Just when you thought the Raza would be boarded and its crew interrogated and tortured, they swerve and give us a thieving plot. The tenth episode of Dark Matter pairs our notable crew with another team, charged with stealing an unknown but important device from a station. After both teams encounter an unhealthy amount of drama, the plan is set in motion while the android begins a new assessment on her program by creating a holographic version of herself designed to track her every movement and decision. It’s a smash and grab with plenty of both to seal within this mostly standalone episode.
For the past few episodes we’ve been given ample backstory and intriguing plot to push our knowledge of the crew into expanding territory. Every now and again we’re given an episode that’s outside of that scope but keeps intact enough character development to move personalities along and maybe keep some things lighthearted along the way. Two’s attitude remains the same when confronted by overzealous masculine types while Five is given a chance to assert her worth on the crew. Technically the episode can be skipped based purely on over-arcing plot development, but with all episodes ending it snafu cliffhangers, it’s best to enjoy the episode for what it is: hijinks and mayhem.
The Raza avoid a nuclear strike against a pursuing vessel and are aided by the corporation that backed their play during the mining colony plot. They are given an assignment to remain sponsored and are told to steal a device with the help of another team. Both crews travel in the Raza and their leader mistakenly tries to pursue Two and ends up physically injured. This allows Five to take his place with her knowledge of electronic engineering. Once inside the station, both crews perform as intended and after a few hiccups along the way leave with the device in hand. Later on the ship, the other crew double-cross the Raza team and steal the ship and the device for themselves. In the final scene, Two is jettisoned into space.
The first few things to stand out are the resourcefulness of Two and Five with how Two handled the nuke missile and with how Five adapted through the issue with powering the door. Collectively they are showing their capabilities and proving why they are where they need to be on the crew. Most everyone else really didn’t come through with any particular “save the day” moments, but for the sake of hilarity, Four was best being put outside the group overtaking the door. He would have decimated the android easily had he been there, but no one knew. I thought Wexler might have touched on something about Two’s method for choosing mates, but ever since she started fraternizing with One, her attitude has been more monogamous as of late. Either way, his attitude earned him a beaten body proving even in space, some men are complete douche-bags.
There’s also a bit of relationship woes dividing One and Two up ever since he confronted her about speaking to the crew before her about the job. He gets some not-so soundly advice with how to treat their captain and she reacts by dismissing any future acts together for the time being. There are always some irrational behaviors in the drama that are relationships and as such One is realizing he can’t just cop an attitude with Two and not expect there to be some kind of retaliation. Every male that attempts to assert their dominance over her tends to be quickly squashed in one form or another.
The act of the job itself had its moments, mainly with the android problem which I thought was handled a bit poorly between everyone, but that was the point. When it was stated there’d be no weapons on the job, I thought something like this would occur, but the crew can’t always rely on weapons, good lesson to learn. Not knowing what the device really is is disappointing mainly because it doesn’t wrap up all the plot points in the same episode. It’s a typical formula to maintain watching episode to episode, but I would have liked to know something more than that a corporation desired to have it.
The android’s unique idea to create a holographic version of herself to assess her functions was a cool approach. One the good side, she’s learning to diagnose herself and is also proving to be resourceful just on her own, but the bad side is that it keeps her isolated and away from any plot that takes the crew outside of the ship. This gives her something to do and to stay relevant, but I’d like her to be more useful when its possible. The hologram’s quick vanishing act when Five came in does raise a question or two.
The android attack. This is the second time (that I remember) when they’ve used a fight sequence to trade banter between characters. It deflates the seriousness of the situation, but allows the crew to deal with the problem without being too eccentric or serious about it. I like that dynamic because it’s not often the jokes seem very spot on except in these kinds of skirmishes.
I think Two gets it for this episode. In dealing with the nuke attack, the new crew and of course the overlapping relationships between her friends, she’s been playing a constant balancing act while keeping her secret still at bay. It can’t always be easy for her, and the strain will eventually cause her to slip up on that secret, unless she comes clean before that happens. Still, she’s fighting the good fight, playing it safe when she needs to and conforming to the crew’s vote as well. Her renaissance nature showed in this episode.
It’s a shot in the dark, but did the android imagine her holographic twin? If so, could that be a side effect of her programming, or is the hologram just not supposed to be seen by anyone? Could be simple, but I still wonder.
That hipster Lannister pair were an odd bunch. Just when you thought they started to show some character, they didn’t. Shame.
I honestly don’t mind seeing Two spaced. I know something creative will happen that will allow her to survive, probably involving her genetic make-up, but if this show does have any moxy, they might afford to put away a cast member by season’s end. It doesn’t have to be Two, but it could show there’s no safety net on the show.
I don’t know why but I liked that Three was the one who gave up the code. I would have expected either One or Six to have done it, but that’s how you give jerk-like characters more substance by having them do unexpected things, usually compassionate in nature.
Five gets pass on her goggles this time, because she actually used them in a way that made sense.
This felt very average to me. The backstories and main plot were essentially put on hold to make way for a standard crew vs. crew tale which saw the double-cross a mile away. When shows can’t afford to put aside main arc plots, it’s compelling television, but when writers have to throw in these kinds of stories, I’m not as intrigued. Still, it allowed for some light-hearted moments and helped give Five something to do. The end showed promise for the next episode, but that’s what cliffhangers are designed to do. I know we won’t be spending an entire episode trying to search for a spaced Two, but it should move forward her ability which is something I’ve been clamoring for the last few episodes. 6 out of 10. Again, I’m not knocking the episode for doing what it did, it was just overtly dull to me. Thanks for reading.
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