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

Advertisements

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 3×08 (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 3×06 (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.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×02 (That’s one way to take out a clone)

Dark Matter 3x02

 

SUMMARY

Five is able to access a memory from Four’s past which helps detail the location of a research station that contains the blink drive. When they arrive to board the station, Four is shown on board through clone transport. As they try to escape by using the drive on the station, they transport into a pocket of null space that slowly begins to shrink down. Meanwhile, Five begins suffering reoccurring memories of her past while being under the care of an old tech engineer whom her local friends don’t trust. They make plans to leave the planet citing that her caretaker betrayed them to the Galactic Authority. In the present, Two, Three, and Six board the station and discover Four. Unwilling to compromise a truce, Three kills Four only to find the body is a clone. As they negotiate with one scientist, the other kills the first feeling betrayed. Two and Three find the last scientist and kill her to get the blink drive back. They return to normal space linking it to the Maurauder while the real Four discovers from communicating with the android that Nyx has been killed. He confronts Misaki who accepts her fate but warns him it was for the good of the empire. Back on the Raza, Five learns in her memory she has a lost sister but is permanently blocks from her old memories due to her deteriorating condition. Stable for now, the crew decide to leave the blink drive  inert until they learn more about it.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Back to back with the premiere, the crew of the Raza find Four’s hidden research station and with it a new problem involving the blink drive and it’s highly volatile nature in the wrong hands. The most standout moment came at the end when Four rages on Misaki after discovering she had fatally wounded Nyx. We know he won’t kill her, but it was a close call and there’s no telling how broken their trust may be moving forward. While the blink drive plot was the main focal point, I was much more fascinated by Five’s journey into her own past including a brief moment where she encountered Sarah who when we last saw her had died. It may be unfortunate that her access to everyone’s memories are severed but with it comes a new goal, one of locating a missing sister who resides with some rich family, hopefully to be revealed later this season. Just remember, this isn’t the crew that want to bring Four back into the fold, they simply want to kill him and I for one can’t wait for that inevitable 4 on 1 fight scene when it happens.

 

THE GOOD

We’re seeing more random qualities within the blink drive and I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more chaotic responses from it as time goes on. Within the confines of space-time, there are still numerous outcomes the crew can go through with that device and I hope we get to see more of that flux this season.

 

The height of our drama right now is how Four and Two are dealing with Nyx’s death. Now that Four knows Misaki killed her, he’s angry and very nearly killed Misaki out of principle. Two may still think Four killed Nyx if the android didn’t already update her on Four’s confused state. I think they’re saving that for later though since this path gives Two something to strive for in the vengeance department regardless of Six’s speech that killing Four won’t bring Nyx back.

 

THE BAD

I really wanted clone-Four to duke it out with Two and Three. Maybe that’s too soon, but they better deliver on something of that caliber in the future. I suppose since they don’t store swords on a research vessel, Four wouldn’t have had much of an advantage anyway.

 

There was zero follow up when Five was in Sarah’s presence. I’m guessing it was a precursor to the memory problem Five would endure throughout the episode, but the way it was delivered almost tells me that Five has Sarah’s consciousness stored away, and if that’s the case, why didn’t we have some residual return to it by the end of the episode? To the casual viewer, this may be an easily forgotten moment if it isn’t addressed soon.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Essentially when Four confronted Misaki. I very much wanted him to learn about it sooner than later. Granted, earlier means that Misaki won’t be a casualty of his anger but more of a watchful subordinate from here on out. He may restrict her privileges, he may do nothing, but hopefully he won’t forget how devious she’ll get when she feels she has to protect the throne beyond Four’s ability.

 

CHARACTER MVP

In a big way this was Five’s episode, complete with the most growth and backstory than anyone else. I was certainly intrigued with her dream-like memories and how she interacted with them knowing they were essentially reruns, with predetermined outcomes save for the old man’s reveal that Five had a sister. If you really dive into the quantum physics of that kind of time-displacement memory revealing, it’s be near impossible to explain how she knew in a memory that she had a sister at all let alone be told by a character who should have been running like a script.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Five’s sister may be a mystery but I’m excited to see who and how she’ll be introduced. We don’t know if she’s older or younger so any new female who shows up from here on out will be immediately suspected until the proof shows itself. Will she be similar in virtue or will she be corrupted? I think it’s very possible we’re going to have a good sister and an evil sister, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

 

This episode feels like it drew inspiration somewhat from the episode “Remember Me” on Star Trek-The Next Generation, when Dr. Crusher found herself in a similar collapsing reality. I like the concept of the shrinking universe as it adds a lot of tension and rampant thought processes on how to escape. There has to be at least a few studies on the phenomenon in our own time.

 

I’m not sure of Jodelle’s acting range, but I would have liked to have seen her portray her memories as the other crew members in their respective tones and mannerisms. It would really add to the depth of her integrated experience and somewhat humorous to see her be like one of the other cast members.

 

Four may be showing a lot of restraint, but how he intends to focus on the war after the station’s destruction and his own council at each other’s throats will determine whether or not he’s destined to be Emperor for the long run or if we’ll eventually see him deposed and back on the Raza just like Six was during season 2. I think it could go either way, but the conflict is certainly palpable and unseen enemies can be very close by. I’m hoping he’ll make enough clever decisions to keep everyone guessing including those he trusts, but if he continues to make sacrifices and takes on more villainous quests, he may in fact turn into the actual season 3 bad-guy. I’d be okay with that either way.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Ishida’s struggle is truly beginning as the Raza crew rip and tear into his territory in an attempt to take back their stolen tech. Five discovers a sibling has been lost to her since birth and Misaki has been left with a threat of death if Four decides to take action after learning the truth about Nyx’s murder. Tonight’s episode stuck to the basics of Dark Matter’s mercenary-style storytelling and super-charged it with a collapsing singularity, very synonymous with the big crunch theory. The more the crew have to deal with the random chaos of the universe and its volatile laws of physics the better these stories will get. While the corporate war will no doubt serialize the plot, I’m much more fascinated with the Raza’s day to day as they fly into the unknown and shoot their way out of it. Until next week, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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.

 

 

No more words