So, here we are, with our review of the season finale of Dark Matter 213, “But First, We Save The Galaxy,” which I’ve been calling Bombs Away, or Have Fun Storming The Castle! The episode title goes to Two, so that gives her three episode titles (episodes 5, 9, and 13). If you were playing along with my little game, and you guessed Two would have the most episode titles, you win! I lose, since I guessed it would be Five with the most lines.
I have to say, I never thought “Kill them all” was going to be a season theme, and yet. Here we are. Here’s your happenings in a nutshell.
The Raza crew decides that they are going to use their blink drive to save the galaxy from corporate war. Using what they’ve learned from the alternate universe, Nyx, Milo, and the Seers, the crew joins forces with Truffault in the hopes of preventing Eos-7 from blowing up, all souls lost, and starting all out corporate war. They eventually convince her that their information is sound and their intentions pure. She agrees to help them help her. Truffault creates false credentials for Five, who goes undercover as Truffault’s aide.
Unfortunately, Eos-7 ends up being the local watering hole where pretty much everyone in the galaxy shows up. Ryo is there; Misaki is there; Five is there; Kierken is there; the Raza crew is hovering nearby; and of course, all the corporations and their various representatives are there. Oh, and Five makes a new friend! His name is Arrian, he works for Traugott, and surprise! He’s an android, which she finds out when he saves her from Ryo’s men trying to bring her in for what I suspect would be a not so friendly chat with Ryo. Alas for our new friendly Android, he’s actually the bomb that Traugott smuggled on board. He spaces himself to save Five and the rest of the station.
Crisis averted, right? Nope. While the Raza crew is busy with their cloak and dagger act of saving the galaxy, Ryo and Misaki get on board the Raza and, you guessed it, steal the blink drive. Misaki has a bone to pick with Nyx, most likely because she overheard Ryo come close to begging Nyx to come to Zairon and be his empress. When she encounters Nyx, she wounds her with a poisoned blade, leaving her for dead. Misaki then lies to Ryo about it. Ryo then tells the Raza crew to get out the station, because he’s about to have it blown up. Why? Because corporate war is good for Zairon. It takes the pressure off them by putting more pressure on their enemies, and with the blink drive, gives Zairon a chance to recover and then dominate the galaxy.
The crew is left in various states of disarray and danger. Two was standing at the site of an explosion. Truffault urges Five to come with her for safety, and Five does. Android is holding Nyx’s hand, and we have no idea if Nyx is alive. Kierken was standing at the source of the overload. Six is running down a hallway as the station crumbles. Perhaps best of all, Three, having had the crap beaten out of him, blearily looks up at a person he thinks has come to rescue him, and we see freaking LIEUTENANT ANDERS standing over him! And then it all goes boom. Literally. The station just explodes in white light and is falling apart. Good luck with that, folks.
I have to say that my favorite person this episode is Truffault. Tori Higginson is just so deliciously saucy, sarcastic, powerful, and completely unrepentant about those qualities. The opening scene with her, where she drily refers to the Raza crew as “old friends”? You can hear the sarcasm and scheming just dripping from her voice. Tori, and the life she gives her character, brings a level of competence, intelligence, and power to the universe. She’s nobody’s fool, but she’s probably going to make you into hers.
Ryo’s betrayal of the crew is now complete, and that’s why I feel pretty comfortable calling him Ryo now instead of Four. You always knew Four had it in him, but it wasn’t until he got his memories back that he betrayed everyone. That’s not to say that some of Four doesn’t still live on though. I seriously doubt that the old Ryo ever would have called the crew to tell them to get off the station and save themselves. I don’t think the old Ryo would have had inconvenient feelings for Nyx, who, for all her useful predictions and general wit and charm, isn’t one of his people. She’s not a person that could help cement his power. But our new Ryo clearly has feelings for her, and that’s because of his time spent as Four.
I also really love how Ryo keeps calling our crew by the former names. To me, it doesn’t come across as forgetful. It’s deliberate. When he calls Two Portia, and then slowly corrects himself, he’s doing it to remind them all he knew them before. He knows more about them than they do. He likes it that way, and he wants them to know it.
I also very much enjoyed Five’s scenes with her brief android friend, Arrian. Five is just so incredibly consistent in her outlook on people and how people should be treated. I suspect that Five, if she survives, will struggle with the idea that her little pep talk of how Arrian could choose his own fate with his software upgrade led to him killing himself. You know Five was looking for her usual clever work around, and sometimes, kids, that’s just not how life goes. Five undercover as a blonde corporate type was startling and so much fun. Jodelle did a fantastic job of staying our beloved awkward Five trying desperately to pretend she’s someone else. It comes across as awkwardly as you would hope.
There were so many little quips back and forth for all the crew members that I’ve lost count. Suffice to say, this episode has plenty of the banter we all know and love from the Raza crew. We get some excellent self righteousness from Kierken, and though I don’t see how he could have survived that, I hope it isn’t so. Plus, did I mention that LIEUTENANT ANDERS is alive and well and clearly pissed off at Three? The man says absolutely nothing but the look on his face conveys it all as he is standing over Three.
The only thing in the entire episode that made me wrinkle my nose a bit was Misaki and Nyx. I know, I know. We know that Misaki was in love with Ryo, and it’s not exactly a shock that she still has those feelings. But I felt like our previous encounters with her gave us a very bad ass, business-like view of her. To have her suddenly so overcome with jealousy that she disobeys the orders of the man she loves WHO IS THE FREAKING EMPEROR just struck a wrong note with me.
The ending of the last episode hinged on Misaki obeying the sitting emperor—Hiro, who told her to arrest his mother. When Hiro tells her that Ryo is emperor, she obeys her new emperor without hesitation and kills Hiro. So to have her disobey Ryo just felt off to me. Plus, I am never a huge fan of bad ass ladies killing other bad ass ladies over a man. I’d rather have them band together and wreak havoc. Then again, Dark Matter hasn’t disappointed me yet, so maybe there’s a twist in store that’s going to have me cackling with glee.
Things to put a pin in for next season (WEEP): Gee golly whiz, how about the station blowing up and how they could possibly survive that?
Sarcasm aside, our crew is in a pickle. How are each of them going to survive the explosion? Will Nyx survive being poisoned? When will Android figure out how Ryo shut her down and rewrite that command? Will Android find her memories? Is there any possible way Kierken survived? If Five is stuck with Truffault, what kind of leverage does that give Truffault over the Raza crew? What will Ryo do to Misaki when he finds that she’s either seriously injured or killed Nyx? Who is going to take the fall for this explosion, and will corporate war still ensue? Will the Raza get the blink drive back in time to prevent Ryo from taking over the galaxy? What is Dwarf Star Technologies doing? How can we convince the show runners that Anders needs to be on the Raza crew? Oh, wait, maybe that’s just my question and not yours.
All in all, this was a fantastic end to the season. Dark Matter dropped huge questions on us, then methodically answered them, all while opening us to new questions for next season. Dark Matter always keeps us in suspense, but it doesn’t leave us dangling there; it helps us climb back up on to the ledge, only to knock us off again. I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even with all the action and twists and turns in the plot, Dark Matter doesn’t lose sight of its thoughtful side. It continually probes the complicated connection between memory and identity, and doesn’t assume its viewers can’t pick up on the theme, either. I don’t know how I can wait until next season, but I guess we will all have to manage.
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