First things first. Thank God, praise the Lord that we **finally** got a renewal announcement today before tonight’s season 4 finale. Granted, season 5 will be the final season (if you had known the creators’ plans, this shouldn’t have been a surprise), but man, just ending the season like it did without knowing if there would ever be any resolution … well, it would have totally sucked ass. So, thank you, BBC, for not torturing the entire Clone Club as we head into the summer. Yay.
So, now that we can stop freaking about the show’s renewal, let’s discuss all of the wicked twists and turns the writers dished to us tonight in what proved to be a very intense hour of television.
ONE BITCH IS OUT — ANOTHER BITCH IS IN
In my review of last week’s episode, I was fairly certain that while Evie Cho may have been blindsided, that evil witch wouldn’t go down without a fight, and an Evie vs. Leda showdown was imminent. However, as we quickly learn in tonight’s finale, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Evie has to go before the Board to answer for the sh*tstorm that went down at the press conference, and she doesn’t get much in edgewise before being asked to step down as CEO of Brightborn. But, I think most of us know Evie pretty well, and she wasn’t going to take being kicked to the curb sitting down. She pitches a fit right there in the board room, and well, unfortunately, her own physician, Dr. Van Lier, turns against her without hesitation and activates the bot in her cheek, killing her right there as the Board is leaving the conference room. A quick rise to power but also a quick and hard fall. Damn.
Now that Evie has been eliminated, Dr. Van Lier proclaims himself interim CEO, but there are some people who have other plans. If you had believed Rachael (Tatiana Maslany) in last week’s episode with what she had told Ira (Ari Millen), then Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) likely would lead Neolution — and Project Leda — once again. And, for a short while, it seemed to be heading in that direction. Cosima’s experiment is a resounding success, and while Susan initially shares her joy, the tone quickly changes, and she locks Cosima away to prevent her from returning to the lab. Why? Because Susan has no (or at best, very little) interest in creating a cure — instead, she wants to use Cosima’s new cell line to start cloning again. What’s more, now that she’s got what is needed to restart Project Leda, she intends to use it as a means to regain control of Neolution.
In the meantime, everyone else seems pretty clueless as to what is going on right before their eyes, but fortunately, our bubbly Krystal is about to give them the 411. In the opening scene of the episode, we finally get a complete view of what went down the night that Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) is shot. Ultimately it is revealed that Douche Detective Deko is the shooter (which does no good now since he’s already dead), but thanks to Krystal, she also sees who comes along afterward to take Delphine away and save her life. It’s none other than Dr. Van Lier, whom Krystal identifies after seeing him on TV announcing himself as the interim CEO of Brightborn. Of course, Krystal, bless her heart, is still clueless, and even after Sarah spills the truth that she’s her clone, she laughs it off and is still convinced that it’s all about a feud between Estee Lauder and a new Russian company, Neolution. I love Krystal — I honestly do — but gee whiz, the girl is hopeless! #FacePalm
Armed with this new information, Sarah poses as Krystal at another news conference and with Mrs. S’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) help, corners Van Lier for information. After all, none of this really makes sense. Evie Cho ordered the hit on Delphine. Then, Van Lier saved her life even though he worked for Evie Cho. The good news is Van Lier sets it straight and makes it clear that he does not — nor has he ever — worked for Evie Cho. What’s more, he tells Sarah that it’s not Susan Duncan they should be worried about taking over Brightborn and Neolution — it’s Rachel. With all the crap that Rachel has pulled since the series began, Sarah honestly should have known, but it doesn’t matter because she knows now. Rachel has to be stopped, and so it’s off to the island for Sarah, leaving Kira once again with Mrs. S.
Unfortunately, it turns out to be too late (well, maybe. Stay tuned). Rachel had already reconvened the Board and proposed what proves to be a more attractive alternative than just going back to simple human cloning. Her idea is to take the best of Susan Duncan and Evie Cho’s worlds — combine Susan’s clone baseline with Evie’s bot implants. That is, implant Project Leda clones with the bots and over multiple generations. The Board appears to buy into Rachel’s proposal, and now, all she needs to secure her position back at Neolution is to obtain Cosima’s cell line.
Sarah knows this as well, but by the time she gets to the island, Rachel has already beat her to the punch. Susan had been notified of Rachel’s actions at Brightborn (thanks primarily to the strange man AKA “The Messenger” that Rachel had been seeing in her eye), and so, a huge fight ensues that culminates with Rachel stabbing her own mother. Then, when Sarah crashes the party, Rachel doesn’t hesitate to attack her sister as well, bludgeoning her with a steel rod and stabbing her in the leg. Fortunately, Sarah is able to escape, but she’s severely injured, and when she calls Mrs. S for help, it’s futile because asshole Ferninand is there holding a gun both Mrs. S and Kira. Oh, Ferninand, it was funny to watch you hook back up with Rachel, being her bitch while strapped to a bed and even more hilarious to see Ira walk in on you (loved, loved the socks mention). But, threatening a little girl and Sarah’s Mum — not cool. So, now, you’re back to being one of the most hated on the show.
All in all, this is a seriously effed-up situation. Sarah is bleeding out in the bitter cold with nowhere to hide and no one to come rescue her. Rachel has supposedly secured Cosima’s cell line and now able to restart human cloning. And, Susan Duncan is in the main house also bleeding out. Going into next season, I think we need nothing short of a miracle.
COSIMA AND DELPHINE — THE REUNION WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
So, while Rachel is trying her damnest to kill Sarah and Susan, you may be wondering what is going on with Cosima whom we last saw being locked in a room downstairs. Well, once Susan realizes that Rachel had betrayed them all, she has the forethought to come up with a plan to get both Cosima and Charlotte out of harm’s way. So, she sends Charlotte to Cosima with specific instructions to find the boat at the dock and leave the island immediately. Okay, sounds like a plan.
The problem is it’s getting dark on the island. AND you’re relying on the memory of a small child to find the boat dock. AND Cosima starts to get sick and cough up blood. What this all adds up to is Cosima and Charlotte getting lost, with it now being nightfall and well below freezing temperatures. But, just when we think all is lost, a flashlight appears and the pair is rescued and brought back to a camp — a camp, by the way, that suspiciously looks like the same one that Rachel had been seeing in her visions. But, then, Cosima is taken into one of the tents to be treated for hypothermia, and when the doctor turns around, the moment that the vast majority of the fandom has been waiting for finally happens — the doctor is Delphine, and we finally get the big, super-emotional Cosima/Delphine reunion. It’s okay, you can cry now too!
But, while Cosima is now safe and everything seems great with Delphine being found alive and well, this place just doesn’t feel right. The man from Rachel’s visions appears to be who’s in charge, and informs Delphine that she won’t be permitted to stay with Cosima. Um, why? Then, Delphine tells Cosima to be quiet and that where they’re at is dangerous. And, finally, when Cosima makes the big reveal that she completed “their homework” — i.e. found the cure — and points to the vials that she managed to smuggle from Susan’s lab, Delphine tells her to nothing to no one about it.
So, what in the hell is this place? Obviously it’s tied to Neolution and Brightborn somehow, because Dr. Van Lier is the one who saved Delphine, and we assume brought her there. But, if these people saved Delphine, why is she obviously afraid of them? And, even more importantly, why are they on the outskirts of this island, well away from Susan Duncan’s main house? No matter what, I have a feeling the answer can’t be good.
NEOLUTION FOLLOWS THE SCIENCE — BUT IS THE NEW SCIENCE IMMORTALITY?
This has been one strange season and with this episode being one of the darkest and most intense. Bot implants that will explode in your face if you look the wrong way. Evie’s House of Horrors at Brightborn. And, of course, Rachel stabbing her own mother in her ill-placed lust for power. But, perhaps the strangest part of all is Rachel’s new eye and the random visions she keeps getting. WTH?! What. The. Hell! Rachel finally asks her mother who made her eye, and Susan’s response is quite shocking:
You know. It’s the man behind the curtain. The man who wrote the book over a century ago — Susan to Rachel
That’s impossible — Rachel to Susan
Not for him — Susan to Rachel
WHAT?! I’m with Rachel — how is that even possible? At this point, my mind immediately began to race, thinking of all the possible things it could mean. If this P.T. Westmoreland truly is well over a century old, then has he somehow found the “science” of immortality — or at the very least, longevity? Remember, Neolution is all about the science, and finding the secret to immortality is definitely right up their alley. Or, is he even human at all? We know that the bots are not 100% organic, and so, could it be that he dappled in synthetic implants to prolong his life? This isn’t quite as unexpected as the Kendall Malone original shocker from last season, but it’s pretty damn close.
All in all, another fantastic finale, and an equally good season overall. If you think about it, ALOT happened tonight, and it actually was a pretty dense hour of television. Evie is taken down for good, and Rachel rises back up the ranks (well, maybe). Cosima successfully smuggles out her cure and is able to celebrate the moment in her long-awaited reunion with Delphine. And, while the season does end with some hope, it also sounds like we may have another major threat — this 100+ year-old Westmoreland dude who seems a little too interested in getting his hands on the clone cell line that Rachel thinks she has (and probably the same guy who had pressured Susan to continue her work even after losing the Kendall Malone original).
This being said, it makes we wonder what kind of ending the creators have planned for the series. Will the sisters get the cure and have hope of living to a ripe old age? Will Neolution be toppled and the sisters finally break free from these neverending threats that continually plague them? Or, on the flip-side, will Brightborn and Neolution win and are successful in blotting Sarah and Co. out once and for all? You never know what these writers are thinking, but for now, I’m banking on the positive. Maybe that means I’m crazy, maybe that means I’m delusional, I don’t know.
Either way, we won’t know for 10+ months, and so, we have plenty of time to speculate, predict, but also reminisce on these past 4 years of epic television. See everyone next year!
Orphan Black returns for its fifth and final season in the Spring of 2017.
Critic Grade — A
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com