Now that Sarah knows she has one of those maggot bots in her cheek, she’s understandably freaked out in Orphan Black‘s “The Stigmata of Progress.” Who wouldn’t be? (Well, other than the Neos who get them voluntarily.) And in hopes of getting answers about it, Alison and Donnie turn to their garage.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s still off in her mother’s care/captivity, but she has an ally. Plus, Sarah meets someone new in Felix’s life and a familiar face returns just when she could really use the help.
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A Very Good Reason to Fear the Dentist
From what Cosima and Scott can see, the implant has an attaching mechanism and is penetrating the maxillary artery. There’s a nonorganic core in the tissue, and it somehow produces an anesthetic so Sarah doesn’t feel it. But they have no way of knowing what it does without further study and they have no idea how to get it out without it killing her.
So Sarah tracks down Dizzy in hopes that he knows something beyond that video. She tells him she’s MK’s sister and only found out about her a few days ago. Once she has him feel her cheek and he realizes she has the implant, he lets her into his place. While there are some theories out there on what it’s for (including a biometric monitor and a delivery system of some sort for insulin or narcotics), he knows she won’t like his theory, as he notes the proximity to the brain. He can’t help her find MK, but he does give her the name of the guy in the video: Martinez. Even though he’s only been in a couple of scenes, I find myself liking Dizzy. I really hope he doesn’t end up being a Neo.
Sarah fills Art in on what’s happening (and admits she’s too scared to even brush her teeth) and he tells her to rest at his place while he heads to the station to see what he can dig up on Martinez. When he finds out he flew into town for a day and went to a dental clinic specializing in implants, Sarah’s out the door to check it out.
â€¨At the police station, Art also runs into Detective Duko and questions him visiting Beth at home. That doesn’t usually happen, he notes. Sometimes it does, Duko tells him, when he’s personally concerned for an officer’s well-being. Art has to tread carefully here. I’m worried about him putting himself on Duko’s radar.
Sarah sneaks into the back at the dental clinic and runs into a nurse, Leslie, who thinks she’s Beth. Apparently Leslie once covered for Beth and has been brought in to witness some of the procedures, so she’s just as guilty as everyone else. When Sarah tells her they did the procedure on her, Leslie tells her she can get it out and has her wait in a back room until the clinic is closed.
This all happens as Mrs. S. waits to meet a doctor she and Benjamin hope can help, but Ferdinand is the one who shows up. He hopes she’s better at protecting the original than her communication networks and realizes that someone in her organization has the bot. And then Art calls Mrs. S. because Sarah hasn’t checked in.
Once Leslie sets Sarah up to supposedly remove the maggot and warns her that once she penetrates the device, the slightest movement on her part will cause it to erupt and a burst of tendrils will release a fatal dose of tetrodotoxin, she tells her she called her superiors and they’ll be there soon. When Beth first came sniffing around, Leslie was told to misdirect her and send her on her way, but no one told her she’d be back or that she was one of the test subjects. “You don’t know how lucky you are to be chosen for this,” she says. Uh, Sarah (and many others) would disagree with that.
Fortunately, it’s Ferdinand who comes into the room, and he slits Leslie’s throat. (What does it say that he’s so much more likeable when he’s committing an act of violence? I didn’t like him at all last season until his “I hate Neolutionists” with a bat moment. Or is that just me?) He removes the dental equipment from Sarah’s mouth, explaining that if Leslie had really punctured the device, she’d already be dead. But he’s not just there to help Sarah. He received interesting news from Rachel: Susan Duncan is alive.
So, About Those Dead Bodies …
Upon learning some Neos got those maggot bots voluntarily, Alison realizes they may have one buried in their garage that Cosima can study in hopes of helping Sarah. “We are not going to exhume the dead guy in the garage,” Donnie protests. “That is a haywire plan.”
But with Sarah’s life at risk and since they don’t really have any other options at the moment, Alison sends Donnie off to rent (or maybe just buy at this point) a jackhammer. “It smells like hot garbage juice,” Donnie says as they gag over Leekie’s body once they manage to dig him up.
This leaves Helena to, as Donnie puts it, “gestate and watch the kids,” which means that when the doorbell rings, she’s the one who answers it. It’s a couple of detectives looking into the Pouchy murders, and so Helena is forced to be Alison. When Donnie finds them in the house, he immediately runs to tell Alison, who’s worried they’re there about the dead body she’s in a hole with. No, they’re fine there as long as the detectives don’t come into the garage, because her attempt to cover the body is awful. They have a hole in their garage. There really is no way to explain that, though the detectives don’t seem to find anything suspicious about Donnie’s gas mask, so there is that.
Some of Alison’s school trustee materials were found at the scene of the triple homicide (that mix-up with the envelopes is coming back to haunt them), which is odd, because why would drug dealers be interested in her campaign? Donnie tries to take lead in answering the questions, but Detective Linstein insists that Mrs. Hendrix tell her who was involved in her campaign. And to Donnie’s surprise, Helena knows everyone, but Alison shrugs it off with, “She’s a trained assassin, that’s what they do.”
Once they see that Leekie has something in his cheek, they Skype with Cosima, but Donnie wants to keep how they have a maggot bot a secret. Alison knows she won’t let it slide, and so, long story short, on a cold, rainy, autumn night, Donnie shot Leekie and they buried him in the garage. But don’t worry about that, Alison tells her. What’s important is that now Cosima has a maggot bot to study — once someone with science knowledge comes to get it.
In Service of the Greater Good (But Not of Being a Good Parent)
It’s been six weeks since Susan last visited her daughter, and Rachel is still stuck in that room, with only Charlotte and Ira, the Castor giving her eye exams and (shudder-inducing) pigment treatments for her cybernetic eye, for company. But she knows that Susan is back since Ira missed a few treatments, and when her mother eventually comes to see her, Rachel’s not interested.
Susan is glad to see Rachel and Charlotte forming a bond; the young girl was cloned from her. Hence Charlotte asking about Adam’s rib earlier, Rachel realizes. “I have given you everything, the keys to the future, and your obsession with Sarah Manning blinded you,” Susan tells her, and, when Rachel says she failed — to find the original, to cure them by other means — goes on to say, “You are the failure, Rachel. You carry my last name, and you are the biggest disappointment of them all.” Well, there’s one reason to feel bad for Rachel, even after everything.
But Rachel isn’t as cut off from the outside world as Susan thinks. While to the camera in the room, it looks like Rachel and Charlotte are just painting, they’re also writing notes (and painting over them). Yes, Charlotte got her message out. And speaking of Charlotte, she too is sick and coughing up blood.
As the episode ends, Susan returns to her daughter, offering a semi-apology/half-assed explanation for her behavior: “It’s my curse, detachment. I’ve spent my whole life observing you, but I don’t know how to be with you.” She wanted to be her mother, but it was necessary to cut the cord, she says. Instead, she’s looking to Rachel’s — and the greater good’s — future: “Rachel, you are the experiment. One day, you may take over. But be patient. Recover. Everyone needs a purpose in life. Ours is all in service of the greater good.” That “greater good” is “to control human evolution, darling,” Susan reveals. “To create a more perfect human being.”
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Meanwhile, Felix has completely separated himself from Clone Club and is focused on his own life. When Sarah goes to tell him about the implant in her cheek, she finds his biological sister in his loft. Adele thinks she’s the drug dealer coming to supply them until Felix returns and introduces them. Sarah immediately wants him to drop everything and even suggests that Adele could be a Neolutionist plant. Let’s face it, she could be. And I’m not sure she isn’t. I just don’t trust anyone new in their lives. But Felix refuses, telling her, “Frankly, I’m not just going to drop all my shit yet again because you’re short a sidekick,” Sarah tells him he can “piss off” and they go their separate ways.
Later, Adele tells Felix that their father only told her family about him on his deathbed. When she asks what his other family thinks about him looking for his roots and comments that his foster sister seemed upset, he says he doesn’t really care. (Should we read anything into Adele bringing up Sarah or is that just paranoia?)
I can’t fault Felix for wanting to find out more about his birth family, not when he’s found out that, as he put it, Sarah is “related to bloody everyone,” but he and Sarah are both being too stubborn here. Sarah is so fixated on Felix being part of her family, despite Mrs. S. telling her to support him in his search for his blood family, and Felix is so over putting his life aside for Clone Club, that neither one of them is willing to extend an olive branch. But while Sarah is right to be suspicious of Adele, she’s not going about this the right way. Perhaps she should let Felix do this and, for the time being, keep her concerns to herself or, at the very least, be more considerate when voicing the possibility.
Kira’s Vision of the Future
“They never tell me when things are bad,” Kira says to Hell Wizard while reluctantly playing a game/being babysat up in Rabbit Hole Comics. “But I always know.”
And according to one of Kira’s dreams, things are going to get bad. All the aunts were there, she tells Cosima. “You set mom on fire. … You had to. She was changing.” How? Kira doesn’t know. Uh-oh. Does that have anything to do with the maggot bot or could something else be going on?
Orphan Black season 4 airs Thursdays at 10pm on BBC America.
(Images courtesy of BBC America)