Defiance is on the brink of war. One of their own is on the run. One of their own is standing trial for high treason. The town has few weapons and fewer law keepers. If you know Defiance, this town can never be counted out to rise up.
The somber beginning of “The Beauty of Our Weapons”, draws conflicting emotions as Datak Tarr is convicted of high treason and sentenced to death by hanging for spying for General Rahm Tak of the Votanis Collective. Datak is absolutely mercenary and in all things for himself and his family, yet the thought of losing him is a gut punch. He and Stahma are the best sorts of anti-heroes. Either love or hate them, Defiance is more colorful with them. Finding himself wanting, Datak reconciles with his son Alak, and grandson Luke. He desires an honorable death by the Castithan custom of the “Shaming Rack” so his mortal soul will be saved. This rack is pure torture until death. Imagine each limb being strapped separately while rocks as weights are added by his people that eventually will pull the body apart. Datak is impressively brave and contrite heading toward death.
While on the subject of bravery, Irisa displays immense ovaries as the would be militia pressure Nolan to have his daughter, “The Amazing Goddess of the Badlands”, fight alongside them or they will quit. She is suffering from PTSD and has been unable to fire a weapon since she was released from the life pod. She is not a natural killer, she is a groomed killer, by her adoptive father, Nolan. She agrees to join the practice firing line with the other militia participants. Her showing up is enough to keep the others invested. She has a full blown PTSD breakdown, where she envisions Tommy (her ex-boyfriend and Berlin’s boyfriend) whom she murdered while under possession. This is my favorite scene of this episode. Raw and realistic, the acting is superb by Stephanie Leonidas. The writers kept it dignified without shielding the audience from the truth surrounding PTSD nor making it schtick. As Irisa is being supported, Nolan gives a speech of all speeches to defend the weaker among them as noble and necessary. This hits the hearts and souls of the militia troops stand up and continue to prepare for the coming attack by Rahm Tak. Sniff. Sniff. Nolan got to me a little bit too.
The inspirational speech emblazoned everyone near with the exception of Berlin. See her ex-boyfriend, the notorious weapons dealer, Conrad von Bach, shows up in Defiance and donates the veritable armory within his truck. Being an opportunistic businessman, he is the one who previously sold weapons to Rahm Tak. His gift to Defiance has strings, love strings. The bold act he hopes will get Berlin back. Of course, she must punch him in the face at first before ever speaking to him. Classic alpha bitch mode. My favorite line from this episode is uttered by Iain Ziering aka Conrad after the punch and asking if she had another question. “You were never much into foreplay.” I giggled at this. Berlin does what many of us want to do, but in pre-apocalyptic times, one can end up with an assault charge, so we live vicariously. Wining, dining, movie watching, and a communication break through, they discover Conrad’s mother was behind breaking them up. Oh the bonding moment of reconciliation. When Conrad asks Berlin to go away with him the next day, she agrees. She tells Amanda she is tired of being afraid and having no one since the E-Rep (Earth Republic) fell apart leaving her solo in Defiance. As she is loading up to leave town, Nolan’s speech rings in her ears. Will she or won’t she go? She chooses Conrad. Buh-bye Berlin. An act of cowardice or self preservation? I envision her getting down the road when guilt will pound her into pieces, forcing her to go back and fight alongside her friends.
A side note in this episode are Stahma, T’evgin, and Kindzi continue to go rounds. He continues to shelter Stahma leaving Kindzi angry, jealous, and very dangerous. Kindzi believes Stahma’s chivo is clouding her father’s judgment. Another giggle. That magic chivo is doing it’s job keeping her alive and safe. This triangle is not improving. It’s watching a tug-of-war between father and daughter with an increasingly vulnerable Stahma in between. She had better watch her back. Without wasting any time, dearest daughter takes advantage of her father being in the mines. When Kindzi attacks Stahma and is about to sink her teeth into her, he steps in, and ends up punitively putting his foot across her neck. With this, more commonality between T”evgin and Stahma are found in their aggressive disciplinary ways. I’m having a flashback to Stahma’s previous handling of Alak. These two are positively kindred. The stubborn daughter is stubborn. Even after heavy fatherly admonishment and physical punishment, Kindzi is still a threat to Stahma. She forces her to ingest a drone, placing her upon the Omec ship far above the earth. T’evgin is going to be pissed. There’s no telling what his daughter will endure from this wickedness. I adore these characters. Obviously they are bad news, but most excellent and enticing bad news. Another thought comes to mind. Will this duo implode or kill each other before fully charging their ship and attacking Earth?
Lt. Bebe of the VC the remarkable shape shifting Imogene, skillfully starts the attack. He looks flawlessly human to the eye. Here’s hoping Nolan finds him out very quickly for who and what he is….. I’m thinking Alak might get to be the hero in recognizing him. See you back at the busted Arch next time.
All photos belong to Syfy.
Defiance airs on Syfy, Fridays at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central