Saturday, August 16, 2014

Defiance, Season 2, Episode 9: Painted from Memory

Kenya recounts her kidnapping and the goggled man who questioned her about her life in Defiance and her family. But it’s quickly clear that the kidnapping only lasted 3 weeks, while she has been missing for over a year – she doesn’t remember what happened to her (or Stahma poisoning her). Yewl says it’s because of brain damage and stops Nolan pressing her because it’s not helping. Amanda takes Kenya away when she says she’s tried though Nolan has more questions and Yewl needs to check on her.

Nolan intimidates Yewl because of her past habit of lying (and other dubiousness) –  Yewl is quick to see a physical threat and promises to look after Kenya

At the Need/Want, Stahma sees Deidre and learns she works for Alakk (oh Deidre, Stahma will eat you alive) and Kenya arrives to be greeted warmly by the staff – and with Stahma’s astonished shock. Something shocked Stahma! The world may be ending. When Kenya sees her, Stahma runs in panic.

Amanda has the doubts about why Kenya left, afraid she drove Kenya away – Kenya admits Amanda is controlling but has no idea why she left and she loves that Amanda kept her memory and her business going.

Irisa, meanwhile, has gone over the edge – lying to Nolan about her absence she is leading her little group on a “pilgrimage” which she calls “Irzu’s will”. And we pan out to see a lot of people, a lot of camps and more cars incoming – are these all Irisa’s converts?

Nolan, meanwhile decides to patronising and taunting to Tommy about him sleeping with Berlin and when he calls Tommy a “good kid” Tommy hits him. Good, that much smugness is sorely deserving of a slap.

The next day, Kenya walks gleefully out into the market and Stahma finally approaches her. Kenya greets her happily with a smile and a hug; Stahma realises that Kenya has memory loss and Kenya asks what was between them. Oh, that’s a hugely long and complicated answer. Kenya promises a proper reunion when she has her memory back and kisses Stahma on the cheek. Oh dear Kenya, methinks your days may be numbered

Kenya goes to Nolan to check the equipment her kidnapper had and see if any jog memories and also say “hey I don’t know if you remember but we dated, we broke up, and I dated your sister while you were gone.” Kenya remembers her kidnapper breaking her out of a tank of water. She remembers other humans there and the Votanis Collective soldiers killing them but Kenya was spared because she is Amanda’s sister. Kenya has a panic attack due to the memories coming back and Nolan comforts her. She does remember a tattoo on one of the victims.

Nolan takes her to see Berlin and they share the origins of their names (Kenya was born the day the Votans destroyed Kenya. Berlin’s movies are considered propaganda by many). Berlin has a tattoo like the victim but not identical, but she recognises the one Kenya describes. The people who held her in the laboratory were Earth Republic Special Forces.

Stahma and Datak walk through the forest while Stahma speculates how Kenya could have survived while Datak thinks she’s lying that she never intended to kill Kenya because she loved her and Datak didn’t particularly care about killing her anyway – just controlling her. Stahma is suddenly furious – Datak is telling her she killed Kenya for nothing. Stahma struggles for her composure. She buried Kenya in a grave and marked the spot with flowers – she intends to show Datak. Unfortunately, Stahma doesn’t know much about Earth flowers – and that lavender spreads.

Niles returns to Defiance to question Yewl about Kenya being alive – since Yewl said Kenya was killed when the Votanis raided Niles’s facility and burnt it to the ground. So Yewl and Niles were involved in the laboratory that held Kenya? Oh this is getting complicated. Yewl was told there were no survivors. They now need to cover what they did (Niles: “I don’t accept that.” Yewl “stop thinking like a human and accept what is real”). Yewl’s solution is to wipe Kenya’s memories – a chemical lobotomy.  Niles is shocked at the morality, while Yewl “I’ve done worse.”

Time for flashback to 10 years ago, well, Kenya remembering when she and Amanda first arrived in Defiance while they eat together.  There’s a plan for Kenya to prompt more memories but Amanda wonders if Kenya wants to go through more trauma or just go back to normal. There’s also a question of what normal is – if Amanda is giving the Need Want back to Kenya then what is Amanda going to do – since she isn’t mayor (Niles is back and Amanda holds up how she manipulates and steers him). Kenya doesn’t believe that will ever be enough for Amanda. Their wondering is interrupted by Yewl – who claims she has a cure for Kenya’s memory loss.

They go to Yewl’s clinic and Yewl breaks out goggles and drugs for Kenya. The goggles begin to prompt Kenya’s memory and Yewl hurries with the drugs, injecting her before she can report seeing Yewl. Kenya becomes more distressed and tears off the mask and the IV – Yewl tries to push to continue but Amanda won’t allow more stress for Kenya.

Another storyline time – Rafe is in the market when he runs into Quentin, his won. I wondered what happened to him. Apparently he went off looking for his mother. After their mother went insane and tried to kill herself and her children Rafe sent her to a facility run by Votan monks – who Quentin says didn’t treat her well. He blames Rafe but Rafe said he had a choice between the kids or his wife – he chose the kids. Still lots of resentment there.

At the Need Want Niles joins Amanda and he reminds us all that Yewl may not be great at human treatments since she was trained to torture humans, not heal them. He suggests sending Kenya to New York. Amanda won’t hear it – but does want him to see who in the E-Rep is conducting naughty experiments (oooh oooh I know). He tells her how he will totally kill the bad guy himself. Uhuh.

It seems Datak and Stahma have spent all day digging in the lavender field looking for Kenya’s grave and Stahma is quite frenzied about it – and bad tempered. Until Datak finds a skull. Datak apologises for doubting Stahma. They both seem to accept that it is actually Kenya – and the living Kenya is a fake Kenya (though Datak doesn’t care). She’s quite angered and upset that Datak just wants to bury the real Kenya again and doesn’t really care about fake Kenya.

The next day Stahma approaches Amanda and, using the excuse of their “unsavoury contacts” and the motives of loving Kenya and considering Amanda a friend, Stahma tells Amanda that Kenya is dead – and the new Kenya isn’t her. Amanda doesn’t hear it well – she calls it a lie and threatens Stahma if she repeats it. Stahma decides to change that to a congratulations that Amanda and Kenya are reunited.

Kenya’s with Nolan and Nolan tries to trigger her memories of their time together and gets a lot of blanks. Kenya decides to make new memories and kisses Nolan passionately – but Nolan notices the scars Kenya had from her abusive ex-husband are gone. This seems to shock her as well. While Nolan leaves, Kenya has another flashback to Niles and Nolan looking at her in her tank – and them commenting on how incredible the resemblance is – and that the host is Indogene (“and thinks a lot better than you monkey boy” do I even need to say who said that).  But this new technology won’t last long, nor will fake!Kenya

Kenya sees a mark in the mirror and digs at her hairline, pulling away a chunk of skin and hair. Underneath are the scales of an Indogene. She screams and has a bit of a tantrum

Nolan catches up with Amanda and points out the connection between Kenya’s memory gaps – Kenya can’t remember anything that Amanda wasn’t there for (now we know the reason for having the chip in Amanda’s head). They go to Kenya and find her room in ruins and Kenya missing. Nolan has put 2 and 2 together and while Amanda insists it’s Kenya, Nolan is clear – Kenya is an Indogene plant. When he tells the protesting Amanda that Kenya’s scars are gone, Amanda breaks down and cries.

Kenya has taken Amanda’s gun and gone to confront Yewl about what she is. In the Pale Wars they took Indogene volunteers who had human memories grafted on top to act as perfect spies. In this case, Kenya isn’t a volunteer, she’s a captured Votanis Collective spy who Niles took from prison and brought to Yewl. Yewl also apologises. She describes the process but because the procedure was interrupted it was imperfect. And she only has 3 months to live. Kenya wants a full lifespan and Yewl says she can’t – not as an Indogene. She’s not so sure as Kenya. Yewl tells her if she’s going to kill anyone, kill Niles

Niles arrives then and captures Kenya and points his own gun. Yewl throws in her sarcasm “his plan was to fake a dramatic rescue and reunite two sisters. Amanda would be so grateful that her panties would just melt away at your tender touch.” Niles says she’s not funny – Niles is a liar, a dirty rotten liar. Kenya charges Niles and he shoots her in the shoulder. But Kenya isn’t done, she kicks him in the leg and Yewl and she both flee while he falls.

Kenya goes to the safe in the Need Want and Amanda finds her. She tells Amanda she isn’t Kenya – and Amanda claims she wasn’t but she is now. Amanda is in full denial and wants her sister back even with scaly Inodgene skin and false memories – Kenya grabs her in a lock and tells her she’s not “playing house with a  human.” She leaves, leaving Amanda crying behind.

Niles goes to Amanda and accepts blame – for letting Yewl out of the prison camp. He’s blaming it all on her

Yewl goes to see Datak – she needs help. She calls him her only friend. Yewl is smuggled, with Rafe’s help, to an abadonned building outside of town while Amanda leads a  memorial service for Kenya. Kenya is on a landbus out of town. Stahma grieves over the gravestone she’s set up on Kenya’s grave

And we see the face of the kidnapper of fake!Kenya –it’s Quentin, Rafe’s son.

Ok. I have to say I didn’t see that coming. Which is odd, because I really should have. I mean we’ve seen Indogene disguises before and we’ve seen Indogene – seen Yewl – create fake humans based on Indogene hosts who think they’re human. But I still didn’t expect it

I do like that this whole episode confirmed that Stahma did truly care for Kenya – because there was always that doubt due to their positions and actions. Even if it made the normally icy and cunning Stahma lose her cool, it was good to see the emotion beneath that. And to know that there’s no way Stahma would make a mistake when killing someone.

I did actually get my hopes up that Kenya was alive – but at least she got a decent send off at the end.

Even when Yewl is evil, I still want to worship her awesomeness. I have to keep chanting “Yewl is evil, Yewl is evil, Yewl is evil, no fandpoodling the evil.”

Then we have all kinds of things for the future. Quentin. Yewl on the run. Niles with secrets that will come back to haunt him. This is going to get knotty.