Saturday, August 30, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 12: All Things Must Pass

Datak and Stahma are in bed together, having just had sex. Stahma clearly thinks it was good – but that they can’t make this a regular thing because of her crew feeling threatened by him. When he tries to pull the “rawr they should be!” she points out this is why he can’t come home – and that she was the one who ordered them to beat him. Let the negotiations for Datak’s return begin – Stahma lays out her conditions: forgiveness for the men, he never lays a hand on Alak again, ever and she oversees the business while he oversees security; they have an equal partnership. Datak realises that since she has a full package prepared for negotiation that she has planned the whole deal – including sleeping with him and negotiating in bed. He’s furious and rages “I will not have my wife pretending she’s smarter than me” Stahma responds with a perfect “I’m not pretending.”

He kicks her out and as she leaves, someone kidnaps her. Moments later, someone also kidnaps Datak.

They wake up in a metal room, a grain silo, tied to each other. Datak begins elaborate revenge fantasies and Stahma loses patience – pursuing revenge has only ever caused Datak trouble. They snarl back and forth, oh they really are not happy with each other.

After their snarling match, Datak agrees that he is quick to anger and he has regrets – what he said to her, not making her a partner. She has her doubts.

Niles continues to try and get in good with Amanda, cooking for her and talking about his foreign travels (why would an E-Rep member be in Prague? I didn’t think E-Rep reached Europe). Niles says he has a present for her – he has found the people who killed Kenya. He takes her to the silo where he is holding Datak and Stahma. He knows they killed Kenya because Raiga, their Sensoth servant, has spilled all their secrets. Niles gives Amanda a gun, offering her the chance to carry out “justice”.

After repeatedly trying to deny any responsibility Datak then switches to trying to take all the blame, claiming he forced Stahma with violence (which is less “taking the blame” and more “confessing the truth). Amanda tells Stahma Kenya didn’t love her – it was her job and she was good at making people believe she was what they wanted them to be. Datak begs her to kill him instead – or at least as well, because he can’t live without her.

Amanda leaves, tearful – she hasn’t killed them. Niles suggests sending them to prison but Amanda knows removing the Tarrs like that will just destroy the power structure of the city; they need to plan it. She’s also not happy with Niles – they idea that killing Stahma would make her happy outrages her – the fact that it would make her happy causes her to doubt herself.

Datak and Stahma reconcile beautifully (best line Datak: “I married well.” Stahma: “yes, you did.”).

Datak goes to see his men who betrayed him and Stahma, happily playing cards, apologising and assuring them all that he doesn’t hold any grudge against them. Stahma, on the other hand… they 3 men die by poison while Datak praises her.

Outside of Defiance, Nolan is still dragging the stabbed Tommy back to the city (with flashbacks of time they spent together, Nolan being an arsehole and Tommy trying to teach him what it is to be a Lawkeeper). Along the way tommy also tells Nolan that Irisa’s terroformers will destroy/transform the planet – but that she’s afraid of Mordechai, she thinks he can stop her. Later we have more flashbacks to Tommy proposing to Irisa and her refusing him.

All of this belated characterisation is a set up for Tommy dying and Nolan crying over his body. They reach the net and Berlin asks what happened – Nolan tries to make excuses for Irisa.

 (whatever that is) will be harmless. She sobs as she realises they can never be together again. The ship throws/threw lots of pods down to Earth, including Irisa and Mordechai (being sure to separate them) before the ship crashes. And Mordechai wakes up

Rafe is in Camp Liberty prison – and is visited by Pilar. They have a rather touching reunion as Rafe tells her the fake story he told the kids about her death – rather than the truth that she had a mental illness and tried to kill them. They kiss and Pilar assures Rafe that he’s well. Next step is for Quentin to drive her to see Christie for a tearful reunion in the marketplace. Considering Christie thought she was dead it’s a little… underwhelming.

Yewl is in her hideout, snarking with the hallucination of her dead lover. Which is kind of tragic, but it’s like non-stop Yewl snark which may actually be a special kind of paradise. Alas, since they’re out of food, Yewl tries to find her way out. (With more snark “know what I miss most about Defiance?” “the hot lady mayor?” “you have the weirdest taste,” “I’m your subconscious!” I could listen to them all day).

As she explores, Yewl comes across the buried ship. She realises the Kaziri has been activated, that it will kill all life – and Irisa must be the cause since she has both keys (we saw last season). Her hallucination, Liv, suggests crawling into the pod and the Kaziri will save her; and Yewl realises that the hallucination caused by the implant is also arc-brain. Or, as she puts it “you hacked my imaginary wife.” Yewl is not a fan of the genocide plan nor does “us vs them” work for her any more (with the best snark EVER). Yewl removes her implant, ending the hallucination.

Time for a vision/flashback/did we ever figure this out? This one seems to be Mordechai’s. Space Irisa and Space Mordechai take the ship and each take a key – so long as they’re apart the Kizeri. He wakes up – a whole crowd gathers round him now, until Nolan arrives trying to recruit him to find Irisa. Moredchai explains everything the visions showed him –in a past life/ancestor/whatever he and Irisa saved humanity by stopping the Kizeri (the destruction of humanity was, it seems, the original Votan plan). Nolan realises the keys need separating again is the way to save Irisa and the whole world

Irisa starts working some scary woo-woo. She’s activating the ruined arcs and ships around Earth. She has them send their pods down to the planet to begin terraforming. They destroy New York City, centre of the Earth Republic and still very much intact – in an incredible, devastating scene. The ruin becomes a completely alien landscape.

Irisa’s storyline just got powerful… At last a culmination of all the woo-woo and science into a truly awesomely powerful scene that almost justifying me having to put up with her all season. We now have the original votan plans to make Earth into a votan planet – it stems back to previous flashbacks we had when it was clear this was always the plan, but no-one expected Earth to be populated; hence Irisa’s ancestors rebellion. I’m still curious about the time line – how long ago did this happen? And why so long ago?

Stahma was terrifying and awesome all season. Datak and Stahma together may actually be even more awesome next season. I have mixed feelings with her getting back together with the abusive Datak, but at the same time it’s very very clearly on her terms, according to her rules coupled with Datak’s at least theoretical willingness to sacrifice himself for her.

Tommy’s death – all this characterisation in visions just emphasised how badly he was treated and how grossly undeveloped he was throughout the season. This scene reminded me of The Walking Dead when T-Dog finally started speaking regularly – it was just a prelude to his death. The same applies with Tommy – we got some characterisation just before he died to try and make an abused token seem meaningful.

Rafe, you need to stop pulling out the grade A acting, you’re showing up the rest of the cast.

Yewl is awesome – less awesome is her hacked dead wife now being gone.

Amanda and Niles – that’s an interesting conflict, I think it really brings home to Amanda how fundamentally different her and Nile’s morals are