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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: M.K., Maggotbots, and Masturbation (Oh My!)

Hello, sestras, and welcome back to our weekly recaps of BBC America’s Orphan Black. If you’ve not seen the episode, note that there will be spoilers below. You’ve been warned! 

What a night of near-revelations and bigger questions, eh, Clone Club? The fourth episode of this already stellar season finally gave us a bit more insight into the mysterious M.K., her motivations, and showed us a whole ‘nother side of Team Hendrix that we totally weren’t expecting—in the best way. Oh, and then there was that whole thing with Dr. Leekie’s head, the maggotbot, and a change of scenery for Helena (which: WE KNOW). Oh what a Thursday to be an Orphan Black fan!

First thing’s first: let’s talk about M.K. Or, as we found out tonight, Vera. The clone who’s held the proverbial purse strings this season when it comes to information—about Neolution, about Helsinki, about all that Beth knew or didn’t know—got a bit more light shed on her in her quest to take down Topside. Using some fancy hacker gear—which, I don’t know whatTF that software is but it’s, uh, handy and convenient for story purposes?—M.K. was able to track down both the identities of Marion Bowles (dead, apparently!) and Ferdinand… after Sarah gave her the message Rachel sent to him through Charlotte.

This set off a series of events that nearly got Sarah (and Dizzy, and Mrs. S, and Ferdinand) killed. Man oh man, is that M.K. one secretive, anxious lady with vengeance on the brain. Her “burn it to the ground” methods are admirable, though (and we’re sure Mrs. S would heartily appreciate them. So tenacious, this one). Not that we blame her: as was revealed near the end of the episode—while holding Ferdinand hostage in Beth’s apartment thanks to a weight-detonated bomb and a text that she sent from Sarah’s phone—M.K. was one of the clones targeted in Helsinki. So that’s where that accent is from. Only she escaped with barely more than scars; A sizable one on her right cheek, and another in her heart after Niki (her friend and another clone) was murdered by Ferdinand.


Now that she had all Ferdinand’s money and knows Susan Duncan is alive, though? All bets are off—we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before she finds Rachel and Susan and does whatever needs to be done. Which, full disclosure, may mean death—for both of them: after all, Dizzy did mention that he thought, given the right set of circumstances, he believed M.K. could be dangerous. (Those bombs sure seemed to point to that).

And speaking of Dizzy: we were really surprised Sarah told him about the whole clone thing. Which had us wondering: I wonder if Dizzy’s stuff was supposed to be played by Daario (erm, Cal) but he was too busy searching for Dany over on Game of Thrones. After all, he was a bit of a tech nerd and created a lot of crazy science we don’t really know much about. And we’re especially curious to know what his stake is in all of this, since Dizzy mentioned offhandedly that he had people involved in this, too. Oh yeah? LIKE WHO, DIZZY? LIKE WHO?

Whatever the case is there, we just hope M.K. doesn’t turn out to be some sort of bad guy and that she and Sarah and the rest of the clones come to terms to work together to take down Topside and Evie Cho.

Which, yes: Evie Cho! Let’s talk about her and her creepy-sounding Brightborn treatments. We found out about all of this thanks to Team Hendrix, finally giving us the most incredible caper we didn’t know we wanted: Donnie and Felix, wedded lovebirds in search of a child. After finding out—thanks to creepy, formerly pregnant Neo chick and informant to Beth, Trina, who mistook Allison for Beth—that Lifespring Fertility was a place Beth went to check out, it was time for some digging to be done into how this might all connect to the clones themselves.


Listen, any time we get a Hendrixes-filled episode, we’re happy. And this one saw both Allison AND Donnie in truly fine form—the former with her scheming and plotting (thanks, Portia Grossman!), and the latter for his excellent work as Felix’s husband/professional scenery chewer (guess Allison isn’t the only AC-TOR in the family). And we love that, even in the midst of all this camp hilarity, Felix still managed to have a bit of a mic drop moment about “acting gay” with Donnie. (Ugh, this show.) Also A++ face-emoting/shade-throwing from Jordan Gavaris tonight. He brings us all of the joy, that one.

Althoooooooough we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the ol’ Air Italia that went down. And by that we are of course referring to Allison’s work as a naughty stewardess in order to ensure Donnie got off into a cup for his sperm check. I honestly cannot even put into words how embarrassed-slash-in-stitches I was while watching this. Are Donnie and Allison the best? Because I’m pretty sure they’re the best.


And we have to talk about the visual transition from jerk-off to maggotbot that happened, bringing us down to Cosima’s labwork on Dr. Leekie’s maggotbot. (Man, this episode was really funny, wasn’t it?) After delivering, perhaps, the best lines of the night—”Ooh, that’s the head of DYAD in a bag.” “Who’s the science now, bitch?” “Man, Allison and Donnie are total psychos but this is a goldmine.”—Cosima (and Scott) science’d the shit out of that tumor and figured out exactly what it does. Drumroll: it introduces foreign DNA, like a gene therapy delivery system that edits your genes. OH SNAP. So now the mystery of why Sarah and Helena were able to conceive has been solved: the maggotbot fixed any of their mutated/messed-up DNA. Because, if you’ll remember, the EMTs noted that Sarah didn’t have a scar (indicating that she wasn’t who they were looking for), which means she and Helena possibly/maybe have had them since birth.

Maybe she’s born with it: maybe it’s maggobot!

Which, listen: We know Sarah wants out on the maggotbot front, but we’re betting she’ll learn pretty soon that she would be really sick like Cosima without it. Ooh, what a double-edged sword. Should we get one of these into Cosima? I’m starting to think “yes,” to be honest. But to know that for certain, we need to learn more about Evie Cho and how she’s connected to the clone game. She’s clearly somebody big—”I think she was on Oprah,” Cosima quipped at one point—and her desire to create “stronger,” “smarter” babies sounds just innocent-mixed-with-messed-up enough to make us think she’s been pulling the strings this whole time. Because like, Mainstream reproduction therapy is no doubt a major money maker. And, really, the clones are probably the perfect double-blind study: they don’t know they’re clones, but by giving some the maggotbot and others not, they can figure out what, exactly, this tech can and cannot edit.


But we’re just hypothesizing here. (And don’t worry, we’ve asked Kyle Hill to science the shit out of this one for us—stay tuned!)

And finally: HELENA! Helena’s gone, y’all. And it’s totally, 100% Donnie’s fault (way to fucking go, Donnie. DAMN IT DUDE)! After burying her “little science babies” in the backyard of the Hendrix homestead, Helena did her seemingly annual disappearing act. Where’s she going to go? Will she find Mark (the Castor clone) and his wife and their little science babies? MYSTERIES, you guys! MYSTERIES.

Additional Thoughts:

  • For anyone keeping score at home: there are 22 clones Sarah and Co. know of, 9 of which are still alive.
  • Why do YOU think Leekie had a maggotbot?
  • Also: do we think, when Trina said she was a carrier, that she meant for the Brightborn Treatments…or just of a maggotbot?
  • Could Rachel have been more obvious passing off her note to Charlotte?
  • M.K.’s little bear symbol is creepy and unsettling.
  • Also, loved these lines about her from Dizzy and Sarah: “Kinda makes you wonder what she’s hiding.” “Herself.”
  • Of course Ferdinand was the bastard son of a Duke.
  • I really need to know how Niki and Vera/M.K. found each other.
  • YES, FERDINAND’S PASSWORD IS CORNCOB, a.k.a. what Rachel called her eye after it was stabbed with a pencil. (Dead.) What a detail.
  • Donnie quote of the night: “That’s a lot of sperm.”
  • Also: NO THANK YOU TO THE NAME BAD PUPPY. Nope, no, and also nah.
  • Have you guys ever heard that one about how Finland isn’t a real country, but actually a deal made between Russia and Japan for fishing purposes? Because it’s all I think about whenever I hear them talk about Helsinki on this show. Also because IT’S THE BEST most hilarious thing. READ IT HERE.

For more details on the season from Donnie Hendrix himself, watch below!

But what did you think of the episode? As confused and/or excited as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: BBC America

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist and president of our in-office Clone Club chapter. Find her on Twitter (@alicialutes) and catch her co-hosting Fangirling on Friday, April 29th at 4p PST/7p EST, featuring a segment with Tatiana!

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