Orphan Black Review: Past Coming Back to Haunt Clone Club


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Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 2, “Transgressive Border Crossing”

It’s almost like Season 1 all over again. Sarah and Art are back investigating Neolution together. Cosima is doing science in a basement. Felix isn’t wearing pants. Purple iPhones! All of Orphan Black’s greatest hits in one episode.

The nostalgia doesn’t last much past the introduction of the robo-maggot, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted with Alison and Felix together for a bit and Donnie and Helena scamming insurance for a sonogram. After Sarah’s frightening discovery, cherishing these goofy moments might be important because they may be in short supply in the long run.

Here’s the clone-by-clone recap of the episode.

Sarah, lead investigator and mother of the year

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Heeding the warning from new clone on the block MK, Sara, Mrs. S, Kendal and Kira beat feet from Iceland with Neolution thugs on their tail. They get smuggled back into Canada. Kira is upset that Cal, who has been caring for her the last few months is out of the country and not around (don’t worry Lil K you can visit him Sunday nights on HBO for the next 10 weeks or so). After a brief Facetime reunion with her sestras, Sarah goes back to what she does best – try to make sense of the mess of her own and the other clones’ origins. It starts with breakfast with Art and a trip down memory lane to Beth’s old flat. Sarah (who appears to have raided Thea Queen’s belly shirt vault) finds Beth’s heroin stash and Art discovers her old surveillance rig. Old video of a pregnant neolutionist and an autographed copy of Leekie’s book leads Sara back to the club that Beth investigated back in the day. She takes a pissy Felix, who is now looking for his own biological family after feeling left out by recent developments, with her. A shady figure recognizes Sarah as MK and shows her scary footage of the robo-maggot in action. Sara managed to wrangle meet with MK but the new sestra is skittish as normal. A run-in with the EMTs of Doom reveals that during Sara’s time inside Dyad, he was implanted with one of those hellish cyborg wiggle worms.

Cosima, grieving half dead Living Search Engine

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Between grief over the uncertain fate of her lover Delphine and her own failing health, Cosma isn’t in the greatest of shape – but she’s got some primo ganga to help with her appetite and she’s doing science in the basement of a comic book shop. The science isn’t going as quickly as one would hope with equipment liberated from Dyad, and Cosima is really broken up about Delphine. Scott make a discovery that Keldall has leukemia, diagnosed shortly before the club found her. Kendall threatens Scott into secrecy in the way only a cranky old Irish woman can.

Helena, mother of dragons, perpetrator of insurance fraud

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Donnie and Helena are posing as Donnie and Alison for the health benefits. Pregnancy looks good on Helena despite that fact it makes her “tired and more farts.” Her first sonogram results in a joyous discovery: Helena is having identical twins.

Alison, busy bee, could probably use a drink

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With her new duties with the school district, Alison has a lot on her plate and having a pregnant Helena around the house isn’t helping. However, she does venture downtown to visit Fee, enjoy the phallic phase of his art and encourages him to come clean about his parent hunting activities. This second part of her story might cause some hackles to be raised. Alison is jealous that Helena can have babies and she’s sterile. Before you start screaming “TROPE” at Orphan Black’s creators, this is earned on Alison’s part. She is the most domesticated of the Clone Clubbers, she and Donnie have two adopted kids (that we rarely see any more) and their struggles to conceive naturally have been documented in the first three seasons. Plus without it, we would get the line about Helena: “She eats frozen bread and murders people.”

Beth, on borrowed time

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Through flashbacks and that surveillance video, we see Beth’s final days before her run-in with the Train of Destiny. She is in a hard downward spiral and a home visit from Neolutionist Det. Tuco sets her over the edge. If that suicidal act was personal or maggot related, we don’t know yet. She does don a blonde wig and does something horrible with a nickel plated gun. She also has a tearful goodbye with MK before leaving her flat for the last time.

MK, wolf in a sheep mask

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She’s still an enigma to the audience and the Clone Clubbers, but some things are getting shaded in with her. MK is a hacker of some talent and bombards servers around the world mining data about what Neolution is up to. She also has a network of shifty looking dudes doing the same, one of which recognized Sarah in the Neolution club and showed her the video of the creepy worm exploding over a guy’s face when an attempt was made to remove it. During the laundromat meeting with Sarah, MK was short on details but clear she has the Clone Club’s best interests at heart.

Next week: Hey look – Cyber-eye Rachel is back and she’s all artsy now.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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