'Orphan Black' S4E9: The Mitigation of Competition

I mentioned last week that I am a fan of Rachel and Ira's growing relationship, but now that they're off the island they are really operating as a team — they're like alternate universe Sarah and Felix. Rachel is still experiencing visions of Swan Man, and it's clear she has kept Ira in the know about them. She sees him walk through the woods and he beckons her to follow him. When Ira rouses her, Rachel says she thinks the man was somewhere on the island — are her visions really happening? Later on, Rachel glimpses Swan Man's camp and realizes he is one of many people who live on the island. They're armed with guns and they chase the swan around the camp, eventually beheading it. Is there really a swan somewhere on the island, or is it just symbolic of the death of Leda and its ostracized leader?

Speaking of sister-brother teams, Felix and Sarah meet with Rachel to discuss their reluctant alliance and their plan to reinstate Susan as the head of Neolution. Felix makes it clear he feels they got the bum end of the deal when they traded Cosima for Rachel. She chooses to ignore him and gets straight to business: Evie is very publicly painting herself as a small-town hero by building a new Brightborn research facility in her hometown of Tisdale. The town saw financial ruin when the local factory shut down, but Evie Cho plans to swoop in and salvage it by creating new jobs. Meanwhile, her true intentions are to make her tech available to the public within three years. Once she achieves this, Evie can change the DNA of her clients' children without their consent. Why? We still don't know. Maybe Evie just has a God complex, but I suspect there's a more sinister reason. After all, Evie developed her tech using illegal human trials — which is exactly how the Clone Club can take Evie down.

Rachel plans to expose Evie by finding Tabitha and Kendra, two carriers who recently fled the Brightborn lab. Before they escaped, they armed themselves with a video of a Brightborn doctor euthanizing a newborn. They blackmailed Evie with the video to dissuade her from following them, but Evie is not one to back down from a fight. So, in addition to Sarah pursuing them on Rachel's behalf, Evie sends the EMS couple, Roxie and Frank, to track down Tabitha and Kendra. Who will find them first?

Orphan Black S4E9

Sarah enlists Art's help and he comes through with a matching description of the escaped women, one of whom has already had her baby. They arrive at the women's shelter where the escaped women were last seen, but it's already been roped off as a crime scene. Art enters alone and learns from Detective Collier that Tabitha committed suicide, killing herself and her unborn baby. Given that we know Collier is in Evie's pocket, you can bet Tabitha's "suicide" was staged. Sure enough, Art discovers defensive wounds on Tabitha's hands, but when he probes Collier about it, Collier casually asks Art if he's seen Duko. It's like a game of chicken and neither of them wants to back down. Sarah catches up with Trina as she leaves the shelter — posing as Beth, of course. Tabitha texted Trina to meet her moments before her death, so Trina isn't buying the suicide story the cops fed her. She tips Sarah off that Kendra and her newborn baby might have gone to a relative's house in Tisdale, which coincidentally is her hometown. Collier notifies Evie that Sarah is tracking Kendra, while she and Art head to Tisdale.

While Sarah and Art knock on doors, Rachel calls with information on Kendra's older son. Sarah shuts her down and denies her help, but the phone call is enough for Ira to trace their location and he follows them to Tisdale. Sarah and Art finally find the right house, but when no one answers Sarah picks the lock. They follow the sounds of a baby crying, but before they get near the child, Kendra pulls a gun on them. Although the child isn't biologically hers, Kendra is fiercely protective of him, and rightly so. She and Tabitha fled Brightborn because they heard rumors some of the babies were born with deformities. Once they manage to talk her down, Kendra shows Sarah and Art the video she used to blackmail Evie, and the baby in the video appears to have the same facial deformity as the one Cosima helped deliver, or else it's the same baby. Kendra's son Jacob was born blind, but otherwise perfectly healthy, but Kendra knows he would've been killed if she hadn't run. Sarah urges Kendra to come forward with the video, but she's afraid she'll be killed just like Tabitha was. Rachel calls again to suggest using her son's location to force Kendra to step forward, but Sarah is disgusted by Rachel's methods and instead wants to take Kendra to the safe house. Just then, Evie's cronies storm the house, and while Sarah and Art are busy with them, Rachel calls the house, blackmails Kendra, and forces her outside to where Ira is waiting in the car. While Art cuffs EMS lady Roxie, Sarah questions where her usual partner in crime is — not realizing until it's too late that Kendra left with Ira.

Orphan Black S4E9

EMS guy Frank had his own mission from Evie. While Roxie was tasked with tracking down Kendra, Frank parked his ambulance outside the Hendrix house! He binds and gags Donnie and is about to implant Alison with a bot when out of literally nowhere, Helena bursts in and shoots Frank in the neck with a bow and arrow. She called Sarah earlier in the episode to check in, but Helena hasn't been seen or heard from since she left in Episode 4 — until now! Leave it to Helena to make an entrance like that.

Sarah and Art meet Ira in his hotel room and he informs them of Rachel's plans to meet with Evie. He insists that Kendra and Jacob are safe — yeah, I'll believe it when I see it, Ira. Sarah suspects Rachel is playing them and that she couldn't care less about restoring Susan to power — all she is after is power. I fully agree with her, and it certainly seems to be playing out that way. Evie is busy prepping for her press conference to announce her new technology, when Rachel arrives and demands an audience with her. Evie begrudgingly takes the meeting, but she makes it clear Project Leda and Susan Duncan are off the table. Rachel agrees, she only wants a seat at the table, and tells Evie she has Kendra and her baby at her hotel room. But that's not right — Sarah, Art, and Ira are in her hotel room, so what's Rachel playing at? Turns out Rachel was playing the long game the entire episode! She's recording her conversation with Evie while Ira monitors the playback and is ready to send it to the press as soon as they get something damning out of Evie. It doesn't take Evie long to profess her evil plan in true villain fashion, when she says that "euthanizing severely deformed newborns was the most humane way forward." It isn't until Evie delivers her speech that Ira deals the fatal blow and sends Rachel's recording as well as Kendra's video to the press. Rachel looks on from the back of the room as Evie is swarmed by reporters. If Evie weren't so despicable I would have almost felt bad for her.

Rachel and Ira are only growing closer now that their mother has turned her back on them and due to their less-than-stellar relationship with the rest of Clone Club. Similarly, Sarah and Felix are on the mend and back in action. We even got to see Sarah and Art team up and return to crime-solving mode! But rather heartbreakingly, Felix and Adele continue to grow apart with each episode. Since she remains in the dark about the existence of clones, each shady excuse or hasty explanation from Felix seems like a betrayal to Adele. She's not an idiot — after meeting Alison last week, and Helena this week, Adele knows Felix isn't being honest with her. They built up such a meaningful relationship in such a short amount of time, but it can't survive unless Felix comes clean about what's really going on. Unfortunately, that's not his decision to make.

After her triumph over Evie, Rachel realizes her visions aren't a glitch. They're a message from someone trying to show her the island and the people who live there. And who is the message from? Delphine!! I'm so intrigued by Rachel's visions, probably more than I am about Delphine's return. Perhaps this is setting up for the next season?

MVC of the Week: Rachel, for so convincingly playing the villain until the last possible second when she actually came through and took down Evie Cho. She had everyone fooled, but will her actions continue to be so noble going forward?

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