Orphan Black: We’re Heading for a Showdown!


Orphan Black Seaon 4: The Mitigation of Competition – Sarah (TATIANA MASLANY) and Art (KEVIN HANCHARD)

The Mitigation of Competition brings Orphan Black (BBC America, Thursdays, 10/9C) to it penultimate episode and sets the for one heckuva season finale.

Can Rachel and Sarah work together? Can Cosima and Susan Duncan find a cure for the Leda clones? Is Evie Cho the most villainous foe the sestras have encountered?

The Mitigation of Competition opens with Sarah and Felix meeting Rachel and Ira in a hotel room. Things do not seem to go well – while on the island, Cosima and Susan Duncan have begun the process of impregnating the Leda eggs with Castor sperm.

On another front, two pregnant women have fled the confines of Brightborn after one of them sees the deformed baby in last week’s episode – and Rachel persuades Sarah and Art to go after them. This ties into the Hendrix’s lives in an unusual way. As for Alison and Donny, they have a very positive reunion upon Donny being released from remand. It’s a shame they find themselves in even more trouble. Trouble that begins – but doesn’t end – with Fee’s half-sister Adele meeting Alison.

We finally learn what’s been going on with Helena, too, as she returns from the wilderness – and winds up meeting Rachel! A new Neolution cop is revealed! Trina (remember her?) tells Sarah (who’s pretending to be Beth) something very important about the Brightborn escapees.

OBIV_EP409_Kendra & Son

Adele meets another clone – throwing her relationship with Fee into the past.

At Brightborn, Evie Cho is about to give the world a breakthrough that will cure cancer and pretty much everything else.

Finally, we learn that Rachel is definitely not glitching – someone is trying to tell her something.

The penultimate episode of Orphan Black was written by Alex Levine and directed by David Frazee. They’ve combined to get the crazy train that is Orphan Black back onto the main line. It’s a remarkably fast-paced ep that manages to tie together a host of threads in such a way as to upset yet another key apple cart – leaving some in peril (great cliffhanger for someone); others under fire from an unexpected source, and Rachel in a moment of triumph (not that moment!) and finally confusion.

Tatiana Maslany continues to boggle the mind with her performance as four clone sestras and gets fine support from Jordan Gavaris as Fee and Kevin Hanchard as Detective Art Bell. Lauren Hammersley gets some fun moments as Adele – and one moment that’s a heartbreaker.

The Mitigation of Competition is complex, twisted and entertaining as hell. It sets a season finale that promises to be as out there (in as controlled a manner as possible thanks to the genius of series creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson).

Orphan Black remains one of the smartest most purely delightful science fiction program on TV.

Final Grade: A

Photos by Ken Woroner/Courtesy of BBC America