Best Moments: Air Italia. That is all I have to say.
Best Moments: Krystal's return is absolutely perfect, with leads to one of the season's greatest one-liners from Donnie; "I have to go - sh*t".
Orphan Black has never been better. The Scandal of Altruism is one of the most intense, thrilling and heartbreaking 45 minutes of television that I have ever seen. With a way to remove Sarah's bot, her and Cosima make a deal with Susan Duncan, their original creator, and Neolution - going behind the backs of their loved ones and putting them all in danger. When Evie Cho finally plays her hand, we must say the most heart wrenching goodbye in the series' history and everything around LEDA burns to the ground. Meanwhile, Beth's final moments make more sense than ever before, as we see who really is controlling the clone game. I've intentionally left this as ambigious as possible because the twists and turns are so insanely volatile and unpredictable that you have to see them to believe them. Four weeks after the episode, I am still lost for words when I rewatch this episode; if there ever was an episode to convince people to watch Orphan Black, it's this one. It has been crafted to perfection and everyone involved should be incredibly proud.
Best Moments: I speak about it enough, but Maslany's performance in this episode is absolutely faultless. When Cosima breaks down, as their hope for a cure and the hope of Delphine returning goes up in flames, her performance is utterly astonishing. Moreover, the final moments of Beth walking to the train station and her ultimate death is harrowing, as we see what finally pushed her to do it.
Possibly more appropriately titled 'The Dark Night of the Soul', LEDA is at their most vulnerable yet. With their original gone, along with their hope for a cure, they begin to spin off the rails; Alison is giving up to her faith, Cosima blames herself for the deal she made and the life she sold and Sarah pushes herself to the edge, at her darkest and most unforgiving yet. Krystal's vital information from the episode before can be used to save Cosima, while Sarah's own story begins to parallel Beth, so much so that it leads her to the very same train track. Tonally, it feels like a massive departure from what we have come to expect from Orphan Black and it pretty much pays off; we have seen the sestras low before but you truly feel like you are seeing their darkest moments, and the way Beth and Sarah's stories intercut and parallel is incredibly symbolic and moving. This episode is more character-driven than ever before and it is so refreshing to see.
Best Moments: Felix telling Cosima about Krystal's oddly effective investigation findings and saving two of our clones at the same time is incredibly and Jordan is excellent in this episode. Also, Alison's prayer brought some much need light to the episode and I still chuckle about it three weeks later.
After Donnie's arrest, Alison is in a vulnerable position with Detective Duko exploiting this and blackmailing her to reveal Sarah's location for the safety of her husband. Cosima attempts to rebuild their research after it was wiped by Neolution with the help of Susan Duncan, ostracising Rachel and Ira in the process. Sarah helps talk Mrs S down from making a decision she may live to regret and also reconnects with MK, who has a secret of her own. Alison takes centre stage (figuratively and literally) for the season's eighth episode and whilst it is another impressive instalment, with some excellent key moments (a character death sets a few interesting ideas to come, as well as Cosima's decision to visit the Island of Doctor Moreau), it does feel like a set up for the final two episodes to come - don't see that as a complaint, more of an observation, as it allows us to slow down ever so slightly before continuing down the rabbit hole.
Best Moments: Helena saving the day, Katniss Everdeen-style. Rachel's triple bluff was also lovely climatic moment that sets up nicely for the finale. We never quite know where to stand with Ms. Duncan; although, I'm sure the niceties will wear off for the finale...
Best Moments: Krystal and Sarah clone swap and the line "she's like a seven and I've been told I'm a 10". Incredible. Also, Alison promising to protect Helena made my heart go funny (what a team) and Tatiana Maslany trying to kill Tatiana Maslany.
With just hours before the finale aired last night, we received the news that the show would return with its 'fifth and final season'. With that in mind, I've made a list of the positives and negatives of the fourth run in the hope they take note of what needs to happen (and what doesn't).
Maslany's performance as Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Krystal, Beth, Rachel and Mika are better than they ever have been and she continues to embody the clones faultlessly. All the awards please and may the improvements continue even further. (Update: the Sarah as Krystal switch in the finale made up for the otherwise lack of switches)
The support case are very often overlook but they're some solid performances this time round. They all bring their A-Game and I pray it continues into the last run. Jordan Garvaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristin Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Rosemary Dunsmore and Ari Millen are all sensational and the return of Evelyne Brochu is everything I hoped and wished for.
Episode 6 being absolutely perfect television.
Consistency. Season 4 has been the most solid, consistent and unwaveringly strong season to date, with each episode having a clear focus as well as working towards the bigger picture and mythology. It solved the wrongs of previously seasons with no weak link in the episodic chain.
As much as I missed Delphine for 89% of the season, I appreciate how brave the producers were on keeping it under wraps for so long and really make us wait for it. It made the pay-off and her return so much more rewarding knowing it wasn't a quick fix at the beginning of the season.
More set pieces like Donnie being beaten up to Jesus Christ Superstar and Donnie being arrested to Happy Birthday.
I was very skeptical initially, but the Beth flashbacks REALLY worked in tying the season together. Everything might have been touched upon and unneeded in season five but this is a 'positives' list after all... But maybe we could pay a trip back to the train station in the series finale?
I needed myself a couple more clone swap sequences. They are my absolute favourite of the show, but off the top of my head, I can only think of the Sarah as Beth and Mika and Alison as Sarah. A few more next time would be perfect, although I do appreciate the hard work that goes into them. Also, I would NEVER turn down bigger multi-clone scenes, which I do feel this fourth season missed.
I feel like the show never knows what to do with Helena. I mean, sending her off for half the season is NOT cool and I don't appreciate it. Plus, she never got to meet Kendall; that is a match I would LOVE to have seen.
You can never, ever have enough Sarah Stubbs. More of her musical panache next time (heck, a spin-off would be PERFECT).
Be sure to go and check out the next post in my 'Orphan Black' series, where I countdown my ten favourite episodes of the four seasons!
Make sure you comment below what you thought of the season and whether you would like another Orphan Black analysis post - maybe a clone power ranking, or my favourite moments from each clone, or maybe a more in-depth at a certain moment or episode - and drop me your ideas too!