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 3×08 (Someone out in the cosmos said “Make me a shirt with shiny pineapples on it”)

Dark Matter 3x08

 

SUMMARY

After Six and a group of independent colony delegates escape a Ferrous Corp attack, one of the members is found dead on the Raza. Shortly after, the android begins exhibiting strange behavior as Five discovers she’s been hacked by a servant of Ishida. The android uses the clone pods on the ship to replicate Ishida and several men as they take over the ship. Five hides and with Sarah’s help reconnects with the android while Two, Three, and Six deal with Ishida and his group. After Ishida is thwarted, he returns to his body with Two swearing should they meet again she’ll kill him. While repair work continues on the blink drive, the crew find out several colonies have joined Ishida and the League of Autonomous worlds which has helped replenish his ranks for the internal war he faces. When the android and Five perform a test on the drive, it emits a high-intensity burst, rendering the crew unconscious.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter turns inward and pits former crew-member, Ishida against Two and the crew of the Raza as a skirmish erupts for control of the blink drive. There was a positive change in flavor with tonight’s episode most notably the fight scene between Two and Ishida and the android’s darker behavior under the control of a “hacker”. The interactions with Six and his fearful delegates dragged in some aspects, but the overall crux of the story was most certainly one of the highest ones this season. Some prior plot points were handled with good sense of logic behind it while one outlier still has me wondering why steps weren’t taken to solidify an answer, but we’ll get to that later. Excellent episode with a satisfying cliffhanger showcasing a time-travel journey for next week.

 

THE GOOD

Having Ishida confront Two was necessary and handled with an effective outcome. History didn’t let either forget what losing Nyx did to them and it was about time they dealt with it. Organically, Two shouldn’t be in a situation to forgive Ishida in any capacity regardless of his involvement in her death because their situation are beyond a simple misunderstanding. She isn’t bluffing and neither is he that the next time they meet one of them could perish indefinitely. What should be noted is when they meet again and not if. I wouldn’t count on either being killed off, but what a way to handle some heavy endings if it did come down to that. Now was a good time to finally come clean with Nyx’s death and who was responsible for it.

 

I enjoyed the android’s switch in alignment. When she’s emitting her emotional switch normally, she has a very human personality, but this one was more catered to wicked schemes and Five’s interactions with her was fun to watch. Finding opportunities to let the actors shine past their normal characters is always a treat and it was the android’s turn this time around.

 

THE BAD

The delegates were very minor in their role only providing some cannon fodder toward the plot with “who killed the former Ferrous Corp delegate? Which in actuality wasn’t resolved making their departure oddly incomplete. I thought Five was going to raise an alarm because the real killer was getting away, but in the end no one cared. It was an odd change of pace and adding the detail from the android that she didn’t kill the man leads me to wonder if she was being literal or figurative as maybe she just meant she was hacked and that technically doesn’t count. Just felt odd.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

That fight scene. There’s no denying when they concentrate on action, they can do a good job and here it was a rambunctious one-on-one with a nice steady camera angle that let the fight breathe on its own, something I have great respect for in the world of cinematography. Two and Ishida are the most capable hand-to-hand fighters on this show and it was only a matter of time when they would clash against each other. Very enjoyable fight to watch and it was given a substantial amount of time to tell. It’s tough to say if I agree with specifically how it went down considering Ishida’s background in martial arts and Two’s genetic make-up with her nano-technology. It’s difficult to say who really should have had the advantage, but I do want to lean toward Ishida because he should have studied his allies as well as his foes for weaknesses in their fighting style. Good job all around.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Five gets it on the count of her censored comment. Who knows if the Five from seasons past would take Ishida’s word when put in a similar circumstance, but it’s obvious she won’t trust him in any capacity from here on out. Not to mention, Ishida doesn’t sound exceptionally convincing when bargaining for freedom. It’s part of his schtick that he thinks he can get what he wants because he has positional power and characters like Five scoff at that sort of thing now. Her continued development gets more interesting by the episode and soon she’ll be running that ship all on her own. She’ll have to if the future is fixed, that’s for sure.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

It’s a good thing they clarified that the independent colonies and the league of autonomous worlds are not synonymous with one another. If Ishida has his way, he’ll scoop up the remaining colonies and let them die for his world all for the sake of simulated freedom against other worlds that likely want the same thing. Ishida using them just proves more and more that he’s not connected to anything save for his own title and ability to govern. We were given a short moment where he grabbed his sword and almost began his old kata routine only to put it back. I know it was meant to be sentimental for his own sake, but he’s a bit past the point of return considering the choices he’s made. In a way he’s trying to straddle that fence, but his reasoning will clash with the crew easily from here on out.

 

One aspect I can’t decide if I like or not is how misdirected we were with last week’s ending showcasing the android under the influence with who I easily thought was Sarah. I fell for it because I had literally nothing else to prove a different theory. In some ways I like the bait and switch technique but in others, it was too jarring considering all eyes were set on Sarah who seemed relatively “off” in her performance under the crew’s radar. Ultimately it carried a purpose that was better suited for tonight’s episode, but next time I hope we can find the clues more easily.

 

Still no movement on Five’s elusive hidden sister we found out about earlier this season. I know they won’t forget to include this plot detail, but I’m also less hopeful that her sister will be anything more than a one-off episode that will likely end in that characters death, demise, or disappearance considering most fates of side characters on this show. We’ll see.

 

When you stop and think about it, letting Ishida return with his memories intact was the smarter move as not doing so would mean he wouldn’t know about the blink drive’s defective status and likely hunt for it again. I could feel the itchy trigger fingers wanting to destroy the clone, but it was for the best as well as the threat that came from both parties. They really need to have those pods on lock-down moving forward.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Dark Matter reads solid as Two and Ishida face each other in an action-packed episode over control of the blink drive. Twice Ishida’s been thwarted with another attempt likely meaning the short demise of someone substantial, but rest assured, it won’t be Five as she cleverly finds a way to help save her crew once again. The ending promises more sci-fi shenanigans with a tease of time-travel next week which could hopefully include some foreshadowing as to Earth’s evolution into space. In the meantime, tonight’s episode was a pager turner that delivered in good action, some high-suspense and great acting by the android and Five herself. Take root and prepare for next week’s look at the 21st century. 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.

 

 

No more words

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.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×05 (The scammer with a heart of meh)

Dark Matter 3x05

 

SUMMARY

During a transmission call made by Adrian the Raza become entangled in a plot to save Adrian’s would-be girlfriend by trading her for a data file containing the location of Project Phoenix, a shipyard for a Ferrous Corp. armada. After a failed attempt to retrieve the file at Tabor’s last known whereabouts, Five and Adrian board a station with a vault, but are captured by the security force working for Ferrous Corp. The android breaks them out and they head to a planet where Tabor was rumored to hiding in. Once there, they are again captured by the local sentry android but Three and the android intervene and retrieve the file. Adrian makes the trade for the woman, Ambrosia, but she double-crosses her captor in an attempt to sell the file herself. The crew subdue her but Adrian convinces them to let her go. On the Raza, the crew discover the shipyard is empty suggesting the Ferrous Corp fleet is already operational. Meanwhile, on Zairon, Ishida is suffering heavy losses with defending a sector that is spiritually important to his people and when he discovers an assassin in his ranks, he enforces fear rather than love to subjugate loyalty from his people. Elsewhere, Commander Nieman makes a log reciting an escalation of events and a certainty of victory in the corporation war. He also mentions an Agent Zero, someone who will be necessary to deal with the outer colonies as he reviews Six on screen.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter continues to push the corporate war into the next phase while giving us more back-story on Adrian and Solara, the two newest recruits to the Raza. While enduring Adrian’s wild-goose chase regarding the data file on Project Phoenix and subsequent deception by his crush, we’re also given a wider spectrum on Ishida’s slip into a more darker rule as the “Fall of Ishida” begins its domino effect. Some aspects of this episode stood out very effectively while Adrian as the main focus kept us from diving further into another character’s subplot, Solara, but we’ll get to her later.

 

Five continues to showcase her new talents of bad-assery and the android once more got to strut her emotional stuff which continues to beg the question, why doesn’t she just leave the augment on? Entertaining episode, but not necessarily the strongest of this season so far.

 

THE GOOD

Dark Matter knows the pieces it’s setting on the board and with every episode we’re given just a snippet of the whole, this time the firepower of Ferrous Corp and an ominous threat of a character known as Agent Zero. And before we theorize that Six is a triple agent it’s more likely that Nieman will be sending this agent to neutralize Six as a threat. Hopefully this agent has the fortitude and charisma to be someone other than a single-episode villain, because this show needs more villain mainstays and Nieman isn’t the end all be all for this show, at least I hope not.

 

Ishida’s darker turn is frustrating to watch, but in a good way. If I were a betting man, I’d say Ishida should take on the role of the main villain for at least this season, because we’re being given a gradual slide into that side of him that will do whatever he must to preserve his stature and ability to be emperor of Zairon. But, realistically, he’s more likely a symbol of how being negatively influenced can ruin someone’s career and role. I wouldn’t normally expect his character to lose everything and once more join Raza’s cause, because that would be too textbook, but if he does have a final part to play against Ferrous Corp, he’ll need the Raza and her crew to make things right for himself and his people.

 

THE BAD

This came right out of the gate, but I was certainly intrigued by Solara’s back-story and would have expected some circular tie-in as a means to deal with her grief with what happened at the temple she trained in. Yet we weren’t given any subplot surrounding it, and for the moment I understand that there is nothing to really bring out since she murdered everyone who killed the monks, but that doesn’t mean we can’t capitalize on her grief and make these situations where she has to deal with similar circumstances. The episode simply moved on to Adrian’s plight and I wasn’t really as interested in seeing his development as I was Solara’s.

 

While Adrian proved to be a man of conscience, he doesn’t seem any more capable of being an asset to the team except when it comes to random levity and an occasional reality-checking voice. I’m hoping Solara won’t have to actually give her life to save Adrian in the future unless it made him a stronger person for it. If we’re going to build him up, let’s do it with purpose unless he turns out to be more cannon fodder.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I think it’s done with a reserved fashion, but I’m beginning to appreciate more and more the android’s style when it comes to her emotional side of things. Not just in her character personas she’s capable of emulating but even in casual conversation like she was having with Three which makes me yearn for her character to just leave the damn upgrade turned on so she can exist as a real heartbeat on the show. Nevertheless, I do enjoy these moments where she gets to unleash her human side and I do hope we see more in the future and not just in situation where she has to pretend to save the crew.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’m giving this reluctantly to Adrian for two reasons. For one, he didn’t give up Five as a Raza crew member to the security force that captured him and again for wanting to let Ambrosia go even after she betrayed him. At the heart of it, Adrian is a decent person isn’t really out to scam anyone so there’s no reason to believe that sometime in the future he’ll do a double-cross himself, unless that’s what the writers want us to think…hmmm. In any case, he had growth or at the very least confirmation that he’s not a real imbecile, just extremely gullible.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Just a couple of definitions, but I need to keep track of all these sectors and stations more because there’s just so many. The name Bellerophon (The planet they went to) is in reference to originally a greek hero who slayed the Chimera. When Adrian mentioned “Oslo syndrome” what he was referring to was Stockholm syndrome, albeit a more general idea of it.

 

With tensions rising between Misaki and Teku, I’m thinking Misaki will learn from her past transgression and continue to manipulate Ishida into having Teku killed rather than killing him herself like she did with Nyx. Sometimes I’m having trouble understanding her motivation since technically everyone wants the same thing for Zairon, she just wants to be more closer to Ishida in influence and proximity I imagine. In our eyes, she’s a “villain” while Ishida isn’t proving to be as smart or resourceful as we might have thought in the past given his status. He’s making Grade A mistakes that are going to cost him his fleet and the war as a whole. But this is the point and the story of his downfall, something we already know is a sure bet.

 

I’m actually a bit surprised that nobody picked up on Ambrosia and Goren’s plan being a trap for Adrian since he’s the one that made the call first only to find out she was being “held hostage”. Generally in a plot like this someone like Goren or Ambrosia would be the one reaching out to bait the person in question. Otherwise Goren and Ambrosia were literally sitting around waiting for an opportunity to drag Adrian around space looking for the data file. What if Adrian didn’t call that day, or that week, or that month, what would they have done?

 

Sometimes I think the show is looking for strange reasons to put a wig on Jodelle. They’ve all made her look relatively distinguished, but is her green hair really going to be a dead giveaway to people that she’s a Raza crewmember at this rate? Or is it more simply that unless she looks professional and mature that no one will take her seriously? She’s already managing in a lot of ways to be more than capable of acting, both on instinct and in planning so what are the wigs really doing for her visually? Go with red next time!

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Dark Matter took us around several locations to show how big their newest member’s heart is. In the midst of finding out the firepower of Ferrous Corp, we’re given more insight into Ishida’s role as emperor and Misaki’s over-arcing influence which will inevitably lead him into a downward spiral. The android once more proves to be a reliable and entertaining asset to the group and we have an ominous character making their way to the frontlines in the name of Agent Zero. More pieces to the puzzle are put in place with plenty on the way. Now it’s time to get a little crazy on the show with more science-fiction mayhem. Bring on the weirdness! Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×01 (We’re back, in outer space!)

Dark Matter 3x01

 

SUMMARY

As the station nears destruction from last season, Six finds two and helps her get to the Marauder. They survive the explosion but are left adrift with minimal power and communications. Meanwhile, Truffault helps Five get off the station and back on board the Raza while Three is taken by Anders to an abandoned facility on a rogue planet. On Zairon, Four (Ishida) releases his old teacher from imprisonment and offers him an advisory role much to the dismay of Misaki who distrusts him. As the android makes contact with Two and Six, they are attacked and boarded by a Ferrous Corp ship. With the help of Trufaullt, the Ferrous Corp intruders are all killed while Three helps Anders deal with a drone threat and explains he’s the lesser of two evils amidst a Corporation war bound for greater problems. Anders allows Three to escape when the Galactic Authority arrives. Just before the Raza finds the Maurauder with draining life-support, Two has a hallucination of Nyx who suffered poisonous wounds inflicted by Misaki, an act Two believes Four perpetrated himself. After the crew are reunited, Truffault expresses she will remain neutral until they’re ready to strike, leaving the crew of the Raza to deal with Four and getting the blink drive back.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A split crew and a race to save two of them defines our return to Dark Matter and its ragtag group of space-faring bad guys. Our ability to perceive every main character’s survival left our plot as much a formality than a driving focus on new territory, but nevertheless, each member of the Raza dealt with their own personal growths including a trust game with Anders and Two’s guilt toward Nyx’s death. Our corporate war has been kicked off, but for now there’s no telling how much of it the crew will experience as Emperor Ishida on directly on the Raza’s path. I’d like to highlight Three’s ability to stay level-headed while a gun-toting Five ups her A-game, no longer a member of the crew who needs to hide all the time. The team is back for more sci-fi ass-kicking!

 

THE GOOD

It’s an aftermath where the pieces must be picked up before everyone can successfully move on. Each crew member had a concern and a moment to flesh out their personalities for the season and I think they did it well. Two faced her guilt in the form or Nyx who showcased an interesting action by kissing Two goodbye. Six remained the voice of his own regret in reflecting on his treatment of the crew last season. It’s not necessarily tired, but I’d wager this is the last time he has to confront his betrayal and should be able to move on from there. Three was more cavalier with Anders during his capture, but somehow he’s adopted a more cool-minded approach and actually helped barter his freedom. Is Anders the new Kierkan of the season? I’m thinking no, but we’re still not sure what Anders is all about. Five showed a fiery spirit by helping dispose of the Ferrous Corp henchmen. She’s going to continue growing in confidence and ability, and that path is already starting. Our resident Android maintains her illustrious wit and now apparently she’s an expert chef who seems more than happy to make the meals. Four is a little tricky because he’s showing patience and trust while trying not to lose sight of his position and what it means to be Emperor. We know he’s not a “villain” but right now it’s important we see him continue to be benevolent to an extent so we don’t immediately side with the Raza crew when they inevitably clash.

 

THE BAD

My investment in the corporation war isn’t quite there yet. It was basically prophesized that it was coming and it’s essentially started, but it feels very much like an epic war poised forever in the backdrop of a mission by mission storyline for the Raza crew. We don’t have enough villainous faces to really see who they’re up against except for specific self-serving bad guys who already have personal vendettas from the crew. I want to see more of the corporations influence and how much space they really occupy. With the station destroyed, the chaos will no doubt be rampant, but I’d still like to see how many total we’re dealing with and where they fit on the alignment scale.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Quick and to the point, when the android popped up and merc’d the remaining Ferrous Corp team. Her exhale on the smoke trails from the barrels was an interesting feather in the cap as we’re seeing more and more attributes assimilated by the android even when others aren’t around to witness her. She’ll continue to showcase moments like these I’m certain.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone had an equal amount of screen time, but I’d like to give it to the unlikely Trufaullt. She didn’t betray the Raza crew which actually says a lot and even helped Five get back as well as help defend the ship showcasing she’s a decent threat when her survival is threatened. She understands the pros with staying out of the main fight and isn’t hindering Two from staying on their own course. I’m beginning to like her more and more and maybe in the future if she continues to make these kinds of decisions, things will work out for her, unless she pulls the ultimate betrayal card at the end, then her life is forfeit.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Did Three tell Six that Anders was still alive? Would that make much of a difference to Six either way? I’d like to think it will, but what influence will Anders have on Three or Six in the future when they cross paths again? He’s their only “ally” in the Galactic Authority but even now we’re not sure what that even means. The next move will be on Anders himself.

 

It will be interesting to see how news of the stations destruct will affect the lives of the crew. If Ferrous Corp or anyone else spin the disaster into an attack perpetrated by the Raza, then they’re in for some serious setbacks in the near future, otherwise we may not hear much about it except that the destruction indeed led to some fierce corp. war that will seemingly be in the background for the immediate time.

 

I realize Two would probably keep all this grief to herself, but it would have been nice to see some kind of funeral send-off for Nyx considering the effect she had on Two. It’s almost funny that no one else really batted an eye-lash with the exception of Six, but we all know his reactions are over the top emotionally driven.

 

I’m not expecting Four’s teacher to last very long on this season. In fact, I’d wager Misaki finds a way to kill or exile him within the next 4-6 episodes. He’s the only new supporting character on the show and since they’re not likely killing any more main characters, he’s very high on my list for the next big death.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. After a lengthy break, Dark Matter returns with a strong foothold in the height of its cliffhanger madness. The crew of the Raza survived with the exception of Nyx and now the race is on to reclaim their stolen device and exact a comeuppance for one of their own. There were very little loose ends taken care of from last season giving us a bit of time to let our characters breathe and deal with the next onslaught of episodes we’re getting for the next several weeks. We’ve caught a glimpse into their role as a family onboard a space-ship and now time will tell if this family can pull together and save the galaxy from all the corporate fallout happening in their very midst. One thing is for certain, the more whacky tech they find, the brighter the bulls-eye will be on their exhaust ports. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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