Review: Defiance, “Everything Is Broken” (Season Finale)

The first season of Defiance has already come to an end after just twelve episodes. It had a bit of a shaky start, but I think “Everything Is Broken” is a fairly decent ending. As I’ve come to expect from Defiance, it’s a little weak in some areas, but overall satisfying.

A promotional image for DefianceNormally, I try to avoid spoilers, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this review properly without including a few. You’ve been warned.

“Everything Is Broken” wastes no time in dumping a variety of crises on the town of Defiance. Datak Tarr has won the election, delivering the town and its deadly secrets into the hands of Earth Republic. Irisa has to come face to face with her destiny as the alien angel of death. Kenya must flee town or face the wrath of Datak for her dalliances with his wife.

Mostly, it’s a pretty exciting bundle of plots that does a good job of wrapping up the season’s main arcs while introducing new threats and mysteries. I felt the answers might have flowed out a little too quickly and easily, but at the same time, I’m relieved they’re not going to just string us along endlessly without ever answering anything a la Battlestar Galactica.

The main weakness of this episode is Irisa’s plot. I’ve finally come to the conclusion she’s just not as interesting as the rest of the cast. Whether it’s the writing or the acting, she just feels flat compared to the other main characters, and this becomes painfully apparent when she’s the main focus of an episode as she was here.

The other weak point in “Everything Is Broken” — surprisingly — was Stahma Tarr. I’ve been a big fan of her character up until now, but her personality is just so all over the place that it’s becoming almost impossible to tell when we’re seeing the real her and when she’s just putting on a mask. I used to like being confused by her many masks and deceptions, but now I’m simply confused.

Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) in DefianceHowever, there were significant highlights, as well. This episode treated us to many instances of Nolan being a complete badass, and once again, Datak Tarr absolutely steals the show. Tony Curran just does an amazing job playing that character.

Datak is not at all likable or sympathetic, but he’s definitely not one-dimensional, either. The scene at the end after he’s murdered the E-Rep colonel, when he knows he’s just signed his own death warrant… Just the tired look in his eyes, the way his mask of Castithan bravado finally crumbles. Sheer brilliance.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the first season of Defiance. It’s not exactly blown me away, but it’s been pretty consistently enjoyable, and it keeps me wanting to tune in every week. It’s slowly but steadily improved over time, and I could see it getting even better, but even if it doesn’t, I still find it worth my time.

Overall rating for “Everything Is Broken”: 7.9/10

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