Defiance, “Ostinato in White”:
Last week’s episode was a very difficult act to follow, but “Ostinato in White” puts forth an admirable, if not entirely sucessful, effort at doing just that.
Stahma returns home, but she is a pale shadow of her former self. While she may have been officially pardoned, the people of Defiance have no love for her, and she is stricken with grief over the loss of Datak, not realizing he did in fact survive.
It’s the most subdued, vulnerable, and human Stahma has ever been, and it’s a very strong performance from Jaime Murray.
Also interesting is that Nolan and Irisa’s roles have been reversed. Just as Irisa has finally managed to pull herself together, Nolan is falling apart, crushed by grief over the soldiers who died under his command. This is probably the strongest part of the episode, bar a very cheesy musical montage in the middle.
The other main story this time around is a series of gruesome killings by what appear to be wild animals.
Gee, I wonder what that’s about? It’s not like a couple of legendary predators have recently taken up residence in Defiance or anything.
The funny thing about this is that while it conclusively proves Kindzi is just plain evil, I think it ultimately does more to make me loathe T’evgin. Kindzi is at least honestly evil — she is responding to her nature, and she makes no apologies for it.
T’evgin clearly has higher ideals, but he does a terrible job of adhering to them. He turns a blind eye to Kindzi’s transgressions in most cases, and he puts no effort into setting right her wrongs. If he’s to be the reformer for the Omec, he’s being incredibly half-assed about it.
So that, even more than Kindzi’s behaviour, convinces me that the Omec really are just monsters.
I’m also a bit disappointed we’re once again seeing Yewll coerced into shady behaviour. I love that character, but her plots are getting terribly repetitive. Not happy with the loss of Samir, either — he was a good foil for her.
Overall rating: 7.4/10
Dark Matter, episode eight:
Six takes center stage in this episode. Using the clone transfer technology he learned about earlier in the season, he attempts to track down the terrorist leader who tricked him into murdering thousands of innocents. It’s time for a little vigilante justice.
Six’s disappearance draws the suspicion of the rest of the Raza‘s crew, and with Five’s grudging assistance, they’re able to track him down. One and Four are chosen to bring him back, but in the process, long-held secrets about One are brought to light.
Meanwhile, “Sally” the android slowly recovers from the damage inflicted during last week’s episode, and Five makes clear what we’ve known all along: She’s not just a heartless machine.
Episode eight is a great example of everything that makes Dark Matter enjoyable. Snappy dialogue, good character development, and lots of crazy twists.
This episode is further proof that Two is probably the least trustworthy person on the ship, and I still strongly suspect she’s the one who wiped their memories. I do love the hypocrisy of her lecturing the crew on trust and not keeping secrets while she’s still wearing a bandage to conceal her wound which healed in less than a day, and Sally has only further confirmed that she’s hiding something.
Six is tied with Five for the spot of my favourite character on the series, so I liked seeing him get the focus, and a good righteous revenge story is always entertaining. I look forward to seeing how this plot evolves going forward.
Four also had a strong showing this time. I’m curious what the implications of his scene near the end are, and it was interesting to see him serving as a voice of reason for once.
I also look forward to One and Three’s rivalry getting even more intense after this week’s revelations.
Again, Dark Matter is very good at giving everyone something to do.
My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that this episode (briefly) continues last episode’s attempt to make Three not a total jerk, and it still just doesn’t make much sense.
Otherwise, an excellent episode.
Overall rating: 8.3/10