A Look at Orphan Black- Season 4, Episode 8: “The Redesign of Natural Objects”

In this episode, Alison meets Jesus Christ Superstar while also contemplating betrayal of her sisters in order to save Donnie’s life.  Ballsy move, especially for her, but does she have the gall to stab Clone Club in the back?

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Donnie meets a Neolution inmate

The episode begins with Donnie adjusting to prison life.  We see his daily routine, eating prison food and such, when he’s joined by someone who guesses that he’s a fresh fish.  Donnie tells the inmate that he’s in for allegedly trafficking prescription drugs and he sounds damn proud of what he’s done.  And that’s when an inmate with a Neolution arrives and tells Donnie that he’s been watching him.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Ira examines Rachel after she glitches

Ira examines Rachel, who maintains that she had a glitched vision of a swan.  The two are on their own, as Susan has given up on Ira.  Age may have dulled Susan’s ambition, but both Rachel and Ira are still young.  They can’t just accept their fate.  While they aren’t related, but Rachel considers Ira her brother.  And that’s when Rachel stands up without the help of her crutches.  Passion apparently helps.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Cosima, Kira, and Sarah speak with M.K.

Cosima brings tea to Sarah to help with her two day hangover while Kira plays more Minecraft.  If Delphine is alive, Sarah is confident that they’ll find her.  Cosima is glad that Sarah made it back from the dark side.  Then M.K. contacts Kira to talk with Sarah.  M.K. is aware of Cosima, who tells her of Kendall’s death.  M.K. plays the video feed where Evie Cho usurped power from Susan.  Cosima asks if there’s a way to talk with Susan.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Felix introduces Adele to Alison

Felix tells Alison that Adele is a lawyer who can help Donnie, even though she was suspended for intoxication.  When Adele arrives, Felix introduces her to Alison, who is Sarah’s twin sister.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Ira and Rachel interrupt Susan and Charlotte

Ira and Rachel interrupt Susan’s science time with Catherine to talk about a long term plan for a cure since they’re going to die soon.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Sarah consoles S

Sarah tells S about Cosima’s plan to meet with Susan to discuss a cure.  However, there’s still Evie Cho and Detective Duko to deal with at the moment.  S appears a bit rattled, but she’s not in a talking mood.  Later, she goes to gather her gun and bullets.  She tells Kira that she’s just off to run an errand.

M.K. patches Sarah through to Susan and Rachel, who acknowledges that they’re all in the same boat.  Susan can’t cure the disease without the original.  That’s when Sarah brings in Cosima, but then Kira interrupts the call to tell Sarah that S left with a gun in tow.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Scott tells Cosima that he won't work with Rachel

Cosima, meanwhile, continues the discussion when Scott arrives.  He’s skeptical of working with Rachel and won’t work with her.  Rachel refuses to be left out, but Cosima wants both her and Ira gone.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Donnie speaks with Adele and Alison

Alison and Adele meet with Donnie, who is initially curious about how much Adele knows.  Adele advises Donnie to avoid talking to the police or inmates.  Right now, Adele’s plan is to prove that Donnie isn’t a flight risk.  Donnie’s bail hearing is on Monday.  Donnie then tells Alison privately to talk about the one Neolutionist inmate eying him.  Get it?  Donnie doesn’t think that he’ll last two more days.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Sarah tells Art about S tracking Duko

As it turns out, S is keeping an eye on Detective Duko.  Sarah catches up with Art and tells her that S might kill Duko.  This could make things worse.  Art will talk to someone who he can trust for help.  On the ride, the two learn that Duko has gone AWOL by turning off the GPS in his car.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- S stalks Duko

At the same time, S, meanwhile, is still stalking Duko from a considerable distance and prepares to take her shot.  In fact, a good few seconds pass when she could have taken the shot, but she stops when Alison joins Duko in his car.  S calls Sarah to say that she knows how Evie Cho will get to them.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison with Detective Duko

Duko tells Alison that she and Donnie are just caught in the crosshairs.  Whether Sarah is a threat to Neolution isn’t Duko’s call.  Alison maintains that she doesn’t know Sarah’s whereabouts, so Duko gives her time to jog her memory.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison speaks with Reverend Mike

So Alison heads to the church, where she drops her items and runs into Reverend Mike.  The reverend feels that Alison might be taking her faith for granted, though Alison says that Donnie’s arrest was a misunderstanding.  Mike wants to help Alison with her secret, but she believes it to be an impossible situation.

Okay, so Alison talks a scenario: what if you did something that protected someone you care about, but hurt someone you love?  Mike reminds Alison of the vow she made to her husband.  This is one of those answers that only the Lord can answer, so Alison needs to open up and let the good Lord guide her.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Felix gets a call from Alison

Felix, meanwhile, thinks that Alison won’t turn on them.  S and Sarah want him to check on Alison, but he refuses, saying that they can do it themselves.  But then Alison calls to speak with Sarah.  Well, even if Felix won’t check, Alison needs him to come by the church.  Ah, Felix, you just can’t stay away, can you?  Sarah and S are still skeptical.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Cosima and Scott talk with Susan

Cosima, Scott, and Susan’s research continues, but there are issues with Cosima’s cells.  It doesn’t help that their lab isn’t exactly state of the art.  Cosima comes up with a way to get more eggs.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Sarah and S talk with M.K.

Just as Felix heads off, M.K calls to give Sarah information on Duko.  He’s done some work with Brightborn.  M.K. thanks Sarah for letting her back in, but S is skeptical as to why M.K. even returned.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- M.K. coughs up blood

When the conversation ends, though, we stay with M.K., as she is also coughing up blood.  Well, that’s never a good sign.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Rachel glitches again

Rachel gets in more practice walking when she again spots a swan, as well a man, but she’s still glitching.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Felix advises Alison to stay calm

Alison is a bit frantic with the auditions.  Before she can take a sip of some vodka, Felix arrives and notes how terrified she looks.  Alison just feels out of the loop, though Felix asks if Alison has been visited by police.  Alison maintains that she wouldn’t turn, though Sarah is concerned that Duko is coming after Alison.  Felix advises Alison to keep strong, especially since her sisters are there for her.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison hears Donnie plead for help

Sure.  Alison goes to meet Duko elsewhere in the church.  She doesn’t know where Sarah is, so Duko puts Donnie on the phone.  He’s in a bit of trouble right now, as the Neolution inmate has a shiv that he’s ready to stick in Donnie’s brain, through his eye.  Oddly specific.  A now worried Alison tells Duko about the comic book shop where Sarah will soon show up.  If this is true, Donnie lives.  If not, Alison should start praying.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison Hendrix performs in Jesus Christ Superstar

So while Duko sits and waits outside Rabbit Hole Comics and Donnie gets himself a beating, Alison takes part in her musical rehearsal of Jesus Christ: Superstar.  It’s an oddly humorous juxtaposition.  I imagine someone will be a fan of this rehearsal.  I’m not one of them.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Duko surprised by Art, S, and Sarah

Duko spots someone arriving at the comic book shop.  He enters and is greeted by the Hell-Wizard, who tells Duko that he’s the only customer to arrive as of recent.  Duko strikes, but then, he’s surrounded by Sarah, Art, and S.

Okay, rehearsal again, but Donnie, meanwhile, strikes back.  Before the inmate can attack, the phone rings.  Duko orders the inmate to stand down, so Donnie lives to see another day.  Sarah texts Felix to tell him that Donnie is safe.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- S interrogates Duko

So time to torture Duko for information.  Well, S will, since Art and Sarah won’t play a part in this.  Hell, I’d think that S is looking forward to this.  She demands to know when Evie will stop coming after her, so Duko tells her that Evie just wants Sarah and has plans for her bot technology.  He spills everything that he knows, so the torture stops.

He offers to work for the clones, but then S turns over the Brightborn information.  Duko claims that his family was threatened.  See, it’s about family.  Oh, that might have been the wrong thing to say, as S soon blows Duko away as revenge for Kendall.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Cosima has a solution

Scott, unfortunately, is responsible for cleaning up the mess.  This guy continues to get the shaft.  He tells Sarah that there’s big news.  Cosima can match a Leda egg with Castor- the two parts of Kendall Malone rejoined.  Sarah doesn’t like this, but this is the breakthrough that they’ve wanted.  The problem is that Cosima doesn’t have the resources to do this.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Rachel wants to work with Sarah and restore Susan as head of Neolution

So Cosima is coming to the island.  Ira likes the proposal, though Rachel wants to focus on stopping Evie Cho.  In fact, she wants to work with Sarah Manning to restore Susan as the head of Neolution.  But Rachel glitches again, though now she’s seeing a decapitated swan head.  Well, shit, that’s disturbing.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Cosima headed to the island

As Cosima flies via helicopter, she talks to Scott, who hopes that she can find a cure.  Cosima promises to do just that.

After watching the pod crumble due to Kendall’s death, it’s appropriate that they bounce right into work to take down Evie Cho in an episode that made good use of every main clone except for Helena.  But after spending a lot of time on the sidelines, Alison gets involved in a way that feels organic to the main storyline.  And it made use of both Felix and the returning Adele in ways that served the plot, not just for comic relief.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison prays

I think it’s fitting that Alison is participating in a rendition of Jesus Christ: Superstar when she’s in somewhat of a similar situation as Christ.  Run with me on this because I’m making a big goddamn leap.  First, she’s tempted by a darker force and asked to throw caution to the wind, knowing that, in the end, she will be saved and relieved from danger. Donnie would, at least.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Alison tells Duko where Sarah will be

Second, just as Christ found himself betrayed by one of his disciples, Alison was on the verge of turning against her sisters not for 40 pieces of silver, but to save her husband’s life.  Not altogether a selfless motivation, but one that would put her at odds with the remaining clones.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Duko learns of Sarah's location

I’ll be honest: when Alison told Duko about Sarah’s location, I thought she might have sold her out.  It doesn’t help that Alison’s bond with Sarah, I feel, isn’t as strong or tight as the one Sarah has with Helena or Cosima.

We don’t see her confer with Felix or Sarah that she’s being tempted, and that’s fine because it leads to a misdirect where I was led to believe Alison did the unthinkable.  Of course, she doesn’t make that call and instead sets Duko up for a trap.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Duko speaks with S

Duko himself, though, I’m of two minds.  He’s not the most high level officer or even authority figure, and the fact that Neolution got to his family showed that anyone, no matter how lowly or insignificant, can fall prey to temptation and become their complete opposite. His motivation is desperation.  Again, like Alison, it’s not completely selfless, but we’re not made to sympathize with him just because he has a soft spot for family.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Duko attacks Hell-Wizard

In fact, I’m left to question why Evie went to Duko at all.  This extends to having him be the one to execute Kendall.  Duko being a police officer didn’t seem to be of much use to Evie, so I’m curious why she didn’t just have someone with deeper roots in Neolution or even Brightborn do her grunt work.  And he told Mrs. S everything she needed to know and still ended up dead.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Duko about to be tortured

He folded fast.  His loyalty was to his family and not Neolution, so again, why did Evie even need him?  He gives Neolution cover from the police, sure, but Evie seems smart enough to operate without raising suspicion.  Less so for her underlings, but my point is that if Duko was so expendable, what kept Evie from finding someone more trustworthy and loyal to her cause?  Well, at least it was cathartic for S.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Cosima talks to Scott

As for Cosima, she’s back into the working habit and I like how she’s done beating herself up over her decision to get Kendall involved.  It was a bad idea that ended up getting Kendall killed, but the least she can do is move forward and find a cure for herself and the other clones.

The Redesign of Natural Objects- Rachel has another swan glitch

This puts Rachel in an interesting position.  Her glitches are getting worse and it looks like she’s foreseeing someone’s end.  Maybe her own, Ira, Charlotte, Cosima,or possible even M.K., now that we’ve seen her cough up blood.  Now that could go either way.  More often than not, if a character starts coughing, they’re about to die, but Cosima has been sick for some time and she’s still alive.

Regardless, Cosima is now further away than ever from the clones and headed for unfamiliar territory.  How will she handle working directly with Rachel and Susan in their ongoing quest for a cure?  I’m expecting some tension since Scott pointed out that Rachel has been untrustworthy in the past, but since the clones are desperate, Cosima doesn’t have much of a choice right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s