Orphan Black returns to form in Season 4

I was a huge fan of Orphan Black in Season 1. I sat, transfixed, as Tatiana Maslany assumed multiple personalities to play Sarah, Katja, Alison, Cosima, Helena and the first revelations about the Leda clones were first hinted at. I missed folks like Dr. Leekie, Det. Angie DeAngelis and Olivier Duval (a.k.a. the man with the tail), who were so important—and fun—in those early days.

So to see all of them packed into Season 4’s return, “The Collapse of Nature,” was not only thrilling, but a much-needed—in my eyes—reboot and reminder of why we all tuned in in the first place. Within the first four minutes (available to fans to watch online ahead of Thursday’s broadcast), it had been established there was yet another clone, M.K., who was working with Beth Childs. Speaking of Beth, she was alive and well. Yup, Orphan Black did a time jump back to before Sarah Manning ever entered the picture. There she was, sleeping when M.K. called to say she’d witnessed a body being buried in the woods. And who was next to Beth and wrapped in the sheets? Paul, also alive and kicking.

I was immediately immersed in the story as Beth and Art investigated the mutilated corpse, boasting a bifurcated penis and missing right cheek, and were off to find out who he was and why he was there. The path led Beth to the body mod club … and there was Olivier having shiny bling added to his tail.

We’ve all known Beth had issues, but to see them played out in front of us was amazing and added depth to the character. Addicted to drugs and battling to keep her relationship with Paul intact, Beth was only scratching the surface of the clone conspiracy—including questioning Leekie—when she stepped in front of that train. Feeling alone and emotionally disconnected, she turned to Art for affection before being called away by a girl at the club and witnessing the worm being pulled from a fellow club-goer’s cheek. The revelation the bearded guy involved in the plot is with the police union in wake of the alleyway shooting that killed Maggie Chen is pushing Beth into a corner she’s desperate to escape from. (As an aside, how great was it to see Felix in the police precinct, sassy as ever while defending the actions that got him booked in the first place?)

By episode’s end, we were jerked back to the present, with Art calling Sarah to tell her to run, that Iceland was no longer safe for her. I’m hoping that there’s at least one more episode where we see Beth’s storyline and see what she’d discovered before she took her life. And, of course, to learn more about M.K.

Orphan Black airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Space.