Orphan Black ‘The Stigmata of Progress’ Review


Orphan Black hits the brakes on ‘The Stigmata of Progress’ to focus on Sarah’s solo investigation on the killer worm, as we see the return of Rachel Duncan and Alison and Donnie’s (literal) killer combo.


Rachel Duncan was the last Leda clone we had yet to see for this season. It’s soon to tell if she’s going to have a redemption storyline yet, but I would say seeing her bond with Charlotte and disagreeing with her mother are already good signs. For now, she’s working on her rehabilitation (her speech has gotten much better!) with the help of creepy Ira, a Castor clone. Together with Susan, they seem to want to emulate some sort of happy family-setting, but even Rachel can see that that is far from OK. Susan also gave us confirmation that the ultimate goal is to control human evolution and create the perfect human being. Will Rachel join her sisters once and for all? I hope so!

The most fun part of the episode came from Alison and Donnie, as usual. This time, their crazy mission is to exhume the corpse of Aldous… for science (for real, it’s to help Cosima with the worm investigation). The scene with Donnie, Helena and the cops interrogation while working on the corpse in the garage is one of those classic Orphan Black moments that managed to mix “tense”, “hilarious” and “disgusting” and still get away with it.

The Stigmata of Progress - Orphan Black - The Daily Fandom

“Hello, husband Donald”

The rest of the episode had Sarah going off to investigate what exactly is going on with her cheek and how she can get rid of the killer worm. For that, she goes to Felix (who’s spending time with her suspicious biological sister Adele), Dizzy (who’s starting to trust her) and to Art (please, stay safe). However, she ends up getting in trouble anyway when she lets herself be operated on by a person she just met (seriously, Sarah? At this point in the story?). Thankfully, Ferdinand (James Frain) comes back to technically save her and inform her that Susan Duncan is indeed very much alive.

‘The Stigmata of Progress’ had many storylines playing at the same time, which resulted in the episode feeling a bit slow and clunky. There were also many details that were given little attention this time, but that will hopefully get more focus in future episodes: Kira is acting strange, Cosima had barely any lines (and we still know nothing about Delphine!) and it would also be nice to see some more explanation behind Felix’s motivations and how that wish to “look for my biological family” came to be during Sarah’s absence.


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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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