Friday, June 17, 2016

Orphan Black, Season Four, Episode Ten: From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths

The fourth season finale was a little bit underwhelming as far as I am concerned. Sure, it had the reunion of Cosima and Delphine and set the stage for season five, which will be Orphan Black's last but it all felt somewhat anticlimactic to me.  We all know that Sarah isn't going to die and that Mrs. S is going to find a way to deal with Ferdinand once and for all.  Shall we have at it?

Let's start with Helena because her role in this episode like much of the season was small.  Helena is now back in her wooded hide away with the Hendrixes and as to be expected, Allison is not doing well with the adjustment.  Donnie blames Helena's cooking and even without eating it or tasting it, I think that he's probably right.  Helena just wants to help and even offers to kill Evie but Sarah and Mrs. S advise her to stay where she is for now.  Awwww, I want more Helena.  I am not pleased with the way that she has been sidelined this season.

Now to the meat of the matter so to speak.  On the island, Cosima and Mommy Dearest are pleased that the fertilized egg has lead to a scientific breakthrough.  Cosima gets online to tell Mrs. S, Sarah and Kira that at last, she's got a cure. The celebration doesn't last long because Cosima quickly finds that she's locked out of the system and that her connection to the outside world has been severed. This of course is Mommy Dearest's handy work. No way was so actually going to do anything for her Leda Clones when she can get busy making more clones.

Evie Chow has been handed her walking papers by Neolution by unwisely chooses to resist, pointing out that the current PR disaster is not her fault.  It's quickly evident that Evie falsely believed that her contribution to Neolution was more important than it is.  For her trouble, Evie has her implant activated by none other than Dr. Ian Van Lier, her mentor and now replacement.  As the announcement of Dr. Ian Van Lier taking over the company goes public, he is recognized by none other that Crystal, who remembers him as the man who swooped in and saved Delphine after she had been shot.

Crystal thinks she is in the know and gets in contact with Felix, who pretends to be a secret agent. Crystal is no longer buying Felix's fake identity and so Felix has no choice but to bring her into clone club. Upon meeting Sarah however, Crystal is not convinced that she is a clone, pointing out that she is a ten while Sarah is a seven on her best day. Oh Crystal.  Crystal the most empty headed clone to date is convinced that there's a battle going on between Estee Lauder and a “Swedish company” called Neolution. That's it, no clone club for Crystal ever.

Sarah then pretends to be Crystal and confronts Dr. Ian Van Lier at a press conference. Sarah and Mrs. S hold Lier at gunpoint around the corner and she realises that mommy dearest never had any intention of handing over the cure for Cosima.  Back at the comic shop, Sarah decides to go after Cosima.  When Mrs. S asks to come along, Sarah says that has to do this alone.  As the only one who is immune, if she doesn't get the cure to Cosima, she's destined to watch all of her sisters die.  It's quite a statement and makes a massive impact.

While Sarah figures out how to get Ira to arrange for her to head to the island, Rachel is busy making big moves. What? You thought that Rachel would remain on team good? She's far too ambitious for that.  After some sexy times with Ferdinand, Rachel meets with the board and suggests that they move the corporation someplace where they will absolutely own all of the clones they create, allowing them to place implants inside each of them. Rachel adds, “If we want to know if our lab rats’ tails will grow back, we damn well will cut them off and see". Damn, Rachel is cold.

With the boards support, Rachel heads to the island to confront Mommy Dearest.  Susan feels that Rachel is in over her head and has betrayed all of the Leda Clones as well as herself.  Rachel however cannot be talked down and believes that she is fulfilling her destiny to follow Susan. When Rachel gets a vision of a swan in her eye, she grabs a knife and attacks Mommy Dearest.

Seeing what is going down with Rachel and Susan, Cosima and Charlotte take off hoping to make it to the boats. Run Cosima run!  Sarah bursts in and confronts Susan only to be attacked by Rachel. Rachel swings her cane for all she is worth and manages to do some major damage to Sarah.  Rachel then stabs Sarah in the leg with a knife.  Sarah is only saved because Mommy Dearest grabs a gun and threatens to shoot Rachel, distracting Rachel long enough for Sarah to escape.  Rachel is so stone cold she even taunts Mommy Dearest to shoot her.  Despite Susan's regret when it comes to creating Rachel, she cannot make herself pull the trigger and Rachel simply takes the gun away from her.

Cosima has reached her breaking point and is forced to sit on the ground with Charlotte. Fortunately, they are discovered by the man with the glasses in Rachel's visions and brought to their camp. Cosima is out of it as Delphine treats her and gets into bed with her to bring up her body temperature. Delphine warns Cosima to be careful what she says because they are not safe there. Cosima is certain that she's dying but does have one trump card left to play - she stole some of the lab samples from Susan before taking off.

Rachel tells Mommy Dearest about her visions and Susan quips that the man behind the curtain is losing patience with natural selection.  Yes, the original creator of Neolution P.T. Westmoreland is still alive and pulling the strings. DAMN!  Rachel doesn't even lose her cool and she locks Susan in her old basement room before sitting down with a glass of wine to chat with the board of Neolution. When Rachel reveals that she has secured the science to the board,  Van Lier informs her that she can meet with Westmoreland now. Rachel's computer screen goes blank and the doorbell rings.

I don't know what I expected from this last episode but this wasn't it. The season began with a real high giving by giving us Beth's backstory.  I didn't even realise how much I needed to see it until it aired.  It sucked me in and showed just how vulnerable the clones are despite the strength they have shown.  I wanted more of this, more personal stories and little less on the intrigue I suppose.  For me, this season focused far too hard on trying to be funny, turning the Hendrixes into ridiculous comic relief that had me rolling my eyes whenever they appeared on the screen.

Felix had a few moments in season four that were long over due.  Since season one, Felix has been little more than a servant to the clones, or more specifically his foster sister Sarah.  I loved watching Felix stand up to Sarah, finally prioritizing himself.  Unfortunately, this didn't last very long because Sarah's needs quickly came to prioritize his. So long Adele, you were fun.

Speaking of tokens, we also have to talk about Art.  This season we learned that Art had a daughter and not only was in love with Beth but had a sexual relationship with her.  It's a big reveal that unfortunately went absolutely nowhere.  Art continues to spend his time in service to Sarah and only complained once when he became associated with the Hendrixes and their drug dealing.  It's rather telling that the servants on Orphan Black is the one Black male character and the sole gay male character.  Art deserves better. He didn't even really get a big moment of rebellion like Felix did.

It's been reported that season five will be the last season of Orphan Black.  With the introduction of Westmoreland, clearly the stage has been set to take out Neolution from the root.  At this point, I'm positive that Rachel has taken on more than she can chew in this man given that he is somehow magically alive and has been pulling the strings all along. It's clear that all the clones are going to have to come together to defeat Westmoreland but I hope that Rachel gets what's coming to her first.