All's well that ends well: the finale of Orphan Black season 3 tied up plenty of loose ends, and as the Clone Club settled down to a family dinner we really felt that things were finally going to be ok. That is, until Delphine was shot and we remembered oh yeah, this is Orphan Black, and nothing's perfect for long. Season 4 will be full of new challenges for the sisters, with the rise of old foe Neolution. But can Sarah find out just what Neolution want? And will Charlotte and Rachel be rescued from the science cult's clutches?
Old Enemy, New Threat
First Neolution, then Dyad, then Topside... and now Neolution again. The pro-science factions seem to be a never ending adversary for the Clone Club, and just when we think they're beat, another one springs up. This is surely to give us the feeling that as confident as the clones get, the control they have over their lives is an illusion. Are they still part of some great experiment? Or have Sarah and the gang managed to establish some free will? These questions will definitely be addressed in season 4, as last series revealed that Neolution, the weird cyborg cult from season 1, was the man behind the curtain all along.
Graeme Manson recently offered some insights into what role Neolution will play in season 4...
"[The Clone Club] have been through slaughter just to fight their way through these factions and now they’ve discovered that there’s one real force behind it all. That philosophy appears to be far more deep-rooted than we’ve known so far."
Neolution's not just about underground clubs and cyberpunk aesthetics: as Manson reveals, the side of Neolution we saw in season 1 was just the tip of the iceberg, a pop-science facade to cover the organisation's real aims. They're already promising to be a more frightening foe than the other factions: Manson promises we'll be seeing a lot more body horror next season, and the creepy worm... maggot... robot... thing that we saw in the finale is a part of that.
"It’s the expansion of the body-horror motifs that we really like in Orphan Black. Dr. Nealon said the tech is beyond whatever you believe. We’re opening up a little window into some interesting biotech elements in our next season."
The idea of forwarding human evolution through Project Leda has always been one of the experiment's aims, so it'll be exciting to see what the researchers have learned from the project and what creepy ways they've found to implement this knowledge. According to Manson, Cosima's finally getting back to her "evo-devo" routes too, and we'll see her tackle some of this bio-technology next season.
So much for Neolution's scientific side. Can the sisters infiltrate the faction in order to rescue their fellow clones Rachel and Charlotte? And where the frack is Marion?? These questions will hopefully be answered soon, but until then, Manson has given us some hints.
We still don't know exactly what happened behind the scenes at DYAD, though Marion's disappearance hints at some kind of takeover on the part of Neolution. In case you've forgotten, Marion Bowles was a major player at DYAD. She ordered Dr Leekie's assassination (luckily Donnie took care of that, purely by accident), and seemed to pull a lot of the strings at the organisation. In the season 2 finale, it was revealed that she adopted Charlotte, the youngest clone, and she also had Rudy in her basement (because... reasons?)
Although the character seemed to be a figure of some authority, Marion was conspicuously absent throughout season 3. And when Charlotte popped up in the Neolution lair at the end, many fans wondered if Marion was held captive too. Her involvement in the organisation is fairly ambiguous, according to Manson: Marion is "not necessarily" a Neolutionist. Intriguing! In any case, we'll find out more about how Neolution fits in, and what role Charlotte will play, in season 4.
"We'll find out about the sort of behind-the-scenes upheaval that led to these things, probably early in season 4. We really like little Charlotte: we glimpsed her in the middle of the season, as well, because we knew we wanted to bring her back a little bit stronger [next season]."
In any case, the clones will still have plenty of challenges to face in season 4. Here's hoping they can pull together to unravel the secrets of the organisations that created them, while holding on to their normal lives.
Orphan Black season 4 will air in Spring 2016, but until then you can keep up to date with all the latest news here!