Well damn, that was an intriguing season finale.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Rachel went absolutely power-hungry in a stream of madness, especially when you consider this is her picking up where she left off just with another bigger agenda. Before it was taking over DYAD (before Sarah had a pencil jammed into her eye/brain) and now after she has nearly fully recovered she is taking over Neolution and combining both the cloning and bot projects. She never wanted Susan Duncan to be head of Neolution, and did whatever she thought it necessary to rise to the top.
But honestly, even within her madness, I still feel bad for Rachel. She is making horrible decisions and choices on her own, sure, but her upbringing has always been this. She was raised in a particular way, the pro-clone way. She is only doing what she believed she was meant and designed to do. She has had no actual guidance from either parent, believed them to have been dead and they basically just left her, her childhood was all centered around the cloning project and everything associated with it. And Rachel isn't emotionless, as we've seen many times. She puts on a cold front because, again, that is what she was taught to do to distance herself from the emotional connection with the rest of the clones, to not take anything personally. But overall, we've seen her reminiscing over her childhood when watching home videos, we've seen her cry in regards to her father, and here, after hearing Susan basically admitting that she regrets ever creating her, Rachel is seen getting slightly emotionally distraught. Rachel may have been angry at Susan for abandoning her, but that didn't mean that she didn't want her mother around, similar with her father. Rachel has literally had no one else in her life to properly love and care for her as an individual, which is why she turns to other means of finding that kind of power and control. From the bedroom (her forcing Paul to engage in sexual acts and then with her relationship with Ferdinand) to the workplace with DYAD and Neolution. I also think her resentment of the other clones is based on the fact that they all have people in their lives who love them, they grew up with relatively normal non-aware childhoods, and she both loathes and envies them. So while she's pro-clone, she is also self-hating in a way. She views herself as the superior clone and not like the rest of them, as that was how she was taught to be.
I'm fascinated by Rachel as a character due to her motivations, but I'm also terrified because of her intentions, and also how she may be overestimating her position of power. Susan Duncan may be right about the Neolution not truly accepting her. While she has proven herself to take down not just Evie Cho but also Susan for the sake of science and rising to the top, it doesn't mean that Neolution will take her seriously and might have hidden agendas of their own.
It's going to be very interesting seeing what further develops from this.
Case in point, Cosima has finally found a cure from the rejoined Leda eggs and Caster sperm, but that's of course before everything goes sideways. It's honestly still jarring whenever someone considers the clones test subjects and lab rats, that they're mere experiments that have no individual rights and no freedom, even though it's the entire point and plot of the entire show for not just Sarah but all self-aware clones to reclaim their personhood. The fact that Susan Duncan used Cosima to recreate the baseline for human cloning and admits that these are the sacrifices they must make for the science wasn't unsurprising, but still. But now that baseline is going to be used by Rachel and Neolution for future generations of cloning projects combined with the bot technology. It's what I predicted previously, they'll find a cure as we've waited seasons for, but it'll come at a heavy price, one larger than we ever anticipated.
And now we have the concern with these mysterious people on the island, the ones who have been holding Delphine and now Cosima and Charlotte, with the man that supposedly is the author of the centuries old Neolution book. That is something we're going to get into much deeper next season, for sure.
Other things from the episode:
++ The fight between Rachel and Sarah was absolutely brutal. It was, of course, a long time physical confrontation especially since the last time they had one was when Sarah had stuck that pencil through her eye, leaving her disabled for a good portion of two seasons. Rachel didn't even allow Sarah to get any kind of punch in, she just continued to wail on her until Susan was aiming a gun at her head. I thought for sure that she was going to pull the trigger, leaving Rachel with yet another injury, but it lasted only long enough for Sarah to escape. It was a long time coming kind of confrontation at least on Rachel's part, but still, goddamn.
++ I'm actually sad that Evie is gone. Her character was very interesting and showed much potential, and her passionate outburst at the Neolution meeting proved that her character had so much more bite in her. We only got a glimpse into who she was and what she was striving for, and imagine what could have been if we've seen Evie basically hit rock bottom and kicked out of what she was doing. Though it makes you see that Evie Cho isn't really as powerful as she originally thought either, which is why I'm concerned about Rachel's involvement.
++ I'm guessing that Ferdinand, the man who originally was all "I hate the Neolution", will only follow the path which Rachel leads.
++ Krystal is absolutely hilarious and a doll. No seriously, Sarah revealing herself to her and Krystal being unimpressed, thinking that she isn't a clone because she's way prettier and just not really paying any attention to Sarah because she's think she's just whatever. Oh my god, it was brilliant. Even though I do want Krystal involved somehow, her cluelessness is actually quite endearing and effective since she does connect the dots and piece things together, but she thinks it's one thing rather than another. And honestly, I feel like this is very right for her character. Even when blatantly shown and told the truth, she absolutely rejects it as ridiculous. And I love her trying to dress the part of "being undercover" but it comes off extremely loud and over the top, lol. Oh, bless her little heart. I love Krystal so much.
++ I know that it's a big deal with Delphine and Cosima are reunited together, but imho, meh, the whole thing was still rather underwhelming. I don't really like them as a couple and the whole reveal about Delphine being in this mysterious camp on the island wasn't exactly thrilling.
++ I don't anything bad to happen to Charlotte. She's a cutie and I really want her to be safe. Imagine her and Kira interacting with each other.
Season Finale Overall: This finale gave us some answers, along with more questions and some chills. I honestly wasn't sure what was going to happen with these characters, and Rachel, as much as she intrigues me, she also absolutely terrified me in this episode. And even after a brief moment of elation of finding a cure I was worried about Cosima. And then I was worried about Sarah, and now I'm worried for everyone. This finale ended everything on an extremely high tension note that will no doubt bleed into the premiere of the fifth season.
My Thoughts On Season Four Overall: Orphan Black has continued to impress me time and time again with each season, and the fourth season is no exception. I loved the level of intrigue, digging deeper into the roots of what the Neolution is and their relation to everything. We started this season with a bang with a flashback episode to Beth Childs, with more flashbacks to what she was dealing with and what drove her downward spiral and suicide. There was more dealing with the maggot bots and what the Neolution's intentions were with thim. We suffered a great loss of Kendall Malone when she was ruthlessly murdered and the emotional toll it took on Clone Club. We were introduced to two antagonists this season which were the operators of everything up until this point, where we see Rachel basically rising up to take control of Neolution. Some minor characters got a lot more to do with their own storylines (Felix and Krystal) while others took more of a backseat (Helena). A lot happened this season which gave us some answers, but also left us with more questions. As a whole, it was highly enjoyable.
It was confirmed that Orphan Black has been renewed for a fifth season, and it will be its final season. Honestly, even though I'll be sad it'll end soon, I'm actually very happy about this announcement, because they're ending the show on their terms. Plus, I'm always of the mind that television shows should not only have fewer episodes (tighter for plot and less fillers) but also at least five seasons worth of material to tell the story. Most shows tend to get a lot of executive meddling that either gets them prematurely cancelled or it goes way beyond its expiration date. Orphan Black has had a fantastic run, particularly for a little genre show that almost nobody knew about. And considering where it currently is in its story, it makes sense that it'll be wrapping up soon. Either way, I'm hoping it'll end just the same as it premiered, with a major bang and on a high note.