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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: Transgressive Border Crossing

ORPHAN BLACK Recap: Transgressive Border Crossing

Hello, sestras, and welcome back to our weekly recaps of BBC America’s Orphan Black. If you’ve not seen the episode, note that there will be spoilers below. You’ve been warned! 

With the return to breakneckitude we’ve already seen in these first two episodes of Orphan Black‘s fourth season, it’s hard to know where to start—difficult to deduce which information should worm [pause for groans] its way to the top of the heap, if you will. But with Neolution breathing down Sarah and Co.’s neck, it’s not hard to see that the mad dash for answers to try and get ahead is on.

First thing’s first: M.K. Affectionately known as Mika to Beth (yes forever to all these Beth flashbacks!), the kinda-sorta Scandinavian (though I’m thinking she’s Icelandic) clone has proven herself to be more questions than human. How did she fake her own death? Why was Neolution after her? What else does she know that she’s not telling us? How many other clones is she in contact with? And how did she get so good at hacking?! Questions for another episode, it seems—though we’re not entirely sure she’ll ever answer them, to be frank. Just look at the way she reacted to Sarah even seeing that she was around.


Which brings us to another new character introduction: Dizzy. While on set I got very little intel as to whom Dizzy is in relation to the girls, but I did spend time in his apartment (that’s where I shot our Tatiana and Jordan and Kevin videos) and it struck me as the sort of space a hipster-punk hacker with great taste in music but little care for belongings would live. (Also: it was very cold.)

For whatever reason, though, M.K. trusts him enough to have him hunt down video of the creepy maggotbots that are living in several Neolutionists’ faces. And—hoo boy—was that video rough. Turns out the faceworms are actually a sort of implanted organic, maybe even technology that’s somehow gene-spliced. Say whaaaaaaaaaat? NO, NO THANK YOU. Only it gets much worse: the freakin’ worm has a self-destruct option that kills the host.

Which made the whole realization that Sarah has one implanted in her all the more insanely terrifying.

But who did it: Neolution? Or DYAD? And when?

…Or, creepier still, what if she was born with it? Could Sarah and Helena have been BORN with the crazy-creepy maggotbot in her body because the clones are basically guinea pigs for Neolution? Is this why they can have children and the other clones can’t? And how come some of the other clones—who apparently also have the maggotbot—have scars while Sarah, apparently, does not? After all, the Neo clean-up crew that attacked Sarah at Sudz n Tumble DID say, “No scar, it’s not her” before realizing it was Sarah Manning (also: what language was that he spoke before he said “Sarah Manning”?). Part of me felt like it was Finnish for pretty much no reason whatsoever. Internet: I need answers!

Maybe M.K. is from Finland—maybe she faked her death at Helsinki! Which, by the way: are we ever going to find out about what in the actual heck happened at Helsinki on this show? Also, do you think they were looking for M.K. when they said, “We’ve been looking for you a long time”? And if so, how would they know where she might be if she were so off the grid? Dizzy? And if they WEREN’T looking for M.K.—who were they looking for? DUN DUN DUUUUN!

ALL OF IT FEELS SUSPECT, is what I’m saying. And I can’t help but feel like M.K., you in danger, girl.


At least she gave Cosima something to laugh about with her Dolly mask: no one else was all that amused by it—least of all Alison. Still: it was nice to see the sestras reunited. Family will no doubt play a huge role in this season’s storyline: both with our clones and outside of them (but we’ll get to Felix later), and trouble looks like it’s in the cards for the lot of them.

But Sarah might have the hardest time of all: not only does she have to mend her relationship with Felix while figuring out the new frame of reference for her and Kendall and Mrs. S., but Kira is none too happy to have a newly Cal-less lifestyle. But Cal’s not at the safe house because he’s busy hunting for a queen of dragons in a place called Essos, so you’re just going to have to deal, Kira! Sarah doesn’t have time for your brattitude.

Which, speaking of bratty behavior: Fee’s back! Still coming to terms with the fact that Sarah is now related to everyone and he’s related to no one, the most bedraggled and abused member of the Clone Club has made quite the turn since season three. First: he’s created distance between himself and the rest of the gang (save Alison, it seems); his new mural has quite the heart-on-its-sleeve aspect to it (someone is not happy to be the only true orphan); oh, and he’s gone in search of his birth family, and there’s no way the Neos aren’t trying to infiltrate Sarah’s life on that angle, right?

We totally understand Felix’s frustration though: Sarah didn’t even think for a second to ask him how he was, see what he was up to and dealing with, how he’s been etc. She was quick to get annoyed by his lack of response and totally tricked him into heading back to Club Neolution …only to leave him at the club when the M.K./Dizzy stuff came up. And that’s not even considering how jerk-y she was when he admitted to her he’s searching for his family. Sarah: not cool, lady. This isn’t always about you. Like, I know you’re a clone being hunted by a crazy, illuminati-esque scientific-religious cult, but like: perspective. Y’know?


The same could be said of Alison and her response to Helena’s—surprise!—twin bebies. Tiny identical sestras, pt. 2!

And since we’re still talking family business: we’d be remiss to not mention that Kendall admitted she has leukemia to Scott. (Which: Is Scott a Neo? I feel like Scott’s a Neo. I feel like I trust NO ONE. I feel like Scott shot Delphine. I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS, IS WHAT I’M SAYING.) Could this have an affect on the clones in the future? Is leukemia all-but guaranteed? Could that be connected to what’s causing the clones’ illness? Mysteries abound, folks!

Perhaps the biggest mystery, though, is Beth. Man, what a fascinating woman, huh? When I saw her don that blonde wig all I could think of was Krystal, though. Part of me wants to believe Krystal is actually Beth in disguise working for Project Castor (remember Krystal’s horse-headed notebook?!) to try and take down Neolution. Which means she maybe killed the actual Krystal—but aaaaaalsoooooooo wouldn’t it be an amazing twist? (Also imagine the Art/Beth reunion if that happened.)

Through flashbacks (told via that found surveillance footage at Beth’s apartment), we saw the night Beth stepped in front of the train at the beginning of season one. As it turned out? M.K. was there! She was worried about an MIA Beth, going off the grid. And with good reason: Beth apparently/seemingly murdered someone whilst be-wigged! Who? What happened? What did she screw up? She wouldn’t tell M.K. but it must’ve been major, and definitely had to do with those insane maggotbots.

Man, what a horror scene! Here’s hoping Sarah can find that pregnant Neo chick and get some answers.


Some Additional Thoughts:

  • Ahhh! Dylan Bruce is back in the opening credits. Love that.
  • I think Mrs. S knows Delphine is dead. BUT IS IT A HUNCH OR DID SHE SEE IT? (OR DID SHE DO IT?)
  • That flashback with Detective Duko: what a fuckin’ creep.
    • And I hate that, after she got suspended, Beth wouldn’t take any of Art’s calls. BETH!
  • Another tip for the “I don’t trust Scott” jar? How he just-so-happened to be able to steal (“funnel” a.k.a. “hack”? a.k.a. “know too much?”) DYAD money into an account to pay for Cosima’s lab.
    • Also, they’re allegedly out of the clone game? DOUBT IT.
  • Anyone else notice M.K.’s acne? Is she sick (or just a very small child)?
  • This just speaks to me: “Secret lab underneath a comic book shop: what more could a girl want?”
  • On Helena’s pregnancy/her having sex to end up pregnant: “Well that’s how all of this happened, right?” – Donnie. Which: Oh yes! All totally normal here.
    • Also 5 points for Alison’s Fertile Myrtle line.
  • Tail Joke of the Night: “Thought your tail would be wagging, so to speak.” – Felix
  • A+ for Felix’s “a little less Flowers in the Attic?” comment.
  • Cutest Cosima-ism of the night: “Oh god please don’t call me chicken, I love that.”

ALSO I have to be annoying and show this off from my time on set, because like, coolest new FB profile picture ever? YEAH I THINK SO:


What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!

And make sure you don’t miss our spoiler-filled interview with the cast about season four:

Images: BBC America

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist. Find her on Twitter (@alicialutes) and check out her videos from the set of Orphan Black here.

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