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11 Times 'Orphan Black' Broke Gender Stereotypes So Bad It Hurt

...And keeps breaking them.

Orphan Black” is the best sci-fi show on TV, and if you’re not watching it, then you’re missing out. The twists and turns, ups and downs and ins and outs of the lives of the Project Leda clones have been pulling viewers in for three seasons now, and with the season finale airing June 20, you just know that things are going to get even more messed up.

While the show’s twisty plot and wonderful acting (Tatiana Maslany is a literal goddess) are worth celebrating on their own, the show also has another defining feature: it is one of the only sci-fi shows out there that stars primarily female main characters.

Sure, most of them are played by the same person, but that doesn’t change the fact that the show is constantly sending out awesome feminist messages. Here's 11 times "Orphan Black" said "no, thanks" to gender stereotypes.

  1. From the very first episode, "Orphan Black" was committed to showing strong, independent women.
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    Sarah’s con-woman antics get her in trouble right from the start, but, in every situation she’s thrown into, she takes action and uses her smarts to keep herself safe, instead of waiting for someone else to come rescue her.

  2. As the other diverse clones were introduced, we found out that they were pretty bad ass too.
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    The clones each have their own unique backstories that they bring to the table. Even though they’re all genetic identicals, the clones of "Orphan Black" show more depth and variation than most female characters are given, even on a non-clone show.

  3. There’s Cosima, the brains of the operation…
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    Not willing to just be shoehorned into the role of scientific exposition-giver, Cosima is also an out-and-proud lesbian who is crazy good at board games.

  4. Alison, the hot (but awesome) mess…
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    This school trustee candidate (#VoteAlisonHendrix, because no one likes Marci Coates) may have some flaws, but she certainly knows how to command a room. Also, can we just talk about the fact that Donnie took her last name instead of the other way around? That's relationship goals, right there.

  5. Helena, who may be mentally unstable, but is still adorable...
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    Her love for food, her babies and her sestras inspires us all.

  6. Rachel, the HBIC...
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    Even after getting a pencil through the eye, Rachel never stops scheming. Girl knows what she wants, and she's going to get it.

  7. Preppy Krystal, who better survive the finale or so help me...
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    No character has ever endeared herself to me as quickly as Krystal. Introduced at first as a stereotypical airhead blonde, Krystal quickly evolved through the course of just one conversation into a smart, nuanced character who the audience could really identify with. PLEASE DON'T KILL HER, WRITERS.

  8. And so many more clones, both already introduced and yet to be discovered.
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    Including transgender clone Tony, who has yet to make an appearance since his season two introduction (but we can hope).

  9. The non-clone women are also super cool.
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    Delphine, Cosima's former girlfriend, has really been killing it this season (maybe literally? sorry, Shay), and Mrs. S -- Sarah's foster mother -- is always wonderful, especially when she's kicking butt and singing karaoke. Even Kira (Sarah's daughter) has shown some kick-ass street smarts when she has to.

  10. They each have their flaws.
    BBC America

    As Hannah Montana would say, nobody’s perfect, and "Orphan Black" is very aware of that. Through exploring each woman’s flaws as well as their strengths, the show is creating fully fleshed out characters who are made up of the same complexities as real women.

  11. But they’re still fiercely protective of each other.
    BBC America

    When it really comes down to it, “Orphan Black” is a show about family. A weird, crazy, messed up family, but family none the less. And family protects each other, no matter what. Right, sestras?