This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 3
It finally came! The episode that was bound to happen, in which at least some of the Raza crew regained their earlier memories, came to fruition in this week’s Dark Matter, and perhaps because it was expected, the execution felt a little haphazard. Despite this minor shortcoming, however, the lead-in and the aftermath provided new avenues to explore, especially with the shifting group dynamics, and the introduction of additional mysteries is always the best part of each episode.
Although it wasn’t surprising that the new crew members, Nyx, Arax, and Devon, do not have full run of the ship, their reaction to this reasonable precaution — whether they helped with the escape or not — raised immediate suspicions. Even not knowing much about these characters, the most obvious candidate for betrayal was the self-serving Arax, who is revealed to be the “asset” that the mysterious but no doubt powerful woman billed as Alicia Reynaud referred to last week.
That being said, it was hard not to feel the appeal of the lead-shielded safehouse Arax offered to Two as a sanctuary in which they could lay low while the heat of the prison break cooled off. The Raza crew have burned a lot of bridges, and the scrutiny they were already under has increased a hundredfold. Down two crew members, they don’t appear to have many options.
And now the Android is down for the count as well, which provided the very deft set-up for what turned out to be a strangely disjointed main plot. With the Android’s neural interface damaged, the crew turns on what can easily be described as the ship’s Bluetooth interface to search for devices to pair with. In the most unlikely of circumstances, the ship finds recorded imprints in its database and downloads them into the heads of Two, Three, and Four.
That seems like the kind of thing you’d want to a confirmation pop-up for: “Are you sure you want the ship to do this? Okay or Cancel.” Be that as it may, Two with her nannites feeling the rush of control was fun to see, as hard as it was to watch her return to her ruthless roots. It was curious to hear no mention of One’s or Six’s absence, although it’s possible these memories were from before their joining the Raza. Their lack of questioning the passage of 14 months, aside from a few moments of passing confusion, and their willingness to shoot now and ask questions never just didn’t seem believable.
It was great to have Five at the center of the narrative, though, with her unwavering belief that her friends should all want to be who they’ve become after the mind-wipe. Her discussions with the simulated Android were definitely enjoyable and seemed like something she’d do, and her attempt to persuade Three that she was his friend by sympathizing with him over Sara was a valiant effort on her part.
The return of the memory access device from last season was a nice touch as well, and it was realistic that Five couldn’t take in the ship’s complex systems as easily as Two, just as it made sense that she couldn’t evade Four when he tracked her down in the opening scene. However, the ease with which Five talked Two down — using a moment of vulnerability from her past as a bioengineered human who was treated like a slave — felt unearned.
One moment the extra crew members were in danger of being flushed out an airlock, and the next everything was back to normal with nice-guy memories restored. Granted, there’s still the intrigue of Arax’s duplicity and of course the bombshell at the end when Three unwittingly turns on a beacon he found in a locked case while his Marcus Boone persona was in control. These tidbits are what viewers will carry forward from this otherwise okay episode.
And Dark Matter never, ever fails to move the story forward. Even when it hits a ground ball, it runs the bases eventually when the inevitable home run arrives.