A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×13 (Give her red hair next season!)

dark-matter-2x13

 

SUMMARY

Two takes the Raza to the Mikkei corporation HQ and convinces Truffault to help them stop the corporate delegation from being destroyed. They penetrate a security field and allow Five to attend the delegation with Truffault while Two, Three, and Six search for a bomb on the station. After Four is seen by Five attending the delegation, the new emperor sends his men to retrieve her but is saved by Arrian, a bodyguard to Nieman from Ferrous corp who turns out to be an android with an emotional upgrade. After an unsuccessful attempt that dissuading the corporations to cease an alliance, Nieman calls for a recess allowing for his plan to continue. Six is eventually captured by Kierkan who is overseeing the security and Three is accosted by Nieman and his men. Four and Misaki travel to the Raza and steal the blink drive while Misaki and Nyx fight on the bridge. Misaki wounds Nyx with a poisoned blade and leaves her dying. As Five helps Arrian discover another way then to blow up the station, he expels himself from the ship and sacrifices himself. Two is able to convince Kierkan to look for a secondary attack set by Four while the android implores everyone to return to the Raza. Kierkan kills Four’s agent but not before a major system is overloaded, killing him and beginning a chain reaction of destruction on the station. Truffault attempts to escape with Five as Three is found by Anders (presumably dead). As everyone is still separated and trying to escape, the station begins to explode.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Plenty to take in on this chaotic and explosive finale as most of the crew are in dire straits at the bitter end. Dark Matter rushes to its fiery conclusion by promising the start of the fabled corporation war and makes it clear, someone or several may not be around to start season 3. A lot of positives to take away, most notably the effort it took to make this episode feel like a finale should. It some aspects it’s a very simple tale, but the intricacies behind it almost makes the viewer want to re-watch the entire series just to catch up on why we ended up where we did. But can things simply move forward from here or will we have to redefine the paradigm of this show by next fall?

 

THE GOOD

The sense of climax to the season was exceptional and the urgency played out with a few twists and turns to blur the way. Four handled himself in the most neutral way possible while still succumbing to an act of thievery among friends. Five’s friendship with an android only helped to prolong the inevitable, an echo in conversation that Five and Six had earlier about trying to change fate. With all the combining elements intact, the plot moved fast but in a good way that didn’t waste its time and introduce too many awkward segments. The pace was good and the threat was real and will be haunting us until its resolved next season.

 

Little moments really helped bring some subplots into focus, namely Misaki and Nyx. Here, we have Four (Ryo) attempting a proposal to Nyx who declines while Misaki is eavesdropping. She clearly still harbors feelings for Four and makes her fight with Nyx all the more personal by poisoning her instead of shooting her outright. In the end, she denies to Four any altercation leaving him to be ignorant of Nyx’s suffering. This will no doubt play its course next season, but the seeds have been placed to deal with more dramatic hardships outside of the bomb threat and it’s good to see that forward thinking play out.

 

THE BAD

It’s unfortunate where the predictable elements come to the front of the line. In this case it was figuring out what the bomb was earlier than intended. When the android said Nieman gave him the upgrade to his system, it seemed a fitting tell that his identity as an android meant his body carried the bomb. That didn’t really detract from the episode as Five still managed to convince Arrian to make a choice and that’s ultimately what was important. I will also say as a negative that killing Kierkan was an odd call to make. He seemed like he’d have more to play but sadly that’s not the case. He played untrustworthy cop to the end and only served to buy into Two’s story at the last second and that last second being too late.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Definitely the final segment of the show. While I don’t believe Nyx is going to die, or for that matter any of the others, it’s important to understand that anything can still happen, after all, they killed One in the premiere and he seemed like a relative safe bet. This kind of cliffhanger will raise all manners of questions and theories as to how the 3rd season will start and luckily we’ll be around to flourish those thoughts and ideas.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Technically it should go to the android Arrian for sacrificing himself because such a change of heart should mean something, but in the end, he was good-natured to begin with. I’ll give it to Five for being able to convince him and for sporting the corporate look and a blonde hair-style as well. I’m actually surprised her jab to Three’s throat didn’t actually put him out of commission. He sure can take a lot of physical beatings that’s for sure.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Can and should Four be criticized for putting everyone’s live in danger and realistically killing everyone else on that station? Now it might be argued that Four only meant for the ship to overload in a way that everyone could escape but due to Kierkan interfering everything went wrong. It’s still a harsh move for the emperor to make just to get that blink drive. The crew shouldn’t take this theft lightly by any means, even if it means storming Zairon and getting it back, which they should.

 

I seriously have no idea who that was that found Three on the floor. If anyone knows please let me know, I appreciate it. There’s been a lot of minor characters that have come and gone from the past and I know Three has more than a few acquaintances that might be looking after him, but as it stands, I’m stumped. (EDIT: It was Anders. Thanks for the info!)

 

One thing I am a little disappointed in is not finding out who the stowaway was from the alternate dimension. That should have been resolved to some degree even if it was a scene or two that kept that subplot going. Granted, it wouldn’t have fit anywhere in this finale, but some momentum on it could have been favorable.

 

I caught a few of the names in the delegation for the corporations, namely TRAUGOTT, VANGUARD, INKOSI, PENDRAGON, FERROUS, MIKKEI, NOVINA(sp?), and Four’s League of Autonomous Worlds. If anyone spotted any others, let me know. Is there a master list of all the corporations involved on this show? And why hasn’t Vanguard shown up more? That’s a great name!

 

I’m certain Two could have taken out that guard and made him open the restricted door, but instead she left. Maybe it wasn’t the best time to get violent or maybe he could have communicated for help before being knocked out. Just seemed odd that she let that one go.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter promised and delivered a knock-out finale with questions of who survived and what will happen next season. Four took what he wanted and made sure the rest were made to suffer the same fate as the alternate dimension. If the war didn’t ignite tonight, rest assured it will being by the start of next year. The great sci-fi tales can often be rooted in the idea of changing one’s fate based on prior knowledge of it. When you can’t escape it, the best you can do is survive it and plan for the future. Our heroes need eachother now more than ever and I do believe the best is yet to come. Great CGI and top notch music to send us out on as the explosions settle in. Here’s to another long arc of waiting but always fascinated by what’s to come. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×12 (Thank you!)

dark-matter-2x12

 

SUMMARY

With his old memories integrated, Four and the Raza crew capture a Zairon vessel led by Drago, a trusted ally to Four. With his loyalty re-established, Four uses him to reunite with his step-brother, Hiro as the two come to understanding over what really happened to their father, Ishida Tetsuda. Hiro agrees to relinquish the throne back on Zairon, but his mother, with the aid of Hansmeed capture Hiro and set a trap for Four, who travels to Zairon alone. Once under the thrall of the empress, Four is publicly tried for the murder of his father and sentenced to death. Meanwhile, the crew set on a rescue mission and are seemingly captured, all but Five who finds and releases Hiro while the android uses the Raza to lay waste to the city. Hiro arrives in the court and declares his mother the murderer of Tetsuda. As Four is proclaimed the new ruler, he enacts swift justice and orders the deaths of his step-mother, Hansmeed and his men, as well as Hiro. With the Raza crew stunned, Four assumes his original name and declares himself emperor.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter’s penultimate episode delivers an opus of blood and retribution as the resident warrior of the Raza reclaims the throne of Zairon. If it’s a bittersweet victory, I for one embellish the carnage that came with it as it was greatly needed to fuel the finale’s dark descent into uncertainty. While this wasn’t the first time Four made dangerous decisions by killing those who swore allegiance, Five’s doubts about Four prove correct and now the second “betrayer” is all but standing in a throne of blood. I’m excited for what’s to come and felt this episode tops the season with a wicked arc and a cliffhanger more extreme than any this season has met with.

 

THE GOOD

Four’s plight to regain control of his homeworld was rightly saved for the near-end of the season, an epic struggle that nearly exceeds even Two and her personal war with Rook and Dwarf Star. Each crew-member has something necessary to fulfill and tonight, Four cut right to the heart of Zairon and squeezed it dry. Even with the help of the crew, Four remained ruthless and steadfast and now, looks to accomplish all he set out for with the exception of the war itself. Everything Four went through was solid and intriguing right down the massacre he ordered at the end, a fabled tragedy marked by a promise to rule. Most all elements exceeded expectations and the crew rightfully acted in a shocking display of confusion as to what will happen next.

 

I actually really liked that Hansmeed was paired up with the empress as this show doesn’t combine its villains nearly enough and there’s so many. With Drago not a traitor it was somewhat difficult to ascertain if the loose end would be dealt with and it was, which also puts to rest Nyx’s knowledge with what happened to her brother, Milo. Everything came to a head quickly but in a manageable way that shifted a few emotional states back and forth, including the silent Misaki who confessed an old love for Four but a stronger duty to the throne. Very well placed points of interest and reveals all leading to the bloody finale of the episode.

 

THE BAD

It’s more preference rather than nitpicking, but I always wanted to see more development of Zairon and utilization of sweeping dolly shots and larger atmosphere’s showcasing this grand-scale planet. Some of the exterior shots were very beautiful, but it was too easy to tell where the shots had to remain tight and closed in and since the show uses slow-motion so sparingly, there’s wasn’t a lot to accentuate, but again, it’s a just preference because Zairon is more fleshed out than most any other planet and that includes Earth. The culture is rich and I just felt we never got enough of it to understand everything with why Zairon is in the war its in and what they really represent in the galaxy.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The last scene. I’d almost argue that Four’s scene with the android was both warm-hearted and fascinating to watch and should have stood out as the best scene, but that last moment of death was the clincher to seal this episode into a dramatic shocker. I wasn’t expecting Hiro to be executed as well, but again, Four will kill anyone who essentially was against him to destroy any and all chances of an uprising and quite frankly, it’s wicked ruthless but appropriate for his stature as the returned Ryo, a maelstrom of death.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s all Four from beginning to end. He painted a picture of multiple tones each based on the person he was with, notably with Nyx and the android, but also Six, Two, and Misaki. He got to interact with almost everyone to a degree that had his character died, this would have been the episode to have that send-off. But it was all toward a singular goal, one he exploited by using the crew and those who found new trust in him. Does that trust stand? I’d say the crew will probably let this one go and move on to the bigger war at hand, but if Ryo wants that blink drive, who knows what he’ll do to get it. Awesome performance from Four, he stole the show tonight.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Regarding what Four knows about Three. I want to suspect it has something to do with previous plot threads that still haven’t been solved such as “Who killed One’s wife,” and other such things that possibly involved Three, but there’s also a stronger possibility that to push the series into further strangeness, Four probably knows something we haven’t been introduced to yet. I don’t expect it to be earth shattering, but it should be enticing enough to warrant a flashback of some kind.

 

We’ve gone this far and we still don’t know who hitched a ride from the other dimension. If I were a crazy betting man, I’d say it’s a long shot that the Four in this episode is really the Four from the other dimension, disguised and hell-bent on ruling Zairon from any dimension. Maybe the real four is out of action somewhere, who knows. I know, it’s a real long shot, but it would make for an interesting twist. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hold off on that reveal into season 3, let’s find out in this next episode.

 

Nyx finding out Four’s involvement in Milo’s death should put an end to any further relationship those two might have had moving forward. I don’t mind that, their scenes just didn’t hold enough gravity for me to invest in, but I will say, Four did a better job of telling her that he didn’t care than Three did telling Five and being called out on it. This won’t be something Nyx forgives easily if at all and I don’t blame her.

 

With as much time as we spent on Zairon and with Misaki in the mix I’m actually disappointed we didn’t see more sword fighting. The infiltration of the Raza crew was handled well enough, but I would have been perfectly fine for another Misaki and Four combat scene at least to truly declare who was the better fighter.

 

The promo for the finale doesn’t address Four or the plot of this episode suggesting that the crew and Four are going to part ways assuming Four doesn’t steal the blink drive for himself. Whether he’s a villain of his own making remains to be seen, but I can’t imagine he’ll put the crew through any suffering as they did help him get back the throne. It’s okay that he’s shedding his Four persona because he has the memories to be who he needs to be and now he can focus on the part of the war that effects him the most. He’s a silent believer in consequentialism where the ends justify the means and moving forward, he’ll probably continue with that mindset regardless of who opposes him.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Strong opening and strong finish. Dark Matter shows the sci-fi world how gritty it can get with its pulse-pounding and frenzied violence softened only by the compassion the crew has for one another. Four dominates the penultimate episode by securing his place on Zairon and disposing of all his enemies in classic fashion. This flawless act promises a critical finale that should hopefully keep pace with the plot and give us a startling end to an incredible season. And as always, the Raza gets more and more detail in it’s CGI glory with plenty of flyby shots to entice. Looking forward to one more run with the crew as we near close out another spectacle in space. Bring on the rest next week and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×11 (Little did they know, bears do not exist on planet LYx29)

dark-matter-2x11

 

SUMMARY

While shopping for supplies on a rural planet, Five is kidnapped by a group of locals planning on selling her to those who would pay. Three embarks on a rescue mission while Two, Four, and Nyx are identified and pursued by the Galactic Authority led by Inspector Kierken. Meanwhile the android maintains orders to keep Six on the ship when he attempts to help as the crew still don’t entirely trust his intentions. Three finds the Danker family and manages to kill them all but is wounded. He and Five escape on foot into the woods as Two and the group return to the Raza and prepare to go back to retrieve Three and Five. Kierken and his men discover the Danker house and follow a trail to Three who forces Five to leave him alone. As Three is caught and interrogated, he reveals his part in delivering the white hole bomb to Iridin 3 but leaves the Raza crew free of blame. Unconvinced, Kierken orders the incoming Maurauder to be shot down from the sky but Five manages to find one of their missile launchers and blows it up nearby. Two and others find Three but leave Kierken with the knowledge of what he learned about Iridin 3. Back on the ship, Three recovers as Four wakes from an anxiety dream about home and goes to the android to have his old memories reintegrated back into him.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Though set in a frosty and rigid environment, Dark Matter engages in some heartfelt moments that continue to connect the main cast together while the universe around them continues to disrupt into eventual chaos. I wasn’t entirely sold on the first half of this episode given the campiness of the kidnapping plot and Three’s heroic venture into a wounded state, but something about second half really helped bring the episode around and give it a flair it richly deserved to have. Three and Five’s moment of desperation was the subject of hurtful honesty, one that we and Five easily saw through but needed to see. The consistency of this sci-fi world and its technology maintains high value while some specific character interaction is questionable given the run time. All in all, I’d say there’s just enough balance to regard tonight’s episode as a solid run with some bruises that will need mending.

 

THE GOOD

Three and Five’s relationship took a dramatic turn for the better. Never mind Three’s rigorous sense of humor, what’s important to note is the lengths he’ll go through to keep his crew safe. It can be argued that he folded slightly to give Kierken some aspect of the white hole plot he can use against the corporations, but more so is his demeanor that if Five hates him for being mean, at least she’ll be alive. He’s effectively shed that tough-boy armor in exchange for some necessary valor and it’s good to see it continue to build over the season.

 

As I stated earlier, I’m enjoying the consistent use of the tools this show has provided, in this case it was the transfer transit stations utilized by the Galactic Authority. The aspect here is understanding how both sides use the same devices and how it played into the offbeat decision that Three made in letting Kierken retain his memories. I think it was more for Three’s growth than anything else that he chose to let Kierken’s clone live rather than dispose of the body as any of the other Raza crew would have based on what that fallout might lead toward. It’s as if Three was playing his own game of chess for once which is normally not his forte.

 

THE BAD

Not overtly impressed with the first half of this episode. The kidnapping plot felt very weak and random with hardly any noticeable villainy that stood out from the norm. The wilderness family saw an opportunity to view Five as an object and tried to capitalize on it, which gave three all the motivation in the world to pursue and terminate accordingly. Perhaps it was a little too cut and dry for the plot, but there were no underlying connections made to Five being taken to those who have stronger ties to the Raza and as such won’t be remembered when thinking back on this season. I’m honestly surprised Five didn’t escape on her own given the intelligence level of the Danker family.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Without question when Three attempted to force Five away by regarding her as someone who should have been spaced when he had the chance. In a way it gave Five more justification to call him friend based on such a food hearty attempt to push her away and it showed by her tears of course. Instead of a hug, they merely touched fingers as she willingly left him for a the short term only to come back and once more save the entire crew from certain death. Five is more the glue for the crew now more than ever.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It should go to Three given the screen-time and sensibility he had in standing his ground and giving Kierken just enough to understand what may be at stake without giving up the crew. Also, notwithstanding, he clearly showcased his badassery by infiltrating the Danker family and annihilating each one in standard fashion given his abilities and strengths. He’s a tough character to kill and doesn’t give in to sentimental passion if he can avoid it, but since Five sees past the shell, it’s hard for him to maintain such appearances. Still, he’s grown plenty this season and he deserves the top spot tonight.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Let’s dive back into the issue with Four and Nyx. One second they’re in a casual fling, the next they agree to maintain a respectable distance and then end up back in bed together without very much context or scenes to help us figure out their motivations or intentions. It would almost be cute if it wasn’t so drastically discreet that even we the audience can’t see the events transpire as they do. I get that we need to care about this coupling, but it’s too invisible to make sense with what we’re seeing on screen. They simply need more manageable time together outside of guessing what color money is under the bowl.

 

With Kierken returning again I was hoping for a more dignified role that would have at least saw some ounce of respect between the Raza crew and the authority, but when Kierken ordered the Marauder to be shot down I was met with some confused thoughts. Throughout the season, he’s been relatively straight forward that he intends to capture the Raza crew, not kill them, so unless he was convinced sending a missile to bring down the small ship without killing them, the order feels like it goes against his own principles because he’s not a corrupt officer…so far as we know.

 

Six had the right idea with using the transfer transit units to go to the planet, but the crew didn’t follow through with that approach. Everyone went into the Marauder which effectively put them all at risk of being shot down. I would have probably split the crew up to take advantage of that idea and maybe limit the casualties more, but for time I understand why they didn’t do it.

 

I’m no doctor, but the area where Three was shot should have still punctured some of his lung, not to mention it was barely an inch or two away from his heart. Give the man a gold star for surviving a shot like that, but realistically he should have died from it, cauterized wound or not.

 

I’m hoping by this point in the season we can move past any distrust the crew may have for Six. It seemed unfair he had to be put through another layer of suspicion and of the android of all people who had just been accepted fully by the crew including Six. At least at the end it looked like she was sort of letting him try out his plan before things changed on the fly. No more distrust. Six is a part of the crew, he won’t betray twice in a row…right?

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Dark Matter sought to draw out more of Three and Five’s relationship at the expense of doing something more critical and grand, but the result manages to elevate the two as the crew continues to be drawn into the corporate conflict that will ignite presumably in the finale. Four’s final moment on the episode promises the next to hopefully settle a season long scratch that entails the resurgence of old-school Ryo, something I’m looking forward to. Not the kind of episode I was expecting this late in the season, but it brought out more heroism in Three that perhaps may have been missing previously. And with Six’s idea to becoming a singular unit enforcing order in the galaxy, we’re off to a fascinating journey into the penultimate episode coming up shortly. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×10 (The family that dreams together believes together)

Dark Matter 2x10

 

SUMMARY

After experiencing a vivid dream of being human and with Victor, the android wakes and informs the crew of the AI she activated to monitor and record her peculiar functions. The AI explains the android is malfunctioning which puts the crew in a cautious state with only Five defending her. When the android later regenerates, Two, Three, and Four experience hallucinations of enemies and familiar faces that attempt to kill or cause their deaths. As Six, Five, and Nyx aid their friends, the Android continues to dream with Victor eventually telling her that he’s the part of her conscious that is fearful of what the crew will do to her if she’s malfunctioning. The AI stresses to the crew that an uploaded virus is quickly taking over key systems in the ship and the only way to purge it is to kill the android. After the crew weight the risks and eventually decide against it, the AI sabotages the ship forcing everyone but Two into the marauder to survive. Two attempts to get to the core room but the AI stops her. Meanwhile, the android wakes and find two in a state of duress. Two orders the android to pull the core which forces the AI to electrocute Two, seemingly ending her life. After the core is pulled, the AI dissipates and Two recovers as her upgraded nanite technology saved her life. Five surmises that Truffault from the other dimension uploaded the virus before they escaped as the crew trust in the android to connect back to the ship and pilot it even though she may make another mistake in the future. In his quarters, Four opens a copied file onto his computer showing his brainscan that contains his memories, contemplating his next move.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter takes a methodical yet introspective look into the mindset of its primary crew. Removed are the lighthearted moments that are replaced with fear tactics and uncertainty all pointing toward a confrontation with the station’s AI, something I was hoping would happen this season. The exploitation of doubt and subverted memories makes tonight’s episode less action-packed and more cerebral in nature. I found the hallucinations and climax of the episode to be the most alluring and interpersonal but manages to tie a nice bow on at the end with the crew silently aligning on the android’s place in their rag-tag group. Now they’re ready for what lies ahead.

 

THE GOOD

There’s a lot to be gained with having our characters face snippets of well-guarded fears and anxieties. While not entirely consistent, Two, Three, and Four go through some potentially fatal wake-up calls with Four being the most affected by it. His subplot with wanting to return home has had the most enticing breadcrumbs scattered throughout the season thus far. By keeping us always focused on his motivations I feel the show has done a suburb job in getting us hyped for Four’s return to Zairon. I for one can’t wait for another series of great sword fights which are bound to happen.

 

The android’s place among the crew is no longer in question and it took one last look into her quiet dreams to really understand what she desires and why. There’s a polite yet abstract world buried in her processing core but it’s very intricate and yearns for that belonging more so than even Five’s. She may be flawed, but by being accepted for not being perfect, she’s in fact relating to the crew more now than ever. Five always had her back, Two needed to be sure, and Three struggled with trying to see her as a human versus a robot beyond the exterior which is a common trait in science fiction tales and properly handled in this case as well. The episode didn’t try and fool us into thinking the android’s dream world was real which was something I’m glad they didn’t do as that’s usually reserved for a main character of the storyline.

 

THE BAD

While the hallucinations were key in understanding what drives the fear and loneliness in our main cast, I felt only Four’s was the most appropriate given the circumstances. My issue with Two is that we shouldn’t need to travel back into her worry about being re-captured again. It may be fresh in her memory, but we should have gone a little deeper into her psyche. If there’s a chance she still blames herself for what happened to One then her hallucination could have centered around One attacking her for being killed. It would have made for a much more intimate tone than of a bunch of oddly dressed men who had no identities.

 

As for Three, I think what he went through was too critical. Two and Four weren’t in any real danger from themselves even though Four imagined a fatal strike by Misaki. I’ve no doubt he carries a deep sadness for what happened to Sarah and rightly so, but I find it too out of the box that Three would be convinced to end his life when on the surface he’s more of a survivor than anyone on the ship. As the scene played out though I would have thought an addendum to his situation would have helped at least define his mindset over what happened. If he’s still going through hardships he should be able to talk to someone, that someone either being Five or Six at this point. Missed opportunity but Four’s epilogue did take precedence so I agree with that decision.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The end when the crew remained silent in any objections to the android connecting back to the ship. If they had all replied in some unifying fashion it would have been fine, but here you can see a real sense of heart coming from the crew and they didn’t even have to do anything specific, just remain resolute and quiet. It was an extremely positive moment for the crew and more importantly the android who finally got the right impression from everyone as to her status on the ship. The crew have successfully been elevated into that next arc of friendship and trust that is very necessary when telling these stories. The more the crew believe in each other the more we believe in them.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Score another homerun by the android tonight. She played three distinct personalities even giving the AI a haunting and cold temperature to her normally bland tone. Her defining moment came when she returned to reality after trying to be convinced by an form of Victor that her snowy home was where she was meant to be. Sacrificing personal freedoms and unconditional comfort is often what is needed to show how much characters like the android can grow. It’s what you give up to help others that helps make you human and the android passed with flying colors.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I think it was too easy a sell for Five to say that alternate Truffault was behind the virus upload. I almost thought the virus was a red herring and the AI was hiding something else more sinister, but as it stands I think the real culprit is the eluded “season 2 betrayer” we were led to believe exists on the ship currently. Seems too much of a coincidence to be anything else.

 

Once again, thank you for incorporating another sword fight into the series. I’m a big fan of florentine fighting thought Four and Misaki did another excellent job of fighting. If Misaki really is that good I hope we get to see her perform again in the future.

 

Good on Five calling Two out on not being forthcoming about the android’s condition as Two herself kept her issues hidden. As the leader, Two has the prerogative to be keep appearances but Five knows better and should always be the one to confront her when Two is being stubborn and overbearing. Six does it too but tends to stay reserved while Five will pour her heart out if need be.

 

There is one minor flaw in one scene I have to point out for continuity. After the hallucinations ended Six recommends Four hand over his sword for his own protection and Four agreeably gives it to Six. I think Four should have given his sword to Nyx based on their past discretions. True Four and Nyx have been avoiding any residual feelings toward one another, but you can’t deny that they share a warrior-like bond as they’ve trained on multiple occasions. I maintain that if Four gave Nyx the sword that would have told us that maybe he does still care about her in an “honorable” way that we the audience could recognize. It wouldn’t need anything more than that subtle part. The rest they could pick up at a later episode.

 

Non-episode related but I recently watched “Cabin in the Woods” again and found Jodelle in the credits as a one-armed zombie. Sure enough, when I went back to look, there she was all pig-tails and rotted flesh. That was one of her early roles too. Now all I have to do is convince myself that the blonde security officer that got killed by the homocidal clown was Zoie because she looked just like her.

 

OVERALL SCORE

Another 9 out of 10. This was a near-flawless episode that dove right into the heart of the crew as it needed to settle their differences on how they felt about the android and what she means to them. Four is given yet another crucial piece of motivation to return home and save his empire and the AI was finally dealt with. All good elements that make tonight’s episode a classic one. Moving forward we’ll be getting to that penultimate plot really soon as we don’t really know what the finale will entail. While I’m excited I’m also cautious as to the plight they’ll be going through. Will this be about themselves or about a much bigger threat that will get them to save others? We’ll soon find out. As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×09 (I think that’s the first time there’s LITERAL dark matter on the show)

Dark Matter 2x09

 

SUMMARY

After Four and Nyx are revealed with having a one-night stand by Three, Five discovers Two unconscious and is brought to the sick bay. There she’s diagnosed with failing nanites which will result in her death in a short time frame. The crew travel to Earth where they attempt to penetrate Dwarf Star Technologies HQ by using an employee who once made a connection with Two when she was still being trained. Three and Six make it onboard via a space elevator but are quickly captured by Rook. Two, Four, and Nyx mount a rescue by using the blink drive on the Marauder and split up. Two is confronted by Rook who reveals a new prototype bio-engineered human who easily takes down Two and Nyx. Four rescues the others and kills the prototype just as Two loses consciousness. Six then removes blood from the prototype and injects it into Two saving her life. Back on the Raza, Six is suspicious of Three’s activities and with Two’s help capture him. They uncover a fluidic entity inside of Three placed there during an earlier interrogation and scramble to eject it into space. As things return to normal, the android goes to charge is later seen dreaming where she’s in a bed and appears as a human.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter blinks through with more science-fiction madness and sincerity than any previous tales to date. The scope is brought down, but with tonight’s engaging story we’re left with a myriad of technical advances and scary optimism for what’s to come. Two path may seem like a call to answers, but I believe there’s something more critical at work here and its design has given us an initial glimpse into the horrific nature of Dwarf Star Technologies. As always, there’s teases and hard decisions permeating the air as Four draws closer to leaving his friends while the android embarks on another piece of her journey to human-being. Mark this one off as an astonishing push forward into Dark Matter’s limitless realm of possibilities.

 

THE GOOD

I’ll start by saying Two’s plight to save herself was a positive exercise in showcasing why the crew need her and why she’s their leader. Five and the android discussed their feelings on the matter as Six was more emotional toward that climactic moment when all seemed lost. The take-away here is that she’s the lynch pin of the show’s moving progress toward the final battle. She’s pushing the storyline by choice while characters like Five and Four very important roles to fulfill, but they don’t singlehandedly divert the plot into its primary direction. That’s Two’s job. She sees what’s ahead and guns for it, and in this case it was about making sure she survives and in doing so, begins a whole new plot in understanding the evil nature that is Rook and his company. The main character needs motivation and I’ll say Two definitely has it.

 

The creature that inhabited Three was our first real look something truly out of this world, nevermind the fact we’re in space. This isn’t necessarily the space that has encountered alien lifeforms or other such entities save for what black viscous screamed out through Three’s mouth. Is it another creation by Rook? Or does it have a home outside of our own cosmos? What’s important is there should be some buzz on what that creature is and what it was doing in the engine room where the blink drive is centrally located. I think it was a great introduction that capped off the last portion of the episode and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of it.

 

THE BAD

I was hoping for a prototype A meets prototype B fight, and though we got it I felt it was a bit of a let down. My hopes were of a sleeker opponent, not one that actually showed a stronger physical build. It was essentially a no-name opponent who looked more terminator-like than special as in Two’s case. Though it proved to be a dominant figure, it was quickly dispatched by several shots to the body and head, followed by a stabbing courtesy of Four. I wanted a more unique design and survivable purpose, but I understand the point was to get Two its nanites so she could survive. The scene served its agenda.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There are some quintessential moments of dialogue that more than decipher the motivations and understandings of characters and in this case I was drawn in by Four and Six’s conversation about why Four stays and how close he is to leaving due to the war on his planet. I’ve been wanting development for Four this entire season and we’re finally given some insight as to the struggle he deals with and more importantly, how he justifies his time with the Raza crew. It may seem like a filler scene at first glance, but if you read more into it, you’ll see how conflicted Four really is and what it means for him to remain on the sidelines while things inevitably get worse back home. Great character development here.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Give this one to Two for refusing to stay locked down during her plight to stay alive. Going out in a flash was more preferable then decaying in the lab and understandably so. As a captain and capable leader she takes the riskier route and in this case prevails due to a loyal crew who care about who guides them on this long journey. And it goes both ways as she’ll do what it takes to save those under her as well as with Three seen at the climax of the episode. When its feet to the fire, she’ll burn herself to find the answers no matter what.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I found it pleasantly odd that we make it all the way to Earth and yet it feels no different to the crew as though it was just another planet in the vicinity. I suppose with FTL they can go to and from Earth as often as they’d like. I think now would be a good time to show us just how vast humanity has traveled and in what time period do they exist in.

 

The space elevator is an interesting tool to introduce and on Earth of all places as there’s a few valid articles roaming the internet that detail plans to create such a road to space in real life. I like the parallel concept and am glad they’re using elements and inventions that are drawn from real life in episodes like these.

 

Those guard uniforms were sharp but I can’t help but see them as armed waiters. The collars just reminded me of bow ties as well as the vests. Very pristine.

 

I don’t want to seem too negative here, but the fling between Four and Nyx, though situational, feels unnecessary at the moment. This is the second occurrence between two characters who sleep together and don’t make it a thing, Two and Three being the first. I wouldn’t mind the coupling if it actually led to something real between the two and as stated both Nyx and Four don’t want to make it a big deal and there was no evidence supporting either one actually cared about the other. I get that these drive-by relationships can be common place with their fluctuating lifestyles, but on a show with a small crew, it’s important to relay momentum and progress in feelings between characters and if Four and Nyx aren’t going to become an item, then don’t tease the possibility. Who knows, this could build into something more down the road, but I still don’t know if Nyx knows that Four suggested her brother commit suicide. If she doesn’t know, that information would likely put him in a bad spot. If she does know, then apparently she’s already forgiven him.

 

The final scene depicts the android waking in some virtual environment likely brought on by the upgrade she received earlier this season. If it’s a paradise for androids that can congregate it’ll be interesting to see who she interacts with and how. I’ll look forward to her character branching out more in human-like fashion. Plus the hot chocolate scene was cute if not a sign that she’s becoming more bold in her personality.

 

OVERALL SCORE

The ninth episode gets a 9 out 10. The return of a main villain marks a dramatic shift in storyline development, namely Two’s resurgence and the entity that claimed Three for a short time. It’s departure is questionable as is the true nature of Dwarf Star’s plans in space. The selling point here is the growth the team is making as a family and the lengths they’ll go to for survival, something that shouldn’t just be communicated by Six and Five alone who are the heart and soul of the crew’s moral compass. Four is finally reaching his limit with choosing loyalty versus family and I say it’s about time that happened. The blink drive was cleverly utilized and not forgotten about and we got a very beautiful look at our home planet which by first glance has the notion of being utopian. But maybe not all is at it seems as Two intends to dive further into Rook’s involvement with experimental objects and entities. Now is truly the time to get hyped for what’s to come. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×08 (Stop me if you heard this, two androids walk into a Raza…)

Dark Matter 2x08

 

SUMMARY

The crew land in a parallel universe where their counterparts side with the Ferrous Corporation and flee from an attack by Commander Truffault. With a damaged blink drive, Two deals with Truffault personally as the android surmises they are in a parallel dimension. With the appearance of two Raza’s, Truffault agrees to assist Two regain the other blink drive as Four helps lure the resident Raza by appearing as Ryo the emperor. As Portia and Boone are captured, Two and Three attempt to access the drive but are caught in another mission set by Jace Corso involving a dispute with a mining colony wanting independence from Ferruos Corp. Unable to diffuse the situation, Two tries to stop Corso from detonating a nuke on the planet but is unsuccessful. Once back on the ship, the other android helps Two and Three subdue the crew. Truffault tries to double-cross Two, but with the help of the android, they foil her plan and allow Portia and Boone to return to their ship sans their blink drive. Once installed, the Raza crew return to their dimension only to find a stowaway marauder detach and flee to another sector in space, its occupant(s) unknown. Later, Two experiences another episode with dizziness and collapses in her room.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A delightful venture into experimental technology results in Dark Matter’s first profound arc into the sub-plot of parallel dimensions. Not withstanding a few kinks in the hull, this episode collectively straddles the space-fence with a fresh plot and sees the return of characters long distant from the series. Though earnest in its tale of “what if the Raza went bad,” tonight’s storyline left more questions than answers, most certainly with who stowed away from the other dimension? But was “Stuff to Steal, People to Kill” just a one-off or will this parallel world be a foot-hold into more crazy cross-overs in the future? I guess it all depends on what story is ultimately being told, the corporate war, or a ship just trying to save the universe.

 

THE GOOD

I’ll admit, I was waiting for someone to explain time-travel as the thesis of this plot only to find that they broke a hole into another universe which is certainly a more fitting abstract considering the drive’s function. What’s interesting to note is the reference to the cosmic microwave background, something not often discussed in sci-fi dimensional hopping. It’s temperature had a variance which gave the suggestion of a separate universe and if the android was able to detect that within the active field then such a determination is possible. I would have liked if the android dived further into that premise but with Two probably not prepped for such a conversation, it would have fallen to the lamen observer. In any case, I applaud the short but prompt explanation as to their departure and arrival to another universe and felt it sticks within the paradigm their telling.

 

There’s also a reoccurring theme of alignment shifts within the main cast, mostly Two, Three, and Four at this point but the show continues to inform us that under any other circumstances outside of Five’s influence, the crew would be essentially anarchistic and murderous without relent. Twice this season we’ve been treated to the “Bad” Raza crew either in the form or another and it stands to reason that the struggle with staying good-natured is still very much real within the crew’s lives. For Five and Six it’s different, but what I like about the theme is that there’s no way of knowing for sure if those that have been labeled as good characters will inevitably turn evil for one reason or another, such as when Six betrayed the crew in the finale or when we see Corso running around as the opposite of One. I wonder if we’ll see an evil Five wreck havoc in her own way one day.

 

THE BAD

A few missed opportunities, mostly interactions and dialogue with the doppelgangers. I would think Two and Portia would have more to discuss about their physical design and origin than anything else especially since Two had been suffering from those strange jitters would came back in full force in the final scene. I think Kal’s demise was handled a little too ubruptly, but as Boone had shown, they don’t keep prisoners or traitors alive I imagine. The trip down to the mining colony was to my view a futile plot point, something we’d seen before and really didn’t need to witness again. I would have preferred a different kind of mission the Raza was sent on, but the Ferrous Corp tend to wrap their sights on colonies like the one Corso lit up with a nuke. I suppose not too much could inevitably change in a parallel world.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When they returned to their own universe only to find a separate marauder escape. Those kinds of loose threads help evolve an already complicated plot and without knowing who’s on the ship, fan speculation could go in all sorts of directions. I have my own suspicions which I’ll get into in a short moment. Needless to say, there was a consequence for stealing another blink drive and soon, the crew will figure out who that consequence will be.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I think Two deserve most of the credit here tonight. She tried to diffuse and stabilize multiple situations and save lives even though it was another universe entirely. She still felt the responsibility to safeguard anyone that was in conflict with the evil crew because it mattered. She doesn’t like messes and tries to clean up everything. It’s the sign of a good leader even if some decisions turn out for the worst. She still tried to make right and even let her wicked double go probably knowing they would still be up to no good on their side.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

As to who came back from the other side, I want to say the answer is simple; Jace Corso. It’s more about keeping the actor on the show than anything else, I believe and it fits that he would stowaway while the others weren’t looking. Does that mean Wexler and Tash made it as well? Possible, but they weren’t characters that made a big enough impact in my opinion, I think it was one and one alone.

 

The second android made an interesting comment about Portia making her the way she is and owing her because of it. I felt there should have been more there, something to entice the conversation further or at the very least make Two and her android suspicious of something. Who knows, maybe it was the other android who stowed away on the marauder, with a mission of her own. That was my only guess at the moment.

 

If the Raza essentially accidentally broke into another dimension with a drive that wasn’t adjust properly, then how did the android know how to reproduce the same effect to get them back home without damaging the drive? Kinda minor but that also leads me to wonder how Portia figured that part on her own unless there’s been some parallel dimensional hopping that we don’t know about by a previous party perhaps?

 

Just so everyone knows, when you’re evil, that means you dress your ship in darkness and red lights all over the place, because evil. I actually preferred that design but I can see why it wouldn’t last on the normal Raza ship.

 

This is also the second time we’ve ended an episode on Two’s body fluctuations. I did peek at the preview for next week and I’m delighted that Wil Wheaton will be back to extend a “helping” hand as Rook. As to what’s ailing Two, I’m certain is has to do with either a fail-safe in her system caused by Rook or possibly a breakdown in her genetic structure, something she needs that only Rook has. We’ll see next week.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter continues to pull away at the veil of exploited technology and puts the crew in a perilous plot to save themselves or suffer at the hand of their evil twins. Six’s scene with Five proved to be the most relevant as time and time again we’re made to understand Five’s importance on the show as a crucial one. We don’t truly know if this is the first of many trips to this universe or different ones can be traveled to down the road, but for now we’ll contend with an evil stowaway and a working blink drive that is at their disposal. Devon’s fate is still unknown as Nyx will likely rejoin the crew next week while Two faces her ailment head on. It’s getting hotter in space as the Raza climbs higher into trouble cosmic-waters, but so far, it’s a kickin’ journey. Keep up the good work and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×07 (We all know what happened last time…liberate tutemet ex inferis)

Dark Matter 2x07

 

SUMMARY

The crew apprehend Tabor Calcheck to assist in locating Alicia who knows what the key card they have can do. On the way, they purchase three transit stations to allow them to transport cloned versions of themselves into Alicia’s headquarters. Three, Four, and Five enter the transit and find the portable drive that with the missing key card will allow for instant transport of a vessel which is faster than FTL. During their mission, Devon reveals to Nyx how he was on drugs during a colonial transport that suffered damage and operated on a young girl who didn’t survive. Back on the mission, Three and Four are captured but Five remains hidden long enough to return and kill the clones. Two and Six retrieve her and the drive on the roof as the Raza is attacked by another vessel. Once returned, the Raza escapes and later take Tabor back to the station he came from. Devon leaves the Raza and is accompanied by Nyx who believes he needs her help in adjusting from his tragic past. Afterward, the crew attempt to activate the drive and disappear in space. Devon is then confronted on the station by Hansmeed and his men who are looking for Nyx. Unwilling to help, Devon is stabbed in the gut and left for dead leaving Nyx alone in a bar waiting for him to return.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter successfully escalates its episodic drama by giving the crew literal keys to the kingdom of superior inter-galactic space travel. Now, with the power of a prototype they journey into the unknown and leave us truly guessing as to the status of their next step in the universe where everyone wants what they have. There are captivating layers of dramatic bonding that sees our supporting characters fleshing out their issues more-so than our main characters which is a rare element to witness. It helps bridge the gap but also laments in the possible departure of our resident physician who was last seen defending the crew by refusing to help an enemy. Mixing in a few gorgeous shots of space and the vehicles that occupy it, this episode marks for a radical expansion of importance and intrigue as the crew embark on a new tale of survival.

 

THE GOOD

This was an excellent example with how to balance each character and make them all feel important to the plot at hand. Everyone, including Nyx and Devon felt integral to the plot and there were no wasted characters, with the exception of Tabor who was entirely too ecstatic, but managed to bring it down to a manageable level once he spoke to the android about her emotional upgrades. This balance also includes the right amount of humor and emotional moments that tethered the episode’s overall performance. Very well written and proved to be one of the better turning points of this season.

 

The caper itself seemed rather cut and dry, but I found the unique points are what stood out, especially when Five returns to kill the clones of Three and Four and the dialogue between Three and Four respectively before, during, and after their shoot out. Little things like throwing the single gun back and forth and Three not noticing Five leave after he tells her to are what stand out in an otherwise procedural action sequence. Even the red coats were better to see than typical white ones that signify who is a scientist and who clearly isn’t.

 

THE BAD

My only negatives are drawn from a lack of follow through on Alicia’s apparent fixation on Five outside of her obsession with the portable drive. I would have preferred Five and Alicia had some scene together on the roof before the Marauder shows up to at least entice us further on some connection they may have together. But if there truly isn’t one to be had then I understand why it wasn’t so. Outside of that, my complaints in this episode are minor and more related to continuity than anything.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Less action and more preparation, I actually enjoyed the scene where the crew decide who was going to go on the mission mainly in reference to how exposition and backtracking functions on a TV show. Every episode it’s necessary to remind viewers certain aspects of character relationships, previous episode plot points and overall missions expanding throughout the seasons as a whole. I felt the dialogue flowed in a healthy way that didn’t feel bogged down when Three reminded Six he was on probation or when Six recalled to Two why it would be inadvisable to go on the mission based on her nanite-fueled body, something that’s been rarely talked about this season. It felt healthy if not for characters reminding other characters what issues they had, but considering they’re all still working out the kinks of their trust it stands to reason this kind of preparation would keep them discussing old topics and current flaws. I liked it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Though Devon took one for the team, it was Nyx who surprised me by never taking the pills that Devon gave her earlier in the episode. She took accountability for her state of mind and ownership over helping Devon recover from his tragedy and that says a lot about a person who empathizes with someone who suffered emotional trauma. Though I feel it was more about getting her off the Raza for the original crew to disappear, I still think it was interesting that she went as far as to give up her weapons and dedicate this time off in assisting Devon and retaining his secret. Good on her.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Two continuity issues I had were the following:

  1. Why show Two having jitters in her limbs at the tail end of last week’s episode and never once recall that in the next episode following? It’s not that I’ll forget, but normally when you supply a cliffhanger like that, you come back to it in some capacity by the next scene or at the very least in the next episode. Seemed odd.
  2. Assuming it was just one ship attacking the Raza, in one shot the ship was directly underneath them being shot at and in the next, the enemy ship is to the right and at the same height as the Raza right before they went to FTL. Seemed like an awkward CGI jump cut where the enemy ship was in one location and then directly in another right after.

 

I was glad they kept Kris Holden-Reid on but his part was so small and insignificant, I’m surprised it was necessary to have him in the episode at all, just to identify that the Galactic Authority were still searching for the Raza crew. I’m hoping for something more expanded the next time he’s on the show.

 

Big guys who are sent in to torture people by beating their faces senseless can still suffer some radical knuckle and overall fist damage regardless of the gloves they wear. Next time, stick to something other than their hands to do the job, like a futuristic bat, or an electrical prod of some type.

 

The prospect of folding space and time is one of the more radical theories in space travel and it actually fits very well here when considering the art of vessels being in strategic places faster than others. It’s like having an airplane in the 1800’s while everyone else still rides on horseback. Where things will get interesting is whether the Raza will be trapped in their initial voyage or if everything is safe and sound on their trial run. Yeah right, bring on the space demons!

 

I can’t stress this enough, I really loved the opening shot of that space station. I wasn’t expecting that level of detail and was pleasantly surprised by how intricate it looked. Kudos to the designers of that station, I really felt that fit the paradigm perfectly.

 

OVWERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter is headed in the right direction now that the crew have their hands on the most critical piece of hardware in the galaxy. With the right blend of humor, action, and dramatic backstory, I was intrigued from beginning to end including the rough exit of Devon and the uncertainty of the Raza as it blinked out of sight. The pressure is more certainly on to capitalize on this centric plot and uncover more radical themes that push the crew to their breaking points. Very much looking forward to next week’s episode as our cliffhangers are getting substantially more demanding. Until next time, thanks for reading.

 

 

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