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Defiance "Bottom of the World" and "Doll Parts" (S02E10 and S02E11)

I’m sorry, wait, what?

I was rather excited about Defiance after its first two episodes of this season, but the show steadily declined, hitting a sizable wall last week and has now just stopped moving altogether. Which is a weird thing to say as it seems to move onto its big climax...but good grief, does anyone actually care about the rising of the Kaziri and what Nolan calls the Votan Rapture?

I started this season giving the Irisa/Irzu stuff a bit of a long leash because it was at least grounded in Irisa trying to figure out what was happening to her and her struggles to, at the very least, minimize “Irzu”’s control. There was a personal stake in all the mysterious nonsense the show kept dropping, picking back up, and dropping again that could keep it somewhat afloat. However, Defiance has opted to drop most of that and turn Irisa into a nanotech puppet (“Irzu” can make guns heavier and short circuit electrical equipment but Irisa has to break her thumbs to get out of handcuffs? OKAY.) who doesn’t have much remorse for anything, and delivers a long speech about Nolan ruined her, turned her into a killing machine.

It’s a credit to Leonidas and Bowler that that scene isn’t a complete wash, and while it may be reflective how Irisa or Nolan (or both) may feel about one another in the insecure parts of their psyches, it also positioned Irisa as an Earth surrogate, another thing ruined by the humans, and served more as a way to connect it back to the Votan Rapture notion more than an actual conflict between Irisa and Nolan. Again: The personal has been subsumed by this plot, and it’s incredibly dull.

The Tarrs and the McCawleys continued to be horrible and violent families, and the odd shagginess that has taken over the show is at the forefront here, again. Rafe taking the fall for Quentin’s assassination plot for the visiting Tennety is exactly the sort of thing that Rafe does, and while it finally got Linda Hamilton onto the show, it feels very much too little too late for this big of a development, especially with only two episodes left. Also: What happened to Rafe and Datak teaming up to stir up a rebellion against the E-Rep? That seemed to collapse, especially after the show decided to contain Pottinger in a “I just want to get together with Amanda” box, and not a “I’m an ambitious jerk who is going to drive Defiance into the ground.” grand plan. The E-Rep threat that was so promising at the start of the season now feels as dangerous as a soggy paper bag.

Finally, Christie killed Deidre (I refuse to call her Treasure Box Doll, because, eugh) after the latter tried to poison the former, and Christies’ descent/ascent (take your pick) into becoming as Casti woman appears complete enough that Alak is now thoroughly frightened by his young wife. It’s a rather nice rehabilitation that both of these characters have gone through, but the decision to rehabilitate them when there are, frankly, better storylines (Defiance rebellion) and characters (Stahma and Datak, both wonderful as the argued about who could’ve killed Deidre (I LOVED STAHMA LIGHTBULB MOMENT)) on which to focus.

I find myself in the same position that I found myself with Defiance last season: This is a show that could be pretty damn good, but makes weird choices that undermine a lot of its potential. I actually think I may dislike the show more now than I did last season because it showed signs of improving only to cut itself off at the legs as it enters its season finale.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/28/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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