Orphan Black S4 E4 “From Instinct to Rational Control” shows the Leda clones dancing back and forth between instinct and rationality, from self-interest to self-sacrifice. We learn what MK’s (Tatiana Maslany – a whole cast) has been after and we learn one of the Hendrix’s secret sex games.
The episode opens with MK making bombs and talking to a projection named Niki. She seems very fond and very protective about this missing clone. MK is trying to put names to all the faces of Topside people – particularly Ferdinand (James Frain).
Unknown to MK, Ferdinand is looking for her too. He asks Sarah to get her “contact” to look at the message from Rachel and figure out where it came from. He wants to find Rachel. Sarah wants to find Susan Duncan in hopes she knows something about the maggotbot.
Alison is in a coffee shop when Trina (Allie MacDonald) accosts her. Trina, the pregnant neolutionist, thinks Alison is Beth and berates her for going to the Lifespring Fertility Clinic. Trina says, “I told you I was a carrier in confidence.” Alison doesn’t understand what any of this means but she calls Sarah and Cosima with the info. Sarah says Alison has to step up and do her part by finding out what the Lifespring Fertility Clinic has to do with them.
Donnie (Kristian Bruun) tells Helena that they need to cool it a bit with all the talk about Helena’s babies. He tells Helena about the time they spent trying to get pregnant before adopting their kids. He says Alison’s a bit sensitive on the topic. When he leaves, you can see the empathy on Helena’s face. I love this paradox about Helena. She’s an efficient killer but she’s the most empathetic and soft-hearted of all the clones.
Sarah goes to Dizzy (Joel Thomas Hynes) in hopes of contacting MK. He hooks her up with MK, but only over the internet. Sarah tells MK that Susan Duncan is alive and is holding Rachel. MK thought Susan was dead. Sarah thinks if they can get to Susan Duncan through Rachel, Susan will know what to do about the maggotbot.
MK promises to figure out where Rachel is by tracing the info on the thumb drive. Sarah demands to meet her face to face before she lets MK get at the thumb drive. MK promises to meet Sarah in a hour at Beth’s.
Alison can’t go into the fertility clinic because Beth’s already been there. Donnie and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) pretend to be a couple wanting a child. Alison drives them to the clinic and gives them a briefing.
Cue the Hendrix comedy team. Alison watching through the window tells Donnie to stop chewing the scenery. Felix merely tells him to stop mincing. Donnie doesn’t believe that 10% of the men he knows are gay. Felix says it’s because they don’t mince.
Felix and Donnie are put in separate rooms (why separate rooms?) to collect sperm samples. Donnie sees a friend of theirs named Portia (Lindsey Connell) looking quite pregnant. He tells Alison about it when he calls to ask her for some help masturbating. He requests one of their favorite games. Alison makes a very convincing Air Italia flight attendant and Donnie gets the job done, even though he isn’t a mile high. Prim and proper Alison has the most interesting private life of all the clones. It’s delicious.
Scott (Josh Vokey) and Cosima get the maggotbot out of Dr. Leekie’s cheek. They try to understand what it is.
While looking into the contents of the thumb drive, MK finds the face to go with the name Ferdinand. When Sarah gets to Beth’s, MK isn’t there.
MK calls Sarah and tells her that Ferdinand is Topside’s cleaner. Sarah says, yes, but she made a deal with him because she wants the thing out of her cheek. MK says she won’t work with her anymore because she can’t trust her now.
Alison pretends to bump into Portia outside the clinic. She gets the name of a Dr. Bosch and learns of the Brightborn Treatment.
Once again, Sarah goes to Dizzy in an effort to connect with MK. He’s tired of helping her and getting nothing in return. He tells Sarah he has people who are affected by this, too. She reveals they are clones.
Dizzy knows that MK always drives around with outdated license plates and that she told him once she was a night watchman. They conclude she must work in a scrap yard and go to the nearest one to Beth’s house.
Helena buries the nitrogen tank that held all her little science babies. She apologizes for not knowing that she should have kept feeding them more liquid nitrogen to keep them frozen. She stands, looks at the Hendrix house, says goodbye, hefts a heavy backpack, and leaves. She cannot stay knowing she’s causing Alison unhappiness.
While Helena’s leaving her first and only safe haven, Sarah and Dizzy break into MK’s trailer. They step carefully over a pressure plate with a bomb. They dig through her computer and her stuff. MK’s been tracking Sarah.
Professor Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) talks to Rachel about why they haven’t begun immunosuppressant therapy on Charlotte. She says the options are to treat her (which didn’t work for other clones) or to let her disease run its course and try to learn from her. She asks Rachel to think about which decision is the best.
Scott and Cosima discover the flesh around the maggotbot is bioluminescent. It is introducing foreign DNA into the host body. In short, it’s a gene therapy delivery system.
Digging through MK’s stuff, Sarah discovers photos of MK with someone name Niki. She finds newspaper clippings about deaths in Helsinki and a family that died in a fire. She realizes what MK is after.
Sarah hears from Siobhan (Maria Doyle Kennedy) that Ferdinand thought he was to meet her at Beth’s. Sarah takes Dizzy’s car and hurries to Beth’s. While she’s driving, Cosima calls and tells her the maggotbot may be editing her DNA.
At Beth’s, MK traps Ferdinand in a booby-trapped chair. She reveals that she was in Helsinki when he killed 6 clones and several other people, including Niki, her only friend. She has terrible scars on her right cheek, which explains why her hair is always hanging over her face.
Ferdinand suspected one clone had escaped the purge. When he sees the scars, he says, “Hello, Veera Suominen.”
MK’s motive this whole time has been to find Ferdinand and get revenge for Niki’s death. She lets him know she’s aware of Rachel, which probably means she wants to harm Rachel, too.
She lights candles.
MK pours gasoline over Ferdinand and around where the candles are slowly burning down. Sarah comes rushing in and begs her to stop. Sarah needs Ferdinand to learn what the bots do. MK transfers all Ferdinand’s money ($3.7 million) to her own account. She leaves without setting the gasoline afire, but she knows Ferdinand is sitting on a bomb. She tells Sarah she won’t see her again.
Sarah says, “What about our sisters that are still alive?” Apparently MK doesn’t care.
Siobhan comes and disarms the bomb under Ferdinand’s chair. Naturally Mrs. S is the one who knows how to do this. Badass.
Rachel decides not to treat Charlotte. Rachel tells Susan that Charlotte’s data has more value than her life. You could say Rachel is the most rationally controlled of the clones, but I don’t think I like it.
Susan learned that Rachel’s been communicating with Ferdinand, which means Susan is going away again.
Donnie and Felix got out the clinic with some brochures and a DVD about Brightborn. When Cosima and Felix look at the DVD, it’s Evie Cho (Jessalyn Wanlim) talking about how Brightborn is making the world a better place one baby at a time.
Isn’t it interesting that MK has been in hiding all these years since Helsinki, since Ferdinand massacred almost 20 people, waiting for a way to find him and punish him. It’s been her obsession. She’s not going to give it up easily.
We get occasional glimpses of the personal life of the Hendrix family, but none of the other clones are having any personal interactions this year. It’s straight ahead mortal danger right now. Cal is nowhere to be seen, Cosima isn’t sure if Delphine is dead or alive and doesn’t seem to care where Shay is, Jesse the tow truck driver is nowhere to be seen. I love the exciting, dangerous plot lines, but I also love all these people we’ve gotten to know over the seasons. I don’t want that personal life part of the story to disappear.
Isn’t it just a little sad that the only person around to do crazy science with Cosima is Scott. I love Scott (and his cat), but it’s just a little sad.
We can now safely say that MK’s slight accent represents a Finnish background.
Oh, crap. Kira had a vision in which all the aunties set Sarah on fire because she was changing. And now the maggotbot may be editing her DNA. Ominous music here.
Seriously, two gay men, a couple, show up together to leave sperm samples for a future child, and they are put in separate rooms? Not exactly bury your gays, but maybe disregard your gay couples. Of course, we wouldn’t have gotten the whole Air Italia comedy act otherwise. Which is more important? Respect or humor?
What did you think of this week’s episode of Orphan Black?