Dead Air is fittingly named for the fear invoking destruction of the St. Louis Arch. The Arch is not only a reminder and monument to the Earth’s past, but the town’s radio station broadcasts from it as a connecting point of the now varied citizenry. To add to the ever growing lack of safety and trust of town leaders, the brilliantly timed holographic video of the Votanis Collective’s General Rahm Tak calling Mayor Amanda a liar for not disclosing the arsenal status in her recent broadcast, alerting everyone he has spies among them, and demanding surrender from the inhabitants if they want to live. Just another easy going day in Defiance.
These acts invariably push all the right buttons for law keeper Nolan and Mayor Amanda to jump feet first into alpha protector mode. In a risky move, they head 300 plus miles from Defiance, leaving the town in well trained, but erratic hands, in the hope of finding needed weapons to restock the devastated armory, speaks volumes to their “only we can do the job best” cowboy mindset. I can almost hear them saying “Yippee Kai Yay!” on the way out of town. With this decision, contentious work mates Berlin and Irisa are left behind to play nice as not only the guardians of Defiance, but as detectives in solving the bombing of the Arch. I smell a buddy movie in the making.
The second main piece of this episode puzzle are Datak and Stahma. These two appear to be quite the effective and productive spies for the Votanis Collective. General Tak himself spiraling into protector mode of his people upon hearing there are two Omec in Defiance, gives Datak and Stahma their next mission. They must kill T’evgin the Omec male. The couple banters over receiving these orders, leaves Datak stunned by the method his wife chooses to kill the Omec. Wait for it. With a mischievous grin, she mixes a poison to be injected into T’evgin during coitus. Datak’s face. Priceless.
The storyline setup is quick and precise, then the ever twisted telling begins.
Arriving at Arrowhead, Amanda and Nolan’s journey takes a hard left turn. This spooky dialogue of the week, “You look just like her.” George “Like who?” Amanda “The girl, from the movies.” George, sets the tone for what is a rapidly changing plan for Amanda and Nolan. The post is inhabited by Biomen named John, Paul, George, and Ringo. That’s right, the Beatles. Who by chance gave them their monikers? None other than Niles Pottinger, last seen heading to New York. Playing the consummate host, Niles too easily agrees to give weapons. Don’t believe him! Successfully separating Nolan and Amanda, Niles has the upper hand. Nolan is then captured and jailed by the Biomen group, alongside the only other human in this place, a veterinarian named Samir Pandey.
Here’s the bombshell. Amanda begins to realize Niles is her rapist. His words ring in her ears “You are mine”. Amanda being the badass she is, commandeers his gun and makes him open the locked viewing room. Utterly disturbing is her complete realization in this room are all the tools of his stalker/rapist trade on display including, the outfit he wore the day he raped her. The digital recording cards of his victims, all labeled for use, catch her eye as she remembers the above conversation with Bioman George. She makes Niles play her video. Then in exquisitely controlled style, after he warns her if he dies the whole place will go up, she proceeds to shoot him in various non-vital body parts trying to get his confession. He is properly unapologetic. As Nolan and his friend Samir, bust in to stop her, she takes the kill shot. His heart rhythm projected on the wall, stops. The bio-connected singularity bomb goes off with a large, visually impressive, rewindable blast. No weapons were salvaged this day. Revenge and closure are far sweeter end than Defiance having a full armory. Well played, very well played.
Now for Stahma Tarr, the would-be killer and seductress. She has cleverly already engaged T’evgin with her knowledge of the Omec because of her well educated, high class Votan upbringing. This gives her an edge showing up at his home for additional cultural lessons. He knows she is lying. They verbally dance around each other with foreplay disguised as small talk and an opera duet. When he asks her again why she is there, in his native tongue she states she wishes to be enchanted. Coital session one quickly is under way. During this romp, she successfully injects him with the poison laden needle. This scene is beautifully and modestly shot through foliage. It evokes a sense of raw primal urgency without being particularly sexy. This is reasonable for the first being a lusty act. When he shows no sign of ill effect from the poison after the orgasmic conclusion of round one, he asks bluntly, if she would like to go again. Assuming the second round took place immediately, we move to the very best part of this sequence, T’evgin being the ever considerate lover as he wakes Stahma with a hot meal before calmly asking why she tried to murder him. A perfectly acted and presented beat. Now these two moving forward. They are getting flirty and honest. They share their meal while she is only wrapped in bedding and a very pretty bra. As she speaks the truth about Alak and Rahm Tak, he listens and understands her predicament. The matter-of-fact exchange is light as air. These two look to be kindred spirits in politics and body. With no clear solution at hand for her, she decides to invoke round three of sex play by leaning in to him enticingly while saying that no man has ever made a meal for her. I do believe Stahma is enjoying taking one, well three for the team. That was sexy and sweet moment done right. I don’t think Datak was on her mind at all. Do you?
Lastly of interest, the obvious issue of Irisa and Nolan having unhealed head wounds from the life pod “umbilical cord” attachment is given a nod. Both are having worsening intermittent headaches until finally they are seizing and debilitated in the closing scenes. Berlin showing her cold, vengeful side leaves Irisa on the ground to die. Bottom line, no they can not play well together.
Next week cannot come soon enough.
All photos belong to Syfy.
Defiance airs on Syfy, Fridays at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central