Defiance feels like an eternally under-appreciated show. It’s true, in the crowded television landscape across network, cable and streaming that it’s hard to keep up with all the good television out there. There’s enough GREAT television out there that sometimes the shows that sit somewhere between greatness and averageness can get lost. But Defiance is such a solid sci-fi action show, with memorable characters that it’s become a pleasure to know, that I wish more people gave it a chance. There’s no denying it can be inconsistent at times. The budget lets it down visually now and then. But it’s an interesting set-up, not quite like any other sci-fi show before it.
Here’s my recap of season 3 so far. It seemed like a minor miracle Syfy gave Defiance a third season after falling ratings. But, my hope is that DVD, DVR and ONDemand views can keep it alive. Or, if this is the last season, I really hope the creators are given a chance to wrap up the storyline. In the meantime, let’s dive in…
(Spoilery Thoughts Follow)
3×1 – The World We Seize, 3×2 – The Last Unicorns, 3×3 – Broken Bough
I was sad to see Pottinger go. At least without much of a send-off. I thought they did a decent job of developing him last season. That being said, after the finale last season I expected that we’d see the show go in some different directions quickly. The swift execution of the McCauleys was brutal. I’d come to like Rafe a lot, certainly. The affection shown him and the others by the Tar’s was rather sweet, in a way.
I was glad Nolan and Irisa made it back quickly, though I’m intrigued to see where the fact they were joined in the pod is going. I mean, you don’t make your characters wear wound make-up for who knows how many episodes if there’s not some point.
The Omec feel a little… oh… cheap, to be honest. Just design-wise. They just don’t feel quite as high-quality as some of the other alien designs (many of which seem to have largely disappeared from town, it seems.) But, as characters they are interesting. I found Nolan’s acceptance and belief in them a bit baffling. One thing I think is good about Nolan’s characterization is they often make him pretty clever. But he and the Mayor seem a little too trusting of these guys.
I felt pretty bad for Doc Yewll, even though she’s done her fair share of shady deeds. It was still a pretty brutal scene. Which was why I was surprised there wasn’t a little more venom from her in the third episode. I agree there’s not enough Berlin. I hope they give her more to do than just be pissed off at Irisa and take Tommy’s place as a third gun in the police force. Although it was a bit fuzzy whether Nolan had his hold post back or not.
3×4: Dead Air
Well, the latest episode might as well been called “Wrapping Up Pottinger.”
But I’m glad it happened. Tying back in Connor (I sort of forgot about his and Pottinger’s connection) was interesting, and of course it left Amanda with a tough choice. That her choice lead to the destruction of such a valuable resource was no surprise. From the moment we saw the virtual Eden of base I figured it was a goner. Life is never that easy on Defiance. Frankly, I don’t blame Amanda any more than Nolan did. She deserved her revenge. And, she didn’t actually believe Pottinger. But I was glad she put herself first for once. She kind of deserves it after all the sacrifices she makes.
The Stahma/Omec guy story was fun. I’m intrigued to see where it all leads. Hopefully Stahma and Datak can use the Omec to get themselves out from under the VC. Feels like they have a common enemy, there. The male Omec is played by a good actor. He makes the character interesting, and I enjoyed his interactions with Stahma.
I’m kind of already over the head-wound thing with Nolan and Irisa. Hopefully they wrap that up soon. Still need more Berlin and Yewll. The destruction of the arch was kind of sad. One of the defining visuals of the show. I do kind of wonder if they are planning this as the last season of the show?
3×5: History Rhymes
Random thought: I miss the proper opening credits. Watching Killjoys made me remember how much I liked them for getting into the world.
Another episode stalling General Tahk’s assault on Defiance, but I don’t mind. I think it’s cool to see how events proceed before it. It’s still weird to me how close that Tahk (and by extension Pilar and the McCauleys) is to Defiance. That means when Rafe, Stahma and Datak were wandering around for the many months before season 3 began that they were not more than a couple hours drive from Defiance at any one time, it seems. I mean, that must be how Alak got back so quickly? But, that’s minor stuff.
The meat of this episode, to me, was the Irisa/Nolan stuff. The contrivance of the linked mind is pretty classic sci-fi, but it served to give us something really interesting here as far as developing Nolan and Irisa’s relationship. Not only did it provide an eye-opening experience for Nolan about how differently Irisa perceived their relationship in the early days, but it also revealed Irisa’s aversion to killing was much more deep-seated than dealing with recent events.
I like Doc Yewll and the new veterinarian guys’ rapport. I still can’t believe Yewll isn’t a series regular.
3×6 : Where The Apples Fell
This, to me, was one of the more exciting episodes of the season. The Tarr’s beat-down of their son was pretty intense, even if it was partly just to get him to listen to reason. His flipping on them to Nolan was exciting, as was that they were on the run. Datak and Stahma had to pay the piper at some point, and it’s always fun to watch them maneuver.
Alak – A character that hasn’t always been my favorite, really came into his own. It was a great showcase for him, and I loved the scenes with Irisa and Nolan. Datak being fooled by Alak and Nolan was great, as was Datak’s reaction after he found out.
The Amanda/Stahma confrontation was great. I wish Amanda could have acquitted herself as well physically as she did with her biting and rather truthful words. I do believe Stahma truly cares for Alak just as she cared for Christie. But her sense of self-preservation is also huge, too.
It was interesting to get inside Yewll’s head a bit this episode, and her perspective on what Nolan and Amanda did to her was refreshing from a storytelling standpoint. I am intrigued to see if there will be any repercussions for her.