Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Orphan Black recap: The Scandal of Altruism

Cosima and Sarah’s deal with Susan Duncan yields devastating results

Posted on

Ken Woroner

Orphan Black

TV Show
Action, Drama, Sci-fi
run date:
Taitana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris
BBC America
Current Status:
In Season

I think we all need a status check after that one — are you okay, Clone Clubbers? Do you need a tissue or a hug? Both?

The final minutes of this episode just gutted me. Cosima learning Delphine’s fate? Devastating. Kendall’s goodbye before meeting her own end? Tragic. Beth taking that final walk toward the train platform? I can’t even type it without getting upset.

We’re now six episodes in, and especially after this game-changer of an hour, I really think this is the best Orphan Black has been since season 1. A lot of that has to do with focusing back on Beth and the crazy-creepy/scary aspects of Neolution, and this episode delivered on both counts. I can’t even complain about the lack of Helena (but let’s bring her back soon, pretty please?).

With that, it’s time to put the clones through the Orphan Black Clone Status Hyper-Sequence Generator Calcutron, sorting the sestras by how heartbreaking their stories were this week.


Cosima, Sarah, and Susan Duncan strike a deal that seems to benefit everyone — the sestras hand over Kendall Malone’s genome, which can be used to restart the human cloning project but also to work on a cure for the Leda disease, and Sarah gets the implant she’s walking around with removed from her cheek.

Sarah decides to set everything up without telling Mrs. S, seeing as she’d most definitely object, but stated reason is that this is their lives and their choice to make. The one caveat has to do with Castor: With the original’s genome, Susan could restart the boy clones’ program, as well. Kendall’s leukemia provides a workaround — her cancerous white blood cells, it seems, are Leda cells, so they’ll isolate and provide only those. Susan agrees but also wants to a) be there when Kendall’s genome is handed over and b) get all the research Cosima did on the disease.

After going to Brightborn with Sarah and assisting as the bot is removed (more on those, and what they do, in a bit), Cosima stays behind with the data while Sarah heads back towards Felix’s loft, where the Kendall-Susan handoff is taking place — and where things start to go very, very wrong. After Scott takes Kendall’s blood to separate out the correct cells, she’s kidnapped as soon as she leaves the loft — not by Susan, or even Ira (who was none too pleased a Castor cure wasn’t part of this deal), but by Evie Cho, who is apparently more villainous than we first thought and bent on seeing all things Leda destroyed.

Evie’s engineering background (and full-out obsession with building better humans) has her convinced the clones are obsolete — “Betamax,” as she calls them. Now that they have the bots, they don’t need the Leda baseline. Which means Kendall, who spent so long hiding from people who wanted to destroy her, is now in the hands of the person who wants her destroyed the most.

Cosima is brought by Evie and Roxie to a remote clearing, where Det. Duko is waiting with Kendall. There’s a final goodbye before Kendall is shot dead and the van she was kidnapped in set ablaze, eliminating any chance of getting more of her genome. Cosima collapses to the ground in tears, and Evie delivers an even more devastating blow by telling her that Delphine was shot dead in a Dyad parking garage. Cosima sobs, and I might need those tissues I just offered you guys. 

And then there are Evie’s parting words: “Tell Susan the original is dead. Tell Sarah its over. Or Beth died for nothing.”

NEXT: Beth’s final moments, revisited