Orphan Black: The Antisocialism of Sex Review

Felix brings much needed hope and a slumber party goes very wrong as Clone Club begins to heal.

This Orphan Black review contains spoilers.

Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 7

Are you recovered yet, Clone Club?  Has your heart healed from the loss of Kendall Malone? Has your soul recovered from hearing Cosima’s anguished cries when she found out that Delphine was murdered? Don’t worry; we’re here from you brothers as seestras as the healing begins on this week’s episode of Orphan Black.

Well, a bit of healing anyway as things are still pretty dire. Mrs. S isn’t talking to Sara, like, at all, and she’s polishing up her improbably large rifle to take the war to Evie Cho and the Neolutionists. Sara blames herself for Malone’s death and goes on an epic bender to punish herself while Cosima also blames herself and recklessly throws herself headfirst into science to make up for her perceived sins. And Alison has a slumber party. One of these things ends badly, can you guess which?

Remember when we first met Sara? Self-destructive party girl drug dealer Sara Manning was at the end of her rope when she first saw her clone Beth Childs commit suicide on that fateful train station. We have not seen addict, grifter Sara in a long time, but this version of Sara rears her ugly head this week. Mrs. S blames her for the death of her Ma and really, everything went south when Sara decided to deal with the neolutionists. So her guilt is well founded, but Clone Club needs their leader not the old Sara. More disturbingly, as we watch Sara engage in unhealthy threesomes while snorting coke and drinking copious amounts of bourbon, it becomes very clear that Sara’s descent is beginning to mirror Beth’s, and we all know how that ended.

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Meanwhile, Cosima is at the end of her rope. Cos is dying, in mourning for Delphine, and has lost all her work on her proposed cure. Cosima doesn’t throw herself in a bottle and a threesome like Sara, no; Cosima throws herself into some reckless science. She thinks that Sara’s recently removed mouth maggot might hold the secrets of a clone cure. So, Cosima tries to implant the dangerous A.I. into her mouth, horrifically slicing her cheek and risking her life in a desperate attempt for a cure.

While all this is going on, Sara makes her way to the same train platform where Beth killed herself back in season one, episode one. So, two clones are desperate and ready to make horrible choices. Sara, drugged and broken, is even hallucinating and talking to Beth’s spectral image.

Thank God for Felix. Yeah, Felix has been a bit distracted lately, what with finding his biological sister and all, and yeah, Felix has been a bit distant from Sara and his extended family as of late, but when both Cosima and Sara need him most, Felix is there. Weeks back, Krystal told Felix hat she saw Delphine dragged away after she was shot, and this week, Felix shares that news with Cosima. Felix talks Cos off the figurative ledge so he can then talk Sara off the literal one.

In this moment, Tatiana Maslany puts forth two absolutely brilliant performances as she plays two broken woman turning to different means to just make the pain go away. It is incredibly powerful to watch Maslany as Cosima, digging into her own mouth with a scalpel in order to implant the mouth maggot. When Felix tells her the news, the relief is palpable. Felix is there for Sara as well and brings her back to the fight. This even leads to Mrs. S forgiving her step daughter. Some beautiful family bonding time as the healing begins.

Speaking of families, we have a birthday slumber party at Alison and Donnie’s. Alison is broken by Malone’s death as well, but she throws herself not into science or a train, but into arts and crafts as she preps for her adoptive daughter’s hootenanny. Alison just wants some family healing time until sadly, that bespectacled scumbag detective that shot Kendall appears and arrests Donnie for drug trafficking. Seriously, this guy needs to die horrifically; can someone get Helena back here pronto?

Along with all of this, Orphan Black, as per usual, features great little moments with most of the side characters. Whether it is Mrs. S angrily cleaning her gun, Scott feeling hurt and betrayed that Cosima questions his ability as a scientist, or Art cathartically beating Evie’s pet detective to a pulp, Orphan Black always satisfies with its use of the entire extended cast.

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And then we have Rachel, some weirdness with Rachel this week as she discovers that she has been hidden on a remote island by Susan Duncan. Strangely, the episode ends with Rachel seeing the image of a swan with her newly perfected electronic eye. A real swan. How James Joyce! Now what do you suppose that all means?

But it is all about loyalty and healing this week as some brightness is shined into the lives of Cosima and Sara with Felix holding the spotlight, proving that it is indeed Felix who is the heart and soul of this series. He is the audience’s way in and he is the problem solver for the entirety of Clone Club.

Now, Felix just has to figure out a way to get Donnie out of prison.

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3.5 out of 5