This Orphan Black review contains spoilers.
Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 2
Last week, Orphan Black treated Clone Club to a ballsy origin story for Beth Childs. But this week, fans are reunited with the seestras for the first time this season as the series picks up its myriad plot threads. The big one focuses on Sara Manning as she returns home thanks to the dire warnings of newly introduced clone MK. Sara, Mrs. S, Kendall, and Kira all reunite with friends and family as Sara begins to investigate the neolutionists coming to get her.
I’m happy to say that the rampant tone of paranoia that permeated the first few seasons of Orphan Black is back as the episode gives viewer a sense that there are threats all around Sara. This is not any menace fans have seen before, this is not Dyad or the creepy clone cult that Helena dispatched a few seasons back; this is a shadowy and amorphous threat, one that eradicates genetic anomalies. This is a threat that Beth had an inkling about before her suicide, and a threat that Sara must now face.
But here’s the thing, the brilliantly used flashbacks to Beth’s last days indicate that it is this very threat that drove her to jump in front of that train, and the deeper Sara dives into this conspiracy, the more her quest mirrors Beth’s obsession. Like last episode, “Transgressive Border Crossing” does a great job paralleling Beth and Sara and the results are intense. By episode’s end, Sara has an encounter with the sheep mask wearing MK (Dolly the sheep, I just got that this week. Clever, Orphan Black, clever) and encounters those creepy as hell murderous EMS workers, the ones that go around slaughtering neolutionists.
The EMSers attack Sara and forcibly examine her, and what they discover will make the even the most hardened fan’s colon clench. We saw a hint of this yuck last week, but this week it is revealed that one of those creepy maggot things lives in Sara’s jawline. Sara’s panic is completely understood as she freaks out over the prospect of her mouth infestation. And really, this is some great David Cronenberg type horror. I mean, maggot mouth…not pleasant. This is just another addition to the tradition of medical and anatomical horror that Orphan Black has gleefully forced Clone Club to endure.
So other than making fans everywhere want to grab the nearest bottle of Listerine, what else happened in this episode you ask? Well, we are reunited with Helena who is now with child! Those babies in a bottle from last year are now in her tummy and she is now the mama of twins. Good ol’ Donnie poses as her loving husband as Helena goes through all her prenatal exams. Sadly, Alison seems hurt by the fact that Helena is able to have kids and she is still infertile. Donnie is supporting as ever but this want of children seems to have kicked off Alison’s season arc. Oh, did I mention that Helena is going to have twins? Man, the hunger cravings are going to be epic.
Not much Cosima this week but we did catch up with Felix. Alison may want to build her family but so does Felix as he is now searching out his birth parents. One has to wonder how his search for a genetic connection will dovetail into the clone plot, but don’t worry Clone Club, this week we were treated to one of Orphan Black’s most time honored traditions- Felix painting wearing nothing but an apron. In all seriousness though, this quest of Felix’s seems to have driven a bit of an emotional wedge between Sara and her always loyal foster brother. It’s really good to see Felix have a plotline of his own though.
Speaking of solo plotlines, Art also has a nice subtle arc going on as he watches old security footage of Beth. Last week, it was revealed that Art and Beth once had a very physical relationship, and now Art must watch the woman he love’s last days. Really, it’s very fraught with emotional energy and adds a nice layer to Art, a character who has always kind of been relegated to the background.
So let’s talk about MK, the newest clone. We get to see that Beth and MK were close before Beth’s demise. It reminds one of the bonds between the seestras in present day. But Beth’s death seems to have left the conspiracy obsessed MK very skittish. The twitchy and frightened MK is just another impressive performance by Tatiana Maslany, but would you expect anything else?
So we had mouth maggots and motherhood, as Orphan Black continues to bring the intensity.