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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: The Cloney Island of Dr. Moreau

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

Attention, Clone Club: are you breathing? Can you see straight? Are you OK after that hum-dinging walloper of a penultimate episode? Have you stopped squee-ing since that insane reveal at the end? Is your head spinning at the thought that Cosima and Delphine ARE ACTUALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME AND NEITHER KNOW IT YET? Obviously that’s a rhetorical question, because we know the answer is undoubtedly, “yes, yes, omfggggg yes.” But before we get to all of that, we need to talk about the stone cold redemption of Rachel Duncan, Helena’s return, and seeming end of Evie Cho.


After last week’s episode’s swap of Rachel and Ira for Cosima and a bunch of Sarah’s eggs, we were ready for a lot of grim, scary terribleness to befall the clones. Because the episode was full of major wins for Clone Club: Duko’s dead, Cosima’s figured out a stem cell workaround, and Allison finally got to put up her musical review. Naturally, we were concerned: for Cosima, for the Hendrixes, and the state of Sarah’s family. Surely there’d be no win tonight, right? WRONG!

First, there’s the main caper at hand: two host moms for Evie Cho’s messed up science experiments have run away. Art and Sarah were on their trail, thank goodness, hoping to ensure their safety before Neolution got their grubby mitts on the two women (Tabitha and Kendra). The duo showed up just in time to learn that Evie Cho’s people murdered Tabitha and made it look like a suicide, and that the two were friends with Beth’s old Neo informant. Thankfully, Kendra got herself to a safe house (in Tisdale, Evie’s hometown which couldn’t possibly be coincidental, could it?) and gave Art and Sarah all the information they needed: a video containing proof of Brightborn/Evie Cho’s illegal human trials and intentional genetic defects, created to enhance the abilities of the maggotbots’ ability to germ-line edit DNA (and change it with or without the person’s permission). That’s some damn dirty science, y’all.


Speaking of, we have to talk about Cosima and Susan Duncan’s adventures in crazy, cloned-up frankenscience. After receiving the opportunity to read through On the Science of Neolution by P.T. Westmoreland—an author Cosima dubbed “fascinating for a racist blowhard who thinks poverty’s genetic,” so, clearly, we have a budding Neo on our hands (lol)—and fertilizing Sarah’s egg with Ira’s sperm, Cosima managed unintentionally to get a new piece of contextual information from Susan. Namely, that she was under extreme pressure to create Charlotte. “What pressure?” she asked the so-called former leader of Neolution. No idea, because Susan ignored her inquiry.

Could the pressure have come from the mysterious man in Rachel Duncan’s visions?


Maybe! Clearly, the man Rachel kept seeing in her eye has some serious LEDA/Neolution connections if he’s somewhere on the island, existing unawares, casually killing swans while successfully trying—alongside Delphine—to get a message to the clones via Rachel’s cybernetic eye. The slow burn of that revelation was sort of perfect, wasn’t it?

Speaking of perfect AND Rachel Duncan, we have to give it up to the clone everybody loves to hate. WHAT A REDEMPTION THAT WAS. It was patently clear from last week’s episode that Rachel and Ira were up to something, but we assumed—because of course we did—that it was much more nefarious than bringing down Evie Cho with such laser precision. Now we get why homegirl was in charge at DYAD for so long. Armed with information and Kendra’s location, Rachel served up her terms to Evie Cho—”I prefer to think of it as a negotiation”—in order to secure a top position in Neolution before pulling the rug out from under this season’s villain RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HER VERY IMPORTANT PRESS CONFERENCE.


SLAY, RACHEL. SLAY! The Beyoncéfication of Rachel Duncan has commenced! Somebody blast Lemonade from the roof of every building in Toronto because homegirl has shut it all down. So much for all your big bad maggotbot evilry, Evie! Girl, BYE.

We were also over the moon to see the return of Helena! Everyone’s favorite angry angel may be the most pregnant pregnant woman to ever pregnant (metaphorically speaking), but that didn’t stop her from throwing a deer over her shoulder and living her best, most Mountain Man-y life in Beavertail National Park. Or murdering the shit out of creepy Neo ambulance dude WITH A GODDAMN ARROW TO THE NECK, saving Donnie and Allison Hendrix right in the nick of time. Because she’s the best, most incredible, all-around greatest character on this whole goddamn show.

Right down to the best line of the night: “Donnie Hendrix, you look like roast pig.”


Her interaction with Adele was also priceless, even if it spurred the exit of Adele—and just when we started to really, really love her involvement in Clone Club! We’re sure she’ll be back next season, though. How could she not with lines like “That’s brunch” or “I have so many questions for ya; starting with that hat — did you name it yet?” or “He has more secrets than a freemason.” Surely somebody‘s going to need a lawyer next season.

Maybe somebody like Delphine—WHO IS ALIVE AND WELL AND ON THE CLONE-Y ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU, PROBABLY ABOUT TO SAVE THE DAY. We heard your yelp-y screams of excitement, Clone Club—and even though we were on team “just let Delphine be dead,” we’re totally OK with her return in this fashion. Save our girls, Delphine! DO IT DO IT DO IT!


Other Thoughts:

  • We need to discuss, perhaps the most poignant moment of the night: “Genetics doesn’t really make a family, does it?”
    • It’s really the thesis of the entire series itself, isn’t it? Blood isn’t the only thing—it’s so much more than that.
  • Donnie’s hornball antics were SO EXTRA and cringingly hilarious. I was cackling and also slightly embarrassed for him and his terrible one-liners.
    • Exhibit A: “And then I’ll make you see God.”
  • LOLiest Felix quote of the night: “Because it wasn’t pertinent and I’m not a gossip.”
  • ALSO HOW ABOUT THOSE SCENES FROM NEXT WEEK, RIGHT? I cannot even begin to handle it. IS SARAH GONNA DIE? Because she looked pretty damn almost-dead!

And just because any time Donnie Hendrix is being too ridiculous, we feel the need to embed this video:

Wasn’t this the BEST episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images: BBC America

Alicia Lutes is the managing editor of Nerdist, co-host of Fangirling, and president of our in-office Clone Club chapter. Find her on Twitter (@alicialutes)!

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