This review contains spoilers for the finale.
As the audience of Dark Matter learns more about the characters on the show, other interesting problems arise from their past that demand attention, and although the closed-room-mystery bottle episode in the second hour didn’t feel much like a season ender, plenty of answers were revealed. In its first year, Dark Matter created likable characters who have built a family that viewers care for, and from that perspective, this double episode successfully capped off an enjoyable freshman season.
One thing I’ve noticed about the mysteries in this show is that they’re more tantalizing and entertaining when the answers are unknown. As intrigued as I was by the truth of what Two really was, her healing powers having a technological origin was strangely disappointing – not severely so, but now that her origins have been explained, I have to find other riddles to solve. Luckily, this show has no shortage of those.
The fact that Tabor sent Two to her creators was not surprising given the failure of the white hole device they had been hired to retrieve. With no Mikkei to protect them, Ferrous Corp was free to exact its revenge by sending them into a trap. However, I’m often forced to explain away the Raza crew’s ineptitude at storming a base by blaming their memory loss. I mean, could they have been any less stealthy?
All was forgiven, though, when king of the nerds, Wil Wheaton, showed up as Dwarf Star Technologies CEO, Alexander Rook. Wheaton delivered an outstanding performance as a compassionate (in his mind anyway) yet creepy protector of “Rebecca,” the name by which he has known Two since her creation. I hated seeing the strong leader of the Raza weakened and powerless, but it made her rescue all the more dramatic. Making viewers believe her shipmates were leaving without her was no small task, but the plan The Android came up with was compelling and suspenseful, especially as she struggled to reach the field dampener.
In fact, The Android really became the standout character in this finale, and I never thought I’d say that! Her conversations with her digital copy have been enlightening, but the source of her anomalous emotions is one of the few character puzzles yet to be solved, which, as I mentioned before, makes it more intriguing than the questions that have already been answered. Her simple response when her double reminded her that she was just a machine was perfect: “A machine with friends.” The Android is really winning me over.
The new conundrum that viewers will be taking with them into next season is the identity of the sick, masked man who tells Alex to eliminate Two and her friends since they know what she is. The fact that Two’s development as a simulated human could endanger the whole crew (mostly because her existence is highly illegal) creates a whole new conflict to explore should the show be renewed. But what does it mean when the old man says, “You see what happens? Do you want to be next?” Is Alex just like Two? Or is there another?
That’s not the only new ingredient either! Five’s discovery of a secretly recorded conversation between Two and Four introduces a possible conspiracy to kill another member of the crew. As the second hour progresses, suspicions abound not only on that score, but between One and Three as well. I will admit the pacing of the whodunit was a little slow for me, but it did produce interesting results and a great cliffhanger.
The writers also gave us some great character moments in the finale, including the celebratory dinner where Two actually smiled! And what a smile! I also enjoyed the conversations during the otherwise tedious sweep of the ship: the chat between One and Four about the former’s reasons for sneaking onboard in the guise of Jace Corso and the discussion between Two and Three about the latter’s giving up the vault code in last week’s episode. Drawing out these moments of emotion and motivation made the slow progression of trying to find the hidden attacker more bearable.
So why did Six contact the Galactic Authority? Isn’t he the last person one would suspect? Maybe that’s the point! While not the most exciting finale I’ve watched this summer, Dark Matter turned in a solid overall season, and I look forward to hearing whether or not it gets renewed for another season.