Defiance, “My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You”:
That’s easily the best episode title of the series to date, and really the only reason I’m not declaring it the best episode title in TV history is because Trailer Park Boys exist.
And for the most part, this episode does live up to the awesomeness of its title.
“My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You” sees the people of Defiance at their lowest end, and this season continuing make bleakness and tragedy the order of the day.
Rahm Tak’s men have succeeded in infiltrating Defiance, and they proceed to go on an indiscriminate killing spree. But as terrible as this is, it is but a cover to insert Rahm’s Indogene shapetaker, who plans to cripple Defiance’s defenses from the inside.
This is another moment where I was beginning to feel this season was laying the tragedy on a bit thick, but then things take a very interesting turn as Doc Yewll concocts a last ditch effort plan to save the town.
It’s a suicide mission, but Defiance just so happens to have someone whose life is already forfeit, and who is desperate to redeem themselves.
What follows is the greatest proof yet that Datak is the wiliest, toughest, and craziest son of a bitch you will ever see.
I don’t want to spoil the ending of this episode, but it will blow your mind, and it may just be Defiance’s greatest moment to date.
Something else I enjoyed about this arc is that it gives us our first glimpses (via flashbacks) of the Votanis System, which are spectacular if all too brief.
Even Yuke homes seem surprisingly opulent. I may have to slightly adjust my head canon for my character in the game, who is Yuke.
The one damper on this episode is the continued story surrounding Stahma and the Omec. It’s not even bad, really; it just doesn’t match up the rest of the episode, and the Omec still feel a little random and out of place.
The commander’s change of heart seems out of tune with what’s been established about the Omec so far, and I’m not thrilled by the implication that the Omec will be the focus of the rest of the season.
Still. That ending, though.
Overall rating: 8.7/10
Dark Matter, Episode Seven:
As I predicted, Five has realized she knows the code to access the Raza‘s vault. In addition to a wealth of guns and money, they find two individuals in cold storage.
The first is a terminally ill woman who is part of Three’s past, and the second is another android, an entertainment model with an actual name: Wendy.
So the episode is split between arcs following both of these new characters, and unfortunately, both fail to impress.
This episode serves as the “he’s really not so bad” arc for Three, but in his case, it just doesn’t ring true, despite a strong performance from the actor. The tender, caring man seen in this episode bears no resemblance to the ruthless bastard Three has been throughout the entire series to date.
It’s not even that I don’t believe he could care about someone, but the image of him as a selfless romantic just doesn’t fit.
Meanwhile, Wendy’s arc was mostly a giant monument to every fembot cliche ever. It’s a bit disappointing from a show that has for the most treated its women quite respectfully up until now, and perhaps more importantly, it’s just not that interesting.
Sally’s jealousy of the new android was kind of weird, too. I did like her scene with Five, but I also feel like this was perhaps a missed opportunity to flesh out Sally some more or make her a more meaningful member of the crew, as opposed to simply a source of comedy relief and technobabble. I was kind of expecting her to cannibalize some parts of Wendy’s programming to make her better able to interact with the crew.
Maybe that will come later? Anything’s possible, I guess.
The other major issue with episode seven is that it’s pretty much just filler. Neither new character is likely to play a role going forward, and the main plot has not been advanced in any major way.
Oh, and One and Two’s kind of sort of maybe romance continues. Not fun.
Overall rating: 5.8/10 Probably the weakest episode of the series to date.
I thought it was pretty awesome that Tony Curran got to play Datak’s own father back in the Votan system. I too was surprised that Datak’s “lowest caste” home was still so well appointed, spacious, airy, and light. I was also surprised that his father was some kind of priest or lore-keeper. I didn’t expect that kind of upbringing for Datak at all. And yeah, that ending was surprisingly awesome.
Dark Matter’s episode I thought was kinda fun, if only becuz my wife watches Orange is the New Black, and the Wendy actress is in that also, so she was having a ton of fun seeing her in a different light. Sally’s jealousy of Wendy didn’t make any sense. I did like their “null threat” of the episode being that someone was trying to kill them and they couldn’t see it coming becuz they couldn’t remember, just like 6 had foreseen back in episode 1 or 2. I also liked that they played with the idea of 3 a bit — the woman told him he’d taken care of her and was kind and warm underneath it all and even he said “that just doesn’t sound like me.” The guy has no memories, but even he can tell he’s not got warm and cuddly in there, despite her protestations. I thought it was an amusing meta, anyway.
Yeah, Tony Curran playing the double role was interesting. Fun fact: He wasn’t the only one. Trenna Keating (Doc Yewll) also played the human mother saved by the Omec.
I was also a bit surprised by Datak’s religious upbringing at first, but actually I think he mentioned that before back in the second season. I definitely remember the story of his father choosing to meditate on scripture rather than join him on the arks.
Ya know… I’ve seen pictures of her without the Doc Yewll makeup, so as soon as you said that I went “oh right, that was her.” But I totally missed it while watching the episode. Such is life, no?