As we trek ever closer to the season finale, we were treated to two episodes back to back, and neither story disappointed.
We can only hope the final episode lives up to the excitement I'm hoping for!
The first episode, Dark Matter Season 2 Episode 11, saw Five get kidnapped by backwoods hicks and then rescued by Three, while being chased by GA Inspector Kierken. The second, Dark Matter Season 2 Episode 12, was all about Ryo.
I confess that writing a single review to cover both episodes will be difficult, since on the face of it they have very little to do with each other, but I will start with this: both were fun, entertaining, and filled with great character moments.
And there was indeed a common thread running through the two episodes, one that has been something of an undercurrent throughout the series: the relationship between memory and identity.
The crew of the Raza that we know and love are not the same people that they were before they lost their memories.
Marcus Boone wouldn't have spared a second thought for a kidnapped girl, for one. At most, he'd probably shrug and say, "Well, that's life."
Five: I'm not gonna abandon you! After what happened to One, I'm not ready to lose another friend.
Three: 'Friend'? Are you kiddin' me? I'm not your friend! I don't give a rat's ass about you, I never have! If it was up to me, I'd drop you off at the nearest space station and never look back. I think you are a pain in the ass, know-it-all little brat. You're a burden to the ship. You know what I wish? I wish I'd spaced you when I had the chance. Oh, is it you're cryin' now? Is that it? You're tearin' up like a little baby? Why is that? Is it 'cause I hurt your feelings?
Five [tearfully]: No. No. I'm crying because I know what you're trying to do.
This is a remarkable philosophical conundrum, especially in light of the events of the following episode. I think that we all knew that Four was ruthless and cold at times, but Ishida Ryo was something else.
Would Four have done the same thing? Was he so different sans memories? Let's take a look at other crew members:
- Portia Lin was defined and weighed down by her origin and the violence and fear associated with it. Ryo called it a "ruthlessness born of insecurity."
- Marcus Boone was crass, cruel, and brutal, though he clearly had hidden depths that Sarah, if no one else, saw.
- Kal Varrick played a large part in the deaths of ten thousand innocent people just to turn public sentiment away from the Halcyon rebellion.
The slaughter in the last few moments of "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose" was definitely game-changing in more ways than one. Since Dark Matter Season 1 Episode 1, the crew of the Raza has been distancing themselves from their past. Now we got this:
My name is not Four. I am Ishida Ryo. Emperor of Zairon.Ryo
Those closing moments were a real gut-punch (throat-slice?) for anyone hoping for a happy ending for Four and his brother. And as satisfying as it was for the Seers to get what was coming to them, it was still brutal and violent.
For what it's worth, tying the Seers in to the Zairon storyline made sense and went a ways to explaining how the Empress managed to so effect her coup so well, despite the abrupt appearance of the Seers into the plot.
And their reappearance also served to drive a stake between Nyx and Ryo with the news of her brother's death.
We were left to wonder what will happen next. Ryo already told Six that he intends to reverse-engineer the blink drive and equip his fleet with them, making his forces unstoppable, and Six told him that it wasn't going to happen.
Will Ryo attempt to take the drive by force? Will the crew of the Raza be forced to fight him?
I can't say that I disagree with Six's position. While Ryo's desire to save his people is sympathetic, even the brief glimpses of Zairon culture we've been afforded made me wonder if the other guys weren't right to stomp all over them in the first place.
Ryo's behavior at the end of the episode did not help this, either.
On a side note, there were a lot of great lines across both episodes; be sure to check out our Dark Matter quotes page for some of them!
A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you, my friends:
- Three is quite a shot: even wounded and suffering from severe blood loss, he can still hit a small drone floating a dozen feet in the air.
- It's a bit odd how Six needed a doctor and specialized care in the first couple of episodes this season, but Three suffered a similar gunshot wound and was totally fine without that.
- Kris Holden-Ried: Beard or no beard?
- Speaking of Chief Inspector Kierken, he was given a first name! (It's "Kyle," for those keeping score.)
If you haven't already, be sure to watch Dark Matter online. The season finale, Dark Matter Season 2 Episode 13, is titled "But First, We Save the Galaxy" and slated to air on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 10/9c on SyFy.
So, what did you think of "Wish I'd Spaced You When I Had the Chance" and "Sometimes in Life You Don't Get to Choose"? Were you shocked by the bloodshed at the Zairon court? Let us know in the comments section below!