Thursday, April 28, 2016

What I'm Watching: Orphan Black (Season Premiere)

Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 1 "The Collapse of Nature" (B+)

I'm so glad to have one of my favorite shows back on the air, and it's a shame that I'm so far behind on TV that it took me two full weeks to watch the premiere. After a great third season that transformed this show's premise by adding the dimension of a set of male clones, this fourth season completely rebooted everything. It's an incredible tribute to the incomparable Tatiana Maslany that she can introduce not one but two new characters and make it feel like an entirely different actress is playing them. It's a particular pleasure to meet Beth, since she's a character who, in death, played such a big role in the start of this show but who we never actually got to see. She's formidable both in her doggedness and in just how controlled she is by addiction. Both Dr. Leekie and the famously-tailed Olivier are back after making exits from the series as well, and it's fascinating to see how Beth fits in to the clone collective. She was definitely in charge, telling Alison what to do, like wiring money to a frustrated and broke Cosima for tuition without an expense report. I like how the show transitioned from a Beth-centric episode back to the present, with Art returning to the picture and this new, mask-wearing clone MK in town to warn Sarah that she's in serious danger. She could have been just like Helena or Katja, yet, like the other clones, she’s so singular in her strangeness. What a superb season it’s sure to be.

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