A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×13 (Darkness looms as the tendrils of hell have been unleashed)

Dark Matter 3x13

 

SUMMARY

Two suspends Ishida’s execution when Teku communicates with the Raza demanding his return. Meanwhile, new information uncovered leads the group to the real Phoenix shipyard containing a massive fleet of Ferrous corp ships. With Truffault’s help, Two, Three, and Six blink drive near the shipyard and attempt to detonate a white-hole bomb. They are sabotaged and captured as Mikkei’s allies, Traugott, betrayed them and joined Ferrous corp. Three and Six are separated but later released by Wexler who became an agent for Mikkei. They recover Two but not before Three is taken down forcing the rest to retreat without him. On the Raza, Two learns that Ferrous corp is sending their cruisers to intercept leaving her to broker a deal with Ishida and Truffault, gaining their ships to fight against them. As the battle begins, Two is revealed to be taken over by the alien species as she manipulates Six into using the blink drive to open a dimensional rip, taking out the shipyard. Meanwhile, Three is taken off the shipyard by Portia with their destination unknown. Six sacrifices himself to open the rip as Ishida is released to subdue Two after the android warns Five. With the rip open, Five and Wexler watch as massive black ships emerge from the opening leaving all corporate ships and the Raza in their path.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Now that’s how you slam a cliffhanger into our faces! Dark Matter gives us one more look into the harsh reality of space-war and the unforgiving atmosphere of truth as their universe becomes the unwilling participant to a full scale invasion. Not without its layers of tragedy, one of the crew’s shining stars is seemingly incinerated but like all science fiction stories, there’s plenty of room for doubt. The last ten minutes alone were worth the wait and things can only get darker from here on out.

 

THE GOOD

Putting Four and Two in opposing sides at the end was a rousing moment to give the fans something different to look forward to. Up until now, Two has been a very capable leader, making hard calls and sometimes handling business herself. Now she’s overtaken by the monsters that plague her universe and it’s up to Five and Four to make it right. Changing the dynamic means we can expect a multitude of different outcomes next season, but for now, I’m just enjoying the merit that Four is providing now that he’s assuredly once more a part of the Raza crew, for now.

 

The overall plot was stylish and very plot driven, giving the crew plenty of chances to make split-second decisions and suffer multiple set backs leaving them very few choices including Six’s sacrifice at the end. The main thing to pull away from the finale is that the crew held onto their central theme that they needed to help save the galaxy from itself. Morality played big with Six questioning the use of the white-hole device on innocent people and Two trying to give Four a way to be with his people again. Wexler’s inclusion to the group was kind of a bonus since his journey as of late had been a relative wash. But collectively, everything built itself to a climactic reveal that means the corporate war will be nothing if not banished in the eyes of these aliens. Let’s hope for that to take root rather quickly.

 

THE BAD

My only real complaint is that the episode wasn’t longer. Some of the hooks that were put in didn’t necessarily have a pay off this time, such as Five’s sister reveal and where Three and Portia will end up, but it’s the show understandably working out its long-term plots for future seasons. We know Three is still thinking about Sarah, but she never appears but they made sure to let us know she’s still out there and he doesn’t remember the tragic tale Four had told him. In fact, when I saw Alicia Reynaud’s picture I genuinely forgot she had a stake in all this, but again, that’s the show thinking long term, so we better start thinking the same.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Let’s go ahead and showcase that last minute starting with Six’s sacrifice all the way up to the ships themselves breaking through. The CGI budget made its mark and gave us a blasting visual of twisted shapes ripping through the fabric of space and a daunting sensation that they were there to consume anything in its path. Five knows the darkness they contain and with the corporate war just reaching its apex, now the real threat begins. I must say I’m not convinced truly that Six is gone, but stranger deaths have occurred before. We are talking about the blink drive here and everytime it goes haywire, the crew doesn’t end up dead, just distorted and out of place, and one way or another, I think Six will be saved in some capacity, but we won’t know that for sure until next season. Still, this was a mega moment that definitely dropped the jaw in the closing seconds.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’d like to give it to Six just in case this was his swansong. I would certainly say it was heartbreaking for Five to deal with Six leaving, and if though he went out on his terms, the fact that he meant so much to her should speak volumes about their nature to care about life and saving people no matter who they are. Six classically demonstrates that episode over episode and will make the decision in a heartbeat to save others over himself because it’s his duty. In the worlds of storytelling, when a character can no longer grow, they either leave, fade away, or die. Someone like Six would go out in a blaze and that’s just what he did. But at the end of the day, I believe he’ll return.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I don’t truly think this will be the end of the corporate war. That kind of has to be the on-going epic between warring factions. Ferrous corp will retreat and rise again in their own time. I don’t see the corporations making a dramatic cease-fire over the long run, but maybe just enough to deal with the threat until it’s been reduced to vapor. Who knows, if this will turn into a triumph of humanity or just another age where the darkest aspects of humanity will try and harness the aliens and their power for their own sinister agendas. I’m looking at you, Rook.

 

This may not be in the workings, but if Five’s sister is a twin, I’ll probably laugh. I think in some regards, a twin with Alicia’s upbringing would be an interesting reversal of fortunes and then maybe we can see Jodelle with red hair.

 

This may be looking way too far into the looking glass, but if Portia is in any way an ally to the Raza next season then how will Two’s discovery of her daughter affect both characters? Will this be looked into at all and if so, how will Dr. Shaw be involved as well once the android uprising is in full affect? Even if Portia wasn’t an ally, she’s still important as the details of her survival shouldn’t be all that different than Two’s.

 

I’m hopeful that season 4 will be Dark Matter’s “darkest” chapter as the invasion should take absolute precedence for I’d say the entire season if not the first half at the very least. The Raza needs to be recollect itself with Ishida rejoining the ranks for the short term. He trusts Five and without Six to look after her, maybe Ishida can take over that role assuming he doesn’t reconnect with Teku immediately after this invasion is resolved. There are a lot of possibilities and it’s good to start theorizing right about now.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The world of Dark Matter is about to get a whole lot bigger as the Raza deals with a massive loss and an invasion of evil. The crew is split once again as a crippling blow is delivered to Ferrous corp, but at a price they weren’t expecting. The aliens have engineered their dominance into the universe and if humanity doesn’t put aside their corporate difference, they may not survive long in their own galaxy. Stellar writing to the end, Dark Matter hand delivers a spectacle of battle and intrigue forcing us to agonize over waiting until next year to find resolution. Is Six truly dispersed in the cosmos? Will Two be subject to possession permanently? And will Three ever get a chance to punch Boone in the face? Hopefully we’ll find out soon. For now, I’ll wait and campaign to cameo as Ishida’s next sword-fighting opponent. As always, thanks for reading and we’ll see you next season.

 

 

No more words

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×12 (Serve no master but your own ambition)

Dark Matter 3x12

 

SUMMARY

With Two captured and held on Zairon, Ishida maintains his need to gain the blink drive in exchange for her safety. The crew agree to meet on the planet but as clones while the android learns of Chase’s plot to overthrow humans within the upgrade of her emotional data card. On the planet, Ishida speaks to each member telling Three that he was responsible for Sarah’s sickness, showing Five a picture of her sister, and informing Six that he was betrayed as a GA officer by someone within GA. After two failed assassination attempts it is revealed that Misaki is responsible as she tries to implicate Teku as the conspirator. Teku helps Two and the other escape as Ishida battles Misaki himself. Five and Six return to the ship with their memories intact while Three allows his clone to be killed which erases the knowledge of his part in Sarah’s death. Two intervenes on Ishida’s behalf and kills Misaki leaving Ishida little choice but to join her on the Raza as the people of Zairon revolt against the throne. On the Raza the crew reach a stalemate on Ishida’s fate with Two deciding the casting vote. She goes to Ishida’s cell and prepares to kill him as he tells her that she has a daughter somewhere in the care of someone. Two raises her gun toward Ishida with his fate ultimately unknown.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The tense atmosphere surrounding Zairon explodes as Dark Matter reveals everything to its temperamental crew. While the audience may agree or disagree with the crew’s voting system, one thing is for certain, it was a hell of a ride this week from top to bottom. Ishida tried to hold all the cards but came up inexplicably short in the foretelling that we all knew was coming. Still, he wouldn’t quit and neither would the crew. Could Ishida truly save himself or was he resigned to let old friends cast eternal judgment on him? I can’t wait to find out next week as we reach the end of our penultimate episode in this favored third season.

 

THE GOOD

When you look at Ishida, there’s a real complicated struggle that has him jumping back and forth between sensible leader and wicked emperor. What made his actions speak so loudly was this gratifying sense of camaraderie that he wanted to feel again with the crew yet never being given the chance to truly make peace with anyone. In the end, a determined Misaki tried to ruin him forever which wasn’t really surprising but seeing him defend himself against her was really the scene we wanted to view and we got it. There was always a smug style to his delivery, the way a leader needs to be when trying to influence the decision of others and I liked how he maintained a moral code by never lying to his friends who had all but given up on him. You could say Ishida has come full circle with his beginning and if he has passed on, it’s understandably written well, but for the fan’s sake, he better not be gone for good.

 

To my own personal amusement, I enjoyed once more the clash of swords and the slice and dice of it all, the most personal way characters can duel given the rampant nature of gunplay used on this show. It will always be an art and when Dark Matter utilizes it, they do it elegantly.

 

THE BAD

Misaki’s eventual betrayal didn’t really have the impact I was hoping for. I don’t think we ever doubted Teku’s loyalty, but Misaki’s nature was always volatile and with it came a strong need to see her fall, which we did at Two’s hands. Knowing she was likely responsible for the recent assassination attempts or at the very least complacent in watching the populace rise up against the throne, I can’t imagine she really had a long term plan thought all the way through. Somehow she gained the support of multiple guards and was even able to implicate Teku to be working for an enemy outside the planet, yet she could have made so many different decisions at different times to win that throne for herself. She ended up waiting too long and didn’t capitalize much earlier in the season when she could have. Her poor strategy cost her her life and though she put up a valiant effort, it was time to see her expire as most one-track villains do.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I’d normally say the fight between Misaki and Ishida but I was more impressed with Ishida handling his “execution” with grace and humility. In a big way, he proved to Five and Six’s side that while he may not be redeemable, he isn’t beyond sympathy and a moral compass. Four was an instrumental catalyst in the crew’s earlier adventures and for one small moment, he became that character again if only shortly. His gift to Two may not have saved his life, but he didn’t break down or attempt to escape which speaks volumes to his character overall, a proud and stalwart individual who may have lost everything, but didn’t lose his core at the end.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s easy to say Ishida is the star of tonight’s episode. He could have made the crew’s lives very difficult and chose instead to appeal to their greater interests rather than make harsh threats and diabolical schemes. It may have been hard truly grasping what Ishida was all about, but by this episode, it made sense that his goal was always to preserve his planet and people. He didn’t end up compromising his values to get that goal and probably buckled under his own pressure to convince the crew to aid him when he could have made them suffer just for the effect alone. At the end of the day, he should be judged by the company he keeps and the actions he elicits and my expectations on his decisions were settled by the episode’s end.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

There was another golden opportunity missed here I thought the show would spring up on us involving Misaki. Her fight with Ishida occurs roughly around the same time Chase mentioned to the android that the “revolution” of androids over humans had already begun. What a wicked swerve this would have been if Misaki had turned out to be an android and that her attempt to usurp Ishida’s throne was based on that and not her own machinations. Sadly, that doesn’t look to be the case here but would have merged both plots nicely if they had done it.

 

Three’s actions toward forgetting his involvement in Sarah’s demise was very interesting to see. I shouldn’t be surprised that he’d make a call like that considering the guilt he must have been feeling over learning the truth, but I also see this as a major step back for his character. Three, understandably is still having a hard time differentiating accountability between his former ego and his current self. Whatever he was responsible in the past, he won’t own up to it and face the present. There could be more than that going on in his mind, but for simplicity’s sake I see him avoiding looking Sarah in the eyes and having to tell her that her original life ended because Boone was returning to old roots. If Ishida dies, then that secret will never be unearthed again which is why I’m hoping that there will be a chance for Three to confront this revelation with Ishida once again telling him what happened, should he live.

 

Judging by Five’s reaction to seeing a picture of her sister that this may be a character we’ve already seen before, otherwise, why not show us what she saw? I’m not honestly too sure what to make of it because the issue isn’t brought up again later on. I’m not convinced we’ll know anything more next week either which means this is more a “season 4” plot point, but either way, at least Five knows enough to move forward in whatever direction she decides to take it.

 

I feel like we’ve already moved on from Six’s involvement with the GA and everything that happened on his cover and eventual outing. I realize Ishida needed to have something for all the crew members to entice and influence with, but I felt Six’s information was the weakest of the bunch. If there are any more practical theories that point to anyone other than Anders or someone we’ve met before, I’m open to those thoughts, otherwise, this will have to wait to next season to dive further into.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The rise and fall of Ishida’s empire erupted into an epic showdown filled with deceit and rampant chaos. Enemies and allies clashed as secrets were revealed and Ishida’s fate left in the air while we FTL our way into one last episode of the season. Misaki joined many other villains into the quiet void of comeuppance while an android revolution looms in the background. Next week’s episode could spawn in several different directions as several threads have yet to be cut, but the crew will be up for every challenge no matter the pressure. Ishida showed his true colors and helped put the crew on a path of introspection which is the best thing a supporting member can do. All that’s left is find out whether his story is done or just begun. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you one more time next week.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×11 (Dark beholders, squids of neuro-genesis)

Dark Matter 3x11

 

SUMMARY

After Three encounters a strange nightmare, the Raza infiltrate a Dwarf Star facility on Nova 17 and use an override program given to Two by Dr. Shaw to bypass satellite security. In the facility, they discover hundreds of stasis pods with simulated humans with similar nanite technology to Two. When a Mikkei ship lands a security force on the surface, the crew attempt to negotiate for the lives of the simulated humans as Three begins suffering from seizers brought upon by a local anomaly. Two and Mikkei find the anomaly as Five hacks the database and finds that one of Mikkei’s officers is a simulated human working for a dimensional alien race. She destroys the security team and allows several simulated humans to be possessed by dark entities the same as the one that once inhabited Three. Before succumbing to suicide, a doctor on the team orders the Mikkei ship to launch a nuke on the facility leaving Two alone with no time to escape. Three recovers and leaves with Six but are unable to stop the explosion. Afterward, the android detects an FTL burst from the planet as it is revealed Two was taken by Boone, Three’s alternate counterpart.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It should be known there are two terrors when dealing with space-faring stories. The first are the evil representations of man and its lust for power and control. The second is the all consuming and all destroying alien menace that desires chaos and death. Dark Matter has finally introduced us officially to the latter. Tonight’s episode brings to light a wicked and evil force trying to enter the world governed by corporation wars. The threat is more real for the crew of the Raza and even though a nuke has bought them valuable to time against such entities, I wonder if this was just a sample of the true villains that will make their presence known on this show. This was an excellent peek into what the future really holds for the crew of the Raza and all human lives within the dimension they are trying to save.

 

THE GOOD

Too many villainous characters is never a bad thing. In fact, I applaud the story for its simplistic nature and way of telling it, most notably in the warnings they gave Three in his heightened dream sequence. The corporation war may be central struggle but there’s about to be a much bigger threat. I’m hoping that’s the case and that these creatures haven’t been completely sidelined by the nuke that took out the facility. I want aliens and now I have them on Dark Matter. There are other dimensions and they just finished consuming one which is massive to think about. Let’s hope they find another way to poke through and continue their conquest.

 

The design of the creatures is interesting considering they have no tether to gravity and their existence may be central to possessing humanoid lifeforms to sustain themselves in our world. They may or may not operate in a hive-mind mentality, but when most entities share the same look and appearance, chances are they’re connected and possibly led by a single being. They’ve certainly been taking their time to plan for their eventual invasion, something I wish Rook would have realized and fought against, but that’s the trouble with human evil is that it’s only capable of looking inward for power and dominance. These creatures, if anything should be the ones that wipe out the corporations to make room for a bigger threat.

 

THE BAD

I think Two should have been more the focus tonight rather than Three who originally suffered a possession a while back. It made sense for Three to feel the effects of it and lament his fear and confusion over the problem at hand, but looking back, maybe it should have been Two who was possessed only because she seems to be slightly more associated with the Dwarf Star conspiracy even though Rook never exposed her to these alien creatures before. Three has had enough to deal with on the account of Sarah, his distrust with the androids, and a minor reminder that Four knows what he did back in the day. Two would have had a different reaction if she met the aliens and I would have liked to have seen it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When the android helps Two understand more about her newly developed outlook on life. It’s another moment of growth for the android, one that is a carry over from the last episode, but with more humor and sentiment. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much she’s adapting to her situation and find her to be the most humorous character on the show from this point forward. At the end of the day, she knows she’s being funny even if she doesn’t visually express it. Her expectations come from a simple method of knowing how her crewmates should react given her abundance to make quips and add levity to any tense moment. It’s a valuable trait to have when no one else is trying.

 

CHARACTER MVP

While I don’t think this was entirely a Three-centric episode I do feel he added the most to our understanding of the situation involving the dimensional alien race. Through him we discovered what they wanted, how they worked, and how they reacted toward human opposition including an arrogant position on humanity’s will to fight and live on. Standing up against the aliens may not have been the smartest move, but it’s one we can cheer for because Three is easily the most resilient of the bunch.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Twice this episode fooled me into thinking something horrid was going to happen. The first was the android. She had such a euphoric moment in expressing her newfound lease on life to Two that I honestly thought this was the episode she was going to die. It’s rare to have characters so unbelievably positive and happy that they live through their storyline at the end. Something could still happen but I was convinced it was going to be tonight. The second was Three. I thought enough signs pointed to the possibility that Three was himself a simulated human based on his experience and connection with the aliens, but so far that has proven to be false. That’s a good thing but I still went there.

 

Speaking of simulated humans, it seems odd that they’d have them constructed when simply using real humans would work as well. I don’t know if there’s some limitations behind their possessions but all that work to create simulated bodies to be taken over just seemed a tad bit redundant if normal humans work just fine. I’m sure given enough time, they could possess anyone they wanted to infiltrate several planets and stations if they wanted.

 

So one aspect that real probably not come into play but should still be talked about is whether these aliens exist in their own pocket dimension or if there are several versions of them scattered throughout the dimensional construct of the universe. Basically, I’m wondering if the alternate dimension where Portia and Boone came from have their own version of these aliens trying to break free or if these aliens exist only in one and jump from dimension to dimension as a means to sustain their existence. The latter seems more likely.

 

Knowing that Rook has been missing for a month, does that mean he has something sinister in the works or is he hiding from these creatures? It’s more likely he’s waiting for the right moment to reappear, probably when it suits his needs, but given what the Raza is up against, what more will Rook offer as a villain now that we know he’s colluded with an even greater enemy threat? Are there other facilities with simulated humans waiting to be possessed by more aliens, and if so, how are these gateways formed and where will they appear next?

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter will always surprise you with its many tales in a vast universe of malevolent forces. This week, they once again up the ante and give us a new threat, more diabolical and destructive than any human corporation can unleash. It may be too big for the crew of the Raza to face now, but if the balance of power shifts, it will be perfect for next season. Now that Two is on her way to Ishida, the stakes have never been higher for her friends and like always, it’s never easy to guess what’s going to happen next on this show. Dark Matter finally earns its namesake by giving us a glimpse into a universal force that may someday swallow the entire dimension whole. The consistency of fun and frights is ever present on Friday nights. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×09 (Reddit would have downvoted that picture citing it as a repost somehow)

Dark Matter 3x09

 

 

SUMMARY

The crew of the Raza discover they’ve traveled 600 years in the past and return to Earth to lay low and make sense of their situation. Taking refuge in Wisconsin, the crew blend in but are immediately suspected by neighboring kids. When they find out a scientist from the future has stowed away in the past, Two and Three find his house and a working blink drive that summoned the ship as a recall function within the broken blink drive on the Raza. The scientist captures Two and Three and explains he created the blink drive but felt it was too dangerous to be left in anyone’s hands and escaped to the past. After convincing the scientist of their dilemma, he helps Five return to an earlier time in the day to program the Marauder so that they can deal with the police threat that surrounded it. Afterward, they return to their present with the working blink drive while the scientist chooses to stay behind. In the present, the android is called upon by her android associates for help.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

In dealing with time travel one must come down on one side of the fence or the other. Time is either fixed or can be changed causing multiple dimensional outcomes. Dark Matter chooses the former as the crew unintentionally inspire the creation of FTL and a calling to explore space itself. This was mostly a humorous look at our characters facing a suburban culture without too much emphasis on current technology and pop-culture references. Surprisingly, it was more tame on the outcome of their paradoxical situation than I suspected but considering the android’s relative expertise on the planet’s subject matter, I was thoroughly entertained for most of it.

 

THE GOOD

Time travel to our present is a bit of a rite of passage in sci-fi storytelling. It generally beats the other premise where they go further back to an era that wouldn’t look as good without a wide-scale budget in hand. In the present, there’s lots of clever nuances and culture clashes one can make and tonight’s episode did so in abundance. In this instance, the cast can observe and comment on our society strengths and weaknesses without any real judgments save for a lack of current technology to fit their needs as Three so eloquently mentioned while walking down the street. They weren’t in any real horrific danger and served to tell a decent story that even gave us the origin of the blink drive and why its creator fled the present.

 

The android was chalk full of idiosyncrasies sometimes going a little out of her way to keep their disguises in check which was probably what made this episode work so well. In some aspects, she nurtures the crew and herds them together when they have absolutely no idea how to deal with the situation. Gathering funds, buying houses, and making house warming platters just shows how resourceful she is along with the smaller details that we as present exclusive patrons would catch and chuckle at.

 

THE BAD

Not a fan of those kids. At the end of the day, Jake was a device instrumental to the creation of the FTL drive built by her granddaughter which Five in no small way was an inspirational marker for that invention. It’s just hard to imagine how suburban lifestyles still leans toward families suspecting neighbors with being cannibals or aliens in this day and age. Seemed silly, but in retrospect I understand their place in the plot.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Watching Two reactions as she and Three walked through town. It’s not often we see Two in a state of merriment, but seeing her react to the dog and wanting hot chocolate shows how she can be laid back and positive if given the time to do so. Three comments on in and I like that he does because he’s also recognizing the stress she goes through and that simple things can help lighten the mood. If anything, she might have been the most prepared to stay in the time if it came down to it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This could go either way for the android or Five, but the android has the situation organized and made the most impact in getting the crew to blend in without too much slip ups or suspicion on their parts. Five’s inspiration for Jake was more happenstance than anything. I’m just glad Jake wasn’t ancestor for Jace Corso or something to that affect.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Dungeon Siege III came out around June of 2011. If Jake got the collector’s edition at Christmas that would put their date in Wisconsin in 2012 at the earliest. Now, most console players wouldn’t waste their time trying to passively beat a game over the course of too many months so if Jake didn’t beat the prior game Five was playing within two weeks of getting it, he either hates playing video games or his parents bought him random cheap games that weren’t in his favorite genres to begin with. In either case, Five showed him up.

 

If the crew landed somewhere more populated like LA, Chicago, New York or anywhere really dense, I’m certain Three would have found enough things to keep his mind occupied rather than lament on the lack of technology not available to him. Though to be fair, to him it wasn’t about having it, it was about having access to it the same way we might think of things useful to use nowadays but we don’t really use but it’s nice to have. We have anti-grav boots, sort of.

 

The active blink drive in their possession does raise some interesting dilemmas for the future. Does this mean they can actively move into the past with it, or was that strictly only the scientist’s capability? Will Ishida once more become obsessed with getting it once he learns of its existence and stop at nothing once more to claim it? I feel this will somehow play its course on the finale this season.

 

And speaking of Ishida. Now that Nieman has reached out to him with the alternate Portia and Boone at his side I suspect they’ll work together for that common goal until it no longer suits one of them, but I very much want Ishida to be the one to kill Portia and Boone when the time comes. He should know he can’t trust either of them and it gives us another excuse to have a great fight scene.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter has crossed dimensions and now the past as the crew tackle a jumble of what-if’s in regards to time-paradoxes. Most positive highlights are the small moments of comedic interaction between oblivious neighbors and the android who probably oversold their disguises, but the mark was hit in a fun and enjoyable segment of levity that this show is getting better at showcasing. With a new blink drive in their possession it’s only a matter of “time” before their hunted by all walks of corporate and bounty-hunter types. One thing is for certain, if there’s a retro song to be heard, you can bet the android will awkwardly pelvic thrust to it. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×07 (Ship in a bottle but with more bottle)

Dark Matter 3x07

 

SUMMARY

After the outer colony is subjected to poison, the only survivor, Six is taken by Ferrous Corp and placed in a mental illusion where he experiences various flashes of his past and present. Two scientists attempt to extrapolate the location of the outer colony leaders from him, but Six is able to resist and escape his mental trap. After reuniting with the crew of the Raza, he convinces the crew that they’ll need help from Truffault to take down Ferrous Corp. Meanwhile, Three ponders with Sarah what Four was hesitant to tell him when he regained his memories. Sarah assures that it doesn’t matter, but after telling Two that she’s having difficulty adjusting without connecting to real people, she’s presumably seen entering the android during her recharge sessions wandering the ship at night. She finds Three asleep in his room and points a gun at him, but decides to return to her chamber instead.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The story of characters discovering what is reality and what is fiction can provide aspects to mental breakthroughs that otherwise were untapped in prior plots. Tonight’s Dark Matter takes us on a journey with Six as he uncovers the family he left behind. The twists and turns that followed gave us a tangible yet erratic leap through various moments that detail Six’s life and understanding as it pertains to the crew of the Raza. When sci-fi tech is used to really crush human psyche’s, there’s a powerful message to find in how the human spirit combats the threat of the mind being probed. With enough deductive reasoning and concentration, a person can thwart the danger giving Six a major boost in his otherwise stale entry into this season.

 

THE GOOD

I’m glad the previews of this episode swerved the audience into thinking Six was once again becoming a “villainous” entity. We’ve seen it before and it might not have been a fresh take on it. Instead, Six is given the opportunity to solve his own crisis and even give a little back to the Ferrous Corp denizens who don’t seem to mind getting their morality dirty for the boss. The effort in convincing us that Six was killed was definitely a minor surprise considering they’re not afraid to make split decisions like that. Finding the necessary clues and inconsistencies to understand the illusion your facing is a fun and worthwhile concept to explore especially in a sci-fi world and I applaud the work put into it.

 

Sarah is definitely hiding something and is proving to be more invasive yet hidden in her motive and determination. We don’t truly know if she’s taking over the android, but it’s a safe bet she’s finding ways to break out of her construct. Considering she harbors some ill-will toward Three but is unwilling to express it to him is also an interesting development which means she’s playing a long game with the outcome unknown to us and the crew as well. I like the direction its going and am glad there’s once more something amiss on the ship as there always should be.

 

THE BAD

The bumbling scientists and Nieman in general are oddly out of the element in this episode. Ferrous Corp is a dominant force to be reckoned with, but somehow I just don’t feel it when I see characters like that struggle to make me fearful that the crew are in serious danger. Six managed to get away on his own which is a testament to his own fortitude but also deflates the strong-hold that Ferrous Corp has as a corporate villain of the series. If the bad guys don’t get some serious wins, the threat of the universe won’t seem so much as stake. And I don’t mean wins across sectors against planets and colonies we never meet. I mean Nieman and his allies start killing off characters we don’t want to die.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When the android walked around the ship at night and pointed a gun at Three. It was eerie and quiet and perfect to set up more intrigue and uneasiness on the ship. Clearly, Sarah or what is passing as her “ghost in the machine” mind is set to create some revenge for something Three did (Do we actually know by now?) and while she could have easily killed him, it wouldn’t have solved her own dilemma with getting out of the construct Five made for her. Is she justified in her actions? That’s what’s makes this interesting since we don’t quite know for sure.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Six by a landslide. He single-handedly fought and escaped his own capture and did so the same way Batman did in the animated episode “Perchance to Dream”, even using a similar technique where discovering that reading in a “dream-like” world is essentially impossible. Six has a strong will and even the proximity and trust of his friends won’t always be enough to break his will and loyalty as a man protecting the bigger picture. He’s the kind of person the crew really needs right now to continue being the moral compass and not jumping to violent conclusions like Three and Two sometimes do. It’s good to have him back on the team showing his composure and mattering.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Watching his family from a distance at the end was certainly a bit of a heart-break for the character, but Anders was there for support and the music tied in nicely making it a very well placed resolution to the episode that finally introduced his family.

No real development on any of Five’s future-tellings which makes me think most of the events she mentioned will be for future seasons. We may get one more two of them happening now most assuredly the “Dwarf Star Conspiracy” since that episode is coming in 4 weeks.

That was a very gorgeous shot of the Raza flying into that lava-style star. I liked the use of color and style. Good choice on how Six decided to delete the program in his mind as well. When all else fails, destroy the ship.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter successfully engages us in detailing the maddening effects of mind scrambling and reality warping as Six uncovers a plot to seek and annihilate the outer colony leaders. The sub-plot was uncharacteristically held as the last portion of the episode where Sarah is desiring to be more connected with people and at the same time presumably inhabiting the android at night. Giving Six a chance to regain his ground and fight the good fight is helping to re-establish his credit on the crew and now that he’s back the Raza can resume its course toward stopping Ferrous Corp. The stars are beginning to align on that front with the season about to jump into its second half. All eyes are now on what the crew will do next. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×06 (Android versus Android coming soon, get hyped!)

Dark Matter 3x06

 

SUMMARY

Portia, Boone, Tash, Wexler, and the android from the alternate universe infiltrate the ship carrying Ishida’s prisoners and kill both them and the security force holding them. They then convince Truffault to a deal smuggling missiles to another corporation but betray her as the crew of the Raza learn of their existence. With the help of Tabor, they convince the alternate crew to sell the missiles to another buyer however Portia and Boone sneak onto the Raza to take it over. The android and Five though subdue both Portia and Boone as the alternate android agrees to trade them back for Three who had been previously captured. After the exchange, the alternate Portia meets with Commander Nieman aboard his station and plots to take down the Raza crew. On the Raza, Tabor leaves on Truffault’s ship taking Solara with him, citing a need to be less adventurous and safe. Later, Two rendezvous with the outer colony planet where Six was occupying however they’re stunned when they see the planet is littered with dead bodies.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter never forgets its many plot threads and once again introduces us to the mayhem of Portia and her alternate team. This was a bit of a surprise as I had cornered Corso as the sole escapee from their last encounter. I didn’t expect the entire rest of the crew to make it across sans Corso himself. What does come as more of a surprise is their integration as another formidable group of villains, albeit not the smartest considering they don’t have an evil Five on their team. Tabor’s departure seems like perfect timing, but I wouldn’t be against them appearing again if it meant they can take a more purposeful position in the future. With next week’s promo pointing to Six as the mysterious Agent Zero, it looks like Two and her team will once more be up against the man who betrayed them originally. Fun times.

 

THE GOOD

I have to give props to the curve ball at the beginning when Ishida’s prisoners were spaced by Portia and Boone. It took me a second to realize what was going on and not that Two and Three had become vicious, chaos-driven villains and would stop at nothing to revenge against their former comrade, Four. Portia and Boone seem to have all the pieces they need to “try” and outsmart the Raza crew, however as we quickly realize, Portia needs bigger help to get the job done, and that’s what resourceful villains do, they get better villains to do the work for them. For the most part, I’m glad they didn’t wrap this up by killing all the alternate crew members and for some reason I feel like there’s high potential to include the alternate android in a plot down the road. High hopes.

 

THE BAD

I realize the episode needed Ishida in it to connect with the ship that the alternate crew murdered so we can keep this universe small enough, but I don’t think this was an episode that needed us to remember that Ishida is still maintaining a dubious personality when it comes to malevolent emperor versus the sensible Ishida we remember. It’s the same example we got last time and we didn’t need another one so soon. We know Ishida is plagued with doubt and worrisome over the war effort and still feels accountable for Nyx’s death. We know he’s slipping further from Teku’s influence and more toward an angry resentful leader that needs fear to work as his weapon. The next logical course of action is to either make his turn complete or make him fight the corruption from within using his good senses he was taught to have. We don’t need any more ambiguous decisions, just get on with the tragic downfall if it’s going to happen. More evolution and less reminders.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It was short, but I liked the fight between Portia and the android. I thought it could get really crazy considering Portia has the same nano-tech as Two does (she does right?) and the android of course flipping around was perfect. I like fights that are energized and this certainly fit the bill. I want to see the android handle a sword next time against Ishida or Misaki.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Little tough on this one. There wasn’t a central character theme this time around and almost everyone had  moment to shine one for the most part. I’ll save both androids deserve the award for both the fight scene against Portia and for the other android taking down Tash to handle the trade for her allies back. Both moments were crucial to each side’s success and their little conversation was of course worth a few chuckles considering their emotionless yet suspicious natures about one another.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Just a few plots still floating around the ether we haven’t dived too far into including the mystery of Five’s sister and whether or not there are any more assassins from Ishida on their way to intercept the Raza. If not the latter then certainly the former needs to be resolved this season. We have time.

 

This may be slightly off the cusp, but as heart-warming as the scenes were with Three and Sarah, I really want one of them to show some kind of heavy side-effect with the situation they’re in. If it’s Sarah, her world-building could be further developed as a scenario where she begins to play god in her own world, building people and a whole town of her own to the point she can’t sustain the populace she made and has to break out or destabilize. For Three, I can see him starting a dependency for Sarah like last time only more internal to the point, he becomes obsessed and stays in Sarah’s world too long to the point his physical body begins to suffer wildly or he becomes stuck inside. I just feel there’s something building here and it won’t necessarily be good for either one in the end.

 

Does Ishida really have the military experience to decide the fate of his armada? Being the emperor means he can make any decision surely, but he also has a great deal of knee-jerk reactions that are preventing him from making effective decisions, something his general(s) should be witnessing and advising more than just what they’re doing now. In the past, it’s been about choosing between one general’s plan versus Teku’s or whatnot, but now he’s just making call after call which are inherently bad each time around. This is the struggle with knowing he’s going to lose no matter what and seeing how each step brings him closer to that downfall. Frustrating but necessary.

 

I also wonder if when it comes down to it, will Two kill Portia and will Three kill Boone, and will the android be forced to kill the other android? There will be a final showdown of sorts, I’m almost certain of it, but what will be the fate of the alternate crew. I’m not in any way caring about evil Wexler and Tash, they’re cannon fodder like they always were, but Portia and Boone deserve a fitting end to their evil ways. That should also be resolved this season.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. The doppelgangers return to lay their own foundation in the universe where only one crew of the Raza can remain. Tabor made one last team effort before resigning as a guest character while Ishida continues to make anything but a calculated decision regarding the war he’s in. With a few surprises and some good action, tonight’s episode fulfilled a week long wait in finding out where the Raza ventured next. And as always, there was a stinger of a cliffhanger detailing Six’s new allies as they’re all likely dead save for him. Now we deal with the fallout and the potential for more crucial moments as Six becomes the deadly enemy once again. Five will have her work cut out for her. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×04 (I hope the war is between psycho-kinetic androids and time-traveling hell-demons)

Dark Matter 2x04

 

SUMMARY

A flashback details Three’s childhood involving his parents being killed by a man who took Three in and raised him to become a criminal. In the present, the Raza dock at a station as the group split to accomplish separate tasks. The android finds a group of other androids who blend in the community and have chips that allow them to mimic human behavior. The android is later given a similar chip and information that she was designed to exhibit human-like qualities. Meanwhile, Nero contacts Alicia and meets with her after presumably stealing Five’s stolen keycard that can open trans-dimensional gates. Three assists his old crew in a heist only to find that they are ruthless and he’s forced to kill them. Later, he meets with his old mentor and discovers his parents were murdered by him and takes his life for both revenge and to save a child who was kidnapped during the heist. Back in the ship, Devon is seen taking a drug concoction of some sort in order to handle the surgery he performs on Six which heals his wounds. After Alicia discovers the card Nero stole was a fake, she converses with man on a monitor that stresses the importance of the key card and a war that is coming.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter continues to treat their characters with careful precision as this time, Three is under the microscope of character development. His journey from the a-typical snarky merc for hire into a compassionate member of the Raza is best seen in tonight’s episode where his past is finally unlocked for us to see. If ever there were doubts on his ability to redeem his persona from last season, they’ve been successfully squashed. The show also continues to hit marks and strides with Five and her ability to be resourceful as the crew inch closer to an inevitable clash of powerful adversaries. With the exception of a few minor detractions, namely Nyx and Two’s subplot, the show has maintained a steady course toward what appears to be a war that the Raza will be dialed into sometime soon.

 

THE GOOD

There are a few classic moments that help solidify Three as a capable bad-ass. His confrontation with the old crew and his mentor are two of them, but his relationship with Five is, to me what’s really standing out. It may seem casual, but he helped build trust with her which is something he never cared about before he grew a heart. With One no longer a distraction of any type to him, Three is free to fill a stronger role where maybe he’ll be a better big brother to Five than Six was. It could instigate a rift later in the season with Six, but for now I like the direction Three is going.

 

The hidden android group is new to the show, but not necessarily new to the sci-fi realm. What’s interesting here is the lack of conflict, it was more information sharing and opportunities given but with so much other conflict bleeding into the main story plot it was nice to see the android discover something new without the risk of being switched off or terminated by some run-of-the-mill bad guy of the week. The fact that she’s still pondering put the chip into her system means there’s hesitation that it what she wants, and more importantly, that it can do what the android says it can. This will lead to some speculation further down the review.

 

THE BAD

Four is arguably the best melee fighter on the ship who currently isn’t swimming in technology or designed. Nyx’s off-handed ability to be his equal just by picking up random weapons spells a lot of hogwash that I’m not truly buying into. I’m hoping her origin is more rooted in lies than in similar plots to Two because I’m not convinced she should remain a good-natured character on the ship. She’ll betray the crew, it’s just a matter of time. I wish four kept the edge of ability over her, just to prove that his training does count for something.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Three faced down the old crew and gunned them down, ala old-west style. I liked the long far shot, the gun echoes and all the details in-between. It’s not something I’ve experienced much on the show in the past and it helps us breathe in some of the story without being too hammered by quick cuts and loud choreography. Three never even took a wound which is even more amazing that he faced such odds and came out unscathed. A very satisfying moment to watch after what the group did earlier to the father who was forced to help them.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I really liked Three’s performance tonight. There was a strong sense of moral justice laden in his expressions and even though he wanted to be the man he once was, there was no denying his mentor was a poor reflection of what he’d become if he returned to his old ways. In some fashion, he destroyed his past so he could move onto his future, guilt-free and with some sense that his parents received justice, something One was still lacking with the death of his wife. I don’t think we’ll get another episode like this for Three in the future, so it’s good that we see it now before decimation arrives for the Raza.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I wonder if what the android received is truly going to make her more human-like or if it will conflict with her “design” that has already shown to give her some moral objectivity and human considerations. I imagine, it’s a vessel to help fill the gap with the android’s vanilla personality so that we can see her interact with more distinction, something I think Five would really appreciate.

 

Now that Six is back, I fear that he’ll remain reserved and apprehensive over jobs and situations that call for a robust behavior. This is indicative of his personality last season and I want him to grow into a stronger more reliable character for both Five and Two’s sakes. He can still be the heart of the crew, but he needs to also believe in what they’re doing for that to work.

 

This is the third time we’ve been given a hammer of information detailing the death of One, which tells me more and more that he’s not really dead. That in itself is an eventual causality that is likely unavoidable, it’s just a matter of knowing whether One prepared for a situation like that, or whether someone saved him in the nick-of-time, and is keeping his survival under wraps. Time will tell if we’re too cold on this theory.

 

Devon’s reliance on drugs means there’s a story to tell which could swell up in the next few episodes. He reminds me of the strong-hearted supporting friend that is the last person you’d suspect to betray you…and then does. Whatever dependance issues he has, he doesn’t trust the crew enough to reveal them which means Five or Six will likely find out on their own. Six has a sixth sense on these things and Five is just good and stumbling into problems that ultimately become her own.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Classic redemption story that worked for Three who seemed like a lone gunmen who wants to quit the old trade and be loyal to those he trusts. I can get behind that because we need to like our characters more and more as the series progresses on. Dark Matter impresses with a dark origin and brings to light last season’s key-card debacle that solidifies its importance due to an incoming war. Never forget that Dark Matter doesn’t forget it’s clues and sub-plots from last season, everything connects and everything will be made known in its due time. We’re almost half-way done and I still feel like we’re just getting warmed up. Hopefully Four will have a stand-alone episode soon because I like these sword fights they keep throwing at us. Keep them coming! Thanks for reading.

 

 

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