Film & TV Reviews

Orphan Black Season 4: Episode 8 The Redesign of Natural Objects Review

by on June 5, 2016

This week’s episode picks up on last week’s cliffhanger where we see Donnie taken away into police custody and Detective Duko alone with Alison. This week’s tone was set right at the start of the first scene with Donnie in prison. It starts with Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 12.37.13 PMthe typical Donnie tough guy act, but that quickly disappears when he discovers he is locked inside the prison with an intimidating Neolution inmate out to get him. The main storyline of this episode really revolved around the concept of how far someone would go to keep their family safe, while questioning who their true family is. This episode has a heavy focus on Alison, Mrs.S and Rachel who are all faced with a dilemma around this theme.

We see Rachel is still slowly recovering this episode, as she stands up for the first time without crutches. This was subtly achieved in a scene where she strikes a truce with Ira to try and work together to find a cure.  Later in the episode we see Rachel convince Susan Duncan and Charlotte they need to stop wasting time and get back to working on a cure, despite Susan’s failures in the past. One last thing to note for Rachel is her eye is giving her more frequent issues in the form of visions of a swan and a man. We still have no idea what the consequences of these visions are, but they have caught my attention.

In the next scene MK returns to warn Sarah and her sister’s of the oncoming attack from Evie Cho. Despite the quick replay of the message from Evie to Susan, we didn’t get any more progression of the story from Evie’s end which was a little disappointing. On the other hand, having MK back was a good way to bridge the gap between Sarah and Rachel who were both in unknown locations to each other. Due to the neolutionist threat, Rachel and Sarah have been able to put aside their differences so that the clones may all have a future together. To make any scientific progress Sarah had to get Cosima and Scott to work with Rachel’s group, but Cosima and Scott refused to work with Rachel. In the end we see Cosima  flying out to Susan’s location to continue the science, but Rachel is forced to work with the other clones to help stop Evie.

Switching to Alison, she got the most screentime this episode. We see Alison trying to balance her personal life with the stress of her husband being in jail and being threatened by Detective Duko to give up Sarah’s whereabouts. We first see Alison get paired with Adele (Felix’s sister and suspended lawyer) to help find out how they can get Donnie out of jail. In this scene Adele meets a second clone, who they play off as Sarah’s twin sister. Using Adele as a lawyer was a clever way to bring relevance to the character and bring her closer to the clone family. Her character gains points in usefulness and is becoming a genuine character, rather than one you’d expect to be a neolution plant (despite the previous DNA test) and for some reason the character just felt more real.

In the visitation area of the prison we see Donnie warn Alison he’s in danger and that he won’t survive the weekend. As an audience member I was really hoping that Alison would figure something out because Donnie is too loveable of a character to let go. Next we see Alison meet up with Detective Duko who informs her, their family has been caught in the crossfire of the battle between neolution and Sarah Manning, but if she gives up Sarah’s location, Donnie will be fine. Alison doesn’t end up giving the detective any info yet and she buys herself some time to ponder the decision. Right after we see Alison switch right back into her old normal life where she’s dropping off costumes for her upcoming play at the church. At the church we see Alison confessing her internal debate between Donnie and Sarah with the pastor. This was where the theme of the episode really hit home because we see Alison being torn apart by trying to internalize and make this decision by herself. She ends up reaching out to Felix with her dilemma (without flat out saying it) and he once again comes in as a trustworthy, third party who provides the guidance to properly deal with the situation.

Later at the dress rehearsal we see Alison get tempted with her previous alcohol addiction, before Felix arrives and helps calm her down. The scene ends with Felix hinting at the fact that Alison and Donnie may be being threatened by Duko, but we do not know whether Alison really told Felix the truth or not. In the next scene we see Alison meeting with Duko,who informs here that Donnie is in jail with a prison shank being held up to him, so if Alison didn’t give up Sarah’s location he was going to die.

Outside the Rabbit Hole Comic Shop we see Detective Duko waiting for Sarah and when he see’s her he follows her inside. What he didn’t know,which the audience finds out at this point as well, was that Alison help set him up and Arthur, Sarah and Mrs. S were all their waiting for him. They get Duko to call off the hit and then Mrs. S ties him to a chair and tortures him to get answers. Once the hit was called off, Felix gave Alison the thumbs up and her performance during Jesus Christ Superstar made a change for the better as the weight of the Donnie situation was lifted off her shoulders.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 12.38.57 PMSwitching to Mrs.S we knew Duko murdered her mother and she was still out for revenge in hopes to take his life in return. Mrs. S had her rifle and was about to take out Duko earlier in episode, but it wasn’t until after the interrogation that she could finally put a bullet through Duko and avenge her mother. Duko did not give up any new valuable info on Evie’s plan because that was not his side of things, but that seemed like a bit of a cop out writing wise to keep the plan under wraps for longer. Furthermore his excuse to work for Neolution because they threatened his niece seemed a little far fetched for how far he went for the Neolutionists.



- Trust between Rachel and the rest of the sisters has improved to provide a stronger push for a cure

- Strong character development for Adele

- Steps forward to destroying Neolution by taking out Detective Duko


- No Helena or Krystal

- Cop out excuses to avoid giving up Evie Cho's plan for Neolution

- Predictable plot to set up the Detective to save Donnie

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Bottom Line

Seeing Detective Duko die was a rewarding end to a high stress episode when it looked like we we're going to lose Donnie a clear favorite character in the series. It's nice to see Rachel and MK working with Sarah and strengthening the clone club, I just hope we get to add Helena and Krystal back to get the largest army of clones we've seen working together yet!

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