Image courtesy Syfy

Dark Matter: Episode 6 Review – The Past Shapes the Present

Still hurting from their lack of financial fluidity, the crew of the Raza are beginning to border on desperation. After confronting Calchek over his failure to disclose the presence of a killer virus aboard the freighter, Two even entertains the idea of selling the ship. Five has another idea that brings us back to the Big Damned Door – she proposes teaming up with Android to modify medical equipment so they can probe her mind for the crew’s lost memories. Five thinks the key, pardon the pun, to opening the vault may lie in her head.

Once in the dream state, Five finds herself living one of Four’s early memories as a child. He had a very strict upbringing with a father who was nothing less than brutal and abusive. If he was responsible for the death of his father and many others, as the news report stated, his instabilities could be explained from the abuse he received growing up.

Image courtesy Syfy

Image courtesy Syfy

On the other hand, when Five tells him about reliving his past, Four tells her she needs to have more control over her emotions. This definitely doesn’t sound like someone who’s unstable; quite the opposite, in fact. He calmly tells Five that the memories she’s experiencing are just recordings of past events that can’t be changed, so reacting emotionally serves no purpose.

I think what’s really telling is how Four has managed to live with that pain all of his life. His lack of emotional response and his pragmatic decision making have grown from learning how to block out the pain of his childhood. Of course, it’s always possible that his current state of control is only due to his lack of memories. His personality remains a base imprint of the person he was and he may have been someone who seemed very in control, but with a blind rage seething just beneath the surface. Even with no memory of his past, Four sometimes seems like he’s just a razor’s edge away from exploding with anger.

When Five goes back into a dream state, she enters into Four’s memories again, but a number of years later. This time, he’s saying goodbye to his stepbrother and stepmother who were banished by what they claim was his order. When he goes to confront his father over this, Four finds him dead. It turns out Stepmommy framed him for the Emperor’s murder so her son could rise to the throne.

Evil stepmothers aren’t only found in Disney movies, they’re everywhere – even in space!

Image courtesy Syfy

Image courtesy Syfy

Suddenly, Five is reliving some of her own memories.  We learn how she got aboard the Raza and why there was a (soon to be) dead boy with her. She was living underground like a sewer rat with a group of other kids. Like Oliver Twist, the kids were making a living as pickpockets in order to survive. When Five arrives at their underground hideout, she finds everyone dead except for one boy who’s badly wounded. This is the boy whose body was found on the Raza along with the keycard and gun.

The boy tells Five that the man she stole the card from has connections and that they’re in danger. They hide in some large containers that are then loaded on the Raza by a couple of guys we’ve come to know and love – One and Three. Interestingly, their banter and familiarity are pretty much the same as they are now. Memories or not, those guys are still pretty much the same people.

Hmm … “Miss Maplethorpe” is a name we should probably remember. It could be key to unlocking a Big Damned Mystery. Just sayin’.

Back in the real world, Five’s organs are failing and they can’t seem to wake her from the dream state. Android says the only way to save her is for someone else to go in to help her. Without hesitation, One, Two, and Six volunteer. Everyone instinctively understands that Six is the one who’s going to go in.

Image courtesy Syfy

Image courtesy Syfy

Once Six is under, he begins to relive one of his own memories. He was a part of a resistance movement against the Galactic Authority, called the Procyon Insurrection, with a goal of inspiring people to fight back against a corrupt system. They had just stolen a destroyer belonging to the Authority from a nearby space station. What Six didn’t know is the leader of their group had secretly rigged the shuttle they left behind to explode, taking out the entire station and over 10,000 innocent lives in the process. When he learns this news, it makes him physically ill then he shoots everyone in his group for supporting such a heinous act. This confirms Six is, at his core, a man of solid moral values and decency, but he’ll shoot your ass without hesitation if you deserve it.

Having more control over his time in the shared dream state, Six finds Five living in One’s childhood past. It seems Pretty Boy grew up on an idyllic farm with two parents who loved him. Five’s been in this memory for what seems to her about 6 months’ time even though she’s only been on the table about 2 hours. Her childhood wasn’t an easy one, so she had resigned herself to living out what, to her, was a perfect life, even if it wasn’t real.

Six convinces her she needs to leave this memory, because as perfect as it seems, there had to be some traumatic event that caused One to end up as part of a band of criminals aboard the Raza. He explains that even though the real world is uncertain, they at least have a chance of making things better. In the dream, she’s just along for the ride with no control over her future.

Image courtesy Syfy

Image courtesy Syfy

I guess there’s no place like home.” – Is Five’s real name Dorothy?

Five goes to Four to fill him in on who he is.  He says after finding the ring and doing some research he already knows who he is, but he doesn’t know the whole story. One important piece of the puzzle he has wrong, Five tells him, is that he didn’t kill his father. Instead of reacting with relief, or even really reacting at all, Four simply puts away his katana and walks out. It’ll be interesting to see how he processes this crucial bit of information.

Five then goes to speak with Six. She tells him that after what she’s seen she knows with absolute certainty she can trust him. As she walks away, the look on Six’s face says he’s not quite as sure of himself as his young friend seems to be. He then plays a newscast about “The General,” the name of the man who led the resistance movement responsible for all those deaths aboard the space station. For the first time on Dark Matter, we see the look of revenge in Six’s eyes.

Image courtesy Syfy

Image courtesy Syfy

This episode may have had the least “cliffhangery” ending of the season, but it was more than repaid in answers.  We learned so much about Four, Five, and Six tonight that no cliffhanger or huge question was needed.  Now, all we want is more.  Lots more.


 

For the rest of our extensive coverage of Dark Matter, CLICK HERE.  You don’t want to piss off the android, do you?

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Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10/9 central on Syfy

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Tom Gardiner