A Look at Orphan Black- Season 4, Episode 9: “The Mitigation of Competition”

While Cosima heads to the island that time forgot, Sarah and Rachel join forces to take down Evie Cho.  Meanwhile, some familiar faces return in the penultimate episode of Season Four.

The Mitigation of Competition- Ira and Rachel discuss Evie Cho

The episode begins with Rachel glitching as she has a vision of the same man moving through the woods.  She tells Ira that she glitched again and saw herself on the island.  Ira shows Rachel footage of Evie on television, talking about overcoming her sad upbringing, essentially painting herself a hero.  At an upcoming press conference, Evie will announce big news for Brightborn.

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel proposes a partnership with Sarah and Felix

Then there’s a knock at the door.  In enter Felix and Sarah, who acknowledges that this is a bad idea.  Sarah, at this point, you ought to be used to bad ideas.  Felix hates the idea of Rachel in exchange for Cosima, due to her plan for taking down Evie Cho.

Evie plans to prove that her gene therapy works, but it’s a Trojan horse because DNA can be altered without consent.  Evie wants the technology to go public in three years and she’s developed her tech through human trials.  Rachel needs Sarah to find two carriers, Tabitha Stewart, and Kendra Dupree.  With what they know, Rachel can destroy Evie and Susan can reclaim her spot in Neolution.

Since Rachel has her limitations, Ira will help.  Sounds good, but Sarah wants this done on her terms.

The Mitigation of Competition- Evie is threatened with exposure

Evie still wants the clones found and is concerned about Detective Duko, but she also has to deal with an unknown person who demands that Evie leave them alone or she’ll release a certain video online.

The Mitigation of Competition- Donnie reunites with Alison

Donnie is released and wants to have some conjugal love with Alison, but she has no time for that.  She’s too concerned that she’s lost touch with her faith.  In that case, Donnie can help Alison see God.

The Mitigation of Competition- Sarah and Felix make a plan

Sarah and Felix go over Rachel’s file while realizing that they probably won’t be getting any help soon from Cosima, Alison, or Helena.  Felix goes off to help the Hendrixes while Sarah and Art goes off to follow up on a tip regarding two women.

The Mitigation of Competition- Susan has a book for Cosima

On the island, Susan and Cosima are hard at work creating compatible stem cells, though Cosima is a bit woozy.  Susan provides Cosima with The Science of Neolution– the same text she showed to Rachel.

The Mitigation of Competition- Art sees Kendra's body

Sarah and Art’s lead ends up being a crime scene.  Inside, Art learns that this is an apparent suicide case.  Tabitha checked in with Kendra, when Trina later found her hanging from the pipe.  No vital signs from the baby.

The Mitigation of Competition- Trina tells Sarah that Tabitha's death was not a suicide

Outside, Sarah gets a call from Helena, who is embracing her inner Leonardo Dicaprio and living in the woods.  Helena explains that she has a place of her own.  Sarah is glad that Helena is away from all this nonsense, but also advises her to take care of her children.  Then Sarah confronts Trina, who still thinks that Sarah is Beth.  Trina explains that Brightborn is much worse than she thought.

Trina then says that Tabitha’s death was not a suicide and hopes that Kendra got away.  She tells Sarah that Kendra might have gone to an empty house in Tisdale.

The Mitigation of Competition- Art is asked about Detective Duko

Back inside, Art learns that others at the precinct are concerned about Duko, since no one has heard from him.  When Art leaves, the detectives calls Evie and tells her that not only has Kendra escaped, but someone besides Evie is searching for her.

The Mitigation of Competition- Adele goes over Donnie's case and is still suspicious

Adele goes over Donnie’s case, as he’s being charged with trafficking and importing.  For now, Donnie has nothing to worry about so long as he behaves himself.  When Felix tells that the two are being watched, Adele asks if there’s anything going on involving Detective Duko.  Everyone plays coy and Felix ushers Adele out.

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel tells Ira to tail Sarah

While Evie asks Ian to find the carrier, Sarah and Art arrive at Tisdale when she gets a call from Rachel, who has an address.  However, despite Rachel’s good intentions, Sarah still shoots down her help.  Even still, Ira tracks Rachel’s location, so Rachel suggests that Ira tail Sarah.

The Mitigation of Competition- Cosima and Charlotte look at the Neolution book

Cosima and Charlotte find common ground in their sickness and go over the Neolution text.  Charlotte shows her favorite part about the island.

The Mitigation of Competition- Felix caught between Adele and Helena

Adele has more questions than Felix wants to answer when Helena arrives unannounced.  So Felix has no choice but to say that this is Helena, who is Sarah’s other sister.  Helena’s accent doesn’t make Adele any less curious, so she has some questions.

The Mitigation of Competition- Alison and Donnie pray after sex

Donnie has his conjugal time with Alison, but after he comes, Alison asks him to pray with her.  She tells God that though they haven’t been good Christians, they’re grateful that Donnie is out of prison.  Alison feels that God has forsaken her because everyone knows that she’s a criminal.  It doesn’t help that there are officers outside.  Alison wants to get away, but Donnie surrendered his passport.  Regardless, they’re going to Niagra.

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel glitches again

Rachel continues to glitch, this time seeing a group of men capture the swan and go for an axe.  God, Rachel, stop having these visions.  You’re bumming me out.

The Mitigation of Competition- Kendra, played by Lisa Codrington, surprises Art and Sarah

Having checked a number of homes, Art and Sarah arrive at their final location, but get no response, so Sarah picks the lock and the two enter.  They call out for Kendra, but get no response except for a baby’s cry.  Upstairs, they find the child.  As the two approach, Kendra, played by Lisa Codrington, rushes out with a gun at the ready.

How long was Kendra waiting?  Anyway, Art shows his police I.D. to confirm that he’s not hostile.  Kendra consoles her child- who is not the same color as her.

The Mitigation of Competition- Adele has questions for Helena

So Adele’s inquisition continues, though Helena is more concerned with her other sisters, specifically the Hendrixes.  Helena is also irritated by Adele to the point where she almost attacks her.  Felix sends Helena off and asks for an hour so he can sort things out with Adele.  He wants Adele to sober up and then leave, but Adele wants an explanation.

In a moment of kindness I really appreciate, Felix tells Adele that she’s unsullied by all of this shit, so he won’t bring ruin things by telling her the truth.  He tells her that this is his life, and that’s fine with Adele, so she decides to leave him with his real family.

The Mitigation of Competition- Kendra shows Art and Sarah a hidden video

Sarah and Art explain how they found Kendra, who believes that Tabitha was killed.  When asked about Brightborn, Kendra explains that she and Tabitha were nearing full term, but heard that some children were born differently.  They snuck out of a ward when they saw two doctors sneak into an operating room to operate on a crying baby.  Kendra shows them footage of doctors putting down the same child that horrified Cosima.

Next day, Kendra and Tabitha ran.  Kendra’s child, Jacob, was born blind, and she fears that Brightborn will put down her baby.  All Kendra wants is for Sarah and Art to take the footage and leave.  After all, she has to also think about her other son.

The Mitigation of Competition- Susan and Cosima discuss Neolution

Cosima finds Neolution’s forefather fascinating and wonders if Susan’s mindset is similar.  Susan explains that she was under pressure to continue Leda when she created Charlotte.  That pressure doesn’t matter because Charlotte is a unique, happy life that will hopefully live, even though she has a terminal illness.  Tomorrow, the two will hopefully have a zygote.

The Mitigation of Competition- Sarah and Rachel discuss how to handle Kendra

Sarah tells Rachel about Kendra.  Rachel suggests using information about Kendra’s other son as blackmail, but Sarah is unsure if she can make that decision.  Since Sarah won’t act, Rachel advises Ira to do so.  However, there’s a complication.  Then Sarah tells Kendra that she’s not safe at home, but she can be at the safe house.  As afraid as Kendra is, she needs to help.

And that’s when Art realizes that there are people outside.  Kendra answers the phone- it’s Rachel, who explains that she has an associate outside.  She mentions the address of her other son, William, and tells Kendra to do what she says.

The Mitigation of Competition- Art stops the Brightborn agents

Art captures the two Brightborn agents just as Sarah sees that Kendra has escaped with Ira.  Sarah wants to lash out at the agents, but Ira wants them taken to the police.  The agents aren’t worried, but Art just wonders who will spring them.  I’m more curious why the two snuck in together.  Why not separately, in case something went wrong?

The Mitigation of Competition- Alison finds Donnie held hostage

Okay, whatever.  Alison and Donnie pack when Donnie realizes that the cops are gone, but an ambulance is still outside.  Donnie heads to the basement to grab some flip-flops.  As Alison eyes her cross, she hears a noise from downstairs.  She goes down to find a man holding Donnie hostage.

The Mitigation of Competition- Evie learns that Rachel has information regarding Kendra

As Evie rehearses her press conference remarks, she learns that Rachel Duncan has arrived with information about Kendra Dupree.

The Mitigation of Competition- Helena saves Alison and Donnie

Donnie and Alison are tied up while the inmate prepares a bot to put into Alison’s mouth, unless Alison starts talking about what happened to Detective Duko.  I’m just waiting for Helena to burst in.  As the inmate counts and Alison prays, Helena bursts in and puts an arrow through the inmate’s neck.  See, if the inmate was smart, he’d have put the bot in first.

The Mitigation of Competition- Sarah and Art confront Ira to find out Rachel's location

Art and Sarah confront Ira to ask about Rachel, who tells them that she’s meeting with Evie.  Sarah tells Ira that Rachel just wants power and is playing him.

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel and Evie make a deal

Rachel comes face to face with Evie and shows her a photo of Kendra, calling it negotiation instead of a shakedown.  Evie says that Project Leda and Susan are off the table, and Rachel agrees.

However, Rachel took offense when Evie said a clone would never have power.  She wants a seat at the table in exchange for handing over the video, of which there is apparently just one copy.  As for Kendra and her child, they are in Rachel’s hotel room.

Evie agrees to the terms.  But then Rachel asks why Brightborn uses euthanasia on the newborns.  It’s a tactic, sure, so she can get Evie talking, as Ira reveals to Art and Sarah.  Evie does end up saying that her work would have shelved if any deformed children were discovered.  In her mind, euthanizing these newborns was the most humane route. Come on, Evie, surely you’re smarter than this.

The Mitigation of Competition- Evie's press conference

The press conference begins.  What if, she proposes, diseases could be eradicated?  As she talks, though, journalists receive the footage of Evie talking the deformed children, as well as the children being euthanized.  The journalists swarm Evie while Rachel watches with triumph on her face.

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel tells Ira about her glitches

But then we see that goddamn swan again as Rachel glitches yet again.  And we’ve gotta see that damn decapitated swan head.  She awakens and tells Ira that there were people on the island.  Someone is trying to show her something.

The Mitigation of Competition- Hello, Delphine

Meanwhile, the episode comes to a close as with the reveal of Delphine.

You know, let’s start from there.  Ever since Delphine took a bullet at the end of last season, her fate has been up in the air as to whether she survived.  Since we didn’t see her die and the show has been talking about her this season, it was safe to assume that she lived.  She has, and it’s a nice way to end the episode, but now it remains to be seen what she’s been doing, who nursed her, and whether she’ll see Clone Club again.

I’d also like to know why whoever shot Delphine in the first place didn’t bother finishing her off.  Granted, we don’t know what she’s been up to between then and now and there’s no telling what kind of role she’ll play, but given what she already knows, I’m again baffled that she’s still breathing.  We aren’t dealing with master criminals or thinkers here, it appears.

The Mitigation of Competition- Evie agrees to Rachel's terms

That goes double for Evie.  Maybe she just had a sudden lapse in foresight, but I refuse to believe that Evie would be gullible enough to believe Rachel when she said that she had one copy of an incriminating video.  Evie finds clones obsolete and has no love for Rachel, so why isn’t she smarter than this?

The Mitigation of Competition- Rachel asks why Brightborn uses euthanasia on newborns

You can’t tell me that she wouldn’t give more thought to negotiating with Rachel.  Kendra and her children were still in play.  There was no guarantee that Rachel had Kendra with her- it could have just been a bluff.  Also, Rachel has been out of commission this entire time so she could recover.  Wouldn’t Evie be the slightest bit suspicious how Rachel came into contact with Kendra?

The Mitigation of Competition- Evie exposed

Evie doesn’t question any of this.  She just goes along with it because she wants the video removed from the equation.  But then why bother indulging Rachel when asked about euthanasia?  Evie doesn’t owe Rachel an explanation.  If anything, I would think she would avoid talking about that matter any further.  Sure, Evie didn’t have Kendra in her possession, but what’s to stop Rachel from double-crossing her?

It’s a very simple plan when you break it down.  If Rachel didn’t have a good poker face and Evie had put more thought into this situation, it would have fallen apart.  True, Evie might have no reason to think that Rachel is working with Sarah, given their past, but given her distaste for the clones in general, I would expect her to be a bit suspicious.  It’s all too convenient that she just accepts Rachel’s proposal.

The Mitigation of Competition- Helena is handy with a bow and arrow

Also convenient would be Helena’s sudden return after being out of the loop for four episodes.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love seeing Helena back and I guess she took some time to see The Revenant in between episodes.  Aside from saving Alison and Donnie, which was an awesome moment, she’s not given much to do.

The Mitigation of Competition- Helena and Felix

When she arrives at Felix’s home, it doesn’t do much but just give Adele more of a headache.  But as great as Helena saving Alison was, it was predictable.  Not just because the inmate didn’t drop the bot in Alison’s mouth from the start, but Helena doesn’t know what Sarah and Cosima are up to, as far as I know, she doesn’t know about the safe house, and even if Alison and Donnie weren’t in danger, that’s her only option.

The Mitigation of Competition- Alison's bloody face

So it was just a matter of time before she arrived to answer Alison’s prayers.  Alison, it seems, is still going through a crisis of faith.  As she pleaded for God’s mercy, I think it came more from the heart and her accepting the bad things that she’s done instead of making those her final words.  I have to wonder if she really sees herself as Judas for what she told Duko, even though it ended up working in favor of the clones.

The Mitigation of Competition- Felix wants to protect Adele by keeping her out of the loop

As for Felix, I really liked his scene with Adele.  Felix has seen his fair share of shit from Clone Club and knows that those involved can be harmed or come under fire.  As much as Felix has enjoyed time with Adele, he’s not pushing her away out of spite.  He wants to spare her the same hardships that have plagued others who learned too much about the clones.

The Mitigation of Competition- Adele and Felix part ways for now

I imagine that he’d like to tell Adele something just to ease her curiosity- similar to how he helped Krystal last season- but even the tiniest bit of information would just make her more curious.  I think she gets that Felix’s life, as complicated as it is, will always be tied to the clones, so when she says that acceptance and honesty make a family over genetics, she sees how tight his bond is with Sarah and her sisters.

While it’s by no means a broken bond, it is a sad way for these two to end things for now, even if Felix is doing it to protect Adele.  There are some who still feel that Adele could be a spy or mole, and I would not want that.  Too often are new characters revealed later to be plants, and in this instance, I just want Adele to be a character.

She’s proven her worth by helping Alison and Donnie with their situation and she’s only asked questions when introduced to the other clones.  She’s not barging into their lives and demanding answers.  Questions just arise based on the situation.  Even if she doesn’t appear in the finale or any other moment, I’d like Adele to just be out there so Felix will always have an actual relative that cares for him.

The Mitigation of Competition- Cosima talks Neolution with Susan

Orphan Black often dabbles into the ethical implications behind the science and Cosima is the best use for that.  Her conversations with Susan shows that she still has issues with Neolution.  Given that she’s on the island, she’s at least willing to cooperate with someone that may have an opposing belief.  I appreciate that she maintains her reservations and openly challenges Susan.

The Mitigation of Competition- Sarah and Art watch a video

I don’t have much to say for Sarah and Art, though seeing them out and doing detective work felt like a nice throwback to the earlier seasons.  And it’s not just to get them from point A to B and secure Kendra.  Just as Cosima has issues with Neolution, they get a firsthand look at the horrors that Cosima has already witnessed. And for all of Rachel’s tactics, Sarah at least stood her ground and chose to do things her own way.

With the season finale upon us, there’s a lot at stake.  Will Rachel learn about why she’s glitching?  How, if at all, will Delphine factor into the storyline now that we’ve seen her alive?  Are Alison and Donnie out of the woods for good?  Will Susan and Cosima be able to create a cure?  Does Rachel have an ultimate goal?  And how will Evie Cho rebound after being exposed?  We’ll find out next time in the season finale.

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