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'Orphan Black' recap: 'The Mitigation of Competition'

Posted on

Ken Woroner

Orphan Black

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
4
run date:
03/30/13
performer:
Taitana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris
broadcaster:
BBC America
genre:
Action, Drama, Sci-fi

Well, that was a double dose of happy returns.

Seeing Delphine again (She’s alive! But where? What’s happened to her? How soon can we tell Cosima? So many questions!) was the perfect capper to this season’s second-to-last episode, which began with another very happy return. Helena seems very in her elements in the elements, doesn’t she?

But the sense that her sisters might need her brings her back, and just in time. Those Leda bonds are strong, as we know — strong enough that Felix is pulled back in, and even Rachel is willing to team up with Sarah to bring down a common enemy.

There’s just one more episode to go, and I can’t wait to see how this fantastic season comes to a close. But now, it’s time for the clones to take anther trip through the Orphan Black Clone Status Hyper-Sequence Generator Calcutron and see where all our sestras land this week based on those family ties.

Helena

How lovely it is to see you again, Helena! Since she left the Hendrix home in episode 4, she’s been living on her own and having some “me” time in a snowy wooded area, hunting for her own food. But when she places a call to Sarah and gets the sense that something’s wrong, she drops everything save for that weird furry hat and comes back to town. (Did you notice the photos she had in her fortress of solitude?)

She’s concerned about Alison and Donnie and isn’t afraid to confront Adele when she starts asking clone questions. And her return couldn’t have been better timed, considering how she helped the Hendrixes out of what could have been a very bad run-in with Neolution (but more on that in a bit).

Sarah and Rachel

Let’s put these two together this week since they teamed up on a bring-down-Evie-Cho plan, to both of their great displeasure (“You really don’t like each other, do you?” Ira asks. Rachel’s reply: “She put a pencil in my brain.” That’ll do it!).  The plan? Take out Evie by exposing Brightborn’s deep, dark secret — that they’ve euthanized babies born with birth defects as a result of the gene-manipulating trials — which they can do because two Brightborn mothers escaped the facility with video footage in hand. Sarah tracks the women to a shelter with the help of Art, but Neolution is looking for them too and gets there first — one of the expectant mothers is found dead (it looks like a suicide, but we know it’s not) and the other is missing.

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They find that woman, Kendra, with help from Trina (who Sarah finds at the crime scene and speaks to, posing as Beth), and learn she’s staying in a relative’s house in another town. This place, Tisdale, comes up a few times — it’s also Evie’s hometown, and where she plans to build a new Brightborn facility to bring jobs back there — and there, Kendra tells Sarah and Art that her son was born blind and if Brightborn finds her, they’ll kill him.

NEXT: Rachel, are you with us or against us?[pagebreak]​

Sarah tries to good-cop her into coming with them, but Rachel favors a more direct approach: Station Ira outside, then call the house and threaten Kendra’s other son unless she goes with them. That version works, which is actually a good thing because Roxie (one half of the Neolution-as-EMTs duo) enters the house then with someone who isn’t her usual partner. Thankfully, Kendra went off with Ira, and Sarah and Art caught the other two and plan to turn them over to the police.

Back at Brightborn, Evie is prepping for a press conference where she plans to announce they’ve gotten approval to begin trials with the latest version of bot, but she’s stopped by a visit from Rachel looking to negotiate. She wants a position of power within Neolution — something Evie previously vowed a clone could never have — and in return she’d hand over Kendra and the video footage. Would it have been that surprising if Rachel Duncan wanted to double-cross the Clone Club? Nope, which is why it’s even better that she doesn’t. She gets Evie to admit to euthanizing Brightborn babies with birth defects and gets the conversation on camera, and Ira promptly blasts it out to all the journalists at her press conference just as she’s delivering her big speech. Not all press is good press, Evie Cho.

Cosima

On the island, Cosima gets into family ties on a biological level — literally uniting Leda and Castor via Sarah’s eggs and Ira’s sperm, in hopes of getting stem cells they can use to find a cure. Susan Duncan is her guide, partner, and ethical foe here: They debate the founder of Neolution and the ethics of Neolution as a whole. She also has a sweet moment meeting Charlotte, where both of them bond over being the “sick” ones. Cosima later questions Susan about Charlotte, and she admits she was under “tremendous” pressure to continue Leda when she created Charlotte and didn’t have Kendall’s line at her disposal. Pressure from whom? She wouldn’t say…

Alison

Only Alison Hendrix would lament losing her religion as she’s starring in a production of Jesus Chris Superstar, but that’s why we love her. Even with Donnie out on bail, she finds herself struggling with her faith in God (even hearing Donnie say that word during post-prison sex makes her uncomfortable). And with their house still being watched and everyone in town knowing about their criminal activities, Alison thinks it’s time for a little vacation. Before they can leave though (literally, as Donnie goes to pack the flip-flops), they’re visited by the other Neo/EMT, looking for answers about what happened to Duko. He has an old generation bot that he threatens to put in Alison unless she talks, and as he counts to 10 she begins to pray and those prayers get answered — in the form of Helena, who enters the house at just the right time and puts an arrow through the Neo’s neck.

Additional genetic material (a few this week, including that ending!):

  • Felix did a hard but noble thing when he pushed Adele away. She knew something was up (the three identical sisters with distinctly different accents just one of the red flags), and instead of inducting her into Clone Club, he said it was better to take time apart. As she puts it, “Genetics doesn’t really make a family, does it?”
  • But I do hope this isn’t the last we see of Adele because I’ve grown to really like her. And not just because she mixes mood stabilizers and booze and calls it “brunch.”
  • Rachel’s visions. Let’s break down what she’s seeing: a winter setting, clothes on a line, that same bearded man, the swan (first unharmed, later decapitated) a small child, a structure that could be a house or cabin with some sort of writing outside it (if you have theories/ideas to what those are, please share!), and men with hunting gear. By the episode’s end, she seems to be piecing what she’s seeing together – that it’s not a glitch, it’s on the island, and someone is trying to show her something.
  • Is that something Delphine? We see a small, remote-looking house, with food on the stove and music playing inside, and someone sitting and writing with what looks like a radio and a computer at her desk. A hand rests on her shoulder and she turns, giving us our first look at Dr. Cormier since the season 3 finale.

And now, I open the floor to all your thoughts and theories. Is Evie out for good? What is Rachel seeing in those visions? What happened to Delphine? Share them all in the comments below!

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