Orphan Black, S4 Ep 6, The Scandal of Altruism


After a slow start to the season that picked up last week, Orphan Black continued with a tense episode that led to some big revelations and a major death.

Cosima and Sarah decide that the best way forward at this point is to hand over Kendall’s genetic material to Susan. Susan gets what she wants and can restart human cloning, she’ll help them remove the maggot from Sarah, and will collaborate with Cosima to find a cure for the Leda clones. Sarah makes the call that they won’t tell S. about it until everything is set up, seeing as “it’s not her life.” It is her mom, though…

Kendall ends up being the one to tell S. the plan, revealing along the way that she has leukemia. And that can actually help them, since they don’t want to hand over the Castor pathogen along with the Leda material – by looking at which cells the leukemia is attacking, they can separate the Castor from the Leda, and only give Susan Leda cells. I rewatched the explanation a couple of times, and I’m still not 100% sure how that works, but I’m just gonna trust Cosima. It’s not a surprise that S. is against the plan, believing it puts them all at risk, and is angry at Sarah for setting it up behind her back.

Cosima and SarahAs part of the deal, Cosima makes a copy of all of her and Scott’s research to hand over to Susan. Then Sarah and Cosima go to Brightborn to have Sarah’s robot maggot removed while S., Kendall, Scott, and Susan all meet at Felix’s to take the samples from Kendall. Sarah’s extraction hits a snag in the middle but ends up being successful, and then she’s off to meet the others at Felix’s loft, while Cosima stays behind to wait at Brightborn with Evie until the samples are handed over to Susan.

Once Scott has the samples he needs from Kendall at the loft, Kendall and her driver leave. But when Sarah arrives, she finds blood and a cigarette box on the ground outside. Rushing inside, she destroys the 52 Leda cells that Scott had prepared, and tells them Kendall’s been taken. They blindfold Susan and take her to the safe house, while Susan maintains that she had nothing to do with Kendall’s abduction. Susan was about to get the Leda cells she wanted, and would have had nothing to gain by taking Kendall – but Ira, who had been counting on Susan using the Castor material from Kendall to make a cure for him, would have motive.

But nope, they find Ira OD’d in a bathtub, so that’s a dead end. A phone call from Scott gives them the last piece of the puzzle they need – a Trojan is invading their system and deleting everything, and it must have come from Brightborn’s hard drive. The person behind this doesn’t care about the genome, and simply wants Leda destroyed: Evie Cho.

Duko had taken Kendall at Evie’s instructions, and Evie brought Cosima out to meet them at some isolated location. Evie was angry that Susan was too busy with her clones to pay attention to Evie’s evolving technology, which she believes is vastly superior (“Clones are obsolete. You’re beta-max.”) Now that Evie has confirmed that all of Kendall’s samples have been destroyed, all that’s left to get rid of is Kendall herself.

Cosima and Kendall get a brief moment for an emotional goodbye (“Tell Siobann she’s done right. Always. And tell your sisters I’m proud to have been part of them all.”), and then Cosima turns around as Duko shoots Kendall and then starts a fire that engulfs her body. Evie then delivers a final blow, informing Cosima that Delphine was shot dead in a parking garage. She instructs Cosima to tell Susan the original is dead, and tell Sarah it’s over, “Or Beth died for nothing.”

And yes, this week we finally learn what exactly led Beth to step in front of that train. When she had left her apartment in the blonde wig, it was to sneak into an event where she could corner and kill Susan, intent on ending Neolution. But at the moment of truth, with her gun against Susan’s head, Susan insists that she loves the clones, she’s worked her whole life to protect them, and if Beth kills her, the new leader that takes her place will be worse.

Beth realizes she was set up, and lets Susan live to confront Evie instead. Evie tells Beth that she knows too much now, and if she runs Neolution will come after her family and sisters. “You want to save the people you love?” Evie asks her. “Use that gun on yourself.” After beating Evie’s face to a bloody mess – only stopping when Duko arrives – Beth leaves, and the last shot we see is of her walking into the train station. Finally seeing what specifically pushed Beth to make that decision, and how much her priority was to protect those around her until the very end, made me feel more for her than I think anything else has until now.

Felix and KrystalAnd lastly, Krystal showed up at Art’s police station asking for protective custody from Brightborn and Dyad. Art calls Sarah for advice, and Sarah says she’ll have Felix call Art, as he has a way with Krystal. (I wish we’d seen the call between Sarah and Felix, considering how things were left between them last episode – are things better now?) Felix meets Art and Krystal at Art’s apartment, posing as “Inspector” Dawkins, which leads into one of my favorite exchanges from the episode:  “He’s a cop. From London.” “You said Scotland.” “Okay, that’s as far as that’s gonna go.”

Kystal panics and hits poor Felix with mace, but once things calm down, Felix tells Krystal she’s absolutely right about the stem cell research. While the case is still open, though, she needs to live her life normally, so they won’t know they’re onto them. Krystal rambles about accidentally injuring people recently, including “that French doctor at the Dyad,” prompting Felix to ask if it was Delphine. When pressed for more information, Kystral apologizes, saying, “I saw her get shot. I saw everything.” Despite what Evie later tells Cosima, the fact that we don’t actually hear from Krystal what “everything” is makes me think there’s still more to the story.

I’m a little surprised at how much became resolved in a way this week, with Sarah finally free from the robot maggot, showing Beth’s final hours, and the reveal of Evie as the (apparent) main evil opponent for the season. Still, with four episodes left, I’m sure there are many more twists yet to come. Let us know what you thought in the comments!