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‘Orphan Black' season 4, episode 5: Take your daughter to work day

Susan Duncan and Cosima meet.

BBC America

Susan Duncan and Cosima meet.

Halfway through this season, Orphan Black is doing a great job balancing humor and horror. We've been grossed out plenty with face bots and Freakie Leekies, but now we're once again exploring the terrifying consequences of meddling with genes. But through it all, we have Donnie, and now Krystal for some much-needed laughter.

So let's kick off "Human Raw Material" with Krystal Goderitch, who is showing off Tatiana Maslany's body like no other clone. I'm so glad our delightful blondey is back. It seems she's been doing her own little investigation outside of #CloneClub. She has no idea what's she's stepping in -- maybe DYAD is putting stem cells into their cosmetics! Oh no! -- but once Donnie blows his cover, she runs off. You in danger, girl. Best be gettin' on with your life. (An aside: Krystal running into Ira was a perfectly captured moment. All these Castors are creeps.)

Well, let's get on with #CloneClub, but first Kira. She was absent from last week's episode so I'm happy we're checking in on her quickly. Sarah feels a little guilty about being a crappy mother, but now I'm thinking shouldn't this kid be in school? She's a very bright, and intuitive little girl.

Kira joins Sarah on some #CloneClub duties for the day. The little girl is very much aware of the tension between Sarah and Felix, and even rolls her eyes at Adele, with whom she's getting very close. Sarah and Felix happen to be fighting about Adele, Felix's long lost sister. It's great that Felix is finding his own life, but it's getting in the way of everything else that is going on. Sarah thinks it's important to check this girl's DNA to see if they're actually related. I guess it's good to be mindful of everyone in their lives, given all clones had handlers at one point, but maybe this one is real? And it's especially suspicious that Felix found his sister using a company also owned by the Brightborn people. But Scott confirms later, during an intense family dinner (are there any other kind on TV?), that yes, Felix and Adele are siblings.

But I still don't trust Adele. She knows a lot already, and Felix is too blind with jealousy and loneliness to see how that's a bad thing. This show has definitely made us extremely paranoid about new characters and who sent them.

Back to #CloneClub, Cosima jumps into the Brightborn Brigade and is now going undercover with Donnie. Evie Cho is in the building, and shares her personal story and why she's a part of genetic editing and producing the "ideal" baby. Orphan Black loves to raise questions on scientific ethics and answer them with personal stories from the characters.

Cosima snoops around the Brightborn facilities, which are a mix of a spa and science lab. She unknowingly meets the Susan Duncan at the pool and asks lots of great questions about the fertility provider fishy experiments and what they do with the "leftover" embyros. Susan later discusses her interaction with Cosima with Ira (Castor boy) and Evie. They mention another clone who was self-aware ... Could that be Beth?

With two clones running around the building, one of them had to be carted off. Luckily, it was Krystal so Cosima could run around the lab some more. She witnesses a very disturbing birth. The baby, if you can even call it that, is horribly deformed with its face caved in. Gene experimentation has obviously gone wrong in this case. The doctors do not seem rattled, which is also very disturbing.

Susan catches Cosima where she shouldn't be. Cosima is the perfect clone to confront "their maker." At this point in the series, we've had lots of players in the power game of genetics. Cosima tries her best to get her point across to Evie. There are dangerous consequences to the trial-and-error experimentations on human creation. The greater good that Susan goes on and on about does not justify that severity in Cosima's mind. Even if Project Leda is "so much more sophisticated," it doesn't mean these ethics aren't just as bad. Neolutionists, Proletheans and this Brightborn carrier program both have people tricked into consenting to something else entirely.

This quote stuck out to me: "No one gives permission to be born. I created you," says Susan. I think this can be applied to the discussion of the right to abortion. I don't have anything more to say about that, just a thought that popped into my brain.

Susan uses Cosima's fatal future to try and convince her to contribute to the greater cause of human experimentation. Low blow, but will it be effective? Susan wants Kendall, the original, but we'll see if Cosima lets that happen.

Of course we don't end on that note. This is Orphan Black, and we need a little more uncomfortable craziness. And because we needed another reason to think Susan or Ira are creepy.

One more thing: Meanwhile, back at the police station, that one detective makes the Alison-Beth connection while Art tries to play it cool. Through his tilted glasses, he makes some accusations and threats. The Hendrixes are being investigated about the drug dealers homicide from last season. No update on where Helena is.

[Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2016 12:34am]


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