Defiance Review: Bugged By Visions

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After last week’s more cultural and religious centered Defiance episode, I was glad"The Devil in the Dark" took us down the familiar path of a murder mystery mixed with some action and a splash of humor.

Let’s start with some of the humor. Datak stepping out of the house covered in hellbug gunk declaring, “Maybe we should eat out” was one of the best scenes Tony Curran has delivered thus far. Of course, that was preceded closely by his ranting about Christie insisting that she bath alone.

After all, what good Castithan wife does that?

Irisa's New Power

As for action, who didn't love that Datak’s energy knife could be extended into an energy sword? Granted, the trip into the mine felt short, but given the size of that matriarch hellbug I’m not sure it needed to be much longer. I suspect it was there as a nod to the game, and I’m okay with it as it fit the episode.

We also got a good deal of mystery, starting with Irisa’s visions. It was pretty clear she has had visions for a long time and it became an unspoken gap between her and Nolan. Settling down into Defiance and being around other Irathients has triggered them again and stronger than before. 

I can’t imagine it was easy for Nolan to raise an Irathient, especially not one as quick-tempered as Irisa (aren't they are all quick tempered?). That said, he apparently did the best he could, but he is still human and part of that came across in making Irisa afraid of being alien and the gifts her species has. 

But like any good father, it didn’t stop him from being there at her bed side when she was having a nightmare and holding her hand at the end of the episode. Did you catch that her tossing and turning stopped after he did? 

Of course, Irisa got off pretty light compared to Rynn, whose parents were murdered in front of her. I get that she wanted revenge, but waiting years then using hellbug pheromones to have her parents' murders eaten seems a bit slow and overly thought out for the typical Irathient. Maybe they aren’t all quick tempered after all.

Finally in the “Please never do that again!” category we had Kenya "servicing" one of the victims who appeared to have a hot grease and cooked food fetish.  

First of all, the fetish portion of this scene didn't add anything to the show; in fact I was sorely tempted to fast forward past it. Second, it makes me think less of Kenya that she still a working girl and not just the manager/Madame as I thought when we met her in the pilot. Lastly, if they just wanted to show a hellbug eat through a guy from under the bed there are much better ways to do it. 

SyFy, I'm pretty sure I can speak for the general audience when I say, we will never, ever, ever complain about a lack of fetish representation in Defiance if you never show it again. In fact, I personally would recommend finding the staff member who suggested that scene and send them for some counseling. 

Kenya aside, overall it was an excellent outing; we got to see a very scary hellbug that I’m pretty sure I will have nightmares about, so I’m giving the episode 4 shtako filled shorts out of 5. 


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (38 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


A jogger goes to exercise in the woods where we saw in the pilot ep it is crawling with bloodthirsty creatures, especially after the city protecting barrier is no longer there??? Totally unbelievable scene which spoils the pleasant acting.


i am sad about the rift between Nolan and Irisa as well. they are my fav characters but i believe that they will get past it. at the end of the day, they are fiercely loyal to each other and love each other.
Aleck was such a coward when the bug attacked and Christie was standing there defending him instead of the other way around, his father though is never afraid to defend what is his and to protect his family. i like him more and more with each ep.


finally got around to watching it, blast my work schedule anw. still watching it even as i type, but have to say, the first 5 min with the runner in the red, didn't anybody else get a flashback to the pilot ep of Grimm with the girl running in red jacket and shoes with the music through the forest and sth attacking her???


Best episode yet, though that's not saying a lot. Good: Conflict between townies and Irathients. Mayor committing to work with the Irathients; acknowledging that they've been abused in the past. Irisa bonding with the Irathients but retaining independence. The big, bad Irathient leader is actually thoughtful and smart. Learning that some Irathients have psychic powers. Seeing culture clashes ... and attempts to overcome them. Bad: Lame hellbugs, clearly borrowing heavily from the "Alien" franchise. Castithans plotting to gain power through marriage; who cares? Is that Fred Armisen playing Alak? Butterflies signalling Irisa's visions? Psychic powers? @Jim: "After last week’s more cultural and religious centered Defiance episode, I was glad"The Devil in the Dark" took us down the familiar path of a murder mystery mixed with some action and a splash of humor." What show are you watching? This episode was significantly more infused with alien culture and religion than the previous one.


Kenya was always a working girl as well as the Madame. She was payed by Nolan for a good time in the pilot and they made a point of her charging and not giving away for free. Though I have to agree that I wish the fetish part was a little less show and a lot more hint especially since, aside from some color, it didn't add anything to the story or the characters. Except maybe what Kenya is willing to do for a buck. I'll bet though that this was one of the more tame things she's done.


i don't think the fetish thing was so bad. in such a messed up world, with 8 cultures colliding, wouldn't we expect the "strange" to become a bit more like the norm?


@Mook: McCawley's involvement with the mine deal gives Rynn motive for targeting HIM, not Christie. Note that she targeted the other victims directly, not their loved ones. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that McCawley wasn't directly involved with her parents' murder, but they never really explained it properly. I was also a bit annoyed at Rynn because she thinks that it's somehow unjust that she's going to jail for her actions. This, despite the fact that the attacks, particularly that on Christie, could have resulted in innocent people getting killed - i.e., Datak Tarr and his family.


I don't think Nolan was discounting Irisa's visions because they are alien to him. He probably didn't know what was going on and she does suffer from ptsd, as shown in the last scene. I predict much angst in that relationship which saddens me. Nolan really does love Irisa. I love Alak and Christie. I hope he grows more of a spine. If he can't defend her against hellbugs, at least he should stand up for her to his father while she is in the room. But he shows a modicum of promise. I love Julie Benz but her character doesn't interest me much.


@Dreamrose: Christie was targeted b/c McCawley bought the land for the mine. And the mine currently rests on Rynn's family ground.


★★☆☆☆TV Bug Hole @ Jim G , " Finally in the “Please never do that again!� category we had Kenya "servicing" one of the victims who appeared to have a hot grease and cooked food fetish " AgreeX100 CGI/VFX I have seen better effects on youtube and vimeo. Example vimeodotcom/57148705 So why is this so bad if it has Syfy behind it. Arisa and Nolan have me hanging in, as I could care less about the others. Irathient FTW

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Defiance Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Nolan: You except me to believe you got woozy over a little blood? This was one of your episodes, wasn't it? I though you told me they stopped.
Irisa: I just stopped talking about them. They been getting stronger came here.

Rafe: Why Christie? Why my daughter?
Nolan: Maybe because she is your daughter. What can you tell me about Boyd Bowan and Dalton Tager.
Rafe: What the hell do they have to do with this?
Nolan: I'd ask them but they're dead, so I'm asking you.