abuse that, in both cases, is similar. But the two characters show that you can get out of the oppression and after a lot of hard work, try to live normally.

Although sisters and Rachel Duncan are on opposite sides, there is day when they all have to unite to defend even more powerful villain – the founder of Neolution, PT Westmoreland who claims to be over 100 years old. Orphan Black has come to a point where there is, really is a man behind the curtain. There is a problem of patriarchy, still fresh and present  in modern world. Although PT tries to control women’s bodies, sisters, Siobhan – Sarah’s mother and Delphine along with Felix and Adele do everything they can to defy him. The time finally had come to show how strong and independed women can be to gain their rights and autonomy.

To defeat the enemy, Cosima Niehaus along with Delphine Cormier, her monitor and partner in life, and Scott, has to explore Neolutionism and work on clones’ advancing diseanse that touches her personally, too. Cosima reflects knowledge in Orphan Black, as well as his own sexuality. The scientist demonstrates that being scientifically gifted is not a graph of being so-called. geek. Cosima and Delphine (Cophine) helped many young women deal with their own sexuality. And if the series can positively affect the change in the public, it can only testify to the greatness and freshness of production.

Sarah Manning and Alison Hendrix, although so very different, they seem to be so similar. Sarah Manning is bravado, which sometimes ends up really bad. Alison seems to be like that too. A woman often makes decisions based on emotions. Both sisters have a problem with the abuse of alcohol. Both have children. Sarah Manning has a daughter, Alison has two adopted children – boy and a girl. In spite of this, Alison seems to be happier, giving the audience a laugh and a respite. Sarah, on the other hand, introduces powerful, often darker emotions.

Sisters show they can fight but they couldn’t handle everything without help of Delphine Cormier, Siobhan “Mrs. S.” Sadler, Felix Dawkins- Sarah’s brother and Adele, his biological sister. We also cannot forget about Art – police detective.

Delphine Cormier had come a long way into Clone Club to be finally trusted yet there are still some people who don’t truly believe her. But, to be honest, there is nothing to believe in or not believe in anymore. Delphine had been welcomed in clone family for good. Evelyne Brochu, playing the rold of the blonde scientist said: Women can’t only be the person only there to french kiss the hero after he’s won the game or won the war. Women are half of humanity. They’re part of history. Brochu proves that in her role. Delphine’s specialty is immunology, whose heroine devotes essentially all her life. Doctor, whose home country is France, is assigned the role of monitor. Delphine shows viewers the world of science and technology, which is extremely important in Canadian production, but not only, because the viewer has a chance to watch the heroine through the deeper relationship with Cosima that suddenly turns into love.

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In all its complexity, the image of Delphine’s world, however, creates some coherence. Spectators have the opportunity to watch her: her climbing the ranks of the career and the gradation of feelings that character reveals to the audience season-after-season. She is an employee first and answers before Leekie and then takes his place. Delphine becomes director of the institute and has to make decisions that affect not only her and her relationship with Cosima but also with her lover’s sisters. Delphine Cormier proves in every season of production that she will do everything to be a good boss and an effective caregiver. Despite the discrimination of the Cosima’s sisters, she still tries to do everything for them. The doctor proves to viewers thinking that her relationship with Cosima is ephemeral and not important, that it is an illusion. Delphine also shows that she is a much better boss than her predecessor. Delphine Cormier is the defition of a strong woman who will do anything for love and truth. mrs s ssssSiobhan Sadler keeps her pace with one exception. Not only does she prove the power of women, but also shows how tough and important it is to be a mother. Mrs. S adpoted Sarah and Felix when they were kids, had to handle all their behaviours, then Sarah’s dissapearens. She had to take care of Kira, Sarah’s daughter. But she did all of it in the name of love. Siobhan is the shadow of her family through all seasons of production. A woman cares for their well-being and takes care of them. Even when it comes to tragedy and the woman loses her mother who turned out to be a clone original – she still stands with her loved ones. Siobhan along with Felix, Delphine and Adele, destroy the Neolution. Siobhan, even for the price of her life, will not let their chickens to be killed. She sacrifises herself which is one of the most powerful, most heartbreaking scenes in Orphan Black. 

 

 

Tatiana Maslany said once: I feel so lucky to be in a show that puts women at the center. And this is true. Production proves that women can be strong and fight for what’s good for them. As Felix said in episode eight, season five – To galaxy of women!