Orphan Black S40E06 “The Scandal Of Altruism” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Netflix, Fridays
Writer: Kate Melville
Director: Chris Roberts
Essential Plot Points:
- Cosima tells Sarah about Susan Duncan’s offer – she’ll work on a cure for the Leda clones, but only if they hand over Kendall. Sarah is torn, because if Neolution get its mitts on Kendall, it’ll be able to use her blood to recreate the pathogen that the Castor clones were using to make women infertile.
- Thankfully, Cosima comes up with a scientific solution: she’ll use Kendall’s cancer cells, which only affect the Leda part of her genetic make-up and not the Castor parts, to separate out the samples they’ll give to Susan. Ooh, she’s smart, that one.
- Krystal goes to the police station to report some of the events that have happened to her recently, asking for protective custody. Art manages to waylay her and takes her back to his apartment, where Felix pretends to be a Scotland Yard detective. After an accidental face-full of Mace, he persuades her that he and Art are handling the case of cosmetics companies trying to change our DNA. Krystal seems satisfied, but then casually mentions that she saw Delphine being shot…
- Sarah goes to see Susan and Evie Cho, who reveal that the maggot-bot in Leekie’s cheek had been placed there to keep his Alzheimer’s at bay, while Sarah’s bot had been put there to make her sick. Charming.
- The two sides come to an arrangement: Sarah will have the maggot-bot removed at Brightborn with Cosima, while Susan can wait at Felix’s pad while they take and sort out Kendall’s blood for her.
- Unfortunately, after the samples are taken Kendall is kidnapped, and Sarah blames Susan… and, after that, Ira, when she realises that he was upset the blood wouldn’t be used to find a cure for him.
- However, when Sarah rushes to Susan’s hotel room, they find Ira is innocent (and has just tried to kill himself!).
- It turns out that the kidnapper is actually Master Manipulator and Double-Crosser™ Evie Cho, who kills Kendall! Then she tells Cosima that Delphine is dead.
- Cosima is distraught: all the samples were destroyed, Kendall has been incinerated, there’s no way to make a cure for her and the other seestras, and now her soulmate is gone. Poor Cosima.
- In flashback, we also discover that it was Evie who gave Beth the final push to kill herself – Beth thought she was protecting the other clones. Evie has been at the heart of the evil the whole time.
Good lord, the ending of this week’s episode was almost physically painful to watch – not so much because we were sorry to see Kendall go (she was a cantankerous old mare, although we appreciated her acerbic one-liners) but because of Tatiana Maslany’s reactions as poor Cosima. It’s affecting in so many ways, and a reminder that despite the amount of comedy Orphan Black can sling at us – and this week was no exception, with Krystal’s actions eliciting some smiles – it can be a deathly powerful drama that can shake us to the core.
So much happened this week: an asset-swap worthy of a spy thriller, a double-cross, a final goodbye from Kendall and also a final goodbye from Beth, as we finally see the moment that drove her to jump in front of that train. Evie has a lot to answer for. And what a villain she’s turning into: a ruthless, murderous sociopath who’s determined to further her genetic research for the greater good of humanity, while stomping all over individual humans in the process. We have to say it was rather satisfying seeing Beth giving her a good hiding, although also disturbing – would she have killed Evie if Duko hadn’t intervened? We can’t wait to see what Evie gets up to next, although she does seem to be stopping short of killing the clones one by one, so at least she’s got that in her favour.
Meanwhile, there’s no Alison this week but Krystal is a perfect replacement, spouting all sorts of nonsense about her conspiracy theories and accidentally spraying Felix with Mace (kudos to him for forgiving her so quickly, mind you). Her little confusion about why Scotland Yard is in London when it’s, well, Scotland Yard is a glorious touch.
The only disappointing moment in this episode was Sarah having the surgery to remove the maggot-bot: it seemed to be over with in a flash, when a lot more angst could have been wrung from the procedure. But Cosima almost bonding with Evie over the bot’s idiosyncrasies is, in retrospect, rather chilling…
- Got to love Felix thinking on his feet by telling Krystal that the people after her are “targeting beauty professionals”. You don’t hear that in many thrillers, do you?
- Kendall got so many good lines in this episode (“I’d spit, but she’d probably bottle it”) but our favourite comedy moment has to be her defiantly lighting a cigarette in the comic store despite being told not to. Old people, eh?
- Scott, again, is a solid, reliable presence this week – love his joke about feeding Leekie’s maggot-bot some blood, Little Shop Of Horrors-style.
- “No tears, Cosima. These shites aren’t worth the salt.” You have to love how Kendall goes out with just as much bitterness as she’s always exhibited. Thanks to Alison Steadman for joyfully providing so much bile since she joined the show!
- We’ve been conditioned to automatically think of Ira as a bad guy because he’s a Castor clone, but it turns out he’s actually something else altogether – a Libra clone. And not only that, he’s so in love with Susan that he tries to kill himself rather than face the thought of not being with her forever. We want to pat him on the head, poor lad.
- Wasn’t it a massive coincidence that Sarah was at the station to see Beth jump and then assume her life? Of course, if she hadn’t been, we wouldn’t have had a show, but wow. Talk about timing.
- And why didn’t Evie, Duko and the rest of her ne’er-do-well gang start acting out their clean-up plan before now?
- Felix calls Krystal an “esthetician”. He hasn’t made that word up – although it sounds as though he has. Estheticians work in spas and salons. There are also “aestheticians”, who tend to work in more medical settings. Orphan Black: expanding our vocabulary since 2013.
- Best Quote: Art: “Detective Bell, Homicide.”
Krystal: “Krystal Goderitch, manicurist.”
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson