'Orphan Black' Season 4 premiere: Freaky flashback to our 'first' clone
Here we are, #CloneClub. Back where we started. But after last season's neat season ender, our showrunners had to find a new story to blow us away.
And they did.
I can't believe it's taken them four seasons to give us Beth Childs. In this flashback and kind-of bottle episode (where we just focus on one character), we go "back to the beginning of this s---" our journey.
And if that wasn't enough, we revisit long-lost characters: Dr. Leekie, Man with a Tail, Beth's partner Art Bell, and Paul! And because Tatiana Maslany is a captivating chameleon with no shortage of acting abilities, we meet a new clone.
Mika, or MK, is our creepy sheep. It was bold, yet expected, for the cold opening to toss into something completely unknown. Masked person runs around a dark forest, watches sexy couple in those woods bury a body. What now, Orphan Black?
(Take note that the sheep mask if very poignant, given the animal's ties to cloning.)
We're brought back to our clones when the masked clone calls Beth in the middle of the night. It's very clear from the beginning of this episode that Beth is troubled. But we should know that when we remember how we first "met" her in the series premiere. Witnessing her final days are very depressing, but we should expect that.
Also, welcome back, Paul. Please keep shirts optional.
The next morning, Beth follows the "anonymous tip" with her partner Art, who looks like he's lost weight in the interim. And it's not an episode of Orphan Black without me retching at the sight of something. The dead body has his face ripped open, but we can tell he's got a Freaky Leekie eyeball. Oh, and apparently this dead person has a "surgically bifurcated penis." For those of you who don't want to Google that (don't), "bifurcated" means "divided into two branches or forks." Neat.
Luckily, Beth uses her pink clone phone to check in on our other sestras. Cosima makes a fantastic U-Haul joke.
Art and Beth's relationship is close. He's obviously very concerned about her, and she's keeping her life secret. She's had problems in the past, because her lieutenant and department are also keeping tabs on her.
Also, what a delight to see Felix! And of course because this is a television show, Beth and Felix don't make eye contact, even though clearly they should have.
We follow Beth to a random house to video chat with MK, who's got some great cutoff bangs. MK seems very skittish. MK tells Beth about Neolution and awesomely lays it out its cause for us: "They put ideas in these stupid people's heads so they can experiment on them." Neolution is everywhere, and Beth should be wary about those close to her (someone in her bed and at work).
So off to Club Neolution for some detective work. Olivier Duval, THE MAN WITH THE TAIL, is back. And yes, he wears a bracelet on his tail, since you asked. But the best part of this scene was the pregnant lady explaining Neolution. "Neolution is just an ethos. Like about creating yourself, individual, evolutionary choice." Those fancy words might just convince me to sign up.
Anyway, Tail Man calls up Dr. Leekie, another blast from the past, to warn him about Beth's presence in the club, and also that they might need to give Beth a new monitor. She confronts Dr. Leekie, who has to pretend he doesn't know who she is.
Cut to my favorite clone playing with her new unloaded gun in her gift-wrapping room. Alison sends Beth some clean urine. And it comes complete with a gift note! How thoughtful.
Back to Beth doing things: Beth takes a drug test. Beth gets a secret briefcase. Beth drills a hole in her wall and installs a hidden camera. Beth snorts coke for dinner, because that's what you do when you have to sit through a candle-lit dinner with your hot monitor.
"How about we lock the doors and drink and screw for like, two months." Girl, you read my mind.
But in all seriousness, this was a very powerful scene between Beth and Paul. Beth is truly disturbed. They argue, Beth mentions something about not being able to have kids. "Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me." And then she's aiming a gun behind his back. Eventually she ends up at Art's door, something she's clearly done before. They kiss, and probably more. When did Art become such a beefcake?
Side note: The music this episode is haunting. It was very noticeable during this scene on Art's couch.
Trina, the pregnant lady from Club Neolution, calls Beth in the middle of the night. Trina is worried about her boyfriend Aaron, who left with some "hardcore Neos." Beth is on the case, and OH GOD WHAT AM I WATCHING. This guy is having a bug removed from his cheek. Beth runs away, and we all die a little inside.
But Beth is high, or coming down off a high. And there's Maggie Chen, the woman Beth killed. We watch as Art helps Beth cover up the crime. But this where it gets interesting. MK warned Beth earlier that the Neolutionists had infiltrated the police force -- and she was right. The man she just saw in the room with the guy getting "surgery" on his cheek is apparently Detective Duko from the police union, who will represent her on the Maggie Chen's case.
MK and Beth meet up in person, where the drink tea and chat about boys. In some sense.
And we're back in the present with cute Kyra and Sarah. Art calls Sarah, and M.K. warns her that Neolution knows where she is. Run, Sarah. Yeah, I think she can do that.
I can't wait to learn more about Mika/MK. What's her accent? Why hasn't she met the other clones? She obviously knows about them. She's paranoid, and Neolutionists think she's dead.
As Beth is now understanding why MK lives in seclusion, what makes her think killing herself is the only option? Maslany's clones all have distinct personalities, but Beth's darkness is all new territory.
Beth clearly knows more than Alison and Cosima at this point. But Beth is just now tracking down the Neolutionists involvement. It's hard enough remembering every detail the show has given us after Beth's death, and then asking us to think back to what these characters do and do not know at this point. For once, though, viewers know a little more than our characters, which is fun -- for now.