Dark Matter: Episode Four Review

It’s good to learn more about the characters and deepen the mysteries surrounding them as Dark Matter improves its performance.

It’s becoming apparent that the crew members of the Raza have lost more than just their memories, and the painful mistakes they make in this week’s episode really emphasize the danger these six strangely skilled but uncharacteristically naive travelers are in. Although the universe the show is operating in is still composed of vague references, it’s nice to see the characters themselves becoming more fleshed out, as they discover that the deficiencies in their memories and life experiences might get them killed.

The only one for whom it doesn’t make as much sense to make careless mistakes is Two, who up until now has made some crucial, politically savvy moves, including the pitting of two corporations against each other to save the mining colony. Yet here on the space station she gets caught up in the practice of counting cards at the casino and draws unwanted attention. Granted, I’m sure the lure of money and the discovery of her latent ability was exciting, but I would hope the leader of the crew would have more self control and not risk losing all of her winnings. Still, I get why it happened that way, especially on the heels of Five discovering her own ability to spot the con artist palming the pea in the cups game.

Six similarly makes a rookie mistake in the game of hiding one’s identity. When his DNA is gathered to make a compatible skin graft for his arm wound, the computer immediately flags him as a criminal. I’m almost certain that the Griffin Jones of old would never have allowed that to happen, and truth be told, I’m glad that it unfolds this way for him and his shipmates. It makes sense! Muscle memory can explain their physical abilities and mechanical skills, but you can’t operate in these types of social circumstances without memories.

I mean, would the real Jase Corso ask a random bartender to find him a buyer for his weapons? One and Three practically walked into the trap set for them by… Jase Corso? The mystery of the duplicate criminals is an interesting one. Six saw mention of a cloning process that allowed travel to distant places using the transference of consciousness to a temporary body, but Corso clearly states that One couldn’t be his clone because of the disposable nature of such bodies. So how can they both be Jase Corso? It’s an intriguing mystery that I’m sure is the first of many like it.

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Another big reveal this week came as a result the more sensible research being conducted by Four, who uses his time at the space station more wisely. Although he has a similarly naive first step with the ring at the pawn shop, almost potentially alerting the authorities to his presence as Six did, he eventually uses the databases to find that he is a rogue member of a royal family: the emperor’s son no less! At last, viewers have something to sink their teeth into with the underlying mythology of the show.

I even enjoyed the Android more this week, or perhaps, as I mentioned in an earlier review, I’m just getting used to her. Her desire to assist Four as well as Jase Corso (whom she thinks is One) as he removes the weapons from the ship presented a more charming version of the overly helpful robot than has been seen thus far. As more becomes known about the characters, I think her role as a sidekick of sorts will start to gel as well.

This was a better episode than those that came before it, but the world in this series still feels very small. Some low budget science fiction shows set in space have been able to transcend their cheap looking sets and small casts to present a larger context for the political and social aspects of the story. Dark Matter has not yet done that. It’s still early in the series, of course, but I yearn for more depth and better delivery of such amazing content. Let’s hope this is the first in series of upswings for the show.


4 out of 5