This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 9
The protagonists in Dark Matter have been moving smoothly from one dilemma to the next in their quest to free themselves from their past, support each other as a family, and either do something good with their lives or simply survive. In the process, the story is being woven ever tighter each week, upping the stakes, diving deeper into the characters, and bringing past elements into clearer focus. For this, the show must be commended.
But all that praise aside, it’s time to acknowledge the obvious “WTF” moment: the Android awakening in bed (or perhaps entering into a dream) in a decidedly planetside setting with a noticeably more human appearance. WHAT? The Android story has been on hold with only tantalizing reminders of her emotional programming, including her attempt to make Two feel better about initially being sidelined in this week’s mission, but this twist ending hints at an exciting new mystery to unravel.
Two’s nannite deficiency on the other hand may have been a bit predictable (in fact, last week’s review hinted at this possibility) but as a main plot it was no less entertaining. Bringing back Wil Wheaton as Alexander Rook was a welcome and necessary return for the enjoyable villain. Viewers surely cheered when Two took the shot that was foiled by his personal shield, and even though everyone may have realized ahead of time that her nannite failure could be cured with an injection from the newer male model, the suspense was still there.
In fact, the whole caper was fun if only because it wasn’t overly easy. The retinal scan spoofing gel was a nifty criminal tech, especially given the nerdy Dwarf Star employees who provided their not-so-reluctant assistance to the company creation they know as Rebecca. The capture of Three and Six was a realistic consequence of Rook’s single-minded pursuit of Two, and their reaction to the death of the employee they used to gain access was appropriately grim.
But the real cherry on top was the unexpected use of the blink drive to sneak in the Marauder. What could easily be perceived as a too-easy, get-out-of-jail-free card was instead in this case a masterfully awe-inspiring and worthy countermove just when Rook had the upper hand. Overall, the whole back-and-forth comprised a very well orchestrated conflict.
Four and Nyx pulled their weight, too, and the whole infiltration and rescue felt like it followed a logical progression (except for Rook’s strange departure at the eleventh hour, but that’s what villains do). The real genius came from the subtle introduction of what appears to be an evil, manipulative influence on Three’s mind. Thank goodness viewers weren’t subjected to a protracted possession plot! Instead, they were treated to a shocking addition to the Dark Matter universe: aliens! What on Earth (no, really – on Earth) is Dwarf Star up to?
Those paying close attention might have noticed something was truly wrong with Three when Four and Nyx rescued their imprisoned colleagues. As they left their cell, Six picked up one of the guards’ guns, but Three did not. Come on, really? Three passing up a gun is unthinkable!
And what to say about Four and Nyx with their newfound romantic (or not-so-romantic) entanglements? Their sexual rendezvous is the inevitable result of the sweaty closeness of their sparring as well as their obviously growing mutual respect, so it doesn’t feel out of place. As long as the awkwardness of their not wanting to make a big deal out of it serves comedic moments like the one at the dinner table rather than needless detours into relationship angst, all is well.
So now Two is cured, Six has fought his way back into the circle of trust, and the Android is about to experience an awakening. This is a direction even the most scrutinizing of Dark Matter fans can get behind. The show is on track to finish out the season with a skillful progression of episodes, capping off a mostly stellar season.