At about the midway point, I’m still undecided on where this season of Defiance will place, alongside the first and second. There’s a lot going on here, and whilst some elements need to be truncated or dropped entirely, there’s a lot of good going on.
I’m reminded that when this series originally started, it launched alongside a video game which was supposed to tie in with the story. That isn’t something with an illustrious history (Remember Enter the Matrix? No, of course you don’t -Ed), and indeed it seems to be the TV series which has better stood up to the passage of time.
I haven’t actually played the game, as I like my games single player and MMORPGs have far too much of other people, so when something obviously game-related crops up, I’m forced to resort to Google. But it is, I suppose, worth remembering every so often that the video game does also exist.
The newly returned Alak’s revelations about his parents send Datak and Stahma on the run, with Nolan and Amanda hunting them down as traitors. Meanwhile, on the eve of his assault, Rahm Tak receives an unexpected emissary from his superiors in the Votanis Collective.
Well this was always going to happen. Alak arrives home, very (Some would say, not unreasonably -Ed) upset with his mother for killing his wife. To be fair, the fact that after Alak refuses to listen to Stahma’s excuses, she beats the crap out of him adds a nice flavour. Alak is saved — and his parents screwed — by the servant girl summoning Nolan.
So Alak casually spills the beans that his parents have been spying for the VC, and that they blew up the arch. Ooops. So we have a manhunt. Nolan practically brings out the torches and pitchforks gang to find Datak and Stahma, which makes it all the more amazing that they spend the majority of the episode hidden.
Datak and Stahma’s objective is to get out of the town as soon as possible, so they split up; Stahma goes to collect weapons and money, whilst Datak tries to secure an escape. Which involves breaking into Doc Yewll’s office, for some reason. The good Doctor is open to helping the fugitive Castithan, for reasons unknown, but won’t go as far as leaving with him. Apparently she‘s ‘had time to think’ and understands why Nolan and Amanda skinned her.
Sadly for Datak, he’s pretty damn incompetent, and ends up trailed by Nolan and co. In a bid to save Stahma from capture, and in one of those grand romantic gestures we’ve come to expect from him, he allows himself to be captured whilst his wife escapes.
Nolan’s main concern now is finding out what Rahm Tak is planning. He doesn’t believe that Datak knows basically nothing, and whilst he sympathises with them being forced to co-operate with the enemy, he’s sceptical that that needed to extend to sabotage. Given how easily Nolan and Irisa waltzed into Tak’s camp a few episodes back, he has a point: it wouldn’t have been that hard to break Alak out. Come to think of it, how hard would it be for them to actually just blow everything up?
Alak and Nolan orchestrate the lawkeeper threatening to shoot the young Castithan, to make sure Datak is being sincere, in literally the most predictable move in the series so far. But Nolan reckons that Amanda will still hang Datak for treason, which seems a little barbaric. Meanwhile Stahma surprises Amanda in her office, for a Defiance catfight, on the absurd premise of kidnapping the mayor. It ends with Stahma deciding not to kill Amanda, and limping away with a knife in her side. She goes straight to T’evgin, which might be a mistake, since Nolan knows she’s been there, and so does T’evgin’s none-too-pleased daughter Kindzi.
Outside Defiance, Rahm Tak is rallying his men for the assault on Defiance, which he seems to be taking his sweet time getting to. He’s interrupted this time by the appearance of a mysterious masked rider. It turns out to be Tak’s wife, sent from Brasilia by the VC bigwigs to order him back home. You see, Tak’s holy crusade was apparently only meant to be a scouting mission, and his cutting a bloody swathe to Defiance is the actions of a rogue. Not all of the VC, it seems, are bloodthirsty madmen.
But Rahm Tak is a bloodthirsty madman, and rather than end his murderous crusade, he kills his own wife and dumps her in front of his men, telling them that she was an assassin sent by the humans. And on, apparently, to Defiance.
So we seem to be getting closer and closer to what I presume will be the endgame of this season; the second battle of Defiance. I’m presuming that there are the usual 13 episodes in this season, so if the battle is in probably episode seven, then it does make me think maybe Tak wins, in some form.
Nevertheless, the twisting, complicated story on which this series prides itself has taken another twist this episode, and a focused, fast-paced episode gave it the movement it needed without skimping on the character moments. Even Alak, whose death I frequently called for in the past two seasons, was more bearable and less whiny.
I’m hoping for something really spectacular next episode, Defiance, so don’t let me down.
- I told you that the arms dealer was someone important. Berlin’s ex, it seems. That’s handy. Said ex is Konrad Von Bach, a name which will be familiar to players of the Defiance game.
- So Omec are alright with incest. Which is a bit dark. Wasn’t it enough to have Kindzi upset at T’evgin sleeping with Stahma because she’s his daughter?
- The scene with Nolan and Alak bonding at the end over being awful fathers was rather touching. Particularly as they are both awful fathers.
- The idea that Nolan would ever be able to find out Rahm Tak’s plans from the Tarrs was pretty sketchy. It’s very unlikely that Tak would trust the Tarrs much at all. In fact, I usually wonder why Defiance keeps trusting them.