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Orphan Black – S4E9 – The Mitigation of Competition

Previously on Orphan Black, “The Redesign of Natural Objects”

With a new cure for Leda on the horizon and severe damage done to the clones’ latest adversary, Orphan Black is in a great position to start tying up the threads of season four and setting up the building blocks for season five. A whole hell of a lot went down in this episode, which can only mean we’re in for even more action next week. Let’s take a look at where our clones are now, and consider what we can expect to happen – or, at least hope to see – in the finale.

Rachel & Sarah

They reluctantly worked together to take down Evie Cho, but that doesn’t mean they trusted each other. Not even for a second. Rachel discovered that two mothers from the Brightborn maternity ward were on the run, and believes they might be just the right leverage to use against Cho. Sarah wants to find the mothers her way, with her people, so she turns to Art. Rachel, believing they may need a contingency plan, sends in her errand boy, Ira. When Sarah isn’t willing to use blackmail to get one of the mothers to expose Cho, Rachel steps in. Just as everyone thinks Rachel is about to double-cross the clones and use the video of deformed babies being euthanized for her own, selfish gains, she does something unexpected. Even Sarah is impressed to see that Rachel actually does the right thing.

Images: BBC America

Images: BBC America

Well, pretty much. Yes, she used her classic, unethical tactics to get the video footage from the mother, but in the end she used it for good. The look on Rachel’s face as several angry journalists interrogated Evie was pretty priceless. I doubt Cho will go away that easily, but the damage to Brightborn and the genetic implants has been done. Rachel isn’t likely to settle for this; she won’t rest until she’s at the head of Neolution. As for whatever temporary alliance she had with the clones, it was likely only that, temporary. Sarah is the one who put a pencil in her brain after all, and completely derailed her climb to the top, so my best guess is that they’ll soon be at odds again.

Of course, Rachel’s visions could potentially get in the way of her rise to power. They’re coming more frequently now, and there’s more to see than just a swan. In fact, by the end of the episode the swan is dead. Its head having been chopped off by a group of men who seem to be in an encampment on the island. Who is responsible for her visions, and are they friend or enemy?



On the island of Dr. Moreau, she’s working alongside Susan Duncan to develop the new cure for Leda. Cosima has always had a simultaneous fascination and repulsion for the science that created her. As an academic, she’s attracted to the idea of learning more about her origin, but as a decent human being, she can’t turn a blind eye to the muddied ethical issues surrounding it all. Some of her best scenes are those that tackle these conflicting feelings, and though it was brief, the debate between her and Susan was certainly intriguing.

After meeting Charlotte, Cosima’s repulsion has only intensified. When she calls Susan out for having an archaic mentality – one that’s not so different from the man who started Neolution in the first place – Duncan defends her creation of Charlotte by claiming she was under “tremendous pressure” to continue the Leda project. Which raises the question of just who was pushing her to do so. Regardless of why she exists, Charlotte faces the same fate as Cosima, which gives them an immediate and rare bond.

Perhaps Cosima is used to this kind of thing by now, but it must be bizarre to meet the identical version of your younger self. Charlotte bears more than just the obvious physical appearance to Cosima as well; she seems to possess a close, if not equal intelligence. While the map of the island and the age of the rock it stands upon may in fact be Charlotte’s favorite aspect of the Neolution history book, it’s quite possible she’s trying to tell Cosima something more. In any case, Cosima definitely finds the information interesting, and hopefully we’ll find out why.



She’s having a crisis of faith, again. Whatever renewal of the Holy Spirit she was feeling last week after learning Donnie had survived the threat of murder was only fleeting. Even with her husband out on bail, she thinks God has forsaken her, for good. Desperate to escape the judging stares of their suburban neighbors, she suggests they fake a vacation to Niagara as a means to go into hiding. Seconds away from their exodus, one of the Neolution “paramedics” takes them hostage. He threatens to put a particularly glitch-y maggot implant in Alison’s cheek, unless she gives up Det. Duko’s whereabouts. Despite her feelings of estrangement with Jesus, she braces herself for the worst and prays for salvation. In the end, it’s Helena who saves the day. What this will mean for Alison’s faith going forward remains to be seen.

Helena - Orphan Black - S4E9


Prior to her conveniently timed rescue of Alison and Donnie, our favorite black sheep clone (pardon my proximity to that awful cloning pun) had been roughing it in the wilderness. After speaking to Sarah and suspecting that not all was right with her sestras, Helena decided to come home. While I had predicted Evie Cho would be the one to feel Helena’s wrath, – it could still happen, fingers crossed – seeing her shoot a bow through the Neolutionist paramedic’s head was just as satisfying. The same can be said for the way she hissed so hilariously right in Adele’s face.

As if Felix’s bio-sister wasn’t already curious enough after meeting Sarah’s “twin,” Helena only served to heighten Adele’s skepticism. Which is why Felix had to make the tough, yet compassionate choice of sending her away. I’ve really grown to like Adele and her loud voice, too. Not only because she’s finally been given more to do than just be the recipient of Sarah’s side-eye, but because of how happy she’s made Felix. His choice is really what’s best for everyone, though. It’s not Felix’s place to let her in on Clone Club, and she’s probably better off not knowing. Still, there is a chance that Adele could come back, in one of these possible scenarios: either she knows more than she’s let on, or she could be a real asset if she’s ever allowed to be a legit lawyer again.


In the last moments of the episode, Orphan Black finally gave us a very happy confirmation: Delphine is alive! Everything about the place we find her in, aside from the lovely French music, seems to suggest that she may also be on the island. What she’s doing there (or wherever she may be) and why the Neolutionists believe she’s dead still needs to be cleared up. Despite having very little evidence to back this up, I get a strong sense that she may somehow be connected to the visions Rachel is having. My one hope is that she hasn’t been turned against the clones, because I don’t think any Cosiphine fan could handle another storyline between these women where trust is the major issue.

Orphan Black S4E9 = 8.8/10
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10
User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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