Welcome back, Dark Matter fans! After a wait that seemed interminable – one of the unfortunate side-effects of short seasons – our heroic bad guys made their triumphant return in Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 1 and Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 2.
These two episodes, aired back to back, proved a welcome addition to what has become a summer delight for me. (Seriously, I love watching them do their thing.)
Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 1 picked up where the season finale left off, to probably no one's surprise, and we got to see our protagonists split up and having to face off against different enemies.
I found it interesting and satisfying that the trials each group faced, for the most part, challenged them in ways they weren't used to; even better, each was entertaining in their own ways.
Two and Six were trapped in the heavily-damaged Marauder, unable to do anything except try to survive long enough to be rescued. Two spent much of the time being tortured by her own self-doubt and guilt.
This behavior was neatly lampshaded late in the episode by Commander Truffault, in a wonderful return appearance by Tori Higginson:
It’s *easy* to lead in the good times. Much *harder* to do so in the bad. You suffer losses, begin to question past decisions, and that’s alright, but… as a commander, you *can’t* let the responsibilities weigh you down, because if you do, you will never move forward.Commander Truffault
Two has been running flat-out since she and the others woke up. She's strong in a fight, but now Two's responsibility of command started to weigh pretty heavily on her shoulders.
I'm not at all sure what to think about that kiss given to her by Ghost Nyx. That was kinda... odd. Though it was nice that Nyx got something of a sendoff.
Meanwhile, Five (along with Commander Truffault and the Android) had to repel a Ferrous Corp attack and go all commando when a boarding party appeared. Let me tell you: the Android going guns akimbo? Awesome.
The way she calmly blew the smoke from the barrels afterwards was just priceless, too.
And then there was the true comedy duo of the episode, Three and Anders. Take this exchange:
Three: Okay, I got a plan.
Anders: Let’s hear it.
Three: Step one, give me your gun.
Anders: I don’t think so.
Three: Are you kidding me?! You got two! You can barely hold onto one, let alone shoot!
Anders: I can shoot just fine.
Three: Yeah, it’s aiming that’s the problem! Come on, man, I just saved your life! You owe me one.
Anders: I saved your life on that station! We’re even!
Three: Oh, seriously?!
Here, Three had to use his wits and heart to survive and actually convince Anders, Mr. Law-and-Order, into letting him go when the GA reinforcements showed up.
Anthony Lemke reminds me again and again why he's my favorite actor on this show. In both episodes, his performance impressed me with its expressiveness.
Even in moments when he had no lines at all, such as when Anders told him that all his friends were probably dead on the station. Or in Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 2, when he gently touched Five's foot in the med bay.
Three may be the biggest obvious jerk, but he gets some of the most heartwarming material to contrast it, and it makes his character that much more interesting.
Not to mention, he also gets some of the most satisfying gunplay in the series, as he did in Season 3 Episode 2, shooting not only the Ryo clone but also the honor-before-reason Zairon scientist!
I was definitely confused by the very brief appearance by none other than Sarah at the start of Episode 2, but maybe that was simply part of Five's cascading brain failure?
There was a lot to enjoy about the second episode of the night, with a rather well-executed ticking clock scenario (as well as the aforementioned Ryo clone death).
The fact that the writers essentially stuffed the blink drive back into the box wasn't exactly surprising. It is, after all, a game-winning superpower. On the other hand, it's a bit disappointing that the heroes went through all that just for an "at least Ryo doesn't have it."
Eh. I'm willing to give them that one for the sake of storytelling.
Alright, a show of hands: how long before someone on Zairon attempts to overthrow Ryo because he's a terrible emperor? Even I know that loyalty purges are a bad idea.
You know, Ryo, one day you will be emperor. And, for all our sakes, I hope by then you understand there’s more to holding an empire together than weapons and ships.Memory Tekku
It actually reminded me a bit of an episode of Classic Star Trek, in which Spock went back to his homeworld to marry his fiancee, only for her to marry another guy.
Bear with me here: Spock afterwards warned the other guy that sometimes the "wanting" is better than the "having."
While we don't know the fate of Stonn or T'Pring from Star Trek, it seems to me that Ryo might discover the same thing with the throne of Zairon.
For one thing, his most fanatical supporter, Misaki, really lives up to the "fanatical" portion. Props to Ellen Wong for embodying the cold-bloodedly ruthless and violently aggressive dichotomy.
The second episode also provided additional insight into Five's past, introducing a kindly engineer who taught her, as well as introducing the new tidbit that she has a sister somewhere.
Baines: I wasn’t trying to rat your friends out. I was trying to get information on your family!
Five: I know what happened. My parents were killed in an accident.
Baines: They didn’t tell you everything. They didn’t tell you that you have a sister.
Did anyone else find it frustrating that everyone was all worried about Five losing her memories with the Android's procedure, and then basically nothing came of it?
Seriously, they go from being all worried about her losing all her memories to Five learning she has a sister to Five being perfectly find in the next scene. Argh.
Overall, the two episodes did a great job of ushering in the new season while capping off the previous one. (Too bad no one ever found out what happened to the unfortunate Devon.)
Furthermore, these episodes were full of fantastic quotes, so be sure to stop by our Dark Matter quotes page for a rundown!
Don't forget, you can always watch Dark Matter online! And make sure you don't miss the next installment, Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 3, "Welcome to the Revolution," when it airs Friday, June 16, 2017 at 9/8c on Syfy Channel!
So, what did you think of "Being Better Is So Much Harder" and "It Doesn't Have To Be Like This"? Did you enjoy the double-header? Where will our heroic bad guys go from here? Let us know in the comments section below!