Saturday, August 23, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 10: Bottom of the World

Irisa breaks into (very easily that’s really shoddy locks there – was it even locked?) the E-Rep field office (nice wanted poster of Yewl). She sets off an alarm but seems quite unconcerned about that because she finds a glowy thing. Oooooh glowy thing. E-Rep troops run around searching rather inefficiently the same small stretch of road and Irisa escapes…

Into Nolan’s hands. He takes her bag, pushes her aside and tells the E-Rep that the thief escaped but dropped their bag and he hands over the glowy thing. Awwww, it was shiny. Apparently it’s a Terrasphere. I think Glowy Thing is a much better name.

Nolan takes Irisa back to the Lawkeeper’s office and is monumentally pissed at her. He takes her badge – and her knives (using that parental “I’m not going to shout so you know how angry I am” voice). He’s also really not happy that while Kenya was kidnapped and he needed her help she disappeared. Irisa responds with attitude that doesn’t really fight the whole angry parent/stroppy teenager vibe. She explains that Sukar’s sick but not how a very non-healy terrasphere is supposed to actually fix that. It’s kind of like saying “Fred’s sick, so I need this uranium”. Nolan handcuffs her.

Meanwhile our old not!friend Ambassador Tennity is heading back (which strikes me as the worst possible idea for the E-Rep – they don’t have ambassadors who won’t be loathed in Defiance?) because Defiance has mined a whole load of Gulanite. This is reported by Alakk on the radio while Deidre writhes in his lap – after the broadcast he pushes her off and wants to end their affair, focused on their marriage and not “childish” sex games. Deidre is outraged that she’s just sex to him and when he offers her job security she demands money: “if you’re going to treat me like a whore you’re going to pay me like one.” I think she meant to call his bluff or something – but he hands over the money

Niles greets Tennity and she introduces her new two husbands, Sears and Germaine before she and Amanda starts growling at each other. Tennity also snarls are Berlin just in case anyone has any doubt that she is a Bad Person who we Do Not Like. She’s such a terrible person in her first 5 minutes of being there that Niles has to take her aside and tell her that he knows all about her terrible crimes and that she’s a terrible person and she needs to reign it in because no-one likes her here.

Quentin and Christie are all touching and nice together for two seconds when Rafe arrives and everyone remembers the dead and Quentin waves their dead mother in front of Rafe again. Then Alak arrives and he and Christie also have the icy moment. Oooh this family must have the BEST Sunday dinners.

Tennity is taken to the mines were they finally address the fact that she isn’t actually in prison, well allude to it anyway. Nolan is going to guide her around (a kind of gentle “screw you and the horse you road in on” from Amanda) with Irisa who is ridiculously draped in a flag to hide the fact she’s handcuffed. In the mine we have a brief moment describing how the molten gulanite is super dangerous (did this mine have that stuff before?) while Tennity continues to be the worse person ever and she and Amanda snipe at each other (I’m not on board with Amanda insulting Tennity by implying she’s a prostitute. One of the whole points of Defiance and the Need/Want was that the sex-workers were respected, especially by the Rosewater sisters).

Sniping is interrupted by a quake or cave in or other random geological event of badness. Berlin, Nolan and Irisa get out – but the others are trapped behind a collapsed tunnel.

Inside the mine, Niles and Amanda are alive but Tennity isn’t breathing (yay!) Amanda decides to resuscitate her (whyyy?) Shocking, unlike every other television show, CPR doesn’t actually cure internal injuries caused by giant rocks falling on you and she’s dead. Amanda does call Nolan to let him know they’re alive – though Niles rightly points out Nolan could have been dead and he was a really stupid person to call.

They have a fun little musing of oxygen depravedness about life, death, monarchy, Harry Potter and Niles finally kisses Amanda.

Over to Christie and Alak’s relationship – and Alak apologises for saying mean things at the dress-up club. Wait, ALAK apologises for that?! And if she wants to dress up as a Casti then she should (What? No no no no). He also apologises for the family business and killing Skevur – but she’s fine with that because that’s a Blood Debt. And she uses the Casti word for it – playing off her knew knowledge as her interest in Casti culture. She asks if he has any other confessions and he says no. They perform a Casti apology ritual then kiss.

They’re all sweet together when Deidre decides to drop round and make it clear she still wants Alak to be hers. Stahma witnesses all this. Oh Deidre, you are so very very very dead.

At the mines, they call in Rafe to come up with a plan to dig everyone out – and Irisa runs off still handcuffed which she removes by breaking her own thumbs. She drives off just as Nolan notices she’s gone.

She goes to Tommy and tells him she’s sick and needs a Terrosphere. Really. Unlike Nolan, Tommy actually believes her bullshit and she sells it with a kiss.

At the mines, they begin digging and find a “Votan Trembler” it’s a votan weapon that caused the cave in; just when E-Rep officials were in the mine but no miners. Nolan confronts Rafe who promises to “make enquiries”. Berlin and Nolan go into the shaft with Nolan sending heartfelt messages to Amanda at hold on (I think Berlin gets a sad-panda face over that). For some reason Berlin decides that half way down a shaft in the middle of the mines is the best time to discuss Nolan’s relationship issues and crush on Amanda. They decide to break off their own sex thing.

And at the bottom of the shaft, Niles has a complete self-hate moment, describing himself as a monster and Amanda should kill him so she doesn’t run out of air. He could have come up with this earlier before he used most of the oxygen!

Nolan and Berlin break through to them and give them air – Amanda insists they rescue Niles first, of course she does.

Rafe takes Quentin to his stash of weapons he’s been stockpiling to fight the E-Rep to help him make them disappear since there’s going to be an investigation – and he realises that Quentin is the saboteur. His mother, Pilar, is still being held by the Votans, to release her they want him to assassinate Tennity. Rafe is furious but Quentin throws back ten times the rage – he’s doing what he has to to save the his mother who he accuses Rafe of casting aside and abandoning. He hits Rafe with a metal pipe, knocking him unconscious.

Quentin frames his dad for the mine explosion – saying he confessed and presenting the warehouse full of weapons as evidence. Quentin explains that “he’s no terrorist” for why he gave his dad up. Nolan clearly doesn’t believe him, but Rafe insists on covering for his son. Nolan doesn’t believe it either. Rafe is arrested. Niles buys it – Amanda doesn’t while Nolan takes the opportunity to poke Niles about all the provocation they’ve handed Rafe. Niles response is to tell Amanda that everything he said in the mines was true (what, that he’s a terrible person) and he walks off – Amanda running after him.

Quentin gets his reward – the Votanis collective delivers his mother, Pilar, into Defiance and frees her. She hugs him and celebrates her freedom. She wants to be a family again – except when she hears Quentin set up his dad she slaps him. It seems she doesn’t share his resentment of Rafe. She understands Rafe and his sacrifices for his children – including sending her away- his children have always come first.

Storylines are all over this episode, because now we go to the Need/Want where Datak is reduced to making money with three-card-monte (albeit with four cards). She’s visited by Stahma who asks about Deidre (Datak: “you should try her,” Stahma: “I’d snap her like a twig”. Yes. Yes she would. But Datak has certainly come round to the idea of Stahma with other women). When Stahma makes it clear Deidre is a problem for the family he wants to know why she wants him to take care of it and not her own men –asking if she can’t trust them. She offers to pay him, he demands reconciliation – she says his price is too high “I’ll gut the little whore myself.” And then elegantly picks the right card from his game and takes her just winnings. Because she’s Stahma and you do not get one over on her, ever.

And Tommy gets Irisa her Terrosphere and then does the tentacle death to him – “I’m going to save you.” She takes the sphere to her followers, chanting “the devouring mother has come”. It emits light that travels underground – something comes up through the earth and forms cocoons around her cultists as they chant “become”.  They’re pulled into the earth, to the ship underground and their cocoons connect to a device there.

Ok Alak and Christie, this is so not ok on many levels. “Interest” in someone’s culture does not justify pantomiming it. She could just has easily have picked up a damn book (in fact, given what we saw, it was clear that Christie wasn’t learning a damn thing while play acting). Alak had every right to be furious – and now we’ve presented him being angry about the whole hot mess of Castithan dressing as him being over sensitive and unreasonable!

Nor, for that matter, does learning bout someone’s culture mean Christie has to become ok with murder. Understanding does not mean condoning every crime and abuse.

Did they really just bring back Tennity to kill her off? Really?  Because this character made zero sense

Coupled with Amanda using “prostitute” as an insult, we have Deidre being, well, Deidre and being a murdered “whore”. That’s not good for a show that was supposed to respect the “night porters”. It’s all demonisation, abuse, evil seductress and then murder (since Stahma's gunning for her, I'm going to assume murder will happen)

There’s only 3 episodes left but it feels like we have a lot to resolve – the whole E-rep occupation, Irisa, Pilar now coming back – there’s a lot here. I think a third season will have to continue most of these storylines