Defiance Review: What Do You Believe In?

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Defiance got off to a great start last Monday with the most watched pilot on Syfy since Eureka.

This week, "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" took advantage of the momentum that premiere created, propelling us into the exploration of the beliefs of some of the Defiance residents. 

It's pretty common for shows that feature aliens to ask: "how are they physically different?" In some unique cases we might get, "how are they culturally different?" instead, but it’s a rare show indeed that’s willing to step out of the safety zone by starting with the question: "Who or what do they worship?" 

But this is why Defiance is a stand out; it lets the sci-fi "tech" and CGI take a back seat while giving us a very personal look at some of the key figures around town and what they believe in. 

It's pretty clear that the Castithans have strong beliefs toward cowardice. No surprise to this reviewer that the strongest among them was Datak Tarr, who was the most vocal defender of the ritual of cleansing both to Nolan as the outside and to his wife Stahma. Overall, Stahma’s beliefs were a little more ethereal as she explained to Christie how fate (and a convenient air lock) intervened on her betrothed as he was heading to fight Datak on the ship to Earth. 

Datak's Ritual

Does anyone believe her “tossed out an air lock freak accident?” I don’t either. My bet is that she spaced her betrothed before he could hurt Datak. I said it before: Datak maybe ruthless, but Stahama is the dangerous one.  

Meanwhile, ex-Mayor Nicky believes she is doing the right thing even though she regrets the deaths it will cause. Her touching moment with Amanda was almost laughable given he ruthlessness towards her “master plan.”

Nolan showed us that he believes in Irisa, leaving her with Deputy Tommy knowing how much she hated the Castithans ritual of cleansing happening to Elah Bandik. If you have any questions of the depth of his knowledge of her, look no further than their exchange when he returned. 

He could tell she was on edge and was not only careful to get inside her comfort zone, but he lowered himself down and spoke encouragingly to her. Nolan knows his daughter very well. The surprise for me was Amanda coming to the defense of Irisa and Tommy. 

It stands to reason she would believe in her Lawkeeper and his deputies, but to step in and say that they were acting under her order was pretty awesome. 

When all was said and done, Rafe and Nolan are a little closer friends, Amanda knows that Nolan is the man she gambled on and Irisa knows that Antarctica is not as real as the town of Defiance is, where she and Nolan have a chance to make a difference. 

However, there were a few absentees on the roster. Did you miss Kenya and the Need/Want club this week? Or the Liberata housekeeper that was cooking for the McCawley last week?

How do you think the second offering did? Share your thoughts below!

Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

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

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Defiance Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Rafe, you can do the right thing by your dead child, or you can do the right thing or by the two living ones. But you cannot do both. You make your choice right now.


Tommy: Elah Bandik is under arrest.
Male Castithan: For what?
Tommy: Loitering.