Defiance season 3 episode 12 review: The Awakening

The penultimate episode in Defiance's third run primes the season for a spectacular ending...

This review contains spoilers.

3.12 The Awakening

When I think back to many shows, not just science-fiction based, penultimate episodes are often much, much better than the finale that follows. Perhaps setting the dominos up is intrinsically a more satisfying experience than the short job of knocking them down.

Whatever the logic there was plenty in The Awakening for regular viewers of the show to enjoy, as Kindzi went on the rampage with her ravenous Omec children. 

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Being eaten alive is a fear that made Jaws a box office smash, but here it seems to be mostly designed to heighten the tension for those caged for consumption and to demonstrate what messy eaters the Omec are. 

The scene in which Nolan and Irisa come across the Omec feeding demonstrates how formidable T’evgin could have been, had he not been weakened and ultimately killed by Kindzi. But the scenes beforehand also point to a not-intrinsically aggressive Omec clan, who are only following instructions from their new leader.

She might be bullet-proof, but her race generally isn’t, and her plan lacks any great design or strategy. Her conversation with the caged Datak demonstrates she’d thought up to killing her father and ‘taking revenge’ but not beyond that point.

By feeding Omec into the fight in small numbers they’re obviously easier to deal with than if they all came at once, or has she not considered that level of planning?

The tough dimension to all this is Doc Yewll’s involvement, as this isn’t her first rodeo on the mass murder circuit. We’ve wanted her to overcome her control stem for many episodes, so when it finally happens it’s a major event. 

But before we get that satisfying moment we’re forced to go through some sickly sweet character exchanges.

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I found the one between Nolan and Amanda an especially tedious scene, because I don’t see any chemistry there, and she’s by far the weakest main character. They made a mistake at the end of season one, where it should have been Amanda who died and Kendra who lived, I’d assert.

The one between Datak and Samir was equally twee, because where people talking about faith might go down well in certain parts of the USA, it can make others in the western world deeply uncomfortable. When his ‘faith’ saves him (or was that Nolan?), I presume they’re setting him up to become a holy man, who cares for pets on the side. I didn’t like that, and I wasn’t that keen on the overly scared Stahma. I liked the woman-in-control version of her, and while this is a genuine threat to herself and her family, I was hoping for more gumption from the ice queen.

More enjoyable on so many levels was Datak’s escape, using the Wolverine special edition mode in his artificial arm. I’m not sure why all the other Omec just stood around when he downed one of them, but it frees him for more heroics in the finale. It also set in motion the sequence of events that ended with the good Doc regaining control, and one of her best lines ever, ‘Looks like Mama got her groove back!’ Her retribution on Kindzi is going to be both poetic and brutal, however it transpires. My guess is that she’ll be eaten by her own kind once they realise that she killed her father, but she could equally get banished if the show’s creators fancy bringing her back.

I’ve left until the end the scene at Rafe’s old house in which the Tarrs have an especially challenging time with Kindzi, who is obviously still upset about Stahma and her father. In this, poor Andina ended up the first casualty, which made me wonder why they’d spent so much character time with her over the season. Her death made her look rather disposable, where they’d hinted that she might become a surrogate mother for Luke.

With Stahma, Alak and Baby Luke all in over the heads, who will come and save them? There are only two people, and one of them has a mean left hook. But I’m sort of wondering if Pilar is going to magically reappear, with the gun the size of Texas, to send Kindzi packing?

As fun as that might be, Datak did say to her that ‘I’m also the last person you’ll see before you die.’ And these days, he’s increasingly becoming a man of his word.

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There’s just one more episode to go in this season. As the good Doc would say, “hold your ankles and think of Charles de Gaulle.”

Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, A Demon In My View, here.