Orphan Black: Season 4 (2016)


Season 4
Orphan Black

Critics Consensus

Orphan Black makes a 180-degree return to its roots with an experimental fourth season that delves deeper into the show's strange, innovative premise.



Critic Ratings: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 542

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Air date: Apr 14, 2016

In the fourth season premiere, a Neolution attack destroys Sarah's refuge in Iceland and forces her to flee once again.

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Air date: Apr 21, 2016

Sarah tracks down an elusive new ally and unearths the next aspect of the Neolution's agenda.

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Air date: Apr 28, 2016

Sarah has a traumatic encounter as she investigates a shocking discovery of Neolution's biotech.

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Air date: May 5, 2016

Sarah forms an alliance with a former enemy in hopes of getting to the head of Neolution. Elsewhere: Alison orders Felix and Donnie to invade a Neolution fertility clinic and a Susan Duncan leaves Rachel to make a devastating decision.

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Air date: May 12, 2016

Sarah has a sleuthing mission to discredit Felix's new ties after she tries reconnecting with Kira. Also: Cosima teams up with Donnie to further investigate the Neolutionist fertility research center.

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Air date: May 19, 2016

Cosima admits doubt about finding a cure, which causes Sarah to make a drastic decision that exposes Kendall to people she has been trying to hide from. Elsewhere: Art and Felix try to protect Krystal Godderitch from herself.

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Air date: May 26, 2016

Sarah goes back to old habits to cope with her decisions and Cosima attempts a Hail Mary back at the lab.

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Air date: Jun 2, 2016

Neolution threats continue, terrifying Alison and causing Mrs. S to question her loyalty to the sestras. Elsewhere: Siobhan seeks vengeance while Cosima and Susan Duncan make a final attempt to find a cure.

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Air date: Jun 9, 2016

Sarah and Rachel join forces for the greater good when both end up under the heel of a new HBIC and Cosima and Susan argue about the ethics of human experiments.

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Air date: Jun 16, 2016

Alliances are shattered between Sarah and Rachel as Cosima is cut off from communication and the Neolution moves in. Later: Sarah sets a trap for a high-ranking Neolutionist in hopes of bring it down for good.

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Critic Reviews for Orphan Black Season 4

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (12)

Orphan Black uses the unique qualities of its narrative, and especially Maslany's tremendous performance, to play with our expectations, to make us question ideas we take for granted.

Apr 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Orphan Black's fourth season premiered last night with the strongest episode since season one.

Jun 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Orphan Black should be particularly susceptible to this Curse of Meh... Graeme Manson and John Fawcett really have no business starting off the fourth round of Orphan Black so strongly. And yet, they have. With a flashback, no less!

Apr 15, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A series like Orphan Black calls for experimentation and pushing the limits in terms of technology and story, but where it really shines is in focusing on the relationships between the core clones, issues of identity and free will.

Apr 15, 2016 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

It's good to see you again, Orphan Black.

Apr 15, 2016 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

This slight rejiggering does clear up some distractions and brings back fond memories of season one when this show was such a revelation.

Apr 14, 2016 | Full Review…

This is Tatiana Maslany's show. There are certainly plenty of excellent performances on Orphan Black, but no one comes close to touching Maslany.

Jul 31, 2018 | Full Review…

The great thing about... Orphan Black has been seeing the sisterhood that these aware clones have formed.

Jun 22, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Orphan Black Season Four is the metaphorical train of the series... From its trips to the past and the development/introductions of characters, everything is coming to a head when the series ends next year.

Sep 10, 2016 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

As a fascinating trip back in time, a refresher course on Neolution, and a new character introduction, "The Collapse of Nature" is a welcome return to what Orphan Black does best.

Apr 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Though Orphan Black's Season 4 premiere didn't advance the present-day story much, it did offer a good refresher on the Neolutionists and Beth's past -- both of which will likely factor in heavily to the rest of the season.

Apr 15, 2016 | Rating: 7.8/10 | Full Review…

Stylistically daring and dramatically gratifying, the fourth season of Orphan Black puts the show's heady high-wire pyrotechnics on the back burner for a reset that will, hopefully, permeate into the entirety of the season.

Apr 13, 2016 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Orphan Black: Season 4

  • Aug 23, 2020
    A great season of Orphan Black. The mistakes of Season 3 are forgotten: a clear plot, good characters, and Maslany centre-stage. All good.
  • Apr 19, 2020
    A very good series nears its conclusion
  • Apr 11, 2020
    Orphan Black is finally exciting again. This season succeeds because its plot is much more streamlined and much weirder -- it almost feels like a completely different show from seasons 2 & 3
  • Apr 13, 2018
    The beat season of one of the top television shows of all time.
  • Jan 05, 2018
    Really fantastic, blows previous seasons out of the water. Was not sure at the time how the show could get better, but it did.
  • Dec 07, 2017
    This is the best season in my opinion
  • May 20, 2017
    I had never seen an episode before finding season 4 at the library. Confusing at first with all the clones. The story is black and crazy but full of dark humour, amazing and the biology is mostly accurate and possible. Tatiana is incredible, géniale, gifted and good-looking. The other actors hold their own. The serie has a futuristic look with old-fashion bat-cave and stuff. Quite incredible that the story could use so many characters yet hold and be unpredictable at the same time.
  • Oct 30, 2016
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  • Sep 08, 2016
    Science fiction has seen more than its share of television series summarily canceled only to be placed on the ‘Brilliant but Canceled’ list. Fortunately, there are some TV series possessing impeccable production values and an unwavering quality that even the studios cannot deny that place of the programming schedule. One such show is without a doubt ‘Orphan Black’. This show the BBC manages to go far beyond usually considered science fiction. Placing this show in that genre is necessary only to provide context for the advanced technology required by the promise; large-scale human cloning. The series itself is a rich tapestry of various categories encompassing spiritual theories, family drama, and such well-crafted suspensive thrills that it approaches the best examples found in literature and cinema. Series has such unique qualities that have often expressed my opinion that a new award created just for the actress of this show; ‘Best Actress as an Ensemble Cast posting’. Its fourth season, was properly cited British television, fourth series has recently concluded its time to make room on your shelves for another Blu-ray full season set. For a story is so rich and complex a common pitfall to be avoided becoming so convoluted and esoteric that even the most diehard fan begins to lose interest. This is skillfully avoided by the artistry imbued by the exceptional storytellers on both sides of the camera. It is a perfect synergistic blend of directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and of course, actors. Individual is exceptional in their own right but working together on a project such as this the result is transcendent. Typically, a story this involved comprised of so many individual threads over together a number of years would be difficult for new viewer begin watching. Taking a page from the soap opera playbook critical information is often mentioned within the context of the ongoing story allowing the newly initiated to catch up fairly quickly. If all else fails, you can always consult one of the many online sources including a fairly extensive Wikia site. Now that the series has had three full seasons to construct fully formed backgrounds for plethora of clones and revealed that most of the characters are involved in a highly covert research project with human cloning; Project Leda and its complement, Project Castor the men. Most of the time up to the premier of the fourth season has been concerned with plunging the characters, and through them, the audience, into. This turned out to be the ideal moment to bring the story back in time closer to its beginning of the series. It is almost surreal as we watch a woman wearing a sheep mask, a Leda clone, as she observes a pair of paramedics burying a man in a secluded wooded location. Mysterious woman calls out and in response a pair of detectives, Beth Childs (Tatiana Maslany) and her partner, Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard), come over to observe the crime scene. It turns out, the victim is part of an organization involved with the cloning, Neolution, and the deceased man was a member. This leads Beth and her partner to visit the organization’s headquarters. In many ways this return to the past reintroduces us to one of the characters that started everything. Beth was observed committing suicide by the main point of view character, Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) was intrigued and confused by the uncanny resemblance that woman had with her. That was the moment that crystallized the plot and made possible for everything in the story to move forward as Sarah began to investigate why this other woman looked precisely like her. A lot of television series rely on flashbacks in hopes of finding efficient way to provide exposition. You have managed to do it with the style and purpose is found in the series. This prequel provided a near perfect segue into the current season. Sarah had hoped that she can find some peace and quiet by establishing a refuge in the most remote region she could think of, Iceland. We discover that the mysterious woman from that night was a clone known as M.K., who is, of course, played by Tatiana Maslany. For the sake of brevity, all Leda, i.e., female clones are portrayed by this uniquely talented actress. It also helps the reintroduces to some characters that will have significant roles in the seasonal story arc. This turned out to be particularly true for the character of Art Bell. Also, the introduction of M.K. who is otherwise known as Mika will be crucial since this character possesses information necessary to take several of the mysteries a step closer to their resolution. All the years that Sarah has been digging into the cloning projects. This new character demonstrates to Sarah just how little she really knows of the truth. It serves as a prophecy that many things we thought we understood were not at all so readily discernible. It is exceedingly rare for TV series last more than a couple of seasons. In this instance the success is attributable to a simply stated fact that is exceptionally arduous to actually execute. The show has managed to avoid spiraling back on itself reusing previously examined plot points. Instead strong central narrative of the story matures over time. Like the proverbial fine bottle of wine. With each season, actually with each episode, the individual story threads are interwoven with additional nuances, adding not only to the information pertinent to the story but also by providing a literary texture to what’s occurring. This is particularly central to the success of this season as we are able to watch the actual events that only alluded to previously. It is an odd feeling to the audience quite akin to déjà vu as you know most of the circumstances surrounding an event. Now that you actually witness its unfolding provide a much clearer perspective and deep understanding the fact that you thought you knew. It’s amazing just how well flashing back to the past is able to put a new spin on the entire series. It serves several purposes such as reintroducing us the previously established characters in providing organic means introduced new characters and why they have such an intimate understanding of events that even the main characters have been denied. The cast of a television series contains such a myriad of different characters. It often requires some effort on the part of the viewer to keep their identity and contribution to the story straight in your mind. If you compound is by having so many of the male and female roles portrayed by the same actor or actress it might seem to be a daunting task to differentiate each of the characters. But thanks to the amazing time and effort that Tatiana Maslany has put into providing unique personalities and mannerisms to each of the clones. What becomes difficult is not telling them apart but in continuing to realize that the same woman is portraying them all. When Ms. Maslany takes the screen, there is actually no doubt whatsoever as to which clone you are watching. You know at a glance that it’s the soccer mom Alison Hendrix or the mentally unhinged Helena. While it is true that some makeup and wigs do help differentiate the characters. The subtleties of their body language and vocal peculiarities of a truly sells a transformation of one character to another. Later on when they had to introduce the male counterpart, the Castor clone line. The actor selected to also assume a myriad of roles was space Ari Millen. I have seen several interviews with him and he wisely depended upon tips and suggestions made by Ms. Maslany. It’s just amazing how this series remain so fresh so vital maturing in depth each passing season.
  • Aug 23, 2016
    Interesting and well drafted continuation.

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