Orphan Black: 408-409 Review
Reviewed by Connor Johnston.
With the past day seeing the announcement that Orphan Black will return next year for a fifth and final season; and the season four finale having aired in the US, this is one exciting time for fans of the show. It has been an incredibly eventful two weeks leading up to this point, so join me today in recapping and reviewing the latest two episodes: “The Redesign of Natural Objects” and “The Mitigation of Competition”.
This week it is Alison who faced the emotional weight of the episodes. With Donnie’s life on the line in prison and her relationship with her sisters on the life due to Duko’s impossible requests, Alison almost breaks down completely before deciding to lead the corrupt detective into a trap and not falter under his gaze. The stress of the situation led to Allison both challenging her faith and craving an escape and the family decide a holiday is in order – which is quickly interrupted by Brightborn henchman Frank. He hogties Donnie and threatens to put a first-generation face maggot in Alison’s cheek unless she tells him what happened to Duko. He counts to 10, but instead of answering, Alison prays in earnest. Just as the countdown ends, her prayers are answered as she’s rescued by Helena, whose return this episode makes for one of the most entertaining and rewarding scenes of the series. Back from her “peaceful escape” and very pregnant, it’s a great relief that Helena has returned in time for the finale – possibly even to give birth?
Sarah, Rachel and Cosima’s storylines all merge into one this week as Cosima trades places with Rachel on the island, armed with Sarah’s Castor-fertilised eggs and the hope to finally find a cure to the disease threatening the entire family. As she continues to work with Susan Duncan, one can’t help but notice a slight admiration that exists between the pair – though as Cosima makes clear throughout most of episode 9, this is not a factor that dilutes or forgives the disgust she holds for some of Susan’s more questionable choices. Doing most of the groundwork as per usual, Sarah teams up with Art again this week in order to track down two women who escaped from the Brightborn maternity lab. Motivated by a thirst for revenge and a rekindled sense of authority, Rachel hijacks the operation in order to bring down Evie Cho indefinitely – but has to fool all around her into believing she’s double crossing them to achieve it. As the unlikely pair continue to work together, the dynamic between Sarah and Rachel continues to be one of this season’s latter half’s best asset.
Back in Sarah’s good books, Felix continues to feel the strain of trying to have a life with Adele separate from the chaos of Clone Club. Felix’s interactions with his sister are pretty heart-wrenching this week. On the verge of tears, he tells Adele that she is “so beautifully unsullied” by all that’s going on, and he won’t be the person that ruins that for her. “This is my life,” he says. “I’m really sorry.” (Side note: I have grown to love Adele in the last few weeks, however still can’t shake the feeling she’s utterly evil.) On the other side of the family, Mrs S is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother – though enacting some well earned revenge in murdering Detective Duko seems to aid her recovery. Duko’s interrogation and death is a powerhouse scene for Kennedy, who again asserts herself as one of the anchors of the show’s success. And of course, easily the most powerful moment of these 2 episodes: the return of Delphine was met with a great amount of happiness and joy. Where has she been? Who is she with? All questions that take a back seat to my excitement that she’s returned for good.
With only one episode left and so many answers to reveal, it seems a bold – yet rewarding move to bring so many more mysteries back into the fold to close what has been an incredible run for Orphan Black fans. How did Delphine survive? What are the motivations behind Rachel’s visions? Will Cosima find a cure? What’s with Kira’s gypsy tricks and of course will Krystal be introduced to the extant of her situation?
- 408. “The Redesign of Natural Objects” – 9/10
- 409. “The Mitigation of Competition” – 9/10