TV Review: Orphan Black 4×04 “From Instinct to Rational Control”

From Instinct to Rational Control juggles both a new series of stories for the individual clones as well as furthering the season’s arc. As always there’s a whole lot going on in Clone Club and almost none of it will leave us feeling optimistic about the future.


The bulk of this round of adventures once again centered around the search for M.K. and a way to get the bug out of Sarah’s jaw. Though there was a nice side moment on the bug front where Cosima and Scott got to dig around inside Dr. Leekie’s decomposing skull, clearly enjoying themselves every step of the way. Things with M.K. are decidedly less fun. When Sarah loops her into the hunt for Rachel, M.K. learns a lot about our new “friend” Ferdinand, who played a big roll in murdering clones back before the series began (remember Katja?). It turns out that M.K. had a best friend in a fellow clone, Nikki, who Ferdinand burned alive along with her family in their home. Sarah’s decision to work with Ferdinand was not only enough to destroy any trust the two had built up but also sent M.K. on a rampage of her own, where she set out to do a littler murdering of her own but settled for taking all of Ferdinand’s money.

As much as everyone tends to love Alison for her more comedic (and horrific) moments, it was a nice change of pace for us to delve a little deeper into her emotional history. Sarah sent her into a fertility clinic for information (more specifically, Donnie and Felix visited the clinic as a couple, which was amazing on every level) but between that trip and Helena’s recent developments, it was easy to see how all of this was taking a toll on our most neurotic clone. She and Donnie struggled to get pregnant, something Donnie admitted was the hardest time of his life and was harder yet on his wife. Alison took it all like a champ, which might have had something to do with Sarah snapping at her, but Helena ended up leaving the Hendrix clan because she didn’t want to hurt her sister any more than she already had.

Meanwhile, Rachel had some pretty big questions to deal with herself as she bide her time and hope for rescue. Charlotte isn’t getting any better, but her age means there are some possible treatments available for her. Yet the flip side is, because she’s so young, letting the disease run its course might offer up some worthwhile data. And for whatever reason, it’s Rachel’s decision whether or not to treat the young girl who is literally a copy of Rachel. Ultimately, she decides to let the disease run its course, probably as some sort of power play with her mother who is still pulling all the strings. I’d really like to see Charlotte get to live a long, happy life growing up with Kira, but somehow that doesn’t seem likely. I do like that we’re getting some extended time with Rachel this season though, even if it does come at the expense of time with Cosima. Every clone we’ve met so far (which Sarah points out, there are quite a few still alive) has been completely their own person which is why this show will never cease to be interesting, even if you were to strip away all of the adventures and scientific mystery.

Kellie Sheridan may as well live on the internet or in a library. She is a Young Adult author, spending her time writing and watching far too much Netflix near Toronto, Canada. You can find Kellie on Twitter (@Kellie_Sheridan) or contact her by email at