Sunday, June 28, 2015

Defiance, Season 3, Episode 4: Dead Air

Despite losing all the weapons last episode, Amanda still have a big speech to give to the town from the radio station in the arch now the Gulanite is flowing again. But Stahma and Datak seem to have planted the bomb to blow up the arch per Rahm’s instructions

She meets Nolan who may have a clue for new weapons – just as the arch explodes, killing the DJ. In the aftermath, Rahm walks into the crowd, speechifying – but when Nolan tries to punch him it turns out to be just a hologram. While Nolan looks for the projector, he tells them how helpless and unarmed they are. He tells the Votans in town to surrender or die.

Back to Nolan’s cache of weapons from the Pale Wars – he and Amanda are going looking while Berlin and Irisa stay behind to find out who planted the bomb (since when does Nolan give orders to Berlin, Lawkeeper and all?) in part because Irisa is clearly having issues but also to make them work together.

At Rahm’s camp one of his minions report how Datak and Stahma have been successful – but also tells him that there are Omec in town. Rahm isn’t thrilled by this news especially since T’evgin is somewhat renowned. Killing him becomes a priority since a powered up Omec warship can, apparently, threaten the entire Votanis Collective. He sends orders to Datak and Stahma to kill T’evgin

Which Stahma disagrees with because it’s too much too soon, they’ll be caught. And while Datak is sure they can trust Rahm’s oath, Stahma doesn’t believe Rahm will let Alak live, especially not after he married Christie. Datak thinks they still have to obey to buy time if nothing else and, after their betrayals, Stahma admits they have to agree to stop from being exposed by Rahm. She prepares her poison to use on T’evgin while they have sex. Datak is not a fan of this, Stahma is nicely snarky about it

Stahma goes to see T’evgin to begin her seduction. Or continue it. They talk about loss, she shows off her knowledge before they have sex and Stahma stabs him with her poisoned needle. It doesn’t seem to kill him. In fact he even manages to make breakfast for them afterwards where he politely points out that Castithans actually have no idea of Omec biology – or what will kill them especially after a few centuries as Omec get tougher the older they are. Stahma tells her about Alak being held hostage and he asks her what she will do. She looks pensive and doesn’t answer – but she does have sex with him again, remarking no man has ever made a meal for her

Amanda and Nolan go to the stash and find it guarded by biomen who take them inside after disarming them. The cache is amazingly huge – and one of the biomen thinks Amanda resembles an actress.

They go down and find lots of preserved artwork and Niles Pottinger. He explains how he and the Viceroy were heading back to New York but were overwhelmed by refugees in terrible conditions (he says while they eat an amazingly luxurious meal with biomen playing waiters). All of his companions were killed by raiders and he ended up at this bunker alone and was saved by George, one of the biomen (the biomen are named after the Beetles).

The bunker itself is a huge refuge for the elite to hide in with everything from weapons to a seed vault to preserved DNA of now extinct Earth species. Niles is living in the height of luxury while Nolan tries not to laugh at him. When Amanda explains the situation he is happy to give them all the guns they want (they also pretty much confirm that the E-Rep doesn’t exist any more in any meaningful fashion)

First when wants to talk to Amanda alone to convince her to move into his little Eden with him, yeah that’s not going to happen. He declares his dramatic love, including “you’re mine” – which is what Amanda’s rapist said to her in New York and she recoils. Niles apologises profusely as she deals with her trigger and asks for Scotch – real Scotch.

At this point, Nolan is knocked out by the biomen. He wakes in a cave with a man called Samir (a vet) who tries to help him. Samir is a refugee from New York – there used to be 30 of them except Niles led a coup and killed a lot of people to take over. To keep everyone in line, Niles now has a dead-man switch attached to his heart, if he dies everyone blows up with an uber uber bomb.

Amanda is beginning to realise something is off (and George realises Amanda is plotting – but Niles not so much). She pretends to think about joining him before stealing his gun. She demands to see his locked room which is a big stalky museum of Amanda and the attack on her and all the hidden camera footage he took of her when he was mayor of Defiance (remember that? Because the show seemed to forget for a long time). He reveals he used to be obsessed with Connor (Amanda’s ex) who saved him – and he saw Amanda being raped since he used to stalk people who spent time with him; and he claims he murdered her attacker and stole his torch and mask. It sounds a lot more like he was her attacker.

Amanda shoots him in the leg.

Elsewhere Nolan and Samir escape, taking out the bioman – but then Nolan collapses with a killer headache, leaving Samir to contain the bioman while he recovers.

Back to Amanda and Niles trying to convince her not to kill him and she demanding he admit that he raped her. She shoots him a few more times and he declares his love for her. She shoots him again – then possibly mortally as Nolan and Samir arrive. Samir runs to save him while Amanda tells Nolan Niles was his rapist…

Then Niles dies and they have to run as the mega-bomb goes off – destroying the whole facility and the biomen as they race out. They get to their car and drive away – but the bunker and all the supplies are just a crater.

Amanda realises this later and tries to apologise which Nolan brushes off pointing out she may have saved them from death by bioman – right before he has a debilitating headache again – and seizing.

Back in town, Irisa confronts Berlin about blaming her for killing Tommy – and gets a killer headache just like Nolan – she manages to stagger outside and start seizing in the snow. She begs for Berlin’s help and Berlin walks away.

So we have Amanda and Niles played out. I’m almost in two minds. A part of me thinks that having Amanda be raped at all was unnecessary for her character from the very beginning, especially since very little was done with the information and it was, almost, thrown out there as just a random thing without any real reason why it was there

But it was thrown out and the writers did imply that Niles was the rapist. The show went on to have Niles do all kinds of creepy and invasive stalking of Amanda and none of that was ever addressed. Worse, not only was it not addressed by Amanda and Niles became love interests and had sex and showed affection. It left the whole storyline in a bad place. While that could have been left with Niles presumably dying in New York, this firmly closed the matter. It was confirmed, Amanda confronted him, Amanda expressed her horror and disgust and outrage and Amanda killed him. I think this is better than just leaving that nebulous lack of confirmation or resolution out there, especially since it left the possibility of Niles return open as well.

Stahma and T’evgin – I want to know where this is going because I’ve just got lots of question marks at the moment.