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ORPHAN BLACK Recap: Dude, We Are the Mad Scientists

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

We love nothing more than when we’re watching an episode of Orphan Black, jazzed on the tremendous dealings going down… only to look at the clock and realize we’re a mere 12 minutes in. Did that happen to anyone else tonight? Because damn, “The Redesign of Natural Objects” was an episoooode, y’all. Rife with major storyline dealings and serious scientific advances (plus a dash or twelve of violence just for fun), tonight opened the season up to some things we were really, truly hoping were in the works.

Behind the scenes on 408 | Image: Alicia Lutes

So, remember back in January when we were on set? Well: this was the episode we got to see shot. Even without a ton of context, we knew it was going to be major—but even being majorly spoiled on all that went down (we’ll get to that in a second!), with the full context of season four behind now in mind, we understand just how crazy important everything that went down actually is (was?) to the Clone Club.

For one thing: we had no idea Cosima was going to team up with Susan Duncan, even though we’ve assumed/hoped that would be the case. Or that so much of the science would/could rely on Leda eggs getting fertilized by Castor sperm—which: way to bring incest (in a way!) into play (under a biological lens, naturally). Et tu, Orphan Black?!

So, yeah: Cosima is going to head to the Island of Doctor Clonereau to fertilize one of Sarah’s eggs with Ira’s sperm and essentially recreate both halves of Kendall Malone’s genome, essentially saving the science without the original. It’s majorly brilliant, and could lead to creating the blastocyst of cells that helps cure Cosima and the rest of the sisters. Even M.K., who’s back in the picture, helped connect it all together in a big way. Yeah: she’s been temporarily accepted into Clone Club on a trial basis (we hope), and she’s sick, too—only no one knows that yet. (Yet.) Being that M.K. was tracking Evie Cho’s communications, she tapped into the conversation Evie had with Rachel and Susan last episode and showed Cosima and Sarah what was going on. We’re still a little bit cautious of M.K.’s motivations, but hopeful our anxieties about her will be wrong in the end.


Speaking of motivations: there’s no way Rachel’s not going to try and get on Evie Cho’s good side and bring down Sarah and Cosima and Alison, right? NO WAY. Especially now that she has info to trade like 1.) the location of Susan Duncan and the island, 2.) that they’re recreating Kendall Malone’s genetic profile in order to try and find a cure. That whole “let’s reinstate Susan as the head of Neolution and work together with Sarah” thing smells phony as all get-out. She wants to stop glitching and Evie Cho’s maggotbot might be able to fix that for real. THIS MAKES ME VERY NERVOUS, Y’ALL. Especially with Cosima up there and Evie Cho’s showcased desire to burn anything that might hinder her clonebot progress. Also, what else don’t we know about those maggotbots? What information is she going to gain from them, because there’s no way they’re not just doing something for the greater good. Which got us thinking: she’s going to create a genetic profile database, isn’t she? THAT SOUNDS VERY DANGEROUS—especially in the wrong hands. (Like, say, Castor/the government?! Mark me: season five, y’all, Clone Club vs. The MAN!)

Because having omnipotent knowledge of humans is definitely a major force for Neolution. I mean, they literally have people everywhere—even jail to keep an eye on poor Donnie Hendrix. And even though it looks like Donnie’s going to get out next week, we can’t imagine him anything other than changed by this. Mostly because he’s so nervous and anxious, but also because: c’mon! The cred with this? Being able to say he’s been to jail? After the way he cockily gave away who he was to the Neo-fleecer, there’s not a bath bomb’s chance in water that he won’t flaunt this new plumage at the most hilarious opportune/amazing time. (I sense a very comedic moment with Helena and/or Art in Donnie’s future.)


It was a close one there, though I think we all knew Alison was going to work with Sarah on catching Duko in the end. She’s just too much of a helper, particularly when Fee’s involved. (Bless you, Fee. Bless. The patron saint of Clone Club. Also, someone PLEASE make me a madonna-style portrait of that IMMEDIATELY.)

That scene with Mrs. S, let’s call it making amends?, that was fiiiiiire, though. We were SO pumped to watch that whole scene with Sarah, Art, S, and Duko go down, and see the moment she shot him dead. (YEAH: imagine having to hold all of this in for months.) Mrs. S does not fuck around at all, and if there’s any sort of match for Evie Cho’s evil, it is most certainly Siobhan Sadler. Now that Duko’s dead, we’re sure it’ll only be a matter of  time before Evie meets up with the business end of Mrs. S’ torture tactics—because ain’t no one killin’ our beloved S; she’s bulletproof titanium boss-ass momma bear status, and therefore invincible.


Oh, and—just to get back to Rachel for a second—that “glitch” of hers was totally not a glitch, right? That vision of the hippie man was no vision: that’s got to be like, a memory or some sort of connection to another clone (like the Helena/Alison stuff but totally, crazily, insanely different), right? Could it be some mystery moment from the past? Something happening with another clone in the present? And how does it relate to the swan floating around in her eye—especially the severed head and neck part?!


But hopefully we’ll have them answered, alongside Helena’s return (!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!) next week.

Here’s the cast talking about the season four mystery on the day they were filming this (!!) very episode:

And because he’s a certified jailbird now—here’s Kristian Bruun’s spoiler-y (except not) take on this season, in pretty much anything except words:

What’d you think of the episode? Let us know 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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