A Look at Orphan Black- Season 4, Episode 2: “Transgressive Border Crossing”

It’s time to go back. And forth.  We’re going back and forth.  In light of M.K.’s warning, Sarah and company head back to avoid detection and get to the bottom of this Neolution matter.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Leaving Iceland

The episode begins with Sarah and Kira packing.  Sarah tells Kendall and Mrs. S. about M.K. and how she knew Beth, though S and Kendall find that suspicious.  After all, why would M.K. call at this moment?  S is confident that their tracks are covered, while Kendall thinks the Neolutions are trying to flush them out.  Kira, meanwhile, spots vehicles approaching.

Now it’s time to get into gear.  Sarah tells S that the people approaching cannot find anything, so S pours gasoline around the cabin, lights a match, and heads out as the fire begins to spread.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Arriving at the comic shop front

While Felix, Alison, and Cosima all receiving texts that grab their attention, Sarah and company arrive at their new front, the Rabbit Hole Comics, and meet up with Benjamin.  They unload the stowaways from the truck.  Benjamin will take the others to the safe house and S will catch up later, but Kira wants to meet with Cal.  Sarah tells her that she won’t see him for awhile.  This upsets Kira.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Reuniting with Scott and Cosima

Sarah and S enter the store and meet the Hell-Wizard, played by Calwyn Shurgold, who takes them downstairs, where they reunite with Scott and Cosima.  They get in touch with Alison, who asks how M.K. knew people were coming for Sarah.  After all, Beth never mentioned anyone named M.K.  Alison has no time for Neolutions.

Scott explains that the hideout’s technology is thanks to the Hendrix’s money, Craigslist, and migrating some over from DYAD since, as far as they know, DYAD is out of the clone game.  He tells S that they’re getting close to a cure for Cosima, but there’s still no word on Delphine.  In addition, Sarah hasn’t heard from Felix.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Sarah looks over Beth and Art's case file

To get more information about Neolution, Sarah meets up with Art at the diner.  He hands over a file with the last case he and Beth covered regarding the man with the surgically removed cheek.  Beth and Art were kicked off the case before they could investigate further.  To find out more, though, Art and Sarah will have to do more digging, starting with Beth’s anonymous tipster.  The two decide to visit Beth and Paul’s flat.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Alison speaks with Felix

Meanwhile, while Alison walks in on Felix, who is spray-painting in the buck.  When asked why he hasn’t answered his calls, he tells Alison that he’s in the zone and that family can come to him.  He’s not ready to explain yet what he’s been doing, though Alison tells him that the family will be supportive.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Beth and Detective Duko talk

As Art and Sarah investigate, the episode flashes back to Beth on paid leave as she talks with Detective Duko, who wants to discuss this case.  She tells him about going to Leekie, but Duko isn’t a fan of her doing so much digging.  But such is the story of Beth’s life.  Duko is impressed, but the two have crossed a line and there’s no going back.  He has to protect the people he cares about, and he knows that Beth would do the same.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Donnie and Helena at the hospital

Then we’ve got Donnie and Helena at a hospital.  Helena is playing the part of Donnie’s wife.  Helena explains to the doctor that she’s fine, aside from the tiredness and farting.  Apparently those symptoms are normal.  Huh.  But the farts never happen when she’s having sex with her husband.  Luckily, the doctor tells the two that there are many safe positions they can practice during the pregnancy.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Cosima takes Kendall's blood

Cosima takes Kendall’s blood, telling her that it takes time to develop the right therapy and get the right viral vector.  And she can’t potentially skew the data set of her current gene-therapy trial by going to Kira again.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Art and Sarah find Beth's surveillance equipment

Back at the flat, as we get a brief flashback of Beth shooting up, Art flips through Beth’s Neolution book while Sarah finds Beth’s drug kit.  Art finds a hole drilled into the wall behind a painting.  When the two find a camera, Art suspects it was Paul’s doing, but Sarah believes that Beth did the spying.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Helena learns that she'll be having twins

At the hospital, Helena undergoes an ultrasound as she and Donnie see the baby.  However, guess what?  Helena is having identical twins.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Art and Sarah review Beth's footage

Sarah and Art go through the surveillance footage and stop on Beth pointing her gun at Paul.  Art blames himself, though Sarah tells him that it’s not her fault.  Then, at one point in the footage, Beth is seen talking to a pregnant woman with one white eye.  It’s Trina.  Sarah heads off for more answers.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Sarah tells Felix that they're going out

If Felix painting in the nude wasn’t enough, we get him showering when Sarah drops in out of nowhere.  She wants to grab a drink so they can catch up, though Felix is in no rush to party.  He figured he would catch up with the others tomorrow.  The two head to the Neolution club, where Sarah figures someone must know the pregnant girl from the footage.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Alison and Donnie talk about Helena having kids

Alison, meanwhile, is concerned about Helena having twins.  This is Helena, after all, and while she’s trained to kill, Alison’s rationale is that she and Donnie just committed manslaughter.  There’s apparently a difference.  Helena could throw off Alison’s perfectly meticulous system, though Donnie believes that Helena wants to be just like Alison.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Cosima offers marijuana to Mrs. S

As Cosima tokes up on medicinal marijuana- making her my instant favorite clone of the episode- she asks S to tell her that Delphine was alive.  S, of course can’t confirm that, so she tells Cosima that they’re at war, meaning everything can happen.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Kendall makes Scott swear not to tell anyone that she has leukemia

Kendall, meanwhile, goes over to Scott, who is examining her test results.  Her white blood cell count shows leukemia- she was diagnosed before all of this.  Mrs. S doesn’t know and Kendall doesn’t want Scott talking, either.  After all, Kendall just met her kin.  She doesn’t want a pity party when people figure out that she’s dying.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Felix tells Sarah that he's looking for his birth family

Back at Club Neolution, after Sarah fails to get any leads on Trina, Felix finally tells her what he’s been up to: he’s searching for his birth family.  Sarah tells him that he has a family, but that’s Sarah’s family, not his.  He doesn’t belong with them, but on the dance court.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Dizzy, played by Joel Thomas Hynes, mistakes Sarah for M.K.

But then a man named Dizzy, played by Joel Thomas Hynes, spots Sarah, mistaking her for M.K.  He’s surprised to see her among actual people.  Dizzy shows her footage of a man undergoing an operation.  There’s a worm in his cheek, though, that has a built-in defense mechanism that kills the host.

Dizzy notices M.K.’s odd behavior and soon realizes that this isn’t M.K.  Sarah slips out and calls Felix, but she gets his voicemail.  With an address, she heads off to hopefully meet M.K.  Well, it’s a damn good thing that M.K. decided to text at this exact moment.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Sarah talks with M.K.

She heads to the Sudz & Tumble Laundromat and accidentally interrupts a kid at the arcade machine.  But then, to her surprise, she gets a call from M.K., who expects to hear from Dizzy.  M.K. instructs Sarah to put her other phone in the dryer, in case others are listening.

Sarah now has three minutes to talk.  So M.K. explains that she’s been listening in, which is how she knew Neolution was coming for the family.  But then M.K. decides she can’t talk anymore because what’s coming could kill her, just as it killed Beth.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Beth gives M.K. her gun

Back to the footage, Beth returns home and removes her blonde wig, looking flustered.  We cut to said footage where Beth, hands bloodied, points her gun when she finds M.K. in the home.  It’s been four days since the two spoke.  Beth locks herself in the bathroom and removes the blood that she says isn’t hers, but she can’t find the pills she needs to snort lines.

M.K. wants to help Beth- to the point that she’s been screening her calls and realized that she hasn’t spoken to the other clones- but Beth admits that they can’t fight this anymore.  Beth tells M.K. to stay hidden and hands over her gun.  M.K. pleads for Beth to not leave, so Beth returns, gives M.K. a hug, and tell her to watch the others for her.

Back in the present, M.K. tells Sarah that this was their last encounter- and apparently the night that Beth killed herself.  Sarah asks why Beth jumped, but Beth wouldn’t tell M.K., or Mika, as Beth called her.  It did have to do with the implants, though.  M.K. tells Sarah to hide, but Sarah is done with hiding.  She then spots M.K. from her hiding spot of the car parked right outside the laundromat.  As Sarah heads out, M.K. speeds off.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Sarah restrained, has her mouth checked

When Sarah heads back in, the two cops that Beth and M.K. saw previously surround and restrain her.  They’ve been looking for her, but it’s not who they’re looking for, so one of them checks inside her mouth.  Satisfied, the two leave.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Mrs. S checks Sarah's mouth

Sarah barges into the safe home and asks S if DYAD did anything to her when they had her.  Now more paranoid than normal, she checks Kira’s mouth and then asks for a torch.  She explains about the implants and S does indeed find something moving in Sarah’s mouth.  Well, that’s unfortunate.

So “Transgressive Border Crossing” partially answered my question of whether we’d have something of a dual storyline this season with focus on the present and past.  Beth’s storyline would fill in the gaps while also build out her character.  But given where she ends up by the end of the episode, dressed in what looks to be what she wore at the train station, I doubt we’ll get more of her.  We’ll see.  I can hope.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Beth about to leave

If the show found a way to work more of the past into the plot, great, but Beth is at a low point and it looks like her next stop is taking her own life.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Beth talks with Detective Duko

I think Beth embodied what it meant to be alone.  She’s not cold or distant, from what I can wager, but her bond with the clones isn’t as deep as that of Sarah’s relationship with her family.  Beth surrounds herself with drugs, violence, and angst.  Sure, we’ve seen her communicate with Alison and Cosima, but their talk and mannerisms don’t feel as natural as when Sarah and Cosima reunite.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Felix is looking for his real family

The clones are all each other have, so it’s important to them that they remain close.  No matter how different they are, they’re still a family.  But not Felix.  First, I’m glad to see Felix being given something to do instead of just playing the loyal sidekick.  He’s part of the family by proxy, but he’s not blood related.  Despite his reluctant willingness to help, he has no personal stake because he’s not a real member of the family.

So it’s good to see him being more assertive, pushing against Sarah’s bullshit, and finding out just where he belongs.  At the same time, he doesn’t just shut the clones out completely, as Alison seems to be aware of his hunt.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Alison looks at Helena's ultrasound picture

Speaking of, I get the feeling that Alison might be a tad resentful of Helena for being pregnant.  Keep in mind that most of the clones, Sarah excluded, are fertile.  Helena, meanwhile, is having not one, but two children- something Alison hasn’t been able to do.  More than that, Alison likes everything in order, but Helena’s antics throw off that balance.  It’s not out of spite, but I can see why Alison would be bitter.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Helena's reaction to learning that she's having twins

But going back to family, if you put the clones aside, Alison has that family unit.  Helena, being a trained killer, did not.  She’s slowly gained relationships, strained as they can be, with the clones and beyond that.  She has a chance to produce something that’s her own and the surprise in her eyes when she learns that she’s having twins was a very warm moment.  It felt genuine and wasn’t just played for laughs.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Donnie and Helena learn about the twins

Plus, it’s great to see Donnie and Helena still bonding.

Transgressive Border Crossing- Cosima smokes while missing Delphine

There’s not a ton to say about Cosima this week outside of her still being worried about Delphine and she’s still sick.  What I’m curious about is Scott’s line about DYAD being out of the clone game.  What, they’re just up and gone?  So no one is monitoring the clones or is Scott just overconfident that their DYAD days are behind them?

Transgressive Border Crossing- Art has a key

Meanwhile, I question why Art picks this moment to follow up on the last case he and Beth investigated together.  Within the context of Season One, yes, it would probably be difficult for viewers, myself included, to thrust us into the middle of an investigation when Sarah herself was just getting acclimated to impersonating Beth.  But you’d think that, at some point in his conversations with Sarah, that he’d mention this.

It’s all minor stuff in the end and not like I’m expecting anything to be retconned as a result of spending more time with Beth and uncovering things that weren’t addressed in Season One.  The Neolution plot continues to unravel as Sarah realizes that she’s got something deep inside of her mouth that could be a problem.

The episode did a good job to develop Felix’s individual storyline and set him on his own path, gave us just enough time with the clones, and while it, like the premiere, raises some questions, it still made for a sometimes puzzling, but entertaining episode.

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