Dark Matter: Kill Them All Review

While the prison plot ended too soon, the return to the Raza introduces new possibilities for mystery and danger.

This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.

Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 2

The reunion of the Raza crew (minus One) came sooner than expected, and oddly, it will be sad to see the end, presumably, of the prison moon. The storylines of the separated team members has been a wonderfully complex start to this season of Dark Matter, and hopefully now that they’re back with the Raza, the group dynamics will continue to explore new territory. Fortunately, the addition of Nyx, Arax, and Devon to the manifest should help with that.

Speaking of manifests, who is this high-powered woman who appears to be interested in the presence of Emily Kolburn, a.k.a. Five, on the ship? Actress Inga Cadranel may be familiar to Orphan Black fans as Detective Angela deAngelis, and here she’s billed as Alicia Reynaud. A name isn’t much to go on, of course, but the idea that Five could be something other than a stowaway is an interesting new puzzle piece to add to the mix.

The other highlight of the episode involved Five as well: when she gave the episode its title by telling the Android to “kill them all.” Franka Potente’s guest turn as Commander Shaddick was painfully short, especially since she seemed to be asking legitimate questions about the complicated machinations behind the disaster on Iriden 3 that viewers likely needed a refresher on. Starting a corporate war is admittedly a bad idea, but the Raza was intimately involved in the plot, willingly or not.

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And are the memory-wiped crew responsible for their involvement even though they can’t remember all of what happened? Frankly, yes, and it’s easy to feel as conflicted as Six has been about the team’s culpability. But with a Galactic Authority that’s as corrupt as the corporations, it was nice to see “Kal” working with the team again, even though he can be forgiven for his naivety – but just this once. Chalk it up to the memory loss.

The corruption is the key to the success of the entertaining jailbreak as well, which was a nice touch. Bringing Torri Higginson back as Commander Truffault to assist by providing Three with a map of the facility was a crafty bit of misdirection. Combined with Arax’s decision to assist with the breakout, Two’s immunity to the sonic riot control, and Four’s shuttle being commandeered for the escape, a lot of factors had to be in just the right place to allow the plan to work, but it all felt realistic and smoothly executed, aside from maybe the inexplicably slow incinerator.

The endless parade of Japanese stereotypes coming to return Ryo to Zairon could maybe be toned down a little, as cool as Four’s sword fights are. It was almost a relief when Five barged in with her giant gun; in fact, that was pretty cool in its own right. And although it was great to see everyone unite upon boarding the shuttle, having the Raza parked nearby and available felt a little convenient.

But now there are new mysteries to wonder about, as there seem to be each week. For example, why can’t the Android access the Raza controls without going to the bridge? Perhaps that would explain the previously stated convenience if it weren’t for the fact that they flew off easily enough. And what will happen to Six who is near death even in stasis? How will One’s assassination affect the group now that they’re back aboard the Raza?

The fact that these questions are the compelling result of having watched this episode means Dark Matter is doing it right so far. The new crew members — especially the doctor — make this space drama feel comfortably familiar while still keeping viewers on their toes by introducing new twists at each possible turn. This show strikes the perfect balance of being kept guessing while not becoming frustrated by stories that don’t move forward. Next week, it’s back to space!

In the meantime, check out the Sci Fi Fidelity podcast on the Den of Geek Podcast Network! The July episode features an interview with Dark Matter showrunner, Joseph Mallozzi.

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4 out of 5