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Review: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 4, Episode 8, ‘The Redesign of Natural Objects’: Blood Ties and Revenge

Mrs. S seeks revenge for the death of her mother and Alison is backed into a corner.

Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black."

Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany in “Orphan Black.”

Ken Woroner © BBC AMERICA

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: Orphan Black’ Season 4, Episode 7, ‘The Antisocialism of Sex’: Off the Rails

Cloning Around

Now that Sarah has had a chance to go off the tracks and Cosima has found something to live for (the possibility of Delphine being alive), both sestras spent most of the episode getting their grooves back. For Sarah, that meant recovering with some chai tea and through Kira, reconnecting with MK; for Cosima, that meant teaming up with Susan Duncan to start anew on a cure for the Leda (and maybe) Castor clones. Meanwhile, Alison dealt with some suburban woes of her own thanks to Donnie’s time in jail, where his life was in jeopardy if she did not give up Sarah’s location to Detective Duko.

Science Class

Given how hopeless everyone was last episode, the clones were in desperate need of a discovery in order to help them keep going this week. Luckily Cosima had the perfect solution: make embryos out of a Leda egg and some Castor sperm, which would hypothetically recreate Kendall Malone’s DNA makeup and allow them to continue their testing and hopefully find a cure. Unfortunately this science begins to border on some of the same unethical debates clones cause in the first place, but hey—desperate times call for desperate measures. Like working with Susan Duncan.

Jesus Christ Superstar

You could just tell the writers were itching to get Alison back on the stage, and what better timing than to have her prancing around singing while her husband was in jail? For most of the season, Alison has been separated from her other sisters, giving herself some distance to be a mom, former drug dealer and killer. This week her loyalty was put to the test, when she was squeezed by Duko in a move meant to dupe audiences into thinking she flipped. Given that Donnie’s life was on the line, that certainly could have been the case, but thanks to Felix’s renewed friendship all ended well on that front. Or at least it ended well for everyone but Duko, who met the end of Mrs. S’s shotgun in the final moments.

I Spy With My Little Eye

Meanwhile over on the island, Rachel continued having visions of a swan and a strange man in her Neolutionist eye, which could be taken as a threat given the poor swan’s beheading towards the end. Rachel has always been a smart (if not devious) character, so if she’s remaining mum on the situation to Susan then it’s safe to say she considers the visions a threat too. For now, though, we’re not too concerned. The bigger question is where did Ferdinand go and why haven’t those two reconnected yet?

Kristian Bruun and Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black."

Kristian Bruun and Tatiana Maslany in “Orphan Black.”

Ken Woroner © BBC AMERICA

Lawyering Up

Just when you thought Adele was purely there for comedic relief, it turns out she’s actually a pretty good lawyer. You know, when she’s sober and able to physically practice the law, that is. Having her serve as Donnie’s lawyer — even for a brief period of time — was a fun twist. Not only does it bring her one step closer to the clone truth, but it also allowed viewers to develop a deeper attachment to the character.

READ MORE: ‘Orphan Black’ Star Tatiana Maslany on How Improv Helps Her Clones Come to Life (Consider This)

Mika’s Motives

It was only a matter of time before the hacker returned to the fold; sadly it wasn’t exactly to help the other clones, but to help herself, now that she’s developed the same symptoms as Charlotte and Cosima. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — now that she’s wiped out Ferdinand’s funds, her money and hacker skills could be a huge asset in helping to bring down Evie Cho before she goes all Helsinki on the self-aware clones. If MK doesn’t flake again, that is.

Tatiana Who?

We’ve seen Mrs. S kill in order to protect her loved ones before, but Duko’s death was perhaps her coldest kill to date. It makes you wonder how many bodies can actually surface on this show before the actual cops start coming around. Sure, Art has their backs for now, but this was a detective that S killed. Even though he was shady, he still has to report for duty and had coworkers who would presumably notice that he was gone. Sweeping that one under the rug seems a little too convenient, even for this show.

Lab Results

After the hell the sestras went through in the last two episodes, Episode 8 served as a transitional installment in order to put the characters back on track towards finding a cure and taking down Evie Cho. With a new common enemy to bond them all, Rachel and Sarah will inevitably figure out a way to work together, while Alison by now has to realize she’s in this whether she wants to be or not. With only two more episodes to go and plenty of lives on the line, finding a cure becomes a top priority for the remainder of the season. For Cosima it’s particularly important, as she’s come close to death’s door for three seasons now. Who knows if the writers will let her survive past a fourth?

Grade: B

“Orphan Black” airs Thursdays at 10pm on BBC America and co-producer Space in Canada.

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