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Orphan Black - The Collapse of Nature - Review: "Detective Beth Childs"

   Orphan Black kicked off its fourth season last night with an amazing episode, titled "The Collapse of Nature", written by Graeme Manson and directed by John Fawcett .

   It was definitely the most surprising season premiere ! When the 4 minutes sneak peek was released and revealed to be a flashback I had no idea the whole episode (almost) would be one ! What a delightful surprise ! Since, S1, I kept hoping to find more about Beth, her relationships with Paul, the other seestras, Art ; how she really was and what sequence of events led to her decision to kill herself. I couldn’t have been more satisfied with "The Collapse of Nature". It was everything that I wanted.
   With last season revelation that Neolution was behind both Leda and Castor, we needed to know more about them. "The Collapse of Nature" refreshed our memories about them and the Neolutionists who passed (Leekie, Olivier…) and also it gave more insight on their organization. We still don’t know what the hell those worms are for, but I’m confident we’ll know a lot more by the end of the season.

   So "The Collapse of Nature" was Beth centric episode and it felt so good. Finally, we got to see and to know Beth Childs better. Once again, Tatiana Maslany pulled off another outstanding performance portraying Beth Childs. We knew Beth was in a fragile state before her death and she had drugs problems, but I’ve never thought her addiction was that severe. Through the episode, it was shown Beth really needed her drugs to keep going on through her life.
  To her defense, her life was pretty complicated. She had to deal with Paul being her monitor, keeping secret Cosima and Allison’s existences and to continue her detective work with Ar. I don’t know why parts of Beth’s journey were my favorite. I must say I was a bit disappointed we didn’t see more of Cosima and Allison’s interactions with Beth. The small phones call were great, seeing them in a different place. Allison as usual was hilarious. (And it was nice to see Ramon back) I wish we could have seen more of the seestras together. Maybe in some flashback in the future episodes !?

   We did get to see Paul and Beth together and that was one of my favorite parts of the episode. The energy between Dylan Bruce and Tatiana Maslany was so different as Paul and Beth. They were both excellent. I’ve missed Hot Paul so it was a real pleasure seeing him again. We knew his relationship with Beth was complicated but, like Beth’s addiction, it was even worse than we imagined. They were in a terrible situation, Beth just discovered that Paul was a spying on her, and she decided to spy on him too. She had to hide her clones secrets from him and tried to keep a good face. That didn’t work, and Paul wasn’t making much effort to pretend either. That became more obvious during their dinner scene. Everything should have been romantic and sweet, candles, music, but it ended on Beth almost shooting Paul dead ! He couldn’t look at her in the eyes, pretend his love was real. It was quite sad to watch them so distant and fragile. We’ve been used to watching Paul being protective over Sarah, he wasn’t that protective and caring for Beth.

   But the most interesting and surprising relationships of the episode was definitely Beth and Art. Art was so sweet and protective of Beth, I really enjoyed their dynamic ! It also explained Art’s reaction back in season 1 when Sarah was trying to pass as Beth and he didn’t want her to leave with the money. I’ve always been intrigued by Art and Beth’s relationship and I’m glad "The Collapse of Nature" revealed more about them, especially when a desperate and lonely Beth went to his place and they found themselves kissing on the sofa ! We knew Art had feelings for her, that’s one of the reasons he’s helping the sisters but their kiss still surprised me.
   Anyway, the best revelation about Beth and Art came at the end, when we finally got to see how Beth shot Maggie Chen, and it was Art who helped Beth to cover up the shooting, giving her the phone/gun excuse. It showed how deep Art cared about Beth and also it explained most of his behavior in the first season, when Sarah was impressing Beth and had to deal the inner police investigation. And "The Collapse of Nature" also showed Beth cared a lot for Art, as MK warned Beth Art could be a spy, her reaction was just priceless.

   The best part of "The Collapse of Nature" was definitely Beth’s investigation on Neolution and the introduction of the new clone : MK. Tatiana Maslany proved one more time she’s the hardest working actress ever, pulling off a whole new character again on the show. MK is definitely cryptic and very secretive but she also has a lot of information about the clones. She was the one who revealed everything to Beth, at least that she was a clone along with Cosima and Allison. It was a great choice of the writers for MK to already know Beth. That way she’s not a new clone, out of blue, she was the one feeding intels to Beth, so Sarah and her seestras can now end what Beth had started. But for now, as MK warned Sarah in the very end of the episode, Neolution is their biggest enemy. And they're coming for Kendall and her ! Damn !

   Choosing a flashback episode to start the season was an excellent way to reinstall Neolution, its main protagonists and its main objectives, as they’re now the more dangerous threat against the clones. Beth’s investigation into Neolution was fun, I loved seeing back the club and mostly Dr Leekie, Olivier (and his freaky tail) and Astrid. We didn’t learn more about their objectives, we’re gonna have the whole season to do so, but still I found out a bit more about them thanks to the pregnant lady and her boyfriend. I'm very interested to find more about neolution, and especially those awful worms inside those people’s cheeks. The same thing that Nealon attacked Delphine with last season ! What the hell is that ?

   "The Collapse of Nature" was a surprising season premiere. I had no idea what it was about as I first started to watch it and it was a very exciting experience. It felt like a prequel to the pilot, it was a bold choice from the creative team behind Orphan Black, but they definitely made the right one. It was IMO the best season premiere.
   Of course, I missed seeing more of the others seestras, but I can wait for one more week because "The Collapse of Nature" was such so good, surprising and refreshing. We needed to know more about Beth, and Neolution. I’m even more thrilled for this fourth season now !
   What did you think of "The Collapse of Nature" ? What did you think of MK introduction ? Are you satisfied with Beth’s backstory ? Hit the comments !

Clones notes : 
-  Do you think Delphine will be back in some flashbacks with Leekie and Neolution ?
- Felix in the police station was so cute. I’ve missed seeing more of him but his only few lines were the best. And I'm glad somehow he knew Beth.
- I can’t to see Helena next week !
- "Toodles !" Oh, Allison !
- MK knew about Kendall Malone too. I can't wait for her to have a talk with Sarah.
- The MK and Beth scene together was excellent, definitely my favorite scene of the episode.

About the Author - Romain Ossust
I'm a 29 TV addict. Here is a non exhaustive list of my favorite shows : 12 Monkeys, Ab Fab, 24, Alias, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Banhsee, Bates Motel, Bloodline, Carnivale, Code Black, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Daredevil, Daria, Dead Like Me, Dexter, ER, Empire, Fargo, Fringe, FTWD, Galavant, Girls, Grey’s, Hannibal, Homeland, HIMYM, HTGAWM, Jessica Jones, iZombie, Narcos, Looking, Lost, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Medium, OUAT, OITNB, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful, Person of Interest, Humans, Pushing Daisies, Raising Hope, Rectify, Reign, Scandal, Sex & The City, Six Feet Under, Spartacus, Mr Robot, The Affair, The Americans, The Big C, The Fall, The Killing, The Leftovers, The Missing, The Strain, The Tudors, The Walking Dead, Transparent, True Blood, True Detective, Tyrant, Ugly Betty, United States of Tara, Utopia, Sense8, Veronica Mars & Weeds.
For SpoilerTV, I'm reviewing The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Banshee, American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Transparent, Girls, & Orphan Black
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