Beth (TATIANA MASLANY)

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

EVERYONE MY FAVORITE SHOW IS BACK ON TELEVISION. IT’S BACK IT’S BACK IT’S BACK. CLONE CLUB, GIVE ME A HUG. I’VE MISSED YOU. Listen, when anyone asks me what my favorite show is, I don’t even hesitate before saying Orphan Black. Because I also think it’s the best show that I watch in quality, acting, and intrigue. If you aren’t watching it, you should. It’s all on Amazon Prime. Go, watch, return with feels. Previously on Orphan Black, so many things. I’m not going to do a show recap, because that’s three seasons. But there are a few important details that come from very early on. Sarah Manning took over the life of Detective Beth Childs before knowing they were clones. This is where the entire show began. She met Paul, Beth’s indifferent boyfriend who is also her handler, watching her on behalf of the scientists who created the clones. She met Beth’s partner Art, who we did know was in love with Beth. Beth committed suicide in front of Sarah in the first scene, and we knew she was unhinged, drugged, and shot a woman she thought was innocent, but was actually a bad person. Not that Beth was aware of that. She also brought Alison and Cosima together, two other clones, and together they tried to get to the bottom of what happened. Since then the clones have banded together as sisters, they’ve fought against Dyad, they’ve worked with Dyad. At the end of the last season, Delphine was apparently killed, Sarah ran off with her daughter who may hold the key to cure the clones of their inherited diseases, and … man this show is a hot mess. At least Castor is mostly over, right? I didn’t like that storyline.

The major thing about this premiere is that it’s a flashback. I had zero idea. I wasn’t really looking for early trailers or information about what was going to happen, so when it was revealed we were seeing Beth Childs, I went AHHHH! I don’t know that I ever expected or needed a flashback, but now that we’ve had one, I’m very happy they chose to do it. Of course it’s difficult to watch Beth break down slowly but surely over the mess her life has become, over the mess it always was and she didn’t realize. Tatiana yet again gives us another clone who you love and treasure, and we’ve only seen bits and pieces of Beth before this, heard stories. Now we see her and we can love her … while knowing her death is imminent. So flashback! Beth confers with Alison and Cosima, but she hides the identify of M.K., a paranoid clone who wants to do things on her own terms. She’s distrustful of everyone, and I mean can we blame her?  Everyone does generally turn out to be hiding things on this show. Beth is investigating some strange murders and MK swears it’s connected to what happened to them. This episode goes into Neolution again, and I thought we heard the last of them. Neolution is the group that believed in self-directed evolution, giving people tails or unique abilities and traits through purposeful scientific experimentation. They’re pretty creepy.

Beth (TATIANA MASLANY) and Art (KEVIN HANCHARD)

Beth is using help from Alison to fake her drug tests so she can continue to work, but she’s clearly on edge. It doesn’t help that she loves Paul when he clearly doesn’t care about her at all. My question is why she’s letting him stay around. She could easily break up with him! But it’s also kind of a question of whether she purposely wants him there so she can learn more about what he’s doing and why he’s there. It’s causing her agony either way. She turns to Art for comfort and the two have sex, which surprised me because I thought it was just a one-sided affection on his part. This makes it much sadder for Art, and also I wonder if it’s part of why he was so ????? when Sarah started to be Beth. I know that the actors weren’t aware until later, but it will be interesting to go back and see if that bewilderment could be read into earlier scenes. Beth gets a message from a Neolution  girl that her boyfriend has been taken and that he has one of those extremely creepy worms in his cheek. That’s part of what happened to the dead bodies they found, a missing cheek. She goes there and ends up being freaked out and flees. This is when she shoots Maggie Chen. Art helps her cover it up. She has zero idea the woman is bad, so you can see the guilt and horror of how her mind has unraveled her to this point.

Then they cut to present day when Sarah is warned by the suddenly appearing MK that Neolution knows where they are and to run with her daughter. I thought for a second that Beth was going to be alive all this time, and maybe MK was faking her instead. But that was me sympathizing too much with Beth, and the show never makes it that easy. Beth was the center of the original team, but it was too much for her. Sarah is the center now, and she’s managed to take a more personal approach. Where all of her sestras will be this season still remains to be seen. This was an unexpected but excellent start to the season! As usual Tatiana is an acting goddess who is too good for this world. I can’t wait to see what other secrets we’ll be unraveling. Ahhhhh. I need the whole season now.

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