Orphan Black: “The Scandal of Altruism” Review

orphan black season 4

Man, just when I thought things were looking up for everyone, Orphan Black reminds me that no one is safe and nothing is okay. Take note, Game of Thrones: this is how that concept works without all that unnecessary misogyny.

Trigger warning for a mention of suicide and spoilers for this week after the jump!

This episode wrapped up a lot of Beth’s backstory. Most notably, we found out where she wore that blonde wig we’ve seen so many timesto a Neolution function. She snuck in in order to kill Susan Duncan, but ended up pitying her and letting her go. It turns out Dr. Cho was her way into the party; Cho wants Susan out of the way because she feels Susan’s research is outdated and is taking Neolution in the wrong direction. Beth was a convenient weapon to point at Susan, but once she was no longer fulfilling that role, Cho encouraged her to kill herself, telling her it was the only way to protect her sisters and her family.

Back in the present, Susan and Sarah strike a deal regarding Kendall’s genome. Clone Club will provide a sample of Kendall’s cancer cells only, because the cancer is pure Leda, and that way Neolution won’t be able to recreate the Castor pathogen. In exchange, Brightborn will remove the bot from Sarah’s cheek and help with a cure for Cosima. The bot extraction is successful, but everything else immediately goes to pot. After providing her sample, Kendall is rushed away by one of Siobhan’s friends, only to be intercepted by a mysterious man. When Sarah returns and sees the evidence of the abduction, she suspects foul play from Susan and destroys the sample Susan was going to take. cosima kendallShe suspects that it was Susan’s pet Castor, Ira, who abducted Kendall; he was furious that Susan would agree to take a pure-Leda sample that wouldn’t provide any Castor material to help cure their glitches. She and Mrs. S hold Susan hostage while Brightborn does the same with Cosima. Rather than Ira, however, it turns out that it was actually the sketchy Internal Affairs cop who took Kendall, and that he’s working with Evie Cho. In an utter coup for Evie’s side, they manage to infect Cosima and Scott’s data and then kill Kendall, destroying any hope Clone Club had for a cure and cementing Evie’s place at the top of the Neolution food chain.

Finally, our C-plot centers on Krystal, who shows up at Art’s precinct trying to file a report against Brightborn. She’s still convinced that she’s part of a conspiracy against moral-minded beauticians. Art calls Felix in to help, but she ends up macing him aaaand they don’t make a ton of progress. Krystal’s such a complicated character because, despite being clearly very smart, she’s also very ignorant/naïve, and she’s on the wrong-est of wrong tracks with her snooping right now. krystalLike Luce, part of me wants her to be initiated into Clone Club so she’ll stop walking into trouble and start using her smarts for the good of the squadshe’s unintentionally endangering all of them with her free agent investigationsbut it’s also hard to say someone who’s blessedly free of all the clone nonsense should be pulled into their high-octane, high-danger lifestyle.

As far as the big twist of the episode, I’m suspicious about it having the long-term impact that it immediately seemed it would have. While Cosima did seem pretty wrecked at the end of the episode, it may have been mostly shock at Kendall’s death. I have a hard time believing that they didn’t have any samples or backups of her genetic data left anywhere. And even if they didn’t, Kendall was constantly smoking; if real-world cops can convict a killer off of the DNA in the spit on a cigarette butt, our sci-fi Orphan Black scientists can probably do what seems like magic with one. Also, at the end of the episode Evie confirms to Cosima that Delphine is dead, which… makes me suspect more than ever that she’s alive. This is in part because I don’t trust Evie and because I am trying to have faith that Orphan Black won’t bury its gays, but also because literally nothing went right for Cosima this episode and I would like her to have a nice surprise. I am curious how this development will affect Susan’s role in relation to Clone Club as well as Rachel’s part in the story. If Evie takes the reins of Neolution, will Susan gracefully step out of her way? Will she team up with Clone Club? Or is the enemy of my enemy still my enemy in this scenario? Only time will tell.

Where are you, my sweet precious murder child?

Where are you, my sweet precious murder child?

Having talked about what did happen in this episode, it’s worth noting what was missing; namely, any sign of Helena. There’s a pregnant former assassin and clone just wandering around out there and we have no idea what she’s doing or where she went. I’m really starting to worry about her. Also, given how meaty Alison’s contributions to the plot have been this season, it was strange to have an entirely Alisonless episode as well. She seemed to be having a religious epiphany in the preview for next week’s episode, so I’m wondering what exactly has been going on in Hendrixland while all this hoopla’s been happening with the rest of the crew. I guess we’ll find out that and more in a week, fellow Clone Clubbers. Till then!

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1 thought on “Orphan Black: “The Scandal of Altruism” Review

  1. Pingback: Orphan Black: “The Antisocialism of Sex” Review | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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