‘Orphan Black’ Clone Chronicles: ‘The Collapse of Nature’

‘Orphan Black’s season four premiere took us back to the start and it had everything that made us fall in love with the series when it first aired!

After the reveal in the season three finale that Rachel was being held by her Neolutionist mother, who was presumed dead, it was clearer than ever that we would be going back to the roots of the story.

Tatiana Maslany as Beth Childs & M.K. in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: bbcamerica via Tumblr

Orphan Black might be a story about clones but at it’s core it speaks directly to the agency and autonomy of women. It tackles real issues that women face like infertility. In the true spirit of science fiction it challenges the rhetoric of these ideas through the clones we’ve come to know and love.

Initially, it’s a fun jaunt down the rabbit hole but the underlying stories being told provide a very real-world landscape of a different kind of genetically fueled sisterhood and it offers up the opportunity to have discussions that are often personal and emotionally charged. Each clone is not just their own person but representative of different women at different life stages and with different values. But the philosophy remains the same. They belong to themselves. Their biology is not a commodity to be bought and sold.

And lucky for us it’s in the deft hands of the exceedingly talented Tatiana Maslany (who was robbed at the Emmy’s this year! I mean it’s a complete atrocity that it took three seasons for her to even get the nomination but I will rant about this forever because she plays almost the entire cast!). I mean the writers get some credit too but I honestly have my suspicions that they are probably Tatiana too.

Tonight’s premiere lived up to the hype. Season one started at the end of Beth’s story, whose train track suicide is witnessed by Sarah, which catapults her into the story of who they are and where they came from. Season three answered a lot of our questions in that regard, complete with the reveal of the original recipe clone, Kendall Malone, who is none other than Mrs. S’s mother.

Tatiana Maslany & Dylan Bruce as Beth Childs & Paul Dierden in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: tatianamasanly via Tumblr

Season four found a twisted way to capitalize on the warm and fuzzy feelings left from Sarah’s reunion with Kira last year by giving us shirtless Paul in the first four minutes! The episode itself was intended to introduce us to new clone M.K., who knows more than any other clones so far and keeps herself hidden, even from her sisters. But it also works to fill in the missing pieces of Beth’s story all the way to where things start going wrong.

While most of the story is one we’re familiar with and I started to wait for more and more long dead characters to make a “living” appearance onscreen again, it was a perfect refresher to the Neolution plotline.

The takeaway is that the Neolutionists have their hands in everything. There’s an intriguing plot that involves the worm that came out of the man who attacked Delphine last year. But the past finally converges with the present when M.K. gets in touch with Art who calls Sarah with very specific instructions, run.

Tatiana Maslany as M.K. in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: orphanblack via Tumblr

The Monitor Observations:

  • The coroner working with Art and Beth was hilarious!
  • I kind of missed the procedural aspect of the show. I mean I wouldn’t enjoy it every episode but it works with Beth as this addict cop and the unwitting leader of the Project Leeda clones.
  • Paul is still dirty! But seeing him and Beth interact, for a while there I didn’t trust that man but now I believe his last words more than ever! That relationship was so unhealthy, I bet he knew Sarah was playing Beth in that first episode from the moment he saw her. The “I can’t breed” line really stung, they’re both completely hiding their feelings about that stuff and it’s made everything so much worse.
  • Seeing Art and Beth actually work together was the opposite of Beth and Paul. You could tell that Art also knew Sarah wasn’t Beth in the earlier seasons and it makes sense why. I don’t remember him mentioning their “relationship” but I do like that Beth knew she could trust Art because he did see her for her and not just for the job. On that note though, Tatiana has the best job ever. She has literally kissed every cast member!
Tatiana Maslany as Cosima Niehaus in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: orphanblack via Tumblr
  • We got to check in with Cosima and Allison and they were so themselves that I almost forgot we weren’t in present day. Cosima is switching schools. And Allison sent Beth a flower arrangements to hide her drugs and the clean urine she stole from her daughter. I’m still laughing!
  • Also everyone always hated Angie. I didn’t realize how much I still hate her until she showed up and I missed everything she said because I was too busy voicing my own disgust in the form of very coherent “ew’s” and “ughs.” I will never get enough of Donnie telling her off. Among the other greatest moments from season 2. But that…That takes the top spot! Look at what you did Angie? You made me angry on premiere day!
  • Felix nearly seeing Beth was actually a really tense scene. It’s crazy that spot was nearly blown because Fee got arrested so often. I have missed Jordan Gavaris and that moment was not nearly enough for me! I was too worried to enjoy it! Which is weird because I knew he didn’t meet Beth but the tense made me believe they might see each other! That boy takes a truly lovely mugshot, they looked more like headshots. Only Felix could do that. But then again only Felix would consider public urination performance art.
  • Club Neolution was as creepy as ever but it was fun to go to all these places with Beth. The guy with the tail was back! As was Dr. Leekie. Both equally horrible. I mean I still scream when Donnie accidentally shoots Leekie but the moment gets more and more satisifying the more we learn about Neolution!
Tatiana Maslany as Beth Childs in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: orphanblack via Tumblr
  • Beth bugging the apartment was funny just because in the same way I love when clones pretend to be other clones, I like when monitors are monitored!
  • There were a few others new characters introduced tonight, most notably Evie Cho whose position at the new corporate face of Neolution will no doubt make her a quick enemy of Sarah and her sisters, though her interest in project Leeda makes her interesting to us. There was also Detective Duko but I already despise him because he’s a double agent.
  • We only had one scene of Tatiana talking to Tatiana face to face but I’m so intrigued by M.K.!
Tatiana Maslany as M.K. in Orphan Black Photo: BBCA Gif: orphanblack via Tumblr

It was a great start to a story with so many twists and turns. I didn’t have an opportunity to rewatch the series before it aired this year and I was relieved that this episode allowed for so much of it to come back with only minimal hand holding. I also like that even though we knew when Beth’s story ends I was still surprised when we jumped to the present. I really love that final scene of Sarah looking through the window because it looked eerily similar to Beth spying on the Neolutionists. The fact that it was the opposite. That Sarah didn’t really get away that she was being watched made it that much more exciting!

We can’t wait to see where season four takes us! And hopefully they won’t wait too long to reveal Delphine’s fate! I definitely felt Helena’s absence tonight and forgot there was a point in the series where she wasn’t apart of the main story. I’m also super excited to get to know Krystal and M.K. this season! I’d like to hope for everyone to stay out of trouble but we know how it’s prone to finding them!

Orphan Black airs Thursdays at 10/9c on BBCA. Be sure to tune in!

Be sure to check Hidden Remote for our weekly recaps! What did you think of the season premiere? What are you most looking forward to this season? Were you interested in finally seeing Beth’s story play out? Share your thoughts in the comments!