Sunday, August 23, 2015

Defiance, Season 3, Episode 12: The Awakening

Yewl is using her doctor’s surgery to drug more people for the cages which I think will serve as the omec lardar. Honestly I’m find with this so long as she keeps up her quality snark. Datak tries to talk to her but she can’t combat the mind control (with added pain that “I was engineered for slavery” which is what the Indogene were created for)

Nolan is planning to hunt down Kindzi when Stahma arrives to report Datak’s disappearance – of course, absolutely no-one really gives a damn about her or Datak. Stahma tells her that Kindzi especially wants her dead – and Nolan tells her about T’evgin being dead. Then there’s loud noise

The Omec space ship is discharging its sleep pods. Stahma tells them about the legion of Omec just waiting to snack on them all. Amanda is furious with Stahma for not sharing sooner and Stahma fires back that it was Amanda who rolled out the welcome carpet for the Omec – and handed over the Gulanite.

Yewl Stakes out one of her prisoners in the forest and some sleep pods land containing Kindzi and two other Omec who eat the chained prisoner. When they eat, Kindzi tells the other Omec that Stahma betrayed T’evgin and murdered him – she also claims leadership since she “took his strength” presumably by eating T’evgin’s heart.

They’re watched by Nolan and Irisa who also see Yewl. Nolan has a sniper rifle and shoots Kindzi – right in the head. Which she regards as little more than an inconvenience, removing the bullet from her skull. She shoots her several more times, doing as little

I’m guessing that “took his strength” is literal then.

They sensibly run away from the charging invulnerable alien, leaving her alone with her new followers who are a little confused that T’evgin was killed by people with bullets which clearly do little more than muss an ancient Omec’s wardrobe. Kindzi again accuses Stahma of poisoning him.

Nolan, Amanda and Irisa brainstorm how Kindzi could be so invulnerable now – and Amanda conveniently had a book of Omec heart eating rituals on one of her shelves, how useful! Nolan’s plan is to go up to the ship and stop all 10,000 Omec arriving (hey, got a “teleporting to Omec spacecraft” book there, Amanda?) and Berlin reports all the people going missing because of Yewl. Though no-one can figure out why Yewl would serve the Omec (what, you have a book on irrelevant Omec funerary practices but not on the origin of the Indogene?)

In the cages, poor Datak has to hear Samir sing Nolan’s praises. No matter how terrible Datak is, he doesn’t deserve to listen to this fawning blather.

Yewl still gets to snark even if she is imprisoned and forced to bring out more kidnapped meals (she stands in front of Datak’s cage, hiding him from the Omec) while a new victim is chosen. Kindzi speaks to him and Datak taunts her – pointing out there are millions of people on Earth, even with a space ship, 10,000 Omec won’t conquer the whole planet. Kindzi decides to get revenge for this statement by hunting down Stahma.

While searching the streets, Irisa feels the need to tell Berlin that Kindzi isn’t representative of all Omec. She hopes there’s a way beyond killing every last Omec. Berlin is going with shoot to kill.

Amanda and Nolan go to look for Yewl and Amanda has fallen to despair because she’s listened to Stahma – because she did tell the whole town to trust T’evgin and Kindzi despite the warnings she received. She sinks into tears, saying she gives up. Nolan has a great pep talk for her of course because he’s sure Amanda is awesome. And they kiss

Well that has been a long damn time coming.

Thankfully this scene is followed by Yewl snark. She is being treated like a lackey by the Omec, forced to deliver their meals. Datak demands to go next but Yewl, tearfully, says she can’t stand to see it. Datak attacks her as an emotionless machine, trying to goad her – he goes well beyond what’s acceptable but she can clearly see why; he cannot stand to wait to die any more. Another extremely powerful scene.

Yewl takes Datak outside to be eaten – but also unbinds his hands including his super strong bionic arm which has a spike in it – and he stabs an Omec in the head. Apparently not killing him but giving Datak chance to escape. Yewl takes the Omec in a car blasting loud music which attracts the attention of Nolan and Amanda. They discover the Omec and Amanda demands answers – which, of course, Yewl can’t give – Amanda rips out the control chip from her head.

Yewl kills the Omec in the back of the truck

Yewl’s revenge had better be epicly awful.

They gun down the collected Omec gathered round to eat Samir. Who doubles down on his creepy worship of Nolan. That’s going to get real old real fast

In the aftermath Yewl is clearly tortured. Nolan expects her to move on – especially as more Omec are landing.

To the completely not-relevant-side plot: Andina brings Stahma to see Alak and his very human looking baby. Awkward family reunion time. Alak is not welcoming and attacks her for having sex with T’evgin as well as not being impressed by her leading Kindzi to him and Luke if indeed she is going after her family. Stahma realises she has made a mistake and insists they must all run off together. Alak assumes this was all part of her plan which, given Stahma, is quite understandable. He continues to attack their family and Stahma throws back all the advantages they gave Alak, Alak, in turn, responds with the crap they’ve made him done in the name of liro honour. Definitely a lot of festering wounds there

He also blames everything Datak has done, basically, on her since she controlled their family. This is where Stahma admits how much of her control has been shattered since Christie was kidnapped. Stahma tearfully apologies and understands why he expects the worst… Alak melts but he says again why he simply cannot trust her. She leaves and Alak feels ALL THE GUILTS. He asks Andina what to do – and she tells him to forget her and focus on Luke

Ooooh Andina – someone’s playing a dangerous game. Layer she kisses Alak when he say how much he appreciates her. He backs off, saying it’s too soon – but also asks her to call him by name.

Then Stahma staggers in and tells them to run – as Kindzi follows. Andina attacks – and Kindzi kills her.

Kindzi confronts Stahma when she hears Luke cry. Alak tries to shoot her which, of course, doesn’t work – and she takes the baby.

There has been a lot of world building around the Indogene being created by the Omec as basically a slave race and food source – I appreciate how artfully this has been done without info-dumping, but I still would have liked a lot more development of this, especially from Yewl’s perspective (or any Indogene). Because of her reserve we’ve only really had hints – her virulent hatred of the Omec, her “embarrassment” at being out of control (such a strong, determined figure normally, I can see the power of the understatement there). There’s a lot of powerful emotion there which could have used more expansion

I think Stahma’s accusation of Amanda needs some acknowledgement – sure it’s a defence, but how many people warned Amanda about the Omec? Yewl certainly did – but rather than listen she would rather rip a chunk of skin off Yewl to treat Kindzi. I’m really glad that it wasn’t just treated as a throwaway line. Amanda is not Votan and, consequently, her knowledge of their history and fears is shallow in comparison (only belatedly learned) – but she adamantly refused to listen in favour of what she considered was the right thing. It’s a major part of Amanda’s character – she sticks to what she considers morally right and/or necessary and isn’t really shaken from it even when, at times, she should be. I think it’s been a well maintained but subtle character point (often seen in her defence of Nolan above and beyond what would be considered sensible).

I do wonder why the Votans, with presumably limited space on their Arcs, chose to bring information about Omec funeral rituals

Stahma… I keep waiting for her to ascend and her storyline just keeps getting worse. Going to Alak’s, leading Kindzi to Alak, is such a juvenile mistake for her. Stahma used to be so awesome. Not that there isn’t value in their dysfunction being explored – all they’ve done for power, stability and to keep in with rather terrible Castithan cultural norms is going to leave problems.

They killed Andina! NOOOOOOOOOOOO She had so much potential. I liked her