'Orphan Black' S4E10: From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths

The mystery of who shot Delphine has finally been solved! It was Duko! And it only took an entire season for us to find out. I guess they had to build up Duko's backstory this season before he could be revealed as the shooter. That's one thing I didn't particularly enjoy about this season — that characters were introduced in the flashback pilot that we were supposed to believe were "there all along." Bringing Beth back was a smart way to incorporate the new storylines, but as much as they tried to weave them in, characters like Evie Cho, Duko, and MK still felt a little clunky to me. I understand that for the sake of the plot, it needed to seem like they'd existed in the Orphan Black universe from the beginning, but if you're going to introduce a new character, I'd rather it be done upfront, like with Adele.

Similarly, we learned that the man who picked Delphine up was none other than Evie Cho's personal physician, Dr. Ian Van Lier, who brought her to the island to be treated by Swan Man. Van Lier has popped up in the last few episodes, but I don't think he's been named until now. He's another that we're supposed to accept has been around at least since the end of last season, when he rescued Delphine. With Evie's downfall, Van Lier is taking over as interim CEO of Brightborn. Krystal sees the news story while out to brunch with a friend and recognizes Van Lier as the man who rescued Delphine, so she calls Felix and teases that she has intel, but she'll only share it if he brings her into the loop about what's really going on. Krystal swaggers into Rabbit Hole Comics, and after she and Felix pantomime a spy meeting his informant for a bit, he takes her down to the basement lab. Felix and Art introduce Krystal to Sarah, bracing for the inevitable freakout when Sarah bluntly informs her, "I'm your clone." But it never comes. Krystal haughtily insists she and Sarah look nothing alike. She sits them down and explains to them that "this is about human experiments and two factions fighting to control them." They all look around kind of stunned because, as Art stammers, that's exactly right. Krystal knows nothing about the bots vs. clones showdown that's dividing Neolution right now, and is under the delusion that Estee Lauder is in competition with Neolution — a Swedish cosmetics company, apparently. I'm tired of all the jokes made at Krystal's expense. She figured out the jist of what's going on, she's just off on some of the details. It's a lot farther than Sarah would've been able to get on her own. Don't hate on Krystal!

Orphan Black S4E10

Meanwhile on the island, Cosima and Susan finally succeeded in developing a cure! When Cosima calls Sarah and S to share the good news, she gets an "Access Denied" message on her computer and then their Skype call freezes. Sarah learns from Rachel that they can't get in touch with Susan either, but she brushes it off as bad service issues on the island. The timing seems suspicious — how convenient that the island went completely dark as soon as Cosima told them about the cure. Rachel has more pressing matter to deal with: She informs Sarah that Van Lier is doing damage control at Brightborn. She hints that Susan may not be the automatic choice for Evie's replacement, but after last episode's bait and switch, Rachel's allegiance is unclear for the moment. One thing is crystal clear, though: Evie's out. At a Neolution board meeting, Evie expresses her plans to recover from the Brightborn "setback," but the board doesn't want to take any chances on her. They plan to oust her in order to save the company, but Evie throws a tantrum and refuses to sign her severance papers. Van Lier calmly triggers the bot he had implanted in her cheek to cure Evie of a case of shingles. As she's dying he murmurs, "Technology is subject to natural selection too, it changes and adapts." All the board members shuffle out, business as usual.

Cosima overhears Susan on the phone with Rachel and Ira, so obviously she is able to override the shutdown somehow. Is Susan the one who took the island offline? She tells them about the cure, although it's not the cure she's truly excited about, but the ability to resume human cloning. Susan is confident that the board will recommend her as the new head of Neolution, and Rachel asks, to whom will they make their recommendation? In other words, who is pulling the strings? Van Lier? Delphine? Swan Man? Cosima enters the room and accuses Susan of using her and of not caring about the cure. Susan mumbles something about the cost of progress and locks Cosima in the same room in which she held Rachel. Cosima searches the room and finds a painting Charlotte did detailing a map of the island. The drawing includes a village on the north side of the island, presumably the one Rachel saw in her visions and where Swan Man took Delphine. It also shows a boat tied at a dock much closer to the house. That's where they head when Charlotte comes to collect Cosima from her prison.

Dr. Van Lier steps out onto the street to a swarm of reporters. One voices carries shrilly above the rest, however; it's Krystal waving her phone lazily and shouting out questions like, "Are you a Neolutionist? What does Neolution have to say about deformed babies? Do you have a comment on the attempted murder of Dr. Delphine Cormier?" That gets Van Lier's attention and he pulls Krystal aside before the press can pick up her line of questioning. She tells him to meet her around the corner and when he does, Van Lier is greeted by Mrs. S holding a gun to his back. She ushers him into a truck and Krystal is actually Sarah!! Well played Orphan Black; even I was fooled. The real Krystal is back at Rabbit Hole impatiently playing board games with Hell Wizard and Scott. Van Lier tells Sarah that he passed Delphine along to get the medical attention she needed, i.e. from Swan Man. Sarah questions why, when Evie had sent Duko to kill Delphine. Van Lier says his orders don't come from Evie, but that begs the question, from whom does he get his orders? It's becoming clearer that there is a puppet master at work here, but who is it? Van Lier assures Sarah that Susan isn't the one they should be worried about. Rachel has reconvened the board without Susan's knowledge.

Orphan Black S4E10

To the board, Rachel offers congratulations, human cloning is back on the table. The board asks what Rachel can offer that Susan and Evie couldn't. She details her plan to combine Susan's baseline with Evie's implanted tech. She delivers a chilling speech about taking away clones' right to citizenship, to personhood. She says, "If we want to know if our lab rats' tails will grow back, we damn well will cut them off and see!" Rachel's passion is terrifying — it's almost as if she's forgotten she's a clone herself. Is that due to denial, self-hatred, or because she honestly believes she's the exception to the rule? Rachel travels back to the island to retrieve the cell line so she can cut Susan out for good. After her conversation with Van Lier, Sarah realizes Rachel's intentions and races to the island to stop her. When Rachel arrives at the house, she meets Swan Man. He advises her, "Susan is in the kitchen, do not waver." Was he really there or was she just seeing things? When she asks Susan who he was, Susan merely replies "a messenger." She tells Rachel she has no idea what she's done. Power doesn't not equal free will, she warns, and her actions have betrayed Susan, her sisters, and Rachel herself. Rachel snidely comments that Susan should be happy, she did raise her to be her heir after all, and she's following in Susan's footsteps. Susan admits that raising Rachel self-aware was not her idea. Again, whose idea was it? Who is pulling the strings?? Susan delivers the final blow: "I regret making you." Rachel sees the glitching image of a severed swan head again, and it is all too clear what she has to do. She takes a kitchen knife from the block and plunges it into Susan's abdomen. Of course, Cosima and Charlotte are outside the kitchen at that exact moment, attempting to make their escape. When they witness Rachel stab Susan, they flee the house.

Sarah lands on the island while Cosima and Charlotte search for the boat. Cosima's condition is worsening, she coughs up blood into the snow and it's too cold for them to get very far. Soon they get lost and Cosima stops to rest against a tree. Sarah enters the house, following a blood trail down to the lab where Susan attempts to patch herself up. Rachel took the cell line, but she's still in the house! She beats Sarah with her cane, disarming Sarah of her gun. They struggle and Rachel ends up stabbing Sarah in the leg with the same knife she used to stab Susan. Susan picks up Sarah's gun and aims it at Rachel from the floor. Sarah uses the distraction to run out of the house. She ends up broken and bloody on the beach, but no one is coming for her.

Cosima and Charlotte are rescued by Swan Man. He takes them to the village where Cosima and Delphine are finally reunited! Delphine takes her vitals and climbs in bed with Cosima to warm her up. Cosima tells her she finished their work — somehow she got the cell lines before Rachel did! Delphine warns her that it's not safe for Cosima here. She can administer the cure, but Cosima can't tell anyone about it. Swan Man's motives are so fuzzy — how can he be helping Rachel, Delphine, and Cosima all at once? What does he want?

Susan wakes up groggily in Rachel's wheelchair. I was afraid we were about to get into some Hannibal type stuff here, but Rachel merely explains to Susan that she was led by the Messenger. She asks who he is, and Susan refers to him as the "man behind the curtain." He's the one who built Rachel's eye, which is how he was sending her messages, he is… P.T. Westmoreland. WHAT?! HOW?? That is crazy, even by Neolution standards. I can't wait to hear the explanation for that one, in the next and final season. Rachel returns to the kitchen, washes and replaces the knife, and pours herself a glass of wine. She calls Van Lier, tells him the science is secure (but how, if Cosima got at least one of the cell lines?), and he responds, "Mr. Westmoreland will see you now." Then the doorbell rings.

Wow, what a finale! I wonder if Rachel will answer the door and it won't be Swan Man. I am very confused by him and his motivations, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see! Overall this season was good, but not as strong as last season. I think Season 3 was so tight because the dichotomy of Castor and Leda was built into the plot, which was always so interesting to watch. Plus you had Ari Millen playing so many complex roles, while in this season his presence was greatly diminished with Ira. Last season was also very Helena-heavy, and she is suuuper watchable to me, so I think the season suffered from her absence as well. There was so much going on this season that some storylines felt unresolved, especially Kira being psychic and Adele and Felix's relationship. Hopefully the last season will tie up all the loose ends and end the series on a high note!


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Jun 20, 2016 1:08PM EDT

Thanks for these, Audrey! Can't wait 'til next season.

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