Defiance

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Defiance

Defiance Review: We Live or Die Together

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Wrapping up Defiance Season 1, "Everything Is Broken" gave us answers to many questions, some of which have been out there since the pilot. However, it also left us with plenty to ponder, debate and discuss until the show’s return for season two.  

Let’s start with the big answers and then get into the significant questions...

What Is The Gold Medallion?
The medallion that Luke died over - that Quentin gave to Nikki, that then Doc Yewll fired a coldfire weapon into - is one half of a key to an ancient Votan weapon that Earth Republic has been after for years. The other half of the key has been inside Irisa since she was a little girl.

Who Will Be Mayor?
Datak Tarr was elected after pulling some pretty underhanded tricks. This included getting one of Alak friends killed trying to pull a “prank” and attempting to shoot Amanda at the debate and releasing classified information from Nolan’s military records over the radio station. I wasn’t surprised. After murdering a man because he saw him at “less than his best,” nothing shocks me about Datak.

Amanda For Mayor

Now to move on to the plethora of questions this episode created. In general, I loathe cliffhangers as an ending; with today’s streaming media and Internet awareness, leaving season-long story items unanswered at the end of a season is just frustrating and no longer encourages anyone to come back in the fall.

That said, I’m not against a new questions being raised as a primer for the next season. 

Is Kenya Really Dead?
While I would not put it past Stahma to have only drugged Kenya, part of me hopes she really is poisoned and is gone. First, it would make the show have a sharper edge to lose a cast member from the first season. Second, I’ve said many times that Kenya is an awkward, out of place character and she really hasn't brought much to the series. If she had not been Amanda’s sibling, would she even have been a regular?

Sadly, I suspect we'll find Kenya wrapped in a blanket with a note pinned to her saying "found this in the woods" delivered by Rynn and/or other Irathients.

What Happened To Irisa?
First, she made a deal to save Nolan. I was thrilled to see that when it came down to it, she showed how much she loved him. Her behavior around the whole Sukar issue seemed totally out of character. Second, given that she jumped into the ultimate weapon, I think she will blow it up, deactivate it or otherwise render it null and void. That won’t come without a price, but we have all of season two to learn what that price will be. 

What Is Going To Happen To Datak Tarr?
Okay, a good rule of thumb for anyone who wants to run for Mayor: Killing an Earth Republic General in your office and then casually holding the bloody weapon when your wife comes in is NOT the way to keep your job.

For my taste, Datak has not been as interesting as Stahma has been. But I doubt they are willing to let a talent like Tony Curran leave just yet, so my bet will be on some sort of loophole defense that will result in him losing being Mayor, but staying in Defiance. Datak could make a great "wounded predator" plotting his return to power. This, of course, would allow the "runner up" candidate, Amanda to become Mayor elect. 

Is Earth Republic Really In Charge?
As we heard right at the end of the episode, Earth Republic has taken control of the town. That’s pretty easy to do when they have all the guns and the Mayor just killed a General. I’m pretty sure Nolan, Amanda and Rafe will come up with some super clever plan to chase them back out. Maybe Irisa will threaten to turn the Votan weapon on them if they don’t leave. 

When all was said and done, only the Irisa question really struck me as a cliffhanger. We've been dealing with that damn medallion and "what’s in the mine" for the entire season, so it would have been nice to have seen her in control of it or something at the end. But, that aside, it was a good finale. I’m happy with how the episode moved, and I adored Nolan for wanting to do the right thing by having Amanda fire him instead of trying to fight the propaganda fight Datak was staging. 

Here is hoping that season two picks up with some much needed pruning of the storylines (i.e. now that Christy and Alak are married, we don’t really need to see them much). I’m giving the finale 4.3 votes for Amanda as Mayor!

What did you think of if the finale, where there answered offered that I missed? Did you catch a question I didn't list? Sound off below.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

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

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Watchestoomuch

Datak and the Colonel: This once we are emotionally behind Datak's brutal instincts. The colonel not only used Datak - which both he and we saw coming - he also correctly anticipated that he could not trust Datak, therefore blindsiding him on the mines. I loved how Datak laid his bloody hand on Stahma's white dress, implicating her in murder. They each killed, and in their own style - Datak with violence, Stahma with subterfuge.

Watchestoomuch

This episode was packed. It was brutal. And it should have happened weeks ago. Kenya and Stahma: Maybe Stahma cared about Kenya. With a character who lies as consistently and fluently as Stahma, it's impossible to say. I really dislike having a character whose motives are so opaque, even though that makes her the almost perfect complement to her impulsive husband. Maybe Stahma spared Kenya. I, too, hope she's really dead, not least because that makes her dying moments, with Stahma singing sweetly to her, that much more poignant and twisted. Bam! Datak and the Colonel: This once we are emotionally behind Datak's brutal instincts. The colonel not only used Datak - which both he and we saw coming - he also correctly anticipated that he could not trust Datak, therefore blindsiding him on the mines. I loved how Datak laid his bloody hand on Stahma's white dress, implicating her in murder. They each killed, and in their own style - Datak with violence, Stahma with subterfuge. Nolan and Irisa: Didn't see his death coming. Not even slightly surprised that it didn't stick. (Frankly, I thought she was going to kiss him on the lips and unintentionally pass some healing nanobots.) Not entirely disappointed about that. What is Irisa's status now? I don't think it's decided, and I will not be surprised if she spends all of S2E1 battling with the ship/device to decide her fate, and will be even less surprised if the price she has to pay for resurrecting Nolan is something really bad. Lame bad guys, etc.: As is so often the case in TV shows, the elite mercenary bad guys can't shoot straight. Admittedly, they do hit Rafe and Nolan, but they get wiped out, and even the really sinister baddie, the torture guy, might be dead. (On the other hand, it's more likely they'll bring him back to be a frightening menace in the early days of next season.) The music was too heavily BSG-accented; wake up, composer! This isn't BSG! The editing was choppy and moving among locations was sometimes confusing. They either shot too much material and had to do a hatchet job, or they planned for a 2-parter and really had to do a hatchet job. Bottom line: This was the best episode of the season. It was intense and occasionally even surprising -- like in the Tarr's tag-team murders. If they were able to bring this level of intensity and depth to next season, it would be incredible. They won't, of course, but we can still hope. And it's going to be a whole year!?!!? Shtako!

Defiance Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Kenya: If you gave a shtako about me, you would stop your husband from hurting my sister.
Stahma: I guess I'm not as brave as you.

Irisa: I'm the Angel of Death
Nolan: No you're not, you're a little girl in a bad situation. MY little girl.

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