Capping off a nearly perfect season, Defiance delivers big time with a two-hour finale including the episodes “All Things Must Pass” and “I Almost Prayed.” While not a flawless ending to season 2, both episodes together had some killer character moments and truly excellent special effects (Bear McCreary’s epic music didn’t hurt either) that left me craving a renewal for Syfy’s flagship series. Honestly, some storylines were just getting started as the summer comes to a close.
For example, Rafe never really did get a chance to foment his rebellion against the Earth Republic using the weapons supplied by the Votanis Collective. And now that Quentin saw fit to bring Pilar back to the family, the fate of Christie, Alak, and their baby is left up in the air as well. Linda Hamilton delivered a worthy performance in her short guest appearance, and I hope we get to see more of her in season 3, if there is one. I relish the idea of Sarah Connor (sorry, Lena, she’ll always be the original) taking on the Tarrs.
And, wow, what journey the Castithan crime family took in these two episodes! Starting off as prisoners presented as a gift to Amanda by an apparently socially inept Mayor Pottinger, the couple is forced into a reconciliation that seemed impossible in previous weeks. I can’t help but root for Stahma, as devious as she is, simply as a symbol for the equality for women in this new world, but Datak’s perceptive nature and willingness to sacrifice himself is endearing despite his chauvinism. Will they successfully share the business now that they’ve rid themselves of the other minor crime bosses? Datak certainly seems happy to have returned to his home, despite Christie and Alak’s disgust.
The other relationship that was explored beautifully in this episode was the rocky friendship between Nolan and Tommy, and the flashbacks were surprisingly used to great effect, giving us a glimpse at some moments in their history that were skipped in the timeline of the show. Regular readers of my Defiance reviews will know how saddened I am at Tommy’s death, and Irisa’s realization later in the episode is heart wrenching and devastating. While I hate the writers for eliminating such a wonderful character, I applaud their willingness to make such a sacrifice.
Despite Irisa’s misguided murder of her true love, her display of the Kaziri’s power was magnificent to behold. The use of the boulder and dust as a kind of interface with the Earth and the Ark pieces orbiting the planet was a master stroke. I couldn’t get enough of her gently swiping the pebbles, which would then translate into a rain of terraforming destruction on the city of New York. A nice moment of tension was provided by Amanda’s defiance of Nolan as she attempts to assassinate Irisa while Nolan predictably escapes to bring Mordecai to control his half of the Kaziri.
Speaking of which, the discovery of the ancient Votan ship in old St. Louis by Doc Yewll in exile was a tad convenient for my tastes. I mean, haven’t they been looking for that thing for awhile? Although I appreciated the further exploration of her relationship with Lev as well as the Kaziri hacking into Yewll’s corrupt EGO implant, the timing was not very believable. However, this is a minor flaw and a necessary evil in an otherwise excellent episode.
I’m left wondering a couple of things. First, how long will it be until Amanda discovers Pottinger’s part in the Kenya resurrection? That couple simply cannot stand! But surely Nolan will harbor bad feelings for her attempting to headshot his daughter! Will the terraforming of New York and possibly other areas of the planet create a problem for those in Defiance? I wouldn’t be surprised if it changed things in the game, especially since there doesn’t seem to be much left in space to make a decent Arkfall.
In any case, my mind is still racing with the possibilities, and I’m duly impressed by this season of Defiance, a show I had almost given up on. I’m so glad I stuck it out and gave it a chance; it’s been one of the highlights of my summer TV viewing. Here’s hoping for a speedy renewal!