Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orphan Black Season 4 recap – “Human Raw Material”

“Human Raw Material”


We open with Krystal – the clone Rudy and Seth tried to abduct, and who Nealon did abduct so he could pass her off as the comatose Rachel so he could sneak Rachel to Susan – training in self-defense.  She also says she’s been doing research into Dyad.

Sarah is trying to just have a day with Kira.  But while looking up Evie Choe – who was at Dyad – Sarah sees that she also works for the genetic company that matched Felix and Adele. 

BrightBorn is having an orientation meeting, and Alison wanted Sarah to sneak in, but Cosima points out that only she would understand what was talked about.  So Donnie will take Cosima as his and Felix’s surrogate.

Sarah and Kira show up at Felix’s to visit and invite him to dinner, only to find Adele there.  Sarah calls Scott asking for a DNA test, so she steals a brush of Felix’s and grabs a glass Adele had drank from. 

At the orientation, Cosima hides behind Donnie because Evie is there to introduce everything.  She tells the story of how she was sick as a child and her parents worked to find a genetic cure, and that’s why she’s so gung-ho for BrightBorn. 

The parents and surrogates have separate meetings, so they split up for that after Evie leaves.  But as she’s going out, Evie spots Krystal who has shown up as part of her investigations.  Evie goes to her office and finds Susan and Ira there.  Turns out, the dental assistant Ferdinand killed two episodes ago was part of Evie’s group.  Evie tells them that Sarah is there.  Susan goes out to meet her.

Susan sits down with Cosima – who apparently doesn’t recognize her – and they talk.  Cosima talks about gene therapy and what happens to the unused embryos, and Susan is impressed.  At one point, Cosima drops her papers and manages to steal Susan’s keycard.  Susan tells Evie that that wasn’t Sarah, but Cosima.  Ira points out that Cosima has gone rather far, and Susan figures that she needs to go.  They send one of the fake EMT “cheek choppers” out for her.

Donnie sees Krystal and almost freaks out.  He finds Cosima and tells her, and Cosima tells him to keep an eye on her.

Art is visited by Duko at the police station who asks if he knows Alison.  Art says no, and Duko says how she looks like Beth.  He tells her that other cops are closing in on Pouchy’s murder as well as the drug distribution that Alison and Donnie ran.  Art has let the clones get away with a lot, but is really upset with the drug thing.  He calls Sarah and tells her that he won’t be any part of that.

Sarah calls Alison to ask about the drugs, and Alison tells her that Helena has left.  The two get a bit snippy with each other.

Sarah and Kira return to the safe house for dinner, and Felix has brought Adele.  Dinner is rather tense.  But then Scott calls and says that Felix and Adele are related.  Sarah is rather discombobulated by that, and Kira takes her to her room.

Donnie sees Krystal stealing supplies from the BrightBorn spa area – she’s in the business and curious – and he pretends to be a masseur.  He starts giving Krystal a massage, and she tells him about how she’s investigating genetic things like a woman who grew teeth in her eyelids that she read about in a tabloid.  At one point she mentions being kidnapped and a “French, blonde doctor” that saved her.  Donnie asks if she meant Delphine.  Krystal asks how he knows that name, and he tries saying that he’s trying to help her.  He uses her real name, and she asks how she knows that.  She then punches him and runs out.

The fake EMT looking for Cosima finds Krystal, and takes her to a room.  But Susan points out that isn’t Cosima, and they let her go.  On her way out, she spots Ira and starts freaking out.

With Susan’s keycard, Cosima has gone into the depths of BrighBorn.  She sees a bunch of pregnant women almost being held against their will.  She’s mistaken for a nurse and asked to help with a delivery, and she sees a baby born with a bunch of deformities.  As the baby is being taken away, Susan shows up and uses Cosima’s name.  Cosima then figures out who Susan is.

The two talk and Susan says that the clones were to be a baseline for studying human genetics.  But when they lost the cloning ability, they had to go to more barbaric systems like the maggotbots and BrightBorn.  If they could get Kendall’s DNA, they could go back to more “civilized” experiments, as well as cure all the clones.  Susan leaves the decision up to Cosima.

Kira tells Sarah that she can feel what the Leda clones are feeling; Cosima’s sadness, Helena’s loneliness, Rachel’s anger. 

At the end, we learn that Susan and Ira are lovers.


As I understand it, what is going on is BrightBorn is taking the donated embryos, doing some random gene mutation thing to them, and implanting them into carriers like Trina to see what happens to the babies.  I’m guessing there’s a wing at BrightBorn of deformed babies and kids.  Along the way, they luck into some way to cure some disease. 

I think it’s usually at this point in the seasons where I become more interested in what is going to happen and it becomes harder for me to write up my thoughts.  That’s true here.  I’m just curious what happens.  The one issue I do have, is Kira.  Modified babies and maggotbots I’m okay with – in the storytelling sense – but psychic abilities, that’s okay in Star Trek or The Flash, shows that are more fantasy.  But Orphan Black has always been more grounded.  I really hope there’s a more technological explanation for what’s happening with Kira.  We’ll have to wait and see.

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