With the help of the android and her new personality upgrade, the crew of the Raza track down Jace Corso to a planet to exact revenge for the death of One. Meanwhile, a chief inspector of the Galactic Authority (Kris Holden-Reid) tracks the crew to the planet in hopes of apprehending them. Two, Three, Four, and Nyx find Jace who momentarily escapes and causes the abandoned settlement to destabilize and crumble, separating everyone. Four is caught under rubble and found by the Chief Inspector while Two finds Jace and forces him to dig for their escape. The android takes the Raza to the surface to avoid detection from the GA while Five, Six, and Devon search for the crew. Even though Jace warns Two that someone they don’t know hired him to kill One, Two shoots and kills Jace anyway. The Chief Inspector is found by his group as they apprehend Four, but are eventually surrounded by Three, Two, and Six who finds and pilots the Marauder. Four is released and the crew return to space as the AI confronts the android over a mistake made in their entry and exit of the planet stating that she is flawed and has been flawed for quite some time.
Dark Matter returns to settle the score between the shady Jace Corso and the crew who demand retribution for the death of their friend. For the first time, we’re given insight into the android’s new personality upgrade that helps put a soul to the banal form that the android had been established with since day one. It’s a welcome new form that I think should fit right in with the crew’s rambunctious and volatile state of mind. While not overtly technical with its plot, the real surprise comes with Two who manages to filter out any signs of mercy by dispatching the man who killed One even at the cost of finding out who’s pulling the strings. There are several highlights that help solidify this outstanding episode that may seem like filler but actually helps dignify the role of the crew by giving them something to hunt passionately. And bonus points for Kris Holden-Reid’s inclusion to the series, a fine addition to the stellar cast who I hope makes more than just one appearance this season.
Let’s start with the android and her personality upgrade. Anything that helps define her characteristics and play toward the ongoing mission to quantify and explore humanity is a good trait to have on the show. The crew will now be able to move past the awkward sense of objectivity and be more relatable now that she has sass and wit to match. It couldn’t have come at a better time and I think it’s fascinating that her upgrade isn’t just a one-shot piece of the puzzle but rather a stage in her plight to feel more comfortable and accepted by the crew. I’ll dive more into her scene with Four and the swords, but suffice it to say, I’m hopeful that her upgrade is more permanent and not a factor in whether she continues to use it or not in the future. It should be integrated into her system unless there’s a plot to explore a defect or penalty for its long term use.
I always seem to be picking on One and his counterpart, Jace for a certain lack of depth and remorseless attitude that always seems to be coupled with a softened demeanor, but I have to say, for his final performance, I think Marc did an excellent job with Jace this time around. There was something more brutally honest in his performance and not just some avid mercenary that shot and enjoyed killing as a two-dimensional villain. I wasn’t expecting him to be counted out this soon, but that’s the form this show plays in that part of the process is to deal with the nature of change and identity. Two is always establishing herself as the leader who needs to make the hard calls and for the sake of One, she made a difficult choice, and for the moment the easier one rather than trust the snake who will say anything to stay alive. If this is Marc’s last appearance on the show I’d say farewell, but something tells me we haven’t seen the last of him or some form of One.
Not too many complaints on this quadrant. The story was easy to decipher and follow with the exception of the news exposition that Four observed, serving to tell us of the war to come. If you haven’t followed the exterior plot too closely, it may seem a little confusing to hear and tune out because it has no real bearing on the episode itself, but it’s a minor gripe in an otherwise fantastic episode.
One slight setback is the way the android handled her infiltration of the GA outpost. It was a cute and relatively harmless segment that she handled with ease but I think the writing could have been a little more tight and creative rather than rely on a few coffee trips and a dimwitted officer who should have realized his cup was empty as suspicious. It didn’t give any real tension and served as only a mechanism to keep the plot moving forward without any bumps on the way. Other than that, the android handled herself quite well.
When Two shot Jace. It wasn’t about enjoyment of his come-uppance but rather how Two handled the situation as the core of the show. A leader has to make tough calls and even though Six warned Five that killing for revenge was no easy task, Two pulled the trigger because leaving Jace alive was too much of a liability in an already uncertain world. She made not only a tactical call but a simplified one, opting for the quick solution rather than the complicated twist that normally would have served the plot better. Jace wasn’t meant to be integrated into the crew’s structure because his lone-wolf mentality and dark nature as a villain was inexcusable and down right unforgivable in the eyes of the crew. He wasn’t sorry for what he did, and neither was Two when she shot him. I won’t expect her to lose sleep over it, but I can imagine it was tough to look at the face of the man who resembled her friend and shoot him in the head. In the moment, she trusted her reasons and followed through with them, and that’s what leaders in this environment do.
The android made the biggest impact with her new personality and willingness to dive in with the crew on their quest to track down Jace. She proved physically capable of handling herself and smart enough to blend in which should put the crew at ease over her decision to be more human. Her path makes sense and it helps truly distinguish her from the dull counterpart in the AI, who in my opinion still represents some evil facet on the show, I just haven’t quite figured out what yet. Though her flaws are starting to show, she has depth and quests to undertake not tied to the overall plot and that’s something I like that this show provides, reasons to like supporting characters outside of their normal functions.
Regarding the android’s kata with Four’s swords. It was probably the most interesting scene they filmed based solely on how elementary they tackled the art of control through routine and precision. The android described unusual patterns that formed which Four easily transcribes as “changing her state of mind,” but doesn’t really explore the thought further. That’s a shame because I think Four should have dueled with her to test how she reacts when it comes to her idea that the routine made her feel “powerful” while Four thinks of it as “relaxing.” This could have further led to the flaw that she wants to feel more than just the sum of her programs. That and I would take any excuse to see character sword fight on this show.
The chief inspector (whose name I can’t quite spell out correctly) represents a more straightforward member of the Galactic Authority, someone who isn’t ruthless but rather takes the side of justice and order as a means to prove to us that not all people against the crew are inherently bad, just on the wrong side. Kris is a great actor to take on this role because of his natural tendency to be a likeable person. He’s generally charismatic no matter what role he plays and doesn’t waste the scenes that he’s in. I’m hoping he’ll serve as a vital piece of the puzzle moving forward, someone who eventually comes to understand the crew’s plight from a different point of view and maybe even help them when the real trouble comes. I’m a little sad he didn’t get to share a scene with Zoie as the two were very familiar with each other on “Lost Girl” back in the day. I always like when characters reunite and share that “look” that they knew each other from another existence but never quite know why. Maybe next time.
It may get shelved for the time being, but Two has at least some thread of intel that could propel her into following up with who hired Jace to kill One. In all honesty, it’s not that necessary that I know unless it tied to the corporate war, which I’m certain it will, but more importantly, it will hopefully put to rest who killed One’s wife, something that’s still relatively glossed over. Not knowing this piece of the puzzle is the only that that tells me that One isn’t truly dead, but I’m also very suspicious of main character deaths on any show because I’ve been duped quite a few times in the past with random returns and surprise entrants by those we thought to be dead. I wouldn’t put it past this writing team to give us a resurrection of the science-fiction variety.
Nyx once again side-stepped some explanation as to the nature of her abilities and knowledge of certain weapons and structures. She’s turning into a convenience plot character which isn’t a good sign. Someone who just happens to know things that help propel the crew or the plot forward. She’s clearly hiding something and making it very obvious to us with her random looks away while feigning ignorance of why she knows what she knows. Maybe she’s also an android in disguise, maybe she’s from the future, or maybe she’s a plant and works for a corporation we haven’t seen yet who wants the key card as well. She’s not there to just help the crew, that much is certain. Only time will tell whether she’s truly good or bad.
It’s minor but Devon held that rifle in a very secure and appropriate way that suggests he either has military background or some kind of authoritative role. Maybe the actor learned how to hold the gun properly, but as a “doctor” with a criminal record, I just thought it was odd he would hold the gun more correctly rather than down by the hip which is how most people carry weapons who don’t really know how to hold them properly. Outside of that, his “drug” addiction is a constant theme and should be handled soon because eventually it will spell the disaster of a fellow crew member when they least suspect it. That’s usually how addictions of that nature work.
8 out of 10. Dark Matter efficiently straddles the line between the nomadic space-lifestyle and the periodic quest of revenge and self-identity. The crew will constantly be at war with both who they truly are and who they’re up against in this space opera. Tough choices were made in dealing with an old enemy and the android is one step closer to becoming unified with the crew. We never forget that uncovering conspiracy is the heart of this show’s ever consuming plot while outside the center are character driven aspects of self discovery that should hopefully put us in exotic places and situations that help solidify this show’s place in the sci-fi realm. What’s also important are how these factions and warring sides are more grey than just evil which should help blur the lines between survival and retribution, not just for the soul, but for the status of cohesion in outlaw space. I’m continually supportive of this direction and hope their ready to start turning up the stakes soon. Thanks for reading.
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