This Dark Matter review contains spoilers.
Dark Matter Season 2, Episode 4
Although Three’s backstory took center stage in this week’s Dark Matter, the more compelling bits of story took place along the periphery of the episode. Those who prefer the puzzle-solving nature of this series as much as the character-driven plots certainly did not leave disappointed. If anything, there were almost too many new twists and unresolved details to keep track of, but honestly, this level of complexity is welcome in a series like this.
Three has been a hard guy to like from the start, but each new glimpse into his background makes him more sympathetic. Anthony Lemke manages to make both his rough exterior and his damaged past work beautifully together. Often Five is the only witness to his more admirable qualities, but since she is often the audience’s proxy anyway, it works out well.
Perhaps viewers clued in to the fact that Three’s old crew was not being entirely above board with him from the start, but this predictability did not lessen the impact of the story. Although the boss’ tale of having rescued Marcus Boone from the one who murdered his mother and father was completely fabricated, the fact that Three assimilated into a life of crime is undoubtedly true. How poignant, then, that he has not only left that life behind along with his lost memories but also sacrificed the remembrance of a near-perfect childhood as experienced by Five last season?
With that crisis averted, seeds of growing conflict with the new crew members have arisen. Perhaps Devin’s drug addiction is not surprising or honestly all that interesting as a plot device, but it holds potential for more. Arax’s duplicity is more fun if still rather predictable, and his failure to steal Five’s pocket dimension key was an enjoyable victory for the good guys. The fact that the key is important was made clear last season, but its return to the forefront as the “key to victory” in a coming war is an enticing tease.
Also intriguing is Nyx’s special ability to anticipate and instantly learn Four’s fighting style, not to mention her skillful improvisation in acquiring information about Two’s traumatic memory. The mention of Terra Prime a.k.a. Earth was a nice touch as well. Two and Nyx make a good pair, and as understated as both of their stories were this week, the details were welcome.
Those who have read earlier Dark Matter reviews on this site know that Zoie Palmer’s Android has not always been a favorite. However, the level of excitement about her character couldn’t be higher after her discovery of the secret group of sentient, autonomous androids a la AMC’s Humans. The prospect of The Android taking on more natural mannerisms and emotions inspires hope that the scarecrow-like portrayal of this character is nearing an end.
Other peripheral details, such as Six’s recovery and regret and the fact that there’s a “person of interest” in One’s murder, may have been lost in the rush of new information coming at the audience, but they were still notable and appreciated. Dark Matter has a lot of balls in the air right now, and so far they are being successfully juggled. More episodes like this one would make an impressive storytelling display and an overall successful season to come.