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

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 1×08 (It’s official. Four is a reincarnated ninja turtle)

Dark Matter 1x08

All space-hell breaks loose when the crew discover Six’s agenda with The General, which inadvertently reveals a secret One has been keeping. Mealworms are the cheaper food product and it turns out the android may have untapped feelings giving her a leg up on Data. The clone transit system plays a large role in tonight’s episode and by the episode’s end, we’re given a short glimpse into new problems which will undoubtedly test the crew’s vigilance in trust and companionship.

Hands down the best episode thus far. The very breadth of Science-Fiction really saturates this episode and it’s mystery sub-genre attacks and reveals new elements to our amnesiacs that really sell the need to keep watching and find out the truth. Some of the comedic elements were rather hit or miss, but the core of the plot and the substantial tail-end cliffhanger bumpers were handled with care and intrigue. Other nitpicks will be looked into later, but all in all, I had a lot of fun watching this episode. Let’s dive in.

Six is taken to a criminal group who have ties to The General, who he’s seeking. The group attack Six and are forced to kill him, though his body dissolves revealing he’s a clone. Flashback a few hours and the crew arrive at another space station for repairs and supplies. Six goes to a clone transit facility alone and travels to another station to find The General. After he is killed, Six goes back in for another search and this time infiltrates The General’s base. The crew send One and Four through the clone transit process to find Six. Four then discovers that One’s true face is different and that at some point in the past, One was surgically altered to look like Jace Corso, a memory or piece of knowledge he somehow retained. Six finds The General and kills his men then strangles The General to death revealing his nemesis is also a clone which dissolves. Back at the Raza, Two lectures the need to trust each other and not keep secrets but later is called out by the android, who after healing suggests that One tell the crew about her healing. Later, Four confronts his step-brother through a call and One researches his DNA match and discovers his original name along with a tragic history involving the murder of his wife and the suspect being Three.

As a Six-centric episode, I wasn’t as sold at first with his particular story, mainly because it’s the most cut and dry out of everyone on the ship. However the means by which he comes to and from are what really makes this episode fascinating. We finally get a look at how the clone-transit system works and a lot of questions get answered. For any who might have thought One was a clone that somehow beat the clock on longevity, that theory has now been squashed, which is fine, because sometimes guessing correctly too early can make mysteries a bit disappointing. Although, I did think there’d be side-effects if a clone went in to clone itself again and that’s why he looked different on the other side. Still, good job on the reveal.

Rolling back to Six’s plot, I think they missed a great opportunity to have a nasty fight between Six and The general. Instead, Six loses the hand cannon and strangles his enemy without a lot of fight. They could have capitalized on this scenario, but I understand the need to keep things simple. If The General had been a real person I would have found that ending very anti-climactic, but as it stands, good job on putting him one step ahead of Six. And it was a good point that Six not feel apologetic to the crew about what he did. It was personal and he didn’t want anyone involved. Even Two should have respected that kind of decision, which leads me into my next touchy subject.

Two is a complete control freak. Not that this wasn’t cornered earlier on the show, but it really resonates with a lot of evidence this time around. Even though I was rooting for One to finally have his passionate moment with Two, I find I’m regretting this decision for him in the act now that she wants to keep things “business”-like and even twists his arm to prove how full of anxiety she is. This is an important piece of her puzzle, I think because it shows how contradictory she can be, something One hasn’t really figured out yet. If she boasts about trust and relenting on spilling secrets, then why does she get to be the one who hides her own from the team? And if she’s trying to trust the crew, why is she in attack mode when she has to know that One is essentially the affectionate boyfriend-type? It’s great that she’s very perplexing as a main character, but this time her attitude had more negative qualities that everyone hasn’t quite caught on yet, except the android.

The final scene revealed a short summary of One’s past which I think has substantial value, not quite higher than Four’s past, but definitely up there. In the short moment of reflection he finds he had a wife and that she was murdered. He’s essentially a rich character as well but on the run and Three is the suspect in question. Now, the obvious routine is that Three is a red herring and either One is responsible himself or the evil party has yet to be introduced. One thing is for certain, he’s going to think twice before trying to kiss Two again now that he knows what he knows. Will he follow her advice and tell the crew what he knows, or keep it secret because that’s what people are prone to doing?

One other minor heartfelt moment is when Five explains to the recovering android that she essentially has feelings even though the android certainly doesn’t think so. They share a hug and for once I actually want to care about this synthetic character. I was never a fan of Lauren from Lost Girl, but this is different and she’s slowly adjusting to make sense. Were her feelings something that purposefully got buried or is she just acting on another subroutine to mislead the crew? Five continues to be her conduit to emotional ties and even understanding so it’ll be interesting to see how she evolves in the coming episodes.

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Four discovers One has a different face after they emerge from the Transfer Transit pods. It was a good twist in that for a moment, we didn’t know what to think. Was it surgery? Was it a clone gone wrong? Was it a clone of a clone? And then Four punched him in the face. Great moment all around. I still don’t understand how he can just “know” that he changed his face to look like Corso, but I’ll let it slide unless I missed the exact explanation of it, in that case, cool.

CHARACTER MVP

Slightly tough. The episode was about Six, but I don’t think Six really came through as the top actor. I think this week I’m giving it to Four. He did two uncharacteristic things tonight that generally go against his nature and add a bit more layers to his standoffish attitude.

  1. He’s the one who convinced Three to rejoin the crew for R&R. Since Five had to have her moment later with the android, Four was essentially the only other one who had any solitary time with the guy and he took it upon himself to coax Three into leaving his quarters.
  2. He took the discount by admitting he and One were “a couple.” It was supposed to come off as funny, but there wasn’t that extra moment where they have to awkwardly prove that they were. It fell flat, but the point is Four was trying to save money and that really isn’t something I expected him to care about considering at this point they seem to have plenty of it.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Four has practiced with a sword, sais, and nunchaku. Throw the staff in there and he’s essentially skilled in the weapons of the ninja turtles. Plus his number is “Four”. Just throw in a pizza joke and we’re all good.

Why can’t Wendy be reprogrammed to be a good android like the other one?

If the clones can only exist for a few days, does The General essentially run to and from his transfer-transit facility all the time or was this just a one off because he knew Six was coming after him?

Okay, if I calculate the projected year Star Wars: 36 came out and I allow three years between each movie since SW07 that puts SW36 at about the year 2102. If it’s a “classic” that usually adds about 30 years making the year of Dark Matter present at 2132. Hmmm, no that still doesn’t sound right. I’d probably throw in another hundred years easy, but then again, they still use typical thin screen monitors on their PC’s so 2132 does still seem like an easy bet. Nah, it’s probably at least 2300 or so.

The same news-lady seems to keep reporting all their interesting news stories. Coincidence? Or sinister game afoot?

The monitor screen with Derrick Moss’s info reads as follows:

“CoreLactic Industries President and CEO, Derrick Moss, heir to the Moss fortune, headlined a charity drive for the galaxy’s underprivileged children last night on Alpha Centauri Bb. Along with his wife Catherine, Mr. Moss encouraged attendees to donate generously to the cause. The Mosses themselves have donated a whopping 10 trillion bars, and through their influence, CoreLactic Industries has donated an additional 30 trillion.”

“Mr. Moss said in his speech that, “85% of children in the galaxy live in poverty, entire families subsisting on less than a bar a day. It is the responsibility of those of us in positions of political and financial power to try and eradicate galactic poverty in whatever way we can.”

“Outside the event a crowd of anti-corporate demonstrations gathered to protest the event, holding signs and chanting anti-corporate slogans. One demonstrator, who declined to give her name, explained that, “the multi-corps are to blame for the disparity in the first place. They need part of the galaxy to stay poor. Events like this are all spin.”

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. It’s a high score because I really felt this episode had a lot of substance, and though some of the jokes were a bit miss for me, I respect the need to give these characters lighthearted moments because they’re wound up pretty tight from episode to episode. The transfer transit system is a vital piece of technology and I like the concept of it. It allows for a lot of cat and mouse games that were demonstrated tonight and I’m certain it will be utilized again in the future. I expect one of the characters to suffer from it’s overuse but it’s hard to say which one it will be although Six is a good candidate. You don’t just casually mention the side effects without injecting it into a plot later on, right? All in all, enjoyable storyline though I would have liked a more epic fight between clone general and clone Six. Until next week, thanks for reading.