Last time on Orphan Black, Helena showed what she learned from watching The Revenant, Evie Cho made a major error in judgment, and Delphine turned to almost look at the camera. And now, welcome back to Orphan Black for the Season Four finale.
The episode begins with a flashback to the events of Season Three as Krystal watches Detective Duko shoot Delphine in the parking garage. Before he can finish her off, Krystal’s phone rings, distracting him. Why Krystal even has her phone on or why Duko didn’t just finish Delphine off is anyone’s guess. But Duko leaves.
Krystal rushes to Delphine, but a van arrives and men come to pick up Delphine. These men also happen to know Krystal’s name. One of the men in particular is Dr. Van Lier, the same man who has served as Evie Cho’s doctor. We follow Delphine through her surgery and recovery as she’s patched up and healed. One of the men working on her just happens to be the same man that Rachel has been seeing in her glitches.
Back on the island, Cosima and Susan continue their research. The vector was effective and the sequence has remained stable. Science success! Translation to Sarah and Mrs. S., there’s a cure for Cosima. There’s a functioning therapy for all of the sestras. But then, Cosima is denied access from the database.
Krystal talks with a friend about Evie Cho’s comments when she spots Van Lier on television, saying that he will be taking over as CEO of Brightborn. Krystal calls Felix to give more information about Delphine, but she won’t give anything unless Felix tells her everything.
Ira, meanwhile, is unable to get in touch with Susan. Sarah calls Rachel to discuss Brightborn and Evie Cho’s troubles, but Rachel is having her own communication issues. Well, bringing down Evie Cho was bound to bring about problems. The doctor is Evie Cho’s personal physician and saw the transition of power. As Rachel later gets herself ready, she gets an unexpected visit from Ferdinand.
Felix arrives and tells S and Sarah about Krystal’s information regarding Delphine. The name of the game is bots versus clones. S will keep trying to contact Cosima while Sarah and Felix talk with Krystal.
Internet at the island is no better. Cosima tries to comfort Charlotte, but all of a sudden, she gets a nosebleed and feels woozy.
Evie talks with a gathering of executives about Brightborn’s exposure and the following damage control. She’s presented with papers that absolve Brightborn of any responsibilities or troubles. However, Evie won’t sign anything away since this is her technology. After all, this is a minor setback. But then, Van Lier activates the bot in Evie’s mouth. Well, that should put her down.
In the woods that time forgot, S tells Helena and Donnie to keep out of the conflict for now, even though Helena wants to help. But that first involves figuring out the enemy. Hope you enjoyed that, because it’s the only time we’ll see Donnie and Helena in the finale. Oh, and Alison apparently has the shits, which must be why she’s not in the scene.
Rachel fills Ferdinand in, but he just wants to fool around. Rachel isn’t the same person due to her infirmities. She doesn’t feel much of anything anymore. Ferdinand tells Rachel that he’s lost a great deal in his quest to find her. The two of them had plans. Also, he’s not a fan of her self-pity. So Rachel forces Ferdinand to his knees for some foreplay.
Krystal strolls into the safe house like she owns the damn place and talks with Felix. They’re both wearing sunglasses even though they know each other and no one else is in the shop except for Scott and Hell-Wizard. Krystal doesn’t want to be left out of the loop and won’t budge on divulging information about Delphine.
Okay, so Felix takes her downstairs, where she comes face to face with Sarah, who tells Krystal that she is her clone. Krystal thinks she looks nothing like Sarah. In fact, she looks better. Krystal lays it out: this is about human experiments and two factions fighting for control. Dr. Van Lier is Neolution because he showed up after Delphine was shot and had medical equipment ready.
Rachel and Ferdinand’s foreplay continues with Ferdinand tied to the bed and Rachel spouting on about controlling Neolution, which she finds to be the ultimate power. She demands that Ferdinand say convert, but then Ira enters and spots her in the middle of playtime. He tells Rachel that Susan is about to call. Side-note, Tatiana Maslany has got an ass. Okay, I’m finished.
Susan does call and talk with Rachel about restarting human cloning. Neolution will apparently back her now that Evie Cho has been retired. The board will make its recommendations soon. Oh, and Cosima heard all of this. She thinks that Susan doesn’t care about a cure and believes that Susan will keep making mistakes.
So Susan talks about Neolution’s founders, who understood progress. She can’t risk Cosima interfering, so she locks her in the room. She could have just taken out a gun and shot her, but whatever.
Rachel tells Ira that he won’t be necessary for this board meeting. Well, that’s not good for Ira.
Dr. Van Lier takes questions from the press about Evie Cho and legal action taken against her. Krystal joins in, claiming to be TMZ, and asks questions about Neolution and Dr. Cormier. She asks him to meet around the corner, and because he’s stupid, he does.
That way, he’s unprepared when Mrs. S. surprises him with a gun. Oh, and Krystal is Sarah. Van Lier tells them that he sent Delphine to be healed. He tells the two that their side has won and Susan already plans to restart human cloning. Right now, Sarah’s problem isn’t Susan Duncan, but Rachel since she has reconvened the board without Susan.
Rachel meets the board and congratulates them for putting human cloning back on the table. So Rachel talks to the board about how she is not her mother. She wants to be a part of the goal of genetic change in the general population. This would involve operating in countries where human cloning is not illegal and can be done with Susan’s baseline and Evie’s technology.
At the same time, Art and Felix enter Rachel’s hotel room and find Ira strapped to the bed, while the doctor tells Sarah and S about Rachel’s plan.
Sarah arrives at Felix’s place to tell Ira that they’re going to the island to save Susan. Neolution apparently follows the signs, and so will Sarah.
Back on the island, Cosima searches the room for anything that could help her escape when she spots one of Charlotte’s painting. On it, she spots three tiny homes.
Sarah won’t allow S to go with her to the island not because of Rachel, but to help Cosima. Plus, someone has to stay behind and take care of Kira, who is in the middle of talking to Ira. Ira won’t get to go after all. Instead, he’s staying behind as collateral. Kira tells her mother that there are other sisters out there that they don’t even know about yet. Hopefully, they will be free soon.
Rachel arrives at the island and yells for Susan, but gets no response. Instead, she runs into the man from her glitches. He tells her that Susan is in the kitchen and advises her to not waiver. The man, Susan says, is a messenger from the board. Rachel maintains that she knows what she is doing. Power, though, does not equal free will. Susan believes that Rachel won’t be accepted and can’t believe that her own daughter is betraying her.
Charlotte frees Cosima to tell her that they must get to the boat. Charlotte confirms that there are other people on the island, but she’s not allowed to go see them.
Rachel thinks that Susan should be thanking her for arriving at this point. After all, Susan gave Rachel to this. Susan admits that she shouldn’t have left Rachel, but Rachel is still angry. Right now, Rachel must make the hard choice. She asks about the cell line. Susan finally admits that she regrets making Rachel. Ouch.
By the way, you’ll probably notice that Rachel is standing very close to some kitchen knives, and that’s important because as Rachel continues to glitch, she picks up a knife and plunges it into her mother’s gut.
Charlotte and Cosima venture outside, but Cosima’s condition is not getting any better, as she’s still coughing up blood. They continue just as Sarah arrives at the island. As night falls, the two take a moment to rest.
Sarah explores the house and follows a trail of blood downstairs. She finds Susan trying to patch herself up. Susan tells Sarah that she sent Cosima and Charlotte away, but also, Rachel has escaped with the entire cell line as a cure. Unfortunately, there was no time to cure Cosima.
And that’s when Rachel surprises Sarah from behind. A three way tussle ensues with Rachel managing to stab Sarah in her thigh. Sarah maintains that Rachel is one of the clones. But Rachel denies this. Hell, she says that Sarah didn’t even know who she was until Beth stepped onto that train platform.
That’s when Susan points a gun at her own daughter. Okay, when did Susan get that gun and how has she not bled out yet? Anyway, Rachel goes on a villain monologue and fires at Sarah, but misses because she has the aim of a Stormtrooper, giving Sarah an opportunity to hobble outside.
The man from Rachel’s vision spots and aids Charlotte and Cosima to his sanctuary- the section of homes Charlotte was told to not visit. It’s here that Cosima reunites with Delphine. Doctors get to work on Cosima, who tells Delphine that she might be dying. At the very least, Cosima tells Delphine that she finished their homework. Delphine stays with Cosima to keep her warm. This somehow involves her taking off her clothes.
Susan is somehow still alive. Rachel tells Susan that she’s made her own decision, but she was led here and has seen things in her eyes: the messenger, the swan, and such. Rachel asks who built her eye, but Susan says that she already knows. It’s the man who wrote the book on Neolution over a century ago. Sounds impossible, but not for him. Rachel leaves Susan in the room. She doesn’t finish her off.
Delphine and the doctor talk about Cosima’s condition, with Delphine maintaining that Cosima is her patient. Delphine tells Cosima that they have to be careful here because it’s not safe. Oh, and she has the cure on hand, too. Delphine makes Cosima promise to not tell anyone.
Sarah is still hobbling by the shore and looks like hell. She calls S, but Ferdinand takes the phone and tells her that the family is fine. He’s just holding them hostage. That’s all.
Rachel cleans the blade she used to stab Susan and then pours herself a nice glass of wine. She calls Dr. Van Lier and tells him that it’s done. In response, he tells her that Dr. Westmoreland will now see her. The season comes to a close with a now jubilant Rachel receiving a ring at the door.
When a season of a television show ends, you want it to answer any burning questions that may arise throughout the duration of the season. At the same time, you hope that there’s some discovery, event, or revelation that will keep you invested to tune in when the program returns.
Orphan Black’s fourth season finale accomplishes both, but I think it raises more questions that I hope are addressed in the season’s fifth and now final season.
Earlier in the season, it felt like things had gone back to basics with the primary focus going to the clones and whatever shadowy organization they had to combat. We got that, but between Brightborn and Neolution, not to mention the secret community housing Delphine, it feels like things got a bit crowded. However, that’s not a huge problem because we aren’t constantly jumping from one group to the next.
Whether it’s Brightborn or Neolution, this all felt like a way for the show to put Rachel back into a position of power and return her to an antagonist for the clones. And we see the anger on her face when Susan regrets creating her. Whether by Susan or Evie, Rachel has gotten the shaft this season and been marginalized by those around her.
So she finally makes a power play that goes well beyond her mother’s desire for human cloning and is convinced she can do this by blending Susan’s work with Evie’s technology. For all the time Rachel has spent recovering this season, it was nice to see her take charge and prove that she is not her mother or Sarah, even though part of her might want that feeling of true family and camaraderie that Sarah has.
What I’m curious is what Rachel intends to do with Susan. From what I can see, she doesn’t have much use of her and she wasn’t just trying to prick Susan when she stabbed her. Like Duko or Evie not killing Cosima when given the chance, I have to wonder why Rachel doesn’t just eliminate Susan altogether. She already has the cell line and knows what her mother thinks of her, so just save the trouble and get rid of her.
Though maybe Rachel’s glitches would explain why she didn’t make the smartest decisions in the finale. Not just keeping Susan alive, but also missing her chance to kill Sarah. Stop doing villain monologues and eliminate the threat when you have the chance.
Granted, Sarah wasn’t in the best of condition when she fled the mansion, so at least Rachel has that. I’m surprised that Sarah elected to visit the island alone without any sort of back-up plan, but I get why this feels more personal for her. Plus, if she had this come-from-behind idea to save her at the last second, it would have felt too similar to Helena rescuing the Hendrixes just when they needed help.
But at what could be her lowest moment after she tried to commit suicide, Sarah is damaged and unable to help Mrs. S. and Kira. As strong and committed she is to protecting her family, what she’s unable to do here is save everyone. I get that she wouldn’t want to put anyone else at risk, given how dangerous Rachel can be, and Ira might not have provided much help, but you’d think there would be a Plan B.
Let’s talk about Krystal for a bit. As Felix points out, she has this uncanny ability to be right on the nose with her hunches, but still be off in a few areas. It’s almost like trying to dissect this show’s plot, but I digress. She proved useful with her information about Ian Van Lier and, unlike other allies, wasn’t shocked at all about the clone reveal, which was a nice change of pace.
And how nice of her phone to be the thing that ended up saving Delphine’s life. Why she didn’t have her phone off while snooping, I don’t know. And why Duko? It felt like a way to bring his character back, but this reveal isn’t all that impacting. Granted, the show doesn’t play it up like it should be a big reveal, but like Kendall Malone, I’m left wondering why Duko didn’t just finish Delphine when he had the chance.
Hell, it would have been a surprise if Evie Cho had been the one to shoot Delphine. Give this woman some level of menace. As is, Evie was a bit of a letdown as a villain. Sure, the show had to set Rachel back up, but really, what was on Evie’s list of accomplishments? Duko is the one who put the bullet in Kendall Malone’s head. She just gave the order.
For as calm and collective as she’s been this season, when her world crumbles all around her, she loses that calmness and becomes petulant. Had she not been foolish enough to fall for Rachel’s ruse, she wouldn’t have ended up in this situation and ended up paying with her life. She was, as she saw the clones, obsolete. It’s unfortunate that Evie’s demise came from Brightborn itself and not someone from Clone Club.
As for Cosima and Delphine’s reunion, it was a long time coming and I’ll admit that it was nice to see them reunite after being apart for so long. It felt like the show was about to let Cosima die since her condition wasn’t improving, but no way would that happen before she see Delphine again. I assume next season we’ll find out why Delphine has remained her for so long and presumably made no attempt to contact Cosima.
Though I do find it convenient that the hidden sanctuary happened to be located not too far from the mansion, just so Cosima and Charlotte could be rescued so they wouldn’t die in the middle of the woods. And on Cosima, I like that she again took initiative and challenged Susan, as well as looking for a way out instead of waiting to be rescued.
Granted, she did have to wait since Charlotte was the one who sprung her, but at least she took the time to find out about the hidden community on the island.
And for as dark as this episode was, it had its share of lighter moments. Anytime Felix and Krystal interact, you’re bound for an entertaining scene. Same goes for Ferdinand just wanting Rachel to dominate him. And Ira’s line about Ferdinand still having his socks on might have been the funniest line of the episode. Helena and Donnie, while brief, also have a nice moment, as well.
In a season of betrayal, death, and misery, there were still glimmers of hope throughout. “From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths” worked well mostly with Sarah, Krystal, and Rachel, but also giving Cosima some happiness. It didn’t all work well. Evie Cho being dispatched of so simply shows how expendable she ended up being as a villain.
But now we’re left with more questions: What does Rachel want with Dr. Westmoreland? Will her ultimate goal succeed? How does Ferdinand factor into this, if at all? Will Krystal become more involved with Clone Club? Why does Delphine want Cosima to keep quiet? What has Delphine been doing this entire time? And after learning that Kira and Siobhan are in danger, what will Sarah do now?
Here’s hoping we get some answers when we return for the final run of Orphan Black in Season Five. See you then.