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Orphan Black season 4 finale recap: From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths

A touching reunion, a new Big Bad, and a mysterious man behind the curtain

Posted on

Ken Woroner

Orphan Black

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

And just like that, we’re at the end of another season of Orphan Blackthe penultimate one, as BBC America announced just hours before this episode aired. So we’re getting one more, Clone Club-ers, and after tonight I can’t wait to see where things go next.

Season 4’s capper gave us the moment we’ve been waiting for all year — Cosima and Delphine, together again! — plus the fitting dispatch of Evie Cho and Rachel firmly back to the Villain column. It also left a number of questions for us to ponder as we wait for the fifth and final season, and I welcome any and all theories about P.T. Westmorland, the messenger, and just how Sarah is gonna get off that island.

With those thoughts in mind, let’s put the clones through the Orphan Black Clone Status Hyper-Sequence Generator Calcutron for the final time this year, and export them based on which sestras are left in the most danger heading into season 5.


Rachel isn’t the only Duncan skilled in the art of the double-cross (though she is plenty good at it, and we’ll get to that shortly) — Susan also pulled a big con over on Cosima and the rest of the Leda clones. As soon as it’s clear their plan to create a viable cell line has worked, the happy-tears celebrating is cut short. Susan never cared about finding a cure, or at least not as much as she needed the cells to restart her human cloning initiative. Cosima is blocked from accessing the database and her contact with the outside world is cut off mid-video chat with Sarah, Mrs. S, and Kira.

Cosima confronts Susan after discovering her true motives, pointing out that people like her will suffer if there are more clone experiments. Susan justifies it with typical Neolutionist rationale about the consequences that come along with progress and how she can’t have Cosima interfering in the lab, so she shuts our favorite scientist in the same room that was previously Rachel’s prison. While there, she finds some of Charlotte’s paintings and is struck by one in particular — the island, with a series of huts near the shore and a swan floating in the water. After Charlotte breaks her out so they can escape to that boat, Cosima asks if there are other people on the island. “Sometimes,” the young girl replies, “but we mustn’t go there.”

But go there they do. After leaving the Duncan home and wandering the island in the dark and cold, they’re discovered by the man with the glasses from Rachel’s visions and brought to their camp. It’s there that Cosima sees Delphine again for the first time — their embrace is perfect but all too brief, because Cosima is quickly taken inside for medical help. She’s weak and hypothermic and thinks she’s dying, but does have one bit of good news: She stole some of the samples from Susan’s lab before leaving the house, which means she has a gene therapy that can hopefully cure her terminal clone illness. Delphine stresses she mustn’t tell anyone she has it, and warns they have to be very careful where they are because it isn’t safe.


One of my favorite things on this show is when one clone impersonates another clone, and Sarah delivered with her pitch-perfect posing as Krystal.

Sarah-as-Krystal cornered Dr. Ian Van Lier — the new head of Brightborn after Evie Cho’s practices were exposed — by asking about Neolution and Delphine as he was speaking to reporters. Holding him at gunpoint in a nearby car, she realizes the same thing Cosima has: that Susan never wanted to find a cure and only wanted to restart human cloning.

Sarah decides the best course of action is go to the island and save Cosima, and that she needs to do it alone. “I’m immune,” she explains to Siobhan. “If I don’t fix this, it’s my curse to watch my sisters die.” She says a goodbye to Kira, who worries for all the sisters and the many other Leda clones out there they haven’t even met. Sarah assures her they’re doing this for all of them.

She gets there after Cosima has already escaped and finds herself in some serious trouble of her own — a bloody trail through the house leads her to the injured Susan Duncan and Rachel herself, who attacks Sarah with an ax and then stabs her in the leg with a kitchen knife. Sarah calls her a crazy bitch, and Rachel likens her to a cockroach in way over her head. “You didn’t even know what you were until Beth Childs walked off that train platform,” she says, taking delight in pushing the knife further into Sarah’s leg. She manages to escape after Susan gets hold of a gun and threatens Rachel with it, not going through with her threat to shoot but distracting her long enough for Sarah to make a run for it.

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But where does she run to? Bloodied and limping across the island’s shore with no idea of where to go, she calls Mrs. S to say she needs help, but Ferdinand takes it — because he has her and Kira hostage at the no-longer-safe safe house.

NEXT: Rachel is officially Evil Rachel (again)