Another great season of Orphan Black has come to an end with Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 10.
The finale was a bit hit-or-miss, with a bit of a slow beginning, but it picked up by the final third and certainly set the stage for an exciting season ahead.
As expected (and as I guessed in my review of Orphan Black Season 4 Episode 9), Rachel wound up being the bigger threat after all. Evie was disposed of with no great fanfare (by her own doctor/right-hand man, Dr. Van Lier, via her own technology!) marking her as the inconsequential and rather "small potatoes" villain that she really was.
I think we all knew that Evie wasn't quite the "Big Bad" (nor was Zuko), despite the fact that she managed the rather large feat of killing Kendall Malone, the clones' original. Regardless of that feat, Evie and Zuko were just smaller pawns in a much larger game that will be played out in Orphan Black Season 5, which we now know will be the final season of the series.
The finale had its slow moments and wasn't perfect by any means. On the flip side, it certainly had its big, satisfying moments, and the closing scene of Rachel preparing to come face to face with the actual head honcho (and possible immortal?!) P. T. Westmoreland, set to the tune of a killer Lacrimosa cover, was nothing short of epic.
I'll start with the aspects of the finale that I wasn't crazy about.
My big complaint was the complete lack of Helena and Allison. It's understandable, since a whopping four other clones were heavily featured (Sarah, Cosima, Rachel, and Krystal), but I still disliked that Allison, in particular, was left out once again.
It's a recurring issue that Allison remains so far removed from the major clone action, for the most part.
As for Helena, well – how can you, in good conscience, leave out a clone who chimes in epic one-liners like these, on a regular basis?
Donnie: Allison thinks we've been hiding out long enough. I don't think the frontier life agrees with her.
Helena: She has the shits.
Tears. I laughed so hard at this that there were actual tears.
Then there was Ira. This was more of a season-long complaint, but I haven't voiced it much because I was waiting for him to become a more essential part of the story. He never really did. Yes, his sperm was necessary to help Cosima and Susan create the blastocyst for their cure research, but I got the feeling that the writers never quite knew what to do with Ira.
It felt as though the writers just really liked Ari Millen and wanted him to stick around (and also needed his genetic material down the road for this cure storyline).
Instead of truly integrating him into the story, they left him (and his sperm) as a mere plot device. It was a bit weak for the otherwise great job the writers do integrating all of the side characters into the overarching story.
Ira did give us this great exchange, so I can't fault them too much –
Ira: Who is this?
Rachel: He's just a toy.
Ira: He has his socks on.
Rachel: What do you want, Ira?
My last issue with the finale was the larger role that Ferdinand played (and will presumably play in the fifth season). I don't really care for Ferdinand. The fact that he is merely Rachel's willing lapdog and apparently has no grander ambitions makes him a rather uninteresting character and I very much dislike his smarmy demeanor.
Now, onto the good stuff.
Obviously, I'm a tremendous fan of anything Krystal Goderitch-related, so much of the earlier, lighter part of the finale was golden in my book (though a bit slow for season finale material).
It was clever to have the flashback to Krystal witnessing Delphine's shooting and rescue open up the finale, so we could quickly get the "But how did she survive?!" out of the way before delving fully into the installment.
It was also great that Krystal's silly ringtone inadvertently saved Delphine's life – Duko hesitated after hearing it rather than finishing Delphine off, allowing Van Lier and his men to swoop in and save Delphine.
In exchange for information about Delphine, Krystal bargained with Felix to get the truth out of him. This led to a hilarious moment of ditzy Krystal completely brushing off the idea of clones because, of course, Sarah looks nothing like Krystal.
Krystal: I'm sorry, who are you again?
Sarah: I'm Sarah, I'm your clone.
Krystal: Right, whatever.
Tatiana Maslany is just a wonder as Krystal. Such perfect comedic timing.
Sarah impersonating Krystal to lure Dr. Van Lier out to their van (for the purpose of getting information out of him) was genius. Sarah-as-Krystal is just the latest in a long succession of wonderful clone impersonations (though my all time favorite is and always will be Allison impersonating Sarah that first time – "Oi! Oi!").
Rachel's apparent mental break wasn't as severe as I thought it would be, but the signs were all there. She stabbed her mother completely on a whim (after being emotionally wounded by Susan saying that she regretted making her) without actually intending to kill her. A lot of Rachel's erratic and severe behavior is likely thanks to the meddling by the "messenger" sending images to her bionic eye.
Of course, Rachel is bloodthirsty and ruthless anyway (recall that this was the woman who was willing to allow little Charlotte to die without treatment so that she herself could potentially be cured), so it's equally likely that she'd have maneuvered this coup without the external influence.
Speaking of coups – there were so many coups this season. Evie wrenched control from Susan, Susan got it back, Rachel then took it from her mother. It's dizzying.
I was also a bit unclear on Rachel's actual plan. Her speech to the board was intense and scary and well-acted, but I didn't get a ton of the logic behind it – even with the helpful expository dialogue during the parallel conversation between Mrs. S/Sarah and Dr. Van Lier.
Essentially, her goal is to combine Evie's gene therapy maggot bot implants with third-world country clones so that they can do ruthless and unethical genetic testing with no legal implications or governmental interference? I think? Something like that?
Rachel: Who built my eye?
Susan: You know. It's the man behind the curtain. The man who wrote the book over a century ago.
Rachel: That's impossible.
Susan: Not for him.
Now that Susan is locked away (but still alive) and Rachel is set to meet Westmoreland in person, the evil clone appears ready to take a position of actual power. But what is Westmoreland's actual larger goal? How does Rachel play into it? Is she merely a pawn for him? And how has he survived for over a century? (So many questions! The best way to leave off a season.)
Westmoreland's introduction was a new and unexpected twist, that's for sure. Susan has mentioned Westmoreland (the progenitor of Neolution) repeatedly this season (to both Cosima and Rachel), but I certainly wasn't anticipating him turning up alive and well and ready to cause a stir.
A highlight of the finale was Cosima and Delphine's wonderful, emotional, long overdue reunion.
Cosima: I think I'm dying.
Delphine: No, you're not. I won't let you.
These two have wonderful romantic chemistry and are the only couple I've ever legitimately rooted for on this show, so I'm glad that Delphine has returned. It was just icing on the cake that Delphine was the one who was able to save Cosima from hypothermia when the bearded messenger found Cosima and Charlotte freezing to death in the snow after escaping from Susan's house.
They shared a great moment when Cosima told Delphine that she'd "finished their homework" (the cure). Delphine looked thrilled beyond words.
Naturally, there was a darker side to their reunion – Delphine warned Cosima that she couldn't tell anyone about the cure and that they needed to be "very careful" because they were in danger among Westmoreland and his people.
I'm so intrigued by this new apparent villain, what he wants with Delphine, and what he's planning with the clone sestras. Leaving off the finale with Westmoreland ringing the doorbell and Rachel preparing to meet with him was absolutely perfect.
Finally, Sarah's life was on the line following a brutal confrontation with a totally unhinged Rachel, who'd beaten Sarah with a cane and stabbed her in the leg. Sarah managed to escape (because Rachel is a terrible shot) but now she's stranded on the island – and Ferdinand (presumably on Rachel's orders) had Kira and Mrs. S at gunpoint. Yikes.
- Will Adele and Dizzy ever return? Those two characters were cut from the story rather abruptly and had unsatisfying exits.
- What's up with Kira's vision of her mother being burned by the other sestras? She ominously mentioned it to Cosima earlier in the season. It wasn't borne out this season, so I'm guessing that will come to pass in the next?
- Why did P. T. Westmoreland have Dr. Van Lier rescue Delphine after Evie had Duko shoot her?
- Why did Ira always look like he was wearing a full face of makeup? (It's not just me, right? He constantly looked like he was wearing lipgloss!)
- Why did Rachel go through the trouble of patching Susan up after stabbing her?
- Why did Cosima and Charlotte stop to watch Rachel stab Susan before running out of her house? That seemed very odd.
What did you think of the season finale? What are you most looking forward to in Orphan Black's fifth and final season? Leave me a comment below and watch Orphan Black online here at TV Fanatic to relive all of Orphan Black Season 4!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.