This Defiance review contains spoilers.
Whether the actions of the latest episode of Defiance foreshadow the conflicts in store for season 4, should there be one, or viewers are witnessing the setup for an epic battle in the final two episodes of this season, it’s hard not to be pleased with the awakening of the sleeping Omec. Although “Of a Demon in My View” was a more slow-paced episode, there was plenty to enjoy about the few characters who were included this week. Consider this the prelude to the hero moment for the town of Defiance; will they stem the tide of the coming invasion?
It’s an understated build-up, though, however you look at it. Even the return of Anna Hopkins carried with it little fanfare, although Berlin appears to have made peace with Conrad and seems willing enough to help the town now that the danger posed by General Tahk is gone. Her rescue of Irisa and subsequent reconciliation with Amanda wasn’t drawn out as it could have been, though I suppose I would have enjoyed a more triumphant return. She did save Irisa’s life, which was a big deal for her, but it was kind of like, “Oh hey, welcome back.” I’m guess I’m okay with that other than that there wasn’t much payoff or consequence to her departure.
Other, non-Omec-related aspects of the story were similarly muted although satisfactory in the end. Stahma’s confinement brought some interesting moments between her and Andina, the Tarr’s handmaiden, for example. I presume there is some typical Castithan maneuvering either to get Alak married off or to gain status for Andina. I’m not sure, but again, the conversation is subtle and doesn’t do much more than hint at future possibilities.
Then there’s the removal of Nolan’s Ark-tech, which seemed overly-simple given Yewll’s level of concern. Irisa came to her adoptive father’s rescue anyway, so there was only a momentary worry that she would think he was dead. Even Amanda’s cover-up of the staged raider attack on the VC convoy was more about allowing her to reconcile with Berlin. The only other character major character in play was Datak, who had a very interesting encounter with his hired mercenaries who remember all too well how he handled his trusted crew last season.
Yewll’s betrayal of Datak was a nice moment of shock at the end, of course, when he finds out he’s been caged for Omec food, but as part of the larger Kindzi plot, it almost got lost. The conflict between Kindzi and T’evgin took center stage, as well it should, giving us the best moments of the episode.
The Omec have been a wonderful addition to the show, and the weakening of T’evgin and the conflicted feelings of his daughter are a joy to behold, and although the planned deception of Nolan, Kindzi’s favorite pet, didn’t work out, it allowed Nolan and Irisa to witness the final coup de grace as the nearly invincible Omec elder is killed in a final betrayal. With Kindzi gaining her father’s strength and commanding a legion of hungry purple people-eaters, the coming battle should be quite glorious.
The 1978 flashback was cute, certainly, and the parallels between the Omec father-daughter relationship and that of Nolan and Irisa are hard to miss. These moments are when Defiance really shines as it explores relationships, themes of family and community, and the tragic nature of war. So while the slow pace kept this set-up episode from being top-notch, the storytelling continues to be solid and leaves me excited for the finale. Can’t wait to see how they get out of this mess!