This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 12
The penultimate episode of any series in any season typically sets up the finale with plenty of revelations that have been lurking in the background, and this week’s Dark Matter is no exception. The big difference is that the secrets that Ryo shares throughout this episode are used both as leverage and as the “gift” referred to in the episode title, and it leaves us wondering what to think of the deposed emperor. The drama that unfolded on Zairon and even the small sidebar with the Android kept things exciting but left everything pleasantly up in the air for the inevitably surprising finale.
Dark Matter has been consistently wonderful with its character development, and the Raza crew’s argument over whether the blink drive should be traded for Two’s life was a great illustration of that consistency. Who could help agreeing with both Three, who understandably suggests handing over the broken drive, and Six who warns against appeasement. In the end, it’s hard not to concede the win to Three who implores Six to “stop trying to police the galaxy; start thinking about how to save your friend.”
Leave it to Five to come up with what should have been the obvious solution: using the transfer transit pods to eliminate some of the danger. But what was so unexpected (and undeniably brilliant) was the use of the memory loss that’s brought about by the death of a transfer transit clone to undo the psyche damage done by Ryo in revealing Three’s secret role in Sarah’s fatal illness. Who can blame Three for wanting to spare himself that knowledge? What good can come of it? Definitely a favorite moment in the episode.
The other secrets will take awhile to pay off, but they’re out there now. Six was betrayed by a fellow officer… was it Anders or someone else entirely? Ryo tells Five that she has a sister, which she already knew, but the identity of that sister apparently is quite a shock to Five. Does she recognize her sister as someone she’s already met post-memory loss? But of course the biggest mystery surrounds Ryo’s final gift to Two: the fact that she has a daughter.
It explains so much about how Rebecca, a seemingly loving victim of circumstance, could become Portia Lin, a ruthless mercenary. If the Raza and its profiteering missions were all about securing a future for her daughter, who’s to say what lengths she would go to? We can only guess that the mention of Kryden as a caretaker means that the “Kryden and Carina” mentioned in Android’s future vision includes the name of Two’s daughter, Carina. A future mission that will perhaps carry over into season 4?
The latest episode of our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast:
In the meantime, we’ve got the fall of the house of Ishida, another future vision reference that unfolds in this episode. The political intrigue was interesting enough, with suspicion bouncing back and forth between Teku and the servant who poisoned the wine, but with Misaki showing her hand in the end, presumably Teku had nothing to do with the planting of the bomb or the hidden subspace transmitter. The uncertainty that remains is pleasantly unsettling.
Whether Pyr is victorious or Nieman gets the League of Autonomous Worlds on-side with Ferrous Corp doesn’t seem all that important now that Ryo is back on the Raza. Of course he can’t return to his identity as Four, but throughout this episode, we are reminded that he is an honorable man who let ambition get the better of him. Should we believe that the information Two finds inside the black storage device in a lock box in the ship’s vault will vindicate him? Surely Two won’t execute him as determined by a ship vote!
Especially a ship vote that included a “kill” vote from Android! Whether she was influenced by her virtual visit from a Chase/Arren duplicate encouraging her to join “the inevitable overthrow of the anthroparchy” is impossible to tell, despite her reassurances that she sees the good in humanity. If the rebellion has already begun, as the Chase/Arren training program asserts, Android may find herself with some tough choices ahead.
We still don’t know what “The Accelerated” or “The Black Ships” refer to, but Dark Matter served up plenty to chew on both from the future visions and from Ryo’s specialized knowledge of the Raza crew. These new details give the show plenty of directions to explore not only in what will no doubt be an explosive finale but in a season 4 as well. Now let’s just hope Syfy renews the show so we can see it all play out.