Review: Defiance, “In My Secret Life”

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.

The cast for Defiance for season twoIf 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.

Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr in DefianceThis 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.

The town of DefianceStill, these are minor complaints. The positives of “In My Secret Life” vastly outweighed the negatives.

Overall rating: 8/10

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4 thoughts on “Review: Defiance, “In My Secret Life”

  1. Sucks for Yewll to have lost that finger too. And the closing scene where Irisa saw that yes indeed, Tommy really has moved on (just like he said when he broke off the kiss in the jail) was….. expected, yet still somehow poignant. Nice to see Nolan and Amanda finally stop dancing around what they feel for each other too.

    • I don’t imagine anyone enjoys having a finger lopped off, but being Yewll’s an Indogene, I wouldn’t be surprised if she just grew a new one in her lab at some point (once she gets out of jail), or replaced it with something cybernetic. Aren’t Indos supposed to be around half machine parts to begin with?

      • Or they can regenerate. I think they said or showed something to that effect in the 1st season, but I might be misremembering. Even so, I was surprised that they just jumped right to that in the interrogation and then didn’t even bring it up again later, not even as a mention of “couldn’t get the knife to him becuz the E-Rep cut off my finger!”

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