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Defiance: "Painted From Memory" (S02E09)


This will be fairly brief as I am tired (too many livestreams and too much MSNBC last night), but I really liked a lot of "Painted From Memory" until the big plan behind it was revealed and I let out a loud, sad groan.

Like with last season's big Indogene replicant episode, this one had a very nice singular focus on a single plot, and it remains amazing to me how much Defiance shifts gears when it isn't juggling serialized and more stand alone plots in a single episode. The show slows down. There's less of a rush to the episode, and moments get chances to breathe. You get that heartbreaking, impeccably acted scene between Amanda and Stahma (Jaime Murray isn't going to get any major award recognition for her work on Defiance this season, and that is so very wrong), something I feel like this episode would've had regardless but it landed so much better because there wasn't any clutter around it.

That the Kenya Nolan and Amanda rescued last week turned out to be a replicant wasn't all that surprising over the course of the episode and after seeing her fuzzy sense of things from inside a tank. (Yewll and Pottinger having vague, conspiratorial conversations was also a sizable clue.) That the show was re-visiting this particular plot device didn't bother since it resulted in so much good stuff, from Amanda getting closure to Stahma freaking the hell out while digging in a field of flowers. It was all very compelling stuff, and tied up that lingering tension very nicely.

What was not compelling, or even in the vicinity of good, was the reason for the Indogene replicant. That it was because Pottinger wanted to further manipulate Amanda and get closer to getting into her pants didn't undo anything, but it made me frustrated that it was a petty and sort of a narratively limp reason for it. This is what he sprang Yewll out of jail for? This? I'm okay with pathetic characters but it dulled a previously strong antagonist for Defiance. Someone convince I'm wrong about this?

One other thing that came about from the Kenya plot was the return of Quentin McCawley (almost unrecognizable to me). He was the masked man who was holding Kenya last week. Not sure, exactly, what's going on here, but I'm mildly intrigued to see where that particular thread is going to lead us.

What did you think of this week's episode?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/28/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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