Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 9, “The Mitigation of Competition”



We’ve seen the penultimate episode of the season, and Orphan Black began making the final moves in this season-long chess game.  And there were a number of surprise moves:


All Leda clones played by Tatiana Maslany.


We see snow.  Eyes.  Blury visions.  Rachel’s seeing things, among them an old man motioning for her forward. There’s Ira (Ari Millen) standing next to her, helping her up.  She tells him about the man, that she thinks it’s someone living on the island.  He wants her to see something:  Evie’s on TV giving an interview.  She talks about her childhood, about growing up in the now-rundown town of Tisdale.  Bright Born is building a new center in her old home town—she says to offer opportunity to the people there, but it’s more likely because they picked up the land for a steal.  The interviewer wants something, some information:  she won’t give it.  There’s a knock at the door, and Ira answers.  It’s Felix and Sarah.  The later doesn’t look happy:  she’s already regretting this bad idea.

We’re back in the woods, out in the cold and snow and—it’s Helena! And she has a deer over he shoulders We quickly find out that she’s living outside, and in a deleted scene run between ads we see her hunting the deer with a bow, getting all Hanna and shit.

Little Hanna--

Little Hanna.

Big Helena.

Big Helena.


Oh, and she also scares the shit out of two kids in a SUV:

"Don't worry: Bambi still alive. I just get mother."

“Don’t worry: Bambi still alive. I just get mother.”


In the hotel room Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is giving a speech about what’s going on, about their ultimate goals. Sarah wants to know Evie’s plan: Rachel says she’s created the bots to allow them to do gene therapy on other people, though who the hell knows what that involves. Ira has information on two women who were test subjects at Bright Born, and Rachel wants Sarah to find the women. She also wants Ira to help; Sarah tells her to fuck off, she and her people work alone. Later.

RT: You nailed it right on the head earlier on when you referred to Season 4 as a chess game. This episode felt exactly like that. I spent the whole time trying to work out whether Rachel was being honest, or if she should follow Sarah implicitly.

CF:  You really saw that happened here.  Everyone was moving into position trying to get the checkmate.

Evie (Jessalyn Wanlim) is looking at a video, one of a deformed baby being put down, and there’s a voice over telling Evil Cho—I mean, Evie—to keep quiet or the video goes viral. Dr. Van Lier (Scott Wentworth) tells her to calm down, which she does a little—then she wants to know what the hell happened to Duko.

Alison is waiting by a side entrance for Donnie (Kristian Bruun) to get out of the joint. He does, and wouldn’t you know it: he’s horny. They’re talking about the kids, who are down in Florida with her mother, and she brings up how she’s lost her faith. Donnie gives no shits about either the kids or deities: he’s thinking about pussy. Alison says they’re going to see Adele (Lauren Hammersley) at their home; he says when that’s over, he’s going to make her see God.

RT: Seriously, Donnie and Alison need their very own show. Helena can be in it too, in the trailer out the back.

CF:  Helena walks in every so often and says,  “Shitter is backed up again.”  I could also see Alison being the sort of person who’d make her live out there.

RT: Alison so would make her live out the back. But Helena would totally be okay with that because there is plenty of time to mess up things in the house while Alison is being a soccer mum.

CF:  And then get Mika to move in with Helena because their accents would drive Alison crazy.  And they could raid the ‘fridge together and get Donnie in trouble.

Sarah is loosing it a little; none of the other sisters are around to help. Art (Kevin Hanchard) may, however, have a lead on the women they’re looking for.

Cosima is working on the egg fertilization under Susan’s (Rosemary Dunsmore) direction. She does it correctly, and Susan’s happy. Cosima’s feeling out of it after that, and Susan tells her she’ll take care of the egg—in the meantime, why not a little light reading: On the History of Neolution by P.T. Westmoreland. Enjoy.

Art and Sarah roll up on the house where the women were. Cops all over the place, which isn’t a good sign. Art heads inside and gets the lowdown from Detective Troy Collier (Joe Pingue) : one woman’s dead and it looks like she offed herself. Kendra is missing . . . Oh, should I mention that Det. Collier was the dude who led the bust on Donnie? Consider it mentioned.

Sarah gets a call from Helena, who’s still out in the middle of nowhere. Her babies are fighting just like them. Sarah is glad she’s good, but Helena senses something bad, and we see that she has a picture of her sister and Kira as one of her few possession. Sarah sees someone come out of the house: the formerly pregnant Neo girl.. She goes after her, pretending to be Beth.

Art is checking out the dead girl; her hands have marks on them like she was defending herself. Collier asks about Duko. Art says he hasn’t seen him and walks off; Collier doesn’t seem to believe the bullshit.

The Neo girl gives Sarah/Beth all the info she has on Kendra. She’s not sure, but it’s possible she’s hiding out in Evie’s old home town, Tisdale.

Evie gets a call from Collier: he thinks someone else is looking for their girl.

Adele’s with Alison and Donnie, and she’s reviewing his rap sheet while drinking wine. She giving them all they need to know while he’s out of the joint. Felix shows and mentions there’s and says there’s plainclothes outside. Duko’s name comes up and everyone gets freaky before Fee takes his sister out.

Evie finally gets a bot: she’s about to say goodbye to shingles forever.

Art and Sarah arrive in Tisdale. Rachel calls with help on Kendra, about the location she likely took her kids. Sarah blows her off and hangs up. Ira makes a comment about Rachel not liking Sarah. And what does Rachel say?

Oh, bitch, bitch, bitch. You got a new eye out of the deal, didn't you?

Oh, bitch, bitch, bitch. You got a new eye out of the deal, didn’t you?

RT: A new eye AND visions. I’d count that as a serious upgrade 😉

CF:  Rachel’s never happy.  High maintenance bitch.

Anyway, Ira is something of a computer wiz, and he locates Sarah from her mobile.

Charlotte (Cynthia Galant) and Cosima are talking, mostly about being sick, but the little girl is really digging her older clone’s hair.  Charlotte opens the Big Book on Neolution and shows Cosima their island in the book.  She says the island is four billion years old which Cosima finds extremely interesting.

Adele is at Felix’s and going on about Sarah and Alison when in walks Helena.  Adele start with the crazy eyes and make the logical conclusion:  there are triplets in the family!  Fee is trying to rush Helena out of the pad, but Adele wants to talk to this new girl—especially about Helena’s hat?  Did you name it yet?

"I'm not drunk enough to see double, so it must be something else!"

“I’m not drunk enough to see double, so it must be something else!”


Oh, fuck!  I mean that:  Alison and Donnie are fucking, and going at it hard.  As soon as they are done Donnie rolls off and we see Alison is wearing her bra, because basic cable, yeah?  And now that they’re finished Alison wants to enhance the post-coital glow by praying, because that always does the trick.  But she can’t pray; it’s not coming.  Alison hates that they’re being treated like criminals, and she wants to get out of town:  she wants to go to Niagara Falls, where slowly she’ll turn, step by step . . .  Donnie doesn’t want to leave town, but no fucking way he’s winning this argument.

RT: Donnie and Alison having sex and praying. Pretty sure that’s the best scene including religious guilt I’ve ever seen!

CF:  When I saw the humping away I was like, “Oh, shit!  Really?”  And the Donnie rolls over and she’s got the bra on, which, come to think of it, is probably something Alison does.  Then the praying right after.  Just how screwed up is Alison?  Off hand I’d say . . . a lot.

Rachel’s having visions again, seeing a camp with lots of people who are living outside; there’s a huge communal going on.  There’s the swan.  Getting the ax.  Rachel sets her head in her hands.

Art and Sarah are at a home, and Sarah sees baby stuff inside.  Thinking it’s probably Kendra (Lisa Codrington), Sarah picks the lock and goes in.  Sarah calls for Kendra, but there’s no one home.  There’s a baby, however.  Sarah and Art check on it, and . . . there’s Kendra with a drawn gun.  Sarah says they’re not from Bright Born, but isn’t believed.  Art gets her to believe he’s a cop though, and the situation winds down.

Adele is drinking and trying to figure out what’s up with Helena.  Adela springs on the stuff about Donnie being in trouble, and Helena asks if it’s about the killings.  Adela starts getting loud and mouthy about all the secrets Felix is keeping, and Helena tells her, in her own way, to shut the fuck up.  Adele decides to face off with the Killer Angel by spouting her brightest line of the evening:  “Did you just step up to me, Little Triplet?”  Helena hisses and scares the fuck out of her.

RT: I was so over Adele and her drinking and not being as awesome as drunk Cersei when Helena showed up. This scene probably made me happy more than it should have.

CF: And right there you hit it as to why I’m not buying Adele as anything other than shady as shit:  she’s trying way too hard to be like Cersei, and it’s coming off as bad cosplay.  The woman is just off.  Also, if a pregnant woman shows up who looks exactly like two other women you’ve met and is dressed in animal skins, are you gonna get snarky with her, or start getting rational and asking the right questions?  I think next we’re gonna find out it has been an act, and she’s really working for someone else.  Also, we all need to work on our Helena Hiss for whenever anyone steps up to us.

RT: I wonder if Adele is working for Evie? She backed off pretty quickly once the gig was up. Otherwise, my other guess is Delphine and she has been instructed to not ask the right questions.

CF:  I think she’s with the group whom Delphine is with.  I’m thinking we’ll find out next week.

Those are the teeth of a woman who's used to tearing out jugulars.

Those are the teeth of a woman who’s used them to rip out jugulars.


Fee talks Helena into leaving for an hour. Adela wants to know what’s happening; Fee doesn’t want to tell her. He also wants her to go. She quickly figures out that his life is a mess, and there’s more going on that means the eye. There’s sadness in her voice as she realizes she’s not part of his “real” family.

RT: This bit made me really sad. Not just for Felix, who had to chose between his families, but for Adele, who for the first time actually seemed like she really wanted a brother.

CF:  I think that’s the most “real” either of those two have been with each other since Adele showed up.

Kendra wants to know how she was found: Sarah says she heard about her from Trenna. Kendra goes into detail on the Bright Bron stuff: she and the other girl got video of doctors putting down on of the babies that didn’t turn out right, and they ran because of their own babies. Kendra’s son is blind, and she knows Bright Born would put him down, too.

OB S4 E9 Kendra


She has another son, though, so she doesn’t want to get involved with exposing Evie.

Susan walks in on Cosima and the doctor wants Cosima’s opinion on the the book and Neolution.  Cosima isn’t impressed with their ethos, which she considers racist, and she doesn’t get why Susan created Charlotte.  Susan says she was under pressure to create another clone, that she didn’t have a choice.  As she walks off she mentions that the egg is progressing.

RT: Does it kinda feel like they don’t have a choice all over again?

CF:  Big time no choice.  It’s “Do This Or Die” time for the sestras.

Rachel and Sarah are having a confab.  Rachel wants to bring Kendra in:  she knows if Sarah found her, Bright Born can’t be far behind.  Sarah hangs up:  Rachel calls Ira.

Sarah tries to convince Kendra to leave; they want to take her to the save house.  Right then the bad guys appear, shining lights all over the place.  The house phone rings and it’s for Kendra:  Rachel’s on the other end.  She says Ira is outside:  go with him or you other son will be hurt.  The lights outside comes inside and Art gets them on their knees.  One of the goons is the female EMT who rousted Sarah.  She goes to look for Kendra and sees her getting into a car with Ira.  Sarah’s pissed.

The goons are on the floor.  Sarah delivers the bad news about Rachel screwing them.  Art is dropping them at the station; the woman say they’ll be out by morning.  Art wants to know who’s going to spring them—

Alison and Donnie are packing, getting ready to leave town.  The cops are gone; all that remains is an ambulance.  Donnie heads down to the basement to get something; while Alison looks at her cross, there’s a sound before.  She heads down and find the other EMT, Frank, holding Donnie and ready to do harm.

RT: And the car being replaced with an ambulance wasn’t weird? I was horror movie yelling at the screen at this point. And then there is that thunk and Alison calls out and I was ready to scream, because nothing good ever comes of a thunk and an acknowledgment of where you are to the killer.

CF:  As dim as the Hendrix family can be at times, this was a total lights out moment.  And then Alison hears a sound and heads down stairs?  I’m surprised she’s didn’t take a shower first.  Remember what we were saying earlier on Facebook about people acting stupid in horror movies?  I did get that flash here.

RT: Haha! Yes, I thought the exact same thing about our convo about horror movies. At least there was no human-skinned book…

CF:  Yet.  We don’t know what that book Cosima is reading was bound in.

RT: Oh, good point!

Evie is practicing his speech about the bots, about the new facility in Tisdale.  There’s a bit of bad news, however:  Rachel is downstairs with info about Kendra.

Frank has Donnie trussed up on the floor and he’s putting heat on Alison.  She’s either going to tell him about what happened to Duko, or he’s going to put a bot in her mouth.  Things are looking bad, and she starts praying, and . . .

"Oh, Jesus, please help me!"

“Oh, Jesus, please help me!”

"Jesus bring comfort; I bring arrows."

“Jesus bring comfort; I bring arrows.”  *Zinnnnnnnng*

"Freakin' Bloody Cup--ah, screw it! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!"

“Freakin’ Bloody Cup–ah, screw it! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!”

"Gurrrrrrgulllll . . ."

“Gurrrrrrgulllll . . .”

"You want I should call ambulance? Ha, I make funny."

“You want I should call ambulance? Ha, I make funny.”


Needless to say, Helena saves the day and Alison doesn’t get a bot.  Now, about the body in their basement . . .

RT: You know, what I said earlier, that thing about Alison, Donnie and Helena having heir own show? Yeah, this just cemented it for me 😉 My daughter and I both fist pumped the air when Helena arrived because we just knew she would fix the shit out the problem.

CF:  And we know exactly how Helena fixes shit.  This is the third time she’s bailed out Alison and Donnie, and they better be kissing her ass after this one.  And she always get her hands dirty with them:  one hacking, one stabbing, and now an arrow through the neck.  That’s real sisterly love there.  🙂

RT: Poor Helena, she is really underrated by the others 😦

CF:  Sarah does love and respects her, but Sarah has no patience for anyone and she’s too used to keeping shit to herself.  Helena was trained to watch and wait, so it’s like she knows she can touch Sarah eventually.  But Sarah needs to get her head up out of her ass and deal with her real family.

Art and Sarah bust in on Ira and they start rousting him, pissed about the double cross.  They want to know where Rachel is, and Ira tells them.  Sarah raves out, says she’s playing them.

Rachel and Evie meet.  Rachel has the upper hand:  she has Kendra and the video.  Evie tells the clone this is a shakedown; Rachel tells her to think of it as a negotiation.

What else would you expect when these two get together?

What else would you expect when these two get together?


Which is about to happen, ‘cause back in the hotel room Ira is filming the meeting through a camera and mic in Rachel’s necklace that’s feeding right back to his laptop, which is being watched by Art and Sarah.  She’s actually impressed for once.

RT: Second fist pump for this episode.

CF:  I have to admit, I did not see this coming, even though the BBCA episode poster laid it all out for us:

I saw this on the Facebook group the other day and it didn’t ring any bells for me, then you realize:  it’s Rachel’s necklace, and there’s the camera, like she has for an eye.  And, of course, the arrow from Helena.  It was a great bit of misdirection on the part of Orphan Black, but . . . you know Rachel’s got something else in mind as well.  Let’s not trust this bitch just yet.

RT: Oh, I totally missed this poster! I agree too about Rachel’s agenda. She only ever looks out for herself. She wasn’t helping her sisters, she was setting things in motion to help only herself.

CF:  The Orphan Black Facebook group posts these every week, usually about Tuesday our time.  They should all be in a folder somewhere, but it’s hard to find one.  I’m gonna start putting them on my Pintrest as I find them.

Evia goes into her news conference.  As she does, Ira sends out the recorded info to the mobiles of all the press people at the conference, and they’re all hearing what Evie said just moments ago.  Now the press wants to know about euthanized babies; all hell breaks out, and Dr. Van Lier hustles Evie out of the room.  Rachel looks extraordinarily pleased.

"Now who's the head bitch in charge, bitch?"

“Who’s the head bitch in charge now, bitch?”


Back to Rachel’s eye. She sees this stuff again: the forest, the swan, the swan dead. Ira wants to know what’s happening. She knows it’s not a glitch: she’s being shown the island. Someone’s showing her something—

Maybe this person? The one in a simple shack in the middle of nowhere. Where a song plays in a language that’s not English—maybe it’s French?  We close in on a woman at a desk–

Who is this mysterious woman? Could it be . . ?

Who is this mysterious woman? Could it be . . ?


Someone comes in and touches her shoulder.  The woman turns and . . .



She lives!  And the chances are good we’ll discover just what the hell she’s doing next week—

RT: Third fist pump!

CF:  The very next was the title card saying “Special Guest Star — Évelyne Brochu”, which was a nice little conformation that she’s back.  But what is she doing?  I so want to know.  Damn you, next week.

RT: Yeah, this episode just felt waaaay too short 😦

CF:  According to BBCA’s listing for next Thursday, the last episode is not extended.  Also, the synopsis hints at a Rachel double-cross.  I’m so shocked!

Also, the song playing is Pret-a-Porter by Emilie Mover.  BBCA has a free download of the song here on their website.


Next week is the last of the season, and it appears some major shit is going to go down before certain people go down.  As always, tell us what you think in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 9, “The Mitigation of Competition”

  1. Pingback: Orphan Black, Season 4, Episode 9, “The Mitigation of Competition” | Rachel Tsoumbakos

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