Post Mortems
Orphan Black Recap

Orphan Black Boss on Rachel's Scary Turn, Delphine's Return, Clones' Fates

Warning: The following contains spoilers from Orphan Black‘s Season 4 finale

Orphan Black‘s wild Season 4 finale on Thursday found several clones — and their loved ones — facing their own mortality.

Before we bring you scoop on what comes next, let’s recap the crazy twists: With human cloning back on the table, a power-hungry Rachel made a play for control of Neolution. Susan Duncan was unhappy with her choice, so Rachel stabbed her mother — and then savagely attacked Sarah when she arrived on the island to rescue Cosima.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Orphan Black Recapand a still-sickly Cosima tried to escape to a nearby boat when they were taken in by a mysterious man and his group. At his base camp, Cosima and Delphine were finally reunited, after which Cosima revealed that she’d taken half of the replicating cells — but Rachel still had the other half.

“It’s the same [material], but they have vastly different agendas,” executive producer Graeme Manson explains. “Cosima wants to cure herself and her sisters. Rachel wants to use that replicating cell line to restart human cloning, and her vision for the clones is not one where they are coddled and given the illusion of freedom and choice while they’re being monitored.”

While Sarah lay bleeding on the island’s rocks and Ferdinand held Mrs. S and Kira hostage back home, Rachel alerted the board that she had obtained the cell line. Her efforts were rewarded with a doorbell ring from the founder of Neolution, P.T. Westmoreland.

Below, Manson talks about Rachel’s breakdown, Cosima and Delphine’s future, Season 5’s clone vs. clone battle and more.

TVLINE | This felt like one of the show’s darkest and most twisted episodes to date. Was that the intention going into the finale?
It was probably our darkest season, certainly since the first. Obviously, we had Krystal. We’re never all dark. But what Sarah was going through this year was a dark journey. We thought it really had to pay off, and we knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant climax to the season – but is it ever?

TVLINE | What note do you hope the finale leaves viewers on heading into Season 5, then?
We love a nice note of, “WTF?” with a smattering of, “How the hell are we going to get out of that?” We’ve thrown open this door of P.T. Westmoreland, and we’ve spent some time on this island. We’re very excited to explore that world. Sarah and all the clones, including Rachel, they’ve really done a lot to climb that pyramid. Now, what are we going to find at the top?

TVLINE | Quite a few characters were left in jeopardy at the end of the finale: Cosima, Sarah, Susan Duncan, even Mrs. S and Kira. Who should we be most worried about?
We have to be worried about everyone equally. But Sarah’s got two main issues: She came to the island to rescue Cosima, and now Kira is a hostage back with Mrs. S. So Sarah’s got two huge concerns, not to mention she’s pretty beat up and bleeding.

Orphan Black RecapTVLINE | That confrontation between Sarah and Rachel was so intense, almost like a horror-movie thriller with the monster getting loose.
[Co-creator/director] John [Fawcett] and myself – particularly John – really love the horror and the visceral horror. It’s part of what we do. We love mashups on the show. We love mixing tones. That horror element that you’re talking about is really one that we can pull off well with everything that Tatiana [Maslany] does. Sarah vs. Rachel, too, is bringing us back to our earlier seasons, where Rachel came out of the woodwork and was Sarah’s real nemesis. Moving forward, we have narrowed it back down to clone vs. clone. I’m very interested in exploring that nemesis relationship.

TVLINE | Rachel has never been the warmest or sanest person. But it really felt like she cracked in this episode. What sent her over the edge?
On a deep psychological level, her hatred of Sarah is because Sarah has had so many of the things that Rachel has not had. Sarah has freedom, whereas Rachel has been ordained to be who she is more than any of the other clones. Sarah has perhaps a slightly dysfunctional but certainly a nurturing family, a chosen family. And Sarah has the love of her sisters. This is the root of Rachel’s jealousy and bitterness and true hatred. It’s a self-hatred at its core.

TVLINE | I don’t know who’s more of a killer now: Rachel or Helena?
[Laughs] It’s interesting that those two are two sides of the same coin. But Helena has been through something of a redemptive journey. Though she still may be a killer and an enforcer, willing to do that for her sisters, Helena has found family and been embraced. Rachel has not.

TVLINE | Talk to me about that smile on Rachel’s face at the end of the episode. What’s going through her head in that moment?
I really like that little smile, too. To me, in that moment, that is victory for Rachel. That is, “Everything that I’ve been raised for, everything that I’ve been through, is paying off now, because I am the anointed one.”

Orphan Black RecapTVLINE | Since Cosima has what she needs for the cure, can we grasp onto hope there? Or is the situation that she’s in still very dire?
I think we can all take a breath of relief… But let’s not forget that gene therapy is an experimental procedure, in the real world as well as on the show.

TVLINE | Now that we know Delphine is alive, can we expect to see her back next season?
In some capacity, for sure. It was always our desire to bring Delphine back, and we had to play tight-lipped and deflect and lie and keep our secret last year. It wasn’t easy or pleasant. But these are the vagaries of actors with busy schedules. I don’t know what it looks like [next season], but again, we’re going to do our best to let the story of Cosima and Delphine play out through the show.

Orphan Black fans, what did you think of the season ender? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. John M says:

    Ok TVLine. I’m a fanatic. I read the site every single day, multiple times. We’re really putting huge spoilers in the title of articles now????? Delphine’s Return?! Come on!!! You guys are ALWAYS so good about this. #disappointed

    • Joey says:

      How is Delphine returning a spoiler for you? She returned last week.

      • John says:

        I’m 2 episodes behind.

        • Joey says:

          TV Line isn’t responsible for your inability to watch the show due to lack of cable, laziness or whatever else.

        • pinky says:

          It’s a spoiler when it hasn’t aired yet (or arguably, only aired for the east coast)…not when it aired a whole week ago. How long ago does something has to air so that you don’t consider saying it a spoiler anymore?

        • Esteban says:

          ^—– funniest damn thing i have read on the internet in AGES. Good one, john.

    • Rook says:

      We all knew Delphine was going to return, I would barely call that a spoiler.

    • dude says:

      She returned last week. It’s not a spoiler if it already happened on the show. Once again, it’s not a spoiler site’s job to coddle your lack of motivation to watch a show as it airs. Don’t want to be spoiled? Watch live or stay off the Internet but don’t put that burden on the rest of the world. God the Netflix generation is the worst.

  2. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Love it!!! Still can’t believe S5 is the last. I HOPE Rachel dies that crazy bitch……get Helena on her. Cosima and Delphine reunited I felt like crying, anyways I read some articles and it seems like probably in S5 someone of the Clone club is going to die….since next yr is the final season.

  3. Joey says:

    Honestly setting up Rachel as one of the big antagonists for next season is one of the best things they could’ve done since out of all previous antagonists, Rachel was the best.

  4. Andy says:

    I love how much character development Rachel has gotten as a villain. She has such a vulnerability to her that makes each of her moves enjoyable to viewers.

    Season 4 was everything this series needed to redeem itself from last year, and I’m so glad that it’ll end on a high. 50 episodes, and 50 examples of why Tatiana Maslany is the best actress on television.

  5. Amy says:

    This has to be in my top 3 favorite shows of all time. The characters are so fun–and I truly forget the same actress is playing everyone. She is amazing! I can’t believe that we have to wait a whole year to find out what happens!

  6. Mercy says:

    That fight scene between Sarah and Helena was actually terrifying and brutal. It still boggles my mind that it is the same actress.

    • Shaun says:


    • David4 says:

      To be fair there is another actress and they sometimes use her then CGI whatever clone face they need.

      • Kailani says:

        nah…we thought Tatiana was playing all roles all at the same moment in time! You spoiler, you! (LOL LOL)

      • Sarah says:

        That’s not entirely accurate. They have her play the other clone so Tat has someone to play off, but the only time you’ll ever see part of the other actress is when it’s only the back of her her head. They digitally remove her, then Tat goes back in and plays the second part. No CGIed FrankenClones needed!

  7. Shaun says:

    The good guys were really weak this episode and made terrible decisions.Krystal was a highlight though.Just really dissapointed in Sarah,thought she was one of the tougher clones.

  8. Lysh says:

    This show usually has happier finales (from what I can remember) so this was quite a change! (Thank goodness for Krystal and that Helena/Donnie scene) I was truly scared someone was going to die. And I keep expecting Helena’s frozen eggs to come back into the mix somehow and be important…hopefully next season. It’s a bummer these seasons are only ten episodes long. Season 4 was really incredible.

  9. Luli says:

    I love Charlotte, hope we see more of her in season 5. I missed Alison in this ep. And as always Tatiana is incredible!!!

  10. Louis E. says:

    Delphine being alive ended my interest in the show and I’d been watching since the premiere.
    With all 3 previous season-finale deaths eventually revealed as fake I took a pass on this one and won’t be back next season.There’s a limit to how much fake-out you can take from a show and still feel emotional investment is worth it.


      It was part of the storytelling…the only reason she was absent so long was because Evelyn Brochu was busy filming her other tv show X Company, and wasn’t physically available to be a part of season 4 other than the finale. I understand your frustration with the other ones, but Delphine was never shown to be dead, she was very much alive and breathing when we last saw her in the Season 4 finale.

    • FNBalbina says:

      Lol you again. Just can’t quit can you. I thought you quit last week?!

  11. leo says:

    I’m so really sad.. Oh my god.. I’ve been re-watching Season 1-3 lately, and thinking that it would be finished by season 5 is so heartbreaking… I don’t know.. I’m a wreck.. Maybe because of the Orlando Shooting effect……….
    And when Delphine came back and Cosima just stared at her……… It was soo…

  12. Sharon says:

    Finale: unsurpassed in terms of writing, directing, and the actor’s timing and delivery.

  13. Squirrelly says:

    I certainly hope Cosima’s condition is cured or goes into remission. When I came home last night, my Cosima Funko Pop had fallen off the shelf. I thought it was a bad omen…

  14. Bill says:

    Charlotte and Cosima are not safe in that camp. The guy who found them is the guy from Rachel’s bionic eye visions and he works for Westmoreland, who is pro-Rachel. Still can’t figure out why Westmoreland’s people saved Delphine. Charlotte, Cosima, Sarah, Mrs. S and Kira are all in great danger. Also, I did not expect Rachel to go full-on evil cray-cray.

    • Sarah says:

      I’m not so sure he “works for” Westmoreland. Tat said on After The Black they don’t know who he is yet, but the show seemed, to me, to be heavily foreshadowing that the “mystery man” actually IS Westmoreland.

  15. Nensi says:

    In my opinion Susan Duncan is way too calm about all of this. Her being tied to this chair and calmly telling Rachel her bioinic eye was made by westmoreland. Maybe Susan and Westmoreland worked together on Rachels bionic eye and he’ll be furious about what Rachel did.

  16. Cate53 says:

    Great finale. This season has been the best sine S1 IMO. Setting up Rachel and Neolution as the big bad for S5 when presumably we will actually get answers is a good idea.

    DELIGHTED Delphine and Cosima were reunited – and writhin minutes Delphine is stripping off and getting into bed with her!! :)

    Krystal has been such a highlight. However thanks to Tatiana Maslany’s great performance, as soon as Krystal started asking questions to the Neolition boss, I knew it was Sarah play acting again!

    I’m sorry the next season is the last as I love the show, but narratively, I’m think it’s good timing to actually start getting some answers and resolution

  17. Jeanna says:

    This episode is Orphan Black at its best. The writing, the story, the twists and the unbelievable Tatiana Maslany. Can we just give her the Emmy now? Performer of the week for Krystal!/Sarah v Rachel/Evil Rachel/Cosima! Even a bit of my favorite Helena who just by her voice and her eyes knows something is wrong. Brilliant. So invested in each of these characters and they are all Tatiana. Stunning.

    • Sarah says:

      When I’m watching, I keep forgetting it’s the same person playing all the different parts. Being so unrecognizable is a sure sign of truly transformative, brilliant acting. Speaking of which – Felix! You see Jordan in interviews and can’t recognize him either! This show has collected some of the best actors/acting on TV right now. It’s a shame the Emmys don’t recognize that.

  18. Heather says:

    I think the other thing that unhinges Rachel is that Sarah has a biological child. That was touched on a couple of seasons back.