This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 11
Digging into the vault with a callback to season 2, Dark Matter reminds viewers in “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy” that there is an alien force in the mix, but is it all too much? Steering things away from the corporate war over the past few weeks hasn’t been a bad thing, but there are so many things to focus on that despite the enjoyment of each story — time travel, androids with free will, and now aliens — it’s hard to decide what to pay attention to. Despite all this, the episode was fun for its own sake and brought back the alternate universe Raza crew as a bonus.
Show of hands: who here forgot all about the fact that Three was influenced by the black oil from The X-Files in season 2, episode 9, “Going Out Fighting,” which was the last time the Raza encountered Alexander Rook and Dwarf Star Technologies? Again, this detail is another example of the many balls that Dark Matter has in the air right now, but the prescient dream which set Three on edge brought in the important part: Android’s perception that he was scared of their mission to investigate Nova-17 – a great bit of dialogue!
It all is a bit haphazard, though, isn’t it? Like Six says, there’s a galactic war in progress for which they might want to pick sides sometime soon, yet they go off to a Dwarf Star outpost because of a memory Victor unlocked for Android? And just like when the GA showed up to come after Victor and his friends even though their efforts would seem to be needed elsewhere, Mikkei Combine coincidentally decides to go after this secret project of Rook’s at the same time as the Raza even though war is raging around them?
There are some helpful reminders that all this might still relate to each other. For instance, there’s the fact that Two remembers that Android heard a much older Five mention a “Dwarf Star conspiracy” during her time jumps to the future. And having an override code from Dr. Shaw for the defense satellites around Nova-17 tied in nicely to last week’s episode and made the infiltration of what was a very important facility much more believable.
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Perhaps Rook’s disappearance will also have its payoff with the galactic war. Was the conflict engineered, for example, as a big distraction for an alien invasion via his engineered simulants? If so, kudos to Commander Tarkanian and his Mikkei colleagues for realizing the importance of Nova-17 as well, not that they were prepared for what they encountered. Having Wynonna Earp’s Kate Drummond on board as Lieutenant Sajen, an infiltrator herself, was a nice touch, especially if there’s more in store for her and those other simulants she awoke before Mikkei nuked the facility.
And just as the alien Hullen introduced a whole new dynamic to Killjoys, the life form that is fleeing its dying universe to take over this one also brought an interesting turn to the world of Dark Matter. And the aliens’ overconfidence allows for that wonderful moment when Three objects to the aliens’ characterization of humanity as weak by defiantly professing, “Cross through that portal. Find out how weak we really are.” Simply awesome!
Character moments like that are always what make Dark Matter great. I mean, c’mon, how could you not love Android’s new outfit and her conversation with Two about boobs? As mentioned before, some distractions are worth exploring, and Android’s development as a sentient being is one of them. It’s an exclamation point on her story arc this season when she tells Two (and indirectly the audience), “I wanted something that incorporates the two worlds that I embody. Humanity and instrumentality. Functionality and sexuality. Polymer-coated nano fibers and boobs.” Yes, Android… boobs. Bless you.
That’s why surprise endings like the one this week work so well. We’re so taken with the shock that Marcus Boone rescued Two from death by nuclear strike in the FTL-capable Marauder from the other universe, that we forget all the loose threads and just enjoy the ride. Certainly, the standalone feel of the last few episodes has accomplished the same sense of happy distraction. Dark Matter will no doubt bring together many of these elements in the final moments of the season as it has become known for. All we can do is try to keep up.