Orphan Black ‘Human Raw Material’ Review


Orphan Black‘s ‘Human Raw Material’ is both surprisingly funny and surprisingly emotional, and easily the best episode so far from Season 4.


Cosima and Donnie take the spotlight in ‘Human Raw Material’ as they continue their investigation on Evie Cho and her goal to control human reproduction. Cosima hadn’t had much of a role this season yet, so it was already a big win that she had such a big role in this episode. She was her usual clever and sneaky while investigating in the facilities and she actually went as far as to meeting Susan, her creator. Their final conversation could be ranked as one of the best moments this season has given us so far. The conversation carried a lot of emotional weight as she got to ask many of the questions that all Leda clones could have asked in her place. The fact that it was Cosima who got to ask them was even better: as a scientist, she could argue with Susan on the consent and the ethics of manipulating genetics, and, as one of the clones who has developed a fatal disease, it made the scene even more emotional. Meanwhile, as usual, the comedy came from Donnie’s side. His task this time was to meet and interact with a “new” clone, Krystal. Far from being used as just a joke, it’s great to see that Krystal has taken matters into her own hands and is even attending martial arts classes. However, I wish the other cones would just take her in and explain the situation to her. While it’s already been shown that not all clones are part of the Clone Club (the main group keeps on being Sarah-Cosima-Alison-Helena), it’ll probably be much more wise to keep her under their radar.

It also seems like Felix and Sarah’s conflict is going to be an on-going issue in this season. They’re still far from getting along and, even though Adele might be quite irritating, Kira does seem to get along with her, so there’s not much Sarah can do there. Sarah’s decisions to both run a DNA test or not wanting to have Adele at their place are understandable given the things she’s been through, but it’s still unfair to Felix that she’s going behind his back. It’s a conflict that we’ve seen many times in many stories and we can probably guess that it’s only a matter of time before one of them admits to being wrong.

On top of that, Detective Marty Duko tells Art to get over Beth. In other words, to stop investigating. Hopefully this is a sign that Art is going to go back to having a key role in the story. As much as I understand that he would like to keep doing his own job and I really want him to stay safe, I miss his dynamics with Sarah and I feel like having a cop on their side could be useful.

If there is one problem this season has had is that it struggles to distribute screentime among all Leda clones. Can’t really blame them, as there are now more clones than ever. Alison didn’t have much of a role this time (although her tension with Sarah continues on being a thing), and MK and Helena are missing. Regardless of that, ‘Human Raw Material’ advanced many storylines, all of them with strong ties into the story’s main chore.


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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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