Defiance: Season 3 Finale Review

A daring plan to defeat the Omec brings out the nobility in many characters in a poignant and surprising season finale.

This review contains spoilers for the finale.

How did I expect the Omec conflict to end? One thing’s for certain: this wasn’t it. What an amazingly creative, delightfully unexpected way both to wrap up a season and to introduce a whole new concept to Defiance. That’s right, the show ventures into space for the first time, and the series that began as an post-apocalyptic immigrant story reaches out to parts unknown. Together with the intense emotional moments for many of our favorite characters, this finale was one to remember.

When I look back at the episode and see how much of a departure it was from its predecessors, it’s remarkable how quick and smooth the transition was. Datak (Tony Curran) springs to Stahma’s (Jaime Murray) rescue by pinning Kindzi’s head to a wall with a claw from his artificial hand — very cool! Before long he’s joining his old neighbors in their scheme to destroy the Omec ship after only a moment of hesitation about Doc Yewll’s loyalties. That was fast! But it all made sense, and I’m sure that wasn’t an easy feat to achieve in the writers room.

The plan of attack was surprisingly simple yet appropriately dangerous as well: sneak onto the ship, overheat the engines, and blow up the sleeping Omec. Not a cakewalk, but fairly straightforward. The first of several shocking moments came when Amanda (Julie Benz) was injured gravely after she and Berlin (Anna Hopkins) rescued a band of captured townsfolk destined to become Omec food. This set up one of many tender sequences in the finale as Nolan (Grant Bowler) was able to reinforce their newly acknowledged love for each other, and Stahma got her chance at redemption while nursing the mayor back to health. Definitely some deeply heartfelt scenes!

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Likewise, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) and Alak’s (Jesse Rath) casual flirtation was an unexpected delight! Am I late to the party on this particular ‘shipping angle? I love it! Irisa’s interaction with Luke has been one of the most heartwarming aspects of this season, and I don’t know where they found that baby, but he is as precious as they come. The possibilities for a future romance were subtly yet powerfully dropped into the audience’s awareness, and now everyone gets to stew on it during the hiatus. Can’t wait to see what comes of it!

But that’s not all! When Nolan, Datak, Yewll, and Irisa arrive on the Omec ship, it becomes clear very early that the Indogene doctor isn’t going to survive the mission. Her technological nature allows her to interface with the ship’s Arkbrain, and it’s readily apparent that the sabotage would have been impossible without her. Her sacrifice is so noble, so necessary to the moment, and yet so tragic both in the story and to the fans of this favorite character. Her loss would be unfathomable. As Datak says, “You’re a real person with enormous honor and infinite soul,” and it’s true.

However, it seems viewers have nothing to worry about. In this most jaw-dropping turn of events, Irisa refuses to leave the ship, seeing innocent children on board, and the audience knows what the infiltrators don’t: that Kindzi’s followers don’t agree with what she’s doing. Are the Omec worth redeeming? It would seem Nolan agrees, and his decision to vent the engine heat into space and leave Earth on a journey with an unknown destination left me breathless. The joy of his ascent to the ship, the elation he feels at achieving his boyhood dream of exploring space — it’s contagious! I’m not sad at his departure; I’m celebrating!

Think about it! The sheer amount of possibilities this ending opens for the show staggers the mind. Do I think Nolan and Yewll will return to Earth against all odds? Certainly. But oh, the journey! And Irisa as Lawkeeper? Yes, please! An illuminated arch as memorial to Nolan? Damn cool! And speaking of cool, the visual effects — whether it was Kindzi’s grisly death or the wormhole sequence at the end — were spectacular! Way to leave us salivating for more!

So when does season 4 start? Renew, please!

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4.5 out of 5