Orphan Black never stops delivering the thrills and twists to keep us on the edge of our seat, and season 3 did not break from the tradition. The finale was satisfying but intriguing: many loose ends were tied up, the Clone Club dinner scene was touching, but shocking moments like Delphine's apparent murder kept us guessing until the last minute.
Although it's still a long way off, the writers have teased plenty of plot points for season 4, so we're already getting excited for the continuation of the story. Orphan Black season 4 will contain plenty of shocking revelations: one of the characters is set to spill secret, the writers are hinting a plot reset, and BBC's new synopsis reveals that Sarah might just abandon her sisters when times get tough...
Sarah has always been a bit of a wild card. Despite the ensemble cast, Sarah Manning is always the protagonist, and although her allegiances are strong she has been known to act for the benefit of her close family, even if that goes against her found clone sisters.
According to the synopsis, it seems as though Sarah is already trying to finally have a settled life with Kira and Cal, who took his daughter to Iceland in season 3 in order to protect them both. But Sarah's attempt at domestic bliss is short lived...
"Season 4 of the drama will see leader-of-the-pack, Sarah, reluctantly return home from her Icelandic hideout to track down an elusive and mysterious ally tied to the clone who started it all — Beth Childs.
Sarah will follow Beth’s footsteps into a dangerous relationship with a potent new enemy, heading in a horrifying new direction. Under constant pressure to protect the sisterhood and keep everyone safe, Sarah’s old habits begin to resurface.
As the close-knit sisters are pulled in disparate directions, Sarah finds herself estranged from the loving relationships that changed her for the better."
There is definitely a lot to unpack here, and what's most interesting is the idea of Sarah drifting away from the Clone Club while she throws herself into this new investigation. The "old habits" are also intriguing: this is clearly a reference to Sarah's past, but whether the habits are stealing, doing cons, or something darker that hasn't yet been revealed.
This is really worrying for Sarah: at the beginning of season 1 she was somewhat lost, not even allowed to see her child because Mrs S didn't deem her responsible enough.
But the events of seasons 1, 2, and 3 really changed Sarah: she became more sure of herself, and took responsibility not just for herself and Kira but also acted to protect her clone sisters. Sarah is really the driving force in the show, and she's definitely one of the most headstrong characters. If the BBC's summary is anything to go by, this might just lead her down a dark path in season 4.
Back To The Beginning
All of this certainly seems like a return to season 1's rhythm, returning to a plotline that follows a detective style investigation sparked by a mystery surrounding Beth Childs. Considering Beth's importance to the show's beginning, it's great to know she's still relevant and she'll be getting more focus in season 4. After all, there's plenty of her story still to be told, as the consequences of her actions continue to affect the other clones.
Season 3 even foreshadowed the re-focus on Beth's importance to the plot, as she appeared to Sarah in a fever dream.
"We do terrible things for the people we love… Stop asking why. Start asking who, sister."
Of course bringing back Beth completely would be nonsensical, as her death kick starts all the action. But Sarah following Beth's trial down the rabbit hole, and entangling herself in situations where she's out of her depth is very much the theme of season 1, and it'll be exciting to see season 4 mirror this story.
We've also been promised the return of another key season 1 player: Neolution. Returning briefly in season 3, the organisation is set to be the main antagonist for season 4, and they've had a far bigger role in the action than we thought. Showrunner Graeme Manson hinted at what we might see from them next year...
"[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. With Manson promising more body horror themes in season 4, Neolution might be the most frightening foe the Clone Club has faced.
But I'm personally hoping that the new enemy mentioned by the BBC's summary is actually a totally new antagonist, as the unending labyrinth of intersecting organisations is getting a little tiresome. It would be great to see the clones face a new threat, totally independent from Project Leda (and Dyad, and Topside, and Neolution) who are nonetheless equally dangerous.
So far season 4 is shaping up to be an interesting change in pace, but we'll just have to wait until next year to get all the answers to our questions!