Defiance: The Serpent’s Egg, Review

Nolan and the Mayor take a road trip while Irisa stays behind and finds her own pet project to work on.

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Good news! Defiance has been picked up for a second season already!  Better news…we finally get to learn more about Irisa’s mysterious past!  The problem is, will this just get her into more trouble?

Of course not.  Irisa doesn’t get into trouble.  She’s a good kid.  Ha, ha ha..!Ahem…anyway…Rynn is being taken in a land coach to Vegas Prison.  The land coach serves multiple purposes, transporting passengers, prisoners, diplomats, mail…even bible bangers.  Nolan and Amanda are both escorting Rynn to her new destination, but she steals a pen from the driver’s pocket (and no one sees it sitting right in her lap?  Hasn’t anyone watched Silence of the Lambs?) and waits for the right moment.  On board the land coach is Olsen, an ambassador from the Earth Republic, who Amanda has been dodging.  Olsen has two husbands…a bit odd, but hey, new Earth, new rules, right?Amanda and Nolan discuss polygamy, with the mayor saying she’s toyed with the idea, but it doesn’t seem genuine, and Nolan knows it.  Before he left, he also asked Irisa, “Can I trust you to be a good girl and behave yourself while I’m gone?”  To which she replies, “Probably not“.
[Editor’s Note: Nolan and I both simultaneously said “There’s my girl” at the same time.]Of course not.  Things are about to go south when she sees a Castithan arrival, and it’s obvious that she recognizes him, but from where?  Regardless, she pistol whips him outside the Need Want, and ties him up inside an unknown underground location.  She keeps beating and torturing him, claiming that he did horrible things to her when she was younger, and calls him Digo…but the guy has no idea who she is or what she’s talking about.  “I remember your smell”, she snarls, and rummages through his jewelry box, where she finds a pendant that seems to confirm her suspicions.  In the meantime, Rynn tries to escape but gets stopped by Nolan, only to have a bomb in the front seat explode and kill the driver.  The land coach gets hijacked, and the culprit is…the priest?  Figures.  You just can’t trust those guys.Tensions mount and the ambassador tries to negotiate with the hijackers, but things quickly fall apart, resulting in a bloody fight until Amanda and Nolan are able to shut the back doors and try to stay away from the jackers, who have taken the ambassador hostage.  Rynn has picked up a new tool, a stray paper clip.  So, we go from Silence of the Lambs to Terminator 2… interesting.  Tommy sees Irisa carrying a bag through the market and follows her to her prisoner, but she is still insistent on tormenting and then killing her hostage.  Inside the bag is a boa constrictor, similar to the one used to torture her years ago, while her parents watched.  But…a boa constrictor?  She has it bite the Castithan guy, and yes, I realize it would hurt, but boas aren’t poisonous.  It would be scarier if she wrapped it around his neck…THEN you would have something to worry about.  Tommy is chained to a radiator, and tries to talk Irisa out of what she’s doing, to little avail.Nolan and Amanda hatch a plan to defeat the hijackers by going out to meet Preston (the priest).  Nolan gives him some of the money, and Amanda shoots the Casti guy trying to ambush the exchange.  When Preston is shot, Nolan tries to get him to tell them who set them up, but Preston dies before he can say anything.  It doesn’t take long until everyone finds out that the ambassador herself set it up, when she pulls a gun on the mayor and lawkeeper.  Geez, does this backstabbing ever end?Oh, and Rynn has escaped, again, using a handy paper clip to open up her handcuffs and padlock.  Are handcuffs and padlocks really that flimsy?  Paper clips and pen caps?  I’ll have to remember that next time I get arrested in a barfight.
Irisa’s captive finally confesses to what he did to her, claiming that he fled his past, just like she did.  He says his torture of her was to prepare her to become the chosen one, the destroyer, the revealer…the same as the pendant he was carrying.  The final part of her ritual was to kill a supplicant, which was when Nolan, then in the military, came to rescue her.  He carries her away, just like he did in the pilot when she was shot, and we finally see how they met and under what circumstances.  It’s an emotional scene; she practically jumps into his arms, trusting a total stranger after being subjected to so much pain from her parents, who stood by and did nothing.The Castithian begs Irisa to finish him off, as her sacrifice, the man she was supposed to kill many years ago, but she briefly unleashes Tommy on him instead.  “I am to be your sacrifice…finish it!”  he screams, but Irisa insists on sparing him and getting him to Doc Yewll, keeping Tommy from beating the shtako out of him.  (The curse word of choice in the show, in case you haven’t gotten it yet, is shtako…the meaning should be pretty clear.)When the ambassador tells Nolan and Amanda about the setup, saying that it would have resulted in a big promotion on her end, she is thwarted by Rynn, returning with a cool wraparound neck chain throw weapon that saves the group.  Olsen gets sent off to Vegas Prison, even though Nolan wants to steal a play out of her own book and kill her right there in the desert.  As soon as she’s on the land coach, the ambassador starts demanding that she has every bit of information on Amanda before she gets to New York.  Wait…how is she getting to New York?  Why did the land coach lady let her go?  Aren’t they headed for…Never mind.  Guess that will have to wait until next week.After the fallout, everyone is in a festive mood, including Irisa and Tommy back at the station, where they have a super intense lovemaking session.  (Go, girl!  Irisa and Tommy finally hook up!)  Nolan, instead of being with Kenya, is hanging out with Amanda at the Need Want, having a drink, and Alak is playing The Cure’s Lovesong from his radio station at the top of the St. Louis arch.Final review:  This is one of my favorite episodes so far, with some truly heart-pounding moments.  I’d been looking forward to finding out how Irisa and Nolan met, and it didn’t disappoint.  The show can be both emotional and suspenseful, which is going to keep people watching into the next season.  Are there clichés?  Yes.  Are there improbabilities?  Yes, but like most other shows on television, it’s not just fiction, but science fiction.  If you’re a fan and you have a Facebook account, like the Defiance fanpage and you can get lots of cool little extras, like bonus scenes and extended sneak previews.  If you’re not on Facebook, just go to www.syfy.com/defiance and get most of the same things.
Den of Geek Rating:  4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5