This review contains spoilers.
3.8 My Name Is Datak Tarr And I Have Come To Kill You
The show model of Defiance is one where they don’t tend to throw all their effort into the last two episodes of the season, instead generally looking to peak earlier. But watching My Name Is Datak Tarr And I Have Come To Kill You was something of a mind scramble even by Defiance standards.
The problem I have with the story, which is generally very good, is that it completes the VC arc rather abruptly, and in doing so made me wonder why they’d lavished so much time on Rahm given his somewhat predictable end.
Let’s start with Stahma and her Omec ship visitation. It’s explained that she’s there to see the true intentions of T’evgin, so he’ll be forced to kill her. Except it doesn’t quite work out like that.
What was interesting here is the scene where she finds many dead Omec on the ship, where clearly some sort of internal struggle had resulted in multiple fatalities. I hope we come back to this, because T’evgin’s back story could be a really interesting one.
Another part of the story related to Stahma in an unexpected way.
The flashback to Datak’s home world where Tony Curran plays his character’s own father provides a neat insight into what drives Datak. It not only explained the source of the blade weapon, but also told us something about his relationship with Stahma indirectly. Originally, Datak intended to escape with his father who refused to go, and so Stahma took his ticket. That hints that their marriage is nothing more than one of convenience, and as such is probably a rather fragile alliance. Given the relationship that she formed with Kenya, and now T’evgin, they might well not be a couple by the end of the season.
But on the to the big event, the precursor of which was Rahm’s fifth columnists coming to bring Defiance to its knees before any of his larger forces are in the line of fire. This is a well-worked exercise where you wonder continually how long the VC spy can remain hidden and how much damage he’ll ultimately do.
The only part that slightly blew this for me was when the spy encountered the Omec, who, with his keen sense of smell would know he wasn’t human.When it all goes pear-shaped and the Defiance militia are wiped out, things look pretty grim, until good old Doc Yewll explains how they can use the stasis net as a weapon. This is a gold-plated McGuffin, because not only does it allow them to retrieve what is effectively a lost conflict in a single stroke, but it also includes a convenient mechanism to get Datak off the shaming rack.
The whole thing about the implant seemed a rather silly aiming mechanism, as they could actually see Rahm with binoculars. And, it was rather obvious what Datak would do to survive long before he actually did it. But it was no less entertaining, and sort of harked back to the scene in The Search Tor Spock, where the Klingons board the self-destruct-rigged Enterprise.
The disappointment is what a largely pointless character Rahm (both the smartest person on the show and the dumbest with only a few pages of script in between) wound up being, because as most Sci-Fi megalomaniacs end up, it was over-confidence that sealed his fate. Though, given how badly those in Defiance had played their hand to this point, he probably deserved to think he’d won.
That Datak survived creates a nice moral dilemma for those left alive in Defiance, should he return, and we know he undoubtedly will.
What the writers have done is by eliminating the whole VC dimension they’ve brought the Omec front and centre, because with most of their fighting men dead and the Stasis Net down, Defiance is practically defenceless.
From the promo of the next story, Ostinato In White, the problems of Defiance don’t abate, as they’re hunted by a vicious creature. After Rahm, and this, I think most people would relocate elsewhere…
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