The stakes are raised as the four surviving clones start to pursue their own agendas, with tragic consequences.
“It’s every freak for herself”
Just when they most need to remain united against the rising danger, personal motivations serve to increase the peril for the four surviving clones.
Cosima ignores Sarah’s pleas to stay away from Delphine, instead growing closer to both her and Dr Leekie’s neolutionists. Alison returns from a couples’ retreat resolving to leave Donnie and reclaim her life – starting by sleeping with her neighbour Aynsley’s husband.
And Helena becomes obsessive about Kira, drawing Sarah’s daughter away, which leads to her being run down.
From science to sci-fi
The series has kept its core sci-fi theme in the background thus far, slowly building a conspiracy thriller while diverting us with flirtations with procedurals, horror and farce and brief scientific explanations of the clones’ similarities. But with the endgame in sight, the sci-fi/fantasy elements are now stepping to the fore.
There’s a clear sense of acceleration among all the protagonists as pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.
We learn that neolution is just one of a number of cults focussing on human enhancement, the most striking example of which is Olivier’s tail. Leekie discovers that Sarah isn’t Beth, and through Delphine becomes aware of the extent of Cosima’s research.
At the same time, detectives Art and Angela discover that Katja and Helena have matching DNA and that Sarah looks exactly like Beth.
And we discover that, back in England, Mrs S had been part of a child-smuggling pipeline which included kids who were subjects of medical experiments – of which Sarah was one.
These two episodes performed a huge amount of heavy lifting in terms of plot exposition and character development, for Alison and Helena in particular. At the same time the jeopardy level has ramped up, providing us with tense sequences such as Sarah’s attempt to rescue Paul, Helena’s confrontation with Olivier and her abduction of Kira.
The latter results in the cliff-hanger of Kira’s accident. But such is the adroitness with which Orphan Black has thrown feints and bluffs at us that I doubt it’s as simple as that.
This week’s big questions
Is Cosima playing Delphine and Leekie for information, or has she really changed sides?
Again we are reminded that Helena sees something different in Sarah compared to the other clones. But what?
We already know that Kira is able to easily differentiate between clones in a way no other character is able to. Will the aftermath of her accident reveal something else special about her?
Orphan Black reviews
This review was originally posted on Metro.co.uk.