A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×06 (And the circle of eventual betrayal begins again)

Dark Matter 2x06

 

SUMMARY

Before pursuing Alicia and her goal to acquire the key card, the crew follow Nyx’s plan to board a ship and steal their cargo, a drug known as “shadow” that will help pay for fuel and supplies. After boarding the ship, Nyx finds and releases her brother, Milo, who had been mentally connected to a series of men and women who, under an old experiment started by a long beaten corporation can effectively predict the future based on large scope data analysis. The crew of the Raza are hesitant to trust Nyx over the deception to release her sibling as the ship she came from pursues them. After a failed attempt to sell the drug, Six and Three are separated while Two attempts to outsmart their enemy who want Milo returned. After successfully retrieving Three and Six, the ship returns and threatens to destroy the Raza. Milo willingly returns to the ship, but later takes his own life after Four gives him the suggestion which would essentially save Nyx from being pursued again. Later, Two is preparing for the night when her hand inexplicably begins shaking.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’ll immediately state that this episode took a rather strange dip into a subplot that I should have been detrimentally fascinated by but found the bizarre tale a bit dry and cumbersome. It’s not for any kind of dislike for Nyx because I think she finally came into her own as a useful character on the show. Rather, it was the illogical dissonance caused by a “seer” like character that beat us over the head with how important the Raza and its crew will be in the coming war instead of letting the idea gradually come into being. It’s too soon for the crew to undertake the “Only we can save the universe” struggle when they’re still in the “mercenary for hire” mindset. This episode should have played more with fate versus free will, but fled that premise for a flat game of the unpredictability model. Surprisingly, Four had the most to offer tonight in his simplistic manner and patterns of thought, but outside of that, I wasn’t as into this and previous episodes.

 

THE GOOD

Getting Nyx’s history out of the way now was probably the best time to do so just as we cross the half-way point on the season. Her ability to sense physical moments in the future while her brother was more on the mental side of predicting played at the dynamic in a balanced way that on the surface made sense. Moving forward, Nyx should hopefully be less wary of her how she’s directing herself and more in tune with what the crew is becoming to build more on the assets she carries within her. Her story may have been short and dramatic, but it didn’t overcomplicate the plot and slow anything down. Now we know she’s not evil, yet.

 

I like the initial concept of a mind-force that when linked can absorb and translate data into predictable models and future tellings. The theme of it translates just fine, and I appreciate how innovative their getting with the grey side of manipulating the human consciousness. It’s sometimes easy to conclude that the knowledge and power go hand in hand and most power corrupts even the genius who attempts to understand the universe beyond petty rivalry. There was some practical ingenuity with creating a villainous force that knew what you were going to do before you did it. Unfortunately, that’s where the execution didn’t pan out.

 

THE BAD

Hansmeed (sp?) and the nameless crew were anything but interesting as an opposing force that required their strongest cog to complete their macro look on the universe. It’s almost as if they didn’t have enough time to be fully rendered as demi-gods of the future and just ran around as inefficient drones incapable of fluidly predicting events instead of adapting to it. Minor moments of philosophical conundrums did air up from time to time but they just weren’t capitalized in better ways due to short time frame of a single episode. These aren’t bad guys I want to see appear again on this show.

 

I don’t agree with Milo’s death and the application of it. Whether he was truly coerced by Four or if the act was Milo’s idea to save his sister based on empirical data he had on future events, it’s not 100% certain, but the deed was done regardless. The only element of note is how his former masters didn’t predict such a selfless act because they were working on “old data” as the term had been passed around. Essentially, Milo was in the episode to serve as a conduit for us to learn that the Raza crew would be heavily involved in the fate of the corporate war and that once more a crewmember would betray them sometime in the future. The latter felt very much like a cheap play to renovate last season’s shocking finale with yet another “who is it going to be this time?” trope. Thoughts on that further down.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

This may be over analyzing but the scene where Four went to talk to Milo was by far the most interesting moment for a few reasons. Metaphorically, it showcased Four attempting to give Milo an apple, and biblically the apple (usually red) represented forbidden knowledge, and Milo refused it because he wasn’t hungry. What I think he was actually saying was “I have all the knowledge I need” because of his hyper state of mind. Four takes a piece for himself and leaves the rest for Milo as sort of a breadcrumb to learn about the crew and what they’re all about. The knife in the apple of course was the real foreshadowing of Milo taking his own life and he himself being casted as the apple with the knife in it. Subtle but interesting to take away while still making the show as a whole very grounded in science and science fiction.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’ll give it to Nyx tonight mainly because she put everything on the table and though she lost her brother, she’s really integrated into the crew’s mission, whether she’s truly accepted it or not. She’s finally moved beyond the stage of concern over whether she’s good or bad, and lays the groundwork for some interesting developments based on her physical capabilities and her willingness to absorb the Raza’s mission.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

This could be misplaced inconsistency, but I found it interesting that earlier, she complained to Four that practicing fighting prevented her from activating her intuition to predict her opponent’s moves but later toward the end, she returns to Four’s dojo and resumes practicing with him anyway. Granted, she was in a surreal state of mind having lost her brother again and probably needed the distraction, but still, is it counterproductive to go against how the system works for her? I’m probably over-thinking it.

 

On a minor subplot, Three and Six seemed to have hashed out their differences after Six admitted he was wrong for betraying them. I think this subject could have been better tackled in a more centric-plot involving the two, but Three had been holding onto this grudge for long enough and it’s high time the two were on the same level again. Maybe one of them should have punched the other for all-time’s sake.

 

I thought Five meeting with Milo was entirely meant to build on Devon’s lie that he was using the drug to help Milo adjust easier off of it, but it was completely untouched after the fact. Once more, we’re given Devon’s post-traumatic affairs with grief or guilt depending on how you look at it. This is another plot thread we need to deal with rather quickly because it’s dragging on too long. Eventually Devon is going to completely become unglued if he doesn’t get these fixes in check. Not to mention, he’s stepping up his game on usage and type and will probably be looking for something stronger the next time around.

 

I also appreciate the consistency with Four and his thoughts on using Milo to help predict the future events of his homeworld, something he wouldn’t just forget about just because we haven’t focused on him as of late. These little reminders help us remain fixated on the larger issues still unresolved.

 

As far as who will betray the crew in the future, I can respectfully rule out Six because that would be repeating the same event twice and that wouldn’t be the wisest approach. Five is probably highest on the list because she has sights on the bigger picture more than any other crew member with the exception of the android who at this stage is very unpredictable given her decision to remain emotionless on the ship and not when on a mission. I still think that will lead to some damaging atmospheres to come. Two could wig out again but I think an act of betrayal has to be more internal than external when pushed to do something like that. My money is on Five for the time being because sacrifice trumps betrayal and she’ll be in that stage eventually if she sees an opportunity to save her friends over something catastrophic that could appear as betrayal. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. I don’t consider this a finely crafted episode due to the nature with how it was told and who represented the opposition. There were definitely sparks of interest intermixed with some clever dialogue and exclusive metaphors, but beyond the meat of understanding predictability, the effort to tell Nyx’s origin story in the present wasn’t the most fantastic of the season. Even Two seemed disinterested with the plot when she was reaching for suggestions on how to get their next score. Milo was a passionate player but stricken from the supporting cast list far too early in this storyline. What could have been an interesting seer who spoke in riddles and half-truth’s fell on his own sword to keep the crew truly guessing as to what happens next. We all know the corporate war is coming and now the crew knows it too. There’s still a lot left to discover, but from here on out, every episode has to matter more than the last. As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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