Orphan Black: S4 E3 The Stigmata of Progress

Lauren Hammersley in Orphan Black

Orphan Black gets creepy in “The Stigmata of Progress.” Sarah tries to figure out what’s implanted in her cheek, Felix has big news, the Hendrixes go on an archeological dig, Kira sees strange visions, and Rachel is back in operation.

Spoilers ahead.

Ari Millen in Orphan Black
Ira is the latest Castor clone

Ari Millen is back as a new Castor clone, Ira. This time he’s doing an eye exam on Rachel’s (Tatiana Maslany – a whole ensemble) biotech eye. Ira’s mild mannered and well behaved, unlike the military clones. He was raised by Professor Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore), the mother who abandoned Rachel all those years ago. He also does Rachel’s physical therapy and probably other medical jobs.

Josh Vokey and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Cosima and Scott try to figure out what the maggotbot is

Cosima and Scott (Josh Vokey) study the thing in Sarah’s cheek, but don’t really understand its purpose.

Ari Millen, Tatiana Maslany and Cynthia Galant in Orphan Black
Rachel makes progress. Charlotte identifies rocks.

Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) is always with Rachel now. Rachel develops motherly feelings for her. Charlotte takes an online class in geology, which means she has access to a computer – something denied to Rachel.

Lauren Hammersley in Orphan Black
Meet Adele. She’ll be glad to see you if she thinks you’re selling drugs.

Sarah wants Felix (Jordan Gavaris) to go hunting for answers about the maggotbot with her. His biological sister Adele (Lauren Hammersley) is in his apartment, waiting for Felix to arrive with her morning supply of drugs. Felix shows up and refuses to help Sarah because finding his sister is profoundly more important than anything Sarah needs.

Felix takes Adele to an outdoor space under some highway bridges where the concrete is covered with what looks like Felix’s art. It’s a huge display. They talk about their father and their two different mothers while drinking vodka.

Joel Thomas Hynes in Orphan Black
Dizzy offers theories and tokes

Sarah goes to see Dizzy (Joel Thomas Hynes) by herself. He tells her his theory about the bots being in the cheek instead of somewhere else on the body is because of the proximity to the brain. He also tells her that the name of the man in the video who was killed by his maggotbot was Alonzo Martinez.

Tatiana Maslany, Rosemary Dunsmore and Ari Millen in Orphan Black
Rachel knows that Sarah and her crew have outsmarted them all again

Rachel is still stuttering, has a bionic eye, and can’t quite walk, but she’s way ahead of everyone in understanding that her mother can’t figure out how to help the clones. Amid the dinner table conversation, Susan Duncan reveals that Charlotte was cloned from Rachel herself.

Skyler Wexler in Orphan Black
Kira keeps spacing out with unpleasant foresight

Kira (Skyler Wexler) spaces out several times – like she’s somewhere else. Finally she tells Cosima what she’s “dreaming.” She sees all the aunties together. They set her mom on fire. When Cosima tells her they would never do that, Kira says, “You had to.”

Kristian Bruun and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Officer, I can explain all about my campaign for school trustee. My campaign coordinator was Carole Lombard.

Over at the Hendrix house two things are happening. 1. When Alison hears that the neolutionists have maggotbots in their cheeks, she decides to dig up Dr. Leekie to get one for Cosima. 2. Cops come looking for Mrs. Hendrix because some of her campaign materials for school trustee were found at the scene of a mass murder of several Portuguese people. Since Mrs. Hendrix is digging up dead people the garage, Helena does hostess duties as the housewife in question.

The goings on at the Hendrix household make me laugh out loud, which is a good way to break up the serious science going on in this episode.

A skeleton head
This is in Aldous Leekie’s putrifying remains. Gross! And oddly healthy.

Alison and Donnie (Kristian Bruun) succeed in digging out the head and its implanted cocoon or pupae or biosac or whatever the hell that thing is. They call Cosima to deal with it. If you can get past the gross, you really appreciate how much this skull looks like Matt Frewer.

Watercolor painting with messages written on them.
Rachel and Charlotte find a way to talk secretly

Rachel and Charlotte know they are watched at every moment, but they communicate secretly while painting. Charlotte is using her computer time to send messages for Rachel.

Charlotte coughs up blood while they are painting. Rachel realizes she suffers the same condition as Cosima. Rachel’s upset by it.

Kevin Hanchard in Orphan Black
Art finds out more about Alonzo Martinez

With the name of the guy from the video, Alonzo Martinez, Art (Kevin Hanchard) is able to find out that Martinez went to a dental clinic where they specialize in dental implants. He tells Sarah; she heads there.

Art continues to watch the hours of video from Beth’s apartment and sees Detective Duko (Gord Rand) at her place, where he definitely should not be.

Maria Doyle Kennedy and James Frain in Orphan Black
Mrs. S was expecting Benjamin

Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) goes to a meeting with Benjamin, who is helping her search for a doctor who might remove the implant in Sarah’s cheek. Ferdinand (James Frain) shows up instead.

He says he knows a thing or two about bots and about the neolutionists who use them. He finds out from Mrs. S about the dental office.

Siobhan Murphy and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Hold real still now, Beth

A nurse (Siobhan Murphy) in the dental office mistakes Sarah for Beth. Seeing Beth frightens her. She tells her she’ll remove the implant. She gets Sarah all trussed up in a chair and tells her to hold really still. Then she admits she called her superior. In walks Ferdinand. He cuts the nurse’s throat, gets Sarah out of the chair, and tells her Susan Duncan is alive.

Ferdinand must be the one who received Rachel’s message. Suppose those two still have a bit of a thang going?

Rosemary Dunsmore and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Mommie Dearest confesses to detachment

Speaking of Professor Duncan, she tells Rachel that she has attachment issues – or rather detachment issues. Which is why she was a terrible mother. Susan tells Rachel that she is neolution, she is the experiment.

When Rachel asks Susan what she’s trying to do she answers that she wants to control human evolution, to create a more perfect human being. No biggie.

Some Thoughts

We still don’t see anything of Krystal in this episode. MK is hiding. The lack of even a random mention of Krystal to explain her whereabouts and offer some continuity from season 3 is starting to bother me. The same is true of Shay.

The actress playing Adele looks enough like Jordan Gavaris to make them believable as half-siblings. Nice work from the casting department. So far, Adele appears to be a drugged up, loud-mouthed Southern girl who was disbarred as a lawyer. But maybe she’s not.

Sarah is somewhere beyond exhausted in this episode. She’s going to do something stupid from lack of sleep soon and it will put everyone in danger.

Cosima keeps digging at her back like her kidneys are failing. Or some part of her that is located in her back. Come on, guys, we have to get Cosima better and soon!

At first I was impressed by the way Cosima handed Sarah a tissue after ultrasounding her cheek. It looked amazing. Then I watched it again and realized they accomplished it by having Sarah make two quick grabs at the tissue.

Speaking of multiclone moments, Kira’s vision is giving me ideas that the big multiple clone scene at the end the season might involve all the Leda clones having to set Sarah on fire. It would make a great cliffhanger for the season, but I prefer dinner parties and dances. No burning of Sarah, please.

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