Orphan Black 4×4 Review: From Instinct to Rational Control
As any good episode of Orphan Black should go, we learned a lot in “From Instinct to Rational Control”, and got even more great performances by other members of the main cast. This was another fast-paced episode that moved in the right direction.
After last week’s bit of a cliffhanger where Ferdinand showed back up, there were a ton of unanswered questions, especially regarding the implant. Donnie and Alison heroically dug up Leekie’s body and turned his head over to Cosima for dissection. The implant revealed an inorganic worm that was working on genetic alteration, even after death. Whatever the implant’s purpose is has to deal with the DNA of the host. Although it is unclear how this impacts the clones, it does seem to reference back to Kira’s vision from the last episode where Sarah is changing compared to the rest of the clones. It is all starting to fit together!
One of the best scenes of the entire series, in my opinion, happened during this episode, and that is where we learned more about Helsinki. I am speaking of the scene where MK confronted Ferdinand in front of Sarah at Beth’s flat. I have had a hard time latching onto MK, but this scene did it for me. Having Tatiana Maslany add yet another autonomous clone to the mix, and doing so seamlessly, is the best part of this show, but we as viewers could tell that MK is irredeemable at this point. She is not one of the Clone Club; she is isolated, angry, and bent on revenge. Whereas the other clones have just as much invested, they have not really lost as much as MK. And of course, we learned all about Helsinki which appeared to be Top Side’s attempt at wiping out an entire population of clones – and their families. I can totally see MK’s perspective of wanting revenge more than wanting answers.
Although I normally love the Hendrixes, we saw a little too much of them this week. That is to say, after Donnie and Felix posed as couple at a fertility clinic, we got a very, ahem, explicit insight into what goes on the Hendrix bedroom. I LOVE Donnie, but I did not need to see what happened in that exam room. No. However, I do enjoy the dynamic that Donnie and Felix have. It isn’t really friendship–they aren’t friends really–but it is more of a partnership. They are completely different personalities, but they are both in the game to help the women they love. I appreciated Donnie trying to play the stereotypical gay man, but I also liked that Felix brought him down to Earth and told him to just act like a normal person; not the stereotype. It was a bit of a throwaway moment, but I found it a bit endearing.
Speaking of the Hendrixes, while I appreciate Donnie’s speech to Helena, he must have known that something would be misinterpreted by her. And there she goes. What a heartbreaking scene it was to see Helena realize that she was making Alison uncomfortable, bury her dead babies, and then decide to run. I know that this is Helena’s way, but I loved her playing house with the Hendrixes and even playing babysitter to the kids. It was precious to see another, softer side to her, but it was short lived, unfortunately.
Okay, I need to go back to Ferdinand because he was my favorite part of the episode. I feel as though in the past they wanted to present him as a villain, but so far this season (really just the past two episodes), they are letting James Frain fill in more of the personality blanks (which I love). Even though Ferdinand is a bad guy, we are now seeing him in layers–perhaps he does want to atone to a certain extent for his role in Helsinki and all the bad things with Rachel. I like to see him in more of that redemptive villain role where we still are not quite sure if he is good or bad, but he is helping the Clone Club (especially Sarah) put the pieces together. I think it is clear that he doesn’t know the entire story of Dyad and Leda and Castor, but he knows enough from his days in Top Side that he is an asset.
We ended the episode with a bit of cliffhanger in the form of learning more about Brightborn, a secret project that is being run out of the fertility clinic that Donnie and Felix visited. Could this be what Dyad turned to after they got out of Leda and Castor? It is hard to say, but it is clear, based on the appearance of Evie Cho and the Brightborn logo that Beth was about as close to getting answers as the rest of us are now. Only time will tell what the significance it, but I definitely smell danger looming ahead.
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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