Review: Defiance, “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes”

This is kind of an odd episode.

A promotional image for Defiance“If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” is a complicated episode with a lot going on. It begins with tragedy befalling the Tarr household as one of their most beloved servants is found brutally murdered. Suspicion falls on Datak, but for once, he actually is innocent, and he and Stahma put aside their differences to find the perpetrator and treat them to all the lavish brutality of Castithan justice.

Rynn returns to Defiance alongside what is apparently the world’s only Jewish Irathient, and Irisa is shocked to discover he bears an uncanny resemblance to the man from her visions.

And finally, Christie continues her experiments with cross-species cross-dressing, threatening her marriage with Alak.

The strange thing about this episode is that all these totally disparate plots interconnect and bounce off each other.

On the one hand, it gives the plot a certain elegance, as all the threads feed off the same plot points. It’s really quite clever.

On the other hand, it feels very odd that the intersection of these plots doesn’t really make any difference. That is, none of the plots affect each other, despite crossing paths several times.

Nolan and Irisa in DefianceFor the most part, the different stories are entertaining, at least. I was quite glad to see the mystery of Irisa’s destiny advancing again, though really we’re only left we’ve even more questions. I must confess that I am getting a little impatient to finally get some indication of what in Irzu’s name is actually going on.

Datak’s hunt for his servant’s killer was probably the highlight of the episode, perhaps not surprisingly. It was very bizarre to see him, Stahma, and Rafe all on the same side for what is probably the first and last time, but also quite entertaining.

I didn’t really care for Alak and Christie’s plot, though. Unfortunately, Alak’s sudden transition to someone interesting seems to have been rendered moot, and he’s now once again as dull as he was in the first season. And Christie has never been interesting.

I will say that I think Christie is probably better off without him. Alak is pretty decent by Castithan standards, but even so, I wouldn’t wish being a Castithan’s wife on anyone. Alak may not be anywhere near the monster his father is, but he’s still a product of his culture, however tempered by growing up on Earth he may be, and he’s mostly only ever been a jerk to Christie.

There were some smaller details of “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” that I enjoyed. The Earth Republic chancellor has turned out to be a far more interesting and nuanced character than I expected.

Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr in DefianceThat happens a lot on this show. I should really stop assuming that any character is truly one-dimensional, or that I have anyone figured out based on first impressions. There are some shows where those would be safe bets, but Defiance is not one of them.

Also, while she didn’t play a major role in the story, we did see a fair bit of Doc Yewll, and that is always, always a good thing.

Overall rating: 7.8/10

2 thoughts on “Review: Defiance, “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes”

  1. Just saw this episode tonight and Nolan’s takedown of Irisa in order to find out just what’s going on with her was interesting. Also her flashback vision opened up a lot of new questions as well.

    /agree that Christie would be better off without Alak. There’s still her pregnancy to contend with, though.

    Yewll was as deadpan and hilarious as ever.

    That viceroy does indeed seem far more interesting now than he did before. Guess it just goes to show that one doesn’t get to be a viceroy in the E-Rep without a lot going on under the surface.

    I actually sympathized with this week’s redshirt villain. That said, it was kinda fun seeing Datak fulfill his promise to Stahma and also Rafe’s “This would be a citizen’s arrest. . . .”

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