Cosima Niehaus/Delphine Cormier

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Pairing: Cosima Niehaus/Delphine Cormier
Alternative name(s): Cophine, Science Girlfriends
Gender category: Femslash, f/f
Fandom: Orphan Black
Canonical?: canon
Prevalence: popular
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Cosima/Delphine is a popular femslash pairing in the Orphan Black fandom.


Cosima Niehaus is the laid-back geeky stoner with west coast roots who is delightfully genuine. Once a PhD student in Experimental Evolutionary Developmental Biology, she dropped out to study the female clones’ biology. But the congenital respiratory illness that has killed other clones continues to threaten her life. Her former lover and lab partner, Delphine Cormier, sought to protect and help Cosima and her sisters, but her abrupt disappearance has Cosima in a constant state of anguish. With her health in decline, and her fear increasing, she becomes obsessively driven to discover a cure and save her sisters from what appears to be their collective fate.[1]
Delphine is a French expat and brilliant Dyad doctor and scientist, who first appeared as Cosima’s monitor. But after getting close to her, Delphine fell hard and the two began a complicated affair that blossomed into genuine and heartfelt love. As their relationship deepened, Delphine proved herself to be a steadfast support to her ailing lover. But an unintended betrayal and deployment to Dyad’s German office put the “Co-Phine” relationship on the rocks.[2]


Cosima/Delphine is one of the most popular pairing on Orphan Black. It is often given the smushname Cophine or the descriptive nickname Science Girlfriends.

Around the season 3 finale there was some discussion as to if Orphan Black, and it handling of Cosima/Delphine, had fallen into the Bury Your Gays trope. A round table discussion at Autostraddle also bought up the topic:

[...] I don’t think her death was justified. I don’t think it served much of a purpose other than to be a cliffhanger and to get rid of Evelyne Brochu’s character. So, yeah. I totally think it falls into the Kill Your Gays trope, more-so because the Delphine/Cosima relationship canon drew in so many queer viewers. The writers messed with viewers on Twitter about it, too, in saying that Cophine would be even more of a thing by the end of the season. IS THIS IS WHAT YOU MEANT, WRITERS?

But on a more chill, reasonable, totally not emotionally attached to fictional characters level: From what I understand, they couldn’t book Evelyne Brochu for season four because of scheduling conflicts because I guess she got a title role in another show NBD. Regardless. I hold out hope for Delphine’s return. That was NOT a fatal shot. No body, no confirmed death. That’s what I’ve learned from TV.

Heather: I think the show (purposefully, systematically) did everything right about killing Delphine. They let her go out as a hero who proved her love to Cosima after beating some asses and getting real gross with Rachel’s empty eye-socket. They killed Paul, the handsome straight white guy, who was really her counterpart in every way, in terms of love interests on the show. And they brought in another queer character, which felt like an acknowledgment that the writers know queer representation matters, and a promise that they aren’t going to sideline Cosima’s sexuality because Delphine is gone.[3]

Come season 4, this issue was sidestepped as it was shown that Delphine had not in fact been killed, much to fans celebration.

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