On last week's back-to-basics season premiere, Orphan Black Season 4 went back in time to show us what happened to Beth before her ill-fated meeting with a train way back in the pilot. Almost the entire hour was devoted to the unraveling clone, leaving off shortly after her fatal shooting of Maggie Chen — and thus shortly before her suicide — and didn't jump back to the present until the final moments of the episode. So, it seemed like perhaps the show was done with the flashbacks; that this was a one-off thing that allowed us to get to know Beth a little better and introduce us to Season 4's new threat: Neolution worms. But, this week's episode, "Transgressive Border Crossing," surprisingly continued the flashbacks, filling in even more of Beth's backstory… and raising even more mysteries along the way.
Unlike last week, the flashbacks in this episode didn't consume the entire episode, but instead emerged organically out of Sarah's storyline. After being contacted by M.K., she and Art went in search of clues for the new clone's identity in Beth's apartment, and found the camera she had installed to spy on her own spy, Paul. As Art watched the video feed, the show zoomed in to show the events from Beth's own perspective. We watched as she donned a blonde wig, grabbed a gun and a mysterious white card with a "B" emblazoned on it, and left to do… something.
Since the flashbacks were restricted to what Art was seeing on the camera, we didn't get to follow Beth after she left her apartment, which means we have no idea what she actually got up to in the meantime. But when she returned, she was in a panic and covered in blood. After washing off the blood, cutting up the mysterious card, and saying a tearful goodbye to M.K., Beth walked out the door — forever. Where did she go? Who did she meet? Did she kill somebody? What's the meaning of the card? (It had a magnetic stripe on the back so it appears to be a hotel key or some other kind of electronic access card.)
Since this week's flashbacks ended with Beth literally walking out the door to go take her own life, it seems like the flashbacks are now at an end; but I thought that last week, too, so I'd be reluctant to state definitively that this show is done with the past. Also, despite the fact that he didn't actually appear in this episode, Dylan Bruce's name popped up in the credits once again, hinting that Paul's return to Orphan Black last week wasn't just a one-off guest appearance but that in fact Bruce remains a series regular. So either Paul is still alive (unlikely) or the show will be returning to the past again and again throughout the season.
That's good news for Paul fans… and hopefully good news for Sarah as well, as the past continues to shed light on the mysteries of the present. Now that she's been infected with one of the icky Neolution worms, we need to learn more about them STAT. And whatever Beth got up to in those hours shortly before her death will probably be the key to solving the mystery — and saving Sarah's life.
Images: Ken Woroner/BBC America (3)