Defiance – Upon the March We Fittest Die 3×12 Review

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The season 3 finale takes us on a no holds barred battle to save individuals, the town of Defiance, and even Earth. The stakes are higher than ever before. After the ending of The Awakening, I braced myself for the probable opening of the finale. “NOT THE BABY KINDZI! NOT LUKE!” I find myself yelling at the television in the first 10 seconds. An assertively high threat scenario to get hearts racing and attentions caught. Do not blink during this hour or you will miss something important.  Thank goodness for the DVR to watch, pause, and rewind. Every minute counts.

Since this is the season finale I am posting a condensed recap before the review.

Recap: Datak saves his family but Kindzi lives through his assault. The Omec have little food unless they go into town hunting so they are slowed down from bringing more family from the ship. The fabulous 8 confab as Doc Yewll tells them a plan to take out the Omec ship.  Before Doc Yewll, Mayor Amanda, Nolan, and Datak can get to the ship, there is a confrontation with Omec hunters that leaves Amanda in the infirmary with a gut wound. Nolan and Amanda make goo-goo eyes and kissy face again but this time it is sweet and endearing. The fab four of Doc Yewll, Nolan, Irisa, and Datak take pods to the ship. Once in the control center, Doc Yewll is cabled to the ship in order to control it.  Down below in the infirmary Stahma is caring for Amanda.  They have a heart to heart ending with Stahma apologizing. Back on the ship Nolan is attacked by security drones requiring Doc to become more deeply wired to the ship to turn them off. Omec enter the infirmary dragging off all the people to feed upon. She is bypassed for her spoiled meat. Hearing baby Luke crying, Amanda pulls out her IV line, picks up a gun off the floor, and while bleeding from her gut wound to save her people. Uttering the second best line, “Hey assholes”, she starts shooting and kills the Omec without mercy. Stahma runs to her as she collapses. On board the ship, Irisa and Datak discover that Doc Yewll is sacrificing herself to save everyone.  Datak must place one more probe so Doc can control the engines. A lovely exchange between the two friends while Irisa quietly looks on. Meanwhile Kindzi has made her way to the pod launcher and is on her way to the ship. Doc instructs Nolan through compromising he engines. Kindzi shows up and fights Nolan for control over the engines. He takes a beating and a Taser. As she prepares to kill him, he grabs her knife, shanks her in the head then throws her into the engine shaft. Shredded to pieces she is dead. He uses her weapon to repower the engines. Doc regains control. Irisa makes a plea to save the Omec. To find a home for the Omec far from Earth. Nolan zaps Irisa and sends her back to Earth in a pod. A tearful goodbye. Nolan and Doc Yewll together with three minutes to vent the engines. Nolan takes the probe from Doc’s head. She pulls up a captain’s chair for him. He vents the engines and away they go into deep space. Irisa laugh cries from the ground. Irisa voice over. Six weeks have passed since Nolan left Earth. He saved the world. The towns’ people go to the newly named Arch lighting ceremony. Amanda thinks he’s dead. Irisa believes he is adventuring in outer space.  Irisa is the new Lawkeeper. She hopes he knows he is a good father no matter where he is. Into space we travel following the Omec ship’s path to a galaxy of unknown distance.

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The Most Yelling At Your TV Required Scene:

Kindzi threatening, sniffing, and licking the screaming baby, is hands down the creepiest, most terrorizing scene this season. I was flipping out yelling at my television. I am so impressed with Nichole Galicia for being able to do this. That poor terrified baby is probably going to hate purple his whole life through without knowing why. I kept thinking if she eats the baby I might not be able to watch next season. So thankful that envelope wasn’t pushed.

Favorite Scenes:

When saving his family from the grip of Kindzi, Datak not only stabs her through the neck, he breaks off the blade nailing her to the wall. Her frustrated writhing and screaming is glorious. Baby Luke is safe. Phew. As if it couldn’t get better, Alak shrieking, “How is she still alive?” was so masterful, I laughed loudly. The Tarr family being back together against many odds is wonderful. Though the usual raw edges exist as Alak has sharp words for his mother. Ah all is well, for now. Each have become better people throughout the season even with their actions sometimes seeming self-serving.

Datak storming into the Lawkeeper office ready to shoot Doc Yewll since she’s working with the enemy, but she isn’t anymore. He is ready to take care of all the Omec related business. His ostracized family is slowly re-integrating into Defiance culture and hierarchy as the group discusses Doc Yewll’s plans. They belong at the core of Defiance. They are part of the lifeblood right or wrong.  The heart of Defiance is again working together toward the goals of Doc’s plan. Smart writing smoothly moves the story forward.  It is heartwarming and confidence building that not all is lost.

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While on board the Tsuroz, Doc Yewll integrated herself with the ship’s systems with probes implanted into her body. This is the only way to take control of the ship. Datak has the job of placing the probes. He is a brave friend for Doc. Before the final probe is placed, Irisa and Datak realize that Doc is sacrificing herself and will not be leaving the ship for Defiance. Cue tear jerk. Doc says she is not a real person so it’s okay she is going to not make it. Datak immediately says, “You are a real person with enormous honor and infinite soul.” Where are my tissues? She softens. Then with the probe in one hand, he gently reaches for her face with the other hand and thanks her. “I’m going to miss you pal”, Doc. Seriously? Where are my tissues? The final probe is installed into her head. Heart gripping friends, heroes. A pure moment of respect and adoration between the two. Such depth and subtlety that moved me deeply.  The acting. The writing. Gripping.

Lastly, Nolan forcing Irisa back to Defiance to have her own life. To have a real future. This is what a good father would do. He would sacrifice himself for his children. Nolan stepped up and became the father he wished he would be. Well done. Irisa’s ending voice over recognized this and undoubtedly believed her father was out adventuring in far off space, his other dream realized. Irisa is maturing into the new Lawkeeper, an adult woman, and a member of her community. Nolan would be proud.

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This season wrapped up with hope, with unlike the despair it began under. Reuniting characters in family and in the core group propels us into next season with a warm hug. The core group, is its own dysfunction family Defiance, so the roses will have plentiful thorns to look forward to. At least they are together with Doc Yewll and Joshua Nolan in their hearts. In my mind, Datak and Doc Yewll won the season. I could not get enough of them.

So far for next season the Irisa, Alak attraction is in play, Irisa is the Lawkeeper, Berlin and Amanda have each other to rely on, the veterinarian turned people doctor Samir is there to fill Doc’s shoes, and the Tarr’s will be getting into some scheme or three.

Of special note:

The costuming was so creative, character specific, and visually enthralling. High marks for Stahma’s wardrobe. Flawless.

The special effects as close to movie effects as possible.

The makeup and hair team kept it interesting, provocative, and well done.

The writing team got on a roll and kept the momentum throughout. Impressive dialogue with wit, humor, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.

The direction spot on and seamless.

Thank you to all the actors and crew for an enjoyable season. see you next year.

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All photos are property of Syfy.

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Defiance airs on Syfy, Fridays at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central

@DefianceWorld, Defiance Website

Des Andrews