This Defiance review contains spoilers.
I remember when all I was worried about was when Rahm Tahk would attack, when the Omec would finish refueling, and when Irisa would snap out of her non-violent funk. The Omec question is still in play, of course, but in my shortsightedness I neglected to think what the Votanis Collective would do once they arrived in the town in the wake of the rogue general. The surprises that Defiance is able to spring on its audience keep the show fresh and unpredictable even when the actions enter familiar territory.
Scenarios such as the the one Vice Chancellor Voske presents, for example, have been done several times before on this show. Viewers have seen the Earth Republic make overtures to Amanda Rosewater more than once in the past, and the routine is no less suspicious this time around. Voske has the advantage of being truthful about General Tahk’s wife trying to stop her rogue husband and being murdered as a result, but it’s hard not to agree with Nolan’s mistrust despite his newly unreliable senses.
Speaking of which, I appreciate the fact that Nolan’s out-of-character actions and hallucinations can be chalked up to interference from the stasis pod implant he and Irisa shared. Otherwise, I’d have a hard time buying his psychotic break no matter how much guilt he’s feeling. Although he’s clearly seeing detonators and weapons where there are none, he might have truly stopped something dire from happening that we’re not aware of. At the very least he temporarily kept Kindzi from beginning her feast. Upstaged indeed!
Kindzi’s quick return with the assistance of Doc Yewll was a pleasant surprise even though she intends great harm and bloodshed. The recent revelation that Indogenes were created for the Omec to hunt really added new depths to this enigmatic race, and the chip that controls Yewll’s actions creates a nice conflict for one of the town’s most hard-to-read characters.
And the Omec themselves have been a wonderful addition to the story of the Votan races that instills an appropriate amount of fear in the audience. T’evgin, as reasonable as he seems to be, is a truly terrifying predator. Stahma’s reluctance to broker peace between the VC and the Omec is understandable, given her tenuous emotional hold on T’evgin and his wish to abscond with her to Australia.
Such a departure would mean an early end to the reunion of the Tarrs, and I wouldn’t miss that for anything. It was nice to see this couple back together again, and Datak was in rare form trying to broker his success and triumphant return into a new position of power. It may be that the best thing he ends up getting from the deal is his new robotic arm, but anything could be considered a win for him in this case.
The biggest surprise of all, though, has to be the accidental assassination of the Vice Chancellor and the subsequent arrest and extradition of Nolan. Will the Defiance audience finally get to see another part of the post-Arkfall world? Irisa being forced by the Kaziri tech to accompany Nolan was a nice touch, and I can’t wait to see what she does to spring Nolan, if indeed she can. Their relationship has been through some interesting turns this season.
So another successful episode comes and goes, not with wild fanfare but with admirable expertise. Although nothing will reach the heights of Datak cutting off his own arm, I’m certain Defiance is headed for a blowout finale with the Omec ship waiting in orbit and Nolan’s fate hanging in the balance. One thing you can always be sure this show will do each week is whet your appetite for more.