I’ve been saying all week on Twitter that this episode of Dark Matter is my favorite and that I bet you’ll agree. Now that it’s aired, let me know in the comments if you think I was right or if I was way off the mark. Honestly, I don’t see how you couldn’t love this episode especially with all we learned about Three.
Kudos to Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer for their outstanding performances in tonight’s episode. The spotlight was on them, with Lemke getting the lion’s share of screen time, but they both amazed and amused. We got a level of depth from Lemke’s Three heretofore thought nonexistent, while Palmer’s android was simultaneously amusing and sympathetic. That’s one of the things I like most about Dark Matter – each actor has shined when the focus was on their character and every single one of them has done an outstanding job. The writing is sharp and the casting is spot-on.
The most interesting revelation to me in this episode is how Three was painted as possibly the most soft-hearted of them all. Sure, he and Sarah hinted at his sordid past, but he fell completely in love with her and risked a lot to try and save her life. After initially coming off as something of a jerk with a wide streak of self-preservation in the first couple of episodes, this installment showed him to be a compassionate and loving man.
I should backtrack a bit, because I don’t mean to downplay the fact that Five used the code “Maplethorpe” to finally open the Big Damned Door. After all, the contents (well, some of the contents anyway) were the catalyst for the story. That’s where they found Sarah, Three’s savior and true love, suffering from a terminal illness thanks to toxic mining sludge. He’d put her into a stasis pod to abate the progression of her illness, I suppose hoping to find a cure before reviving her.
Sarah was responsible for filling in many of Three’s memories and giving us a look at who he really was. That was a really good thing. They also found Build-A-Droid Wendy, which seemed like such a good idea at the time until she started trying to kill them all on behalf of Cyrus King, someone from their past bent on revenge. That was a really bad thing. But at least now we have another person out to get bloody revenge on the crew. I’m sure this will crop up in a later episode.
The jealousy shoe was on the other foot tonight after One had a romp with Wendy. Two showed hints of it when One was reading over the entertainment android’s features, but it climbed to speechless levels when she caught Pretty Boy and droid post-coitus. There’s nothing like a half-naked android to raise your hackles. Okay, stop giggling at that, I’ve giggled enough for us all.
As I mentioned earlier, Android finally got a fair amount of screen time and was responsible for most of the laughs in this episode, but she also served as a point of sympathy for viewers. The crew has been dismissive of her talents and importance from the start, but with everyone all gaga over Wendy, the droid who can apparently make steak from shit, she began to look like a lost puppy. Being taken for granted can do that to a person.
Never one to give up, Android did everything she could to get some appreciation from her shipmates, affecting several accents in rapid succession to show she was as versatile as the New Droid on the Block. That was one of the most laugh-out-loud moments of the hour and I think I could watch an entire episode with Android in Jamaican Mode. Zoie Palmer got the opportunity to show off her talents and she was well up to the task. We need more Android more often.
Of all the people who could’ve comforted Android, it was the kid, Five, who actually bothered. She explained to Android that although Wendy’s functions seemed superficial, relieving stress was important to human well being. More importantly, she told Android how much she really was appreciated and needed, even if the others seemed oblivious to her less fun, but essential duties. The poor, dutiful automaton seemed genuinely disappointed that she isn’t programmed for humor. She just wants to fit in like anyone would.
After her talk with Five, Android decides it’s time to apologize to Wendy and accept her as a member of the crew. As she’s trying to offer a hand to the new arrival, Wendy’s revenge subroutine implanted by Cyrus King cause the entertainment android to break all kinds of bad. Instead of shaking hands, Wendy shoots Android, locks down all the doors, and sets the Raza on a collision course with a nearby star.
Not cool, Wendy. Not cool.
Two works out a quick and secret plan with Three over the coms since she knows Wendy is listening in. Three is going to act as a distraction while Five tries to access the bridge and regain control of the ship. Before he goes on what could be a suicide mission, he puts the rapidly-declining Sarah back into stasis. This scene showed just how much Three loves Sarah and that love is stronger than any memory wipe.
Now in full-on kill mode, Wendy sets out to dispatch the crew. Three’s playing the part of bait with Bubba in hand, but methinks someone forgot to charge their favorite gun because he only gets off a couple of shots before the power is depleted. I guess even in the future battery life sucks.
Getting his ass thoroughly handed to him by Wendy, it doesn’t look good for Three. She’s able to toss him around like a rag doll, and there’s not much he can do about it. Just as she’s about to finish him off, Four shows up with his trusty katana and proves once again that a blade is more effective in close quarter combat than a gun by separating Wendy’s head from her body.
Wendy locked the controls on the bridge with an encrypted passcode that even Five can’t crack. Two gets the idea to jack into the severed head and glean the code from its logs. One problem: Activating the head activated the body and it begins to attack Three and Six. Thankfully, they crack the code before Headless can kill anyone, but the lockdown shut power to many areas of the ship, including Sarah’s stasis pod.
Without power to the pod, the disease ran its course and took Sarah’s life. When One tries to take the blame since he activated Wendy, Three shows his compassionate side again. He tells One he didn’t program the android to attack and he didn’t give Sarah an incurable disease. A lesser man could’ve seen it from One’s perspective and held a grudge, but Three isn’t a lesser man. We learned tonight that he’s one hell of a decent human being who just hides behind an often callous exterior.
In a reflection of his earlier visit to her quarters, Two visits One just as he’s conveniently getting out of the shower. Apparently, a little jealousy is good for the soul since Two has decided that “complicated” might not be so bad. The scene fades as she’s closing the door to One’s quarters, the two of them inside as a new chapter in their relationship begins. Or maybe it begins again?
For the rest of our extensive coverage of Dark Matter, CLICK HERE.
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Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10/9 central on Syfy