Three relives the same day over and over until he finds a way to convince the crew of his condition. During one instance, they arrive at a station and Three is attacked by one of Ishida’s bounty hunters, Ash, who has technology that allows him to phase through matter. Returning to the loop, Three and the crew run the same routine but attempt to capture Ash. Adrian tries to use a clock he took from Tabor during a time when Tabor collected items from a scientist as collateral. The clock is responsible for the time loop and adds Adrian with Three who together convince the crew to try and capture Ash again. When they arrive at the station, Ash confronts Three having been affected by the time loop as well. He is eventually killed when he attempts to phase through a wall while unconscious. Afterward, the android attempts to correct the time loop problem by adjusting the clock which hurtles her through several key moments in the future including a time when Five is old and on the ship alone in the outermost reaches of space. Five tells the android to destroy the clock when she returns, which she does, allowing everyone to resume normal time. Three finally meets with Sarah and accepts her situation as a conscious being within the dataframe. Back on Zairon, Ishida informs another member of his hired group of Ash’s failure as he attempts to once more gain access to the Raza’s position.
Dark Matter journeys into familiar territory but more than revitalizes the art of the time-looping plot. The reoccurring day is one of my favorite sci-fi themes and has since been seldom used in cinema and television as of late. But fear not, this isn’t a quasi bored theme, but rather an intense and humorous look into the mindsets of a both Three and the android. Three provided the beats we’re all familiar with, but the real gold was witnessing the android’s short but vital trek through the cosmic access of time. Part of science fiction is gaining knowledge of what’s to come, and that’s often never paired with the time loop theme unless it’s to defuse the situation of the moment and not the portents of things to come. Not only have we been given some fascinating glimpses into the android’s ever-shifting future, but we ultimately know Ishida’s fate as emperor. Let’s get started, again and again.
If you put every crew member of the Raza up against a wall and wondered which would take to a time-loop the best on paper, that person would be Three. He was the right choice, because anyone else probably would have solved the issue the second or third time around. What sets Three apart from some other characters that have gone through this scenario is his inarticulate and foolish methods to remember facts and unique problem solving, including learning a language, which seems funny considering his inability to remember what was wrong with the ship in English. He’s also the only character who rightly needed a situation like this to get past some hang-ups including his attention toward Five and more recently, his reunion with Sarah. The moment they shared at the end was probably one of the more tender moments this show has ever produced.
In the sci-fi world of storytelling there’s an old saying, “Everyone gets one thing that doesn’t have to be explained and the audience just has to accept.” For example, in “Inception,” we’re never told “how” the dream-sharing-conscious machines work, they just do, and we have to accept the technology and move on. In this case, we’re given a clock with a brief and semi-convoluted past. No real explanation on how the technology functions, it just does. For the most part I’m okay with it because knowing really does nothing for the plot at hand. But in situations like these, I often wonder if writers can challenge the status quo and come up with a real interesting concept with how their written technology functions. A “deal with it” clock just seemed a little too glossed over to sell the idea. At least it wasn’t mystical in a world of technology.
There’s a lot to choose, but I’d like to go with the android, in her goth-form, conversing with an elderly Five, who gave the android several key moments that will shape the fate of the crew and aspects of the galaxy. I’ll list what those time periods were below, but the important thing is here is our understanding of the radical effects the crew will have and the down slope they’ll be going through as the seasons progress. But Five will be fine, she always is. The androids future outfit was very cyber-punk appropriate, and I hope we get to see her again in that form soon.
This was all Three from top to bottom. He wasn’t the one to solve the time-loop crisis, but he helped get everyone into a position to understand what to do. His hilarious romp through a repeating cycle was orchestrated with his mental state in mind. He’s brash and rude in some aspects and very thoughtful in others. His mixed bag approach was often met with logical conclusions, but in the long run, he’s better off for the experience. His decision to meet with Sarah was the real evolution of his character and I for one am glad he’s survived this long to see her again. Now, if only they could construct an android equivalent and download her into its core memory processor. Okay, okay it’s been done on Eureka, moving on.
The android’s time jumps are as detailed:
- On the bridge with Two held up in a section of the ship and Three silently shooting the android.
- The android in a house within a snowy mountain (like in the emotional construct world) crying and being told by Two that’s she’s feeling grief.
- The android on a table, severed in parts, speaking to a man working for Elektis (sp?) Corp. explaining the GA captured her and interrogates her about the android liberation front.
- The android is modified in the far future and finds an elderly Five on the bridge. She warns the android of the following sequences of events:
- The Dwarf Star’s conspiracy
- The double-deception
- Kryda and Corrina, the accelerated
- The fall of the house of Ishida
- The meeting with the android’s creator
- The black ships
There’s an evil method here at work considering how these events will be talked about and theorized, but the key here is both the order in which Five tells them and how they may pertain to this season or the next few seasons. If I were a betting man, I’d say all of if not most of these events will all encompass this season in some way. We never know how many years Dark Matter will run, so each event being in one season at a time suggests this show is 6 years away from finality. I’m thinking these events will happen sooner than that and the key is what happens to House Ishida. I’m confident that will be resolved this season which also suggests everything above it will occur at well.
Then there’s which events Five mentioned tie directly with the android’s time jumps. Is the double-deception event involved with Three betraying the android? Is the scientist working for Elektis Corp a part of the Dwarf Star conspiracy or something else? And are either of these “accelerated” characters Five’s sister? She’s still very much an unspoken fragment of this season’s many mysteries, and let’s not forget the multitude of unanswered questions left back from the last two seasons including the stowaway from the alternate universe. One thing is for certain, I’m hooked on trying to find the answers.
Oh, and thanks for putting Five near the edge of the universe, I’m glad someone out there was listening =)
9 out of 10. Dark Matter has found its formula, and its path toward telling its greatest stories to come. The key to some science fiction plots is borrowing old themes and redesigning them to birth new ideas within the current realm. The time loop was a roadmap into the chaotic and costly events of the Raza crew’s future. The one question that must be immediately asked when time travel occurs is, “Can the future be averted or is time truly fixed on one path alone?” Dark Matter wants us to think real hard on that answer before they reveal to us their thoughts on it, and it’s an encouraging premise into some wild and fantastic episodes that may or may not inhabit this current season. Tonight’s episode carried with it an even balance of humor, excitement, thoughtfulness, and darkness to come. These characters will become the shapers of the universe and some will most definitely not survive to see what it will become. Thanks for reading.
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