A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×01 (Emily, or Five? Well, there’s five letters in Emily, so Five it is)

Dark Matter 2x01

 

SUMMARY

Two, Three, and Four are placed within the general population of a moon-based prison near a planet while One and Four are held separately. Six, having returned to his duties as an agent attempts to rationalize his actions based on the information he uncovered while on the ship. Meanwhile, Two, Three, and Four each discover aspects of the prison in order to plan an escape. One is returned to the planet where the CEO of his father’s company greets him allowing One to pursue the only lead regarding his wife’s murder. When the lead turns up dead, he begins to suspect a bigger plot. Meanwhile, the android is impounded and may suffer a memory wipe if her files are extracted abnormally. Six later gives Four a coded file to decrypt that shows the GA group he worked for knew about the bomb that created a smear campaign against the rebels. As Six escorts Four off the planet, she is taken by an investigation team and Six is relieved of his duties. In his room, One is confronted by Jace Corso who shoots him multiple times, leaving him for dead.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark conspiracies run rampant as the crew of the Raza deal with external factors in separate groups. Once the voice of reason, now Six (Kal) wrestles with his betrayal whilst finding out the very group he works for has an agenda of their own. The sci-fi cloak and dagger reaches new heights and delivers a shocking cliffhanger where death is all but guaranteed in this second season premiere. Given the large gap between seasons, it’s best to either give season 01 a quick binge watch session or run the risk of forgetting who did what, where, and why. It’s unapologetic explanations allow for the premiere to run right into the next phase of the crew’s plot without reconditioning all the plots from earlier. It saves on time but can be jarring if certain past episodes were a blur. In any case, it’s fresh to see the crew encumbered with a new threat and no ship to navigate in. All in all, a satisfying start to this space-action drama.

 

THE GOOD

Apart from Five and Six’s broken trust, the cast is more of less intact as full-fledged allies with a bit of bickering still apparent. Six’s problems with his choice is that he making the best call given the information he has making him the most effective pawn in a gambit of stronger players. The prison aspect is an old trope classically rehearsing lines such as “No has ever escaped” and “inmates running things from within” but they do try and add elements such as the holographic isolation programs and the high frequency anti-riot tactics. A somewhat new mysterious prisoner offers an alliance that could mean addition to the series, but for now, it’s important to note that Jace put several bullets in One and seemingly killed him. It’s a age-old tactic to convince us a main character has fallen, and though it’s doubtful it’ll stick, I appreciate the effort in trying. If it does stick, I’m perfectly fine with the choice, however given our unresolved mystery into One’s death, I doubt he’ll be dead for long.

 

THE BAD

The trouble with converging conspiracies is, it’s sometimes a heavy task drawing lines and parallels to the larger plot. Is One’s corporate storyline relative to Six’s? Does everyone know who and what Five (Emily) really is? Furthermore, how much will Six have to endure before he realizes the mistake he made before he helps bring the crew back together? He’s a very conflicted character because he tries to do right from a “justice” and “integrity” mindset but when it trumps the associations he’s made with people who call him friend it’s difficult to come back from that. Right now, it’s safe to say the universe is out to get the crew and while that’s a fitting element to keep alive, the threat of everyone as a main villain makes it hard to grasp who is ultimately pulling the strings. It’s time we put a real face to the one’s giving the crew the hardest time.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The last scene. There’s something grossly satisfying when a rogue character appears out of nowhere and decimates their enemy in unrelenting fashion. Jace Corso can be ruthless and whether he was paid or whether it was personal, he unloaded on One and capped off the murder as a cold-blooded killer should. I still wished he had a more gruff look or voice to really differentiate between the characters. I’ll always blame the acting, but what can you do? Good note to end the premiere on.

 

CHARACTER MVP

The division of scenes was relatively well-balanced between the cast, but Six did show the most confliction, and attempt to convince himself and the others of his choices. He’s struggling to be a man of order and righteousness, and though we know it’s a horrible position to betray seasoned allies, he’s trying to mitigate the situation by at least saving those he feels don’t deserve any punishment for their actions. In his mind, he’s separating the good eggs from the bad ones and it can be seen in a noble light, but we’d rather if Six made the more justified call and help get the crew back on track again. He’s just as much a pawn in this state as the others, he’s just too stubborn to realize it.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I call shenanigans with One deciding to keep his face the one he woke up with. That’s terrible writing right there. It’s a subjective explanation which can be argued that he doesn’t want to represent his old life even though he’s knee-deep in his wife’s death plot, but to simply give an excuse like that wasn’t very believable to me.

 

The android seen felt incredibly short and mishandled. She’s not as adverse to saving the crew herself and was a little too accepting of her situation. We didn’t get a follow up seen to the realization she could lose her personality matrix as well as her state of being which puts her back into that cold state of “Why do we feel for her again?” Someone needs to remember that there’s an android out there that needs their help.

 

Two has yet to mention that she saw Six’s face right before she was taken out at the end of last season. Maybe she didn’t really see him, but that’s now how the scene seemed to play out. Neither Two, Three, or Four even mentioned who might have betrayed them or tried to guess based on who wasn’t with them. It wasn’t even brought up. They just moved right along to the “How to we escape” part of the plot, which leaves who put them there a little unfinished.

 

Was that really a sideways toilet in Two’s isolation cell? Or just some vent? And if Two was allowed to converse with other prisoners in a holographic world, how exactly does that make isolation an effective tool to subvert the prisoners? Making the world cold means making her cell cold if I’m not mistaken, unless the matrix made her think she was cold. And were they the only two in isolation at the time? Seems odd.

 

I know plot convenience means the Raza is parked and waiting for the crew to once more escape in it, but I’m surprised the ship was completely stripped down from the inside based on all the secrets it still carries, whether it’s tech, dead bodies, money, or plot devices that give the crew more mysteries to solve. At the very least, it shouldn’t be empty with just Six roaming around on it.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. For every mystery solved, there’s two more in it’s place giving season 02 plenty of juice to work with. And thought Six wasn’t as “Hydra” as he might have seemed in the finale, he’s definitely in a better spot to be the voice for the crew once he wakes up and realizes what he’s done and fixes it. The prison scenes were generally cliché with the exceptions of the isolation setup, but that was more plot convenience to get Two and the other prisoner talking and scheming and talking between cells wouldn’t have been as rewarding apparently. By next week, hopefully the crew will find escape and find each other though One’s fate could be left in the dark unless Six or someone else finds him hanging on by a thread. If the android escapes on her own I’ll be surprised, but she has managed some interesting feats before. All in all, a good start to season two and I look forward to some more crazy sci-fi tales from this crew. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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One response to “A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×01 (Emily, or Five? Well, there’s five letters in Emily, so Five it is)

  1. Pingback: July 3, 2016: Dark Matter contest winner! | Josephmallozzi's Weblog

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