Now that this season is over, let’s get into each clone’s intense season-long journey and then we’ll link everyone up for the end of the season. This is a VERY long post that I wrote on a four-hour plane ride, soooo yeah! Enjoy if you want to dive in for a recap with feels and (hopefully) fun.
I went into great detail about the importance of Beth Childs in the overall show, so I won’t get into my intense Beth feels here. But this season we finally learned why Beth jumped in front the train, which happened within the first couple minutes of episode one, way back in the beginning. We learn about her connection to Alison and Cosima, her bond with another clone named MK – or Mika, as she affectionately calls her – how damaging her relationship with Paul had become thanks to her suspicions, and how valuable her relationship with Art was.
“It’s over, Mika. I screwed it up.”
MK set her on the path to Neolution and, ultimately, her death. She got too close to the powerful people and in order to protect Alison, Cosima, MK, Paul, Art and everyone else she cared about, she sacrificed herself. No one else was supposed to go down the same path. It was too risky. MK had to go back into the shadows. But unfortunately, Sarah is resilient and Beth’s death is what set her exactly on what Beth was trying to save her from.
Alison and Helena (& Donnie)
When Alison and Donnie hear that Neolutions tend to voluntarily get these bots in their faces, they have to come clean about the dead Dr. Leekie in their garage. In one of the most hilarious scenes of the season, they have to come clean about how they can give Cosima a bot to study. In the meantime, the police are hard on the Hendrixes tail for the murder at Pouchey’s garage and for dealing pills. But they get in on the investigation into the Neolutionist fertility clinic, sending Donnie and Felix in as a couple. They are the ones that learn about the Brightborn treatment. (Another A+ scene this season was Alison encouraging Donnie to produce a sperm sample, lmao. Y’all can think Ferd and Rachel’s BDSM is weird, but the Hendrixes are just as insane – and I love it!)
Helena was missing for much of this season, but offered up some fantastic comedy gold for the short amount of her we did have. We did learn, however, that she’s pregnant with twins. And she calls Sarah to tell her the news, promising that they will not be separated like she and Sarah were.
Alison is coping rather badly with her infertility this season. A lot of people were criticizing her for not appreciating her kids. But you can love your adopted children and still want to have your own baby. That’s not a crime, people. Helena feels like being pregnant in front of her is making her sad, so she runs away. She makes herself a little hut in the woods, becomes an excellent hunter, and ultimately, saves the day for Alison and Donnie.
Cosima poses as Donnie’s surrogate to investigate Brightborn, while Donnie has a mishap adventure with the misguided Krystal to throw her off the scent. After their part to play is finished, Alison tries to resume normal life through musicals and throwing Gemma a birthday party. It is interrupted, however, when the police arrest Donnie for drug trafficking. We, of course, learn that this is ANOTHER Neolution plot from Duko to get to Sarah and her people.
Duko tries to get Alison to double-cross her people by threatening Donnie’s life in prison, but Sarah, S, and Art get to him first. Duko calls off the Neolutionist in the prison and Donnie is released the next day. S is all too happy to take her revenge on Duko for shooting her mum. She tortures him a bit to figure out Evie Cho’s next move and when he pleads for his life, S doesn’t give a shit. And neither does anyone watching. So gratifying!
Duko disappears much to Neolution’s annoyance. But Alison proves her worth once more when stupid ambulance guy that works for Neolution threatens her with a deadly bot in her face for the details on Duko. She tells Donnie she loves him and refuses to betray her sisters again. Alison is the goddamn rock of this show. Don’t anyone question her because she is hardcore. I’m so proud of her. But she didn’t need to worry because Helena (!!!!) appears in the nick of time with an arrow to ambulance guy’s throat. Good riddance!
“Donnie Hendrick, you look like roast pig.”
The Hendrixes and Helena run away to the woods to hide out for the rest of the season, which was the best plan for them.
While Sarah’s season four journey truly began on that train platform many moons ago, she actually began in Iceland, where she was happily vacationing with her family to keep them out of harm from the Neos, DYAD, and whoever else might be after Kendall Malone. But, as MK warned her, Neolution found them and was ready to take everyone out, becoming the overarching villain for the season and coming full circle from season one. So, the quest for answers continued.
Sarah’s big theme this season was family and what family means for her. They stripped her of her family, isolated her, and Sarah had to scramble to bring them back together again. In the early part of the season, she felt replaced by Felix’s quest to find his real family, as he seemed to have a ball with this new bio-sister Adele. Helena, her twin and the one she feels most connected to, ran away to live the frontier life. And just when she needed S the most, feeling more connected to her than ever and calling her mum, S tells her she’ll always just be an orphan after the worst thing ever happened…. So, what happened this season with Sarah?
She follows MK’s trail to discover that while prisoner at DYAD, they implanted some sort of worm, or maggot bot as it is affectionately known, into her cheek. Remember the thing coming out of Dr. Nealon’s mouth when he attacked Delphine.?Yeah, that horrible thing! She also spends a lot of time impersonating Beth (and having everyone comment on her crazy hair and punk clothes – she really went full-blown punk this season, I loved it) in her quest to get the bloody thing out. In a particularly dire situation with a Neolutionist chick pretending to take it out, while really waiting for someone to come murder her, Ferdinand actually comes to her rescue. He’s on the trail of his beloved Rachel and figures they’re kind of on the same team because Susan Duncan is holding Rachel hostage, and she has the know-how to get the bot out of Sarah. But MK has been on Ferdinand’s trail since Helsinki. You know, the event where a shit-load of clones and their families were executed by Ferdinand himself? Yeaaaaah. She attempts to exact her revenge just when Sarah needs him the most. So, Ferd has done some bad shit, but how can you not love him? He’s so cheesy and makes frittatas for Rachel! And his bank password is “corn cob,” which is their safe word. I can’t deal with it.
In her quest to get the bot out, she and Cosima make a deal with Susan Duncan: if she can have some of the original’s genetic material, they can produce a cure and get the bot out of Sarah. But… after she gets the bot out (which she learns was meant to kill her), there’s a coup and head of Brightborn Evie Cho double-crosses Susan to destroy Kendall. Kendall is executed and burned to death to prevent any more Leda clones from being produced. Because Sarah got Kendall involved in her scheme, she feels responsible for her death – and S blamed her quite a bit too.
Sarah is then more separated from her family than ever, going on a terrible bender of destruction to herself. I think I counted her doing at least seven shots on screen, I’m sure there were more we didn’t see. She hooks up with some dumb punk kids while the awesome Peaches plays and tries to hook up with Dizzy. Where’s Cal when you need him? I’m sure he would have obliged, ha! (He can oblige me any day, tbh.) She is haunted by Beth, knowing that she’s going down the same path as her, even heading to the train station. She understands why Beth did what she did, but now that Neolution’s plans are brought out in the open, Ghost!Beth encourages her to bring the sisters together. Felix comes to her aid and takes her home. Realizing what Sarah might have done, S recognizes that it’s not Sarah’s fault. It’s Neolution, it’s Martin Duko, for killing her mum. S makes her breakfast and the two hold hands, solidifying their bond once more.
It’s been three months, and Cosima hasn’t heard a word from Delphine. The last time she spoke with her, it felt like she was saying goodbye. And as we know, we saw Delphine get shot in the parking lot by an unknown assailant. But her fate wasn’t a sure thing. Either way, she and Scott got the hell out of DYAD with as much equipment as they could steal (plus a little help from Alison and Donnie’s stolen money) to start a new lab in the basement of a comic book shop. The Rabbit Hole – aptly named, as we sure went as far down the rabbit hole as humanly possible this season. She continues working on a cure for herself, but keeps finding dead end after dead end.
She gets in too deep when investigating Brightborn under the guise of a surrogate mother for Donnie. Evie Cho proclaims genetic perfection with her technology, as it cured her of her own debilitating illness. Cosima is skeptical, as we all are because we saw Evie Cho hanging with Dr. Leekie in the first episode. She then disguises herself further as a nurse and witnesses the birth of one of Brightborn’s genetically altered babies. Whatever Evie tried to do has gone horribly wrong and the baby is born with its face basically caved in. This baby is later euthanized on Evie Cho’s orders, as I assume all of the babies with deformities are.
Unfortunately, her investigation is cut short when Susan Duncan greets her. She wants to help Cosima develop a cure, so she brokers a deal with her and Sarah to get Kendall’s genetic material. Cosima and Sarah feel like they have no choice. Sarah needs the bot out and Cosima has run out of options for a cure. But as mentioned earlier, Evie double-crosses them. She has Duko kidnap Kendall and takes Cosima out to a field to witness the whole terrible tragedy.
No tears, Cosima. These shites aren’t worth the salt. Tell Siobhan, she’s done right, always. And tell your sisters I was proud to be part of them.”
Cosima is at a loss, she doesn’t know what to do. Without Kendall, there’s no hope for her or her sisters. But she still has to stand there and listen to Duko shoot Kendall, then destroy any part of her that could be used to create more Leda clones. Evie believes that her bot technology is the future and cloning is old news.
And just to make Cosima’s night a million times worse as Kendalls’ body is burning behind her, Evie tells Cosima, “Delphine Cormier was shot dead at the DYAD parkade.”
And Cosima utters the most heart-breaking sob that I’m tearing up just thinking about. She cries, “Oh my god,” and falls to her knees, sobbing, as Evie commands her to tell Sarah it’s over. Tatiana did that sob in one take. She’s fucking perfect. No one can tell me any different. Sorry not sorry for making you experience that in gif-form. Please suffer with me.
Sarah has to deliver this news to S, and Cosima and Sarah spiral downward into desperation, seeking it out in different ways. While Sarah goes on her Beth bender, Cosima has Sarah’s bot. She’s lost Delphine, she’s lost the cure, she feels like she’s lost everything and any real chance of saving herself. She locks Scott out of the lab and cuts her cheek open, ready to implant Sarah’s bot into her cheek. Since it was supposed to switch off Sarah’s immunity to the clone defect, she thought it might be able to cure her. But Felix calls her as she’s ready to shove that thing in her face. He tells her that Krystal Godrich was on the trail of Delphine, investigating DYAD and Neolution. He saw her get shot, but Delphine was alive when she was taken away. That’s enough for Cosima to stop. She has some hope. Maybe she can find Delphine, maybe they can find another cure together.
She and Susan team up via Skype and do some research together. Cosima reasons that if she combines one of Sarah’s eggs with Ira’s sperm, they may be able to develop a cure from that. So, she flies out to a certain island to do just that.
A certain island that we also learn is exactly where DELPHINE IS ALIVE AND LIVING AND SO CLOSE TO COSIMA. Hnnnng. (I was Team Shay for a while and I still love Shay, but I instantly became Cophine trash all over again when this happened, ha.)
Rachel has been taken down several pegs since Sarah (with the help of Cosima and Scott) shot a pencil into her brain. But she’s been recovering slowly but surely. She has a fun, new eye and is gradually regaining the ability to walk. She’s living in a prison-like bedroom with frequent visits from Charlotte, who we learn was cloned from Rachel and Ira – a Castor clone and Susan’s son/lover, and infrequent visits from Susan.
Susan repeatedly tells Rachel all season that she’s a disappointment, so she’s already not in the greatest mind-space. That even though they succeeded at cloning, Rachel (especially) is still imperfect. After losing Kendall to Evie, however, Susan feels defeated. She lets Rachel out of her “cell” to reveal they’re living more or less on the Island of Dr. Moreau. In reality, it’s the island where the founder of Neolution wrote his big crazy book of ideas.
Meanwhile, Rachel keeps having strange visions in her Neo eye of swans. Swans floating. Bloody swan heads. A weird old man. She figures out that what she’s seeing is the other side of the island.
Rachel attempts to work with Evie, wanting to take a place of power but Evie says a Leda clone will never have a place of power in Neolution. So, Rachel tries to direct her efforts to finding a cure for her and Charlotte. Charlotte, especially, who is coughing up blood all season. Cosima locks her out of that as well, so she chooses to fly to Toronto to work with Sarah against Evie and her ilk. We got one glorious scene of Sarah and Rachel kind of getting along, BUT THAT’S IT FOREVER PROBABLY.
Evie is preparing to launch her bot technology and implant it in people all over the world. Rachel threatens Evie that if she doesn’t let her have a place on the board, then she’ll know everyone the video she has of caved-in-baby-face being euthanized. Sarah is all, “WHOT!?” thinking Rachel is double-crossing her to secure her position of power yet again. And she kind of is, but she’s also taking down Evie Cho. She gets her to confess to the baby killin’ and Ira sends the video she takes to every news organization. Evie is DONE FOR and Rachel is smiling. Rachel smiling can be good or bad. Good for Ferdinand, bad for anyone else.
And now, Sarah, Rachel, and Cosima (and like, omg Krystal!) kind of meld together here in the season finale…
She’s doggedly wrong but she gets results.”
We finally learn what happened to Delphine. She was shot by none other than DUKO. Isn’t his death at the hands of S all the more satisfying? Krystal witnesses the entire thing and sees the interim CEO of Brightborn take Delphine away, who is still alive. And, as we know, living on the other side of the Neolution island, which is where Cosima is working on a cure.
She and Susan are successful in developing what they think will cure Cosima and her sisters. She has the most heart-breaking Skype call with Sarah, S, and Kira about it. Heart-breaking because everyone is so happy, and we know happiness doesn’t last long. And it doesn’t, it lasts barely a minute before she’s locked out of her data and her connection to Sarah is cut off. Cosima learns that Susan just wants to re-start cloning and locks Cosima in Rachel’s cell.
We finally get to see Rachel and Ferdinand together in all their bizarre glory. We only got a snippet of their relationship when Sarah was masquerading as Rachel in the season three premier. And we could tell it was delightfully screwy then. (Shoutout to my OB homie Stacey, who is the biggest Rachel fangirl on earth and made me love both Rachel and Ferdinand, making this season extremely confusing for me to deal with! I can’t hate anyone anymore.) They engage in some light bondage before being rudely interrupted by Ira with news from Susan.
“He’s just a toy.”
“He has his socks on…”
Krystal sees the Brightborn guy on TV and hooks up with Felix again to explain her very valuable information. She, of course, believes that she’s part of a conspiracy in the cosmetics industry: Estee Lauder and Neolution. She finally meets another clone but is vastly unimpressed by Sarah. Poor Sarah, everyone makes fun of her cute frizzy hair. Krystal explains that the Brightborn guy is the one who took Delphine away, so Sarah poses as Krystal (!!!!!) to get information from him. Evie Cho is done for (and had her self-destructive bot activated to kill her — a little too easy of a death, tbh) and Rachel is sliding in easily to take her place as head of Neolution.
Rachel learns from Susan that they can create more clones and decides that this is her chance to meld the ideas of both Leda and Neolution’s bot technology. She wants to breed generation after generation of clones as lab rats, implanting a variety of bots into them until they reach true genetic perfection. The speech she delivers to the Neolution board (“there’s always a bloody board”) is chilling, badass, and terrifying all at once. Rachel reaches ultimate Rachel once more.
If we want to know if our lab rats tails will grow back, we damn well would cut them off and see!”
Rachel heads back to the island to collect the cure from her mother with Sarah hot on her trail to save Cosima. The old man from Rachel’s vision tells her: “Do not waver.” And here’s where everything just becomes bloody terrible (literally) for everyone and makes me full of “I literally can’t even” feelings. Rachel is a very damaged person and has been told by Susan how imperfect and disappointing she is all season. And now that she has finally gained a sense of power over herself and her destiny, she heard once more from Susan that she regrets ever making her. Not Sarah, not Cosima, but her. Susan, maybe you should have thought about saying that when Rachel wasn’t by all the cutlery because she grabs a knife and stabs Susan in the gut. Both of them are wearing white, which was so perfect. We could see the gravity of what Rachel has done so much more clearly.
“Rachel’s back and she’s angry,” Charlotte tells Cosima in the biggest understatement of all time. Cosima and Charlotte escape the house — not before Cosima grabs some of the cure samples and sees Rachel stab Susan — and try to find the boat that will lead them away from the island. But they’re so far north and both of them are so sick that they collapse before they can get there. The man in Rachel’s eye finds them and takes them to the village on the other side of the island.
I finished our homework.”
Delphine rushes out of her tent to Cosima, and they are finally reunited. Cosima is hypothermic, so Delphine strips and warms her with her body. How beautifully cheesy, but I loved it. She has the cure and Delphine can administer it to her, which is what they’ve been working towards for four seasons. (Also, sidebar, I own the bra Cosima is wearing in this scene and it’s THE MOST COMFORTABLE THING EVER. I need like 10 more.)
Sarah arrives at the house on the island and finds Susan in a bloody mess on the floor of her lab. It appears that Rachel was able to drag her down there and then collected all the cure samples. Susan tells Sarah that Rachel has gone crazy just in time for Rachel to bash Sarah in the head with her cane and continue to beat her with it. Nooooo, stop. Rachel, please. She bashed her in the hand, which looks terribly broken after that. Sarah tries to reason with her.
You’re one of us.”
But Rachel doesn’t care anymore at this point. She has a plan, she’s rising to the top and nothing can stop her. She stabs Sarah in the thigh. She pushes on the blade to make it all the more terrible, telling her Sarah wouldn’t even be a part of this if she hadn’t seen Beth Childs kill herself. Sarah manages to escape as Rachel shoots at her on the way out. EVERYTHING’S TERRIBLE.
Once clear of the house, Sarah calls S, “Mum, I need help.” But Ferdinand takes the phone from her. He has S and Kira at gunpoint. I’m assuming Ira is tied to a headboard again somewhere (lol). And Sarah is bleeding on a frozen beach all alone with no means of escape unless she finds the village with Cosima and Delphine. Yo, weird Neo village, any chance recently deceased Paul is hiding in one of those tents to come save Sarah with some body warmth? Or maybe someone can call Cal? He’s just chilling in Iceland. And there’s always the Hendrixes. Not all hope is lost, Sarah. Even though it definitely feels like. I’m just trying to make myself feel better because I’m extremely stressed out that Sarah is left hanging like that.
Rachel sort of patches Susan up in case she needs her. Susan reveals that Rachel’s eye was made by the very man who started Neolution: P. T. Westmoreland. Even though he is more than a hundred years old, he is still around and orchestrating all of this. He wants to meet with Rachel. She cleans her stabby weapon, pours herself a glass of wine after a nice day of stabbing, and prepares for her meeting with Neolution’s founder…
Look at that happy adorable face! How can we be mad at her? Haha.
And now we must wait and wonder who Westmoreland is and what he has in store for Rachel and Leda until the final season of Orphan Black.