The in a nutshell recap of When Twilight Dims The Sky episode: Datak’s back sporting a nifty bionic arm. Kindzi’s back after mind-controlled Doc Yewll works tech wizardry. Nolan’s drinking excessively, hallucinating, and putting everyone in danger. The Votanis Collective Vice Chancellor Silora Voske rolls into town from Brazil to broker peace. T’evgin is heart broken after he proposes to take Stahma away to Australia to live peaceably with his soon to be awakened family and Data blows it for him by showing up. Oh and “I thought you were dead but you’re not sex” for Datak and Stahma.
With all there is to like about this episode so I’m starting out with what I didn’t like.
Beginning 12 hours into the future of this day, Nolan is out of control and on a hallucinatory rampage. He is unhinged to the nth degree insulting and later assaulting Datak, scaring the hell out of Irisa, and on a mission to find an imaginary bomb the Vice Chancellor must have brought with her. When he finds what looks like bomb making materials, he boldly enters the reception dinner and promptly kills the Vice Chancellor. His state of mind is in an increasingly erratic state. He is so over the top and reactionary in his hallucinating “The Butcher”. It begs the questions, why has no one locked him up and taken away his weapons and badge? Why did Irisa not follow and stop him when he left? This makes no sense to me he would be allowed to roam freely in his whacked state of mind. PTSD psychotic break or not, the near absurd level of T-rex worthy scene chewing is far too much for me to take it seriously. I see the direction given to actor Grant Bowler as the problem, not his acting abilities. He offers up crazy convincingly. My next quandary is after the realistically written scenes about Irisa’s struggles, how is she snapping out of her own PTSD and basically back to her pre-inhabited self with ease? Trauma is not analog in recovery. Her healing feels rushed to, while Nolan’s trauma response feels far fetched and beyond grasp. These are the weakest areas in this episode and maybe even the entire season.
What did I most like?
One, when Doc Yewll is unable to remove the control spike in her neck, she invectively growls, “Freaking’ Omec bitch!”. Then she calmly continues to work on her gadget to free Kindzi because she has no choice. I find her timing flawless. She is always great for comedic relief when the sh*t hits the fans in Defiance. I cannot get enough of the Indigent doctor. She is a complicated cynic with a big heart underneath her grrrrrlll persona.
Next up, Datak and Stahma Tarr. The perfectly paired, sexy scheming duo of Defiance. There is no one else who could put up with them. The Omec would tire of Stahma and probably eat her if she went with him to Australia. My favorite scene is satisfied post-coital Datak and Stahma. They’re all grins and happiness lying together again. A blissful reconnection, that is until Ms. Mayor Rosewater along with the Vice Chancellor bust the mood. They insist Stahma work her influence on the Omec T’evgin for a sit down with the Vice Chancellor. The sometimes passive-aggressive and plainly aggressive barbs fly from Amanda Rosewater’s mouth toward the deserving Tarr’s. The relationship between the trio is utterly familial and as dysfunctional. The three of them need each other yet hate it being so. This demand leaves Stahma panicked and confessing to her husband that T’evgin wants to take her to Australia. The winning, “I had to it watch over”, scene this episode belongs to Datak and Stahma. Stahma, “Do you have any idea where Australia is?” Datak, “Why would I know something like that?” Stahma, “It’s far…” Sometimes these two are hilariously unintellectual in the most serious of ways. I adore them more each episode. My next favorite line goes to the Vice Chancellor when she utters toward Stahma, “Dirty girl.” after learning of her “enchanting” by T’evgin. I laughed fairly loudly at that. The writing team knows how to put funny in the right places. Stahma does her duty by going to the Omec. Even scared to her core by him, she rises up with a valiant speech and uses her cunning words to soothe the angered predator. She takes him to the reception as ordered. Stahma gets it done.
Lastly, Kindzi showing up to the reception, threatening Stahma, shaking her father up then using the same stasis weapon on him, was ingenious. I still don’t like her, but that girl has some chutzpah. I hope T’evgin ultimately wins for a brighter more civilized Omec future, yet the idea of Kindzi wreaking havoc until then is an excellent plot device.
This episode delivered well overall. The positives outweighed the negatives. I can only hope someone gets in Nolan’s head and stops his madness.
All photos belong to Syfy.
Defiance airs on Syfy, Fridays at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central