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Review: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Transgressive Border Crossing’: Going Down the Rabbit Hole

Review: 'Orphan Black' Season 4, Episode 2, 'Transgressive Border Crossing': Going Down the Rabbit Hole

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 4, Episode 1, ‘The Collapse of Nature’: A Return to the Past

Cloning Around

With last week’s Beth-centric episode firmly establishing that this season is all about going back to the show’s roots, this week’s installment was able to pick up with Sarah and her new blood family, back on the run and out of hiding. With the Neolutionists hunting down Kendall and Cosima still sick, the only logical thing to do was for Sarah and co. to return home and attempt to solve the mysteries surrounding Project Leda and the Neolutionist movement before the deaths start rolling in. Unfortunately once there, Sarah discovered that Alison, Felix and Helena were more than happy to pretend as though there weren’t more pressing issues at hand (“I’m completely booked, I have no time for Neos”). Naturally, that leaves everything up to an impulsive Sarah to solve, yet again. Luckily she has a little more motivation this time around now that she knows she—and possibly Kira—are into all of this a little deeper than she originally thought.

Science Class

Now that Scott and Cosima have officially been locked out of the lab, what better place to run underground science experiments than in a “bat cave” at the base of a comic book shop? Not only does it seem completely appropriate for these two, but it also puts the pressure on now that their funding will inevitably run out. (Sure, Alison and Donnie were “great” drug dealers and all, but even their income has to be incredibly limited.)

The Cheese Stands Alone

Speaking of Cosima’s health, why have none of the other clones gotten sick since the first season? Sure we’ve met “fringe” characters, but at the outset viewers were led to believe that all the clones were in danger of dying from this unsolvable illness.

Family Feud

Poor Felix. Now that the truth behind Sarah’s blood relation is out, it was only a matter of time before he went into hiding with his naked art. Over the past four seasons this is a character that has always been there for his “sister,” but now that he feels out of place it’s obviously time she return the favor—as much as he doesn’t necessarily want her there right now. Unfortunately with so much else going on there’s not exactly time for that kind of bonding. Still, the writers wouldn’t dangle something like Felix’s quest to find his actual birth parents without eventually unlocking some sort of future mystery… perhaps the key to Season 5?

Seeing Double

Thanks to last season’s brutal capture and torture scenes, there wasn’t exactly time to delve into the happy times ahead for Helena as a mother. While we’re sure that Patrick J. Adams will eventually return to requite that love, in the meantime pairing her up with Alison and Donnie is great comedic relief. Sure, it’s a far cry for mom Helena to be doing arts and crafts when you consider her assassin ways from the first season, but she and Donnie make a great team. Besides, there’s a wealth of story to mine there when it comes to Alison’s infertility and the obvious jealousy that Helena having twins is going to cause her. It’s just too bad that Helena has to wait to share that news with her own twin, Sarah.

Tatiana Who?

Seeing Art and Sarah team up has been fantastic—something that will hopefully continue as the journey back to the beginning continues. He obviously has unresolved feelings of guilt for not recognizing just how deep in Beth got, so it’s a nice character redemption for him to finally make right some of those wrongs.

Worm on a Hook

So far it looks as though one of the bigger mysteries of the season is going to revolve around finding out exactly what those cheeky little worms are for and why certain people (like Sarah) have them implanted in their faces. As we now know the little guys come with a self-destruct mechanism, which means no one will exactly be chomping at the bit to remove them anytime soon. Still, it’s pretty gross to think there’s a growing, living, breathing thing in your face. Sarah kind of had every right to freak out.

READ MORE: ‘Orphan Black’ Cast and Creator Talk Season 4 Secrets, Feminism and the Show’s Surprising Origin

Blast to the Past

Once Beth’s story wrapped last episode it was unclear if there would be another return to the past. Thankfully, that story continued when Art and Sarah visited her flat (good on Paul for paying up for the full year) and flashbacks began filling in more of the blanks. It’s still unclear how Beth was helping that pregnant Neolutionist girl or what she did with the gun that night that eventually drove her to kill herself, but now that the flashback door has been opened we hope it continues. It’s a fresher, much more interesting way to tell this dark story.

Sarah vs Beth vs M.K.

We knew going in that Sarah and Beth’s contrasting leadership styles would be an important theme of the season, but it’s still interesting that M.K. holds herself somewhat responsible for Beth’s death. That said, the underground spy thing will only stay interesting for so long—Dolly references or otherwise. At some point the character is going to have to open up to Sarah before the audiences turn on her, so here’s hoping the writers are able to walk that fine line in the coming weeks.

Lab Results

Two episodes in and there is an awful lot of story to wade through right about now. Between all of the character development, the return of the Neolutionists and several characters’ fates up in the air (here’s looking at you, Delphine and Cal), there’s going to be a lot to consider in the next eight episodes in order to actually provide some answers. For now, everyone should just enjoy the rare Alison workout dance moves and some shit… take mushrooms.

Grade: B+

Orphan Black” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on BBC America and co-producer Space in Canada. Next week: Mrs. S makes a shady alliance and Helena is mistaken for Mrs. Hendrix.

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