After responding to a distress call from Victor, the Raza meet with him and two other androids on a station after an owner of one of them is killed. They take refuge on the ship, but are chased by the Galactic Authority forcing Anya, an android with a locator beacon within her, to self-terminate. The raza follow a course from a cipher that the android decrypts leading to a planet where they find a facility ran by a lone android named Chase who offers sanctuary. Within the facility also lies Dr. Shaw, the creator of the recent brand of androids who is identical to the Raza’s android model. Two discovers that Dr. Shaw was her original creator and built in her escape routine and after, helped her rehabilitate many androids while falling in love with one another. When a brain tumor is discovered on Dr. Shaw, she makes the android to copy her mind into but instead chooses not to and Two (Rebecca) places her in stasis. In the present, Two uses her 2nd generation nanite technology to slow down Dr. Shaw’s tumor and revives her. Unfortunately the Galactic Authority arrive just as Dr. Shaw is helping place Sarah’s digital consciousness in an android body of likeness. They escape but are forced to split between ships with Sarah having to stay with Dr. Shaw to complete the process. Later, the android comes to terms with her unique identity as Three discloses an apology to her over his distrust with androids. On Dr. Shaw’s ship, Sarah is woken and informed she is to be used for some dark purpose by Chase and the androids.
There was a lot to balance in tonight’s episode, mostly with the android’s existential crisis and Two’s newly discovered romance with the android’s human counterpart. The reveals and backstory were among the strongest aspects of this episode while the android’s self-induced pressure should be commended as science fiction’s most frequent dilemma; can androids sustain a soul? It turns out, Three was still harboring issues with androids and the like, but eventually came around as the prospect with regaining Sarah permanently was coincidentally in reach. By and all this was one of the more emotionally charged episodes of the season, giving us a new look at Two’s past and the android’s quiet yet conflicted nature.
To begin, Five and Six each gave the android more than enough credit for being their friend and often lifesaver since she’s been reactivated. The android was given a unique variation on the android model and thus was able to comprehend much more human traits than any other android could with the exception of having an emotional upgrade to match. The best part about seeing her transition is that she doesn’t need that upgrade to be humane and overall more human. Every time she wears it, it creates a disguise but doesn’t represent her true nature, which I think has been important since day one. She carries a stubborn sense of awkwardness built on attention and acceptance, but that’s what made her so quirky and likeable. It was hard getting used to in the beginning, now, I can’t imagine her acting any other way.
I’m not entirely sure I get Dr. Shaw as a character. We’re given a sentimental background full of remorse and empathy for Two leading her to construct avenue’s for androids to seek freedom and human choices. Yet the motivation behind it and her ultimate goal never seemed to fit within the confines of the plot. The cliffhanger suggests that she’s at least understanding of Victor’s “death to human owners” attitude that randomly surfaced at the end, but we don’t really know if she’s going along with it or not. Where I think everything went sideways was her choice to not transfer her mind into her android counterpart. If she was going to change her mind, why did she accept to build one to begin with? I just feel there’s a few inconsistencies with her nature and don’t quite know if she’s hiding more secrets or not that could damage her relationship with Two, not that there really is one at this point.
When Three apologized to the android. I never really thought about their similarity of blunt comments, but having the android identify and applaud that trait of theirs was probably one of her biggest moments reflecting as a human being would. Instead of always trying to mimic human qualities and quirks, she’s seeing how a human reacts like she does. That deserves a lot of points for being subtle but carry a lot of flavor on the topic.
The android is vastly approaching a seasonal MVP status and certainly deserves the credit tonight as well. This was more genuinely acted than any real choices she made, because she was never really in any physical danger, nor did she save the crew in any heroic form. This was clearly an internal struggle brought to light by the idea she thought she wasn’t unique and it took a few friends to convince her otherwise, but in the end did. Ironically, Two was the only one who really didn’t take part in that conversation considering her own conflict with Dr. Shaw and how awkward this will be for Two and the android to be around each other from here on out. Since Two is operating on a different conscious level, her feelings toward Shaw are apparently nil, but we’ll see if that lasts.
One thing I’ll add for Six, he could have easily used the “twin” argument to sell his point to the android by stating that twins may share all physical attributes but carry distinctly different thought processes and share vastly different experiences that help them grow in different ways. Alternately, I thought Five’s outburst toward Chase was a touch much over-protective but considering Chase’s “what does it matter what you think” comment was entirely forced and unnecessarily called for. Probably one of the more uncomfortable moments for both parties who want what’s best for the android.
I kind of have to disagree with how the Galactic Authority handled that bombardment, not because of that specific act, but that they completely ignored the Raza which, by now should have been easily on their radar to pursue and capture. One ship could have diverted to disable the Raza considering at least 4 showed up.
The android’s flashbacks were a nice touch to add some clarity to her existence prior to season 1’s start, but I keep thinking, what led “Rebecca” down such a dark and distinct road that her “Portia Lyn” personality became such a radically volatile character. Those nanites must have had an effect on her since the beginning, but not being around Shaw was maybe why she lost her emotional connection with anyone? Seems to fit, but odd at the same time.
Victor could be involved with future Five’s foretelling of the “double-deception” if their plot has any real significance moving forward, which I imagine it will considering Sarah’s involvement now. If not, it could still be tied to her other key moments that will no doubt bring the Raza down in several ways. We’ll see.
8 out of 10. Dark Matter takes significant time to give Two and the android ample backstory regarding their creation and ties to one another. Dr. Shaw’s inclusion to the series will give the android arc more significance and mystery surrounding her involvement with Victor who has darker plans for human-kind. At its core, the show understandably focuses on the android’s plight for self-acceptance and friendships with the crew to sustain a meaningful existence which I think plenty of humans can relate to over the course of any lifecycle. It’s often difficult to fit relatable traits when dealing with space-operas, but Dark Matter found a perfect key in doing so tonight. Until next week, thanks for reading.
No more words