Saturday, August 9, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 8: Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Now Nolan knows all about Irisa’s murder woo-woo she can now talk about her uber uber guilts over all the murder-resurrection. Nolan does not approve – he’s also very very sure that it’s not Irzu or some other deity – it’s all some weird sciency thing from the Votan ships and they just need science to fix it (sadly, he also decides they can’t trust Yewl. Which is kind of true, but she’s awesome). In between banter, Nolan tries to threat Irzu

This touching scene is interrupted by Mercado calling – the result of which call has Nolan and a whole bunch of people run into the Need/Want with guns (Amanda gives them a literal “what the hell”? look). They arrest Mahsuvus for being a Votanis agent. Amanda doesn’t see the big deal – Defiance isn’t political – but the Votanis collective have apparently planted a big bomb in New York (the capital of the Earth Republic) and Mahsuvus is supposed to know where the bomb is.

As soon as they leave Amanda gets a call – free Mahsuvus or Kenya dies. And it’s not a bluff – he does seem to have Kenya. She seems to be alive (and she screams at Amanda to not do anything her kidnapper wants, so it may even be the real Amanda)

Amanda goes to see Mercado (and he calls her “Madam Mayor” so looks like she has the job back)  and he confirms the bomb is a nuke. They also have pretty good proof that Mahsuvus is a Votanis agent. He also throws in how impossible it would be to actually evacuate in New York (in general, let alone in dystopian Defiance land). Amanda adds the TMI that Mahsuvus is a popular employee because of his huge pain tolerance so torture won’t work (um, if you’re clients require someone who can take so much pain as to be immune to torture then they’re definitely doing BDSM wrong).

Amanda offers to help them interrogate him by having him released into her custody…  Mercado says no and is a little suspicious of Amanda’s interest.

Berlin and Tommy are questioning Stahma about Mahsuvus because she did visit him – but she says for sex not spying and adds that she’s doing really really well under the stability that E-Rep has brought Defiance. Of course, anyone who talks to Stahma does not do well, and Stahma delicately drops Berlin being with Nolan into the conversation. Berlin concludes that Stahma is a gangster not a spy but Tommy huffs up and asks if Berlin and Nolan are dating – she laughs off the idea, of course not! They’re just having lots of sex.

Back to Nolan who is preparing torture bugs for Mahsuvus while acknowledging how totally not personal this is and how they’d be such good buddies in other circumstances (Yewl is also on sight to assist) and how the war is over and the fighting has to end (actually well done given the history of Defiance and Nolan’s place in it). Mahsuvus agrees they could be friends – but won’t tell them anything. The torture begins – Nolan and Amanda actually looking more upset by this than Mahsuvus

Amanda gets another call from Kenya’s kidnapper to urge her to hurry up and Kenya isn’t being a good little kidnap victim – she defies and taunts her kidnapper.

Plan B on questioning Mahsuvus is to use Ego devices (oooh I recognise them from the game) to pull the information right out of Mahsuvus’s skull – which is inevitably fatal.

Stahma meanwhile goes to Datak to talk about the questioning (Datak is quite upset that they questioned her, not him, because it’s further proof of his fall from power). And while neither of them are involved in the bomb,  Mahsuvus does know too many of their secrets – including that Datak is supplying Rafe with weapons to fight E-Rep (yes Stahma knows. Of course she knows). They then have rather intense sex. When she leaves, she leaves him with a weapon. But as she leaves her sensoth bodyguard stops her – the men will not tolerate her getting back together with Datak. Datak may take Alak and Stahma back, but he would kill the men who stood up against him on Stahma’s behalf. Stahma refuses to commit either way

Nolan takes a second to taunt Tommy for joining E-Rep when Amanda comes to him with news of Kenya. He’s not freeing Mahsuvus, no way, but he will rescue Kenya. He tells Irisa, they reveal that the communication devices they use don’t have a huge range so they plan to track it and find the kidnapper – though Nolan wants Irisa to stay out of it for her own good with the Irzu thing going on. Personally I think that, as the invulnerable one, she should take point. Which she points out and he has to concede.

Unfortunately, Irisa gets a vision that leads her off the path to campsite – where one of the people she killed and resurrected traps her and destroys her communicator. She’s also having visions and being driven to take new victims. Irisa assures her her victims gets up – she should know, she’s the one who started it. The other woman has visions of Rayetzu (the Castithan deity?). And Sukar joins them – and all of Irisa’s victims. Irzu appears and talks about something called “Arcrise” beginning.

Thankfully, Kenya isn’t the kind of woman to wait to be rescued – she manages to break her own chain then uses it to violently attack her kidnapper repeatedly until he falls unconscious. His car is broken but she takes his communicator; she manages to describe her location to Amanda before being recaptured. Of course, Irisa doesn’t pick up so Amanda returns to having to free Mahsuvus – and knocks Nolan out when he tries to stop her.

She goes to get tranquilisers from Yewl’s office – and runs into Yewl. She tries to lie but Yewl assumes Amanda is taking them because she’s an addict and demands them back. She promises to help Amanda with a proper withdrawal after the interrogation is over. She still managed to sneak out two syringes. She then steals one of the guard’s uniforms. Disguised as a guard, she injects Mahsuvus as he is being moved and uses the distraction to hide him in a supply close. She sneaks him out, asking angry questions about Kenya and the bomb – he claims he’s a spy, not a terrorist and he hates all this as well. His own family is being used to coerce him.

On the way, they run into Nolan with a gun. Mahsuvus takes Amanda hostage. Tense stand off – solved by Datak and a sniper rifle killing Mahsuvus and protecting his secrets. As he dies, Mahsuvus gasps out the bomb location. Amanda attacks Nolan (well kind of), saying he just killed Kenya.

So next stage is getting Kenya back when the kidnapper calls again. They meet at a location with Nolan pretending to be Mahsuvus and carrying a gun. Firefight time – the kidnappers escape. Thankfully they’re really bad at this kidnapping thing and they brought Kenya with them – and left her behind. Really? These kidnappers are really really bad at what they do.

I hate these episodes that show good people driven to torture because they just have to, poor souls. They try to present us a situation where they absolutely have to resort to torture because they have no other option – while conveniently ignoring how much torture doesn’t work. Especially in a timed situation – they have a deadline. All Mahsuvus has to do is hold out – or just spin pretty lies over and over until they reach it. He could give them a dozen locations for the bomb, each more fictional than the last.

Stahma, again, has everything under perfect control. Because she’s Stahma.  I wonder how that will change with Kenya being back

I hope Irisa’s storyline will finally go somewhere because this constant circling is getting tiresome.