Orphan Black S05E04 “Let The Children & The Child-bearers Toil” REVIEW

Orphan Black S05E04 “Let The Children & The Child-bearers Toil” REVIEW

0 comments 📅02 July 2017, 00:45

Airing in the UK on Netflix, Sundays
Written by: Greg Nelson
Director: David Wellington

Essential Plot Points:

  • An injured Susan Duncan wakes up. “I’m not dead… Why?” she asks Westmoreland. He says he needs her.
  • Charlotte and Aisha hunt a pig that’s gone missing – finding it injured in the forest, along with a human tooth! Mud shoos them away from the trees, as something approaches…
  • Sarah discovers that Kira has cut her arm to see how fast she can heal. She’s horrified and blames Rachel.
  • Mrs S, however, has a mission for Sarah to go on to distract her, and leaves Kira with Felix for the day.

  • Susan is reunited with Ira.
  • Mrs S takes Sarah for a drink in a hotel bar, where they steal the ID belonging to a psychiatrist named Elizabeth Perkins.
  • While she’s there, Mrs S also unloads her feelings about Sarah onto the woman, who advises her that she needs to understand her daughter better.
  • After Charlotte gives her the human tooth, Cosima asks Mud what the hell is going on with the thing in the woods that everybody’s so scared of.
  • Mud says it’s a bear.
  • It’s not a bear.

  • Felix and Kira chat. Felix reminds the little girl that she really can’t trust Rachel.
  • Now they have the ID, Mrs S shares what she needs to do with Sarah: they must question a Neolution defector at a secure facility. Sarah wants to know where she got the info, but Mrs S says quiet. (Delphine has been helping out.)
  • Susan tells Ira that she and Westmoreland were united by their scientific mission, up to a point. “The vision is mine as well,” Susan tells Ira. “Our feud is only about the means.”
  • Sarah stops off to see Helena at a convent. They do a little bonding. “She flowed right through me, picked me up,” Sarah says, of feeling Kira on the island and the seestras’ bond. “Is that what it is? Is that what it feels like?”
  • Felix’s sister turns up! Adele, who has been disbarred for embezzling, now knows all about the clones and wants to help. Wow, she’s understanding, isn’t she?
  • Mrs S and Sarah get into the asylum and meet the defector: it’s Virginia Coady!
  • They grill her about Westmoreland and discover that she and Susan first experimented on a male child who had a “unique genome”, but it went horribly wrong.
  • On the island, Cosima has followed Mud as she goes into the forest to take the ‘creature’ – in other words, the experimented-upon boy – some blankets. It turns up, scares her and runs away.
  • A doctor arrives and rumbles that Mrs S and Sarah aren’t who they say they are. Coady attacks Sarah, given her and Mrs S the chance to escape (but she sneakily takes her visitor pass too – is she going to escape herself later?).
  • Felix and Adele set off for Switzerland to follow the Neolution money.
  • Susan is still pissed about Westmoreland getting Rachel to kill her, but he needs her help with his research. She agrees to join him… but Rachel has the reins.


Not the most thrilling of episodes this week – mainly down to the fact that it’s the second episode in a row that hasn’t been particularly impactful plotwise, despite what seems like a mountain of exposition and arc-plot meanderings. It desperately needed more drama to drop our jaws: instead we get Mrs S and Sarah infiltrating an asylum so easily it hardly seemed worth the effort, and escaping from it without even breaking into a sweat.

And as for that revelation about what’s been living in the woods… is that it? A big bloke? Maybe he looks more terrifying close-up, but from what we saw of him through the shadows there are scarier non-mutants in Wetherspoon’s on a Friday night.

Still, Orphan Black is incapable of making a ‘bad’ episode, and so for all the humdrum stuff here there’s also a lot to love. And, as usual, it’s the emotional moments that resonate. Felix so sweetly interacting with Kira, for instance, and getting her to come out of her shell a bit while he draws her. Or Sarah’s little chat with Helena, which is utterly lovely. It’s great to hear her acknowledge what happened to her on the island, when she saw Kira in her dreams, for them to realise that this is why Rachel is a psychopath: she’s incapable of having these deep connections to her seestras.

Mrs S is, as always, a rock, although the scene in which she sits down with the psychiatrist and unloads her issues with Sarah does seem rather forced. Sure, it’s hard to get a character like hers to reveal her inner thoughts, but this felt way too set-up. Oh well.

The revelation about Coady was great, however – we’d been wondering what she’d been up to! A lovely, sinister yet whacked-out performance from Kyra Harper, too.

And finally, welcome back, Adele! Although we feel a little cheated that we didn’t get to see her reactions as the entire clone/Neolution backstory was revealed to her. We suspect it would’ve been priceless.

The Good:

Mud is so adorable. We love Mud.

Susan and Ira seem so creepy when you think about it, but her genuine joy upon seeing him couldn’t be faked, and he’s clearly devoted to her. Susan + Ira 4eva!

Chomper and Crazy Legs: what fantastic names for pigs.

The Bad:

Cosima seems to be creeping all over the village without anybody spotting her – even going so far as to break into Westmoreland’s house! What terrible security he has.

The Random:

In last week’s review we thought Helena had gone back to her original convent home to have the babies – which actually did feel a little odd, given how badly they treated her. This week, with more detail, we saw that it’s a new convent but an old nun, one of the few there that actually treated her well. Because this is Orphan Black and things have to be disturbing, however, this poor nun has had her tongue ripped out.

Best Quote: Kira: “I really look like my mom there.”

Felix: “You’ve been reminding me of her all day. Stomping around, breathing like a pug…”

Reviewed by Jayne Nelson

Read all our reviews of Orphan Black here.

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