Orphan Black's fourth season premiere aired last Thursday, so we're taking this opportunity to dissect the popular show's game-changing episode and how it may affect the series from here on out. As such, we've included some, but not all, of the episode's plot spoilers, which begin after the first big-bold text heading below.

You’d be forgiven for turning your nose up at the idea of getting involved with a long-running sci-fi series. It's usually somewhere around a show's fourth season that a producer or showrunner decides it’s time for things to shake things up. It’s the fans’ fault! They’ve already made it clear that they’ll stomach a show’s decision to bend the rules of science and logic. Surely they’ll accept just about any cockamamie twist, right? Let’s kinda-sorta kill Starbuck or add some Kromaggs!

Yet of all modern, long-running sci-fi out there, Orphan Black might be in the best position to endure such a shake-up right now. The clone-obsessed series stumbled through the earlier episodes of its third season last year, especially as it focused on boring villain Dr. Coady, and Delphine’s turn as a Dyad executive, and a bunch of other Dyad plot gobbledygook. Eventually, the BBC America and Space co-production returned to the source of its initial charm: its star. Orphan Black has always shined by mining world-collision moments for both drama and humorous effect, as various clone-carnations of lead actress Tatiana Maslany contend with the other clones’ idiosyncrasies (not to mention their odd friends and family members). Orphan Black got back to this, and it tied a surprisingly neat bow on some of its hokey clone-brother plots.

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