It may be early going, but so far, the second season of Defiance seems to be an improvement over the first. Or, at least, it seems more consistent. No growing pains this time.
If I had to describe “In My Secret Life” in a word, I’d go with, “tight.” There aren’t necessarily any mind-blowing moments or shocking twists, but every scene is compelling, there’s no wasted time, and every plot and character gets a decent level of attention. Never once did my attention waver, and the hour flew by.
“In My Secret Life” has Nolan and Irisa returning to Defiance after nearly a year away. As one might expect, the E-Rep don’t exactly welcome them back with open arms, and Irisa wastes no time in getting herself arrested.
However, Nolan has the opportunity to win freedom for them both by investigating a series of bombings targeting Mayor Pottinger. This investigation also ties into Alak Tarr’s struggles to prove himself as a properly ruthless Castithan man in a very interesting way.
An episode like this could feel very perfunctory and predictable — serving mainly to restore the status quo of the series — but it fits so well into the ongoing arcs that this isn’t a problem.
One thing that’s really surprised me about this season is how interesting Alak Tarr has become. In the first season, he and Christie were among the show’s weakest elements, but while Christie is still just kind of there, Alak has rapidly become one of the most compelling members of the cast, and after the events of “In My Secret Life,” I can’t wait to see where things go next for him.
This isn’t necessarily a complaint, but it’s hard not to feel bad for Tommy at this point, even if I’m not the biggest fan of his character. That’s twice now that all of his work as a law enforcer in Defiance has been completely ignored as soon as Nolan appears. Dude just can’t catch a break, and now he’s once again been relegated to being the token black guy and nothing more.
There are still a few issues with this episode. For one thing, it seems very strange that the E-Rep are only now resuming their interest in whatever the Hell is under the gulanite mines, after nine months of ignoring what was their entire reason for conquering Defiance in the first place.
I understand the idea is that the interest in the subject died with the colonel, and Irisa’s return is what jogged their memory. But the problem is that doesn’t make any sense. I don’t see the E-Rep putting so much effort and resources into taking over and pacifying Defiance purely at the behest of one obsessed colonel. Surely many people higher up the chain of command must have also been interested in… whatever it is.
Furthermore, Datak’s plan to escape from prison turned out to be surprisingly dumb. Dude can be rash at times, but usually he’s pretty cunning when he’s given time to think. Hard to believe he’d think such a contrived plot would work.
Also, I know I’ve said this before, but those musical montages at the end of each episode are awful. Absolutely awful.
Overall rating: 8/10