Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 8, “The Redesign of Natural Objects”


Last night saw the beginning of the last three stories of the season, and Orphan Black decides to step up the game to show they are not messing around:


All Leda clones played by Tatiana Maslany.


Prison as they go through their daily routine.  Donnie (Kristian Bruun) getting the dinner slop.  He doesn’t look good in orange as he wanders through the cafeteria.  Just after finding a place to eat alone, some dude comes over to talk.  Donnie, being Donnie, is talking way too much about what he was doing, giving up everything—and that’s when a big dude comes over to talk after the other guy pegs him.  Guy has a bad ass tattoo on the back of his hand, which is par for the course when you’re a Neolutionist . . .

Ira (Ari Millen) is examining Rachel after her fall, and all she wants to talk about is the swan. Ira blows her off, telling her it’s probably an aftereffect of her fall.  The Castor is bummed:  he feels that Susan has abandoned them after this latest power play with the Neolutionists, but Rachel ain’t about to lay down and die.  She tries convincing Ira that they can continue, playing a little to his ego.  They are young, they are capable:  they can do this.  She tell him they are brother and sister, which, in a strange way,  they are.

Cosima and Sarah are together with Kira (Skyler Wexler) on the laptop, and Sarah is hung over like a son of a bitch.  Cosima has Delphine on her mind, but gets all comforting and soft when she tells her sister she’s glad they both made it back from the dark side.  The laptop shows one of the images we’ve come to know, and there’s Mika in the sheep mask talking to Kira.  Sarah hops on, and right behind her is Cosima, which causes Mika to slip the mask back into place because she’s a paranoid bitch.  While Cosima thinks the mask is cute, Sarah tells her to cut the shit.

"Mika, it's not like Cosima hasn't seen your damn face before . . ."

“Mika, it’s not like Cosima hasn’t seen your damn face before . . .”


They want to know what she wants, and she shows them:  she has gotten her hands on the video call between Evie and Susan, and they learn that Ms. Bright Born Bitch wants to whack them out.  Cosima tells Mika she wants one thing:  to talk to Susan—

Allison goes to the jail to speak with Donnie, and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is there as well, because he’s invited his sister, Adele (Lauren Hammersle), to be Donnie’s lawyer.  His sister shows up, pretty much as out of it as she always is, and meeting Alison for the first time.  Right away there’s a double-take as she notes that Alison looks just like . . . Fee tips it in for the save, telling Adele is Sarah’s twin sister.  Satisfied with that, Adele starts doing her lawyer things with the cops.

RT: What a convenient time for a sibling who is also a lawyer to show up…

CF:  Yeah, I’m waiting for the other shoe on this one to drop, like someone suspected this was going to happen.  If I had to venture a guess, she’s sent by Delphine.

RT: Oh, excellent call!

CF:  It’s all guessing, but it would make sense that since she was running Dyad for a while, she could have set this up just in case.  Or she had someone in place who let her know this was happening and messed with the results.  After all, we only have Scott’s word that Adele is Fee’s sister:  we never saw the results.  And given Cosima’s statement about contamination in their lab being a problem, I do wonder if he is watching Cosima for Delphine.

Susan (Rosemary Dunsmore) is in the middle of a dissection class with Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) when Susan and Ira bust in, both being snarky as shit.  They wants to know what the long-term plans are for them, and it’s obvious that Susan isn’t thinking about anything, long or short term.  Rachel wants to know if she should take up a hobby—like, you know, building coffins.  She glares at Charlotte as she says she could start with something small.

Sarah is finally filling in the blanks for Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) about all the shit that’s recently gone down. The later has something on her mind—like getting her rifle and pistol. As this happens M.K. manages to patch Sarah and Cosima into a call with Susan, and there’s a conference— While Kira walks in on Mrs. S, who is leaving with a bag full of bang-bang. Back on the video call Susan says they can’t do anything without the original genome, but Cosima wants to talk about that. Kira is bugging Sarah and finally gets her attention. Sarah’s like, “What?” and Kira’s like, “Oh, Gran just left with her guns, should we worry?”

RT: LOL. Kira is always the grown up in these situations.

CF:  I really want to find out what’s up with her.  She’s way too spooky.

Only if you’re Duko (Gord Rand), who is leaving the police station and getting into his car—all watched by Mrs. S from across the street.

Cosima is going over her notes with Susan and Rachel, and there is a lot of shitty looks going on between them, particularly when Rachel gives Cosima a “Yo” that sounds as if it was yanked screaming from her liver.  Scott (Josh Vokey) comes downstairs, sees Rachel, and instantly doesn’t want to work her:  bitch fucked them before, she’ll do it again.  Rachel wants to help, but Cosima isn’t having it:  she’s gonna cut connections if Rachel is on this project.

Alison is finally in the prisoner meeting area with Adele, waiting for Donnie—

The look of a woman hoping for the best.

The look of a woman hoping for the best.


He shows up and after a bit of husband/clone talk Adele gets into it with her lawyer chat and lays down the law.  She’s in the process of telling him to only talk to her—which he’s already blown to hell—when the scary Neo dude comes in.  Adele figures that Donnie won’t get a bail hearing until Monday, which is why they busted him on a Friday night:  they don’t have to charge him right away, and the cops want to sweat him.  After they get Adele to leave, Donnie points out the scary dude to Alison:  he’s a Neolutionist, and he’s watching.  Alison is pretty scared at this point, and Donnie tells her he doesn’t think he’ll make it another two days.  She tells him about Duko—

The look of a guy who knows he's completely fucked.

The look of a guy knowing he’s completely fucked.


Art (Kevin Hanchard) meets with Sarah and she lets him know she thinks Mrs. S is gonna kill Duko.  This isn’t good:  Art says she can’t kill a cop.  Sarah knows S shouldn’t do that, but she like, dude, this is is some black Irish shit:  act first, worry about consequences later.  As they hit the streets, Art has bad news:  Duko shut off the GPS in his car.  He’s off the grid.

Meanwhile Mrs. S is busy hunting some asshole, and there’s Duko sitting in his car.  She’s about ready to blow him away when up pops Alison.  She gets in to talk, and we follow the conversation, which mostly consist of giving her threats and shit about Donnie.  Mrs. S calls Sarah and tells her what’s going down, while we go back to the conversation in the car and find out that all the shit happening right now has nothing to do with Donnie and Alison, Duko just wants one thing, and that’s Sarah because his people want her.  He makes threats about Donnie not making it for long in the joint, and he lets Alison know:  he wants Sarah, and he wants her now.

Alison’s at her the church with lots of stuff, which she drops once inside, causing her to go potty mouth in front of the good reverend.  He wants to know what’s going on with Donnie.  She doesn’t want to discuss the arrest, and the Rev sets her mind at easy by wondering about how much therapy her kids are gonna need in the future.  She finally has a moment when she asks the “What if?” question of giving up Sarah to get back Donnie, although without naming names..  The Rev is like, only the Lord can answer, so I’m just gonna leave you here with Him and your building, soon-to-be massive guilt concerning fucking over one of your clone sisters.

RT: I actually love how scared and vulnerable Allison is in this episode. normally she is hyper holding her shit together, this episode, she’s just deflated in places and outright terrified in others.

CF:  Alison is on the verge of a nervous breakdown this whole episode.  And in the past she’d just be drunk on her ass and numb.  Here she’s having to deal, and she’s not set up for this sort of stress.

RT: Yep, it’s nice to see her character evolve.

Mrs. S is with Fee and Sarah, and they’re getting him ready for something when Alison calls Fee on the Clone Phone.  She wants to know where Sarah is at.  Fee tells her Sarah is busy, so Alison asks for Fee to stop by the church.  His Fee Senses are on high alert:  Alison seems a bit sketchy.

Cosima’s on the computer with Susan, and they’re totally doing science, which is not to be confused with Crazy Science.  Susan is impressed by what Scott and she have done, but Cosima only sees how piss-poor their setup is, and how they could have done more with better.  Scott says something about the stem cells, and Cosima appears to have something a-brewing—

M.K. calls Sarah about Duko, letting her know he’s connected deep with Bright Born.  M.K. is happy that Sarah let her back in to her life and the group.  After the hang up Sarah mentions she isn’t worried about M.K. but she does wonder why she’s back.  In the breakaway back to M.K. we see why she’s back:  she’s coughing up blood.

RT: And my hearts dies just a little bit more.

CF:  I love Mika so much; she’s like another version of Cosima with a cute accent.  I really don’t want to see her die.  I don’t want to see any of them die.

Rachel is walking without crutches—sort of.  She’s working  it hard, when—hey, swan on the bed and a guy looking her way.  She wonders what’s going on.

There’s play practice going on, and Alison is feeling stress.  Going through her old makeup kit she finds a left over bottle of vodka.  Fortunately Fee shows, and they talk.  Alison wants to know what’s going on with Sarah.  He wants to know how Alison’s doing.  Fee spills that Sarah is worried Duko is coming after her—which means he calls right then.  She goes out to see him in the main part of the church.  She doesn’t know where Sarah is, and he shrugs and makes a call.  It’s Donnie on the other end, and he’s about to get shanked.  They what to know where Sarah is, or he gets a knife in the brain.  Alison is backed against the wall, and she makes her choice:  she gives up Sarah at the Rabbit Hole.

RT: I’m so glad she did this. There is no clone club without Allison and Donnie Hendrix, plus, who would get all the awkward scenes if Donnie were dead?

CF:  Given what was hinted at in the trailer for next week, I don’t think they’re safe yet.

RT: Bugger 😦

CF:  Though . . . we’re about due for Helena to come back, new babies in tow, kicking ass and not worrying about names.

Outside the Rabbit Hole Duko waits.

It’s Jesus Christ Superstar time at the church as we cut back and forth from the play rehearsal to Donnie getting beat up. Alison is backstage, scared, and on cue she comes out singing the eponymous song, because of course she’s playing Judas because Orphan Black likes their symbolism as much as the next show, so why not have her playing the part of a betrayer who sings about dissing a guy he sold out while her husband gets the shit beat out of him and some crazy bitch sends out a hitman to kill her sister? It’s perfect!

RT: Yes, the symbolism in vast and all consuming in this scene. I don’t think you could sledgehammer the point any further in.

CF:  I don’t recall them ever throwing it out there like this as heavy before.  And now, if we go back to Episode 2, when Alison was first discussing this, we were being foreshadowed that she would be a betrayer.

RT: Oh, I had forgotten about that!

Symbolism: We Haz It.

Symbolism: We Haz It.


CF:  The Jesus Christ Superstar number was choreographed and musically directed by Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston, who were the ones behind Blood Ties the Musical, in which Alison performed, and face planted, in Season 2. Anika and Barbara also perform in the number as background dancers and singers.

RT: Oh, this is awesome!

Take a bow, ladies.

Take a bow, ladies.


Duko finally spots Sarah going into the Rabbit Hole and he follows. No one is there save for Hell Wizard (Calwyn Shurgold), the dude normally behind the counter. Duko looks around, wants to know if they are alone. He wants to know about his game, and it turns out Duko is a major D&D geek.

"You really think you're gonna intimidate me with that 27th level Paladin when I'm bringin' the heat from a 31st level Ranger/Sorcerer? Roll the dice, motherfucker!"

“You really think you’re gonna intimidate me with that 27th level Paladin when I’m bringin’ the heat from a 31st level Ranger/Sorcerer? Roll the dice, motherfucker!”


He smacks the Wiz a few times against the register—but before it gets too bad Mrs. S and Art rush in with the hardware out.

Back to the play with Alison singing.  She’s really off.  Donnie is about to get shanked when the phone rings.  It’s Duko:  the hit’s off.  Donnie lives.  Of course Duko isn’t looking too good at the moment with a room full of pissed off people, and naturally he falls back on that old favorite, “But I had no choice, I was set up!”  Sarah texts Fee on the Clone Phone, and he gives the signal to Singing Judas.  Sudden all is right in the world and Alison is looking happy as she gets into her role of the singing, dancing betrayer.

Sing the Song of Clone Salvation!

Sing it, Sister!


With Donnie and Alison safe it’s time for answers. Sarah wants to know Evie’s next move: Mrs. S wants to torture Duko with a fucking car battery.

RT: Of course she does, because Mrs. S is always the badassest motherfucker anywhere.

CF:  Do not fuck with this woman; she’d smile at you as she slits your throat.

Guess who gets their way?

Guess who gets their way?


Duko is pleading to Art, but he reminds the detective that he got Beth killed, and with that Sarah and Art leave Duko to the tender ministrations of Mrs. S. She wants to know what Evie is doing. He tells her that Evie thinks Sarah’s a threat. No shit, Sherlock: Mrs. S wants to know what Evie’s really doing. He doesn’t know. She gets out the rifle and tells Duko he’s total scum, and it’s not looking good for him. He said his family was set up, they were going to kill him, they were going to kill his young niece. He says everything he did was about family, which is something Mrs. S totally gets right before she blows his ass away. This is the second time Mrs. S has had someone seated and unable to move, and she shoots them at point blank range with a rifle. Siobhan gives absolutely zero fucks when you cross her the wrong way.

RT: I wonder if Mrs. S is related to Carol Peletier?

CF:  I have a feeling Mrs. S has killed a hell of a lot more people than Carol.  And would probably never go, “Just let me go ’cause I don’t want to kill you.”  No, she’d fucking kill you.  And the thing is, she’s shot two secured people from like a meter away with a 30.06 rifle:  she is serious about making sure they’re dead.  That’s totally bad ass.

RT: I agree. Carol needs to take a few classes run by Mrs. S. She could learn how to really get the job done and give away all those annoying lingering fucks she just don’t want to deal with any more.

Next day Scott is cleaning up the Duko mess when Sarah shows up.  He tells her Cosima is downstairs and she has something big.  And her big announcement involves a bit of science talk:  she wants to fertilize Sarah’s egg with Ira’s sperm, and she think they can create a blastocyst that will have the base genomes from both the Castor and Leda clones—in short, they might be able to reproduce the base genome, and use that to find a cure for them all.  But . . . she can’t do the work here at the Rabbit Hole—

RT: This talk hurts my brain. On the one hand I love that they might be able to cure the clones. On the other hands, that is some messed up baby lab rats they will be developing. Does that make them as bad as the people who invented the clones in the first place?

CF:  They’d never get much past the fertilized egg point, hence the talk about making a blastocyst.  I think Cosima would die before making a combined clone.  Dr. Duncan on the other hand . . .

RT: Yeah, it’s not so much the clones would fuck it up, but those around them. but still, that makes them guilty regardless, at least just a little bit.

CF:  At this point Cosima’s out of options, and it’s either do this or die.  And it’s not just her dying either:  without this, all her sisters die, except for maybe Sarah.  She’s in as shitty a position as Alison was, and this is her last chance at finding the cure.  It’s an ugly move, but it’s the only one she has available.

"All I need from you is an egg, sis. But I'm totally not like Rachel because I have both eyes!"

“All I need from you, sis, is an egg. But I’m totally not like Rachel because I have both eyes!”


Rachel is pissed that Cosima is coming to the island to work on the cure. She wants to go back, remove Evie as the head of the Neolutionists, and put Susan back in power. And she wants to do it with Sarah—she’s even looking forward to working with her. All the while she’s seeing the swan.

A helicopter speeds north across frozen wilderness with Cosima aboard. She’s talking to Scott, amazed she’s even taking this trip. We pull back to a point of view from behind the chopper as it approaches Susan’s island—


Two more episodes, and next week looks like the show is gonna get even darker.  As always, tell us what you think in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 8, “The Redesign of Natural Objects”

  1. Pingback: Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 8, “The Redesign of Natural Objects” | Rachel Tsoumbakos

  2. This has been the best season since the first. Loved the Alison stuff this episode. Usually Alison-focused episodes are comedic, but this one was really fraught, which was great. Really looking forward to the next ep! Rachel seeing a weird guy, (founder of Neolution?) Helena the Wild Woman, Rachel and Sarah. Only two more episodes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: WASPs and Clone Club | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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