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Syfy (ended 2015)

Defiance S02E12 and S02E13: "All Things Must Pass" and "I Almost Prayed"

As the first half of Defiance's two-episode finale, "All Things Must Pass," drew to a close, it dawned on me that if the hour we'd just seen was all character goodness—and it most certainly was—then the second half, "I Almost Prayed," was going to be monopolized by Votan mythology nonsense... and it largely was. With this pair of very differently focused episodes, Defiance wrapped up its second season with a perfect encapsulation of its best and worst tendencies.

Defiance is likely of two minds regarding what kind of show it thinks it is, and that was clear in both "All Things Must Pass" and "I Almost Prayed." That the series actually delivered on elements like the Tarrs' slow reconciliation and actually attempted a payoff on the tensions between Tommy and Nolan demonstrates that, when it wants to, Defiance can be a strong, character-driven show that makes the most of its actors' talents, and also that they can step up and make the most of their material, even if they aren't as well-developed as they should be (looking at you, Tommy). In fact, that's the version of the show that I prefer: Human and Votan in conflict with one another because of culture and personality, not because of some spaceship that crashed sometime in 800 B.C.

But then Defiance also thinks it's a space opera—or that it's expected to be a space opera due to network requirements and branding and whatnot—with all kinds of convoluted mythology. The show didn't exactly excel on that front in Season 1, and Season 2 kept the bad times rolling, especially toward the end once the Kaziri's Arkbrain had managed to turn Irisa into its puppet. The personal stakes and responsibilities—saving Irisa, feeling guilt for killing Tommy—were pushed aside because a terraforming sphere of purple doom needed to be stopped... and then delayed until a potential third season. The Kaziri plot was never going to end in a way that satisfied or interested me as I'd pretty much given up on it, and as a result, "I Almost Prayed" was something of a slog.


These split impulses have caused Defiance to grapple with its identity, and the show often makes lousy choices when refining its focus. The E-Rep was set up as a major threat, a potential rallying point for the series's more disparate elements, including Rafe and Datak teaming up to form a rebellion. That idea withered and died on the vine. Pottinger as an ambitious E-Rep ladder-climber and antagonist for everyone else (remember when he managed to threaten and blackmail even Stahma? What happened to that Pottinger?) was scuttled in favor of Pottinger as a creeper who would do just about anything to make Amanda love him, including making an Indogene replicant of Kenya or offering Amanda the chance to kill the Tarrs as retribution for killing Kenya. Christie's struggle to make sense of Castithan society and her eventual murder of Diedre—a.k.a. Treasure Doll—was an odd detour from everything else, made even odder since Christie and Alak, for all the show's attempts to rehabilitate its characters this season, are still the weakest links, even if Alak was many times more interesting this season than he ever was in Season 1.

The issue here is that they didn't have to be the weakest links, and the E-Rep presence in Defiance didn't have to suddenly become a non-issue for its residents. All of these storylines are ripe with potential for plot and character serialization, with plenty of dramatic conflict to go around. Except, there was no time to go further with them because of the Kaziri and the Votan Rapture hogging all the oxygen. It's like when all those Lost clones hit broadcast TV in mid-2000s: The copycats believed that Lost's big mysteries were the key to the show's popularity and success, and not, as was actually the case, the way its expansive and diverse cast of characters interacted with those big mysteries. They prioritized plot over character, and thus missed the point. Defiance managed to get it right and to get it wrong, on both a series-level and an episode-level.


So if the big two-seasons-long plot was something of a waste—and I truly do not care about the Kaziri nonsense—what DID work? Well, the Tarrs, most obviously. I've been raving about Stahma all season, and while I felt that Datak seemed a bit adrift after Stahma kicked him out of the house, their reconciliation still completely worked. They do love each other, in their own marvelously twisted ways, and Jaime Murray and Tony Curran just relish playing this power couple. Their bickering and sniping as they were chained together in the silo was the perfect way for them to continue to fight for dominance and clear the air (Amanda pointing a gun at Stahma also helped, of course). And their united front in going after Pilar with Rafe in tow is pretty much the only thing I'm even remotely interested in should Season 3 become a reality.


Since I brought her up, let's talk about Pilar and the McCawleys. First: Defiance is damned lucky it landed Linda Hamilton for Pilar, because considering the limited amount of screentime that Hamilton had and what little we as an audience knew about the character, the show needed an actor capable of coming in and establishing Pilar as a person who'd lived in the town but had been gone for more than a decade, and Hamilton nailed it. That scene between Hamilton and Graham Greene while Rafe was at Camp Reverie in "All Things Must Pass" was dramatic gold, and really conveyed how much of a raw nerve Pilar is for Rafe even after everything that's happened. It was easily the best work Greene's done all season, but to be fair, it was also the first time the writers really asked him to dig deep, so he was probably ready to almost-but-not-quite cry for an entire scene.

Second: While I love that the Tarrs and Rafe are chasing after Pilar, I'm already feeling hesitant about whatever it is that Pilar and Quentin have planned for Christie, Alak, and the unborn baby. It's thankfully not as overly epic-seeming as the Kaziri stuff, so I'm hopeful, and the idea that it's somehow related to the Votan Collective also has me intrigued, but I'm skittish about Defiance's big mysteries at this point—a sentiment that I feel is totally justified. If anyone can make it work, however, it'll be those four actors and characters.


I've already voiced my disappointment over the way that Pottinger's character generally collapsed, but I'll add Amanda ending up in a relationship with Pottinger to my list of "Huh. Wait. How?" developments, because I'm not sure I really buy it, or even understand it. Pottinger has provided Amanda with drugs; implanted her with an E.G.O. device to retrieve Kenya-related memories for the Kenya Indogene replicate who would then die, leaving Amanda so distraught that she'd fall into Pottinger's arms; and given her the opportunity to actually kill the Tarrs for killing Kenya... these are just very unhealthy Valentines, Amanda. 

It's a very bizarre courtship, and I can't grasp Amanda's willingness to participate beyond her being so lonely and broken in the wake of Kenya's death that any man who's so dogged in his affection toward her seems like a viable option, even if the signs of that affection are all pretty horrible. I'm happy for emotionally complex characters, and certainly that sort of a situation would speak to a woman who's a severe state of emotional crisis, but I'm not convinced that any of that has been dramatized well enough. Amanda is tough as nails and generally pretty shrewd; how would she not see any of what Pottinger did as a dealbreaker?


Where Defiance goes after this finale, I do not know. The E-Rep is likely in disarray, and while I wish I cared about the destruction of New York or the probable shattering of the E-Rep, I just can't. Again, despite having a prime opportunity to do so, the show didn't make any moves to give us a sense of the E-Rep beyond it being a military organization that had some vague interest in Defiance. Pottinger and Mercado never worked as representatives of that organization, with Mercado mostly just existing to give us a way into that humans-dressed-as-Votans club to further the Christie stuff along. So I guess this makes Defiance the new E-Rep capital... provided there's enough of it go around?

While I'm sure Nolan and Irisa won't be trapped in that little pod forever, I sort of wish they would just stay put. At this point, the only people who'd be concerned about them would be Amanda and maybe Berlin and maybe maybe Yewll, so it's difficult to justify having folks dig them out of the ruins of St. Louis beyond Mordecai being all, "There's a bunch of folks in pods down there, maybe we should do something?" But then, he doesn't seem like the type.

Of course, it could just be that Defiance has outgrown Nolan and Irisa. They were originally our gateway to Defiance, and now that the Kaziri plot has concluded and the show has filled out its ranks with other characters, does it need either or both of them to continue? Amanda proved herself to be a pretty decent Lawkeeper last week, so if the show is determined to keep its standalone plots (and it really shouldn't be), it'd be easy enough to shift Amanda into that role. It might even shake things up in interesting ways. 

I don't expect it to happen. But I hope that, if Defiance is renewed for Season 3, it'll go smaller rather than larger and keep the focus on its characters instead of on alien spaceship conspiracies.


What did you think of the finale and Season 2 as a whole?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/28/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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Pottinger provided the drugs because Amanda asked him, to. She was a very willing parter there, nothing was forced on her. And she doesn't know he was behind the EGO/clone. So she's hardly likely to hold these things against him.
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One off the wall scenario could be having Irisa and Nolan emerge from the pod, 100+ years later, & have them enter an entirely new and different terraformed world, with a completely reset cast and series direction....
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One of the pivotal characters in the series is the Doc. She's got a wicked bad sense of humor, is capable of poking fun at herself and others, and in the two-part finale was able to reveal more of herself that made her a much more sympathetic person. I'm definitely hoping for a third season. I think season two was head and shoulders above season one, but it's also going to be hard to follow. I'm thinking Nolan and Irisa will find their way out of the stasis pods. Linda Hamilton's nutsy character has a lot to offer, but I'm really disappointed that Madame Mayor let herself be sucked in by the Mayor. So...Like it a lot, and would like to see what they can come up with for Season 3.
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Pottinger is Single White Female and Fatal Attraction all in one. Good. Lord. Why?

The Rosewater women are hella naive to have survived so long in this new world. I can't with their collective shit.

I love Nolan and Irisa, so hopefully they come back soonish, but perhaps AFTER Amanda has removed Pottinger's balls and banished him to under the stairs. I don't want anymore love triangle BS in a world where everyone seems to have embraced bisexuality, polyamory, and damn near nymphomania. Also, I could do without the will they/won't they of Amanda/Nolan. IDGAF. I really do not. Amanda as a deputy was cool though. More of that.

I understood the Kaizri storyline, but I didn't UNDERSTAND it? Like what? Irisa and the Jewish Irath are reincarnated? Clones? How did the key make it's way back to St. Louis and the mines in the first place. So Voltans have been buried under the earth for thousands of years since the original crash or did they hang out with the Native Americans? What? Did Kaizri fuck up Pilar's, dead older son's, and baby son's (name's have left me) minds? Were they susceptible due to mental illness?

I want more interaction with people/societies outside of Defiance. They've blown up NY and The Voltan Collective. *sigh*

I have embraced this show as a frontier soap opera with aliens. I wish the show would make up its mind already.


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I liked some things this season, and most of it was related to Stahma and I liked the Kenya thing (what happened, not the reason behind it). I think one of the things that stuck with me was Stahma asking Datak not to tell her that she didn't have to kill her.

I hope Irisa and Nolan come back if only because I love their weird relationship.

Overall, I hope they focus more on the characters, I don't like infighting, but I would take them teaming up against a larger threat if we actually got to see them interacting and growing instead of being all over the place.
I didn't mind some of the Christie thing, and I now think she's crazy, haha. Having said that, Stahma laughing when she figures out it was Christie was another cool moment for me.
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Well, what can I say? The season ends in cliffhangers about, there is no renewal OR cancellation for season 3, and New York is gone (cause why not; it's clearly not "first city that gets destroyed" in so many other movies and shows).

Honestly, I feel like it's starting to drag on, and I'd like for it not to turn into a six season show. I guess a third season would be fine, but I would've liked to see more closure at the end of this season, not additional problems that need to be resolved (e.g. what happens to Nolan and Arisa, where is Christie being taken, what is gonna happen to the E-Rep with NYC gone?). Oh, and what about Amanda's decision to sleep with Pottinger? Seems a bit weird if you ask me, especially given all that Pottinger has done; I would've rather seen some truth out of him rather than "I didn't make a clone, my totally guilty alien friend here did!"

Oh well, guess we'll find out what happens next season, if there is one...
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As there is so little proper Sci-Fi on TV (as opposed to Fantasy) I really liked Defiance. All the ways the two sides of the conflict have to find to live after the wars is fascinating and the characters all seem real. The Kaziri arc made sense to me and I liked that Doc Ewell confirmed that the Indogene programmed the ship's brain in the first place.

By the way...does anyone know who's version of "Satan, your kingdom must come down" is playing at the end...? I assume it is Robert Plant...?
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I loved "Defiance" and I hope there is a third season which I will watch avidly. Some elements (but only some) represent some of the best SF on teevee ever.However, "Defiance" is an imperfect, uneven effort, all the more disappointing because some of it is so damn good and has such potential. I could never quite put my finger on why at the end of each episode, I felt simultaneously frustrated and at the same time eager for the next episode.I knew it had "something" to do with plot elements that disappeared into dead ends, and characters who oddly changed personalities and motivations, and behaved inexplicably "out of character."However, Kirkpatrick's thorough analysis gets it just about right for me; the uneasy and unsatisfying relationship between the "space opera" and the "soap opera," essentially two different shows, and as Kirkpatrick notes, the soap opera is the much more interesting and compelling of the two, at least for me.I too hope that season 3, if there is one, goes smaller, not bigger.



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I'm not expecting another season, despite their not having made any announcement yet. You'd think that if they were canceling it, they would have promoted it as the series finale so that they could maybe get a bit more ratings from casual viewers who might want to see how it all ends.

But the act that throughout the episodes, they had the little ID tag in the corner that said "Defiance Finale", not season finale makes me think that the odds are pretty low of it coming back.

Storywise, everything with Irisa was boring as hell this season, even though it was meant to be a major storyline. Nolan's and Amanda's storylines weren't much better, but they weren't. Couldn't they have done something more interesting with a character becoming a drug addict? Even Rafe's family drama was pretty boring this season.

Luckily, the Tarr's made up for it in spades. Stahma and Datak were the main reasons to tune in, and Alak and Christie were fairly interesting this season, too. If the show goes, it's mainly the Tarr's I'll miss. Maybe they could get a spinoff? With the show's ratings, it's unlikely.
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I liked both eps but I do agree the series has been rather uneven... like a teenager with an identity crisis.

Second season has been amazing and Murray & Curran together are a blast though! Could it be than S3 (if it happens) is the best season yet?

I liked Linda Hamilton! That scene between her and Greene was really strong, I was very pleasantly surprised! I think Green liked Hamilton a lot too LOL! (his twitter acct had very nice comments)
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I have to say I liked the two last episodes Defiance's season 2 (series finale?) - with the exception of Pilar. I love Linda Hamilton ever since I saw her in the original Terminator - but recently I just can't stand her. I didn't like her as Valkyrie in Lost Girl - and Pilar wasn't any better.

Since Amanda chose Pottinger (WHY?!) she's lost to me. Now I only care about Stahma, Berlin, Irisa and Nolan (and Yewll as comic relief). Everyone else can die.

I'm glad they finished Kaziri plot arc. Poor New York :(

I think the best scene was Berlin facing the firing squad. I knew they wouldn't kill her (cause they had already killed stupid Tommy - and one death per season finale is enough) but still it was so surreal. And once Stahma and Co saved her she started to histerically laugh. Good stuff.

Since for me Irisa and Nolan are the two main characters I can't imagine season 3 without them. However, if Syfy cancells the show I won't be very angry. If they end the series now - at least Irisa and Nolan will always be together.

The best quote of the season finale:

"Did you just hack my imaginary wife?"

Yewll is like Defiance's version of Hanna from PLL - she gets the best one liners.

Thanks for Defiance season 2 reviews Noel. Remember that Star Wars Rebels is starting October 3. I'm counting on you man - DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME.
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"Since Amanda chose Pottinger (WHY?!) she's lost to me. Now I only care about Stahma, Berlin, Irisa and Nolan (and Yewll as comic relief). Everyone else can die."

lol I laughed when I read that - good comment. Although what about Datak you can't kill the dad he has some good intentions! and he's an awesome character who doesn't take any shtako :P I wouldn't mind seeing Sukar again (he might be still alive as well as the others in those hybernation pods).
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I loved Sukar in season 1. In season 2 - not so much. If he returns in season 3 - I hope he will regain some of his former awesomness.

As for Datak he represents everything that is wrong and oppressive in Castithan's society. I hate his guts.
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Yeah, I dunno, the point of s-f as opposed to normal stories is to have your human drama, yes, but against a non-normal background, to see how it would tick under those circumstances. So some element of the non-ordinary is definitely required.

Whether the producers pull it off, I think on the whole they do, and I'm generally positive towards the Kaziri stuff, the outright s-f elements, etc.

When I watch Datak and Stahma, I'm not expecting Upstairs Downstairs mixed with some mafia drama. I'm expecting a live characterization of aliens, with an alien culture, with some similarities and shared elements, but not all.

Even with the "racial tension" angle, you can't expect the alien races to behave in the same way, you want them to behave alien-ley, so the impact on humans is made more interesting. Again, to see how we tick.

But also, if one doesn't have a certain love of s-f elements just for their own sake, then one is probably not an s-f fan. The sense of wonder at the ordinary is fine, but so is the sense of wonder at the extraordinary.
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Unfortunately, to me the finale felt like a series finale, as if the writers were told there's no more than a 2% chance of another season. I hope I'm wrong...
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I don't think Pottinger blackmailing Stahma was supposed to go anywhere. He didn't really care that the drugs were being distributed. He only told Stahma that so that Amanda would have to come to him for some.
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I tend to agree with the masses here, Noel. Character is alright but story is important too, and you have to build a world to tell stories in and they are building a big world. I do understand why some of these things are happening, I think. Destroying New York weakened humanity and put it on a more even keel with the Votan Collective. And now that we have seen what humans are like after Arkfall, I think next season the storyline will gravitate towards Pilar and Christie and give us an introduction to the Votan Collective.
Oh, and by the way, Using Lost as an example of a great show will fall flat with some. I, for one, could not stand that show and never made it through one episode.
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I enjoyed the finale and couldn't stop laughing at Doc's line "Did you just hack my imaginary wife?"
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I love this show and I don't care about the little nuances. There's so little good sci-fi on these days, maybe my standards aren't up to snuff, but I don't have too much bad to say about Defiance. By the way, correction for the above review: it's the "humans-dressed-as-Castithans-club" not Votans.
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I don't expect it to happen. But I hope that, if Defiance is renewed for Season 3, it'll go smaller rather than larger and keep the focus on its characters instead of on alien spaceship conspiracies.
i hope for the opossite:)
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This show kicks ass and season 2 was much better than season 1. By the sounds of it the reviewer wants to remove SCI-FI elements from a SCI-FI show. Don't we already have enough straight up drama shows? Bring on the mythology and spaceships there's only SO much you can do with people dating and relationship BS (which is still good but shouldn't be 100% of the show). If the spaceships throw you off I recommend sticking to reviewing of the bachelor and reality TV. SCI-FI fans often get the shaft and have such a small selection in modern day TV program choices. You can keep your pro wrestling and soap operas i'll stick with SCI-FI and storylines that haven't been vomitted 20,000 times over.
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I like the Tarrs (well, not like them so much as I am entertained by them) but they can't be the engine that drives this show else it becomes a somewhat seedy soap opera. The Nolan/Irisa relationship is how it started, but that got derailed, and it needs to be restored because it is the core of this show. Whether these two actors can anchor the broader mythology is uncertain, but worth watching to find out.
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I will never understand the almost need that people have to hate the main characters.
Amanda as lawkeeper? She is one of the most boring characters in Defiance. Pottinger draw in the boring department.
The scenes where they hooked up made me roll my eyes and almost barf.
I give Irisa was every bit boring this season, but Nolan has a lot of potencial.
His backstory is much better than the "trying to be emotional" of amanda and pottinger.
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Um ... your first sentence sort of contradicts all of the rest. Without commenting upon your opinions, you do see that, don't you?
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This review captures pretty everything I feel about Defiance and its infuriating ambiguity. There's the kernel of a good show in here, somewhere, which is why I keep watching, but it is not a single, unified concept. It bounces all over the freaking place, as though there were 10 writers and no consensus as to its identity. The characters are all far too fluid to be real. The political situation is ambiguous at best which, I suppose, bears some resemblance to the "real" world but makes for terrible drama.

It feels to me as though this were a novel being reinvented by a creative crew who never really read the original ... just went with the Cole's notes. The plot lines cohere, more or less, but never merge into something meatier. It's like a sketch of a lovely painting.

If season 3 is to become it's salvation, the writers need to focus not just on the characters but upon their relationships which, till now, are terribly shallow and inhuman. Frankly, I don't really know how I feel about any of the characters (except perhaps Amanda, and possibly Rafe) and until you really understand a character, it's impossible to be surprised by their actions, a crucial element of drama. Or even comedy.

Defiance could use a little more of the latter and there is plenty of potential for it. The acting talent is top drawer, not overwhelmingly brilliant but far more than adequate for a an ensemble piece. The failure is in the writing. Too many competing notions without a clear vision. Then again, I suppose that responsibility lies more with the direction and production group than with the writers.

It feels like a show built by a committee. Rockne S. O'Bannon needs to step up and assume leadership. We've seen what he can do with brilliant stuff like Farscape. He and his co-producers need to commit, else this is the last season
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OK, I'm not quite done. I think I've pinned down the essential flaw. It's in the title. Defiance. That's what the show should be about but isn't. Our characters are not struggling against the powers that be or the horrible lot in life they were left. They are struggling against soap opera emotions and this doesn't work well in sci-fi. Sci-Fi is big. It encompasses time and space. The trivialities of daily life are not its subject. They belong, but they don't drive the plot or the purpose.
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I agree with Noel on pretty much everything regarding this... errr rather, THESE episodes, and while I thought the mythology slant to the finale and the season as a whole were over the top, there was something about these last two episodes that made me think that if the show had been more like them in quality all along there would be no question of IF there will be a season three at all. The dialogue between Tommy and Nolan and the fact that Tommy just quietly died (there was no miracle that saved him), as well as the genius interaction between the Tarrs (well, Mater and Pater, at any rate) was rock solid, as was Graham Greene's character.

I do hope it gets a third season, and I hope that if given another chance they make the most of it. But if they don't, I think they went out on a pretty high note and tied things up pretty neatly.
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I feel this is an old school scifi show and I like it and all it does because of it. The dense mythology is part of that old school scifi feel and I've been saying it since season 1. That's why I like this show I'm not looking for a show that will change the world.
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A season goes off and on and then a finale comes and becomes the best episode of the series. This is a weird show.

-Pottinger says "You don't have to do that" as gentelman as he is,
-Amanda replies "I enjoy it, It's the one time in life where you can actually put things back the way they used to be."
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And they were talking about washing dishes hahaha.
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I think Defiance is easily SyFy's star performer and I really hope it gets renewed.

IMO the mythology being convoluted is perfectly fine because it's just a bunch of horse poo fed to thralls of the Votan AI. The mythology's sole purpose is to get the AI's thralls to do its bidding so it doesn't need to be consistent or sensible.

It's exactly like a psychopath, spinning whatever sweet lie gets its immediate wants satisfied with minimal regard for previous or future lies.

And personally I am immensely grateful that this mythology was just a bunch of AI horse poo. Remember BSG's mythology? Genocidal sex-crazed robots and their one true god. That mythology just turned out to be christianity. Yikes.

So hooray for SyFy delivering real sci-fi minus any subversive religious message.
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"Real sci-fi"; "…just turned out to be christianity"

Grief - are there still people out there saying things like this?

In case it's news to you, there are plenty of clever and thoughtful theories out there to answer BSG's lingering questions. Which is – oh yes! – the point. You get to think and use your imagination. Or, to take the alternative route, you can pout about not having things wrapped in a bow, without all your comforting sci if tropes and cliches being vindicated to your satisfaction.
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The Tarrs are the only reason I tune in.
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They the reason I almost tune out on numerous occasions.
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I was really pleased with how it turned out. I didn't care for the overall story when it was heading in a weird religious direction but I can get behind killer AIs and Nano-Tech. Looking forward to E-Rep being the big bad in the next season. The loss of their headquarters in New York should make them more rabid and iron-fisted. The mass executions toward the end are hopefully just a taste of what they'll become.
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More likely, it throws them into disarray and keeps them from having as much authority anywhere as they used to. The various E-Rep folks will be busy fighting over who gets to run the remainder of the E-Rep (and settling old scores while everyone's distracted.)

If Rafe, Datak, and Stahma weren't distracted, they'd have the E-Rep kicked out by the start of the second episode.
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Rafe and Datak don't have the weaponary to remove the E-Rep, there weapon depot was discovered by the E-Rep.
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The rebellion was pretty much dead from the start, the E-Rep knew all about Datak and Rafe plan all along. An the Voltan collective never seriously back it from the beginning in fact it seem all a set up from there end with an eye for a greater plan.

An that not surprising because if there two guys with the men the organisational skills to mount a rebellion it those two, they would have been under constant surveillance, an the entire town was rig with cameras.

Pottinger is a brilliant character, remember the E-rep were going to pay for that Mag lev train, they also increase production of the mine and increasing number of people working there.

Pottinger didn't interfere with most the stuff that went on in town and seemingly went along with most of the old administration policies. Also have a look at the troops Pottinger had.

Berlin for example wasn't a extremist and she had principles and from what we saw the majority of Pottinger troops they were like Berlin. Pottinger was an effective administrator and that why the rebellion was on the long road to nowhere. Basically the E-rep did everything right when taking over and running a town.

Amanda hasn't found out anything about Pottinger schemes, yet, not a single one. That why she fallen for him, the only side she seen of him is the side that is willing to help her.

An actually for once I think it nice to see a show go this unexpected route for a show storylines, instead of the obvious successful rebellion against all odds storylines and Pottinger getting caught out and all his schemes unravelled and him losing the girl. An him being a poor administrator and poor leader. They had the exact opposite storyline and character, a rebellion always destine to fail, Pottinger getting the girl and is in fact a good leader and a good administrator.

Season 3 is going to be very interesting considering that both the E-rep and Voltan republic capitals were destroyed by the terraformers and their leadership structure has effectively been destroyed on both sides. And the iron rain been taken care off by the purple beam of doom.

Are there more Voltan colonists arriving, did human government launch more ships into space than known about. I read the producers do want to take us into space if they get a third season.

Which could be a reason for digging out Nolan and Irisa, there still a Voltan ship down there and from what we been told it the most advance Voltan ship they built. An having the collapse of the ship structure was restricted to the computer room wouldn't be that much of a stretch.

Defiance could very well become the last bastion of the E-rep and wherever stema and Datak end up could well be the last bastion of organise Voltan Collective.

And more than a few characters killed off. The only characters I really care about Iris, Tommy (decease), Noland, and this season Berlin, Pottinger is a pretty cool character as well, If Nolan and Irisa don't come back I will probably stop watching. As it really that storyline I'm committed to, not the family drama of the rest.

My one complaint about the final is that it felt like there were scenes cut, and it didn't run smoothly. That could just be the copy I downloaded, I wouldn't put it past syfy to cut stuff.
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the finale felt flat to me, poor tommy and poor new york... despite the destruction and the random people dead and running away, i felt like wow this is lame and will they find a time machine to undo it ? i dunno if the show could survive with nolan and irissa... 'out of the picture' for long.. and i will agree pottinger really is a slimeball and yet amanda just give it up and then proceeds to be worried about nolan...she must be desperate to forgive pottinger for all his sins including 'meh' was still covering for him when they cloned kenya...
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Amanda don't know that it was Pottinger behind most of her troubles over the last few months, none of his schemes were ever discover.
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not yet, but it just to make some stupid drama/ big reveal later on... meh. ;)
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or perhaps they will do something different and have Amanda never discover Pottinger plots. An they live a long an happy lives, marry and have kids.
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'spits out drink all over screen'

yeah right....;)

ps you owe me a new monitor....;)
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I loved "All Things Must Pass", "I Almost Prayed" was okay, but not nearly as good as it could have been. If the show hadn't dropped Irisa's story for so much other crap, then we probably would have been anticipating the outcome more. As it was, I didn't really care and knew something would happen to stop the Votan rapture.

I'm not as impressed with Pilar as Noel. Her best scene was with Rafe at Camp Reverie, but everything else was almost predictable. I knew she was up to something. Not sure if I'm all that interested in whatever it turns out to be.

If Defiance doesn't get renewed, they should give Stahma her own spinoff!
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I did not fully understand the Kaziri storyline. Why was the ship orbiting Earth in the first place? Why did the Irisa and Mordecai characters scuttle it? None of that was ever cleared up for me.

I agree with the reviewer about the dropped storylines and Pottinger's creepiness (I keep waiting for him to reveal himself as Amanda's rapist).

I care about the Tarr household (though I find Christie and Alak to be just meh). I can't say that I care much for any of the other characters.

I do not understand Pilar (who starts a fight right off the bat with their daughter's in-laws) and what she is up to and why Quentin would go along with it. I thought it was nice that their new handmaiden was willing to tell what had happened. It feels like Pilar is planning to sacrifice Christie and Alak's baby. I didn't believe the Harmony part of her story but can believe the research facility portion of it.

I have not given up on the show and still largely enjoy it but feel like the writing has to get a whole lot more mature.

To the writers: Keep track of the storylines you introduce and resolve them properly (rather than dropping them). Think them through. Ask yourself, is this something that the character as constructed and portrayed would actually allow to happen? If so, why and how can I demonstrate that?
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"I did not fully understand the Kaziri storyline. Why was the ship orbiting Earth in the first place? Why did the Irisa and Mordecai characters scuttle it? None of that was ever cleared up for me."

It was all in the flashbacks.
The ship was there because they were looking for new planets for the Votan. The found one, but it was occupied. The decision was made to take it anyway, but a rebellion on the ship blocked the terraforming. However, the "we found a planet!" message had already gone out, so more ships came. It took 3000 years for them to get here, and in the meantime, we got better able to resist... just barely good enough, as it turns out. The ancient-Irisa and ancient-Mordecai characters scuttled the ship because they felt that terraforming (a bit of a misnomer in this case) Earth was unethical because it had people on it. Call them environmental activists.
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Thanks for that explanation.

But why then the whole thing about never being able to come together again? To avoid re-activating the ship?
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Yes. Two keys are require to control the ship.

Irisa and the other bloke are probably clones specially created to hold those keys.

Through one got to wonder what happen to all those Voltan they ejected from the ship and whether it was those Voltan, that perhaps live in secret on earth, that destroy the Voltan ships when they got into orbit. They did have 3,000 years to prepare.
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I think you're making too much of them looking like their predecessors. They experienced memory flashbacks from the original two and 'saw' themselves and each other in those memories. But that doesn't mean they really looked like the originals.

The ship knew Irisa's identity so it's logical to assume it knew the guy's as well and what he looked like. That, via their connection with the ship, might be how Irisia and he knew what each other looked like and why they both saw each other in those flashbacks.
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I disagree, the only logical answer to why they were identical to the people that originally took over the ship is that they are clones grown from DNA samples either obtain from the crash life pods or are store voltan computers.

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Not clones, and not specially designed to hold the keys.

Just the people who happened to have them. Irisa didn't even have one until the end of last season.
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First thought after watching - BEAUTIFUL MUSIC in scenes connected with Kaziri. And also - the WOW factor in the purple sky after the explosion of the atmosphere-drifting debris. For some reason, it was IMHO - extremelly beautiful and touched me deeply. Overall, I love and will love dr Yewll's attitude, behaviour and what she says. She is so much "my" character, I love her snippy comments, like "I'm sure you'll find the way to repay me" to Pottinger. I hope that there will be more of her in season 3. And, I was really sorry about Tommy. I hoped he will be miraculously revived.
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I just kept thinking razor rain, though I guess we are to believe that the pods the Kaziri activated absolutely pulverized all of the space debris.
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Razor rain is only a problem in the pieces are big enough to survive re-entry AND are in orbits that are decaying. Bust 'em up enough, and they don't make it to the ground. Air travel would be rather dangerous, and all the ionization in the atmosphere is going to make radio communication difficult for a while, but oods are, the risk of razor rain is no bigger, and possibly smaller, than it was before.
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I'm betting on the razor rain being a much smaller threat from now on.
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Still a HUGE threat to anyone trying to fly a spaceship anywhere near Earth. Or, say, a huge fleet of colony warships.
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yeah Bear McCreary does good soundtrack! :-)
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I enjoyed the Kaziri story this season. It was boring in season one, but it got much better this time, and the conclusion was great.
Most of the other storylines were very nice too, and had interesting resolutions, except for Amanda falling for Niles' multiple lines of bullshit.
I hope it's renewed, essentially for Meh and Stahma. Or at least a spinoff of Meh being snarky at everything.
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Great finale, interesting mythology, still can't understand why a reviewer complains that a sci-fi show has sci-fi elements.
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Rafe's resigned "You live and learn" made me laugh.

I'm not sure that I completely understood the ship plot, but never mind.
I see the benefit of being a sci-fi show as being that you get to use extra stuff to enhance a non sci-fi arc. But, this one seemed to me be completely separate and a bit daft.
Ah well, I probably won't bother to watch a season 3, if there is one.
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That bit made me laugh as well.
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I liked the profile shot of Stahma shooting the soldier in the head while Datak was talking to Berlin. Nicely done.

Side-note, have we seen Stahma kill someone so directly before?

Other than poison or manipulation, I mean.
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Nope, it's the first time I've seen her do that. She's used poison before. I thought this kill was extremely out of character, but maybe I can let it slide because her son, Christie and her grandchild have been taken.
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I don't think Stahma shooting the soldier is out of character. She's a pragmatist.

Under normal circumstances she can't just walk around shooting people. She'd be arrested. Sure she was alone with Kenya but she loved her. If you felt you had to kill someone you truly loved you'd probably opt for the least violent and direct method as well. She's too physically weak to rely on brute force. So poison has served her needs.

These were not normal circumstances. The gun served her needs here so she used it.
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I'd like to keep Nolan but Irisa is no longer a necessary element of the show, besides the crap-old-buried-ship plot was REALLY boring.
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Her being around also causes more problems than I'd want to deal with.

Both the humans and the aliens will hate her for killing countless beings in New York, Belize, and who knows where else.

Most won't care that she was being mind controlled by some ancient space ship, they will want her hide.
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Most don't know. The fact that something stuck them in the pod demonstrate that the ship computer core may still be intact, which means she still needed to control it and so is the other one.
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Berlin clearly wants to put a bullet in her head. I fear that is the soap opera route that the writers will take next season.
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I hope not.
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What a charming idea! I agree.

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I have never liked the Irisa character, and I hoped Yewll would get to kill her. Now that she is in a pod with Nolan, I am even willing to give up Nolan to keep her underground. I agree with with everything Kaniballl and Mitgotka21 said.
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Well, I liked it. And I liked the Kaziri "nonsense".
And yes of course I love to see the argument between the Tarrs. :D
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I'm curious what happens next w/ Nolan and Irisa.

I guess they'd want to dig down there... after all they're big on collecting Votan tech and there is a super powerful mothership down there that might still have some important stuff.

Maybe Yewl will find a way to activate the pods and make them dig upwards (like how they burrowed into the ground).

Or maybe (like the reviewer suggests) their story really is done, which would be a shame. Though Irisa would be in deep trouble for killing at least two cities... even if she wasn't in control.
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I think the main problem was that the main climax was so... anti-climactic. Nolan grabs Cai, Cai walks to Irisa, Nolan grabs her long enough for them to touch, Irisa was cured. Where did all the Votans that didn't go into the lifepods two episodes that were standing around Irisa go?

(And I never warmed to or felt the slightest interest in Cai, which didn't help.)

Then they just stroll into the Kaziri and shut it down. Earlier the Lev-projection said it couldn't do anything to stop Yewll. So... why didn't it have any internal defenses whatsoever? Flood the ship with radiation from what was left of its drive? Cut off the oxygen? Shut the damn doors? Something?

And then Cai and Irisa lie down (lie down??) and just make the terraspheres blow up. When your characters have to take a nap to resolve things, you've got problems.

I noted in an earlier review that I think Defiance does better character relationships than sci-fi. Maybe the point is that it doesn't do good sci-fi. We've had two years of the Kaziri storyline season now, and it's over. A two-season arc for a relatively weak plot device, literally and figuratively, was way too much. It's like if Game of Thrones spent two years on a quest to get dragons or something.

And if you're going to have a main thru-line, have it affect everyone. Only Nolan and Irisa were really involved with the Kaziri story, and Amanda and Niles really only got involved at the end. And it never impacted Datak, Rafe, Stahma, or Alak.
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I'm guessing the Voltan plug at least a few safety protocol into her that were still operating. Perhaps one of those protocols prevent her from simply killing the pair. Also it likely simply killing the pair would have shut down the ship, as it seems that it was the activation of the keys last season that turn the ship on.

and I don't think Kaziri story line is over, something put Noland and Irisa into that pod.
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I don't think "something" put Nolan and Irisa into the pod, I think Nolan did that. He was looking around for a way out and saw that they were trapped, so he did the only thing he could to save himself and Irisa, by getting into a pod.
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It's a pretty odd pose for them to be in if he had just carried Irisa into a pose. It was also pretty much the same pose he was in just as the ceiling came tumbling down It looked more like a stasis/teleport kinda thing.
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But the ship couldn't do anything against Yewll, which had no such potential safety protocols.
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There's a parallel with HAL 9000, who also killed in order to complete a mission.
Perhaps the aliens who built it did a better job of implementing Asimov's first law.
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Except it wiped out the VC city of Belize. Although I'm unclear why it would do that even if it wasn't programmed to protect Votans.
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In fact, I suspect there were some meta-ing in there. When the Tarrs looked at the terraspheres and said they were beautiful, and really didn't care how they affected them while moving on with their plot, that was my opinion as well.
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I also got really sick of what the closed captions described as the "heavenly choir."
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Linda Hamilton's character here doesn't seem too much different from her 'Lost Girl' alter ego 'Alicia'. Linda Hamilton and Jamie Murray were so good in that one scene. So awesome the, 'You know she blew my husband.' and Stahma turning her head, "She's lying." (I just wish Linda Hamilton had her 'Lost Girl' co-star in the car with her heading out of town because Rachel Skarsten is awesome and Nicole Munoz just isn't that good.)

Pottinger and Amanda together ?????? I'm with Noel, they work so hard to make this character strong and then kind of cut her down at the heels by making all of his machinations work too easily. He used alien tech to probe her mind to create a living doll of her sister - that's some messed up stuff. She doesn't for a second think Yewll is maybe covering for him after she had told her, 'Every word that comes out of your mouth is a lie.' They need to fix Pottinger, I don't think James Murray was the problem, it just seems like the writers didn't flesh out the character well enough. Doc Yewll still the most interesting part of that equation. Trenna Keating is fantastic in that role.

What happened to Robin Dunne's 'Miko' if he got out he'll probably be the one to find out fearless heroes. The writers really didn't do too good of a job breaking him into the story.

I think the good outweighed the bad and I hope it gets a third season. It had a lot to fix and did so more often than not. Loved Nolan noticing 'Sukar' hanging in the ship ... 'that's a new look for him'.

Is 'Berlin' the third best thing about this show now behind The Tarrs and Amanda?. Anna Hopkins was quite good in the final episodes. The pain of seeing Tommy dead and realizing it was Irisa and realizing why Tommy had separated from her and the smile when Datak killed the prison guards and she just watched the prisoners escape. She could be a great wild card should the show get a third. New law keeper has been mentioned; that would be very cool.

They needed more William Atherton.

Tony Curran and Jamie Murray got the best story this season and they were continually amazing. The way they got to - for better or worse - they need one another, worked because of those two. At one point in time Sy-Fy was going to spin off Murray's 'HG Wells' character from 'Warehouse 13' in a show with Gareth David-Lloyd ('Ianto' ; 'Torchwood') as the male lead. They did a back door pilot that was good. That would have been cool. She needs her own show.
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I'm still pissed that HG Wells didn't get her spin off... Jaime Murray should definitely get a lead role in some awesome sci-fi show. I love her so much!
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Noel, if all I was interested in was relationship issues and emotional conflict, I'd call it a day and just go watch soap operas or telenovelas. Part of what makes Defiance Defiance is that it IS a science fiction show, full of aliens, crazy tech, and the kinds of challenges that only such a twisted future could generate. That being said, I like the character aspects of the show, and agree with pretty much everyone that Datak and Stahma Tarr are absolutely terrific. But I still really enjoy Nolan and Irisa, and the writers handle the blurring of the yin and yang both within and between these two pairs with remarkable subtlety and dexterity. But good sci-fi usually has at least some elements of plot that could only occur because of the sci-fi aspects of the show, all the while keeping a solid subtext of parallels to our oh-so-human condition right here and now. I think Defiance does this pretty damn well. I agree with you that Pottinger has been badly mishandled, and Amanda's behavior with him has been grossly out of character. But I think the Kaziri arc and the continuing threat to what's left of our planet is an important development and I think there is much more to the Votans that can be mined, if you will, to lead to - yes, plot developments - that can keep the challenges coming, that can lead to situations of shifting alliances, secrets, betrayals, and enough emotional conflict to keep even you happy. Neither plot nor character should rule, but each should drive the other. Shows that can hit that sweet spot become classics.
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After two seasons, it seems increasingly unlikely Defiance is capable of finding that balance. It doesn't handle the action-y sci-fi aspects well (how dull was the energy alien in body army subplot in that one episode this season?), and may be better served by keeping those parallels of human condition text instead of subtext. You don't need ancient spaceships with deranged nanotech AI to tell a sci-fi story.

Also, the idea that relationships and emotional conflicts are the domain of primarily soaps and telenovelas is just woefully wrong. It may be their bread and butter, but most every show on television has these elements. Most of our shows are melodramas, whether we can bring ourselves to say it out loud or not.
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"most every show on television has these elements."
I'd argue exact opposite. For quite a while now, network TV has been dominated by procedurals, where the characters are largely interchangeable. CSI has turned over more than half the cast. ER turned over the entire cast but Noah Wyle. Law and Order turned over the entire cast a couple of times. People like the characters on these shows, but make no mistake... they're all replaceable. There certainly are shows that are character-driven... Lost was a good example... but they aren't the totality of TV shows, as suggested.
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ER was indeed one of the soapiest TV series ever! Especially at the end! There was a "turn over" because they ran out of drama LOL. How many times can you "almost-kill" somebody? It's not the Walking Dead LMAO!
"Exciting medical procedures"??? I just couldn't believe it when Dr Romano had his arm amputated! It was so ridiculous I couldn't stop laughing!
Characters in CSI are "all replaceable" because they suck big time! LOL
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ER had Doug and Carol, Greene's cancer, Benton's family problems, Luka's PTSD and his relationship with Abby. I could go on. ER is not a procedural. It's a primetime soap with medical procedural and medical excitement, but the focus is on the characters. And like on long-running daytime soaps, cast members leave, are replaced and so on. The show had the benefit of being able to turn over its cast as stories ran their course or actors wanted to leave BUT this does not mean the show's focus was about its characters, the doctors at the hospitals and their lives.

L&O is a different animal entirely, and does prove your point, but it's focus was rarely on the lives of its characters, and is a more straight procedural.

CSI I cannot speak to as I never watched the show very closely, but I would point to the diehard Grissom/Sarah fanbase as a counterpoint to the idea while shows may be designed to be interchangable, it doesn't mean that audience won't respond to changes.

Your overall point, however, that TV is dominated by procedurals isn't wrong (and, point of order, TV has always had a fair share of procedurals, so this isn't a new thing by a long shot), but your positioning of it is all off. Many procedurals are character-driven. You can't replace Bones and Booth, Castle and Beckett or Michael Westen. The DNA of the show would shift dramatically if you were to do that. You're giving the ability to turn over a cast too much weight to the definition of a procedural when changing casts is often just a matter of TV economics, regardless of the show's format.
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"this does not mean the show's focus wasn't about its characters, the doctors at the hospitals and their lives."

It wasn't. It was about the exciting medical procedures they get to do because in a modern big-city E.R., you never know WHAT'S coming in the door next. That doesn't mean they didn't do characters well... they mostly did... but that was the second draw. There's a reason the show was "E.R." and not "Third-floor post-surgery recovery room". You can have a nice, soapy character driven show set in any part of a hospital. E.R. was E.R.

I'd argue that if you WANTED to do character-driven stories, an E.R. is the last place you'd want to do it, because of all the interruptions from the sick and injured people who keep showing up, wanting to receive treatment when it's time to deliver dialogue.

We could go into dramatic structure (it's hard to do character-driven stories over long arcs with the same characters, so TV shows have to be set somewhere where a constant stream of new characters show up. Barney Miller had someone else in the cell every week, and Night Court had a different person on trial. Medical shows have different sick people (drama!) and police and lawyer shows have people on trial (drama!) or people committing crimes who need to be caught. Procedurals take the weight off the writers, by providing a formulaic way to inject drama and character conflict. Shows that don't have that have to work that much harder to keep things going.
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wasn't* about. Sigh.
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I kind of enjoyed the finale, but I agree with the writer's sentiment about the whole season.

It had some great potential and they wound up some great storylines: Rafe/Datak teaming up for a revolution, Pottinger being insanely smart and calculating, etc. And yet they let those stories die.

The Kaziri storyline seemed to be the main focus of the season, and yet it was also the weakest storyline. Christie's cultural integration and personal growth wound up being one of the stronger ones... something I really didn't see happening.

Of course, Datak and Stahma remain the glue that holds the show together.
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They probably had too many storylines for 13 episodes
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Don't forget they also have to drive the videogame.
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Is it still tied in to the series?
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Don't know, never played.
I'm assuming, since the only reason the show exists is to feed the videogame, that everything in the show eventually gets used, or gets considered for use, at some point, in the game. But I'm not in those meetings...
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I forget how the scene played out... is what Christie did to Treasure Doll considered murder?

Treasure Doll went cray cray and wanted to poison Christie and kill her unborn child. Instead of letting Christie run away, TD attacked her.

Unfortunately I don't remember the nuances of how the fight ended, but would it be murder or self defense?
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We had the advantage of seei what actually happened. So WE know it was self-defense. Whether a court would see that based on the evidence available to them... particularly the frontier justice that reigns in Defiance... is unlikely. It would look like a murder from the evidence available to people who didn't see what happened in the radio station.
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It was kind of accident-ish, she fell through the badly repaired hole from when Nolan threw Sukar off in season one.
And the matter is basically closed anyway, since the dying Castithan "confessed".
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First things first...anybody else confused about the NY destruction? When possessed Irisa was playing with her floating rocks, I thought she was imagining another time, place and planet. Since they'd already used a flashback to a BC time, I thought this was her reminiscing and showing that this isn't her first global destruction rodeo. Since the skyline had been so altered by CG, I didn't recognize anything about New York and since every other city we've seen on this show is dilapidated, there was no reason for me to believe that a city like that could exist in this world...if for no other reason than you'd think NY would be one of the first targets in an alien invasion/war.

So THAT was the big Kaziri plan...got it. It's sorta like Hancock meets Titan A.E. Two super immortal beings roaming around until they get near each other to prevent a galactic Noah's arc from destroying and recreating a planet. And maybe I missed it, but how exactly did Irisa end up with BOTH alien keys? I presume she always had one and the 2nd one implanted last year led to where we are now. But if she always had one, shouldn't the other dude have always had the other? {shrug}

"The issue here is that they didn't have to be the weakest links, and the E-Rep presence in Defiance didn't have to suddenly become a non-issue for its residents. All of these storylines are ripe with potential for plot and character serialization, with plenty of dramatic conflict to go around."

It really is unfortunate that all the the character possibilities were pushed aside.

"While I love that the Tarrs and Rafe are chasing after Pilar, I'm already feeling hesitant about whatever it is that Pilar and Quentin have planned for Christie, Alak, and the unborn baby."

Pilar comments about "half breed babies", a term which always makes me cringe, not getting a fair shake in Defiance I think was a hint. I'm thinking she's a member of some purist cult which doesn't bode well for the soon to be parents. Though, if that's the case, and should it be renewed for season 3, that could provide the character conflict we've been waiting for.

"I'm not convinced that any of that has been dramatized well enough. Amanda is tough as nails and generally pretty shrewd; how would she not see any of what Pottinger did as a dealbreaker?"

For all the Kaziri silliness, THIS was my WTF moment of the season. Even if Amanda didn't know about the EGO device or that he was behind her clone sister, there's enough well established evidence of Pottinger being a complete dbag that that on it's own should be enough to raise the red flag. But fine, a smart, strong and confident female TV character being portrayed as a stupid, weak and insecure who needs a destructive man in her life is sort of a thing (I'm looking at you Olivia Pope). So fine, Amanada's a twit that can't see her nose in front of her face. Where I draw the line was her betrayal of Nolan. "I hope you can forgive me for this". "Forgive you for...what...whaaat?!?!? I know you're all moon eyes for your new man, but you just finished defending Nolan and he plan only to have him locked up and threaten to kill some innocent dufus and you're going to follow the word of a known sociopath and assinate Irisa?"



"Of course, it could just be that Defiance has outgrown Nolan and Irisa. They were originally our gateway to Defiance"

Okay, now you're just being silly. Amanada might make for a decent lawkeeer but she hasn't got the chops to glue all different factions of this show together...and based on her decisions in the finale, she hasn't got the smarts either. Besides, in season 3, it's only a matter of time before she realizes how badly she's been played by Pottinger, hears about Nolan's possible survival and goes after him to rescue her...because, you know, that's what women do {eye roll}. With the E-Rep suffering such a huge loss, like she mentioned, there's going to be a power vacuum and Linda Hamilton and her cult of purists I'm sure will be happy to step up...until...{da da da daaaa} Nolan to the rescue.

Wow...that was way longer than intended :)
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She got one at the end of last season, and then got the other one from what-s-his-name when she ran into him earlier this season. The AI had her looking for him all season; it's why she had to come back to Defiance at all.
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I got that Irisa's play had real world consequences and that she was slicing through NYC since that has always been referenced as the HQ of the Earth Republic and the most advanced city in N. America at the time in which the show takes place.

I think the idea is that NYC is a fortress. It may well have been attacked and rebuilt.

Re Irisa, her key was implanted when she was a little girl -- that was what that torture by that strange sect was about. We can imagine that the key was removed from the original Irisa and kept safe by that sect for a long time (longer than Votans are supposed to have been on earth?) or was found by the sect members and when they found Irisa implanted in her.

I don't understand why the second key was buried with the Kaziri. We see Mordecai's pod float away towards the Earth just as Irisa's does.

None of this part of the story makes sense. Nor were we told why the original Irisa and Mordecai were doing what they were doing or their relation to their present day versions.

It all just feels like bad writing. As if the writers don't know the answers to these questions either and THEY SHOULD.
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I hope they do have a season 3 if only to see what happens to Nolan and Irisa. I may not follow the other plotlines as closely as theirs, but unlike Noel's review above, I think watching Defiance without Nolan and Irisa is like saying we can have Supernatural without the Winchester brothers. They may only be our gateway into the town of Defiance, but the father/daughter dynamic works well and gives some real insight into what would really drive a person towards a goal.
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I think that Nolan and Irisa were for the most part only involved with the Kaziri storyline. Did Irisa meet even once with Stahma or Datak or Rafe or Alak the entire season? Or even Nolan?

And that's what hurt the characters. When her only subplot and character interaction is being controlled by a machine and how much Nolan and Tommy love her, anyone is going to get sick of that after 13 episodes.
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I agree with you saying Irisa was isolated from the other characters; though you could also argue that maybe that was part of the Kaziri's plan. Irisa and Nolan have already argued over the fact Nolan didn't understand her alien origin, and the Kaziri brought back Sokar to help isolate her and reduce the chances of her rebelling against its objective.
Or maybe I'm giving the AI too much credit.
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Maybe Sukar will be the key. Nolan's noticing him in the mines may have been only to give us a reason for him to think of getting inside a pod but it may be a hint at how they'll escape Season 3.
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Well, the writers can justify why they kept Irisa isolated. The point is that the series wasn't as good because they did it.
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I disagree about Amanda i understand completely why she would fall for Pottinger. You said it yourself she is broken and to that the drugs the career change, her confusing relationship with Nolan you have someone prime to be manipulated by Pottinger. Hell i am loving Fatalistic Amanda.
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The show need to stay with julie benz. She the Rick of walking dead
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I've said I would stick with this show but ultimately couldn't. The stupid Underground Castithan Idol episode ended it for me. Deleted the last 3 episodes off my DVR. Couldn't bring myself to care about watching them. Not sure if this show will be renewed...if so, I'll be happy it, might even watch. Tip o' the flask either way for potential lost.
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