Man, this has been a crazy season. For a while there I really thought Dark Matter was losing its mojo. There were a lot of mediocre episodes, and at least one straight up terrible one, in the middle of the season, and there have been a lot of missed opportunities. I was starting to get pretty discouraged.
But now I’m starting to think they took all the awesome out of the middle of the season so they could cram it into the end. The last three episodes have been incredible, and this is the best one yet — not just of the season, but maybe the whole series.
“My Final Gift to You” brings the ultimate confrontation with Emperor Ryo Ishida, the man who was once Four. I’ve spent the season being disappointed this plot hasn’t got more attention, and this very well could have been too little too late, but they managed to stuff a full season’s worth of emotion and intensity into one episode.
Ryo has abducted Two. To get her back, he demands the Raza crew hand over the blink drive. But Two’s life isn’t his only tool of manipulation. His reclaimed memories also grant him access to the darkest secrets of every member of the crew, and he uses these to masterfully manipulate them.
But the Raza crew aren’t Ryo’s only problem. As the war worsens for Zairon, unrest grows, and intrigue within the court threatens to throw all into chaos.
Oh, yeah, and Suki just happens to have a galaxy-shaking revelation, too.
Man, where to even begin? Everything about this episode was awesome.
I think my favourite part was Ryo’s one-on-one meetings with all of the crew members and how he was pretty much able to play all of them like a fiddle. There’s fantastic performances from every member of the cast here, and some really intriguing revelations that have no doubt sewn plot seeds for many episodes to come.
I think I enjoy Ryo/Four more as a villain than I did as a protagonist, honestly. This episode really shows just how ruthlessly cunning he is, and his personal connection to the crew adds such a raw emotional intensity to the conflict. “Former friend turned bitter enemy” is hardly a new angle for a story, but rarely is it executed so well.
And we get some awesome sword fights, and we’re treated to another awesome “love to hate her” performance from Ellen Wong as Misaki, and we get to see clearer than ever how much Suki has become an equal member of the crew…
Really, “My Final Gift to You” is just excellent in every way. I hope the season finale can somehow keep up this momentum.
Overall rating: 9.3/10