Defiance: If You Could See Her Through My Eyes Review

We can't keep handing out five stars every week, so here's a four and a half star effort from the Syfy original, Defiance.

Let’s have a quick show of hands… who thought Christie and Viceroy Mercado had gone to an actual Castithan nightclub and thought the other was an actual Casti?

Don’t be ashamed; I’m sure that was a common misconception. I certainly had my eyes opened. Too soon for an eye metaphor?

“If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” tricked me in other ways as well. I thought the episode was going to be a simple search for the murderer of Tarr family handmaiden, Jalina. I should know better by now that season two of Defiance only uses the crime of the week to anchor the narrative, and although this one wasn’t quite as skillful as in previous weeks, it was still an admirably woven bit of intrigue. I’ll give the episode this: it’s the first time we’ve seen two of the storylines linked without the knowledge of the key players.

Of course, it’s inevitable that Datak and Stahma will find out their daughter-in-law indulges in culturally insensitive cosplay, a “kink” whose hardcore participants actually buy irises harvested from corpses in the absence of reputable contact lens dealers in the 2050’s. It already would have been a difficult sell for Christie, who seems to have alienated her husband while finding her “true” self in Casti drag, but with the murder on top of everything, I can’t imagine things will go well for the young McCawley once the parallel is discovered.

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And that’s exactly what DJ “Treasure Doll,” a.k.a. Dierdre Lamb, wants! What a beautiful frame-up! Christie genuinely is grateful for this gold-digger friend’s advice which led to her awakening, but all the while, Dierdre just wanted to be Alak’s princess as part of her self-made-woman quest. I can appreciate such deviousness, especially since it has led to a more complex Christie McCawley, a character who desperately needed something to do in this show lest she become narratively obsolete.

And hallelujah, Nolan finally knows Irisa’s secret! It helped to be given the reminder that she couldn’t tell him about it directly due to Irzu’s threat on Nolan’s life if Irisa revealed what was going on. The only problem is, it’s still not entirely clear what IS going on besides some really cool healing powers. Clearly the Irathi lawyer, Cai, is tied to the ancient artifacts the same way Irisa is. Thousands of years ago, two Irathients who looked just like them took over a Votan ship, but beyond that, it’s all guesswork. I mentioned last week that I thought Irzu was perhaps the ship’s AI, but it’s just conjecture… idle speculation. This is a mystery I don’t mind lasting all season, though; I’m relishing peeling back the layers.

A few reminders and foreshadowings are skillfully sprinkled about as well in this episode. Amanda, for example, may be returning to her position as Mayor if Mercado gets his way, but I’m sure she has her own goals in mind. The Tarr family struggle continues with temporary alliances not changing the power structure within the crime organization. And Rafe helped Datak dispose of Jalina’s body in return for the promise of weapons, an arrangement that will no doubt pay off if McCawley is ever able to make a play for his mines.

Oh, the anticipation! Episode after episode has just been stellar this season. I deducted a half a star for the slow spots in the first half of the episode, but really it’s just because I feel silly handing out perfect scores every week. Honestly, though, Defiance deserves top marks for keen writing and consistently phenomenal entertainment. Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments area below – is it just me?

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4.5 out of 5