This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 6
The Raza crew seems destined in each week’s Dark Matter to put out fires caused by the betrayal of a crew member, corporation, or former criminal colleague, and now that Jace Corso has been taken care of, it’s time to investigate the mysterious Alicia Reynaud for whom Arax tried to acquire Five’s pocket universe key. But fuel and money are short this week, sending the team on a side mission that reveals Nyx’s secret but also brings a number of head-scratchers along with it, making this week’s episode feel like a detour from the main story. Enlightening but off-track.
Nyx’s mysterious abilities were certainly introduced as one of this season’s new intriguing puzzles, but the explanation felt at odds with her being in and out of prison and wasn’t as much fun as the initial mystery. A secret corporate project in which people genetically predisposed to having better intuition being used to create a predictive machine from their collective minds is an innovative concept, like a more futuristic, sci-fi version of the machine in Person of Interest, but the group rising up against their captors and becoming their own cult-like force is a jarring change in focus from the corporate enemies the Raza normally faces.
Similarly off-putting was the decision to accept Nyx’s idea for raising some much needed funds by pulling a drug heist, which seems at odds with the reformation the crew has been attempting to undergo. Granted, Three would agree to it anyway and Two just killed a guy in cold blood last week, but did it have to be drugs? Although Six’s objections were understandable and welcome, the absence of Five’s protestations was surprising given the nature of the cargo they were going after: a recreational drug called Shadow.
At least Five expressed her suspicions about Devin skimming from the supply. The doctor’s continued clandestine drug addiction is certain to pay off in the near future whether viewers care about it or not, but his bland story adds to the distraction this week. Not to mention the drug heist isn’t even the point of the mission anyway, which should act as a nice twist but ends up being somewhat predictable and making the detour feel even more convoluted.
It was nice to see sci-fi vet Mpho Koaho of Falling Skies as Nyx’s brother, though. His acting has an intensity that makes it all the more unfortunate that his character met a rather unexpected end. What was up with that anyway? Four gives him a knife and then proposes suicide as another option to giving into his enslavement? With Four forging a camaraderie with Nyx, it certainly was a shocking turn, and the consequences his actions will bring are uncertain. Are viewers now supposed to worry about Nyx being pursued by the Seers? Add them to the growing list of enemies!
The highlight of the episode was actually one of its more understated moments, which was the time Three and Six spent on the Marauder waiting to be rescued. Roger Cross has been criminally underused this season, and forcing a reconciliation of sorts between these two opposing forces on the crew is infinitely more interesting than a new psychic enemy. What will it take for Six to be accepted back into the fold?
It’s these small moments from established characters that make Dark Matter successful despite any narrative shortcomings. Whether it’s Two wrestling with the fact that her actions might be predictable in rescuing her stranded crewmates or the Android returning to her robotic self but keeping a more stylish outfit “just in case,” the subtle touches and details are what make this show enjoyable to watch even when the ongoing story occasionally stalls.
But that’s two weeks in a row now, Dark Matter. Time to get back to it, yeah?