After the android is unsuccessful with linking to the Raza, she undergoes a sleep repair cycle, but the result of her failed link prompts the computer system to activate brain scans which knock out Two, Three, and Four. They wake as their original cruel personalities and capture the new crew including Five. Convinced she can save them, Five escapes while Arax, Devon, and Nyx hold off Three and Four by gun fire. Meanwhile, Two links with the ship herself giving her control over its systems allowing her to recapture the team. Five, with the help of the android’s doppelganger AI persona, uses her personal link device to join into Two’s memories, specifically at a vulnerable state in her life and stops Two from killing the crew. Later, the old crew are returned to their previous selves and learn that their memories were never wiped but rather suppressed. While they hold off on merging their old memories with the new, Five returns a lock-box belonging to Three who inadvertently turns on a transponder device placed within the box, prompting a man in an unknown city to tell another that the transponder has been activated and belongs to Boone (Three).
It’s a dark day for Five as she contents with untrustworthy crew members and the old incarnations of her friends. This self-contained episode is a marker for personal trials and games of trust as arguably the most cherished character on the show begins another chapter in her growth. Smiles and betrayals run rampant throughout the vacant halls of their ship giving way to a realization that personality and one’s true self is sometimes the hardest test to take. I’m pleasantly satisfied with the amount of skepticism the crew maintained without over-saturating the plot with too many plot-twists. The key was making Five not just a resourceful crew member, but someone who believes in the personalities that have become her friends. With Six on ice, she has become the new moral compass on the show and deservedly so. All that’s left to discover is who did Three inadvertently contact, and how deep does Arax’s relationship go with Alicia Reynaud?
The season needed a little breathing room after the intense escape from last week’s episode. Here, we’re given a old glimpse into the familiar halls of the Raza complete with its darkened corridors and grim colored-rooms. By and far we needed the comfort of knowing the ship hadn’t changed much and that the crew were still assessing their direction while taking on new members. We didn’t need more departures and cities to scour through, just a bit of rummaging through the old set and a sense that things are still far from normal even in the comfort of their space-home.
The basic sense of the plot centered around seeing how Two, Three, and Four reacted to waking from their old slumber. I doubt this is the last time we’ll see them in their original forms as they carried on without skipping much of a beat save for Two hell-bent on merging with the ship’s systems, an act even she wasn’t aware of until the moment it happened. What this episode tapped into toward the end was the realization that memories and traits are so incredibly important to one’s state of mind that any unlocking or merging of old memories would take away who they are and what they may try to accomplish in the future. In short, its a case of duality versus morality. If Five believes in the good morals of who she became friend with, then whoever they used to be, memories or not, don’t matter, and like her, deserve a clean slate. In this case it’s very literal, but as long as the crew struggle with keeping those memories far from their heads, they’ll stand to be in a better position then when they arrived on the ship.
Two’s persona as Portia was both a great look into the mindset of her merciless past, and a twisted portrayal into someone obsessed with opening and closing the doors on her ship with her own mind. Her smiles were less frightening and more self-absorbed over the possibilities of controlling the ship with a throught. While it was unique to see she had that dormant ability, I’m not convinced this was the right time to put her through it. The persona Portia is still very new and chaotic, but here we’re given a raw look into her megalomaniacal nature and we’re only three episodes into season 2. I guess where I feel it lost me was that how powerful can one truly feel when they’re linking to a ship’s system? This plot just didn’t seem the right time to throw that detail in the mix. Maybe further down the road when she’s in a real position to wreck havoc.
When Five beat down on Two in the old memory. It was as strong as we’ve ever seen Five be and on her own she was able to reach out and humble the Portia personality which really shouldn’t have been an easy task. And against “evil” android’s insistence, Five made the better call and helped put the crew back in the states of mind she knows is better for them. Here’s hoping she won’t crawl into any more ducts and crawlspaces to escape her enemies, but rather face them head on.
Five is alive and kicking with serious conviction. She showed more guile and determination than in recent memory and is willing to fight for her friends when they can’t. She’s more than earned her place among the crew, and moving forward, I imagine they’ll put their trust in her when the times come. The pace at which she’s learning is perfect too, because she shouldn’t have all the answers right now, but certainly there’s ability and the will to see an action through to the end and she’s not shying away from that responsibility.
Five’s outfit seemed extraordinarily random tonight. I kept having Christmas themes stuck in my head with that color-scheme, as though any moment she’d sit down with a hot cup of coco and read by the fire once things settled down. Where would she shop for that stuff anyway?
I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but every single line delivered by Nyx seemed like she was purposefully telling us she was hiding something. The most brutal example is when Nyx and Five ran into each other while Five was searching for Portia and Nyx completely sold this “I’m pretending to help you but really I’m not” attitude. Everything still seems off and awkward about her nature and given Arax’s ties to Alicia, it’s safe to say the true villain is…is Devon! No, kidding. It’s really evil AI android doppelganger lady. Marks my words.
I appreciate the show dipping back into season one plots that may have slipped off the radar such as Three’s relationship with Sarah both in current and Boone’s persona. Those small details should keep humanizing our heroes and keep them grounded as they venture off into this abstract missions with gun fire and blazes of glory. Plus, they’re continuing to show us that there are still secrets in the vault yet uncovered. Keep them coming.
I wouldn’t keep Six on ice too long. It was fine keeping him out of this week’s turmoil, but as someone who needs to find new redemption, we need to get him walking and talking again. Maybe he knows things, maybe he doesn’t, but if anyone else has something to prove to the crew, it’s Six now that he’s on his own from the Galactic Authority.
One detail I think might have been missed was Portia, Ryu and Boone never once mentioning One and Six as “missing” from the ship after they woke up. I could be forgetting, but I think they were all aware of each other right before they had their minds wiped and it stands to reason that them not being around would have given more credence to Five when she tried to explain how different things were. It’s a loose note, but something that caught my eye.
8 out of 10. Keeping the plot central to the confines of the ship, Dark Matter engages the trials of conformity by returning to us the core personalities of three crew members. For an eyelash of time, we didn’t know where they would end up, once more complicating the arc with the agendas of those we know and those that were, not to mention the new crew who have their own things to hide. Two’s abilities stretch further than we might have guessed as Five did her best to save her friend. In every chapter of forming a family, there’s always the fear that who someone once was will creep back and destroy the ties that bind in the present. It’s innate but sometimes looming around the corner fighting for its right to exist. As the crew continues to unravel the new threads before them, their biggest challenges may not come from outside, but from within. A simple, but effective tale that captured the core of the ship and it’s plight of the crew. Until next week, thanks for reading.
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