To be honest, while I loved the first season of Orphan Black, the last couple, and particularly the third season, I wasn’t really a fan of. Where it started off being about a small group of clones trying to figure out what had happened to them, it had turned into a giant world-wide conspiracy, complete with a set of male clones, and frankly, I just didn’t care that much anymore.
I guess they got that a lot because from the very first episode of season four, they turned it all around and returned to their roots and that, in and of itself, is a dramatic improvement. Let’s see how far down the rabbit hole this show went this year.
Now like I said, the season started like a soft reboot, where they focused largely on the female clones and their story, instead of this huge conspiracy theory nonsense that the series had turned into. But as the season went on, it lost a little bit of that “back to basics” feel as they introduced BrightBorn and all of the stories that entailed. We’re really no closer to solving any of the mysteries of the first season now than we were at the beginning. We just got all new mysteries that frankly, I don’t much care about.
The series has one more season and as much as I want to see the mysteries tied up, I find that the majority of the stories, I just don’t give a damn about. It’s just gotten to be too big and the smaller stories at the core have gotten lost in the shuffle. In that, I think it suffers the same problems as Continuum did, that things got too big, too fast and that the show doesn’t have to be about earth-shattering events to be entertaining. It was interesting when it was just the five clones trying to figure out why everything was happening to them. Then it became about Project Leda, then they threw Castor and the male clones. You’ve got the pro-clone Neolutions and the anti-clone BrightBorns and what comes off as a near world-wide conspiracy to do… something and really, I don’t care. I just want to see Tatiana Maslany playing five characters trapped in the center of this giant mystery about their existence. Is that too much to ask? There’s just so much crap that’s been thrown into the mix that has muddied the waters too much. Felix’s real sister? Who cares? Krystal? Who cares? The power struggles at Neolution? I don’t give a damn. It’s just in the way of the story I actually want to see.
So while this was a stronger season than the third and while I thought it started out headed the wrong way, it quickly took a sharp left turn at Albuquerque. I’m sure show creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson have some grand plan in mind, I feel like I’ve been dragged along for the ride instead of going willingly. I care about Sarah, Alison, Helena, Cosima, and to a much lesser degree Rachel. I don’t care about BrightBorn. I don’t care about Project Leda. I don’t care about Castor. I’m pretty neutral to Neolution, especially since Matt Frewer’s character was killed. I want to see where these characters go and it doesn’t have to be part of a massive world-changing plot. Not everything does. Some stories get too big. This is, unfortunately, one of them.