Dear Clone Club, thar be spoilers here for "The Collapse Of Nature," so be warned.
We've navigated through The Doldrums, Orphan Black fans: Months of waiting, speculation, teasers with lamb masks, gif making, and more waiting have ended, and Orphan Black is back (cue the confetti).
Which means it's now time for the ever-present question: What the hell did I just watch and how soon can I watch it again? I can't do much about the second question, but let's take a look at the first question, because wow. You never cease to leave me gobsmacked, Orphan Black.
To quote Prince, "Let's get nuts."
Beginning this episode with the past was a brilliant move, especially when you get to play "Which Clone Are We Watching?" Bingo right from the start. Sarah? Nope. American accent. So?
For the first three seasons, Beth was a character we knew a little, saw even less, and heard about, but never really understood. So seeing Beth again felt almost like coming home. It was also a reminder that this woman was unhappy enough to step in front of a train. We know where her story ends, so now we get to see what got her there.
Pill-popping, paranoid, relationship-challenged Beth is doing everything she can to keep her sh-t together and, sadly, failing miserably. Not that I'm surprised. Beth is a cop. Her instincts drive her to investigate and dig. The more she digs, the more bizarre things she finds, and everything she's discovering somehow links back to her and an idea that's so amazingly impossible to talk about or have anyone believe that she's keeping most of it inside. At best, she compartmentalizes and shares what she can with who she can, but no one knows the entire story and she's a walking emotional pressure cooker who's about ready to blow.
The more I understand Beth Childs, the more I feel badly for her. She risked so much and tried so hard but she just couldn't quite hold on.
Alison's take on gun safety is my new favorite thing, especially knowing what we know now. I love that she's the one who supplies Beth (via Ramon. Hi, Ramon!), and manages the money all while drinking a glass of wine and going on about her day. As much as I love the current Alison (and Donnie. Don't forget Donnie), seeing the Alison who was a booze guzzling soccer mom who looked like she had it all together but still did things like play with guns was charming AF.
Cosima, My Love.
It was a brief scene, but how refreshing was it to see Cosima back in the day when all she had to worry about was tuition money and finding a place to live? Healthy, lighthearted Cosima who had never met Delphine or gotten sick or gone to work for Dyad.
Meet the new clone (who's really an old clone).
M.K., I'm intrigued by you. Paranoid (with reason), clearly tech inclined, introverted but not shy. The accent made me see her as a sane Helena (Can you even imagine?), but her savvy is Cosima-style. The more clones we meet, the more they become parts of an evolutionary chain, and how they compliment each other.
Jordan Gavaris, oh I've missed you, you gorgeous, sexy delinquent. It's been too long! Flashback Felix is pure sass, and just the idea that he and Beth shared the same air made me wonder about so many things. What if he had looked up and seen her? What if they'd met and then he'd introduced Beth to Sarah? What. If.
The Clone Support Network:
Can we talk about just how messed up Paul and Beth's relationship is? We know he's her monitor, and Beth suspects it pretty strongly, but dear GOD, he's a mess. Wow. He can't even fake being in love with her to keep her happy, and he won't even go so far as to say he's the one trying and make her feel like it's her fault. He just....sits there and emos. We know how passionate he CAN be, so it's actually bizarre to see him be, as Beth says, hollow.
Of course, it's not like her relationship with Art is all that more...functional? He's covering for her drug use, covering for her strange behavior, and then she kisses him and wakes up with him and you do the math–– think back to how Art dealt with Sara as Beth and that kiss gives that dynamic a whole new layer.
The Bad Guys.
Neolution is back.
Or new (you know what I mean), and the more we learn about what Beth knew, the more we realize how much more the rest of the clones were actually set back by her death. Can you imagine where they would be now if they knew what Beth knew then? That said, this is the deepest dive we've gotten into the Neolution movement and it's the first time we realize that many Neolutionists are just people looking to belong and express themselves. They're club kids with a twist and, like club kids, they may look different to other people, but they're also family to each other. The fact that people like Leekie and Evie Cho are using them as guinea pigs isn't their fault.
Count Duko/Detective Dooku*.
I'll admit, the first time I saw Detective Duko (Gord Rand), I thought it was a Paul clone with a really bad haircut, facial hair, and lack of sun and diet. Did anyone else? I kept looking at him wondering why he seemed important. Then there he is at the Neolution cheek "surgery" and then he's Beth's police union rep. What could possibly go wrong?
Speaking of which –– Cheeky cheeky: Grains that grow in cheeks and then turn into BUGS? KHAAHHHHHHHNNNNNN. Seriously, not OK. That wasn't OK at the end of Season 3 when Nealon spit one at Delphine, and now we're pulling bugs out of cheek flesh and that girl on Survivor had a bug in her ear and WHATINTHEWORLDHUMANITYSTOP.
BTW, this makes M.K. two for two on her warnings to Beth.
The Death Of Maggie Chen
It took three seasons, but now we know how and why Beth shot Maggie Chen. Maggie may have been working with the bad guys, but the idea that her dead was a complete accident never crossed my mind. I actually felt sorry for her!
Can we also agree that the idea that Beth called Art and Art helped her cover this up and both of them are in it up to their asses and way more than we ever figured makes this even more insane that we thought?
Made me sad, but it was also...closure, I guess? I don't know. You tell me.
Ringing phones may have been the through-line, but the realization that it's not Beth who's the connective tissue of this episode, but M.K ,was really well done. Back to reality and the present, everyone. Neolution's coming. Better run.
To Orphan Black Season 4!
Here's a look at next week.
*True story: when I did my Google search to find out who was playing Detective Duko, Google asked me if I mean Detective Dooku. Can you tell I search a lot of Star Wars?