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Orphan Black Season 4 (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight's season premiere flashed way back -- to the days when the license plates actually said Ontario instead of the nondescript license plates we get now!

Overall, I have strongly mixed feelings about tonight's hour:

On one hand, it was great to spend an hour living with Beth, who we've only known through brief glimpses and through Sarah's impersonation. We also got to spend a bit more time with some favorite cast members -- like Dylan Bruce and Matt Frewer -- whose characters have since shed their mortal coils.

On the other hand, with the exception of some planted seeds like new Leda clone M.K. and Leekie's neolution colleague Evie Cho, we knew where things were headed. We already knew the broad strokes of this story, even if we didn't have the details. After the long gap, I found myself antsy to see what Sarah, Cosima and the gang are up to now.

Did we know that Art had a daughter? Obviously, there must have been an estrangement, since he hasn't had custody while we've known him.

While the wig wasn't up to the show's usual expert standards, I really liked the new clone M.K. She sort of combines Cosima's intellectual brilliance with Helena's childlike fragility, and she feels European in a way that none of our regular clones do -- even Sarah and Rachel. I couldn't quite place the accent, but it sounded Scandinavian, like Swedish, Norwegian or maybe Icelandic. My heart broke for her a bit, as she was starting to put her trust in Beth just as Beth was proving herself completely unworthy of that trust. It means her relationship with the other sestras now is going to be even more fraught (once bitten, twice shy and all of that). But I think Sarah probably will be worthy of that trust.
 

joshEH

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I think the writers have a secret goal of making Tatiana Maslany kiss every single cast member.

Normally, I despise prequel-stories. That was freaking amazing. I'm already getting a lot of the Season 1-vibe from this season.

I like that Tat is playing Real Beth™ differently than she played Sarah playing Beth. Just shows how much depth this show has. Sarah can barely play the clones she does know correctly; obviously she would have gotten Beth wrong somehow.

That was the thing that most struck me about this episode. Sarah did a really bad job at being Beth. It's no wonder everyone around her was immediately suspicious.
 

joshEH

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Also, this:

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Adam Lenhardt

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This world continues to get richer and deeper.

I was frustrated by Felix's new standoffish attitude until he revealed the reason why at Club Neolution, and then it completely clicked into place. Growing up, the family under Mrs. S's roof were bonds of choice, not bonds of blood. He and Sarah were on equal footing, because they were both adopted. Now suddenly, his adoptive family is a biological family, with him being left as the odd man out. It shouldn't matter, and clearly it doesn't to Sarah, but how could it not to Felix? Suddenly he's having this identity crisis as an adopted child than he never had reason to have before. The themes sort of parallel on a more mundane level the clones' search for truth about their origins.

Michiel Huisman wasn't mentioned in the press release for this season, so I'm assuming they weren't able to get him back even for a single episode like last season. Interesting that Kira's going through her own little crisis, as the life on the run starts to take its toll, and she misses the dad she'd never known before this whole thing kicked off. And not helping matters, her mom seems to be going off the deep end in ways that scare her. The scene near the end where Sarah bursts into the basement hideout frantic and starts prying into Kira's mouth was genuinely unnerving, and a completely different note to play between mother and daughter.

Speaking of: the maggot bots, and the idea that she didn't know she was implanted, was truly horrifying. It's a terrible violation of one's person.

The big hook for me so far this season, though, is the Sarah/M.K. dance. Beth couldn't be who M.K. needed her to be, and now M.K. is especially gun shy with Sarah, who just might be the person M.K. needs her to be. Beth and M.K.'s goodbye scene, knowing that Beth's on her way to step in front of that train, is brutal.

The single moment that lingered with me was Allison holding the ultrasound photo of Helena's twins, knowing that she can never bear children. So much emotion packed into that one dialog-free moment.
 
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TravisR

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The clones have had some setbacks throughout the years but it's all been worth it since they get to live beneath a comic book store now.


Speaking of: the maggot bots, and the idea that she didn't know she was implanted, was truly horrifying. It's a terrible violation of one's person.
That was the most David Cronenberg thing I've ever seen not in a David Cronenberg movie.


And that MK clone must be a fan of You're Next.
I thought they just wanted a cool and creepy mask for MK so until they mentioned it, I totally missed the Dolly the sheep reference.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Donnie was the MVP of tonight's episode for sure:
"Donnie, my sister has a robot maggot in her face. You tell me what the solid plan is."
*loss for words*
"Exactly. Now go rent a jackhammer."
"Maybe we should just buy one."

And later:
"So, uh, the thing is.... A few months ago, there was an occurrence that... occurred on a cold, autumn night. It was very rainy, I remember that distinctly. And the wipers on that car were crap so I was having trouble..."
"Donnie!"
"Anyway, one thing led to another, and I did shoot Dr. Leekie and bury him in the garage. But...!"
"What?!?"
"But it looks like he has one of those Neolutionist things in his face, so... sometimes stuff works out." *confident grin*
"You killed Aldous Leekie?!?"
"Boy did I ever, yeah."

The Kira stuff has always been among the weirdest and most metaphysical on the show, but even by that standard her behavior seemed odd. Even the rather lifeless way she knocked over the game board as Sarah was coming up the stairs. I can't tell if Skyler Wexler is just over acting, and this was the best they could get out of her, or if we're supposed to infer something from her dissonant behavior.

The AMC networks' practice of spoiling upcoming scenes in the brain new episode you're currently watching continues to both puzzle and infuriate me.
 
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TravisR

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Not only did Rachel have that creepy eye, they also showed a needle get stuck in it. Lucio Fulci's Zombie would be proud.


The AMC networks' practice of spoiling upcoming scenes in the brain new episode you're currently watching continues to both puzzle and infuriate me.
Due to the time the show is on, I've been watching the episodes On Demand so I've fast forwarded through the commercials but even seeing the upcoming scenes shoot by, I was wondering what the hell they were thinking.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Mika/Vera both breaks my heard and terrifies me. Interesting parallel, with her walking out on Sarah the way Sarah walked out on her. And it blows my mind, having previously posted that I thought her accent sounded Scandinavian, that I never suspected that she would be connected to the horror show in Helsinki.

The interesting thing about Sarah having that parasite in her cheek is that it's made her desperate, and in her desperation a lot of her old, more unlikable qualities are reemerging, especially the ease with which she uses people.

How great was Helena's speech to her fertilized (but not properly refrigerated) clones? She continues to be my favorite clone, partly because the show knows a little of her goes a long way.

And how about Alison and Donnie's passenger/Italian stewardess role playing to give him the inspiration he needed to fill the cup?

Looks like Krystal Goderitch will return in next week's episode.

Pretty creepy that Leekie's friend is basically creating Khans and implanting them into women to gestate.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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"Um, I have to go... shit."

This was a great episode. Lots of really creepy Island of Doctor Moreau science horror, particularly the deformed baby. On the other hand, Donnie with Cosima and then Krystal was everything I didn't know I needed. And Krystal continues to be amazing, both for what she managed to piece together, and for the absolutely ridiculous conclusions she reached from her partial information.

The stuff with Sarah questioning Adele was painful but felt viscerally real, driven both by the paranoia brought on by the discovery of the parasite, and her selfish need to keep Felix all to herself.

And then there was that final scene. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...
 

KevinGress

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"Um, I have to go... shit."

This was a great episode. Lots of really creepy Island of Doctor Moreau science horror, particularly the deformed baby. On the other hand, Donnie with Cosima and then Krystal was everything I didn't know I needed. And Krystal continues to be amazing, both for what she managed to piece together, and for the absolutely ridiculous conclusions she reached from her partial information.

The stuff with Sarah questioning Adele was painful but felt viscerally real, driven both by the paranoia brought on by the discovery of the parasite, and her selfish need to keep Felix all to herself.

And then there was that final scene. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...

Agree with all of this. I'm wanting more and more of Donnie - the comedy he brings adds another dimension to an already diverse show. I do hope that they bring Krystal 'into the fold' soon. While she slightly covers the same area as Alison (more comedic), I think her character can go places that Alison can't - downright goofy, and make it work. M.K., on the other hand, needs more fleshing out to make her an interesting character.

And yes, Sarah in this episode, was painful to watch, and totally believable. I just hope something also equally believable happens to bring Sarah and Felix back together again.
 

MarkMel

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Felix and Sarah need to end their feud soon. I don't like them this way. lol Crystal is great and Donnie was as well. When will we learn what powers Kiera has? She has said she feels the siestras, what else can she do?
 

NeilO

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Felix and Sarah need to end their feud soon. I don't like them this way. lol Crystal is great and Donnie was as well. When will we learn what powers Kiera has? She has said she feels the siestras, what else can she do?
Besides sensing what the clones feel, Kiera also has some foresight.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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This a bleak freaking episode. Kendall murdered in horrific fashion, Cosima's hopes for a cure up in smoke, confirmation by Krystal that Delphine was shot, and apparent confirmation by Evie Cho that Delphine is dead.

Oh, and the answer to the show's original question: Why did Beth jump in front of that train?

I'm not sure it all holds together: If Evie really wanted to go scorched earth on Leda, it's hard to believe that she'd leave Cosima alive. Likewise, if Beth killing herself was the only way to prevent a North American repeat of Helsinki, you'd think it would have been triggered, since Sarah stepping into Beth's life at the start of the series would have been seen by Evie's people as Beth reneging on her side of the bargain.

But it was still an intense hour of television, and seemed to clearly establish the stakes for the back half of the season.

Krystal is a tough balancing act, since she has to be superficial and perplexed without being stupid. At times, this episode veered a bit too broad with Krystal's ignorance. But this exchange, followed not long after with a good macing, was solid gold:

Art: Look, I just need to know you can do this, alright? I don't want her to rabbit on us.
Felix: She's not going to rabbit, okay. It's going to be fine. Krystal!
Krystal: Oh my God!
Felix: It's okay, it's okay.
Krystal: Oh my God, you're that guy who stole my wallet, right before I was kidnapped.
Felix (having forgotten): Oh yeah...
 

Josh Steinberg

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I watched the last two episodes back to back last night, and really enjoyed them.

I might be in the minority view on this, but I completely understand Sarah's paranoia about Adele. Everything in Sarah's life up until this point has been completely manipulated and invaded by outside forces, and a new person suddenly joining their orbit, conveniently facilitated by genetic testing at a facility owned by their corporate nemesis, is simply too much of a coincidence for her to take it on faith. And I often get criticized by friends for having this critique of characters in shows and movies, but as much as I like Felix (and I really do), his personal life is inconsequential in the face of rogue corporate and government states manipulating the human genome in such a way that could bring about the end of humanity. Because the stakes really could get that high. It sucks to be in that situation where, through no fault of your own, the problems of the people in your life are more important than your own, but that's just the way it is here. The shadowy companies have a shown a willingness to do absolutely anything to get what they want or need, so planting a fake long lost relative into the midst of our heroes lives seems entirely in character for them. Fortunately, the episode devoted what I felt was the right amount of time to this subplot, not dwelling in Felix's hurt feelings for too long, or creating unnecessary drama that took us away from the central story. I liked how Mrs. S visited Felix at the end of one of the episodes and told him to bring Adele along to the next family gathering - due diligence having now been done,

I was surprised that they revealed the original purpose of the clones so quickly and almost as if it were inconsequential. I always thought that there would be some master evil plan that they were central to, and now it seems that they were just one of many things that were being tried on the way to the master evil plan. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but this show hasn't let me down yet so I am absolutely still on board.
 

NeilO

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I might be in the minority view on this, but I completely understand Sarah's paranoia about Adele. ... The shadowy companies have a shown a willingness to do absolutely anything to get what they want or need, so planting a fake long lost relative into the midst of our heroes lives seems entirely in character for them. ....
I completely agree. I didn't trust Adele at all and thought she was planted. Given everything that has happened so far, there was no reason to trust anything at face value.

I just wish that Sarah didn't have the complete overreaction, helping out Evie's plan and hurting Cosima in the process. Given everything that happened, she really blew it.

I do hope that Helena finds out what happened and has an encounter with Evie.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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That was a powerful hour of television. The family stuff always affects more more than the science stuff, and nowhere is that more true than Sarah's fractured family ties.

We've known that Sarah has a history of dumping Kira with Mrs. S and taking off to numb out the world, but this is the first time we've seen it. Even so, there were fundamental differences. In the past, Sarah had always been capable at self-managing, knowing just how far off the reservation she could go and still get back on it. Here, she was spiraling, the way Beth did in the period leading up to her end (and the show's beginning). We see how vicious Mrs. S's pain can make her, and we knows it's worse because she's just validating the guilt Sarah's already feeling. At the same time, Sarah has knitted together and strengthened this incredible support network among the sisterhood, their friends and their allies. And that's the reason this bender only last one night instead of several months, and why Sarah was sitting at that breakfast table instead of lying on a slab somewhere.

If this show weren't sci-fi on a poorly watched little cable channel, this episode would have netted Tatiana an Emmy for her performance as Sarah alone, setting aside the terrific work she did navigating Allison and Cosima's own breakdowns. The entire world is on poor Sarah's shoulders, and it was horrible to see her getting blamed for making the tough decisions that everybody relies on her to make. It was nice to see Felix be exactly what she needed him to be, even after she was so horrible to him.

As much as I miss Helena right now, it's clear why she needed to be offstage for this run of episodes. Even within the sisterhood, the twins have a special bond. And I don't think the show could have taken Sarah to this place if Helena was in the immediate picture.

There was something so hilariously inappropriate about the police swooping in en masse to arrest Donnie amidst Gemma's birthday slumber party. Especially because it was so, so unnecessary.

Next week looks like it's going to really hit all cylinders: Donnie in jail, Krystal likely to meet another clone for the first time in Cosima and M.K. rejoining the fold.
 

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