Film & TV Reviews

Orphan Black Season 4: Episode 4 From Instinct to Rational Control Review

by on May 7, 2016

This week’s episode of Orphan Black was a little underwhelming compared to the episodes past thus far. Overall the atmosphere was depressing and the climax felt underwhelming.

The episode starts with MK getting ready for her day, mixed with her wiring up some C4. The scene gives us insight of how her daily life consists of trying to live while protecting herself. We see MK building a tree of everyone involved at Topside and one of the mystery people she’s looking to connect is Ferdinand Chevalier. We see she has a name but no face. At this point it is unclear why MK is interested in Ferdinand, besides for another clone named Niki, but that is revealed later.

Moving next to Rachel’s storyline throughout the episode we see Rachel is looking into Charlotte’s history as Charlotte is the youngest Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 3.48.54 PMclone to date to develop the symptoms of the disease that eventually gets all the clones. We first see Rachel talking to Ira, trying to get him to ask Susan Duncan if immunosuppresive therapy is an option. Charlotte is unaware of her condition and her limited time, but as Susan and Rachel later discuss, it doesn’t really matter because her life is unimportant compared to the science. Throughout the episode we see Rachel’s perspective change as by the end, she comes to conclusions they are best to leave her untreated in hopes it gives the rest of the clones a better chance at the cure. We can see Susan is slowly molding Rachel’s beliefs as discussed in my previous review. At the end of the episode we see Susan has caught Rachel trying to sneak another message out to Ferdinand and for this reason, Susan says she has to disappear again for a long while.

Next Cosima and Scott are back at their lab looking into the worm they were able to retrieve from Dr. Leekie’s cheek. Whomever designed the prop or computer image of Leekie’s head and the worm inside did an incredible job. It was realistic and morbid. Unfortunately this storyline can be summed up by saying they’ve concluded the worm gives it’s host a gene therapy to change it’s host’s DNA. Although Cosima and Scott’s work is dire to the season,  I wish we’d see a little more of them. Their storyline this season is important it just feels very linear thus far.

This episode Helena didn’t even contribute any humour. We see Donnie and Helena early in episode finally having the conversation about how hard it’s been on Alison having a pregnant clone in the house as it’s brought back the torment of Alison and Donnie not being able to have a child of their own. Helena took this conversation deep to heart as it was enough to make her grab all her stuff and leave the Hendrix residence, while everyone was out. Another truly depressing moment in the series as we don’t know where Helena will go for the rest of her pregnancy. Whether she seeks to stay with one of her other sisters or whether she’ll branch out on her own is still left up for debate.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 4.26.36 PMMoving onto the storyline of Sarah Manning, we see her and Ferdinand got home safely. Sarah’s main goal is still getting the worm out of her cheek and Ferdinand tells her Susan Duncan is with Rachel and is her best chance of getting the worm removed. Where this gets complicated is the only clue of Rachel and Susan’s whereabouts is the message delivered to Ferdinand from Charlotte. Ferdinand suggests Sarah takes the message to her source (MK) to try and find their whereabouts. Sarah ends up going back to Dizzy where MK is available via webcam again. This time MK agrees to meet Sarah once she traces the data. Things go awry when MK finds out Ferdinand is the source and leaves Sarah no choice but to let Dizzy in on the clone situation in order for DIzzy to help track MK down. The two end up finding MK’s booby-trapped hideout and realize MK was tracking Sarah most recently not Susan Duncan. Furthermore Sarah made the connection between MK and Helsinki. Therefore MK was looking for Ferdinand to kill him, because he was responsible for the purging in Helsinki and the murder of her only friend Niki (who also was a clone). Sarah ends up confronting MK at Beth’s, but MK ends up stealing all of Ferdinand’s savings and also disappearing while leaving him sitting in a chair armed with a bomb. Mrs. S eventually shows up and disarms the bomb defusing the situation. There was plenty of build up as mentioned previously, but the moment truly felt underwhelming as the search for MK finally came to a close.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 5.01.59 PMLastly we get more Alison, Donnie and Felix. While Alison is out having coffee with a friend, the previously pregnant neolutionist recognizes Alison (as Beth) at the coffee shop. Sarah being busy with her cheek worm gets Alison to look into the lead herself. Alison, DOnnie and Felix end up going to the fertility clinic Alison tried before. Because Alison was scared of being recognized it was up to Felix and Donnie to act as a couple to infiltrate the clinic and to try and determine if it’s an undercover neolutionist facility. There’s a hit and miss scene where Donnie is supposed to provide a sperm sample and ends up calling Alison for help, but I couldn’t decide if it was funny or just weird. Long story short the two and Alison work together to find out about a program called BrightBorn. The three of them bring the package back and Cosima and Felix watch a quick DVD that came with the package. The DVD was hosted by Evie Cho (the lady talking with Dr. Leekie in the first episode of the season when Beth meets Dr.Leekie). We know they are on to a new sect of Neolution “mainstream reproductive technology.” Cosima seems in awe if the situation, but the show does a great job as growing Neolution as a gigantic monster. Despite the slow episode i’m still excited to see what else the Neolutionists have in store for us this season!





- New leads to the size of Neolution
- Donnie's character is always entertaining no matter who's he sharing screen time with.
- MK backstory is a little more clear


- Why is everybody leaving and when will we see them all again
- Ferdinand and MK build up was big and the end didn't seem to pay off entertainment wise
- Episode contained a lot of heart breaking and sad moments

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Bottom Line

The episode consisted of a lot of people disappearing. Hopefully the BrightBorn mentioned near the end of the episode leads to a more exciting episode next week.

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