Orphan Black Episode 4 shines a light on Neolution's secrets

Contributed by
Jul 1, 2017

Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen "Let the Children and Childbearers Toil" or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.

P.T. Westmoreland talks about what he's doing as if it's some sort of humanitarian mission, but, like a lot of people selling miracles, there's a dark underbelly to the shining image. If this episode did anything, it reminded everyone that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Neolution may have been able to hide its secrets, but the ooze never stays hidden forever, and buried bodies have a way of bubbling back up to the surface when you're living in a swamp.

In an episode that pulled back the curtain on a lot of things, it’s becoming clear that The Wizard isn’t interested in helping anyone but himself.

P.T. Westmoreland.

Speaking of ooze, that first scene with P.T. and Susan made me shudder more than a few times. Whatever's going on with him, he's looking more like a snake oil salesman than any sort of savior. If the treatment Mud was giving him is any indication, his body is creating toxins at a faster rate than his body can naturally process them. Can the writers be any more metaphorical?

Cosima and the search for Project X.

Well, now we know what the thing in the woods is. That's ... exciting. Does anyone else worry that Cosima's going to walk herself into a situation one one of her fact-finding missions that she just can't get out of? She's getting so close to finding out the real truth about what's happening at Revival that I worry she’s going to get hurt.

Kira.

Now we know what Kira did with the knife. I’ll admit, I thought she was going to do a test on the mouse, but it makes sense that Kira would skip the small test and go right to the big one. Her mind made the jump between the mouse’s ability to heal and the possibility that she was the same. The question is whether that was Rachel's intention or whether Kira's leap to the next step in the experiment was an unforeseen circumstance. That said, I do think Helena's right and that someone’s going to have to be honest with Kira about everything at some point. If only so she can make sense of what she feels already.

Mrs. S.

If there’s a constant in everything it's Mrs. S. ––, and thank your preferred deity we have her. Sarah's at Defcon 2, Kira's cutting herself, Felix is clearly flailing, and everyone's trying to find their footing as the sand beneath keeps shifting, but there’s S. keeping things on track. It’s easy to forget that Siobhan has been at this longer than all of them, so it was nice to be reminded of just how good she is at all of this.

Susan and Ira.

Welcome to the poster children for dysfunctional and codependent relationships. Not to mention abusive ones. Ira’s given up everything to be with Susan. He's devoted to her and has been through every twist and turn. But he's also in love with her, and he's been sheltered and warped in numerous ways. From her last conversation with Westmoreland, it's looking like Susan is going to choose the science over Ira. I’ll be very intrigued to see how that pans out.

Mud.

Does anyone else feel bad for Mud? The longer this season goes on, the more we see how scared she is, and we're realizing that the happy person who first met Cosima at Revival was more of a mask than a reality. Whatever's going on at the heart of Neolution, Mud knows more than she’s comfortable with, and Cosima’s pushing enough buttons to set Mud off balance in a painful way. Mud may well be the Jenga piece that, if pulled, brings everything down.

Felix.

Felix really is so good with Kira, isn't he? If anyone can get Kira to understand Rachel's the enemy, it's Felix. Of course, now that Adele's up to speed on what’s going on, he’s going on a whole new adventure. It’s clear that he’s not happy about it, but I think that Felix is going to do a lot of good in Switzerland and that he and Arlene are going to make a fantastic team.

Helena.

It's official. Helena is my most favorite clone, and the scene in the monastery between Helena and Sarah was a long time coming. Helena’s come such a long way since we first met her and, while it’s never a good idea to forget that Helena can be murderous, we understand a lot more about her now. The conversation between her and Sarah felt like a goodbye. It felt like closure. It also felt like a benediction, and it gave Sarah a chance to fall apart and not be the strong one for once. I think we're going to lose Helena in the end, but this scene made me feel like it'll be okay.

Virginia.

Where to even begin. Of course, she's alive. It’s interesting to note that Susan Duncan is the reason she's in there in the first place (it sure felt like they were trying to make you think it was Rachel) –– but given the rest of the story she tells, I'm thinking it's a good thing she’s been locked away all this time. Of course, her little scuffle with Sarah means she has a way out of the hospital now (I’m thinking Sarah let that happen), so I’m guessing we’ll see her again before the series finale.

Random thoughts:

1) It's such a simple con, but watching Sarah and S. work Dr. Elizabeth Perkins so flawlessly was one of my favorite parts of the episode. Somewhere, there's an alternate timeline and a TV show about S., Sarah and Felix being the best grifters in the world, and I'd watch the hell out of that show.

2) Ogreous Notrealicus. I love Cosima so much.

3) Wynonna Earp fans will recognize Varun Saranga as Dr. Nimitz's assistant, Neal. Looks like Jeremy isn't the only one who's dealing with women who are smarter than he is.

Final thought:

We're already on Episode 4, so we have six episodes left. From the look of things, it's about to get totally bonkers up in here. Bodies are likely about to start dropping, so it's a good time to make your final bets in your Orphan Black survival pool, because I'm betting we have a week left at best before we lose someone.

Wanna meet back next week and see if I'm right?