Defiance: Dead Air review

The larger story takes a break to deepen the existing relationships and tie up loose ends before heading into the next bit of conflict.

This Defiance review contains spoilers.

As set-up episodes go, “Dead Air” had a lot to deliver. Pressing the pause button on the impending attack by Rahm Tahk and his band of misfit Votans allowed for some closure with a dangling storyline from last season, issued a reminder about the Omec visitors and what they might mean for the town of Defiance, and foreshadowed the consequences of Nolan and Irisa’s mind link via the Kaziri stasis pod. It’s clear that something big is about to happen, and although the town is still without weapons, I get the sense the humans won’t be defenseless.

I was happy to see the Tarr deception turned on its head this week. The destruction they wrought upon the St. Louis arch served merely as a preamble to Rahm Tahk’s holographic intimidation speech, and the bombing was a lot to risk for the Castithan couple who are already known to be untrustworthy. I realize that Datak and Stahma wish to save their son, Alak, but I hate to see them reduced to such lowbrow tactics. Their deceptions are so much more fun when they are in their own self-interest.

In that vein, Stahma offering herself to T’evgin in order to poison him was a bit more in character, but her failure was met only with mild curiosity from the Omec, making it all the more intriguing. This new alien race has become one of the more interesting Votans quite quickly in this show, and T’evgin’s long life and resulting nigh-invulnerability make him quite the formidable foe. I’m hoping to see he and his daughter become the weapons Defiance is missing, even if they do so only to protect the gulanite they desperately need.

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And how about those missing weapons, huh? Good old Niles Pottinger was sitting on an underground gold mine, and he squandered it for his own little piece of paradise. The writers could have easily let the Earth Republic fall to the wayside after the destruction of New York, but the truth is it wouldn’t have made as much sense. Pottinger’s brief, psychotic attempt to win Amanda one last time tied up this loose end nicely, and although the singularity bomb was a bit heavy-handed, the explosion sure was cool. Amanda and Nolan gained almost nothing for their troubles except a new doctor for Defiance and a headache for the lawkeeper.

Speaking of headaches, was the pain felt by Irisa and her adoptive father caused by them being apart from each other? The umbilical-cord-like connection they shared in the pod these past few months may have linked them in such a way that they can’t be separated for long. In any case, the approach of the VC death squad and the lack of weapons apparently isn’t the only thing Defiance has to worry about. Whether the strange head wounds will cause more trouble for the pair or end up helping their cause is anyone’s guess, but it’s fun trying to predict their importance.

Obviously, there wasn’t a whole lot of moving forward in this episode, but it was a fun interlude, including such touches as the bio-men having Beatles’ names or Rahm Tahk and Alak discussing the finer points of Louis Prima. Defiance knows how to play with the vast mythology of the world its writers have created so that even filler episodes become entertaining.

Now… let’s get this battle started.


4 out of 5