Monday, April 18, 2016

Orphan Black Season 4 recap – “The Collapse of Nature”

“The Collapse of Nature”


We start with a woman wearing a sheep mask – who we later learn is the clone MK – walking in the woods.  She’s followed these two “EMTs” who are burying a body in a shallow grave.  She marks the location, then goes away to call Beth about the “cheek choppers.” This is a few weeks or so before the first episode of the series.  MK sends Beth the coordinates and tells her not to trust anyone.

Beth gets ready – by doing some drugs – and goes to work.  She and Paul have a strained conversation, but agree to have dinner.

The cops find the body of a tattooed guy with a large chunk of his right cheek cut out.  He also has the one white contact (of a Freaky Leekie) and a body modification of a bifurcated penis.  Beth claims the tip came from some guy she didn’t recognize.

Beth gets a call from Cosima who needs money.  She just broke up with her girlfriend and is going to a new college all to help Beth and Alison.  Apparently, they have a deal where Alison will pay for it all, but she’s being Alison.

At the police station, we see Felix being arrested for possession and solicitation.  Beth flirts with Raj to borrow the surveillance gear. 

Beth goes to MK’s (an old trailer in an old junk yard, or something) for a meeting.  But MK isn’t there, only on a computer wearing the sheep mask.  She left a mask for Beth, but Beth isn’t playing and gets MK to take her mask off.  MK tells her that she isn’t being safe enough, such as driving to MK’s instead of ditching the car and walking there.

MK explains that she had followed the dead guy online.  He’s a “neolution tadpole.” The big bad neolutionists use these people for experiments.  MK also told Beth about Paul being a neolutionist and that there is one in the police.  Apparently, it was MK who got Beth to look for others leading to her finding Alison and Cosima.  But MK didn’t want them to know what they are because it puts them in danger.  She says that the only reason she’s alive is because the neolutionists think she’s dead.

MK tells Beth to start at the bottom with the neolutionists, which is Club Neolution.  So Beth goes there, which is a bit of a surprise to Olivier and his tail.  Beth gets a look around, and talks to a pregnant neolution girl, Trina, who talks of neolution as creating yourself.  She gives Trina her card, and picks up Leekie’s book. 

Beth calls Alison.  She sent Alison a gun, although she needs to show Alison proper gun handling.  In exchange, Alison sends her – by Ramon – some pills and a bottle of her daughter’s urine.  Beth tells her about Cosima’s money issues, and Alison says that Beth needs to take over the money stuff.

Olivier calls Leekie, who tells him to just have Paul take her on holiday.  But then Beth shows up, to ask Leekie about the dead guy.  Evie Cho, who apparently heads the cheek chopper project at Dyad, is also there.

Beth goes back to the station and learns that they traced the call to a burner phone.  Since they don’t know who called, they take Art and Beth off the case.  They are put on the Xan Yip case.  Beth also has to give a urine sample, and she uses Alison’s daughter’s.

Raj gives her the surveillance gear, and she goes home and sets up a hidden camera.  She has a romantic dinner set up when Paul comes home.  He talks about going on holiday, but Beth isn’t buying that.  There’s then a long, awkward scene of her wondering if Paul can fix her and asking why he won’t break up with her.  At one point, she even points a gun at the back of his head.

Beth shows up at Art’s, who is watching cartoons with his daughter.  Beth and Art talk and end up having sex.

Later, Beth wakes up when Trina calls her, saying her boyfriend went off with a couple of neolutionists who match MK’s description of the cheek choppers.  She explains that the neolutionists implanted a grain in her boyfriend’s cheek as part of some study, but now it’s growing.

Beth goes to where he is, and watches as the cheek choppers put the boyfriend to sleep, and then cut his cheek off.  She then sees one of the police union guys show up.  They pull a worm from out of the cheek.  Beth is startled, and makes a noise.  She runs off, and sees someone behind her.  She shoots, only it turns out to be Maggie Chen.

Beth calls Art and the set up the Xan Yip and the cell phone defense for the shooting.  She also talks to Detective Duko, from the union, who is the neolutionist.

Beth walks to MK’s, and they talk.  Beth says she can’t think, but MK says she’ll think now.

In the present, Sarah – in Iceland – gets a call from Art.  MK showed up at his place saying the Neolutionists know where she is and are coming for Kendall.  She needs to run.


I did have a few issues with this episode, so I’ll just get them out of the way first. 

In the first season, Alison teaches Sarah how to shoot, saying Beth taught her.  But it seems unlikely that Beth would be up to teaching proper shooting just days after shooting Maggie Chen.

Once Art joins Clone Club and learns that Neolution includes body modification, why didn’t he remember this case of the guy with the cut up cheek and bifurcated penis?

I’m guessing the boyfriend is dead, and Beth basically just watched as the two killed him.  Why?

Now, what I liked.

I think we had always assumed that Beth had somehow uncovered the Proleatheans and so had killed Maggie, only making it look like an accident.  But it really was an accident.  That makes her move to commit suicide more understandable.

It was nice seeing some old faces again.  I’m hoping for more flashbacks so we can see more Leekie and Olivier.  And hopefully they’ll run into Angie and Vic again. 

I read one review where they wondered if Beth had faked her death.  At thought that was … stupid, but after rewatching the show I was struck by MK saying she would think at the end.  But for Beth to fake her death they would need another clone.  Did MK find a suicidal clone and talk her into dying as Beth – which is somewhat dark – or did they force another clone to commit suicide, which is extremely dark?  I’m curious what MK has been doing for the previous seasons.

When Nealon tried to give Delphine the worm at the end of last season, I thought it was a bit much.  But I’m glad now that it’s still weird, but not as crazy as it seemed at first.  I’m really curious what the point of the worms is.  Hopefully, we’ll find out relatively soon in the season.

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