A Defiance Community
Syfy (ended 2015)
Since Noel is running behind (or not running at all this week), thought that I would post my review of this week’s episode. Because, hey, someone has to do it. :) And we need somewhere to discuss the episode.

As anyone who has watched any degree of TV can tell you, eyes are probably the most popular metaphors, maybe tied with mirrors. I’m pretty sure any show that considers itself portentous enough to do metaphors has done an “eye” episode, and Defiance is no exception. So how does this one check out?

I see with my little eye, something that starts with I. Aye?

Our first eye metaphor is one-episode Jalina being brought in for a second episode and having her eyes gouged out. She turns up dead on Datak’s doorstep, although the Syfy synopsis claiming that Datak is being framed for her death is a red herring. She merely happened to get to his doorstep, and the killer had nothing to do with it or any intention of framing Datak for his crime.

The SyFy synopsis also claims that Datak turns to “an unlikely ally,” but Stahma and Rafe seem to be the two most likely allies that he’d turn to.

Although that doesn’t stop Yewll from assuming that Datak killed the girl. As always, Trenna Keating gets the best lines of the episode, and her “There's two kinds of friends in this world. Kind that helps you hide a dead whore, and me.” Is definitely a keeper.

In any case, Datak quickly sees that Stahma didn’t frame him for the murder, and they come together to avenge their hand maiden’s death. Not before a pretty funny scene where Rafe helps Datak dispose of the body by dumping it in the forest for the hellbugs to eat. Graham Green is often overlooked, but his stoic face is an anchor during some of the odder scenes in the series. More than Nolan, he gives us a human perspective on a lot of what’s going on, even if it’s kind of a blasé one. Here he’s helping Datak dispose of a body because a) he’s family, and b) Datak can get him weapons.

Some days you just can’t get rid of a corpse!

Graham is also amusing later on when they get revenge on the eyeball extractor and he calmly lets Datak gouge the man’s eyes out. Rafe then lies to Nolan about what happened.

Also, I'm not entirely sure I buy Datak's reasoning that Stahma doesn't want him dead. Sure, she didn't frame him for the deaths of the three Castithan women last episode... but why would she? She wanted Kurr out of the picture, not Datak.

So Nolan gets roped into the no-eyes plot when Rynn, another first-season recurring character, turns up missing after introducing Irisa to another Irathient, Cai. Played by Robin Dunne, who played... someone else back in season 1, right? I don’t recall if they’re the same person or not, since that was Rico and now he’s playing Cai. And he’s also playing the Irathient male in Irisa’s flashbacks. Anyhoo, the flashback doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already knew (their ancestors took the scout ship in the distant past). The funniest part was Cai explaining how he’s a good Jewish boy.

So Nolan doesn’t really have much to do with the eye-killer plot, and Rafe and Datak are the ones who avenge poor dead eyeless Jalina. But that plot introduces another A plot, which is Irisa trying to have more visions about the Irathient from the past. This involves cutting herself and letting the pain induce another vision so she can see her ancestor’s past. Whatever floats her boat, I guess.

The third main plot is the Alak/Christie/Mercado triangle. This one is still kind of bizarre. For one thing, Christie doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that she’s seeing Castithan culture from the inside, for the sake of her marriage, without telling Alak. Some role-playing in the bedroom is one thing. But it’s not clear how going to a club with a bunch of other humans impersonating Votans is going to give her any insights into Castithan culture. Granted, characters can delude themselves into doing dumb stuff, but it seems like the writers should be pointing this out by having another character note it. As-is, the only clue we get is when Christie gets defensive about the trace of makeup on her neck. Still, the main plot thrust seems to be that she’s right for doing what she’s doing to save the marriage, and Alak is the one having the affair and being a crime lord figurehead and all.

Also, I don’t find the Alak/Christie problems that interesting. It’s hard to mourn their lost relationship and their marriage turning sour when we never saw the marriage during happier times. Blame the nine month or whatever jump for that.

And yes, I understand that Deidre is manipulating both of them, so she can end up with Alak, I guess. But still, there's clearly some major problems in the Atak/Christie marriage. It's kind of sad when you'd rather see the kids' parents together rather than the kids themselves. By which I mean Rafe and Datak, who bicker back and forth like an old couple.

Then there’s Mercado. If they’re trying to make William Atherton creepier than usual, then they’re doing a great job. Or maybe the idea is to deliberately make humans impersonating Castithans look creepy. And if you want to enjoy Atherton’s singing talents, this is definitely the episode for you.

Would you buy used shtako from this man?

But… I’m confused. I’m sure someone will explain it, but isn’t he a member of E-Rep? The organization dedicated to fighting the Votans, or at least making sure they don’t conquer Earth? I’d think that having one of your high-profile members dressing up like a Castithan in public, even if pretty much unrecognizable, would be a bad thing. It would seem to damn Mercado’s chance of winning whatever election they mentioned last episode a lot more than failing to get some Gulanee. Not to mention he’s publicly expressing his view that the Castithans will eventually conquer Earth.

But Amanda knows that Mercado is going to the club and dressing up as a Votan. That would seem to be blackmail material for her against him. And yet Mercado treats her like dirt when she comes to see him in his office. He even thanks her for directing him to the club. So I’m not quite getting the dynamic here. I could see it as a secret kinky vice, but Mercado isn’t being very secretive about it. Unless his secret kink is karaoke singing.

Because of death. Because all you of Earth are idiots.

Speaking of kinky vices, didn’t Mercado say he preferred a bit more kink? Heaven forbid we have more sex on Defiance, but shouldn’t we see some kind of kink at the club? All we seem to see is people dancing and the kind of open-mike singing that only main characters ever get to indulge in. I’ve seen cosplay parties that are kinkier than what we get here.

You want to shut the hell up and stop singing? We’re trying to indulge our kinky vices here!

Oh well, back to Amanda. She gets one bit of a subplot with Mercado. For some reason E-Rep wants her back as mayor. Maybe I’m forgetting something, but was she really that great as mayor of Defiance? Plus… she lost to Datak. It seems odd that E-Rep wants someone in charge that couldn’t handle one Castithan.

Yewll also gets a bit of a subplot with Nolan saying that she’s squirrely. Presumably they couldn’t afford Hannah Chessman to come back as Lev the Hallucination, but it would have been nice to have Yewll glancing off into space once or twice as if someone was there. Or maybe she did and I missed it.

In fact, I’m not even going to charge you for this visit. How crazy is that? Whoo!

Although without Niles backing her projects anymore, is Yewll still working for E-Rep? Oh, and no Niles this week.

Overall, this episode was kind of a mid-season placeholder, a calm before the storm. It set up several plots: Irisa and her dues ex machina powers, Datak and Stahma working together, E-Rep trying to put Amanda in power, Yewll doing whatever she’s doing.

But that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Aug 02, 2014
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