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ORPHAN BLACK 4×07 Review ‘The Antisocialism of Sex’

Spoilers ahead through Orphan Black Season 4, Episode 7. 

Welcome back for another round of Orphan Black. If you missed last week, catch up here.

EPISODE RECAP:
“The Antisocialism of Sex”

Rachel wakes to find herself on the set of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — she’s in a house that, by the scenery outside, looks to be very, very far north. Susan is waiting for her in the living room. She explains that they are here because it’s all over — Kendall is dead, the cure destroyed. The house and the facilities beneath it belong to Victorian Era Neolution founder Percival Westmorland.

Over in the safe house, a grieving Siobhan blames Sarah for Kendall’s death. The two exchange scathing words until Sarah decides to leave, with no intent to come back. Siobhan refuses to let her take Kira with her.

Down in the lab Cosima is haunted by Kendall’s death and the news that Delphine was killed. She blames herself for pushing Sarah to make the deal and allowing them all to fall into Evie’s trap. Scott, the forever undervalued team player, brings her coffee and croissant and tries to encourage her, even trying out the computers again to see if there’s anything left to salvage. What a trooper. Unfortunately, it’s confirmed that all of Cosima and Scott’s research has been obliterated and they’re back to square one. They’re at a loss until Cosima remembers that she poached Sarah’s bot from Evie’s office, and perhaps there’s information inside it they can use.

Over in the Hendrix house, Alison bursts into tears as she tries to prepare flowers and a card for Siobhan. Donnie has been keeping an eye on her and notices her praying. As they get ready for Gemma’s birthday slumber party, Donnie admits that he invited their Reverend to stay and talk with Alison; but upon his arrival, Alison avoids getting into anything personal and continues to fuss over decorations and presents.

Felix arrives at the safe house to comfort Siobhan. When he learns from Kira that Sarah has run away again, he insists that he will find her and bring her back.

Kira: “Mommy left again.”

Felix: “No. She doesn’t do that anymore.”

Kira: “She did.”

Felix: “No. Not like before. ‘Cause that’s not an option, is it?”

Felix grabs his coat and flies out the door. We cut to a bar where we find Sarah in her element, downing shots and beer. She glimpses the ghost of Beth in the mirror behind her.

Siobhan meets with Art Bell to report the murder and gives him the description of the killer based on Cosima’s recollection. They agree it sounds like Detective Duko. Art explains that Duko is the one who put Beth onto Evie Cho and drove her to try and kill Susan.

Rachel is frustrated that Susan has given up now that Evie has destroyed the cure. Susan and Evie conduct a meeting online and Susan presents Rachel as the Leda representative. Evie explains that Neolution finance and legal are now backing her patents over Leda, and Leda will be dissolved for its assets. The monitor program will be stopped, the clones cut loose. But as Evie explains that Sarah and her sister are still considered a threat, Rachel tries to convince her that she can help with them herself.

Rachel: “I’m not my sisters. I am Neolution bred.”

Evie: “Do you actually think that Neolution would let a clone take a position of real importance?”

Back in the bar, Sarah runs into Dizzy. A girl approaches them and offers Sarah a shot. The girl introduces Sarah and Dizzy to her friend and four of them get to drinking until Sarah winds up slipping away into the back with both of her new friends, leaving Dizzy at the bar. As Sarah snorts coke and gets more than a little bi-curious, Felix arrives at the bar looking for her. Dizzy sees him and admits that he knows Sarah but doesn’t quite let on that he’s seen her just now.

An angry Art returns to the police department and immediately ambushes Duko in his office, knocking him to the floor with a punch and kicking him hard. Duko only laughs through bloody teeth and tells Art that there’s no way for him to stop everything and he’s only putting himself in danger. Art lands on last blow and walks away.

Returning to the bar scene, Dizzy takes a disliking to Sarah’s new friends and they tell him to piss off, but Sarah defends him. She and Dizzy bail from the bar together and go back to Dizzy’s place, where he confesses that he didn’t just help her find MK out of the goodness of his heart but that he was trying to find out what happened to his friend who also had an implant. A drunk Sarah has no interest in his story and is only here for the sex. But before that can happen, the two get into an argument when Dizzy realizes that Sarah’s implant is gone. He wants answers but Sarah’s unwilling to give and she ditches him, seeing the reflection of Beth in a mirror again as she disappears.

The Hendrix party has been going on drama-free until the police suddenly show up in the middle of Donnie telling ghost stories to a bunch of sugar-fuelled children. They arrested Donnie for the drug dealing. As he gets dragged out Duko appears to offer Alison his card, and in a spooky final word he sends her a subtle threat by asking her how she’s holding up after the loss of Kendall.

Cosima wants to implant the bot in herself to see if it can find it her what it was looking for in Sarah. Scott thinks it’s a crazy idea and goes upstairs to get dinner, leaving Cosima to lock herself in the lab and attempt to go through with the implant herself. When Scott realizes what she’s doing he begs her to unlock the lab and stop, but at this Cosima has nothing left to lose.

And by the looks of it neither does Sarah, who finds herself standing on a bridge in the cold, talking to Beth as she toys with the idea of jumping over a railing and into the path of the trains below.

Meanwhile Felix is still out trying to track her down. Siobhan calls and tells him Kira said Sarah is “following Beth”, but their call gets interrupted when Scott phones Felix too.

Felix: “Scott, what? I have multiple emergencies right now.”

Scott explains the Cosima situation and Felix suddenly remembers the conversation he had with Krystal about Delphine. Felix hangs up and tries to call Cosima while Scott begs her to answer the phone. Cosima finally answers and Felix tells her that somehow during Krystal’s misguided but oddly effective investigation she found herself on the trail of Delphine. Krystal saw Delphine get shot but also saw someone pick her up while she was still alive. The hope is enough to stop Cosima going through the bot implant.

At that moment Felix spots Sarah out the window of his taxi and jumps out to reach her. The ghost of Beth is still watching her and tells her to bring the clones together, they all need her. Felix gathers Sarah into a hug.

The next morning Sarah slips out of her bedroom and into the safe house kitchen, where Siobhan is making breakfast. Siobhan slides a plate of reconciliation eggs over to Sarah and joins her at the table, where Sarah takes her hand and they sit together in comfortable silence.

Meanwhile Kira is in her room playing video games when MK appears on her computer to talk to her.

The closing scene finds Rachel coming downstairs looking for Susan. She slips on the staircase and falls. As she opens her eyes she sees a live swan in the middle of the living room. Ira comes across her and helps her up. She asks him if he saw the swan, but as she raises her eyes to look for it again she sees the image glitching in front of her, and realizes that she is seeing the swan through her biotech eye.

EPISODE REVIEW

After last week’s emotional episode, I have to admit that this one fell a little flat. Structurally I think the cuts between subplots were happening way too often, as a handful of scenes were so brief that they didn’t really convey any valuable information at all. However, in typical Orphan Black fashion we did get some very curious insights, so let’s talk about those first.

Rachel’s subplot was easily one of the most interesting things going on in this episode. Towards the start she saw a book about Neolution’s history on display in the house. Flipping open a page at random she saw an illustration of Leda and a swan. For those of you unfamiliar with Greek mythology, the story goes that the god Zeus was infatuated with Leda and turned himself into a swan in order to seduce or rape her. She then went on to birth two eggs that resulted in four children — Clytemnestra, Helen (of Troy), Castor, and Pollux. So, the fact that Rachel is seeing images of a swan projected through her biotech eye is pretty unnerving. Not only that, but Susan appointed her the Leda representative. I would say that not-so-subtly means that whatever is happening to Rachel is really just a metaphoric foreshadowing of what will happen to Leda. At this stage the project is about to be dissolved and disbanded — but if Leda fell into Zeus’ trap and birthed four children, what will be the result of the Leda clones falling into Evie’s trap?

It’s pretty clear at this point that whatever bond the clones have with each other, Kira has it too, and somehow even stronger. We’ve seen her acting a little strange this season and in this episode she was able to tell Siobhan that Sarah was following Beth. If Kira can see the emotions of the other clones, can she tell us soon where Helena has disappeared to? I’m starting to get a little concerned.

As much as it pains me I don’t feel like I have a lot of positive things to say about this episode. Everything that was good about it just wasn’t good enough — Cosima’s subplot felt extremely rushed, and the idea that we could go through a whole episode without Felix remembering to tell her about Krystal’s run-in with Delphine is idiotic at best. I get that Felix has a lot going on but he knew very well how important Delphine was to Cosima and to everyone, so not immediately rushing to convey that news to someone seems pretty far-fetched to me. Nonetheless Tatiana Maslany continued to slay on the acting front in the role of Cosima in particular.

I like where we’re going with Art and Duko, their head-to-head has been a long time coming and I hope we get at least one episode coming up that allows that subplot to get some limelight. Art beating down Duko was good but Duko didn’t seem all that shaken, and Duko is the worst so I can’t wait to see him eliminated for good to be perfectly honest. And I’m always happy for more Art on my screen. Most likely Art is going to be the one to get Donnie out of prison, so I imagine we’ll be seeing quite a bit of him in the next episode. And speaking of Donnie — Alison has been a little sidelined these past couple of episodes and considering she’s one of the best characters in the series I hope that Donnie’s prison stint doesn’t overshadow her own development. Next week’s sneak peek at the end of the episode saw her getting back into the musical scene so in all likelihood Tatiana Maslany will perform the hell out of a domestic soccer mom singing Jesus Christ Superstar. I can’t wait.

I mentioned last week that I loved all the emotional bonding moments we got between Cosima and Sarah, Felix and Siobhan, etc. This week, everyone was mostly scathing with each other and it seemed a bit out of character. Siobhan and Cosima both dismissed the importance of their relationships with Sarah and Scott respectively with some very cruel words. I understand they’re both grieving but the coldness of the dialogue was a little too much for me, especially since it appears that both relationships will return to normal come the next episode.

As for Sarah, I don’t even have anything to say about her plot this episode. Obviously this is part of the emotional journey we’ve seen her on this season but plot-wise nothing actually happened. The final conversation between Sarah and Beth was quite moving though. And I’ll never say no to a Felix and Sarah hug. Loving brother-sister relationships are my jam.

All in all, the weakest link so far in the Orphan Black Season 4 chain. But we still have three episodes to go. Tune in next time to see where the sestras take us!

 

All images courtesy of BBC America.

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    Erin Latimer is writer whose specialties include film analysis, television and gaming reviews, and re-examining movies from her childhood through a lens of feminist fan practices and queer theory.

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