Okay, Dark Matter people! Here’s I Like To Be Thorough, your review of episode 212, which is actually titled “Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose.”
Well…huh—OH MY GOSH.
Glad we talked! I jest. But really, that was CRAZY, wasn’t it? I had tweeted earlier in the week about it, and Joe Mallozzi said “I envisioned that ending for Episode 212 since I first started developing the series. Years in the making!” Well, that long game certainly paid off in this episode. Thorough, indeed.
In Dark Matter’s first season, we struggled with the idea of identity without memories. This season, we’ve been grappling with the reverse—namely, how our memories define us. Four, newly imbued with his memories, lays his finger on the very pulse of the issue when he is telling Two about Portia. He says that Portia has a ruthlessness born of insecurity, but Two has strength born of confidence and compassion. If that doesn’t hit the nail on the head of how our memories shape and define us, then I don’t know what does.
Six’s musings about how his new experiences and memories affected his reactions to the GA’s terrible mass murders also gently bump this issue to the front. Both Six and Two are different people because of their new memories and new experiences. They’ve reacted in new ways, led in new ways, and made different choices. Four then goes on to drive the point home at the very end. We didn’t need Four to verbally reclaim his name of Ishida Ryo. We already knew he had become—or reverted to—Ryo when he killed his brother, his stepmother, the Seers. He just… killed them all. I bet you didn’t think THAT episode title was going to be such a theme this season.
Plot in a nutshell time! When Six ended last episode by saying that change was coming, he sure as hell wasn’t joking. We start the episode with Four, who has taken back his memories, also starting his plan to gain back his throne by garnering support, either by persuasion or sword, amongst his people. He Raza crew is supporting him, with the exceptions of Nyx, who has concerns about this new side of Four that she’s starting to see, and Five, who’s already seen that side of Four and wants nothing to do with it, thank you very much. Android seeks out assurance from Two that Android did the right thing in helping Four.
Four lays a trap to flush out his brother, Emperor Hiro. It works, mostly, with the added twist of a bit a surprise ambush back by Hiro. It leaves you scratching your head going, how did he know…? Well, you’ll find out shortly. Four and Hiro hug it out (okay, not really), and Hiro says he will help Four regain his rightful place as Emperor. Hiro says he never wanted the throne any way, and I cannot be the only parent watching this who had sudden “Let It Go” flashbacks at that moment. Hiro, who seems sweet and bit naive, goes home and tells Mommy Dearest about meeting up with his half-brother, and that he suspects her of killing his father. Dude. Think this through.
Four goes around the ship at various points, having individual conversations with everyone but Three, who Four is avoiding, and Five, who is avoiding Four. When the Raza crew show up at Zairon to start the plan, they find out that StepMommy Dearest is one step ahead of them. She promptly blows up everyone who was going to help Four retake the throne, except Hiro. She just imprisons Hiro. The Raza blink away to reassess their plan.
Four decides to go down to his planet on his own, in the previously stolen Ishida shuttle. He’s captured by StepMommy Dearest once down there, who laid a trap for him. Seriously, what is WITH this woman? It’s like she can predict the future…oh. Anyways, Four has a live-broadcast trial, and is jailed while awaiting the outcome. Four gets to have a nice heart to heart with Misaki.
The Raza crew decides that they’re going to rescue Four and help him, and lucky for them, Two has connected all the dots and ways in which their plans have been foiled. Two figures out that the Seers must be involved. They set into a motion a plan that involves Five being the one to spring Hiro, while the rest of them pretty much plan on being captured. For a change, this actually works against the Seers, who have drastically underestimated Five.
It’s almost impossible to describe these last 10 minutes. You really need to watch it. Four reclaims his throne, and his name. In fact, I hesitated this whole way through about calling him Four. He is most definitely Ryo once again, and proves it in blood. Nyx finds out about her brother, and we are left wondering what Ryo will do with—or to—his former crew.
Four making his rounds with the crew and having special, individualized moments with all of them was a most delightful touch. Five avoiding Four was a great counterpoint. She’s the only one who knows what he was like, and she is the one who was right in the end. Three also doesn’t get a separate moment with Four, but that’s because Four is avoiding HIM. Three theorizes that it must be because he did something terrible. If you remember, back in “Stuff To Steal, People To Kill,” Alternate Universe Marcus Boone says that Ryo doesn’t like him, and Alternate Universe Portia agrees. I bet Three is right. I bet it’s terrible.
Four’s moment with Nyx at the very beginning is where he finally admits he has feelings for her, but oh. It’s too late, Four. Sometimes, in life, you don’t always get what you want, especially because of your choices, and Four’s choice was his memories. Nyx has sensed the change in him, and she doesn’t like it. I said, way back when, when we first met the Seers, that I found Four’s actions of helping Milo to take his life to be a betrayal of his budding relationship with Nyx. He helped Milo kill himself, then he kept that a secret from Nyx, and started building a relationship with her. Ick. If I were her, I think I’d kill him.
Four’s moments with Android and Six give us some nuggets of information. Android may hold still hold recorded data within herself. It’s just that her access to it has been erased. To me, that sounded like her memory of her memories had been erased, not the memories themselves; that also sounded like she might be able to get that data back. Four’s conversation with Six reveals that he plans on taking that blink drive, and no one is stopping him.
Of all of them, I really like Four’s moment with Two the best. Like I said above, it gets to that memory/identity theme in a really well done way. I just also love the grin on Four’s face when he says he doesn’t miss Portia Lin at all. He likes Two better, and so do I.
Three has two very lawyer-like moments that made my stone cold lawyer heart cackle with glee. One is where Three asks Four if he trusts Hiro. When Four responded that he needs Hiro, Three pops back with “You didn’t answer the question.” SUCH a lawyer thing to say. I say it all the time. The other is at Four’s trial (or “trial”, depending on your point of view), when Three says that “His closing argument could have gone better.” Ah, Three, a sentiment I have felt all too well at times. These moments are highly hilarious to me because Anthony Lemke is a kindred lawyer soul—did you know that? Again, warms my stone cold heart.
I laughed at the very beginning of the episode when Android said she was having such a huge cup of hot chocolate because she liked to be thorough. However, that line was still ringing in my head when the camera panned out on all the dead bodies laying there in emperor Ishida Ryo’s court.
The new Four, or old Ryo, or rightful emperor of Zairon—I think he likes to be thorough.
And if I were being that thorough, I would start by betraying my friends and taking the blink drive. What’s one more casual betrayal amongst former friends?
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