Saturday, August 23, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 11: Doll Parts

Opening montage, Deidre is the DJ and Nolan is working on something electrical/mechanical/explosive/involving tools and stuff. Someone goes to visit Deidre on the arch (she greets them with “what took so long” – and the radio starts blurring, there’s blood on the record. Followed by Deidre being thrown out of the arch and falling to her death.

Amanda identifies the body – and has a flashback to Deidre giving her the courage and the motivation to take over the Need/Want, to keep the “family” together. She goes to Nolan who is still packing lots of bombs and weapons, to demand to know why he isn’t investigating the murder; Nolan is going after Irisa – he’s worried about his disturbed daughter carrying a terrosphere, the same weapon they used to destroy an army, and is rather concerned about that. Amanda understands but demands a deputy badge (since with Tommy working for E-Rep and Irisa out and about he’s out of deputies) – she’s not going to let Deidre’s murder go uninvestigated

She goes to the arch where E-Rep and Berlin are already looking at the evidence. Alak’s there, despite the platter of chocolate strawberries, he says he wasn’t due on the arch and he only came because he heard dead air on the radio. He says Deidre brought clients to the arch for sex. He also denies having sex with her. But in the arch, Berlin finds one of her old surveillance cameras, one she didn’t place – and Alak looks terrified; but the memory card is missing. Reprieve!

Berlin tells Amanda that she and Nolan aren’t a thing any more, with a hefty edge of “that’s all your fault.”

At the Tarr household, Christie is outraged that her brother turned in her father (so I imagine she’s going to be even less pleased when she learns he frames Rafe). Stahma points out Rafe is the murderer (as far as they know) and when Christie tries to come to terms with a  loved one being a murderer Stahma throws back some cold, sympathetic truth – people do what they have to to get what they want, they just have to hope what they want is worth it. Which is when Alak arrives to tell them about Deidre. Christie is too sensitive to hear it and hurries away – while Alak and Stahma exchange glances and “did you do it” undertones.

Berlin and Amanda search Deidre’s personal effects finding more humanising items, the memory card from the camera and a list of Deidre’s recent clients – including Datak. So it’s to search Datak’s next (and yes he snarks Amanda’s job change). Datak and Amanda snarl back and forth and Amanda asks why Datak visited her after not doing so for so long. With Amanda putting together a flashback of a previous conversation with Deidre, Amanda realises Alak was sleeping with her.

And at the Tarr household, one of Stahma’s handmaidens finds a bloodstained microphone under Alak’s bed – and shows it to Stahma who is shocked and horrified.

Amanda and berlin go to confront Alak – the memory card is of Deidre and Alak together; Amanda calls it a blackmail package. Alak is arrested and Amanda assures a raging Christie he’ll have his day in court. Given the way the E-Rep has treated the McCauly family, Christie isn’t reassured by that. Stahma gently takes her away; Christie tells Alak she knows he isn’t a murderer – but she does know he’s a cheater so he’s not in good books. Stahma also takes a moment to remind Alak his wife is not a Castithan and actually expected him to honour his fidelity oaths – and maybe some time behind bars will be good for him (Stahma is not amused by his shenanigans).  Alak accuses her of killing Deidre to teach him a lesson – she denies it. When he suggests his dad did it she calls it ridiculous – he shows his burned hand and makes it clear it’s not that ridiculous an assumption.

Stahma goes on her food walk – where she hands out food to the poor and disabled, including a dying man with a young daughter. When she goes to get water, Stahma offers to take his daughter on as a handmaiden when he dies (a position of stability, safety and some standing) which he takes as a great kindness. Of course, there’s a catch.

Amanda has more flashbacks of her encouraging Deidre to fight tooth and nail for the man she loved (rather than giving up when Christie married Alak). Amanda and Alak talk with Alak protesting his innocence – and the dying Castithan arrives to confess to murder. There’s the catch. Amanda isn’t convinced, but he has the blood stained microphone.

Meanwhile, Stahma accuses Datak of killing Deidre. But he assumed she’d killed Deidre. Then Stahma starts laughing – which is just disturbing. I suspect that sound may be the last thing the world hears before it ends.

Alak goes home to find an odd bottle of red liquid which he recognises as a poison. He goes to Christie, in her bath (dressed as a proper Casti) to ask about it – it’s a drug that causes miscarriages to end unwanted pregnancies; Alak briefly wonders if she was going to use it and Christie explains; she went to breakfast that morning with Deidre, and recognised the poison in a drink Deidre gave her (she smelled it because the Casti baby inside her gives her super senses). Deidre rages at Christie, she didn’t have a rich father or marry into a rich family. Deidre tried to attack Christie and Christie took the microphone off her and smacked her before pushing her through the dilapidated wall. Health and Safety should check that. Christie then left with the microphone and the poison.

In her bath, Christie seems to show no remorse but she makes it clear to Alak – she knows he’s a Casti male with needs but never again must they threaten their child. Alak promises, with a bit of a stunned-rabbit-in-the-headlights look. She invites him to bathe with her since it’s unseemly for a woman to bathe alone.

Nolan, meanwhile, tracks Irisa to her cultist camp and is held at gunpoint by Tommy - Nolan takes the gun and hits Tommy with it. Tommy, as an Irzu cultist, heals the injury in seconds. They struggle and Tommy takes the gun back, kicking Nolan. When Nolan dares him to pull the trigger, Tommy staggers and falls to his knees – he vomits up the horrible tentacle thing – it then crumples and dies. Pleasant.

Afterwards, when it’s clear Tommy has lost his healing mojo, they speculate why it left him – Tommy’s theory is it’s not meant for humans while Nolan is quick to insist Irzu is not a god because he’s recognised the tentacle fragments – they’re part of an Arc brain. AI used to direct and control the giant Arc space ships, there’s one buried under old St. Louis. Tommy throws in that it wants to terraform the planet and kill everyone except it’s chosen ones. His grenades are designed to scramble arc brains which should put the cultists down without killing them

Tommy takes Nolan to see Irisa, pretending he’s a prisoner. Inside, Irisa lets rip, how Nolan enjoys fighting, killing and hurting, how he taught her to be the same, teaching a child how to use a knife. Nolan is a murderer who slaughters Votans – and then warped Irisa. Nolan roars back at what he gave up for her and raising her – it’s one real trainwreck of pain and awful. At the end of a really painful series of dramatic rants that are probably mainly the thing possessing her, but all have that tiny kernel of truth, Nolan demands to have his daughter back and Sukar intervenes.

While Sukar and Irisa argue about killing Nolan, Tommy plants the brain frying grenades. Nolan does what he does best – be absolutely infuriating and fighting Sukar – of course Nolan is the better fighter, but Sukar heals everything. Finally Tommy gets the grenades working and all the cultists fall unconscious.

They take her home and Nolan finally finally finally admits that he kind of treats Tommy like shit. He does it because Nolan is inherently antiauthoritarian while Tommy respects authority and follows the rules, plays by the book. And that that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This moment is ruined by Irisa waking up, her killing the car and knocking Nolan unconscious. Tommy tries to talk Irisa down, tells her he loves her – and she stabs him. she goes to kill Nolan, urged on by hallucination Irzu, but she refuses. It’s the one thing Irzu can’t force her to do.

Ending montage time during which Amanda seems to realise the deal made for the dying man’s confession.

As I predicated, Deidre is murdered. However, despite her being demonised constantly in life, there is a real attempt to humanise her in death. Amanda considers her death important, a priority, worthy of investigating. And while Nolan is dismissive (and, to be fair to him, a weapon of the terrosphere’s capability being out and about is a terrifying prospect needing a very high priority response – also, I think most people would put family first), Amanda is clear that Deidre mattered.

What I would have liked more is if they called her Deidre, rather than her “stage name” Treasure Doll.

I’m vaguely amused that the Tarr family is so twisted that they all assumed the other was guilty of murder when, really, they should have realised none of them were because the murder was so poorly executed. But who knew Christie had it in her? She’s becoming one to watch. I do want to know where they’re going to go with this – as Alak tries to step away from rigid Casti customs and she is increasingly embracing them

The idea of Christie being pregnant with Alak’s child still doesn’t work for me – how do species that have evolved on entirely different planets have compatible DNA?

I’m glad Nolan has, very belatedly, recognised how shoddily he treats Tommy. Now we need him to act on changing that. And the first step of that is NOT having Tommy die.