PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Television

Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 7 - "The Antisocialism of Sex"

J.M. Suarez

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.


Orphan Black

Airtime: Thursdays, 10pm
Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Ari Millen, Rosemary Dunsmore, Kevin Hanchard, Kristian Bruun, Skyler Wexler, Josh Vockey, Gord Rand
Subtitle: Season 4, Episode 7 - "The Antisocialism of Sex"
Network: BBC America
Air date: 2016-05-26
Amazon
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.

8

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Jefferson Starship Soar Again with 'Mother of the Sun'

Rock goddess Cathy Richardson speaks out about honoring the legacy of Paul Kantner, songwriting with Grace Slick for the Jefferson Starship's new album, and rocking the vote to dump Trump.

Books

Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll (excerpt)

Ikette Claudia Lennear, rumored to be the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar", often felt disconnect between her identity as an African American woman and her engagement with rock. Enjoy this excerpt of cultural anthropologist Maureen Mahon's Black Diamond Queens, courtesy of Duke University Press.

Maureen Mahon
Music

Ane Brun's 'After the Great Storm' Features Some of Her Best Songs

The irresolution and unease that pervade Ane Brun's After the Great Storm perfectly mirror the anxiety and social isolation that have engulfed this post-pandemic era.

Music

'Long Hot Summers' Is a Lavish, Long-Overdue Boxed Set from the Style Council

Paul Weller's misunderstood, underappreciated '80s soul-pop outfit the Style Council are the subject of a multi-disc collection that's perfect for the uninitiated and a great nostalgia trip for those who heard it all the first time.

Music

ABBA's 'Super Trouper' at 40

ABBA's winning – if slightly uneven – seventh album Super Trouper is reissued on 45rpm vinyl for its birthday.

Music

The Mountain Goats Find New Sonic Inspiration on 'Getting Into Knives'

John Darnielle explores new sounds on his 19th studio album as the Mountain Goats—and creates his best record in years with Getting Into Knives.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 60-41

PopMatters' coverage of the 2000s' best recordings continues with selections spanning Swedish progressive metal to minimalist electrosoul.

Books

Is Carl Neville's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Music

Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.

Music

Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.

Music

In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.