Review: Dark Matter, “All the Time in the World”

Time for that old sci-fi tradition: the time loop. It’s Groundhog Day for Three as he relives the same twenty-four hours over and over again. In his efforts to break the loop, he discovers a deadly plot by Ryo to kill the crew and retake the blink drive.

The logo for Dark MatterAnd then things get really weird.

“Busy” doesn’t begin to describe this episode. There’s so much going on I’m having trouble keeping it all in my mind, and I literally just watched it. I may forget a subplot or two.

The sheer volume of things at play here is kind of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is there’s so much going on you’re bound to enjoy at least some of it. The bad news is the opposite is also true. There’s way too much going on for it all to be good.

First, Three’s initial trials with the time loop. Not my favourite part of the episode, but not the worst part, either. Perhaps not surprisingly considering this is Three we’re talking about, it’s played for laughs more often than not. Dark Matter has always had a healthy sense of humour, but this is probably the silliest it’s ever been. All things being equal, I’d prefer a more serious plot, but I won’t lie: I laughed.

Things suddenly get a lot more serious when Three discovers the assassin lurking on board. This plot was very good, and I wish it had been given a lot more attention. It could easily have been the focus of a full episode. That assassin’s genuinely scary.

But he got pretty short-changed by how overcrowded the story in “All the Time in the World” is. I’m still not even sure how he got on the ship.

Anthony Lemke as Three in Dark MatterSimilarly, the actual cause of the temporal loop is very poorly explained, and in particular there doesn’t seem to be any explanation for why Three is the one affected, unless I missed something (which is possible in an episode so scattered).

Speaking of Three, I’m less than thrilled by his tribulations over the return of “Sarah.” I’m not a big Three fan, and his relationship with Sarah was always one of the weak points of the series for me. It’s just so at odds with the rest of the character. I understand the idea is supposed to be that his gruff exterior masks his inner pain, but he’s just so much more believable as an asshole than as a romantic. The mask feels more real than what’s underneath.

On top of all that, we’re also still getting used to the new characters. The new guy — I refuse to expend the effort necessary to learn his name — is still proving himself to be a waste of oxygen. He’s the Jar Jar Binks of Dark Matter. Yay.

Solara, the other newcomer, is growing on me, though. Still a bit early to be drawing any firm conclusions about her, but I like the cut of her jib. I really want to know her backstory. How did someone as badass as her find her fate shackled to such an imbecile?

And then there’s the mind-frack of an ending, which gives us some tantalizing glimpses of what might be coming. I’m still digesting it all.

Overall rating: 7.2/10

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