Orphan Black: From Dancing Mice and Psychopaths Review

Read our review of the season finale of Orphan Black.

This Orphan Black review contains spoilers.

Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 10

Every good adventure has an arch villain; every horror tale has a monster. Clone Club has kind of forgotten that this season, as we have all been so focused on the evils of Evie Cho that the ever present evil of Rachel Duncan has gone under the radar. This week, Rachel reminds us who the queen bee of evil is in the clone universe as she makes her play to regain the power she lost when that pencil went through her eye.

For so long, Rachel has seemed so weak. She could barely move, barely speak; she didn’t register as the threat she once was. Rachel played Evie Cho like a fiddle last week but it still seemed that she was just acting out of a sense of loyalty to her seestras.

Nope, not even close. This week, in the season four finale of Orphan Black, Rachel makes her move. She takes down Susan Duncan, she steals Cosima’s cure, and she reunites with her favorite bottom Ferdinand. In fact, we are treated to a scene straight out of season two with Rachel tying Ferdinand to a bed and whipping him in the balls with her cane. Seeing James Frain in that predicament reminds me that the Azrael storyline in Gotham pretty much tied me to a bed and pummeled my balls, but be that as it may, there is some weird comfort in the return of the old Rachel/Ferdinand dynamic.

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I hear you saying, can you stop talking about ball play and get onto the recap? To which I say: listen, I’m getting paid to write about ball play here, let me have my moment. But okay, here we go. This week, Sarah travels to the neolutionist island after Cosima goes dark. First Sara has to find out where Rachel was holed up and that’s where things get a bit tricky.

Let me backtrack a bit. This week we say goodbye to Evie Cho. It is a stark reminder that Cho was only a stand in arch villain until Rachel gets to full strength. I was looking forward to Sarah or Mrs. S dispatching Evie or better yet, Helena shooting her in the throat with a well-placed wooden shaft, but Evie’s death was not to be that dramatic, because Evie is a patsy. Evie is killed by the new head of BrightBorn who was a puppet of Rachel all along. This new silver-haired boss turns off Evie’s neolutionist tech, summarily killing the woman responsible for shooting Delphine. Goodbye Ms. Cho, you won’t be missed.

With Evie gone, Rachel makes her grand play to rekindle the Dyad cloning project. Unfortunately, to do this, she needs Cosima’s successful clone virus cure. It is so sad to watch Cos get so close and then have the rug pulled from under her. We’ll get to Cosima in a moment because now it is time to look at the unsung hero of Clone Club, Krystal!

Yes, Krystal makes her triumphant return this week and helps Sarah discover where Rachel’s island is. Sara disguises herself as Krystal and corners the new CEO of Brightborn. This CEO is the same dude that saved Delphine from being assassinated and nursed her back to health. Krystal might have no clue what’s going on (she still thinks that the neolutionists are fighting Estee Lauder), but man, is she helpful. It’s also a blast to see Tatiana Maslany play Krystal. It’s even more fun watching Maslany play Sarah playing Krystal. The comedy highlight of the week is Krystal finally meeting Sarah and being too egocentric to believe that the unglamorous Sarah can be her clone.

But Maslany’s triumph this week is with Rachel as the new wicked clone queen ascends her throne. Rachel stabs and dominates Susan Duncan, her own mother; she steals the cure for Cosima, she pummels the shit out of Sarah and she basically takes down all the heroes of Clone Club. Well, almost all, as Helena and Alison are in hiding. We do check in with them twice this week. It pretty much stands that Helena is very pregnant and probably shouldn’t be going on any rescue missions and Alison has diarrhea from eating Helena’s cooking. Guys, ball play and diarrhea, nothing but the best for you at Den of Geek.

Anyway, we are also presented with the mystery of that weird old man whom Rachel has been having visions of. Remember that hundred year old neolutionist text that has popped up from time to time? Yeah, the old dude kept alive for generations through his own genetic manipulation is the man who wrote it. I guess we’ll learn more about this modern day Moreau in the final season of Orphan Black, but for now, we’ll just have to deal with the fact that this author is out there and has been the man behind the curtain from the first episode.

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So Rachel gets the big W in this finale but not all is lost. For a moment it seems like it might be as Cosima is freezing and dying. She was so close to the cure that dying now would have been the ultimate in pathos. But it is not to be as the old man in question finds Cosima and brings her to Delphine. The lovers are finally reunited and it seems that even though the neolutionist founder possesses Cosima and Delphine, as long as Cos and Del are together, there is still hope.

And we’ll need help, because Sarah is beaten and broken, Mrs. S and Kira are being held at gunpoint by Ferdinand, and Rachel is large and in charge. But we have still have Krystal, MK, Helena and Alison ready to rally in the final season so with one more meeting of Clone Club to come, let us bid farewell for another year. 

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4 out of 5