Review: Dark Matter, “Wish I Could Believe You”

I think the radio has been playing the Revivalists too much, because I keep wanting to type “Wish I Could Believe You When I Was Young.”

Anyway.

A promotional image for Dark Matter season threeAfter hoodwinking us all into thinking Six was gone, this episode is pretty much all Six, all the time. After a ruthless chemical attack by Ferrous, Six is the only survivor, and while he makes it off the planet in one piece, he’s far from out of the woods.

Things start to get weird as he experiences flashbacks to his previous life — before the Raza, before the memory wipe — triggered by exposure to the neurotoxin.

To be honest, I was able to see where this was going pretty early on. I’ll avoid spoiling it, but if you’ve watched enough sci-fi, you probably will, too.

So it’s a very predictable episode, but otherwise it’s not bad. A focus on Six is always welcome, especially after we thought we were losing him, and he gets to turn the tables on the bad guys in some spectacular fashion.

On the downside, there’s little room left for meaningful development of the other cast members, but that’s really only noticeable because Dark Matter usually goes above and beyond to give everyone something to do. One episode where that’s not the case isn’t the end of the world.

My one real complaint is not so much about this episode as it is the rest of the season up until now. If Six was never going anywhere, why fake us out like that? What was the point of that whole tangent? I suppose we’ve now made Ferrous into an even scarier threat than they already were, but did it need to take so much time?

Five (Jodelle Ferland) and Six (Roger Cross) in Dark MatterWe’re seven episodes in, and it feels like the season is just getting started. It feels overdue for us to get some serious development with the corporate war and the conflict with Ryo.

And I don’t think the next episode will solve that, either. It looks like Sarah’s story is going to take centre stage (bringing back the dead never has a happy ending — a good nerd like Five should know that). And I think that will be interesting, and I’m looking forward to it, but again, when do we return to the main story?

But hey, at least Six is back.

Overall rating: 7/10

Review: Dark Matter, “One More Card to Play”

After some rough episodes, this is a return to form for Dark Matter. It’s not perfect, but on the whole, it’s a good ride.

The logo for Dark MatterThere’s a twist that it would be impossible to discuss this episode without spoiling. The twist comes fairly early on, and I won’t spoil the other twists later in the episode, but if you haven’t seen “One More Card to Play” yet and want to come in totally fresh, you might want to leave now.

Cool? Cool.

The episode begins with Two and Three stirring rebellion aboard a Zairon prison ship, but it soon becomes clear it’s not actually Two and Three. It’s Portia and Marcus, their ruthless selves from the other universe.

Yes, the evil universe is back, and they’re about to cause all kinds of problems for the Raza crew.

As mentioned above, this is a return to the kind of rollicking, thoroughly entertaining adventure that Dark Matter is known for. It’s a fun episode, there’s humour, there’s action, there are some good twists, the ending gives us another cliffhanger, and it’s just a good ride all around.

I have to say, I like having Wexler back. I mean, he’s disgusting, but that’s the point. When it comes to “love to hate them” bad guys, there are few better.

It was also interesting to see Ryo continue to lose it, though once again it was too small a portion of the episode.

Alex Mallari Jr. as Ishida Ryo/Four in Dark MatterAnd once again, Five and Sally steal the show by being completely awesome in every way.

There are still some issues. The new guy continues to irritate, though he’s not in the spotlight nearly so much as past episodes, so it could be a lot worse.

If the ending is to be believed, I’ve gotten my wish, and the new guy is gone. I’m not going to get my hopes up too high, but if he really is gone — or at least reduced to a background character — that can only help the show.

I’ll miss Solara, but if they must be a package deal, he’s more annoying than she was interesting, so this is still a net gain.

Also, I had hoped the return of the evil universe characters might offer some more insight into Portia and Sally’s history, but I was destined for disappointment on that front.

Still, it’s a pretty solid hour of television all told.

Overall rating: 7/10