Season 1 Episode 2

Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 22, 2013 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
143 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Defiance "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" Review: Culture Clash

    Cultures, laws, and egos all came into conflict this week as a resuscitated Ben attempted to irradiate the town.

  • Episode Summary

    On his first case as Lawkeeper, Nolan explores the old St. Louis underground with Rafe, looking for a Votak criminal. Meanwhile, Irisa runs up against Defiance's Castithan community when she discovers they're performing a distasteful native ritual.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • Defiance is being too clever?

      Firstly I must make it clear I really want Defiance to become a success! However this second episode left me wanting at best; Indifferent at worst. I appreciated the background setups for starting to understand the alien histories and cultures, but is it too clever too early? None Scifi viewers might struggle with these story lines being developed too quickly. The basic story line with Ben I struggled with. It just seemed weak. Perhaps a different line rather than Ben being resurrected would have worked better for me. The one thing the story did do well is leave open as to what Mayor Nicky agenda really is. The visuals seemed much better this week. The characters, the sets ticked the boxes. Particularly the white room scene.

      Miles to go...moreless
    • Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go

      Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go was a superb episode of Defiance and I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome and full of character growth and plot development on many levels. The visual effects were stunning. The white wash room scene with Datak and Stahma was exquisite and very beautiful. It was interesting to see a clash of cultures and how it was handled. I kike how the series is unfolding so far. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!!!

    • While not as good as the premiere episode, I still really enjoyed it.

      This one was slightly less interesting than the first episode but overall it did develop a few storylines well and the show is definitely getting quite interesting.

      A couple of characters we saw in the pilot were missing, which was slightly disappointing - mainly the mayor's sister. I hope she reappears.

      I enjoy the dynamics between the Tarrs and the MacAuleys. It is quite good.

      Overall, I'm enjoying it and I look forward to the next one!moreless
    • It can go either way with the show, but I'm positive so far

      I was "cautiously enthusiastic" after the pilot. I thought there came finally a sci-fi show that returned to the roots of the genre: super spacecraft, superguns, superaliens. While there's definitely a great room for development, I must say I start liking the show.

      We had very few Irisa moments in the second episode, but it was clearly the case of less being actually more. At least there's food for speculations about her past.

      When I was a child reading Tolkien's Valaquenta and Silmarillion for the first time, after Beren and Luthien's story I loved the mythology part most. It seems like our pale-faced new citizens, who, by the way, very much resemble Elves, do have their own mythology, their own pantheon and written and unwritten laws. This gives a very good potential for a few spicy scenes of culture clash, just like the ones we've already seen. They kept my attention for the whole duration of the episode.

      Some reviewer mentioned Spartacus flashbacks after the Jaime Murray spa scene. It may very well be the case, and it may be already obvious, just into the second episode, who's wearing the pants in the Tarr mansion. A scheming bitch with a smooth tongue, Stahma is the proverbial woman who stands behind the successful man, and she got plenty of screen time to prove it already.

      Overall, there's a feeble status quo in Defiance, and that's what gives the creators plenty of chance for development and creativity. I hope they won't mess up this show, it would be a shame. We've seen fantastic shows die an untimely death and I wouldn't like this one end up the same way.


      - Stahma

      - Irisa

      - Nina's secret agenda

      - potential in alien characters

      - few sharp one-liners, especially in the pilot


      - bad CGI

      - Nolan's character

      - some really horrible dialogues

      Let's see what Ep3 brings, shall we?moreless
    Fionnula Flanagan

    Fionnula Flanagan

    Nicky Riordon

    Guest Star

    Douglas Nyback

    Douglas Nyback

    Ben Daris

    Guest Star

    Robert Clarke (II)

    Robert Clarke (II)

    Elah Bandick

    Guest Star

    Dewshane Williams

    Dewshane Williams

    Tommy LaSalle

    Recurring Role

    Trenna Keating

    Trenna Keating

    Meh Yewll

    Recurring Role

    Justin Rain

    Justin Rain

    Quentin McCawley

    Recurring Role

    Featured Episode Clip

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • Amanda says that the Town Council decided to allow the "eight races" to honor their traditional values. The Humans are one race, and there are seven Votan races. However, the Volge are hostile to all races, didn't come to Earth in the Arks, and have never interacted socially with Votans or Humans. According to Trion Worlds, the seventh race, the Gulanee, are rare on Earth and not considered a race unto themselves (and not seen or mentioned as of this episode). Officially, the Votanis Collective is an alliance of five races, meaning that Amanda is incorrect even if she includes the Gulanee.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Amanda: Keep this ceremony confined to the Hollows.
        Datak: Of course, Amanda.
        Amanda: Call me "Mayor."

      • Datak: Rafe McCawley needs a bullet in the head.
        Alak: Dad!
        Stahma: He doesn't mean it.
        Datak: Oh, I do.
        Stahma: You know what the hot water does to your father's disposition.

      • Nicky: And now that I'm retired, I'm thinking of taking up golf. Oh, I once had a three handicap, and no one can say I didn't because there's no one around except me who remembers the damned rules.

      • Rafe: Oh, I wanted to be a photographer. Sports stuff. Some bikini stuff just for fun.

      • Stahma: Your father's putting that much pressure on you, is he?
        Christie: He's sort of a jackass.
        Stahma: Most men are. It's a characteristic that transcends species.

      • Irisa: If you take another step, my first bullet kills you.
        Datak: Charming girl.

      • Irisa: Are we ever going to make it to Antarctica?
        Nolan: Antarctica's not real, kid.
        Irisa: Are you sure of that?
        Nolan: Nope. But this town is. I'm sure of that.

    • NOTES (3)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)