This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Perhaps, like me, you thought you had Dark Matter all figured out. Sure, there were mysteries to be solved, but you could pretty much see where things were headed. Then along comes Transfer Transit and all the possibilities that come with it, and you suddenly realize that, even as a viewer, you’ve been dealing with a clone this whole time. You thought you knew what you were watching unfold, and then – poof! – your preconceptions crumble to dust, and it turns out the real story has been elsewhere. At least that was my experience with the pleasantly quirky “Episode Eight.”
Let’s start with this: remember last week when I said that The Android’s “apparent jealousy of the rival robot seemed at odds with her normal lack of emotion”? Imagine my surprise when this week it’s revealed that the jealousy was meant to be at odds, or at least it was unexpected. What are viewers to make of The Android’s apparently anomalous feelings? Suddenly, it seems that she has been just as much a victim of the memory wipe as the human crew members. Perhaps there’s something special about her, too, beyond just servicing the ship. A character I didn’t really care for has, just like that, become a real point of discussion!
Also defying any crackpot theories I may have hatched is One, who emerged from the Transfer Transit pod with a completely different body. I’m not sure what I thought was the explanation behind the duplicate Jace Corsos, but this definitely wasn’t it! A wealthy CEO, perhaps of one of the multi-planetary mega-corporations, seems to have changed his appearance to exact revenge on the accused killer of his wife: none other than Three himself! Suddenly, all of the obnoxious banter from previous episodes between One and Three takes on a whole new dimension. Still annoying, but with a fresh context.
The transfer tech itself is a brilliant concept I’m surprised no one has ever used before in a sci-fi show. The idea of sending your consciousness into a disposable clone and retaining its memories as long as it returns to its creche in time opens up an amazing array of possibilities. Even the general, Six’s revenge target, was only present as a clone! I presume the general will not remember who killed him since he could not return to a pod, but I think we have a genuine conflict building here for Six!
The same could be said for the others as well. Four took his chance at the space station to call his usurper brother, for example, and my guess would be a battle will soon be brewing. Although it’s unclear what he will achieve by calling home, the confrontation can’t be far off. As for One, I particularly enjoyed her discomfort when The Android pointed out that, if she wants the crew to be more honest and forthright with each other, she should start by telling them the truth about herself. The bandage on One’s neck has been a constant reminder of her secret healing powers, and we still have barely scratched the surface of who she really is.
Overall, I get the sense that the writers of Dark Matter know exactly where their characters and storylines are headed. They continue to dole out puzzle pieces in a deliberate and methodical manner. The galactic politics are still a bit slow to take shape, and the resulting world-building feels small – even the space station just looked like a shopping mall! But as long as the characters continue to offer tantalizing clues to their past and the stories of what brought them to the Raza, my appetite is satiated.
Just don’t tell me later that I was eating mealworms.