Saturday, July 19, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 5: Put the Damage On

Amanda is having a nice quite night in, indulging her Adreno habit – when a man breaks in, wearing a mask. He tells Amanda she is his and she smashes him through a window. I approve.

Nolan arrives and takes details of the attack – and Amanda shares that though she didn’t see the man who attacked her clearly, for a moment he reminded her of the man who raped her in New York.

Datak is having his wounds treated by Yewl while also ranting about Stahma. Yewl isn’t impressed and, in her perfect way, makes it clear he is at least partly responsible for his own downfall. Yewl gives good advice and is just the epitome of perfection. She tells him to fix his family from the inside which leaves Datak wondering how to get Staham to allow him inside

As Yewl leaves, she meets another Indogene called Lev – and Yewl doesn’t welcome (and she still has awesome lines. “To forgive is divine.” “no, it’s deeply human – which neither of us are.”) Lev was also involved with Yewl in cutting up and experimenting on humans during the Pale Wars. I think this is the first time we’ve come across the Indogene language as well. Yewl walks away from her and Lev tells Yewl she’s dying

Amanda, walking in the market, runs into Nolan in an ally – who says all kinds of really-not-real stuff about not caring and her not caring and how Amanda is his; she pushes him away and runs to a main thoroughfare – and sees the real Nolan. Amanda is hallucinating. This is your brain on Adreno – apparently

She realises this and goes to Niles who also partakes; Niles is sure there’s nothing wrong with the Adreno, that Amanda is sick and insists she go to Rafe’s house

Which has, after his eviction, been taken over by the E-Rep. Irisa thinks this is wrong, Tommy is all Team!E-rep. He doesn’t like Nolan either

Nolan has also pretty much confirmed that Amanda’s attacker didn’t exist – and he’s confirmed that she takes Adreno – but hallucination isn’t a side effect of Adreno, apparently.

Where has Rafe gone after being evicted? To the Tarr’s of course – which means he gets to adapt to Castithan bathing (showers are only for very low caste Casti). And communal bathing with Stahma who drops some more information about Casti culture before giving Rafe a glorious mixed threat and reassurance – she knows Rafe had Alak beating for being part of the business – but rest assured, he isn’t. She runs it. Also, Rafe must be very very friendly with Alak and preferably stay  here forever and ever. All with the underlying “I can have you torn limb form limb” undercurrent. Because she is Stahma. And she is awesome.

Datak visits and gets smacked by the doorman. But he was still let in in order for everyone to glare at him.  He makes a ritual supplication which basically begs to be allowed back into the house as a visitor. Rafe is somewhat amused by Datak humbling himself before his wife, but Christie is outraged that Datak, who burned Alak, will be allowed back in the house. Unfortunately but Castithan law he’s also claiming a right to “safeguard” his lineage – the grandchild. Alak would also like her to let the hand burning thing go.

Back to Amanda who continues to have hallucinations and should probably tell Tommy and Irisa that, then they’d be less likely to be worried when she sees things and certainly wouldn’t give her a gun and leave her alone – and she wouldn’t end up attacking them. Tommy ets a concussion, Irissa is shot but super chosen one healing powers kick in.

Back to Yewl – yaaaaay! Lev is dying because she caught a disease the Indogene created to kill humans. Oops. Unfortunately the cure they invented doesn’t work on Indogenes because the disease wasn’t supposed to either. Double oops. Lev is not there for healing – she’s there for Yewl to forgive her and say goodbye; with a very strong indication that they were much more than just friends and colleagues.

Christie is immensely frustrated that no matter what she does, she’s still an outsider in the Tarr household and vents with Alak’s new DJ who decides to help Christie saying “come play with me” with a lot of sexual suggestion.

Datak goes to the Need Want and pretends to hire a male Irathient prostitute – but it’s a ruse to try and access his spies – the man appears to be working for the Votanis collective and has been doing business with Stahma. But Datak offers to take Defiance away from the E-Rep

Nolan and Niles are looking for Amanda who has gone running after her last episode – and Nolan has rightly guessed who is supplying Amanda with Adreno and suspects Niles of spiking it. Niles and Nolan do the “grr if we had antlers we’d bash heads but we’re human so all we can do is posture over a woman” thing.

And it’s Niles’s turn to hallucinate – this time Connor, Amanda’s dead ex, who apparently was there when the Votans attacked their school – with implications that what happened to him made him obsess about and stalk Connor. Niles starts crying

Nolan and Irisa find Amanda passed out and foaming in the Need Want. Looking at her neck they find an implant she had, which is supposed to help in combat is on the fritz and may be causing the problem – to Yewl’s!

But she’s out on a romantic walk with her ex, Lev, (she’s all positive about the world, Yewl her glorious cynical self). Lev is looking for forgiveness because she left, she couldn’t stand the experiments they were performing on the humans – something Yewl clearly has a lot of guilt about still (which we saw in season 1 as well). Yewl is desperate to heal Lev – and then live with her. Except Yewl has missed something, forgotten something trying to deal with it in her mind – Lev is dead. She committed suicide – Yewl forgives her. And undead Lev wants Yewl to suicide with her

Thankfully Yewl doesn’t do it (that would have made the show 50% less awesome) and she hurries back to the clinic to save Amanda and stopping Nolan botching the job. Afterwards she explains to Lev she can’t die, because the people need her – it’s her penance.

Datak continues his plotting, now trying to get Rafe on his side. Yes, a tall order – but Datak wants to get rid of the E-Rep, something they can both get behind

Amanda and Nolan meet up again – for Amanda’s Ego chip to break either she ran into someone else with a defect Ego, or she was purposefully infected (I vote Niles – on both accounts).

And to Yewl’s lab where it’s confirmed that she and Niles had plotted to do just that; so they could steal her memories. Yewl also had her own chip as part of the plan – which explains her hallucination of a dead ex. Which she’s keeping around for a bit, because she can’t let Lev go.

Well, Defiance is going to have to get over their habit of killing GBL characters or they’ll have to kill half the cast! I did not see that coming – I’m intrigued and I want to see more

We have Yewl and Lev were couple

Alak’s DJ making moves on Christie

And Niles was obsessed with Connor, stealing his hair and stalking him? Ok it could be non-sexual (and if it is, implying the Votans did this to him with their abuse and the pervert line adds 8 kinds of wrongness to it).

Datak kissed the Irathient man.

Yes, I’m intrigued and want to see more. But I’m also wary – partly because of that whole killing off the GBL thing. But also because all of this has wariness – I don’t know where Christie and the DJ are going (or if they’re going anywhere) but given the whole marriage to Alak, I think we can say “nowhere good”. I already mentioned the massive pit of tropes with Niles (abuse made him the way he is etc etc), Yewl’s relationship with Lev was beautiful and meaningful and had some really great character moments for Yewl – but it also came complete with its own GAYDEATH and TRAGIC SAME SEX RELATIONSHIP built in. And Datak seemed to have used the kiss as a pretext to speak to a spy

See, there was a lot, but every bit was built on sound risky foundations – so I want to see where this develops before I celebrate.

Yewl had some awesome character development, the conflict between her guilt, her dispassionate nature and her penance is always so powerful.

Stahma is awesome, making it clear who is boss – but I don’t know why she accepted Datak back in her house – she’s already shown how little Casti law matters. Maybe a requirement from their society or she’s careful how far she can push?

There seems to be an implication that Niles was Amanda's rapist which... is grossly unnecessary Defiance. It feels like gratuitous bad guy coding by throwing in a rape