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Syfy (ended 2015)

Defiance S01E12 "Everything Is Broken"

It seems only fitting that Defiance, a show that has alternately frustrated and pleased me on an episode-by-episode basis, managed to distill that experience in its Season 1 finale. On one hand, I'm rather excited by the narrative possibilities of the ERep control of Defiance and an insurgency to win back the town. On the other, I was less than thrilled about pretty much everything else that happened in the episode. 

This probably says more about my overall opinion of the show than anything else. On the whole, "Everything is Broken" was probably a lot more satisfying to those who are more engaged in Defiance than I am. Though I think we can all agree, that the Golden Pretzel/Kelavar (its real name!) and Kaziri (the glowy orb in the chasm) plot was a waste.


Actually, I feel bad saying "waste," since it implies a lack of value. Through that story arc, we learned about Irisa, the Irathient culture, and the species' struggles to assimilate into the post-Pale Wars Earth. There's value in that, as it was tied to a character, so it made the stakes personal and still provided a sense of Defiance's story world, thus giving it a macro impact.

But I can't help but feel like the whole thing was built up, narratively, so as to provide the episode with a way to undo the major and show-changing death of Nolan via magic, while still carrying through with the less show-changing, more predictable sacrifice/apparent death of Irisa. I only suggest this because it doesn't seem like anything horrible happened as a result of Irisa jumping into the Kaziri, apart from her becoming Irzu's "weapon," whatever that may mean as the show goes forward. So the whole plot seemed built to cancel out Nolan's death, such that the finale could have the "shocking twist" of a finale without having to actually deal with said twist.


I'm griping about lost potential, I admit, as Nolan's death would've altered the face of Defiance in a way that Irisa's simply won't. Without Nolan, the series would have to find a new way to anchor itself, and the notion of Irisa or Tommy being that anchor would have opened up a whole new wealth of possibilities, especially in light of the ERep's takeover of the town. And beyond those story options, Nolan's death would've had a larger impact on the show's ensemble. There'd be a recalibration of relationships and connections as characters struggled to deal without Nolan's presence in schemes and plots. Irisa's death affects Nolan most of all, then Tommy, and then maybe Yewll for her role in the situation. It's a much smaller pebble in the larger pond that is the show, but I do hope Defiance does right by Nolan's grief next season.


I also felt this sense of "missed character moments" in the Tarr plots, but it was less of an issue for me because at least they didn't involve hand-waving a death, and were constructed on a much stronger arc than what the Golden Pretzel had.

It turns out that we were all—again!—suckered by Stahma's behavior and honeyed words, and that Datak was unaware of her use of Kenya, both sexually and politically. So it's entirely possible, and even likely, that Staham does care about Kenya, but fears the wrath that Datak, according to Castithan tradition, is allowed to bring down upon her. When the chance for the assassination plot came up, though, it was Stahma acting on her own to shore up support for her husband, and not the a plan hatched by the power couple together off screen, as I had assumed. This all resulted in the disappearing or killing of Kenya at Stahma's hands, with a cleverly poisoned flask.

Datak had his own problems, though, as Colonel Marsh moved much quicker to assume control of Defiance, and with the full intention of leaving the newly elected mayor as probably little more than a figurehead. Watching Datak's head grow heavy while wearing the puppet crown would've made for some wonderful moments next season—I'm picturing Battlestar Galactica and President Baltar-levels of ineptitude—but Marsh's death cut all that short, as I imagine that whomever assumes control of Defiance isn't going to let Marsh's death slide.

The pleasure in all of this isn't from watching both of the Tarrs scramble, however—though there is some of that. Instead, it's the realization that, when they're not working together as a unified force, they're severely weakened. Stahma provides a check on Datak's pride and impulsiveness, and Datak's patriarchal power keeps Stahma from overreaching. Forgetting both these things led to their undoing, and it's been the highlight of the show to watch all of their machinations come crashing down around them in a very entertaining but meaningful way. 

Datak's wistful "I miss home" was probably the best sentence to sum up the season. "Home" is safe, warm, and you know the nooks and crannies so as to not be afraid. On their own, the Castithan way of doing things doesn't run afoul of the human way of doing things, and the Irathient way of living doesn't buckle under the Indogene way of living. Once they're tossed all together, though, like they are in Defiance, you get this hodgepodge of new rules and cultural mores that leave things in question and produce new factors that cannot be properly anticipated. 

Defiance's first season has been tentative about exploring these ideas more fully, favoring action and spectacle—which the show does well enough—over nuanced explorations of what is, essentially, an immigration story with sci-fi and Western trappings. I don't expect that to change in Season 2, but I hope that "I miss home" echoes in the minds of the producers and the writers as a mantra of sorts to keep a steady, if not more thought-provoking, course.



LAWKEEPER FILES

– Do you think the casting log for Jonah was essentially "Must immediately call to mind a Nazi SS officer when dressed in all black and lots of straps"?

– Still no motivation as to why Yewll decided to blast the Golden Pretzel with energy last week, beyond "The show really needed it to happen, and so it did."

– "If you're lying, I will scalp that golf-ball head of yours and wear it for a hat." "What's a golf ball?"

– "It's survivable." "So is castration."

– We were spared a closing montage cover song! There was much rejoicing.

– Best episodes of the season: "Down in the Ground Where Dead Men Go," "Brothers in Arms," "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," and "The Bride Wore Black."


What'd you think of "Everything is Broken" and the season as a whole?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/28/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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Hey lets cancel Stargate Universe, Atlantis, Caprica and slow down Being Human. Lets put more ghost hunters, wrsetling and even worse this garbage show. I couldn't even make it past the 4th episode it was so horrible. There's a whole planet and they are stuck in a town.
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This show has now turned from a SCI-FI into a magic show :-) I am betting Irisa did not die ! This is not Game of Thrones so they do not killed off major character so even after Nolan "died", I already knew he would be resurrected.

Now I am only hoping they did not kill of Kenya which is one of my fav character. I am quite disappointed with the series. I had high hopes. The fact that I only watched it one week after the finale aired says a lot.

I am not sure if I will be back for season 2.
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Is anyone else as creeped out as me when Stahma kisses her son? Her whole body language and the way she looks at him, ewwwwwww :-(
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After picking up a little over the last few episodes, most of this episode felt like a step back down. I'll probably be back next year anyway though because I have trouble letting go =P And I keep reminding myself of Season 1s of TNG, DS9, Fringe...occasionally sci-fi shows like BSG and Lost hit the ground running but I think there's often a ramp up.

Here's my collection of random musings. Yewll's gasps over having her jars broken were really...awkward. They felt less like "I'm threatened" and more like "hey, that was expensive!"

Tommy: "You guys have no jurisdiction here!" You idiot. Do they look like people that care about jurisdiction? What was his plan, solo the whole platoon with harsh words?

I instantly had an irrational hatred of that Black Jonah guy. I can't take him seriously, he's not even remotely threatening. Let's break this dialogue down: "Doctor, allow me to properly introduce myself", (nice Bond villain intro) "I'm Special Consultant Jonah Keller," (don't think "special consultant" has the ring they were going for, but all right), "informally known as Black Jonah" (1. that's ridiculous 2. no genuinely scary person eagerly coins their own nickname), "Perhaps you've heard of me?" (lazy cliche). Also I don't like his hair =) Okay, that sounds douchey, more importantly he uses phrases like "come out, come out wherever you are, sweet pea". Sweet pea!?

ERep dude: "I miss horses, they had such dignity" Thanks for that. It's almost poetic but it was so randomly placed, I had to laugh.

Nolan doing the ole thigh necksnap on the guard was one of his cooler moments. It's east to forget he has a military background, was good to see it in action.

I am so happy Datak won, but I have mixed feelings about the events after that. Initially I loved the fact that he stabbed that ERep general, it said a lot about how unstable he is, about how without Stahma's guidance he's incapable of thinking more than one day in advance (and seemed very in character, that general was being quite silly really. Dude, you're insulting your crazy, unstable puppet mayor...alone.). But then that removed the potential for a season with Datak actually acting as mayor, it would seem. Aw. But then it means we get a "resistance" season, which could be fantastic. Hmm, not sure what to feel, but I'll take it!

I really liked the Kenya/Stahma scene in the woods. Was nicely shot for one, and Kenya is really growing on me as a character, Stahma is awesome as always. And her singing lightly to her freshly poisoned love interest really was creepy. Maybe she'll start calling herself Black Stahma.

The whole Nolan and Irisa ending. Urgh. First of all, there's nothing I hate more than characters being resurrected. Second, Irisa being told "you must become my weapon" is supremely vague. I get that cliffhangers are based on a degree of "what will happen next?" but I have no idea what the stakes are so I'm not sure if she made a huge sacrifice or not (and I'm not sure Irisa knew either). Sidenote: I am quite curious about her god having a presence though, that's interesting.

Anyway, this sounds a little negative when laid end on end. I pick things apart generally, and I'm probably more critical of things I like. I think if I didn't like Defiance in some way, I wouldn't bother at all =P Onboard for next season, for better or worse.
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I'm betting that the E-Rep woman that kept popping up this season is going to be the one pulling the strings in Defiance next season. (for as long as the E-Rep holds power)
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Defiance is one of those shows that I don't like any of the characters or the story, or anything, but still watch it. I did not like the finale mainly because I don't like this super weapon Irisa story. But it wasn't up to par with the pilot which had a overproduced battle. Speaking of which, what happened to the volge? Aren't they the big baddies of the show?

They are trying to make Sthama into some calculating Cersei-like villain but to me, she is just so annoying. I can't believe she is the same person who plays the lovable HG Wells from Warehouse 13.

They keep saying that the Earth reps are evil but they haven't even showed us how things are in other towns. And what about the Voltan collective? I think the biggest mistake of the show is sticking the story in one measly town. If they want to really show this expansive universe of defiance, they better bring the show to other places.
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I hear what you're screamin.. but here's one thing you may not be considering. Defiance is the first show to also integrate a video game where the world is supposed to be persistent... So really the story is taking place in two major areas... When Renn talks about the things she has heard about Nolan out west, its from her story arcs in the Defiance game... I agree the characters are hard to like and I truly believe the writers need to think about that nest season... its like in Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr is talking to Ben Stiller about his role as "Simple Jack"... Downey called it going "Full retard" (its in the movie don't hate on me) He said you should never do it because you will never win an Oscar that way... He compared it to Forrest Gump, Rainman, etc... Well, I think they are missing a key component of truly great sci fi is that the alien races that are depicted almost always reflect back some aspect or trait of humanity or attempt to make objective observations from their cultural perspective about humanity and in that way it defines who they are as a character as well as giving the audience some admirable or lovable trait to connect to. Take Klingons, for instance, you understand they are a martial society that has a rigid code of honor and values dying in battle. The fact that they will allow their honor to even transcend their general dislike for humans or romulans helps the audience understand them. I enjoy the show Defiance, I enjoy the MMo Defiance, but I fear if they do not find a way to make at least one of these alien races likeable then this show is not going to be the crazy cult hit that even far-scape managed. I believe they are being true to the idea that the aliens are really alien and don't think like us so they act in their own way but like I said... they really need to make the audience care about what happens... When Datak won the election I wasn't upset or sad I thought to myself "Hmmm this will be interesting" It annoyed me that they seemed to have killed off Kenya, I liked the love interest story of the lawkeeper being into the hooker... I guess if I had a plea for the writers of the show it would be to spring for the cash and consult with a Ron Moore or some other established loved sci fi writer to see how to integrate likability into the aliens.. I mean hell I felt bad for Boomer in BSG and she ws a fracking cylon...
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We're all assuming neither Kenya nor Irisa are really dead, but what about Black Jonah? Chest shot. I'm sure there's body armour under all that black leather. With Col. Blimp (or Marsh, or whatever) dead and Datak neutered, we'll need a despicable figurehead for the facist Earth Republic evil enough to challenge Irisa the ship/god.

And BTW, if I were Irathian (?) I think I'd be a bit disappointed to discover that God was actually a snotty little kid.
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I really loved the season finale! But so many thing were left unfinished .... and a year to wait, that is torture! I wasn't sure I would like this tv series at first but it really did grow on me. Good 1st season :)
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I love the series. It reflects society today. There is both hope and no hope. I love the microcosms in Defiance. I love Nolan and Irisa and the hope they represent for the future of Earth. I'm looking forward to the second season. I wish I didn't have to wait a year.
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I really disliked the episode, specially Nolan's death. Coming back from it makes death cheaper. I was also hoping Datak showed a little more restrain.
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Defiance was strong from beginning to end the finale was awesome I'm not convinced that Kenya is dead, I agree with @Llostris Irisa is the heart she will be back
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Sorry, I like this show! Love toe soundtrack! Falling Skies is the one that sucks!
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"Everything is Broken"...this describes the entire show and season. What a mess!
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One more thing....Hell Bugs? Seriously? All the backstories that could/should have been explored, and the best they could write were giant bugs ???
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1. Stahma - you will burn in alien hell! You killed both Stenya and Kenya! (assuming she's really dead) How could you?!

2. Irisa is Defiance's heart. Without her there is no show. So I really hope she's alive.

3. Sukar - good to see you again! Welcome back, man!

4. Datak - did you really think that alien hating, totalitarian Earth Republic will work with you? You're an idiot! You deserve to die.

Defiance started as a weak and boring show. Now it's one of my favorite series. I can't wait for season 2.

Thanks for season 1 reviews, Noel!

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You're welcome! I've no idea what Season 2 holds for us, re: reviews, but it is a ways off, still, too.
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It has been a season full of very lows, lows and below averages. To say there was one good episode is slightly overstating the fact there was one not so horrible episode.

I have the feeling I've been watching a 12 episode trailer of something. Characters have not been developed, the Defiance community is still a mystery, alien races and their traits are still a question and storylines are sloppy, underdeveloped and have no continuation.

It's a mystery how this show got a second season and Alphas did not get a third. I'm talking to you SyFy!!

My biggest problems with the season final
- Stahma is a scared housewife after all instead of a scheming mastermind. One of the most interesting characters got destroyed by doing that.

- Datak won the election, the guy pulled a knife in almost every episode. Also Datak's honor or whatever would have driven him over the edge if he had lost, so much more interesting television.

- The Irisa silver and gold pretzel sandwich didn't have any depth to it. Usually when a main character becomes a destroyer of all things alien and not so alien it's a really big thing played out over several seasons, with a well developed character.

- Earth Republic douches... What a stereotypical bunch of incompetent morons. Tell me everything and my ss buddy will intimidate you by throwing glass stuff on the floor.

-Kenya died and nobody cares. Well maybe on the show, but I don't think there was one person watching that went "oh nooooo's not Kenya". Another big moment screwed up by under developing a character. Would have been better if she at least shot Stahma while dying.

- Tommy walking into a Irith camp held hostage by ER douchebags and simply walking up to them and reprimanding them. Another piece of crap writing just to get Tommy in danger and motivating Irisa to give herself up.

- Nolan died! Yeah how GoT of you Defiance... Oh wait, he's alive because Irisa the destroyer used her pretzel thingies and jumped from a cliff. What was destroyed with this action? What was her big choice? If your the destroyer shouldn't saving someone come with a pretty steep price?

- Earth Republic roller-rolling into Defiance and taking things over. It's that simple? Yes off course it's that simple if you have a big ass army and you want to take over a town. Why all the cloak and dagger stuff all year long if you can simply occupy Defiance?

ps. I think I figured out what Irisa destroyed. She destroyed Nolan's death and with that the chance of Defiance ever becoming a decent show..
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Id have taken a third season of 'Alphas' or a series out of the internet pilot for 'Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome' over this bomb. And in all respects it was a bomb which is why they aren't coming back until next June - they need to tinker with EVERYTHING. They canceled a great summer show with a completely jelling together cast in 'Alphas' and launched this 'great' video game/television show experiment which, because you never read about its success, must have failed miserably on both counts. The stories just fell completely flat and weren't engaging.

'Alphas' should have been renewed or at least given a chance to rap up like most cable networks do when they've given a show two seasons and 'Defiance' could have had the time to be made better before the garbage that aired made it to air. There is something there but these writers haven't found it at all.

The other new SyFy shows have huge problems as well be it 'Sinbad' and its awful special effects and paint by numbers scripts or the 'new and improved' 'Primeval' and its lack of one of the original's strongest assets, its heart. The only thing left on this network of worth, that isn't a Canadian broadcast first despite the fact its made there, is 'Haven'.
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RETURNS JUNE OF 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REALLY!!!!!!!!!
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Nolan's death was a shock, a literally pause button and the series shouldn't press that Play so soon, at least not before half of first episode of next season for it to be more valid, more exciting and more dramatic.
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Noel: I may have misread you, but I think you said Datak didn't know about Stahma and Kenya, when he very clearly did not too far into the episode -- Stahma did something sexually to Datak that Kenya had done to him before, so Datak put the pieces together after Kenya's snarky comment at the voting station and realized that his wife and the madam had been . . . consulting.

Stahma then killed Kenya to "make it up to" Datak, which she implies clearly at the end.

Agreed on the Golden Pretzel problem; I think they needed one more episode to properly prep that plot line, if that was the conclusion they wanted to give it for the season.

Overall I was pleased, though. I've enjoyed every episode. Some more than others, but I'm definitely more bullish on this show than you.
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He didn't know about them PRIOR to that moment, which is what I was meant. Might've clarified that, but, hey, clarified now.
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Thanks! I figured after posting that, if I *had* misread you, then that was what you meant.

Hopefully season 2 will be better for you. I'm just happy to have a "dropships and blasters" show back on the Syfy channel and doing well.
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Where did we get confirmation that the whole assassination-plot from the previous episode was Stahma acting solo?

Datak specifically arranged for his son to have someone have a paintball rifle in that balcony. I doubt his "master plan" was to have the Mayor shot with paintballs.
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It's inference. She knew Kenya would go to Amanda who would go to Nolan who would confront Datak who in turn would turn it to his advantage somehow. I don't think either of the Tarrs are stupid enough to actually assassinate Amanda, but wanted that ball to roll down the hill.
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I know they weren't going to assassinate her. I missed part of last night's finale so I might have missed something.

I'd just assumed that Datak arranged the whole fake-assination-tip + idiot-on-the-balcony from start to finish.

But I guess it makes sense since Stahma is shown to be very manipulative and pretty much an evil genius
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– "It's survivable." "So is castration."

Best TV exchange of the decade.
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I totally disagree with you on the Nolan death, Noel. This show couldn't survive the death of Nolan.

I think back to Game of Thrones, and killing of Ned Stark. Martin wanted to make sure that the readers/audience knew that in his world there were no rules, and no one is safe. And he was able to kill of his main character because there were so many other deep, complex characters to fill the vacuum and allow us to care just as much about them.

Defiance, on the other hand, has rarely, if at all, given us a reason to care about these characters. Nolan and Irisa have gotten plenty of time, and Amanda to a lesser extent. But outside of them, we haven't really been given much of an opportunity to develop relationships with anyone else. Killing Nolan would leave us with a show with no one left to root for. What's the point?
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Which, to my mind, would've made Defiance bolder than GoT in that it had decided to kill off its most...likeable/interesting character without having a back-up, as it were, and immediately ratcheted up my interest in the show. Maybe cheaply, but still, awfully gutsy to essentially what would've amounted to a reboot of sorts in a way.

In my brain, I was thinking Defiance would've shifted to a more ensemble approach, but who knows, even if it had Irisa at the center (And I think the character could've supported the show).

As for the "root for" aspect, eh? I mean, I'm not exactly looking for people to root for, though I suspect you mean that in a broader term, along the lines of characters that are likeability/interesting? "Rooting for" is a bit of a quagmire these days with the glut of monstrous anti-heroes that shows play with our identifications and sympathies with.
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Correct. I meant in terms of fascinating characters and wanting to know, for good or bad, what the next chapter of their story is.

Although, one of the things that great shows like The Sopranos, The Shield, and to a lesser extent Mad Men, does is make us root for despicable individuals. As bad as Tony or Vic Mackey or Don Draper are to the people around them, ultimately we care about them enough to want them to succeed. Or maybe that last part is just me.

To be perfectly frank though, I enjoy Defiance, but it just isn't written on the level of shows that are capable of pulling that off. I love Tony Curran, but I don't see them ever getting me to care about Datak, let alone root for him.
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Am I the only person watching this that actually wanted the EReps to get the keys and use it to call all the damn xeno-filth that killed a huge chunk of the human race and royally rodgered the Earth?
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Eh....

The background for the Votan arrival and the Pale Wars has been poorly fleshed out on the show (sadly, it's one of those It's All There In the Manual sort of situations), but the Arkfall event that resulted in Earth's transformation also resulted in the deaths of millions of Votan who were in hypersleep in orbit around Earth (it also ended the Pale Wars).

So the Votan did not, collectively it is assumed, cause the Earth-changing events. Some humans think it was an alien experiment gone horribly awry while the Votans think it was a rogue human commander who launched an attack. No one knows.

But your (apparent) xenophobia toward fictional species is duly noted.
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Yeah... the thing that gets me is that they actually had terraformers... so why did they need Earth -at all-... even if they assumed it was the nearest habitable planet and they didn't know we were here (they came via STL rather then FTL IIRC) and couldn't go elsewhere for whatever reason, the very fact they had terraformers makes what they did to Earth inexcusable.

Mars and Venus are right next door, both perfect candidates for terraforming. Sure it would have taken longer, but most of them were in cyro, so what's a few decades.

Hell -we- could Terraform Mars with the tech we've got *now*, oh it would take 90% of the planets GDP and 100 years, but the point still stands. So if we can do it, someone who can move tens of millions light years could do it.
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Oh, thanks for explaining that. I haven't bothered to look up all that information because I just haven't been that interested... but I do wonder about it while I'm watching the show sometimes. I just assumed the Earth's transformation was caused by some aliens wanting to remake the planet for themselves, like we'd terraform a planet to suit humans if we ever got off this rock.
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My pleasure. :) The Votans would have needed to do some terraforming to survive, but as it stands, the Arkfall resulted in an environment hostile to everyone.

And for a bit more context: The Votan were allowed to settle in South America (Brazil, I think) in small settlements, and were nearing an accord with the humans about more settlements when a human supremacist assassinated the Votan ambassador, and that kicked off the Pale Wars.
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Was anyone else confused by the ending?

So did Kenya really die? And what exactly happened to Irisa? I don't believe she died, did she? I mean I thought her and Nolan were the 2 major characters in the story?

Someone help me understand? lol
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The fates of Kenya, Yewll, and Irisa are unknown. I think that was the point. After Nolan's resurrection, I sincerely doubt any of them will be killed off.
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Ah, thank you. I was a bit thrown off by the reviewer saying Irisa is dead! < :(
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If she's not dead, I have to doubt she'll still be Irisa given Iruz's talk of being a weapon.
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When Nolan died, I thought, "Wow, this show has some giant balls." Five minutes later, I found out Defiance had been castrated. As Doc Yewll notes, it's survivable...but it's not much of a life.
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Favorite comment so far. <3
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I second that!
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I think the season as a whole was okay. It started off pretty good, then became a bit mediocre, then it improved a bit. What irritates me the most is that all the scenarios are rather contrived. Like, why on earth would Nolan allow himself to be captured along with Irisa, when remaining free would give him a better chance to save her? Why didn't he kill Jonah while he was standing there with a gun to Tommy's head? Jonah had just murdered that red shirt in cold blood. Nolan taking him out would have been totally justified. They didn't even use Jonah for anything important after that.

Sometimes while I'm watching I think "that would be great in a video game" and I realize that this show is written with the game in mind, instead of the other way around.
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Boy Noel, are you ever setup for a disappointment in season 2. Not only was Nolan (not surprisingly) resurrected, but neither Irisa nor Kenya are dead either. Admittedly though, if you can get past the slight of hand, that's probably not a bad thing since I don't think there's enough substance for this show to stand on it's own after losing two of it more engaging characters.

The same thing that brought Nolan back to life will keep Irisa alive and if I'm placing bets, Kenya was only drugged, not poisoned, and placed on a transport to parts unknown. There were always half truths in Stahma's words, and I do think she genuinely had feelings for Kenya, and for that reason, spared her life.

There's a reason summer shows air in the summer...they don't have the chops to compete against those in the fall. Defiance is a decent filler show, that's more than entertaining to warrant a renewal, but I don't ever expect for it delve into the depths of the human(oid) condition. Despite the music and makeup budgets...it's still summer fluff. Fun summer fluff, but fluff none the less.


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If you think the potential deaths and/or disappearances of a couple characters on this show are the only things between me and disappointment, you are way mistaken. ;)
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LOL. Disappointment is a relative term
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I really wanted to like this show since I'm a Jaime Murray fan but it's just not speaking to me. After a whole season, I really don't know what this energy (golden pretzel) is truly about. Except for bringing back Nolan. Of course season 2 will be about starting some revolution against the republic but characterizations and story lines aren't up to par for me.
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I scoffed at Nolan's death. "Yeah, right, like they're going to kill the main character off in season one. This isn't Game of Thrones." Plus with all the magic bullshit in Irisa's story I'm pretty sure they'll contrive a way to bring her back too. But Datak winning the election and then immediately becoming an E-Rep puppet was very satisfying, as was Stahma's perpetual scheming.

Bring on season two!

P.S. <3 Yewll
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I thought it was one of the best episodes, but I'm more partial to the mythology of the show, and less so to the boring politics. I do think that the pilot should have had a strong hint of the mythology to come, rather than wait till the last few episodes. I'm happy watching just coz its sci-fi, but a lot of my friends would / will give up after 2 or 3 episodes unless I say "the mythology gets better if you hang on". Glad it has season 2 :)
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I still don't feel like this show really earned its second season (in terms of quality) but maybe the writers will find a way to improve it next year.
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Well, that is the beauty of the American TV system: You earn your seasons not always on quality of the show but on the quantity (and sometimes the quality) of the audience.
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... and by quality of the audience you mean a cash-full and aquisitive demographic?
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Yes, of course.
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I laughed at your SS reference (not insensitively, of course) as it recalled a favorite bit from a very old episode of The Daily Show.

Long-time fans may remember that Frank DeCaro used to occasionally appear on the show to do these really funny movie reviews. When reviewing Starship Troopers,, he commented on how many of the officers resembled Nazis because of the outfits they wore. The one part of it that I always remembered and still laugh about to this day was him referring to the leather-overcoat-clad Neil Patrick Harris as -- wait for it -- Doogie Himmler.

We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.

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Not really interested in any ERep characters being on the screen ever, so that was lame. Nolan is a pretty boring protagonist, and I think even he'd agree that was not a death trade. Stahma and Kenya felt like one reversal too many and they both came out the weaker for it, as did Datak. My only hope is that next season turns into a season of Hogan's Heroes.
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I can always appreciate a Hogan's Heroes acknowledgment.
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I'm definitely giving it up now. I never liked it and I think I only watched through the first season because I'm a natural apologist and I felt loyalty to the science fiction genre but this was nothing more than a cheesy Western with outdated make up-job aliens, cliched and uninvolving characters, mostly uninspired acting and only the occasional hint of a better show.
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Defiance has jumped the shark! This episode was the final straw. I won't be watching when it unfortunately returns next season. Bringing Nolan magically back to life was horribly lame writing. Where do they find those guys? College 101 English classes?This show was a great concept dogged by terrible storytelling and business overreach in trying to include an online game.
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Personally, I have an extremely low opinion of this finale. When the show started I was very excited for it, and I thought the pilot was spot on and compelling. Still, I could never shake the feeling that the show just continued to take narrative missteps as the season progressed and really lost momentum.

In regards to the finale, to put it briefly, I found the characters of Nolan and Kenya Rosewater to be the most compelling (Kenya in part because of the unusual moral dissonance of the character). The fact that the writing staff chose those as the two characters to go after for potential deaths in the final episode just felt really shallow and emotionally manipulative. Nolan's death in particular just left me with the immediate thought that "You built your entire narrative around him, he's clearly not dead so this is a meaningless scene." What should have been the climax of the season fell so very flat.
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If you're expecting every show to have dramatic Game of Thrones deaths now, you'll be sorely disappointed. They aren't going to kill off the main character any time soon.

I absolutely agree with you about missed opportunities for future storylines, especially with Datak as Mayor. But I'm reminded that this isn't just a show. It's also a game tie-in, and as such, they are unfortunately slaves to two masters when it comes to the stories they tell and how they go about telling them.

You can't possibly know that the golden pretzel storyline was a wasted opportunity, as it's not concluded yet. There's far more to it than what we've seen so far. Irisa isn't just gone for good. We'll see more next year about the power it gave her to bring back Nolan and what it means to be "Destroyer Mother" or whatever she's supposed to be for Irzu, as well as the ancient and powerful ship beneath the mines.

This season started out okay, ran across a couple of terribly written shows in the middle, and then hit a great stride over the past few episodes. The season finale wasn't as strong as those few that came before, but mainly because it's purpose was to leave us with a setup for not just next season, but also the off-season of ongoing in-game activity. Looking forward to the new town dynamic and hoping that they don't wrap it up in a tidy bow in the first or second episode in order to go back to a happy little community under Mayor Rosewater featuring Nolan's case of the week.

More+
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The Game of Thrones comparison that you and @WillYouKindly have made strikes me as being a bit off base.

The death at the end of S1 of GoT, while surprising and shocking, didn't really rattle the show's perspective *too much* since, by that point, Jonn, Tyrion, Dany, arguably Arya were will-established anchor points for the show to continue onward at that point (and then it kept adding characters).

That death has reverberations across the GoT's narrative, yes, but it didn't leave audiences wanting a protagonist given the variety of other options available given the show's considerably wider scope, as Nolan's death would've resulted in for Defiance.
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I didn't compare Defiance to Game of Thrones. I scoffed at Nolan's death specifically because this show doesn't have the balls GoT has and I knew they would go back on it five minutes later. Lo and behold, I was right.

I really like the show, but trying to make us think they were killing off the main character without having the cojones to go through with it came off as kind of pathetic to me.

When Beyond Good & Evil and Uncharted 3 pulled the exact same move (albeit with support characters), I believed it (with actual crying in the case of BG&E) because it was actually credible. Defiance trying its hand at the fake death trope just made me roll my eyes.
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I read the "This isn't Game of Thrones" as an implicit comparison, but fair enough.
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Game tie-ins are fun ideas on paper, in practicality they suck - we're seeing *why* they suck right now.
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It was an all right episode for an all right season. It still is on that fence of being really good and mediocre. I feel that this ending to the season gives it a chance to be that good. Next season they have a chance with the incorporation of the new big bads to bring the town together and again give them something to fight for. Even when they fight amongst themselves.

I am not sure what they are going to do with the Tars and Amanda. It seems like a chance to really give Amanda something to raise her character up to a new level. Perhaps make her Nolan's partner for a couple episodes util Irisa gets back. Make Amanda stronger and a real rival for Datak. But with that means Kenya stays dead.

I am willing to give this show a couple more episodes next season to see if they fix what needs to be corrected.
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I had a hard time getting Farscape and it ended up being one of my favorite shows of all time. I'm sticking with Defiance because of the Farscape connection. The last few episodes hooked me much more than the beginning. Like Farscape, Defiance seems to be peeling back the layers of the onion. I have faith that the story arc will be as illuminated and compelling.
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Farscape was/is so far beyond Defiance it isnt even in the same ballpark.....

My bet is the show will be cancelled before even finishing its 2cd season.....
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OMG NOLAN IS INDESTRUCTIBLE!!!!!!!
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Great show. Why a year to continue? Are you trying to lose viewers?
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A year between seasons seems to have be somewhat standard for basic cable series.
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i hope they make it a summer show, its better than most of the stuff thats on right now - and that includes Falling Skies
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I had higher hopes for this show... and for the first half of the season I was really getting into it. But after the downward spiral of the last three or so episodes I don't know if I'll hang around. I wanted a fun sci fi show... not a dark sci fi show. I've had enough dark TV to last me quite a few years.

Might DVR and marathon the first few eppies of the next season, but as of now I probably won't be watching this show long term.
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This is no Farscape. That's for sure.
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i see the earth republic taking the city, jugement and condenation of Datak (or his wife who accuse herself for the murder), a revolt, kenya possible return, arisa return with temporary powers, black jonas survival and be the representative of earth republic, the others states republic making deals to help eviting the earth republic ...
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Now that the season is over, can someone tell me if the show is worth watching? (I only watched the first 15 minutes of Episode 1.)
Is it good Syfy? Is it good compared to other Syfy? Is it good compared to other dramas (all genres).

What would you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10?
(Fringe being an 7.5, BSG being a 9.5)

Any recommendations for recent Syfy?
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FRINGE A 7.5?!!! I don't know if I can give you a number for Defiance with your sci-fi scaling system being so flawed...

Ah, what the hell, I'd give it a 5.0.

(Other, more correct, and slightly biased rankings)

Fringe - 9.5
BSG - 9.0
Continuum - 9.0 (loving this show!)
Oprhan Black - 9.0
Under the Dome - 5.5 (blah)
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Continuum and Orphan Black are definitely the best SciFi shows out there atm. Both Fringe and BSG are classics somewhere in the TV SciFi Top 5 but I wouldn't decide which was better since they both had genious as well as weak moments. But I think a 9.0-9.5 for both shows is legit.
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BSG falls to an 8 with the inclusion of the final season. 9+ season 1-3 though.

Orphan Black..not as head over heels as most seem to be, it might be that I fear it'll go over the top. Does that make me a pessimist? :o
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Well... I'd give BSG 9.0 and Fringe 8.5.

Now, if you really like Science Fiction, may I be so bold as to suggest you read some good books instead?

I will even recommend you some... in no particular order:

- The Uplift Trilogy books, by David Brin
- The Mars Trilogy books, by Kim Stanley Robinson
- The Xenogenesis trilogy, by Octavia E. Butler

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Seconded on all those series recommendations, especially anything by Kim Stanley Robinson, he's brilliant.
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I am pretty sure I am allowed to have an opinion about a T.V. show without being "flawed"

How ridiculous is that...

For what it's worth, I do realize I am hard on Fringe (an 8.5 would be more fair) but for me the show didn't meet my expectations and I only recently watched S5 so its all still fresh for me.
On my scale, I give Continuum an 8-8.5. I don't think the supporting cast is as good as Fringe but the vision behind the show is not only brilliant, but it's culturally relevant. In that sense, I'm probably enjoying Continuum as much as I enjoyed the first two seasons of Fringe.

Looks like maybe I should give Orphan Black a try.
We all unique perspectives and opinions so personal attacks detract from the community.

And no, nothing I have watched compares to BSG.
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Definitely try Orphan Black before Defiance.
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He must have been using red universe scaling to get numbers as flawed as those!
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Ha! Yeah, he/she probably thinks Mantis is cooler than Batman, too.
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If you spell sci-fi as Syfy (capital letter and all), you've let the network win. Please don't let that happen.
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Well, I guess if it's important to you...
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On that scale I couldn't give it any more than a 5.
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I concur. +/- 0.5
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Agreed.
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I gave up about 4 episodes in. Boring.
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It's a good show. Never really watched much of battlestar galactica. Never could get into it. I would've given Fringe a 9. This show would get an 8.
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I think you summed it up pretty good, and I enjoyed it. As with most things some parts were better than others and I'm sticking around for the long haul. My favorite part is still Jackson and sometimes I rewatch just that scene...
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