Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 4: “From Instinct to Rational Control”

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 4: “From Instinct to Rational Control”
Grade: A-

The fourth episode of season four, “From Instinct to Rational Control,” had some intense moments and even hilarious moments, blending perfectly to make another classic episode of Orphan Black.

While Sarah decides to ally with Ferdinand and trust her new friend Dizzy to help her out with some Clone Club stuff (like finding MK), Alison has Felix and Donnie pose as a couple at a fertility clinic that Beth had been investigating—and learn that there’s a mainstream fertility reproductive company called Brightborn, headed by Evie Cho, a colleague of Dr. Leekie who we saw in episode one with Beth. Helena, after Donnie tells her that it may be hard for Alison to see her pregnant when she couldn’t ever be, ditches the Hendrix’s and her eggs buried in the yard. Cosima and Scott get the disgusting head of Leekie to study the worm-bot in his cheek and learn what it’s for—which, we learn, is to somehow change the person’s DNA. MK takes her revenge for Helsinki on Ferdinand, but he’s spared by Sarah and Mrs S. while MK gets him to give her a large sum of money—for what, we don’t know. Meanwhile, Rachel is forced to make a decision about the young Leda clone, Charlotte, and her illness.

Overall, a fantastic, intense, hilarious episode that had me laughing at Alison and Donnie’s phone sex scene and then crying at MK’s heartbreaking story of what happened to her and her best friend Nikki, another Leda clone. “From Instinct to Rational Control” is an instant classic Orphan Black episode.


HIGHLIGHTS

Phone sex, Hendrix style,
was probably one of the funniest scenes Orphan Black has done in a while. The entire storyline of Alison having Felix and Donnie pose as a gay couple wanting to have a baby was just as great. The entire episode was made better by this subplot that just worked to both be hilarious and furthering the main story along brilliantly.

MK’s revenge
on Ferdinand near the end of the episode for killing the clones in Helsinki (MK’s best friend included) was intense to a point where I wasn’t sure what was really going to happen, if he’d survive or not, if MK would be as ruthless as she was acting. The entire scene unfolded into one of the most memorable Orphan Black moments.

LOWLIGHTS

Rachel’s scenes
are getting a little tiresome. I’m not sure what they have planned for her and Susan Duncan and Ira and Charlotte, but it’s going a little slowly. I think including them so much in the last few episodes is a little unnecessary. Their scenes could’ve been condensed to be included into one episode, to be honest.

(NOTE: I’ve been behind on the last several episodes of Orphan Black after a busy month—I’m just starting to catch up!)

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Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 3: “The Stigmata of Progress”

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 3: “The Stigmata of Progress”
Grade: A-

With the third episode of the fourth season, “The Stigmata of Progress” continues to follow the new refocusing on the show with the Neolutionists and their weird tech-worm-maggot-bot that latches on in the inside of the cheek by the jaw to either extract or insert something into the host. With Sarah having one inside her, she goes on a journey to search for a way to get it out without it killing her while Alison attempts to help Cosima learn more about it. Meanwhile, something strange is going on with Kira—she’s dazing out and having strange visions that frighten her.

Sarah returns to the guy who’d showed her the video, thinking she was M.K. to return his phone and ask for help to get it out. This leads her to a dentist’s office that specializes in implants where a woman who works there recognizes her as Beth. She tells the woman that she has one of the worms in her jaw and asks for the woman to remove it. Meanwhile, in order for Cosima to know more about them and study the worms, Alison and Donnie dig up the body of Dr. Leekie from under their garage to get the worm likely inside of him. As they dig, the police show up to question Allison for the murdered drug dealers Helena had killed in the previous season, forcing Helena to pretend to be her—she just barely is able to give them enough info to get them to leave.

Meanwhile, Felix hangs out with his new-to-him biological half-sister and Mrs. S goes to meet with a friend who can help with the worm in Sarah’s jaw, but is instead found by Ferdinand. As the woman has Sarah frozen in fear of moving as the woman has “pierced the worm” and calls for the Neolutionists, Ferdinand arrives, slitting the woman’s throat and taking Sarah with him.

All the while, we’re given scenes of Rachel recovering in a remote place where she’s trapped inside, with only her younger clone Charlotte as company—with occasional visits from her mother—and the Castor clone Ira as her doctor, giving her treatments for her new bionic eye and helping her regain control to be able to walk again. Since she knows Charlotte—who was cloned directly from Rachel and seems to have the respiratory disease already—can use the internet, she secretly has her send out a message.


HIGHLIGHTS

Rachel with an eyepatch,
I repeat, Rachel with an eyepatch. I’ve wanted for two seasons for Rachel with an eyepatch and this moment didn’t disappoint. I really, honestly hope that it takes longer to recover so we see her as more of a villain with an eyepatch—either way, it’s white and perfect. Her scenes with the young clone Charlotte, Ira—the Castor clone who is self-aware, raised by the Neolutionists instead of the military—and her mother were fantastic.

Hendrix family murder club
is still my favorite thing. Alison and Donnie digging up Dr. Leekie’s body to find out if he had a bio-worm thing in his cheek was hilarious and disgusting. Coupled with Helena posing as Alison, who is being investigated in the murders of the drug dealers Helena killed last season—so good.

MID-TONES

Felix looking for his family
was something I was looking forward to, but they sort of just skipped to the part where he found them—we meet his biological half-sister. I wish they’d shown more of him searching for them instead of just meeting her right away. It would have given Felix a lot to work with. Not sure where they’re going with this now that we’ve met his sister now.

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 2: “Transgressive Border Crossing”

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 2: “Transgressive Border Crossing”
Grade: A

The second episode of the fourth season, “Transgressive Border Crossing,” starts where we left off in the last episode with Sarah escaping Iceland with Kira, Mrs. S, and Kendall, as M.K. had warned them that the Neolutionists know where they are and are coming. Back home, they meet up with Cosima and Scott in the basement of a comic book store and make a plan.

Sarah, with the help of Art, searches Beth and Paul’s apartment for anything they can find on what Beth was investigating the Neolutionists for, and they find the camera she’d hid to watch Paul. After watching it, they see the pregnant Neolutionist girl Beth had helped the boyfriend of in the previous episode, going back to the club Neolution with Felix—who’s feeling distant from Sarah and the others, learning that he’s the only one out of their foster family who isn’t actually related, and having decided to search for his bio-family—and learn about the body-mod worms the Neolutionists have in their cheeks from a guy who’s meeting M.K, thinking Sarah is her. After he shows a video of the worms killing the host after it’s attempted to take it out, he realizes that it’s not M.K. and Sarah steals his phone to meet up with her.

After (sort of) meeting in a laundry mat—M.K. talking about the last time she saw Beth (with a gun, panicked with blood on her hands, wearing the same thing she was when she killed herself in episode one) on the phone while watching Sarah via a security camera—two of the Neolutionists posing as paramedics attack her and check her mouth for a worm. Sarah returns and has Mrs. S check with a flashlight, as she’d been held by the Neolutionists, and in her cheek is one of the worms. Meanwhile, Cosima is getting worse while she and Scott try to use Kendall’s DNA to create a cure for her illness. Helena goes to the doctor with Donnie, pretending to be Allison because of insurance, and learns she’s having twins.

Overall, a fantastic episode. I’m intrigued about the body-mod worms and what they’re for and what it means for Sarah—and likely Kira—having one in their cheek. And I’m excited for Felix to have his own story, to explore his parentage and where he comes from now that he knows that everyone else in his foster family is related to each other and he’s left out. But most of all, I’m thrilled with Beth’s inclusion this season—even as heartbreaking as it is—and loved seeing the moment saying goodbye to M.K. just before going off to commit suicide, which we saw in episode one. It became full-circle and worked so well for the episode and the season. I love where they’re going with the show this season and I can’t wait for more!


HIGHLIGHTS

Felix’s new storyline
of finding his parentage and dealing with being isolated from his family, who he just found out is all related to one another. I’m glad that they’re giving Felix a larger story to work with instead of just helping out his sisters along the way, but being active in doing his own thing. And I’m excited to see where they go with it.

Helena is having twins
just like she and Sarah, which made me cry. That weird bond they have is incredible—coming from a point of literally wanting to, and attempting to, kill each other for the first season and a half—and I loved the moment with Donnie in the hospital during the ultrasound.

Beth
is still involved in this episode, Sarah and Art finding the camera she’d put in the apartment to watch Paul, and in a few flashbacks. Seeing the final moment between her and M.K. after she took a gun out while wearing a wig and came back with blood on her hands—who did she kill???—and realizing that it was just before going to the station to jump in front of the train was heartbreaking. Beth’s story is heartbreaking.

LOWLIGHTS

Where is everyone
else while all of this is going on? I miss them. We know Delphine is dead (awful, horrible, sad) but what about the characters we had last season? Where are the Castor clones? Where’s Rachel? Are we going to get more Chrystal? I hope we do. I think part of Orphan Black’s problem with the last season was that there were just so many characters, and now they can’t even fit them all in an episode—but I’m glad they’re sort of rebooting the series with Beth’s story and getting back to the Neolutionists, which will really help with all the confusion/too many characters. Even if they’re adding M.K.—she’s cool, so I’m fine with that.

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 1: “The Collapse of Nature”

Orphan Black – Season 4, Episode 1: “The Collapse of Nature”
Grade: A+

The return of Orphan Black—in more ways than one—was the highlight of my week. Season four started off with an insane, mind-blowing episode that helped bring Orphan Black to the start again, connecting some dots, and letting us finally meet Beth, the suicidal clone that started it all. “The Collapse of Nature” brings back the Neolutionists, introduces a new clone—that’s been there all along?—and kicks off the sure to be crazy new season—with the first episode being one, long flashback. My favorite show is back!

With the first episode, it’s all about Beth Childs, the first clone of Sarah’s that she and we ever saw, way back in episode one, who killed herself before we could even learn anything about her, starting off the series. In one long flashback, Beth receives a tip about a dead body being buried in the woods by a new-to-us clone M.K. The body turns out to be a Neolutionist with his cheek removed and Beth starts to uncover the mystery behind them—we see Dr. Leekie and Olivier again—and she knew far more than previously thought. She speaks with M.K, a hacker who seems to know much more about everything than the others, giving Beth information to help, but she didn’t want Cosima, Katja, or Allison to know about her yet.

Beth’s struggle with her addiction is prevalent throughout as she starts to unravel—Allison gives her pills and a bottle of her daughter’s urine—but she’s kicked off the case, using the urine for her drug test to pass. After fighting with Paul, she sleeps with Art—explaining his connection to her reaching far more than partner and friend—and is called to help one of the Neolutionists from the club find her boyfriend. After taking some drug, he finds him having something taken out of his cheek, a bug similar to the one Delphine had found in Nealon’s mouth by a couple who had buried the other body and a cop that had worked with Beth. She’s found out and chased by the cop, high and running through the alley, she sees Maggie Chen and shoots without thinking. Art comes and helps her cover it up, putting the phone in Chen’s hand to create the story we know from the first season.

Later, back in the present, Art calls Sarah and hands the phone over to M.K. who tells Sarah that she needs to leave Iceland where they were keeping the original, Mrs. S’s mother Kendall, as the Neolutionists know where they are and they’re coming for Kendall. Sarah looks out the window and sees lights heading their way.

Overall, this episode is one of Orphan Black’s best. I agree with what’s being said that it’s brought the show back to its roots, bringing it back to the beginning since the last season had such a heavy, confusing storyline. Although I’ve loved every minute of Orphan Black as a whole, watching this episode made me feel like I had watching the first season—excited and obsessive and in love with this show like I forgot I had been without realizing it.


HIGHLIGHTS

Beth’s story
is heartbreaking and I’ve wanted to know more about her, know what she knew, why she killed herself, anything. This episode was incredible and it finally showed the days leading to Beth’s death, what happened with Maggie Chen, and her relationships with both Paul and Art. Using the entire episode as a flashback was bold and it worked so so so well.

New clone M.K.
is awesome. I always love a new clone and I’m thrilled with her addition to the show. The fact that she knows so much makes me believe that we’ll finally start to get more answers than mystery. And bringing in M.K, using her as sort of a bridge to connect Beth’s past and the future of the show is genius.

Seeing other characters
throughout was fun. Felix being in the police station for a minute, nearly seeing Beth; Dr. Leekie and Olivier (and his tail); Paul and Beth, always being a fascinating dynamic to me; and Cosima and Allison on the phone with Beth. Those moments made it connect more to the present while we learned more about Beth.

LOWLIGHTS

Umm…
I don’t have any. It was a really great episode. The best episode. My new favorite episode.