I’ve been lulled into a sense of complacency. It’s not just that I totally bought into the idea that Kenya Rosewater could still be alive, it’s also that I’ve begun taking it for granted that Defiance would knock it out of the park each and every week. Sad to say, although “Painted From Memory” had plenty of entertaining callbacks to season 1, the motivations for many of the characters stretched credibility, making this strike one.
If I can skip ahead to the big reveal, for example, are we to believe that Pottinger had the Kenya simulant created solely to win Amanda over? If that’s true, the plan was supremely flawed: his “dramatic rescue” seemed doomed from the start, and Kenya’s eventual death would hardly send Amanda into HIS arms.
Maybe I’m being obtuse. Correct me if I’m wrong in the comments area below, but wasn’t the terrorist plot to bomb a maglev platform in New York last week genuine? Granted, Datak foiled Amanda’s prison break by assassinating Gorath, but where was Pottinger supposed to sweep in? The icing on the cake was that Pottinger had the drop on both Kenya and Yewll this week, and he still missed – massive bungle! Especially since he ended up apologizing to Amanda for releasing Yewll from Camp Reverie. Wow, that’ll win her over!
I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt that Quentin’s mysterious involvement in all this will be explained eventually. His reappearance was even more unexpected than Kenya’s, and that’s saying something! I assumed he was gone for good, and it reminded me that his downfall was greatly influenced by the one of the Votan artifacts that now reside in Irisa. Knowing what we know now about Irzu’s pilgrimage (which is admittedly very little), why did it haunt Quentin in such a different manner last season?
And speaking of Irisa and the rest of the resurrected Votans, the sneak peek we shared with you earlier in the week led me to believe this story arc would be central in this episode. No such luck. We’ll have to wait until later for Irisa’s tale, my favorite plot this season.
Also on hold is the Tarr family drama, which was replaced this week by Stahma’s discomfort with Kenya’s resurrection. I applaud the writers for actually keeping Kenya dead in the show’s reality, by the way, although I imagine her simulacrum could come into play in a future episode. But the stone-cold Stahma we’ve seen this season seemed at odds with the loving, regretful Stahma, who, instead of being relieved to find Kenya’s skull in the field of lavender (how amazingly fortuitous Datak’s find was), feels guilty enough to spill the beans to Amanda. I certainly LIKE that she did that, but her deference to Amanda felt a bit off.
As in previous weeks, it was the small details that pleased me the most. Berlin explaining her name and coming up with the tattoo detail; the flashback to Kenya and Amanda arriving in Defiance; Tommy getting pissed at Nolan; Rafe awkwardly telling his son “Anyway, welcome home.” Great stuff! And who predicted Doc Yewll going on the run? She’s had so many near misses, it seems strange for her to get caught because of Pottinger’s inane romance scheme.
I’m sure Defiance will bounce back from this misstep, and truth be told, the show was due for a dud. And since this episode was perfectly entertaining, an off week really isn’t all that disconcerting. Am I off my rocker to be so picky this week? Sound off below!