This review contains spoilers for the most recent episode.
All I can say is: finally! Although the hunt for resources is still center stage as the main problem to be solved in Dark Matter, some much-needed back story came out of “Episode Six,” and my expectations were sent into a tailspin. It’s a pleasant sort of disorientation, and the questions and theories these new details inspire greatly enhances my enjoyment of the series, which is quickly becoming a highlight of Syfy’s summer lineup.
Two provided a nice bit of inspiration for Five’s idea to explore her hidden memories by mentioning the possibility of having to sell the ship. I was glad the concept didn’t spring from nowhere since it tied the story directly to last week’s failure. The bungled salvage mission means no payment, and food and resources are running low on the Raza. Two rightfully sent their sleazy employer packing, and her menace was palpable. Although the audience didn’t get to learn much else about the ship’s leader (aside from her being scary, which Five and Six later agree on), I did notice that she’s still wearing her bandage, hiding her healed wound from her shipmates. I wonder what’s going on there!
So in using her memory exploration device, Five discovers details about her own past, that of Four, and a little bit about One. I must say, I’m kind of thankful Three was left out this week; I need a break from him! Four’s past was introduced in an earlier episode, but here it’s fleshed out as a frame-up for murder, a detail that surprises Four when he’s told about it. Although I’m surprised he turned out to be a victim rather than a murderer, he and Five can learn a lot from each other. I liked how he counseled her to control her emotions while in the dream state, and she reciprocated by reminding him that he doesn’t have to be the person he was in the memory. What path will Four choose? Can he escape his past as Five suggests?
Plus, how did a prince on the run meet up with a freedom-fighting terrorist like Six anyway? Did they become mercenaries later in life and team up once they were in the same line of work? I could see that for Six, who is the only one who gets to see his own memories when he is sent to retrieve Five from whatever memory she’s stuck in. I can’t help but draw a parallel to Roger Cross’ character on Continuum, a terrorist intent on taking down the corporations. Stealing from the Galactic Authority to make a statement seems to fit with Six’s present personality as well, but can Five trust him as she states at the end of the episode? Clearly he’s a troubled man.
One gets a brief mention as Five lives for a time in his idyllic childhood memories on a farm. Why am I not surprised One is a rural mama’s boy? But Five is only in his past to retreat from her own memories as a pickpocket ne’er-do-well who stole that important “pocket universe” key that we saw her showing the Android last week. And apparently the dead boy was a stowaway on the Raza just as she was, a close friend and only survivor of her band of wayward youth.
At least she overheard the missing passcode for the big door: Maplethorpe! I’m desperate to find out what’s in the vault, and that’s a good sign! I’m itching for answers and eager to continue this journey of discovery. Now that Dark Matter has used this clever, thankfully non-flashback method of exploring the crew’s memories, hopefully the ensuing investigation will bring about some interesting adventures to finish out the second half of the season. Keep it up, Team Raza! Perhaps a job will soon payoff as effortlessly and expertly as this episode!