The crew apprehend Tabor Calcheck to assist in locating Alicia who knows what the key card they have can do. On the way, they purchase three transit stations to allow them to transport cloned versions of themselves into Alicia’s headquarters. Three, Four, and Five enter the transit and find the portable drive that with the missing key card will allow for instant transport of a vessel which is faster than FTL. During their mission, Devon reveals to Nyx how he was on drugs during a colonial transport that suffered damage and operated on a young girl who didn’t survive. Back on the mission, Three and Four are captured but Five remains hidden long enough to return and kill the clones. Two and Six retrieve her and the drive on the roof as the Raza is attacked by another vessel. Once returned, the Raza escapes and later take Tabor back to the station he came from. Devon leaves the Raza and is accompanied by Nyx who believes he needs her help in adjusting from his tragic past. Afterward, the crew attempt to activate the drive and disappear in space. Devon is then confronted on the station by Hansmeed and his men who are looking for Nyx. Unwilling to help, Devon is stabbed in the gut and left for dead leaving Nyx alone in a bar waiting for him to return.
Dark Matter successfully escalates its episodic drama by giving the crew literal keys to the kingdom of superior inter-galactic space travel. Now, with the power of a prototype they journey into the unknown and leave us truly guessing as to the status of their next step in the universe where everyone wants what they have. There are captivating layers of dramatic bonding that sees our supporting characters fleshing out their issues more-so than our main characters which is a rare element to witness. It helps bridge the gap but also laments in the possible departure of our resident physician who was last seen defending the crew by refusing to help an enemy. Mixing in a few gorgeous shots of space and the vehicles that occupy it, this episode marks for a radical expansion of importance and intrigue as the crew embark on a new tale of survival.
This was an excellent example with how to balance each character and make them all feel important to the plot at hand. Everyone, including Nyx and Devon felt integral to the plot and there were no wasted characters, with the exception of Tabor who was entirely too ecstatic, but managed to bring it down to a manageable level once he spoke to the android about her emotional upgrades. This balance also includes the right amount of humor and emotional moments that tethered the episode’s overall performance. Very well written and proved to be one of the better turning points of this season.
The caper itself seemed rather cut and dry, but I found the unique points are what stood out, especially when Five returns to kill the clones of Three and Four and the dialogue between Three and Four respectively before, during, and after their shoot out. Little things like throwing the single gun back and forth and Three not noticing Five leave after he tells her to are what stand out in an otherwise procedural action sequence. Even the red coats were better to see than typical white ones that signify who is a scientist and who clearly isn’t.
My only negatives are drawn from a lack of follow through on Alicia’s apparent fixation on Five outside of her obsession with the portable drive. I would have preferred Five and Alicia had some scene together on the roof before the Marauder shows up to at least entice us further on some connection they may have together. But if there truly isn’t one to be had then I understand why it wasn’t so. Outside of that, my complaints in this episode are minor and more related to continuity than anything.
Less action and more preparation, I actually enjoyed the scene where the crew decide who was going to go on the mission mainly in reference to how exposition and backtracking functions on a TV show. Every episode it’s necessary to remind viewers certain aspects of character relationships, previous episode plot points and overall missions expanding throughout the seasons as a whole. I felt the dialogue flowed in a healthy way that didn’t feel bogged down when Three reminded Six he was on probation or when Six recalled to Two why it would be inadvisable to go on the mission based on her nanite-fueled body, something that’s been rarely talked about this season. It felt healthy if not for characters reminding other characters what issues they had, but considering they’re all still working out the kinks of their trust it stands to reason this kind of preparation would keep them discussing old topics and current flaws. I liked it.
Though Devon took one for the team, it was Nyx who surprised me by never taking the pills that Devon gave her earlier in the episode. She took accountability for her state of mind and ownership over helping Devon recover from his tragedy and that says a lot about a person who empathizes with someone who suffered emotional trauma. Though I feel it was more about getting her off the Raza for the original crew to disappear, I still think it was interesting that she went as far as to give up her weapons and dedicate this time off in assisting Devon and retaining his secret. Good on her.
Two continuity issues I had were the following:
- Why show Two having jitters in her limbs at the tail end of last week’s episode and never once recall that in the next episode following? It’s not that I’ll forget, but normally when you supply a cliffhanger like that, you come back to it in some capacity by the next scene or at the very least in the next episode. Seemed odd.
- Assuming it was just one ship attacking the Raza, in one shot the ship was directly underneath them being shot at and in the next, the enemy ship is to the right and at the same height as the Raza right before they went to FTL. Seemed like an awkward CGI jump cut where the enemy ship was in one location and then directly in another right after.
I was glad they kept Kris Holden-Reid on but his part was so small and insignificant, I’m surprised it was necessary to have him in the episode at all, just to identify that the Galactic Authority were still searching for the Raza crew. I’m hoping for something more expanded the next time he’s on the show.
Big guys who are sent in to torture people by beating their faces senseless can still suffer some radical knuckle and overall fist damage regardless of the gloves they wear. Next time, stick to something other than their hands to do the job, like a futuristic bat, or an electrical prod of some type.
The prospect of folding space and time is one of the more radical theories in space travel and it actually fits very well here when considering the art of vessels being in strategic places faster than others. It’s like having an airplane in the 1800’s while everyone else still rides on horseback. Where things will get interesting is whether the Raza will be trapped in their initial voyage or if everything is safe and sound on their trial run. Yeah right, bring on the space demons!
I can’t stress this enough, I really loved the opening shot of that space station. I wasn’t expecting that level of detail and was pleasantly surprised by how intricate it looked. Kudos to the designers of that station, I really felt that fit the paradigm perfectly.
8 out of 10. Dark Matter is headed in the right direction now that the crew have their hands on the most critical piece of hardware in the galaxy. With the right blend of humor, action, and dramatic backstory, I was intrigued from beginning to end including the rough exit of Devon and the uncertainty of the Raza as it blinked out of sight. The pressure is more certainly on to capitalize on this centric plot and uncover more radical themes that push the crew to their breaking points. Very much looking forward to next week’s episode as our cliffhangers are getting substantially more demanding. Until next time, thanks for reading.
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