Defiance "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" Review: Culture Clash

Defiance S01E02: "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go"

One of the reasons I'm already enjoying Defiance is that it has aliens! I know it's a very surface-level reason for liking the show, but it does scratch a genre itch of mine that remains largely unserved by current television programming. I can only watch Babylon 5 so many times, after all.

More importantly, Defiance has aliens with cultures. I can't tell you anything about the Sensoths (the overgrown orangutan ones) yet, but at least we have a sense of the Indogenes (scientists), the Irathients (tribal warriors), and as of this episode, the Castithans (caste (liro)-centric traditionalists). A developed sense of the aliens' cultures allows for dramatic conflict to stem from friction between their ideological leanings and from external threats, thus giving the show a number of avenues for storytelling and stakes. Sure, there's even room for some racism, but I like that Defiance seems to have a light hand on that aspect so far. After all, Rafe doesn't seem to loathe Datak simply because the latter's a Castithan; it's because Datak's a scheming, power-hungry mob boss. 

The challenge for this motley assortment of species lies in how they achieve a balance between respecting each others' traditions and maintaining a sense of equality under the town's laws. Is what the Castithans did in this episode religious cleansing, or was it simply torture for both Elah on that rack and his family who had to continuously place the stones that slowly created the weight that strained his body? It didn't (necessarily) harm the greater good of the town's population, like when the Irathients refused vaccinations, but did this public display align with town's liberalism?

Amanda decided that it didn't, as she pardoned Elah of his violations of Castithan laws after Irisa freed him. Whether or not she had that authority, and Datak claimed she does not, is an issue the show will have to explore further. What's important, however, is that this conflict provided Datak the opportunity to show that he's not unreasonable—despite an armed attempt to retrieve Elah from the lawkeeper's station—and with the words of Stahma from that spa scene likely ringing in his ears (which I'll discuss in just a moment, because come on), he managed to placate the humans. His decision kept Amanda on his side a bit longer, while also 1.) making sure the Castithan traditions were met as the religious (and likely lower in the liro hierarchy) Elah served his penance in the ultimate fashion, and 2.) sending a not-so-subtle message with his corpse in front of the lawkeeper's station. This is the kind of tension I respond to from storytelling, so I'm all about these sorts of developments.

That spa scene, though. Last week had the bath scene with Datak and Stahma as she explained their cunning plan to assume control of the mines in detail, and this week the show decided to up the ante in their planning scenes by having Jaime Murray be nearly nude. It practically screamed, "The audience isn't going to find this interesting enough. Let's Game of Thrones this scene as much as we can on basic cable!" 

There's something to their meetings, though, insofar as that they serve to illustrate that Datak is clearly not the mastermind here; he needs things explained to him and he needs her to guide him (obviously he's not the one who plotted to have Stahma's betrothed flushed out of an airlock on the way to Earth). Contrast the spa scene with Datak's actions in the lawkeeper's station, a moment that relied on him (and us) remembering what Stahma said for his actions make sense, or Stahma's circuitous discussion of her courtship in the diner with Christie, and you see how Defiance capable of being subtle when it wants to be. Datak may not be the smartest bulb in the box, but guiding him to conclusions as opposed to explaining them outright would be far more interesting and quality consistent.

Speaking of interesting, I'm already somewhat bored with whatever Data's mom Eloise Hawking Nicky and Birch are planning for Defiance. I'm thankful for Fionnula Flanagan's ability to give their cryptic scheming some weight—I do buy that Nicky doesn't like that she seems to have to destroy the town in order to save it (and/or the entire planet, who knows)—but if each episode is going to involve some new plot to drive the folks of Defiance out of the town, they're going to need to be more interesting than what was presented this week. Admittedly, this episode involved tying up the loose-ended Ben story (poor Ben) as well as allowing Rafe to find what will likely be MacGuffin's Golden Knot Device, so at least the series isn't willing to spin its wheels when it comes to this particular thread. I just wonder how Nicky and Birch will top instigating an attack by a race of deadly automata and also attempting to re-activate a nuclear reactor.



LAWKEEPER FILES

– Significantly less Doc Yewell this week means the episode wasn't nearly as good as last week's, simply by default.

– Did the writers completely forget about the bet between Nolan and Rafe? Even if they did, I liked Nolan and Rafe's reminiscing over a pre-Pale Wars St. Louis, and their lives before it, including the McCawleys being a family of dog food manufacturers, complete with a jingle that Nolan remembers even decades later.

– When you mention something called the Rats' Nest, I expect some R.O.U.S. Even if in this case it'd likely be rodents of unusual size mixed with spiders mixed with bats.

– "I once had a three handicap and no one can say I didn't because there's no one around except me who remembers the damn rules."

– "He's kind of a jackass." "Most men are. It's a characteristic that transcends species."

– How do we feel about the use of Nirvana's "Come As Your Are" for the end-of-episode-montage? I found it effective but also a bit jarring, given the show's setting. It was one thing to have a diegetic use of Johnny Cash in the season premiere—and Cash's music fits the show's world as well, I think—but Nirvana felt a little out of place. Just me?

– Since I like to share this with you folks for no discernible reason, review-writing music this week: Ennio Morricone's scores for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Once Upon A Time In the West. (What, you thought I'd pick Star Wars?)

– I'm not playing the MMO tie-in, and don't really have any intention to do so. If I start hearing interesting things about it, and if it begins to really impact the TV show in some way, I may pick it up. Have any of you checked out the game?


What'd you think of "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go"?

Comments (173)
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Gotta say I disagree with the positive feelings towards this show. It is absolutely unashamably derivative without having the good decency to do so with good characters. I cannot look at any of the characters without seeing them as a half drawn picture of someone I've seen and loved on screen before. This got hilariously obscene at the end of the last episode where the main dude is begged to stay but is resistant. Star wars anybody?
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the main dude being a live for the day rugged individualist in a way totally derived from han solo and mal reynolds. Nothing novel was added except for flatness.
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I'm liking the developments with Defiance and loved the old St. Louis talk since I'm right by it. :D For a show I thought I wouldn't like, it's growing on me and hope it keeps doing that. LOVE Jaime Murray and hope she stays in the forefront.
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It has potential, but I still find it boring. I felt after the pilot, that you'd took the sci-fi costumes and props, it would be just a western. And this episode failed too to convince me that I should watch the next episodes.

Oh, and Jaime Murray is a really beautiful woman. To make her look this ugly (Stahma) is an insult in itself.
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Beautiful rescaping of our world so far. Nice visually different aliens too, but im still missing alieness ! They are all still quite human so far.
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As for the tie-in videogame, from what I've heard and read it's mediocre at best. Not really worth your time. Although I've no idea how much of it ties into the show and what (important) information is solely divulged through the game. But I can't really imagine they're gonna leave the tv crowd in the dark on important details. And otherwise, there are still the inevitable and oftentimes elaborate fan-wiki's.
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Last episode was 'wasn't bad,' and this was down to 'ehh..' Since I got here late, most anything I'd say has been said. The kid and...chains, etc. Dunno if anyone mentioned the creepy nekkid mom hug.

Basically, I'll catch one of its million encores sometime after RAW. Side note: it still blows my mind when anyone other than Tim gets to review a sci-fi show,even if it's temporary. Pretty sure he's down in a well somewhere. I mean...he left his spot to a Bablyon 5 fan. Really..?
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That's cold, Obi-Wan.
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I was a tiny bit conflicted, but the idea of anyone going through the entire series multiple times..multiple...

No, padawan; that just couldn't go unpunished.
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Barely got through the episode, last one Im seeing as it already was on notice after the pilot. So many good points in previous comments. The vaccines comment by Arjuna, serious prop, and a reason itself not to continue watching; if they're gonna continue putting out subliminal messages Showtime- and Walking Dead-style Im not watching anymore. Or the whole thing about the new vs old arch, estella87 is on to something here; but its not that he/she didnt care, its that they're too dumb to know better. Sadly I think it has become a trend for some shows to seriously not care about reading (because they obviously already forgot) what SHIT they put in last episode and simply follow up on it in the next, and of course not to devote some easy attention to small details in order to avoid laughable mistakes like the abovementioned arch-thingy. On top of this it has pathetic CGI, actors and scenery. This show is simply RIDICULOUS! To the point that I'll put it in the same category as that steven-spielberg-wannabe-lost-with-dinosaurs crap which was featured for a couple of episodes last season: The Heavy Shit Category.
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there was one problem I had with it, Rafe uncocked his pistol then Ben grabbed it and it went off but it was still uncocked so the gun couldn't have fired
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Revolvers come in two types, single-action and double-action. A single-action revolver is what was around in the early days of revolvers and does indeed need to be cocked to fire every time. A double-action revolver, which is the most common type these days, can be fired with the hammer cocked or not. It's a longer trigger pull when not cocked (since the trigger has to pull back the hammer rather then just releasing it) and slightly less accurate, but is otherwise completely doable.
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oh ok,thanks for the knowledge
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I like this show, keep it coming. Sure some things are off but I'm hoping they iron out. Jaime Murray half-naked hugging her son was a bit creeps buuuut, it's half-naked Jaime Murray. Also, did anyone else get an SG-1 vibe where they have to choose when to let the different species practice their customs and when they feel the need to shut it down.
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I'm enjoying this show. But Jaime Murray didn't go all Game of Thrones. She had quite a few nude Roman bath scenes including a hot threesome in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.
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I was going to say - the spa scene was more Spartacus than Game of Thrones.
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So far I'm sold on this show. Like most characters.

Except 1, Christie is beyond dense. I get it's a Romeo and Juliet thing but really..how can she not see her would be in-laws are Space-Nazis that want to end her family?

Sheesh I hope her Sansa-syndrome ends soon.
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Yeah that whole thing annoyed me too. Having second thoughts but is sold by that lovely romantic story of flushing a rival suitor out an air lock. Most people would be running the other way after that!
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I want to give this show more of a chance but it seems like they're trying to cram every cliché they can into it.
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This second episode was good, distracting. But I was disturbed by the underground city. If you look on google, it looks like the city (big buidings) is just behind the Arch. The Arch (which is the old one as said during Episode 1) is above the ground, while the rest of the city is way underground. This is a WTF moment. I'm waiting for the next episodes with impatience: they will have to open the population, because if they remain in this small community, the show is going for the Axe.
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terraforming will do that for you.
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I know but terraforming looks like it is going to explain every inconsistency. I see that as a sign of weakness.
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Could be worse. Could be nanotechnology.
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Aaaaahhh, Revolution ...
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Can TV.com answer this question for me? Does Syfy get money from the interest groups to add the stuff to the show like.... in the future the ones who refuse vaccines are ruthless vampire-like aliens? I laughed at that silly propaganda b.s..
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Vampire-like aliens? Get your facts right.

They were Irathients, not Castithans, who refused inoculation.
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Yeah the Science Fiction TV channel poking fun at people who deny science based medicine. Vaccines work, they dont cause autism.
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Does anyone else think that Jamie Murray watched Game of Thrones before auditioning for her role?
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This networks Candadian imports are its best products. This show isn't even in the same ball park as good as "Continuum" or "Lost Girl". Maybe NBC should sell SYFY to Showcase and just be done with it. This show is hella boring and shouldn't be. Jamie Murray and Graham Greene are the only watchable actors in this large cast. Julie Benz is terrible - I know she's got geek cred but outside of "Darla" she's never found a role that suits her. Ron Moore gave this same role to Mary McDonnell in his show and this character is no Laura Roslin. I can't find myself wanting to root for her which makes it difficult to like this show.
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I watch Lost Girl for the hmmm obvious reasons, but saying it's good shows an inability to understand what the term "good" means. Lost Girl is just a Canadian Buffy rip-off without the actual good parts from Buffy.

Continuum though tends towards the "good" side, on that i can agree.
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Want to discuss "Lost Girl" v. "Buffy"? - Better lead actress, better written dialogue and banter between characters, better best female bestie and much more realistic dynamic between the two - Allison Hannigan simply isn't and will never be as good an actress or as funny as Ksenia Solo, much better actor in the part of eternal love that heroine can't seem to end up with. David Boreanaz was a block of wood on the screen and remains so to this day. (Kris Holden-Ried v. David Boreanaz - that really isn't fair to Boreanaz now is it?), better cast in general plus a female voice in the driver's seat in Michelle Lovretta; Whedon had great female voices in his writing staff but this show actually has a woman in charge and that is kind of appropriate for a show about an empowered female. The mentors are both excellent, can't say anything bad about Tony Head or Rick Howland -- I loved "Buffy" and "Buffy" is clearly an inspiration but "Lost Girl" is just as good if not better than "Buffy" in many aspects. To minimize it as "a Candadian Buffy rip-off without the actual 'good' parts from Buffy" seems to reveal we just have differing opinions and you feel very strongly one way. (I understand "good" just fine) Calm down now and smile:)
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I too love Continuum and I watch Lost Girl but I don't think this show is boring. Julie Benz's character will grow but you're right she's no President Roslin. It's funny you mention that because I just finished re-watching BSG and thinking although I like this show, BSG is still on top. Now I'm off to the BSG forums to see if there are anymore theories posted in the past year about what the frak Kara Thrace was, if her dad was Cylon #7 Daniel, and 20 other questions I want RMD to answer...
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Haven't given up on this yet. Love Jamie Murray and could watch her read a book. Hope it improves.
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I could watch her watch ice melt. Even if she found it really interesting.
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I've read several times in the comments, how illogical it is that the arch is still standing while the rest of St. Louis is under the ground. This is based on the assumption that the arch we see is still the original arch. Has this been established?

What if they have rebuilt the arch, because the original one has been destroyed? (After all, we're seeing construction work of some sorts on the arch, so this could either be repair work or the last finishing touches of rebuilding work...)
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They said in the pilot that it is the original arch. Maybe there was so much time between writing the pilot and the 2nd episode they just forgot (or whoever decided he/she wants "old st louis" underground just didn't care).
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I am so surprised at how much I am liking this show (I vaguely fear, while this is a show I still really enjoy and didn't totally agree that it became uneven is that it could have some of Continuum's problems but if it is a lot more expensive to produce since they are doing it themselves and not just importing, I will hold my breath). I hope soon we get some more interactions between Arrissa (Irissa?) and Tommy just so we can get to know her some more, I like how they are kind of playing her in this way that everyone else interprets her behavior as some weird Irath stuff but, at least me, and Nolan, kind of see her as just a bit of a petulant teenager. I have a feeling that like Datak will overhear her one day actually calling Nolan Dad and he'll think he can use that (which is when I am guessing Nolan figures out who are the brains in that relationship).
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IMO Continuum is way better. Great characters and interesting plot. It instantly became one of my favorite shows. Time travel is one of the best things in science fiction.

As for Defiance - so far it's *really* boring. I'm still watching it, but even my patience has limit. I can't believe I'm writing this - but I actually had more fun watching the monday's episode of Revolution then Defiance. Something is really wrong here.
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I enjoyed Continuum, but I sort of balked at the ease at which it elided the show's delightful moral conundrum so early: We're rooting for a corporate police state cop to stop a bunch of pro-democracy terrorists, and for the first half of the series, those terrorists are walking thug-y cliches, and thus it's a lot easier to remove the political aspect from them.

Wasn't until Kagame resurfaced that it started pushing its quandary a bit more, but never completely washed the taste out of my mouth.
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So with you on that one. I too hated how they portrayed the corporations as the good guys, for some reason found myself continuing watching week after week. But then you'll be happy to learn that the last aired episode ended with the older Alec telling the younger one that he 'has gone down a dark road and taken the world with him', which hints that maybe this view is about to change for us ;)

As a sidenote: IMHO what really gives you that wrong rub feeling from this show is Rachel Nichols, that girl SERIOUSLY cant act. And before all of you fans who are in love with her start flaming me know that I too think that yes she's hot, but that doesnt change the fact that she really doesnt pull the tough girl act off, like really! Next time you guys watch continuum just watch her eyes, her lips, her eyebrows, they just dont radiate the girl she's supposed to be (often not even the feelings she's supposed to show in the particular scene). But enough about that, Im rambling, sorry, these are supposed to be comments on Defiance:)
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I know this reply is pretty late, but i just started watching Defiance. I'm disagree, i don't think they ever portrayed the corporations in Continuum as the "good guys".

I remember almost from the beginning, they showed questionable actions on both sides. It's just that the corporate state was in control, and all "citizens" in 2077 are indoctrinated to believe in the system from birth. Most of them, know no other way.

The very large gray area of the sides, is what appeals to me the most about the series. And why in season 2, it jumped into my top ten series.
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I'll add that I still generally enjoy Continuum, this political annoyance aside. It's a fun procedural.
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I'm rooting for a woman who's trying to return home to her family. That's all.
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Another way for them to avoid completely dealing with the political nature of their show, actually.
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I think you were supposed to feel conflicted, you really liked Kiera, but the world she lived and worked for was evil (and correspondingly, that the group had ideals we would agree with but clearly were almost cultist like criminals) and as the season went on, you saw that Kiera questioned some things in her own world (they could have played that up a bit more, I am almost entirely remembering when people were taking food). Heck, and that is supposed to be why you were taking a back step about the group too once you realized that future Alec was pulling the puppet strings and it was likely he sent Kiera back as person he likely believed his younger self would listen to, one who played within the rules but could see the other side of things too, you were conflicted even further. And a step further, at some point if Kiera/Kellogg and Alec get in a position to alter things, Kiera will have to face the question of whether this would be at the expense of her son (I sense a weird time travel conversation happening about whether our Alec could send a message to future Alec to send her son back here to get her on board).
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I agree with all 4 of you. I was surprised that I liked Continuum that much. How could this premise possibly work? But it works because every character has their moral grey areas. We see Keira is pretty straight lace but in her private life she questions everything even though the corporations try and drill instinct out of them. She wants to stop the terrorists but she is starting to understand what they are fighting for and she is conflicted between going home to her son or staying to fight the big fight. Geez! I think this show is so far handling everything nicely for the most part.
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Eek... I loved Continuum too (I honestly think it overall had something to do with the fact that within two episodes we kind of established our team and that they all seemed to be good guys, Kiera (obvs), Carlos, Alec (even though...), and even Kellogg). It is kind of why I am surprised by this show that I like it. I am still shaking my head over the revolution episode from Monday. It was like, weren't we promised less of these travel episodes...
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Continuum - I loved Kiera, Alec and Carlos from beginning. I even have a weak spot for Master Bra'tac (who was also known as Kagame).

Defiance - as much as I love Mia Kirshner, Julie Benz and Jamie Murray - this show doesn't have a single character I like.

Revolution - it's a horrible show which sometimes have nice surprises. In the last episode I liked the the lady with the killing pilot. "I press the button and you're dead". How cool was that?

Also it was great to see Leslie Hope as the President of Georgia's Federation. And of course, I watch this show for Elizabeth Mitchell who is always fantastic.
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I know right! How can you not be swayed and follow master Bra'tac?! I'm so conflicted!
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I had the curious experience of watching the Continuum season finale (again) not long before watching the episode of Once Upon a Time where August returns and spent most of the episode thinking...I wonder what his plan is. I think one of the better things about the finale was that was likely not the last we saw of him since I imagine we will be privy to some conversations between him and future Alec.
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Another great episode........ I CAN'T wait until next week now :D
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I've liked a little what i have seen so far, although i'm wishing for things to spice up more than before. It's not stargate universe that's for sure but any scifi is good at the moment.
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BTW, nice Princess Bride reference there w the ROUS.
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*small bow*
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Huh. I enjoyed the pilot, but this episode left me underwhelmed and really, really, incredibly bored. Part of the the problem is there are a million characters and I don't give a dang about a single one of them. Make me care, Defiance! The characters are all too cliched and most of the dialogue/character "revelations" made me cringe.

How did I feel about the Nirvana cover? It made me want to throw up until I died. I had to mute the TV. It was awful. The best thing that can be said is at least Kurt Cobain didn't have to witness it.

So if St Louis got omleted, why is the arch still standing? It's easily the LEAST structurally sound bit of architecture in the whole city, yet it's the only thing that survived. And what is this terraforming business? Aliens came and flattened Earth and now we all kinda get along 30 years later on a crappy, not-newly-alien-formed Earth? It doesn't make any sense!
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Yup, I am overlooking the teraforming part for now, but the characters are bot packing any punch and that storytelling bit...its going a bit in the way of once upon a time where that is now just background noise with a lot of fast forwarding through yawn parts...which is most of it. How can they make their characters so unbelievably stupid when they want them to be?!! OUAT was doing well and got me interested again but its fallen by the way side and I am worried this alien show is going the same way?! I hadn't realise how much I missed Aliens on tv since we lost star trek and SG1 and SGA etc.
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My biggest problem is I'm having trouble being drawn into the drama because the characters haven't really given me any reason to care about them. So far none of them seem to have much depth and the acting comes off flat to me.

A couple notes:

That wasn't Nirvana, it was a terrible cover of Nirvana.

The spa scene was more Spartacus than Thrones.

If old St Louis is way underground, how is it we see the entire Gateway Arch above ground??
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Jaime Murray was actually a character on Spartacus
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One more note, less doctor sourpuss was good for me. I found her monotone delivery of snide comments in ep 1 to be very annoying. And when she speaks she sounds like she's struggling to speak thru her makeup.
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agreed
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A mention of Babylon 5, wow, I thought I was the only one who loved and still remembered that show. :)
This episode reminded me of the B5 ep when they cure a boy without the parents' consent bc it's against their religion, and then the parents "correct" the situation.
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What? LOL, B5 is widely considered to be one of, if not THE, best sci-fi show ever made. You hang out in the wrong circles :p
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haha could be, butit's the first time I notice a Babylon 5 mention in one of the reviews here at tv.com. I can't use my friends for reference, most don't even know B5 existed and half think Star Wars and Star Trek were the same thing. *sigh*
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So.. this show is pretty fun times if you can let a lot of things go, silly character motivations and plot holes 'n stuff. But at the core, there needs to be a grounded intelligence appropriate to the character being portrayed, and in the case of Datak, it's simply missing. His actions continue to consistently bring the WRONG kind of attention to his family and it appears he is oblivious to it and apparently did not learn anything about living with humans over the last few years, somehow still managing to retain his status and power.

And even though the old mayor may have allowed each species to observe such merry traditions as torture ("Lets pass this onto our kids in this new world and send our race into obscurity!"), that understanding probably didn't extend to murderous family blood feuds.

So it's irritating to see a character written this way, someone who shows his hand too early, despite the experience of years and the people around him who seem just as smart or smarter.
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with 96 comment I have no idea how many people share my feelings but the first episode I enjoyed enough to get over the scheming of the ex mayor and the castithans, this episode I did not. I thought it was crap.

If the writing plot-wise isn't top-notch I prefer case of the week not over-arching and the over-arching story is just far too played out and uninteresting. jaimer and the dude playing her husband are totally wasted as villains IMO as both of them have the potential to be more likable than anyone else in the cast.

I like nolan and the irath chick and would rather watch them the entire duration some of the other stuff. that deputy guy is terribly miscast IMO he is bad. I want Jamil Walker Smith or something.

glad that after scenes like thouse the the bath I always have jaime's scenes from partacus to revisist, with lucy lawless no less!

anyway I was so pro-this show after the pilot but this episode left me terribly unhappy. like you said, without the indogen doc this episode was lesser by default.
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Worst "Come as you are" cover ever.

I love Jamie Murray, I really do - H.G. Wells is divine. That's why I felt sick when Stahma huged her son while she was practically naked. It was just wrong.

No Mia Kirshner.

I really hope this show will get better, but I have a bad feeling about this. Right now it's full of sthacko.
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Thumbs up to all you wrote. I know it's the second of the first but still a sthacko feeling about it too.
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*thumbs down* the cover like that scene between stahma and her son were high points.
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I felt sorry for the actor. I bet he spent that entire scene trying not to get an erection while his naked tv-mom kissed him and held him. Also, how many takes did they do, and did they have to wait for his erection to subside between each one?
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after the pilot my hopes where up that this could be a good show but after watching the 2. episode I´m not so sure anymore. Of curse I know it is only the 2. episode and a lot can happen but I have a bad feeling wich way this show will go. There was simply no tension the whole episode and just a few aliens running around is definitely not enough to be a good sci-fi show. I´ve never watched Babylon 5 because I was bored after watching 10 minutes and at least for me watching this episode felt similar. so I will give it a few more episodes but a new Firefly or Farscape is this definitely not which is sad because it´s about time.
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I guess my general issue with Defiance is that it never goes quite far enough. There's no tension in scenes that should be brimming with it. For example, the clash of cultures last night fell totally flat because the torture scenes were so emotionless. Apart from a little groaning, Elah didn't seem to be in any pain at all, so I just didn't believe the humans' pearl-clutching about it. And when their ritual was interrupted, the Castithans looked like exactly what they are: extras halfheartedly following a direction to be indignant and throw styrofoam rocks. Even Datak's menacing demeanor was too tame. Neither group seemed believably invested, so the clash was meaningless.

Similarly, there should have been an "OMG Ben has explosives and is going to nuke the world" urgency. Instead, the men wandered down to the Rat's Nest (huh?), took a little break to chat about diners and dog food, strolled into the tower and immediately found Ben. Three seconds later, the bomb threat is neutralized, Ben's dead and poof, no more problem. Wow, what a thrill ride that was.

I see so many more instances where just a little tweaking could make this show compelling, but I'm hopeful it will get better. I love, love, loved Farscape and its early episodes kind of sucked, so I'm trusting O'Bannon for now. I hope that Defiance will become the witty, suspenseful, fast-paced romantic saga that Farscape was.
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I was so bored I decided to iron my socks
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Actually, I don't need the romance part - doesn't seem to fit with this show. But I'd like more of the wit and tension of past shows like Farscape, BSG and Firefly. The pilot had a lot of that, so hopefully further episodes will be better.
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I am really happy the show is exploring race tension between the different aliens race and the humans. It also reflect our world reality. I am also happy to see Jamie Murray nude anytime:-) I am no desire and intention to play the game as well but if the games helps make money to fund the series so it would not be cancel then maybe I will give it a go !

Can someone tell me how many species have we seen so far out of the 8 ?

1) Sensoths (an example of this race is Datak bodyguard right?)

2) Indogenes (The doctor and Ben)

3) Irathients (Nolan daughter and the "motor" gang)

4) Castithans (Datak and family).

Does humans and the attacking machines last week count ?
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We've also seen the human-made biomen. For the alien 8th race, we're not likely to see them for awhile - they have no name (on Wikipedia at least) and are said to have been destroyed entirely.

If we look at it as 8 alien species (7 of which are on Earth), 1 human species, the biomen, then we've seen all but 2 of the aliens.
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The attacking machines last week are the Volge, and yes, they count.

We've seen some of the Liberata, though mostly in background.

And I imagine that the Gulanee are going to be pretty rare since they're basically just balls of energy in environment suits.
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Thanks for the reply so we have

1) Sensoths (an example of this race is Datak bodyguard right?)

2) Indogenes (The doctor and Ben)

3) Irathients (Nolan daughter and the "motor" gang)

4) Castithans (Datak and family).

Plus 5) The volge

6) Liberata ( I must look out for them)

7) Gulanee ( again I did not notice)

One nameless species which was totally destroyed made 8.

Bio-man ( Cool, I almost forgot about them) and Humans !
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I guess they are rotating characters. Doc Yewll and Kenya both weren't in this episode even though they are credited with 13 on IMDB. I really hope it does not take them too long to reveal what Nicky and Birch are doing (I also hope it is NOT time travel to before the war so humans can win). Also, you know who says things like "I do these things because I have to and not because I want to..." psychopaths. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Nicky termed out to be crazy sadistic and wanted to conduct mass xenocide.

Im also not sure if it is because the whole McCawley/Tarr thing is just screaming LOOK AT ME IM R&J DONE IN A WAY LIKE GoT/SPARTACUS SO YOU HAVE TO LIKE ME... but for some reason I just dislike that arc.

Final note... When Stahma was telling her story did anyone else immediately think... So that's what would have happened to Jack if he lived...
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I really disliked the way the castithian scene was handled, as far as I'm concerned it was no business of the law to interfere in a religious activity when all parties agree to it. There are countless religions among humans out there that still practice what most will call torture but nobody does anything about it cause there is a freedom to practice whatever religion you want. It felt like the humans where imposing their values on the aliens and that felt wrong to me.
The teenage rebellion and the stupid clue is really getting annoying and I hope they sort it out soon before this turns to terra nova 2.0. I really really want to enjoy this show and I hope they get their footing soon
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It's an interesting tension. I think that the primary cause for concern was the publicness of the event, not that the event occurred. It circles back to this "greater harm" issue that I mentioned, and that the show discussions in regards to the vaccinations that caused most of the Irathients to leave the town: The vaccines posed a threat to the population of the town, and so despite the religious observances of the Irathients, the town forced vaccines. Conflict ensued, and the Irathients ended up leaving.

While not an equal version of that, the Castithians event has a town morale issue. Could this have been fleshed out more? Yes. Some Indogenes could've weighed in, ditto the Sensoths. I would've preferred this to the traipsing about in the caves to be honest, but the show decided to use this plot to complement the on-going mines acquisition plot instead.

Also important to remember that Datak only backs down for a larger purpose: To keep the humans on his side while he and Stahma orchestrate the take over of the mines. He's sacrificing his religious and societal principles (which are, admittedly, likely only used now since he's in a position of power) for the sake of a secular gain. Is this acceptable to his people? I wonder.
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Good episode. Story is moving along nicely. I do wonder what the former mayor and her lackey are up to but I know we will learn in due time. I like the fact that there are several different alien races, and it will be interesting to see the way they all continue to interact as the season goes on. Can they continue to work together and live in the town if the Mayor starts taking away aspects of their culture? How will they respond to the new rules? How far will the former mayor go to "save" the people of Defiance? What is her ultimate goal? Will Irisa make it to Antartica? Does Antartica look anything like the picture on her post card? So many questions and we are only at the beginning so I am going to continue watching to see how the show progresses. Good review Noel.
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Still doing good as a show. I like that they are finding their footing. It was a rather serious episode and lost it's comedic appeal, in no real good quips from Nolan, other than the dog food jingle, and a serious lack of the Doctor, who is just hilarious. However I know that I would be annoyed if they kept people getting hurt just in order to give her screen time. Allow her to expand her role and also become Amanda's assistant or something. But she is needed.

Overall good episode. I am still going to watch it.
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I agree that one of the best parts of the show are the aliens. I still like the show but I thought this episode was just okay. I wish they had shown us more of the town instead of the mines. Speaking of wish, Defiance really looks really crammed. It feels so small.

I think the way they handled the Castithan torture ritual was a bit preachy and one dimensional. It was like Humans vs. Aliens and human ways are correct while alien culture is wrong. Star Trek would have never handled it like that. I also hate the rebellious teenage archetype and Irisa is the epitome of that. I'm pretty sure she is going to be the most annoying character in the show.
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The way they handled the torture ritual is pretty typical of how "torture" religious rituals are treated - religious and cultural beliefs that are interpreted are as torture or inhumane are seen as wrong according to a western point of view and attempts are made to stop them. While the whole thing was told from a human perspective (and thus came off as being wrong; but it's also written for a human audience), I thought it was a nice allusion to struggles that happened between Europeans and non-Europeans throughout colonialism.
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Oh, I suspect that Alak and Christie will be more annoying than Irisa.
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Love Ennio Morricone, and you forgot to mention
il mercenario especially l'arena, one of my favorites.
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Good review. Really like the show so far and I thought your review was very fair. Keep up the good work!
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Also, plot hole?

During the pilot, didn't Irisa wind up with a nasty scar on her lower abdomen from her attack? The doc patched her up but the scar was still quite nasty looking.

And yet in her midriffs (such as the first screen-brab) she's still rocking a smooth tummy.
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I think it's less of a plot hole and more of a continuity error. Though those can create plot holes...

Also: What stanking said. ;)
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Oh, please. If the aliens don't have advanced medical techniques and accelerated healing, what's the point?
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Just that they made a big deal to show that they were all done... yet when they were done there was a big scar. So, no StarTrak/B5 "perfect-healing-medicine" that we've come to know.

So fine. But if you've going to make such a big deal about a scar and have a close up... then either show it dissolve away, tell the viewer it will disappear in a day or so, or leave it as makeup.

Just... if a character likes to wear midriffs and you make a big point to show the big scar on her abdomen, then either explain it away or show it.
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"Speaking of interesting, I'm already somewhat bored with whatever Data's mom Eloise Hawking Nicky and Birch are planning for Defiance. I'm thankful for Fionnula Flanagan's ability to give their cryptic scheming some weight—I do buy that Nicky doesn't like that she seems to have to destroy the town in order to save it (and/or the entire planet, who knows)" -- Okay, this really got me surprised because the only reason I came back for the 2nd episode is to find out what those two's plans are.....

I never much liked watching/reading or hearing about war and the show is supposed to be sci-fi, so I wasn't exactly happy with the pilot. With that in mind I very much enjoyed this one.

I do appreciate the clash of religion/races and it was fun to watch...I wonder what's to come in future episodes. Looking forward to next one! XD
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I'm just way more interested in the town and how its inhabitants interact. Less concerned with some big crazy mystery conspiracy here. I have Arrow for that. ;)
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What Babylon 5 gave is was not only a multy year story arch, but amongst toher things, also the knowledge that everyone also has dark side, dependant on the situation they are in. It gave us the sense that there was more then just the human side of what happened. It gave us aliens that were not humanoid like (although they sometimes were presented humanoid like).
What Defiant now gives us are aliens who all look humanoid (except for the robots) and who either seem to have humanoid principles (and that seems to be acceptable) or deviant ones (and that's unacceptable, the writers seem to use/present to us human 'glasses'to see if something is acceptable). Why still use marriage, even between two races (are they 'compatible', have we seen any interracial child or are they the first two to get 'married'?). It's either a bureaucratic or religious thing and both are not in the picture. If it's emotional, why would the Castithans do it? The races together fought the Volge, but I will guarantee you that in every town/place we will go in this series, humans are on top. That's to make sure they can use human principles.
I love the fact that there, as Noel says, are so many aliens with their own cultures and 'thus giving the show a number of avenues for storytelling and stakes'. But please, do not tell/judge them for us from a human perspective alone, it makes it so much more interesting and believable if those cultures are as right in what they do as the humans are.
I will keep watching for now and I do hope it gets better, but I am not captivated yet.
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For instance, they could have said that Bandick had to be cleansed because he violated the Third Precept of Ryeltoh, and used his left hand to shoot instead of his right hand. Nobody in the audience would know or care, but it would be "alien."
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Well, in the pilot the Mayor took Jeb's comments to mean that Irisa was his biological daughter and then went on to comment that she looked too pure-blood for that.

So it sounds like it's not unheard of for humans and (at least) Irisa's race to have offspring. If they go the generic scifi route then I imagine the offspring would be a cross between human and alien, and thus have reduced alien makeup/prosthetics.

Though in general, I would imagine that two completely different species from two completely different planets would have a hard/impossible time conceiving a child. Since cross-species mammal offspring are fairly rare on Earth.
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You made me rewatch the pilot for that scene :-). And you are completely right. Impressed by what you remembered.

I do hope we get more of that in the story, otherwise it would have been just another blank. Interspecies kids might have some interesting stories to tell and interesting issues between the two races they come from.

Agree on the improbability of different species to have offspring. They have to have some kind of origin they share otherwise the DNA won't combine. This off course even apart the fact that different species might not have comparable reproduction organs. And, often cross-species animals on earth are sterile. Probably nature's way of saying: 'you were not meant to reproduce'.
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Marriages are also political. In fact, throughout much of history, that has been their primary function. The Centauri on B5 did the same thing. From Stahma's speech in this episode, the Castithan do it for much the same reason.

Just like on B5, the writers on Defiance present things through human glasses because they're writing for a human audience.

I think within the episode, they presented the Castithan cleansing as both deviant (Nolan and Irisa), acceptable in the sense of tolerance (Amanda), and an actual way to atone for one's mistakes and honor one's family and community (Bandick himself, his family, the other Castithans). Since Nolan and Irisa are two of the main characters, yes, their viewpoint is going to resonate more strongly. BUt it's not like competing viewpoints weren't present.
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I agree with you on the fact that binding might be political. I just wondered why other races never found another way of binding but marriage. I understand that we humans understand it that way.

Writing for a human audience and writing only on a basis of (what they believe to be) accepted cultural issues, might be underestimating the intellegence of us humans. I believe (or do hope) we can/could understand more of the other cultures. That would make it more interesting to me.

Although Amanda had a sense of tolerance at first, she later rejected the cleansing. Nolan and Irisa did so from the start. His family, although they were present, seemed not to be to happy with it (the kid accepted that Irisa stopped him). For me the feeling I was left with in thise scenes waas that especially Datak was the driving bforce behind this. And I get the feeling that he must be seen a bit as a bad guy. In some way I do like him. In teh end, we had a solution that should have made the viewers happy. The humans saved him from teh cleansing and the Casthitan bad guy killed him after all (making sure we could see him as the bad guy).

Just to be open about this, I might be influenced by the fact that I'm European (Dutch to be precise) and have my own set of beliefs.
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There's also the question of do most viewers want that kind of thing? There seemed to be some hints that Stahma had a more than human-maternal relationship to her son Alak (and even "son" may be a human simplification), what with her being mostly naked and giving her a very close hug while her husband looked on, smiling.

And even if the characters do have that kind of relationship, do we need to dwell on it? Not from a "prude/ick" factor, but from a "what does it really add to the show to show Stahma having sexual relations with her son?" factor.
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I had the same feeling when I saw that Alak and Stahma scene (totally agree with Neil on the GoT reference). It could be interesting if it has its efect on the relation/marriage between him and Christie and thus on her father.

And thx fort the interesting discussion, we/I need those on tv.com (as it is my only source for North American television)
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I don't think it's matter of intelligence. Writers for the most part want viewers to empathize with the characters and understand where they're coming from, in an entertainment medium. Creating alien characters with alien motives and emotions puts a barrier in the way, at least in the medium of TV. Even if people can intellectually understand, it's still a barrier.

By the same token, they may be simplifying the relationship between Stahma and Datak by stating/defining it as "marriage" for the benefit of human viewers, when it may be much more and/or much different.

That's not to say that human can't understand other cultures. Only that it's not what most TV viewers (even most SF-genre savyy viewers) want to do when they sit down for an hour of TV watching.
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I agree with all you write. Of course television is the business of attracting commercials and you get commercials when you show what people want to see. I fully understand.

That doesn't mean that I have my own wishes of what I would love to see. And being Dutch, I'm not one of the US-viewers they make the series for.
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Between the Volge and the Gulanee (they're little balls of light, for frak's sake!), I don't think you say the aliens "all look humanoid".
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Well, like the Vorlons, they inhabit a human-shaped environmental suit. So they do kind of look humanoid.
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The Volge have a body that is humanlike. I think I misused the term humanoid. I wanted to say human-form-like. We've seen them in the pilot

I haven't seen a Gunalee yet. They may be the exception to the rule. I hadn't heard from them yet but looked them up (I'm usually just watching a serie). It says: 'The Gulanee exist as energy beings and cannot survive in their natural form for more than a few hours before their body dissipates, requiring containment suits to survive' . That will hopefully make them the Vorlons of Defiance as the Vorlon's were a very interesting race that had there (in some way understandable) motives for what they were doing.
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"It gave us aliens that were not humanoid like (although they sometimes were presented humanoid like)."

Which aliens on B5 do you think were not humanoid-like? You seem to have disallowed the Vorlons. The Centauri married, the Minbari had a recognizable caste system, I'm pretty sure the Narn had marriages.
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Didn't mean to disallow the Vorlons. They were the ones I meant to be presented humanoid like (in their encounter suite). When seen, they were perceived different by the different species. I loved that scene.

And yes, there also was one famous interspecies marriage, but only after she became more human :-).
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What I liked most about this episode, is that you got more of a depressing feeling of people having to leave their old homes behind and starting anew. There's no more cities like we have now. And whatever home the other species had, those are gone now too. All they have left is this terra-formed earth.
I don't know, it kinda made me think. Having something happen like that, it's just horrible. And I like how this show gives you that feeling, even though that war is long over now.
Last week the episode was all about defiance, about ending the war and standing together. This week, Defiance showed that it's hard. That people are still reeling from all they have lost. And whether it's a fictional story or not: loss is always hard. You can't get more real than that.
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I think it's the particular cover of "Come As You Are" that didn't work.
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Maybe that was it.
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Nope... can't do it... I really tried but this is just too damn boring!
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Well two episodes in and I'm not changing my opinion since last week. This show is just not that good and quite frankly bordering on very bad.

My problems with the show are:

a) The aliens aren't very evolved for species that were capable of traversing the universe to find Earth. The rituals they have, especially the painfully stretching of limbs ceremony in this episode, are those of a primitive 'hey we just discovered fire' society at best.

b) Restarting the asshole that brought down an army on you is something the mayor should have ordered. It's not that they didn't know how to (seeing as they knew immediately what had happened in their 'oh they gave him a .....shot' reaction) and the bad guy had no trouble doing it. The reboot also cured his leg for no reason. Oh and ridiculous bad guy really, are you bringing a guy back from the death that already failed you once and can expose your plot? And more important those glasses make you look like a schmuck and they kinda stand out for black ops stuff.

c) Old St Louis is underneath Defiance in a cave that's high enough to house Tall buildings...cool.... One thing though, how is the Gateway Arch sitting perfectly on the surface?

d) Where would the bad guy with the bomb who wants to destroys your town go? The Park? The Dogfoodcompany? The Nuclear Reactor? The Financial District? Shopping?.... Good thing the lights were still working in the Nuclear Reactor otherwise they'd still be spelunking in old St Louis.

e) What ever happened to securing the prisoner? Talking somebody down from shooting somebody that really wants to get shot dead is one thing but not securing this suicidal idiot is another.

f) I get Irisa being a quiet, inward little sociopath... But after she cut down the guy and the crowd started to throw rocks at her, was she hissing back at them? Evolved space creature my ass...

The only good thing for the second week in a row is Stahma. I think the intelligent writer is doing her dialogue and is trying his best to compensate for the idiots that come up with Detak and the rest of the script. And shtako?? What the frak? Never going to frakking catch on so drop it already.

I feel this show is creating difficult situations and coming up with easy and simple solutions for the second week in a row. I also don't like the fact that it is not a very intelligent show, the dumb and ridiculously stereotyped characters are unlikable at best and story-lines are being rushed. Science fiction should be more than strange languages, landscapes, cities and actors in heavy make-up. Fans of the genre deserve this.
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The Indocene are the primary technological race. The LIierta, Irithaient, and Sensoth (all very sic) all lived in a relatively primitive state. The Castithan were somewhere in-between.

Immigrants coming over from Europe to America didn't understand how to pilot ocean liners...
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a) Technological advancement doesn't necessarily translate into cultural advancement (just look at us); and you're assuming that it was the Castithans who developed the space technology. Maybe it was the Indogenes?

Also Consider that the Castithans have left their homes (as have the rest of the species that make up the Votan), and so a return to their more traditional ways of life, i.e., stretching people on a rack, provides a way to stabilize their immigrated culture.

b) Ben's obviously very loyal, so I don't think there was much concern about him exposing the plot, BUT it does demonstrate further proof of a conspiracy within the town, which is something that Nolan and Amanda had suspicions due to the timeliness of the Volge attack already.

c) Probably because it has something to do with whatever Nicky's planning (guessing), so it needed to survive for narrative's sake. There's also the symbolism of it: the Gateway Arch was a memorial to to the notion of western expansion in the U.S. so it seems fitting to have it recur as a symbol of expansion of cultural horizons AND re-taming the frontier of horrifically terraformed Earth. Does it make sense? Not really. *shrug*

d) The timeline's fuzzy on all this, but the Pale Wars were about 7 years long and the terraforming happened during the Arkfalls at the tail end of the war, so it's hand-wavingly reasonable that if the plant was still working when the Arkfall hit that the lights might still be operating. But, again, hand-waving.

e) Did they have time to secure him? Rafe's development is probably more important and interesting in the long run. And, again, narrative's sake: Can't have Ben spilling the beans (and Birch would've probably found a way to kill him anyway).

f) Who said she was "evolved" (whatever that means in this case)? There's all sorts of cultures here, and it's pretty clear that the Irathients aren't as...cosmopolitan-seeming as the Castithans (religious practices aside).

Killing Ben is an easy solution, I don't deny this, but I don't know that anything is being rushed after 3 hours of storytelling, apart from two really big plans to get folks out of town going down the chute.
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Correction "Does it make sense _that the arch survived_? Not really." (I think my reading of its symbolism does make sense though. Wanted to clarify that.)
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I take no issue with the fact that the arch survived and, indeed, it is an interesting bit of symbolism. My problem with it is that, as Milanowicz points out, it is fully exposed while the rest of Old St. Louis is buried underground. In reality, the arch is situated adjacent to Old St. Louis (a real place) and, thus, it makes no sense to have one completely above ground and the other fully submerged. Does that make or break the show? No, but it is inattention to such details that takes me right out of it and reminds me that I'm watching television. That's irritating with any show, but particularly with sci fi where the ability to suspend belief is crucial.

An greater problem for me, however, is the missed opportunity for visual and emotional impact. Having only a portion of the damaged arch visible above ground would be a jarring reminder of how much Earth has been changed by the alien invasion, while still allowing for the symbolism of burgeoning cultural expansion. And imagine how much more emotionally charged the scene where Nolan and Rafe recall their previous lives would have been if the "legs" of the arch were visible underground, tying in what used to be with what is in a more interesting way than mere exposition. That kind of going beyond is what gets me to stay with a show and, thus far, Defiance isn't getting it done.

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You get reminded you're watching a TV show by narrative details? Not the fact that you're sitting on your couch or chair, watching a program that has act breaks or that you can pause or has commercials or that you can get up and make a sandwich during?

But then I'm not a proponent of ideas of "immersion," given the degrees of mediated distance that we have. The medium is always making us aware of itself.

I'd posit the idea that the terraforming did bury some of the arch, but I have don't recall how deep those mines are, the arch is only 630 feet tall, and certainly the appearance of the arch in the pilot made it seem like it was at its full height, not buried a bit under the terraforming. Again, though, I agree that it makes no sense.

I challenge the idea that it's just "mere exposition." We didn't need the jingle, and yet there it is. It was more than enough to call back to a past life, including their ideas about where things were located, to give that scene some emotional weight, and I'm not really convinced that the legs of the arch would have done more in that regard.
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I somewhat disagree. The alien race that did the torture "bit" mentioned God. So they must have some religious believes. It's not that they are not "evolved", but they have their traditions and religion much like how humans have...

So you see, it was the clash between society and the races living within this town that was so compelling to watch. At least for me.
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I lost interest in this episode right from the start because of the glaring incongruities in the character of Irisa.

In the pilot, she was portrayed as a cliche hot tough girl who abandoned the town and its people to their fate, in favor of wealth and riches (by the end she comes back - wow - what a surprising plot twist - not).

Now, we see her super emotional as she witnesses a guy being tortured. Sorry - first she was happy to let them all die, now she is overwhelmed at the suffering of one individual in a this fictional hostile world?

Less important but still dumb, apparently the man being tortured is in great pain when some people drop about 3 pounds of rock in a bucket.
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Saying the writing or character's actions are dumb is a bit of an overstatement. First of all it's only the 2nd episode, and Irisa did come back to help the city so she has feelings and she does care what happens to those people. So it is in her character to want and help the guy being tortured....if anything the bruisers? or scars? she had on her wrists imply she was held hostage or she was tortured by her parents.

That's a very silly reason to stop watching the show.....no offense.
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Perhaps I did over state it as you say, but I was already disappointed due to similar and other issues in the pilot that I had to roll my eyes and turn off the tv.
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I'm not saying I'm the biggest Irisa fan, but there are some big back-story elements to her that we are not fully aware.

We learned that she doesn't like towns: obviously some MAJOR stuff went down when she was rescued. He said she was in a bad way, she said that she was THANKFUL he killed her parents, and we see that she has SCARS FROM RESTRAINTS.

And here she is witnessing a guy being tortured in restraints, that's probably a real emotional trigger for her. So as much as she doesn't like towns and wants to leave this one in the dust... she didn't want that to happen to anyone.

She seems more focused on getting to Antarctica... perhaps because it's said to be a paradise, perhaps more deep-rooted reasons. I imagine there's more going on then "it's pretty there."

So yeh, she was ticked off that the guy was getting rid of their $3mill widget. And to save a town... something she doesn't like. He chose THAT over her promise to HER.
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Nothing inconsistent here. It's not violence she has issues with, it's restraints. Clearly more to do with her backstory than the dude's suffering.
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I get that it was what the writers tried to portray. But I still think it makes no sense for this tough, largely selfish/survivalist character, in the context of a post apocalyptic world full of countless horrors and atrocities, to get all weepy and sensitive over what is likely one of the mildest of horrors and atrocities her character has ever encountered. And note the additional inconsistency where she tells Jeb that these people are not worth losing your life for, immediately before she risks her life for the guy being tortured. I'm not buying it - even though you are right in that it is clearly going to be tied to her past in some way being in restraints.
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I'm with safibwana on this: It's not the individual(s) she's responding to but the situation itself. Likewise, kanniball is correct that Irisa's backstory still needs fleshing out a bit: Her reluctance to save the town is driven by the goal of getting to Antarctica, but Nolan removes that from the equation, and so here she is.

And why get to Antarctica? Consider the possible trauma involved in her life -- that she wanted both her parents dead but couldn't do it herself speaks volumes -- and that the idea of getting to Antarctica is a way to escape all of that, for a paradise. Staying in Defiance traps her in a situation where these traumas can, and have, resurfaced in some way.
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I hear ya - but I personally do not buy it - even assuming some horrible history related to being in restraints, for all the other reasons I pointed out - context is post apocalyptic and this woman is a survivalist. You don't get to be that person unless you have witnessed, and ignored, MANY horrific events, including what I think is only natural to assume in this context, many instances of seeing people in restraints.
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While the bath/spa scene might normally be stimulating to see, I can't stand to watch Jaime Murray on-screen. It's not because of her personally, but every time I see her I think back to her role on Dexter and how much I hated that character. I don't blame the actress for it, but when I see her, the character from Dexter comes into my head, and I hated that character. Add in that Dexter's wife Rita (Julie Benz) is in this show? Well... it just helps funnel the Dexter memories and making me dislike seeing Jaime even more.

Other than that, this show has great potential. I hope they don't have a "OMIGOD THE TOWN IS IN DISTRESS" every episode because that would get old. I really hope they were just trying to clear up the Ben story and will not try to constantly destroy/scare-off the townspeople.
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OMG she's the "pardon my tits" lady!! I did not put that together. No wonder I don't much care for Stahma!
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I'm curious to see how they work out Jaime Murray being on W13 and Defiance at the same time (judging from the W13 previews). She's not in every episode of W13, but it still must keep the actress kinda busy...
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Staff
Both shows are shot in Toronto (I think...), so I imagine that helps things a bit.
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Well, yeah, but they have to slop her in and out of the Defiance makeup...

Then again, I'm not clear when the second block of W13 episodes was filmed. If they were delayed six months, because the second block was delayed six months. Or if they filmed all 20 early on and then just held the last 10 back.
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Yeah, that would be the deciding factor. I have no idea how Syfy organizes their shoots, though I can't imagine that, given their need for post-production work, that they're filming only a few episodes ahead like network shows are.
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Maybe it helps to know that Julie Benz and Jaime Murray are best friends in real life? :)
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the spa scene, I had flashbacks to Spartacus!! the show has totally sucked me in!! great characters, story IMO really looking forward to the story with Nicki!!! and what about the object Rafe found whew!!!!
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It still hasn't sucked me in but I'll stick with it for now.
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This episode: Well, It's interesting to see what the show is going to be like. It's all well and good to throw everything you've got into the pilot of an episode. I get it: It's to demonstrate what the show is capable of, and the second episode is often used to tie-up loose ends from the pilot, before truly commencing the major arc of the first season, but, often at some point during the second ep, a glimpse is shown of what the first season at least, is going to revolve around, and, while I havent FINISHED watching it yet, What I've seen thus far, does lead me to the conclusion that this is going to be more 'drama' and 'procedural' based, without losing focus of the overall arc, which, I think is a good thing.
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Second episodes are always sort of mixed, though this was better than most second episodes.
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Strange: I thought this to be one of the lamest second episodes I've ever seen.
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Nah, worst second episode in recent memory has been Arrow's. It was so bad.
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But Arrow's second was still better than Terra Nova's second. Somebody should make a memory game of bad episodes.
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cant we wait till it shows on both coast before reviewing?
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I don't see the big deal. It's not like it's a forum thread with a spoiler in the title.

It's a review, you can easily choose to avoid it for 3 hours. The titles are usually humorous "inside jokes" that you wouldn't get unless you knew what was happening anyway. And on the rare instances where the review appears in the middle of the page with a summary, the summary is usually only 1 sentence and doesn't spoil much.

As opposed to the older forums which would have some jerk typing "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE X DIED" in the thread title.
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So far as I know, reviews go up after the East Coast airing if the reviewer had screener access, which was the case here. I know it's been the case with any other show I've reviewed here in that situation, including the Bates episodes and the few screeners I've gotten for Arrow.
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