This Orphan Black review contains spoilers.
Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 9This season’s penultimate installment of Orphan Black is entitled “Mitigation of Competition,” and indeed, the episode features a very high stakes game between the two most evil women in Clone Club, Evie Cho and Rachel Duncan.
For almost two seasons now, we have watched Rachel Duncan try and come back from the lowest point one could imagine. When Sara triggered Cosima’s clever trap and drove a pencil through Rachel’s eye, Rachel lost everything. She lost her brilliance, her vision, her position, her health and her voice. One by one, she has gained it all back, and now she has her confidence to go along with her weird bionic eye that makes her see visions of decapitated swans. Rachel has slowly found herself since getting that old #2 through her peeper, and now, she is ready to take on Orphan Black’s new queen bee, the cunning neolutionist Evie Cho.
This week, Clone Club finally discovers Cho’s vulnerability, two women who possess digital proof that Cho and her company have been illegally performing experiments on newborns and euthanizing those babies born with genetic defects. These two women are on the run from Cho and it is up to Sara and Art to track them down. One of the women is killed by Cho’s goons but Sara and Art find the other, a woman named Kendra who saved one of these defective newborns from Cho’s murder factory.
Cho seems to be one step ahead of Sara but not Rachel, who essentially threatens the woman’s children in order to gain control of the information that could bring Cho down. This right here is the Rachel we met in Season 2. This is not the frightened and broken husk; this is the Machiavellian ice-hearted villain that will do anything to win. It is very clear that Rachel does not like working with Cosima or Sara and it is very clear that Rachel misses being in power. Now, with Kendra in her possession, Rachel can regain all the power she lost.
Rachel is a villain, make no mistake, and so is Cho, and when they finally meet, the two women recognize each other as twisted kindred spirits. Rachel tells Evie about the information Kendra provided, and she blackmails Cho into giving her a prime position with BrightBorn. As Cho is about to announce the rollout of BrightBorn technologies and become the leading manufacturer of genetic enhancements, Rachel delivers to the press a nice juicy prize.
Cho couldn’t help but gloat to Rachel, but little did Cho know that Rachel was recording her every word, and without one punch being thrown or one shot being fired, Rachel Duncan took down Evie Cho, the woman responsible for the shooting of Delphine and the murder of Kendall Malone. I’m sure Evie Cho isn’t done yet, I’m sure she will still be a threat to Clone Club, but for now, let us pay honor to the woman who is the true master manipulator of Orphan Black — Rachel Duncan.
But while Rachel stood victorious, some of our other Seestras were in grave danger. Donnie is let out of jail this week and after some sassy bootie time with Alison, the Hendricks family had to think up a defense for Donnie’s coming drug trial. While this is going on, Alison is having a crisis of faith. You see, Alison no longer has absolute faith in her God. She has always been a devout woman, but all the death and pain she has witnessed has made Alison lose her faith. So when one of Cho’s minions busts in and tries to implant Alison with one of those unstable mouth maggots, Alison has no choice but to pray.
Before her fall, Cho wanted to take out one of the clones in order to get leverage over Sara and Rachel and force Clone Club to release Kendra. So, she sent her head goon, that creepy dude with the man bun, to make sure that Alison becomes that leverage. So Alison prays to a God she recently abandoned — and God sent one of his angels, a wild haired, very pregnant blond Ukrainian angel with a makeshift bow and arrow.
Yes, Helena is back and she put a shaft through man bun’s throat. With Helena returned, the full power of Clone Club has been restored.
But not every member of our extended family experiences a win this week. All season, Felix has been trying to become closer to his heavy drinking biological sister Adele. Adele might be a pill popping drunk but she is also a skilled lawyer and seems like she wants to be an important part of Fe’s life. But this week, after Adele meets Helena and her dead animal hat, Adele just has too many questions for Felix to answer. Felix realizes that he can never allow an outsider into Clone Club and that in the world of Orphan Black, family means so much more than biology. To keep her safe, Felix had to cast Adele out of our drama. It is a very sad sight to witness Felix standing alone as he loses his own biological connection to family.
So Adele exits, but we also get to witness a return that can signify the end of the loneliness for another of our family. Cosima is busy trying to find a cure for the clone virus that is killing her, but her mind might not be so focused if she saw what fans saw at the end of this week’s episode — Delphine, alive and well.
Ooof, that’s one hell of a cliffhanger. Going to be a long week!