Dark Matter: Take the Shot Review

Great character moments abound in this Dark Matter episode, which brings into question the Android’s flaws.

This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.

Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 10

The Android’s anomalous behavior has always been one of the more intriguing storylines in Dark Matter, and for it to be at the center of this week’s episode without actually being the cause of the conflict was a nice bit of storytelling. The virus plot itself was a little convoluted, but the character moments it revealed were worth the small hiccups. At times, Dark Matter’s most significant moments are also its most subtle.

A case in point would be the choices Four made because of his hallucination. When Misaki was easily besting him, the viewer probably caught on quickly that something wasn’t quite right, but although the talk of reclaiming the Zairon throne wasn’t new, the fact that Four needed his memories to know whom he could trust before returning home solidified his motivations and intentions. The fact that he kept his memory profile foreshadows an exciting Four-centric plot to come.

The use of the memory profiles in general was a nice callback to the earlier episode in which Two, Three, and Four reverted to their former selves, but whereas Two’s hallucination didn’t reveal much other than her obvious fears regarding Rook and his ilk, Three’s experience with the illusory Sarah was most enlightening. Marcus’ lover described his tough exterior hiding a tender heart, and that truth has become increasingly apparent this season.

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How else does one explain his reluctance to execute the Android when it is indicated that she and her dreams are the cause of the virus that stimulated the hallucinations and the takeover of the Raza’s systems? Surely Marcus Boone would have put her down without hesitation! But if Sarah knew him before as an old softie, perhaps the memory-wiped Three isn’t so different from his original self after all.

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And speaking of the Android’s dreams, was it ever revealed what the true cause of them was? When Victor appeared as her companion in the fantasy, it was easy to guess he may have somehow caused her subconscious activity during the charging cycle. But when paired with the admirably humanized version of the Android – not as over-the-top as the chipped version – Victor’s presence becomes a simple manifestation of her attachment to the one who awakened her to the possibilities of a different life.

The Android yearning for her place in the Raza family is one of the best parts of her character and of the show. The simulation Android being compromised by Truffault during the alternate universe encounter felt a bit disconnected and jumbled even though it was just Five’s guess as to the cause of their problems, but the end result provided some solid drama. The calm, robotic voice of the red-suited Android was a nice contrast to the touch of humanity in the dream Android’s voice, and although she can’t guarantee she won’t make another mistake, who among the Raza crew really can?

Five, Six, and Nyx provided plenty of drama as well, but whereas Five has always masterfully conveyed her unwavering belief in the crew’s essential goodness, including the Android’s, Six and Nyx have been woefully underutilized. Nyx knocking out Two was fun, and Six narrowly saving Three from unintentional suicide was suspenseful, but it’s just not enough for these great characters.

But with the recent announcement of a season 3 renewal, Dark Matter is ready to make the final turn and head down the home stretch. As Four prepares to do what needs to be done to return to Zairon, the unresolved details other characters have introduced in past weeks are still plentiful. What’s going on with the Seers? Who came over from the alternate universe? And what corporate mogul will come after the Raza first: Reynauld, Truffault, Rook, or someone else entirely? Three more episodes – a double next week and a finale the week after – remain to find out.

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3.5 out of 5