Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 7 – “The Antisocialism of Sex”

Three episodes to go and endless possibilities for how the season will end; the only sure thing's that Orphan Black is having an excellent season.

Felix: You should know better. Everything is gonna get worse if Sarah goes off the rails. You like it or not, but she’s the glue that’s holding us all together.

Coming off of last week’s huge episode, “The Antisocialism of Sex” is more about dealing with the fallout and consequences of some major revelations. The loss of the cure — that they were so close to — combines with the death of Kendall (Alison Steadman), leads to a spiraling Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), a grieving Mrs. S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), and a disconsolate Cosima.

Sarah’s at the center of this episode as her guilt over Kendall’s death is channeled by a regression into old behaviors. She’s drinking, doing drugs, and engaging in sex with strangers; she’s in full self-destruction mode. What Orphan Black makes much more explicit this episode are the parallels between Sarah and Beth. Sarah sees Beth in her attempts to escape her pain, culminating in her own suicidal moment.

Though Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Sarah have been mostly at odds all season, he’s the only one who truly understands Sarah’s guilt and how it manifests itself. Ultimately, he’s the one that finds her and is able to, literally, talk her down from a bridge. It’s a welcome moment between the two, not just because Sarah is pulled back from a near-death, but also because they connect in a way that they’ve failed to in so long. For all of Sarah’s fears about not being Felix’s biological sister, this episode highlights their bond, particularly as Felix understands Sarah’s larger role in a way that everyone else is too distraught to consider at this point.

If there’s any one character experiencing as much emotional upheaval as Sarah since last episode, it’s Cosima. She’s dealing with flashbacks of Kendall’s murder, all the while hopeless about a cure and heartbroken over Delphine (Evelyne Brochu). Here again, Felix enters at just the right time with just the right thing to say. He confirms what’s been foreshadowed since Delphine’s shooting; according to Krystal, who witnessed it, Delphine was shot but then taken away alive.

As Cosima has been dealing with so many setbacks and frustrations, Scott (Josh Vockey) has been a constant. Their relationship is a significant one for several reasons, although chief among them is his unquestionable support for Cosima. He, unlike Art (Kevin Hanchard) or Felix, didn’t start out with any direct connection to a clone, but he’s built a relationship with Cosima that’s without personal gain and often at the expense of his own personal and professional life. All that’s to say that if Scott ever turns out to be working for the Neolutionists or Proletheans or any other clone-obsessed group, it would be an enormous betrayal to Cosima (and the audience).

The sisters aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of Kendall’s death, as Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) is reeling from the end of her life’s work. She chooses to reveal more about the origins of Neolutionism (begun in Victorian times by a famous industrialist, the perfectly-named Percival Westmoreland) to Rachel, though she seems unsure how to deal with a Susan so devoid of grand plans. Any hope they may have retained about their ongoing role is quickly squashed by Evie Cho (Jessalyn Wanlim), who confirms she will be dismantling the LEDA program, allowing unaware clones to die out, and seeking to destroy the sisters.

Although much apart from the main action this season, Alison has clearly been dealing with her own demons, and not always successfully. Also, as was alluded to a few episodes ago, the police suspected the Hendrixes for drug dealing, and it was only a matter of time before they acted on that information. Duko (Gord Rand) times the bust perfectly for maximum emotional trauma as he orders a team to break in during Gemma’s birthday sleepover. Donnie’s (Kristian Bruun) scary stories pale in comparison to Duko’s obvious vengeance.

As Orphan Black is prone to do, the episode ends on yet another surprise. Kira’s (Skyler Wexler) continued ability to connect emotionally with all the clones, even those unknown to her, has been revealed in small pieces this season. However, this episode ends on MK (or Mika as she tells Kira to call her, as did Beth) contacting her online, albeit in disguise (her go-to sheep mask). It remains to be seen, but it’s possible that Kira’s ability may be at play in connecting the two as well.

“The Antisocialism of Sex” continues to barrel through plot and characters arcs with a single-minded focus. Three episodes to go, and the possibilities for how the season will end are many. The only sure thing is that Orphan Black is having an excellent season so far.

RATING 8 / 10