ORPHAN BLACK 4.03 Recap – “The Stigmata of Progress”

Robot maggots, dead bodies, and Duncan family drama took over on the latest episode of ORPHAN BLACK, “The Stigmata of Progress”!

The episode marks the return of Rachel, who has been in Neolution control fro two months now, where she hasn’t seen her adopted mother, Susan Duncan, since her arrival. However, she’s been given a young Leda clone named Charlotte to raise as her own, a new eye, and physical therapy. Too bad she’s being held captive against her will in a secret location!


Also not helping? Rachel has discovered that she’s not the only clone that Susan adopted. And that other clone is her doctor / physical therapist.


Ari Millen is back, y’all! This time, he’s a new Neolutionist Castor clone named Ira (which is Ari backwards, folks.) He’s kind of on the creepy sde, but you get the feeling that he hasn’t had a whole lot of socialization.

And while we’re really happy to see Ari again, there are other Castor clones we need to see. What the heck happened to Mark and Gracie?! WE MUST KNOW.

Back in town with the clones not in captivity, Sarah goes to tell Felix about her deadly Neolution implant only to discover a huge surprise: Felix has found his biological sister, Adele, who is– to put it lightly– an absolute trainwreck. However, she and Felix are getting also swimmingly and when Sarah asks Felix to ditch Adele and help her, he bites back HARD.


In a side scene with Adele, we learn that the two have the same father and Felix is the product of his affair, which their father only admitted on his death bed. As for his mother? Felix doesn’t really remember her, which means she could be the key to why Felix was hidden away with Siobhan for all these years.


Felix isn’t going to be any help to Sarah, but thankfully, she’s got her sestras! Alison realizes she has a Neolution implant that Cosima can study in hopes of extracting it from Sarah safely… in the dead body of Aldous Leekie buried in her basement. Exhuming time!


Together, Tatiana Maslany and Kristian Bruun bring hysteria to the show once again as they dig up the body which, as Donnie puts it in the thralls of dry heaves, “smells like hot garbage juice.”

While they do this, Helena is inside watching the kids and eating the Hendrixes out of house and home. But she’s also calling Sarah to share her big twin news. With her twin sestra on the line, Helena shares a sad secret that only Sarah can understand, as a clone and a mother.


Their conversation is interrupted when the doorbell rings. It’s two police detectives investigating the murder of the Portuguese mob members Helena slaughtered last season. She left some evidence behind in the form of Alison’s campaign poster, so now she has to play hostess to the police while Alison and Donnie unknowingly unbury a body in the garage.


As Helena does this, Sarah tracks down MK’s co-conspirator of sorts, Dizzy, in hopes of finding her. No surprisingly, MK is a bit of a super sneak and even her closest ally doesn’t have a clue how to find her, though. He does have some guesses about the implant in Sarah, however, including why Neolution implants them in the jaw.


Between Dizzy and a lead from Art, Sarah finds herself at a dental clinic specializing in implants. A nurse recognizes her as Beth and, when Sarah plays along and shows her the implant, offers to help her remove it.

While Sarah is out, Cosima is watching over Kira. The young girl’s creepy streak continues, revealing that the many experiments on her mother may have had so sort of affect on her. Kira is having strange waking dreams, perhaps visions. But what are they, actually? Psychic signs? A slow devolution into insanity? It’s hard to know.


Back at the Hendrix house, something interesting happens. Donnie joins Helena, who is pretending very poorly to be Alison once again, for the police interrogation. Alison can only hide and listen in.


But it’s no matter. When asked about her campaign, Helena– who has seemed completely clueless all around– knows all the details and the people involved. While her behavior is still strange to the police, the information enough to lead them elsewhere.

In Neolution land, Susan Duncan has returned for Rachel, but it’s not a happy reunion. It becomes very clear that Rachel resents her mother for her abandonment, secrets, and raising Ira in her place. She’s not thrilled with Neolution’s inability to provide any real solutions for issues with the clones, but Susan throws that right back in Rache’s face by saying she failed to find the answers when she had the means at Dyad. It’s all very messy.


Thankfully, Rahcel has a secret weapon: Charlotte has computer access and sends out a message on Rache’ls behalf. The two have clearly grown fond of each other, which makes it hard when Charlotte starts coughing blood.


Rachel’s surrogate daughter is also slowly heading toward death, showing the same symptoms as Cosima.

Charlotte and Cosima aren’t the only ones in trouble. Remember the friendly dental assistant? Well, she numbs Sarah up and agitates her implant in a way that will cause it to explode if Sarah moves. The woman is actually a Neolutionist and she’s called in her superiors.


Before those superiors get there, Sarah is saved by an unlikely ally: Ferdinand from Topside, the recipient of Rachel’s smuggled message about Susan and the Neolution. It turns out he really does hate Neolution and it seems he’s ready to work with the sestras to put a stop to it.

Narrowly escaping arrest or death this week, the sestras have a new ally (or potential traitor) in their midst for the rest of the season!

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.