Orphan Black recap: The Scandal of Altruism
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
Speaking of Beth, we return to the night with the blond wig and find out exactly where she went before returning to warn M.K. to go back into hiding and watch over her sisters. She’d gone to confront Susan Duncan, cornering her in an empty room at a swanky private club and pulling a gun on her.
Susan tries to plea and reason with her, bringing up her family (Beth’s mother was a kind woman, we’re told, while her father was the kind of person with “tendencies” that their screening process somehow missed) and how she devoted her life to Project Leda. Without her, all the sisters will suffer. Beth tells her to close her eyes but walks away without pulling the trigger.
In the present, Susan realized why Beth wanted to kill her: Evie set her up to it so that she could take over as the head of Neolution. And back in the past, Beth went to confront Evie after leaving Susan and gets a whole slew of threats thrown her way — she knows too much, and if she runs, Neolution will go after everyone she loves. If she wants to save them, Evie warns, she should use that gun on herself. She asks Duko if the sisters will die for what she knows, and he says he’s done it before. And Beth — poor, tortured Beth goes back home (though not before giving Evie a few very well-deserved punches to the face), cleans the blood off her hands, leaves her final plea for M.K., and heads for the train station.
Lucky for her our manicurist pal, Art spots her at the police station and makes sure Duko doesn’t. She’s there demanding protective custody and claiming Dyad and Brightborn are out to get her. Art tries to suss out if she knows she’s a clone. “Does Leda mean anything to you?” he asks. “Yeah, I love their eyeliner,” she replies. That answers that!
Sarah dispatches Felix to help Art, and he shows up in full-on Sherlock Holmes gear, deerstalker hat and all (“What? International intrigue lacks flair!”). Kyrstal recognizes him from before she was kidnapped, but they spin it as him being an inspector from Scotland Yard. She believes them, but when Felix approaches her, she still maces him anyway out of instinct.
Sitting together on the couch after that unfortunate incident (ouch), he tells her everything she thinks she knows about the war over stem cell technology being waged by cosmetics companies is true, but while the “case” is open, she needs to live her life as normally as possible. It’s a smart move — keeps her in the dark but also keeps her out of trouble — but in the midst of this, Kyrstal brings up that she crossed paths with Delphine and saw her get shot.
Shot, yes. We all saw it happen. But is Delphine dead? That’s what Evie told Delphine, but who knows if we can believe her…
Sarah is as much to blame for everything that happened this week as Cosima — she knew Mrs. S would nix anything involving Kendall and Susan Duncan, which is exactly why she didn’t say anything about it to her until the plan was set in motion.
Before she gets the bot removed, Sarah asks Evie what it does, and we get an answer – they do different things for different people, but they manipulate genes. Dr. Leekie’s, for example, treated a genetic disposition for Alzheimer’s. Sarah’s was supposed to make her sick since she’s immune to the Leda disease, but it hasn’t found the right genes to isolate yet because she’s still alive.
So with Cosima assisting, Evie extracts the bot — though it gets slightly scary when the thing starts leaking deadly toxins — and then Sarah goes to Felix’s, where she’s the one who discovers Kendall has been kidnapped. Furious and thinking Susan was behind it, she destroys the cells Scott was isolating by pouring bleach on them.
So when Cosima calls from that field to tell her that Kendall is dead, it’s all the more devastating — one look at Mrs. S lets her know she’s lost her mother, and they both know all traces of the original’s genome are seemingly gone.
That was a doozy, guys. Where do you think things will go from here? Is Delphine really dead? Will Ira survive that overdose? What can the sestras do next to try and find a cure for Cosima? Leave all theories and comments below.
Tatiana Maslany plays half the cast of BBC America’s paranoid clone thriller.