Review: Dark Matter, “I’ve Seen the Other Side of You”

The ponderous beast known as iTunes has at last awoken from its slumber and bestowed upon me the latest episode of Dark Matter. Better late than never.

The logo for Dark Matter“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” isn’t quite the rollercoaster of the last two episodes, but it does maintain Dark Matter’s record of (almost) always delivering a decent hour of entertainment.

Tensions are high on the Raza as the original crew and the new arrivals struggle to integrate. The old crew doesn’t trust them, and at least some of that distrust may be warranted.

But there’s little time to deal with these trust issues. As Sally the android shuts down for some badly needed repairs, Two, Three, and Four collapse with a mysterious illness, and things only spiral downward from there.

Five is the last one standing, and it’s up to her to set things right.

Relative to what blockbusters the last two episodes have been, this one feels a bit like filler. I would have rather seen them focus on the difficult integration of the new members. We know hardly anything about the new characters; let’s get to know them. I still don’t have an opinion of any of them because I don’t know anything about them.

Or perhaps we could have seen more of the crew’s conflict with the corporations play out. At the start, Two seems to be plotting an all-out war on the entire corporate system — which would seem like an absurd fantasy if anyone but Two was putting it forth — but then that, too, falls by the wayside.

The crew of the Raza is inducted into prison in the season two openingInstead we’re given just a random “crisis of the week” story. I could see this episode having some repercussions eventually, but right now it doesn’t seem to have any significant relevance to the ongoing storyline.

The science behind doesn’t even begin to make sense, either. I mean, I’m not expecting hard science fiction from Dark Matter, but at least give me plausible-sounding technobabble. Make some effort.

However, one thing does save what would otherwise be a very mediocre episode: Five.

“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” gives Five the opportunity to take center stage, and Jodelle Ferland puts on an excellent performance from beginning to end. Granted, Five has always been my favourite, so maybe I’m biased, but I thought she completely stole the show.

I really admire Dark Matter’s ability to give a character like Five the opportunity to play the hero. It’s not always easy to give interesting stories to characters like her — geeky tech types who aren’t at home on the battlefield. As much as I loved Star Trek: Enterprise, it certainly struggled to find Hoshi anything to do. I half-expected Five to get the same treatment here.

So far, though, Five is getting plenty of opportunity to get the spotlight, to save the day and be the hero. And I’m loving every minute of it.

Overall rating: 7.4/10

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