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‘Orphan Black' season 4 finale: Rachel, once a lab rat, always a villain

Welcome back, Evil Rachel.

BBC America

Welcome back, Evil Rachel.



First, guys. Important news: BBC America just renewed Orphan Black for a fifth and FINAL season. As sad as I am to have to say goodbye to #CloneClub, I am happy that our fearless showrunners can plan for an end. In the era of Peak TV, it seems shows do better when they have an end date in mind. Our #CloneClub world could keep expanding, but as we saw in season 3, that doesn't necessarily mean good things. And this season reorganized priorities and rightfully brought us back to the inner Sestra circle. And, as always, the season finale, "From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths" answered questions as well as asked new ones. We were introduced to a new/old Big Bad, gave us a touching reunion, and teased a mysterious Man Behind the Curtain.

So let's recap one last time this year. And to keep all that Sestra Shenanigans organized, let's go clone by clone.

Rachel's hobble to power

Welcome back, Evil Rachel! For a girl with a mental and physical disability, she sure gets around easily. After taking down Evie Cho last episode, Rachel stabbed her mother in the stomach and attacked Sarah. Her motivations are clear: Controlling Neolution. Her ultimate plan is geniusly evil: Combine the competing Neolution factions, and use the Leda human cloning project with Brightborn's gene therapy bots together to genetically change the human population. She doesn't care about natural selection ethics, though. Her human experiments will be just that: lab rats. "If we want to know if our lab rats' tails will grow back, we damn well will cut them off and see." This has been a point of contention of all our villains. But this villain is a lab rat herself, which makes it all the more fascinating she has no empathy for scientific subjects.

Susan — who betrayed Cosima's trust to jumpstart cloning again — ultimately couldn't even shoot Rachel after she stabbed her. Rachel is her subject, her daughter. But she is a life. Susan was right, though. Rachel has betrayed not only her, Rachel's sisters, but also Rachel herself. But Susan walks a fine line between ruthless scientist and devoted mother. Rachel learned manipulation from the very best and it's hard to know with whom to side. But both of them never seem to die, no matter their injuries. Typical villains.

Rachel also came face-to-face with her visions and met the lopsided old man from the woods. Susan calls him "the messenger." Later, Susan also alludes to the real "man behind the curtain." P.T. Westermoreland is still alive? Rachel cozies up to her computer with a glass of wine to tell Dr. Van Lier (who used Evie's face bot to kill her) that the science is secure. The doorbell rings. Could it be Zombie Westermoreland?

Sarah goes on a rescue mission

The best thing Tatiana Maslany does is playing a clone impersonating another. And Sarah as Krystal is everything. The ruse was to get Dr. Van Lier to spill the beans on Rachel and Susan's plans. As soon as Siobhan and Sarah realize that it wasn't about the cure, Sarah races to the island to rescue Cosima. But she goes alone, and speaks a sad truth to Siobhan as she leaves: "I'm immune. If I don't fix this, it's my curse to watch my sisters die." She says a tearful goodbye to Kira, YET AGAIN. Kira has way too many worries for a child. I worry about HER.

Sarah walks into a bloody mess as Susan tries to suture her stab wounds. Rachel attacks, and Sarah gets away and runs into the cold woods. She calls Siobhan for help (not sure how she can), and turns out Ferdinand is holding Siobhan and Kira hostage. Ferdy, of Topside, has just tried to reconnect evil empires, with a side of kink, with Rachel. But who is going to save Siobhan and Kira? Felix and Ira, the two men with beautifully sculpted faces. But we'll just have to wait till next year on that one.

Cosima reunites with Delphine

Deep sighs. It was a little coincidental that Delphine is also on the island and Cosima and Charlotte are saved. Let's back up, though. Delphine's loyalty to the Ledas was a threat to Evie's Brightborn plan, so Evie ordered the hit on Delphine, which Detective Duko didn't complete thanks to Krystal's terrible ringtone. Dr. Van Lier, also working with Evie, swoops in and takes Delphine to the island. But she's living with the lopsided old man called "the messenger" in a small community of tents. So Delphine is at the right place at the right time to save a hypothermic Cosima, and she has THE CURE, probably stolen by the messenger? That was unclear if Delphine had it or Cosima stole it earlier. "You can shoot me up like old times." So romantic. I was not ready to say goodbye to Cosima.

Helena and the Hendrixes roughin' it

Not too much going on with them. They're hiding out in the woods. We're going to need a web series on that, like right now.

Krystal is the smartest clone of them all

There really isn't much more to say here. Her intelligent level of idiot saves her every time. But, lord, does she provide comedic relief. The show really drives it home that it's not genes that determine your personality and intelligence. Nature vs. Nurture ... never change, Krystal. You're definitely a 10.

Other questions

Is Evie dead? The camera panned out and we didn't clearly see a dead body...

Dr. Van Lier just popped up this episode, really, and it seems he already has LOTS of power. Just who is he?

The bots are quintessential sci-fi technological weapon of power. The plan is to put these in everyone's face with the promise of eliminating all diseases and cancers. But with the push of a button, can kill the host. Seems a little #basic for Orphan Black.

P.T. Westermoreland, if actually alive, would be 200-ish years old. Fun.


[Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2016 12:25am]


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