The fact that the news that Orphan Black had been renewed for a fifth and final season came out before the airing of the Season 4 finale was certainly a relief for fans who weren’t quite sure what to expect from this episode. One last season sounds about right, as ‘From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths’ was the kind of finale that raises more questions than it gives answers.
While this finale was not as emotionally-heavy as previous episodes from this season (‘Human Raw Material’, ‘The Antisocialism of Sex’), a lot of the emotion came from Cosima’s side. After being side-lined for most of the season, Cosima was, next to Rachel, the character with the biggest role in the finale. Sadly, while Rachel got away with her plan, things didn’t go so well for our favorite scientist. Her happiness in having found ‘the cure’ was short-lived as she was “betrayed” by Susan (Rachel, really) and her much-anticipated reencounter with Delphine was slightly overshadowed by the fact that she was pretty much dying (please OB, don’t join the Bury your Gays trope next season). While sad, Cosima and Delphine’s reencounter was still the sweetest moment in the finale, and one that gave us hope for things to turn out alright in the end.
Another clone that had a relevant role in the finale was Krystal. The esthetician has gotten tired of the game Felix has been playing with her and finally demands some answers in exchange for intel on what really happened to Delphine. Needless to say, her reaction to the Clone-revelation was one of the best in the entire series (“This is what you think I look like?!”). Even though her shenanigans were great, it was actually Sarah the one who kidnapped Dr. Ian Van Lier along with Siobhan. It wasn’t of much use, though, as the Neolutionist’ real hierarchy and the campsite are still being kept a secret. And even if Dr. Van Lier was introduced this episode, he was more of a red herring than anything else. Rachel is the one they should have been watching out for.
So much for redemption! Rachel is still, and probably will always be, one of the main villains of this series. Probably the most complex one as well. As Susan says, Rachel is not only going against her sisters, but also against herself. It’s actually understandable given her unusual upbringing and difficult relationship with her parents (“I regret making you”). She has grown up believing that she should only look out for herself and that power equals self-sufficiency. As a result, she finally got the seat at the table she was asking for and she’s positioned herself as the main villain for the final season with her plan to join Susan’s baseline with Evie’s implanted techs and operating in countries where human cloning is not illegal. And there’s also “the man behind the curtain”, someone who is supposed to be +100 years old. Bring on the speculation for Season 5!
‘From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths’ was a very good episode, but a strange finale. It did have many great moments worthy of a finale (the cure, Cophine reunion, Rachel’s madness…), but it didn’t feel very cohesive, nor conclusive. The episode lacked Helena and Alison screentime (no sign of MK either), we didn’t get answers during the campsite discover and Ferdinand’s role was confusing and concluded with Siobhan and Kira being held captive (Kira for the 1546547th time). I said that the main players of this episode were Cosima, Krystal and Rachel. It’s easy to forget that these three characters (actually, about 75% of the characters in this series) are all being played by just one person, which is why I believe we often take Tatiana Maslany‘s talent for granted. One of the first things I thought when I learned the news of Orphan Black‘s fifth season is how that would be an excellent opportunity to finally give Tatiana an Emmy for all the work she’s done in this series.