Holy long blog title, Batman! I’ve gotten a bit behind in my Defiance reviews with all the big news lately, so let’s get to it.
Review: Goodbye Blue Sky:
No, wait, it’s actually raining giant jagged chunks of flaming metal. That’s much more dangerous, and almost as messy.
“Goodbye Blue Sky” sees Defiance and the local band of Spirit Riders hit by razor rain. Much like the Hellbugs, razor rain is exactly as fun as it sounds, so all members of Defiance have to take shelter in whatever building is nearby when the storm hits. In a town with as much intrigue as Defiance, that can lead to a lot of tense situations.
Meanwhile, something terrible befalls the Spirit Rider Sukar, ultimately leading Irisa to embrace the Irathient faith in earnest, which puts her on a collision course with Nolan.
Mostly, this was a good episode. It did suffer from some shaky writing. A few lines of dialogue just didn’t sound right, and there were too many plots going on at once. Irisa’s plot was very tense, as was the McCawleys’, and these stories could have easily carried the episode. We didn’t need the lovers’ quarrel between Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley, nor the rather pointless diversion with Stahma and Kenya.
However, Irisa is growing on me. She seemed a little more balanced this time around. She still had her bouts of screaming, crying, and threatening to go all Cuisinart on people, but she had some more sedate moments, as well.
I am enjoying this whole “chosen by God” angle they’ve got going with her. I’m suspicious of when sci-fi starts getting all mystical, and it could end up getting silly, but for now, it’s an enjoyable mystery, and there’s no guarantee they’ll pull a Battlestar Galactica and just end up saying “a wizard did it.” So I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
It’s also interesting to see her relationship with Nolan evolve as she drifts ever closer to her own people and away from him.
Also, I’m really starting to appreciate how deliciously evil Nicky is. And Rafe McCawley’s getting pretty badass, too.
These musical montages at the end of every episode really need to die a grizzly death, though. I hated them in Stargate: Universe, and I hate them in Defiance.
Overall rating: 7.3/10
Review: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times:
I feel like I shouldn’t have liked this episode as much as I did. It was, by almost any standard, filler. Even the few new revelations we did get aren’t likely to have major ramifications.
“I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” picks up immediately after the previous episode with Nolan investigating the Arkfall diverted by Sukar. There, he finds something unexpected: a human astronaut from the year 2013, Gordon McClintock (played by Brian J. Smith of Stargate: Universe), who has apparently been in suspended animation on the Arkship for the last several decades.
This raises all sorts of questions about Votan activity before the Pale Wars and threatens to heighten tensions between the Earth Republic and the Votanis Collective, especially as it becomes clear the astronaut is not entirely what he seems to be.
However, for all the political implications of this, this episode is really a pretty personal story. It’s about McClintock’s struggle to cope with the new world and his new life.
It’s a pretty cliche story, and anyone who’s watched a lot of sci-fi TV will find it familiar. It is also, as I said, largely filler with minimal implications to the greater storyline of the series.
But despite all that, it works surprisingly well. Maybe it’s just because I like Brian J. Smith as an actor, but I found the story very touching and heartfelt.
It also helps that things felt less scattered than usual. As is always the case with Defiance, there’s a lot going on in this episode, but most of it ties together logically. The one major tangent, and my only major complaint with the episode, was the continued story with Stahma Tarr and Kenya Rosewater, which I’m still finding pretty dull.
It’s funny. I have nothing against Kenya as a character, and I have no issue with Mia Kirshner’s acting, but every plot she’s involved in just bores me to death for some reason. Coincidence, perhaps.
My only other nit to pick would be the last 30 seconds, which can be summarized as, “Quick! Drop everything for a totally random tie-in with the game!”
Still, overall, I’d say that “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” is probably the best episode of Defiance to date. There’s something to be said for taking something simple and just doing it well.
Overall rating: 7.9/10
I’ve got a few more articles up at WhatMMO. The first is 6 Best MMOs for Story. No one who knows me should be surprised by what hit #1.
The second is Top 6 MMO Enemies. Always with the spiders…