Orphan Black, S4 Ep10, From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths

Sarah and Rachel

With the recent announcement that Orphan Black has been renewed for a fifth and final season, we now know that Clone Club’s days are numbered. Unlike the past two finales, which included moments of calm levity before the storm (such as the dance party, and big group dinner scene), the season four finale kept the tension and stakes high all the way though.

RachelTurns out I was on the right track when I had little faith in Rachel last episode. Although she did briefly work with her sestras to expose Evie Cho, it’s only because Rachel wants to lead Neolution herself. The Neolution board kills Evie when they decide she’s no longer of any use to them (by activating the kill switch in her robot maggot – taken down by her own tech), and Rachel is quick to step up into the open position. “Evie had no baseline, and Susan has no balls,” Rachel says to the board, “So let’s talk clones, shall we?”

Speaking of Susan, she and Cosima have finally found the cure to the Leda disease. But Susan doesn’t really care about the cure itself, and wants to use their discovery to restart human cloning. When Cosima confronts Susan about her true intentions, Susan locks Cosima in a room so she can’t interfere in the lab.

Sarah suspects that something’s up when Cosima suddenly goes dark, and help comes surprisingly from Krystal – she recognized Van Leer on TV as the man who saved Delphine after she was shot. (Krystal’s complete denial that she and Sarah are clones, let alone look anything alike, was probably my favorite part of the episode.) When Sarah traps Van Leer and presses him for information, he says he was just following orders when he saved Delphine – and those orders did not come from Evie. He also reveals that Rachel has reconvened the board without Susan.

SarahWith Rachel already on her way to the island, Sarah decides to go after her, alone. The Hendrixes are hiding in the woods with Helena, and I was disappointed with how little any of them had to do in the finale. An ongoing issue I’ve had with Orphan Black is how little Alison’s storylines generally connect with the others, and sadly that continued this season. And I was hoping for something big with Helena once she finally returned from her multi-episode absence this year, but after coming to the rescue of the Hendrixes last week, she returned to the background for the finale. I understand that Sarah is the protagonist, but it still feels off to me to have their storylines so unevenly balanced.

Anyway, stuff gets crazy on the island. To fully secure her position as new head of Neolution, Rachel attacks and stabs Susan, and steals the cell line research with the Leda cure. When Sarah arrives, Rachel knocks her over and stabs her in the leg – and was ready to do much worse, if it wasn’t for Susan interrupting with a gun. Sarah was able to escape, only to end up weak and bleeding along the shore. Her call to S for help only reveals further complications, as Ferdinand has both S and Kira held at gunpoint.

Cosima and DelphineCosima and Charlotte were able to escape the mad house, but are soon lost in the cold as they try to navigate across the island. They stop to sit and rest, and are found by the same old man that Rachel was seeing in her visions. He leads them to a campsite, where Cosima is at long last reunited with Delphine. Even better, Cosima grabbed part of the cure before she left the house, so her days of coughing up blood should finally be coming to an end. (Hopefully she has enough to cure Charlotte too?)

The episode ends with Rachel video calling the board, assuring them “its’s done, the science is secure.” In return, she’s told Westmoreland will see her now – and then her doorbell rings. Because yes, turns out the guy who founded Neolution is somehow still alive, and he’s the one who was sending messages to Rachel through her eye, that he built himself.

I’m finding it hard to say exactly why, but for some reason this season just didn’t hook me as much as the previous seasons have. Seeing the robot maggot for the first time in the season 3 finale – although we had no idea what it was at the time – still stands out as one of the biggest what-is-going-on?!? moments in the whole series for me, so I’m disappointed that this season that explored them somehow fell short. Hopefully Orphan Black will come back strong next year to say goodbye on a higher note.