A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×04 (Nihilistic Existentialism never fears the repeating day)

Dark Matter 3x04

 

SUMMARY

Three relives the same day over and over until he finds a way to convince the crew of his condition. During one instance, they arrive at a station and Three is attacked by one of Ishida’s bounty hunters, Ash, who has technology that allows him to phase through matter. Returning to the loop, Three and the crew run the same routine but attempt to capture Ash. Adrian tries to use a clock he took from Tabor during a time when Tabor collected items from a scientist as collateral. The clock is responsible for the time loop and adds Adrian with Three who together convince the crew to try and capture Ash again. When they arrive at the station, Ash confronts Three having been affected by the time loop as well. He is eventually killed when he attempts to phase through a wall while unconscious. Afterward, the android attempts to correct the time loop problem by adjusting the clock which hurtles her through several key moments in the future including a time when Five is old and on the ship alone in the outermost reaches of space. Five tells the android to destroy the clock when she returns, which she does, allowing everyone to resume normal time. Three finally meets with Sarah and accepts her situation as a conscious being within the dataframe. Back on Zairon, Ishida informs another member of his hired group of Ash’s failure as he attempts to once more gain access to the Raza’s position.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter journeys into familiar territory but more than revitalizes the art of the time-looping plot. The reoccurring day is one of my favorite sci-fi themes and has since been seldom used in cinema and television as of late. But fear not, this isn’t a quasi bored theme, but rather an intense and humorous look into the mindsets of a both Three and the android. Three provided the beats we’re all familiar with, but the real gold was witnessing the android’s short but vital trek through the cosmic access of time. Part of science fiction is gaining knowledge of what’s to come, and that’s often never paired with the time loop theme unless it’s to defuse the situation of the moment and not the portents of things to come. Not only have we been given some fascinating glimpses into the android’s ever-shifting future, but we ultimately know Ishida’s fate as emperor. Let’s get started, again and again.

 

THE GOOD

If you put every crew member of the Raza up against a wall and wondered which would take to a time-loop the best on paper, that person would be Three. He was the right choice, because anyone else probably would have solved the issue the second or third time around. What sets Three apart from some other characters that have gone through this scenario is his inarticulate and foolish methods to remember facts and unique problem solving, including learning a language, which seems funny considering his inability to remember what was wrong with the ship in English. He’s also the only character who rightly needed a situation like this to get past some hang-ups including his attention toward Five and more recently, his reunion with Sarah. The moment they shared at the end was probably one of the more tender moments this show has ever produced.

 

THE BAD

In the sci-fi world of storytelling there’s an old saying, “Everyone gets one thing that doesn’t have to be explained and the audience just has to accept.” For example, in “Inception,” we’re never told “how” the dream-sharing-conscious machines work, they just do, and we have to accept the technology and move on. In this case, we’re given a clock with a brief and semi-convoluted past. No real explanation on how the technology functions, it just does. For the most part I’m okay with it because knowing really does nothing for the plot at hand. But in situations like these, I often wonder if writers can challenge the status quo and come up with a real interesting concept with how their written technology functions. A “deal with it” clock just seemed a little too glossed over to sell the idea. At least it wasn’t mystical in a world of technology.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There’s a lot to choose, but I’d like to go with the android, in her goth-form, conversing with an elderly Five, who gave the android several key moments that will shape the fate of the crew and aspects of the galaxy. I’ll list what those time periods were below, but the important thing is here is our understanding of the radical effects the crew will have and the down slope they’ll be going through as the seasons progress. But Five will be fine, she always is. The androids future outfit was very cyber-punk appropriate, and I hope we get to see her again in that form soon.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This was all Three from top to bottom. He wasn’t the one to solve the time-loop crisis, but he helped get everyone into a position to understand what to do. His hilarious romp through a repeating cycle was orchestrated with his mental state in mind. He’s brash and rude in some aspects and very thoughtful in others. His mixed bag approach was often met with logical conclusions, but in the long run, he’s better off for the experience. His decision to meet with Sarah was the real evolution of his character and I for one am glad he’s survived this long to see her again. Now, if only they could construct an android equivalent and download her into its core memory processor. Okay, okay it’s been done on Eureka, moving on.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The android’s time jumps are as detailed:

  1. On the bridge with Two held up in a section of the ship and Three silently shooting the android.
  2. The android in a house within a snowy mountain (like in the emotional construct world) crying and being told by Two that’s she’s feeling grief.
  3. The android on a table, severed in parts, speaking to a man working for Elektis (sp?) Corp. explaining the GA captured her and interrogates her about the android liberation front.
  4. The android is modified in the far future and finds an elderly Five on the bridge. She warns the android of the following sequences of events:
    1. The Dwarf Star’s conspiracy
    2. The double-deception
    3. Kryda and Corrina, the accelerated
    4. The fall of the house of Ishida
    5. The meeting with the android’s creator
    6. The black ships

 

There’s an evil method here at work considering how these events will be talked about and theorized, but the key here is both the order in which Five tells them and how they may pertain to this season or the next few seasons. If I were a betting man, I’d say all of if not most of these events will all encompass this season in some way. We never know how many years Dark Matter will run, so each event being in one season at a time suggests this show is 6 years away from finality. I’m thinking these events will happen sooner than that and the key is what happens to House Ishida. I’m confident that will be resolved this season which also suggests everything above it will occur at well.

 

Then there’s which events Five mentioned tie directly with the android’s time jumps. Is the double-deception event involved with Three betraying the android? Is the scientist working for Elektis Corp a part of the Dwarf Star conspiracy or something else? And are either of these “accelerated” characters Five’s sister? She’s still very much an unspoken fragment of this season’s many mysteries, and let’s not forget the multitude of unanswered questions left back from the last two seasons including the stowaway from the alternate universe. One thing is for certain, I’m hooked on trying to find the answers.

 

Oh, and thanks for putting Five near the edge of the universe, I’m glad someone out there was listening =)

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Dark Matter has found its formula, and its path toward telling its greatest stories to come. The key to some science fiction plots is borrowing old themes and redesigning them to birth new ideas within the current realm. The time loop was a roadmap into the chaotic and costly events of the Raza crew’s future. The one question that must be immediately asked when time travel occurs is, “Can the future be averted or is time truly fixed on one path alone?” Dark Matter wants us to think real hard on that answer before they reveal to us their thoughts on it, and it’s an encouraging premise into some wild and fantastic episodes that may or may not inhabit this current season. Tonight’s episode carried with it an even balance of humor, excitement, thoughtfulness, and darkness to come. These characters will become the shapers of the universe and some will most definitely not survive to see what it will become. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×03 (And then there were three)

Dark Matter 3x03

 

SUMMARY

The Raza helps an outer colony planet (Cepheus V) controlled by a Traugott corp. security force from an attack by Ferrous corp. On the planet, they meet with Tabor’s protégé, Adrian who offers his services as handler for them. They also learn that the inhabitants wish for independence from Traugott and are prepared for war. Six convinces them to let him negotiate after their leader is mysteriously killed by an explosion. Meanwhile, the android discovers Five’s secret regarding Sarah’s digital consciousness within the Raza’s database. When the leader of the security force is murdered, Six is held hostage while the remaining force goes to subdue the colony group. Two and Three find and free Six as they intervene on the Colony’s behalf, stopping the security team. Tensions rise when Six’s rival, The General arrives to offer his help to the colony which Six pleads them not to accept. Unable to sway them, the Raza crew depart only to discover The General putting the security force to death. Six returns and kills The General and offers to remain as a force for good to the colony. Two, Three, and Five leave with Adrian and his bodyguard who, for the time being, are granted a temporary stay. The android confronts Five about Sarah leaving Five to admit that she transferred Sarah’s mind into the database unsure it would work. Three, however shows silent frustration with what Five did. On Zairon, Four gathers a group of mercenaries, bounty hunters, and assassins and hires them to find the blink drive and kill the Raza crew.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter continues to build its corporation war framework by losing one of their own to the fight. Never doubt this show’s ability to disband and rework its family for the sake of grander storytelling. We know Six isn’t gone for good, but simply placed in a better position to do good and feel accountable for his actions. After his surprising shot that put The General to a permanent end, he’s off to fight a better fight, but the crew will lose a piece of their positive conscience. Will Adrian and his bodyguard, Solara fill the void, or will they simply be another pair of casualties between destinations the Raza goes to. And let’s not forget Four’s Darth-Vaderesque scene with a group of silent hunters being offered an opportunity to kill the group that remains. This could be a single one-off episode or a series of episodes that covers the bulk of the season. Either way, strap in because we’re in for one hell of a space ride.

 

THE GOOD

At first I wasn’t invested in the what felt like a trivial story between another outer colony biding for its freedom against a group that didn’t understand it was supposed to quit, then it really hit me about what this show is trying to do for us. The defining characteristic here is how Six is morally changing the compass of the crew. They’re not acting as particular as they used to and however we dive into it, the result is that Two and her crew are becoming quintessential heroes, but more than that, they’re becoming symbols. They may not be the right symbol at this moment and time, but they’re evolving almost at the same capacity as the android is becoming more human. Now that Six is off ship, Two will have to rely more on the message and what they stand for from her own perspective and hopefully she doesn’t falter. Hopefully.

 

I appreciate Six giving The General the final shot. I wasn’t expecting it and his choice to kill him means he’s ready to truly move forward. We won’t have to rely on his past guilt, which was very apparent in the premiere. He needs to become a leader on his own and only then can he rejoin the Raza when that happens. He’ll do good if not off screen for a bit of time.

 

THE BAD

The crew is becoming more self-sufficient and capable characters but there’s still an issue with how we’re being introduced to new supporting characters. Now that we’re in season 3, we’re seeing a trend where we swap or introduce new people, and then they die. Nyx was the last to suffer from this instance, and the truth is, I kinda like Adrian and Solara as they are. If Solara is just another replacement for Nyx, then it’s going to be difficult wanting to know more about her or Adrian if they’re just in it for the short term. If they add to the crew’s conflict then hopefully there’s some good stories to tell there, but otherwise I feel they’re just wasting space that’s better served developing the core crew as it is. We’ll see how they shape up.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Six killed The General. His look said it all and after what Six went through back in season 1, it was definitely good this loose end was tied up. Six understood that The General’s help would lead to more destruction and death, and not even two minutes went by when that started happening. I do want to see if Six can hold it together and help the colony restore its own order by engaging the message of freedom.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It should certainly go to Six. He offered to negotiate with the security force and stood his ground against The General and went above and beyond by leaving the Raza crew to help the colony rebuild its foundation. You really can’t ask for a more heroic character that understands how to take responsibility for the bigger picture at stake. He should hopefully inspire Two to become more like him, but her journey is a bit more complicated. Still, Six was the most effective player this time around.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I wanted to touch upon this first. I’ve always been fascinated by the allure and cultural style of Zairon and how they present themselves. While I’ve been led pretty close to believe its primary attributes were rooted in Japanese lore and some Samurai heritage, they kind of swerved me by showcasing a student of Kung Fu who performed a Dao Shaolin sword form using a Darn-Dao blade. Are there in fact Chinese influences that we’re now learning about in this culture, and if so, how much more will we get to learn about them as a whole? Very rarely have I seen both cultures comparatively existing under the same roof. It’s interesting and I want to know a bit more on how that works.

 

Sarah’s consciousness within the Raza database is a little tough for me to get a read on. I’m uncertain if the goal here is to give Three more grief and conflict to work out regarding the woman who saved his life, or whether there’s a more subjective storyline being told here. I think its good that Three undergo this next stage in his character evolution, I’m just not certain if the result will be something akin to downloading Sarah into an android form or some crazier altogether. We’ll see what happens. Sarah seems to be in relative control over her situation given the scenario.

 

Cepheus is a constellation containing the Cephei stars which are located between 100 and 5000 light years from Earth. This could maybe give us a general clue on how far into space we’re getting and how much further the show could push the boundary. I want the Raza to blink to the literal edge of space. Give me an episode where they find the edge and all literal hell breaks loose.

 

Now that Four is declaring war against the Raza crew, I’m absolutely convinced that he’ll be involved in a lasting fight with hopefully Two or at the very least the ship itself. I can see a scenario happening where a bigger fight requires them to worth together, but let’s not forget that we still don’t know if Two knows that Four didn’t kill Nyx. And Misaki’s absence doesn’t actually mean she’s alive. I know she is, but there’s always the possibility he’s lying about where she’s at. Not that he’d need to do that, he’s the emperor. He could murder in plain sight and no one would bat in eyelash. Well, maybe his mentor.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Dark Matter is putting the effects of the corporation war front and center as The Raza crew deal with the rough times the outer colonies must contend with. The main theme this season is providing us is the passion of growing leaders and the roles they will play. Ishida is a leader, Two has been a leader, and now Six is growing into a leadership role with Five becoming more and more independent as well. Soon, we’ll have them playing key roles that will better shape this war into their personal favor that could spell disaster for one of them, Four being the most to lose if he somehow loses his way. As much as I like seeing how Two and the others deal with Ferrous corp and the war at hand, I’m hoping to see more individual episodes that deal with their internal struggles and a bit more of the sci-fi weirdness that we know the show is perfectly capable of dishing out. Let’s see what else they got! 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

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×13 (Give her red hair next season!)

dark-matter-2x13

 

SUMMARY

Two takes the Raza to the Mikkei corporation HQ and convinces Truffault to help them stop the corporate delegation from being destroyed. They penetrate a security field and allow Five to attend the delegation with Truffault while Two, Three, and Six search for a bomb on the station. After Four is seen by Five attending the delegation, the new emperor sends his men to retrieve her but is saved by Arrian, a bodyguard to Nieman from Ferrous corp who turns out to be an android with an emotional upgrade. After an unsuccessful attempt that dissuading the corporations to cease an alliance, Nieman calls for a recess allowing for his plan to continue. Six is eventually captured by Kierkan who is overseeing the security and Three is accosted by Nieman and his men. Four and Misaki travel to the Raza and steal the blink drive while Misaki and Nyx fight on the bridge. Misaki wounds Nyx with a poisoned blade and leaves her dying. As Five helps Arrian discover another way then to blow up the station, he expels himself from the ship and sacrifices himself. Two is able to convince Kierkan to look for a secondary attack set by Four while the android implores everyone to return to the Raza. Kierkan kills Four’s agent but not before a major system is overloaded, killing him and beginning a chain reaction of destruction on the station. Truffault attempts to escape with Five as Three is found by Anders (presumably dead). As everyone is still separated and trying to escape, the station begins to explode.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Plenty to take in on this chaotic and explosive finale as most of the crew are in dire straits at the bitter end. Dark Matter rushes to its fiery conclusion by promising the start of the fabled corporation war and makes it clear, someone or several may not be around to start season 3. A lot of positives to take away, most notably the effort it took to make this episode feel like a finale should. It some aspects it’s a very simple tale, but the intricacies behind it almost makes the viewer want to re-watch the entire series just to catch up on why we ended up where we did. But can things simply move forward from here or will we have to redefine the paradigm of this show by next fall?

 

THE GOOD

The sense of climax to the season was exceptional and the urgency played out with a few twists and turns to blur the way. Four handled himself in the most neutral way possible while still succumbing to an act of thievery among friends. Five’s friendship with an android only helped to prolong the inevitable, an echo in conversation that Five and Six had earlier about trying to change fate. With all the combining elements intact, the plot moved fast but in a good way that didn’t waste its time and introduce too many awkward segments. The pace was good and the threat was real and will be haunting us until its resolved next season.

 

Little moments really helped bring some subplots into focus, namely Misaki and Nyx. Here, we have Four (Ryo) attempting a proposal to Nyx who declines while Misaki is eavesdropping. She clearly still harbors feelings for Four and makes her fight with Nyx all the more personal by poisoning her instead of shooting her outright. In the end, she denies to Four any altercation leaving him to be ignorant of Nyx’s suffering. This will no doubt play its course next season, but the seeds have been placed to deal with more dramatic hardships outside of the bomb threat and it’s good to see that forward thinking play out.

 

THE BAD

It’s unfortunate where the predictable elements come to the front of the line. In this case it was figuring out what the bomb was earlier than intended. When the android said Nieman gave him the upgrade to his system, it seemed a fitting tell that his identity as an android meant his body carried the bomb. That didn’t really detract from the episode as Five still managed to convince Arrian to make a choice and that’s ultimately what was important. I will also say as a negative that killing Kierkan was an odd call to make. He seemed like he’d have more to play but sadly that’s not the case. He played untrustworthy cop to the end and only served to buy into Two’s story at the last second and that last second being too late.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Definitely the final segment of the show. While I don’t believe Nyx is going to die, or for that matter any of the others, it’s important to understand that anything can still happen, after all, they killed One in the premiere and he seemed like a relative safe bet. This kind of cliffhanger will raise all manners of questions and theories as to how the 3rd season will start and luckily we’ll be around to flourish those thoughts and ideas.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Technically it should go to the android Arrian for sacrificing himself because such a change of heart should mean something, but in the end, he was good-natured to begin with. I’ll give it to Five for being able to convince him and for sporting the corporate look and a blonde hair-style as well. I’m actually surprised her jab to Three’s throat didn’t actually put him out of commission. He sure can take a lot of physical beatings that’s for sure.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Can and should Four be criticized for putting everyone’s live in danger and realistically killing everyone else on that station? Now it might be argued that Four only meant for the ship to overload in a way that everyone could escape but due to Kierkan interfering everything went wrong. It’s still a harsh move for the emperor to make just to get that blink drive. The crew shouldn’t take this theft lightly by any means, even if it means storming Zairon and getting it back, which they should.

 

I seriously have no idea who that was that found Three on the floor. If anyone knows please let me know, I appreciate it. There’s been a lot of minor characters that have come and gone from the past and I know Three has more than a few acquaintances that might be looking after him, but as it stands, I’m stumped. (EDIT: It was Anders. Thanks for the info!)

 

One thing I am a little disappointed in is not finding out who the stowaway was from the alternate dimension. That should have been resolved to some degree even if it was a scene or two that kept that subplot going. Granted, it wouldn’t have fit anywhere in this finale, but some momentum on it could have been favorable.

 

I caught a few of the names in the delegation for the corporations, namely TRAUGOTT, VANGUARD, INKOSI, PENDRAGON, FERROUS, MIKKEI, NOVINA(sp?), and Four’s League of Autonomous Worlds. If anyone spotted any others, let me know. Is there a master list of all the corporations involved on this show? And why hasn’t Vanguard shown up more? That’s a great name!

 

I’m certain Two could have taken out that guard and made him open the restricted door, but instead she left. Maybe it wasn’t the best time to get violent or maybe he could have communicated for help before being knocked out. Just seemed odd that she let that one go.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter promised and delivered a knock-out finale with questions of who survived and what will happen next season. Four took what he wanted and made sure the rest were made to suffer the same fate as the alternate dimension. If the war didn’t ignite tonight, rest assured it will being by the start of next year. The great sci-fi tales can often be rooted in the idea of changing one’s fate based on prior knowledge of it. When you can’t escape it, the best you can do is survive it and plan for the future. Our heroes need eachother now more than ever and I do believe the best is yet to come. Great CGI and top notch music to send us out on as the explosions settle in. Here’s to another long arc of waiting but always fascinated by what’s to come. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×12 (Thank you!)

dark-matter-2x12

 

SUMMARY

With his old memories integrated, Four and the Raza crew capture a Zairon vessel led by Drago, a trusted ally to Four. With his loyalty re-established, Four uses him to reunite with his step-brother, Hiro as the two come to understanding over what really happened to their father, Ishida Tetsuda. Hiro agrees to relinquish the throne back on Zairon, but his mother, with the aid of Hansmeed capture Hiro and set a trap for Four, who travels to Zairon alone. Once under the thrall of the empress, Four is publicly tried for the murder of his father and sentenced to death. Meanwhile, the crew set on a rescue mission and are seemingly captured, all but Five who finds and releases Hiro while the android uses the Raza to lay waste to the city. Hiro arrives in the court and declares his mother the murderer of Tetsuda. As Four is proclaimed the new ruler, he enacts swift justice and orders the deaths of his step-mother, Hansmeed and his men, as well as Hiro. With the Raza crew stunned, Four assumes his original name and declares himself emperor.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark Matter’s penultimate episode delivers an opus of blood and retribution as the resident warrior of the Raza reclaims the throne of Zairon. If it’s a bittersweet victory, I for one embellish the carnage that came with it as it was greatly needed to fuel the finale’s dark descent into uncertainty. While this wasn’t the first time Four made dangerous decisions by killing those who swore allegiance, Five’s doubts about Four prove correct and now the second “betrayer” is all but standing in a throne of blood. I’m excited for what’s to come and felt this episode tops the season with a wicked arc and a cliffhanger more extreme than any this season has met with.

 

THE GOOD

Four’s plight to regain control of his homeworld was rightly saved for the near-end of the season, an epic struggle that nearly exceeds even Two and her personal war with Rook and Dwarf Star. Each crew-member has something necessary to fulfill and tonight, Four cut right to the heart of Zairon and squeezed it dry. Even with the help of the crew, Four remained ruthless and steadfast and now, looks to accomplish all he set out for with the exception of the war itself. Everything Four went through was solid and intriguing right down the massacre he ordered at the end, a fabled tragedy marked by a promise to rule. Most all elements exceeded expectations and the crew rightfully acted in a shocking display of confusion as to what will happen next.

 

I actually really liked that Hansmeed was paired up with the empress as this show doesn’t combine its villains nearly enough and there’s so many. With Drago not a traitor it was somewhat difficult to ascertain if the loose end would be dealt with and it was, which also puts to rest Nyx’s knowledge with what happened to her brother, Milo. Everything came to a head quickly but in a manageable way that shifted a few emotional states back and forth, including the silent Misaki who confessed an old love for Four but a stronger duty to the throne. Very well placed points of interest and reveals all leading to the bloody finale of the episode.

 

THE BAD

It’s more preference rather than nitpicking, but I always wanted to see more development of Zairon and utilization of sweeping dolly shots and larger atmosphere’s showcasing this grand-scale planet. Some of the exterior shots were very beautiful, but it was too easy to tell where the shots had to remain tight and closed in and since the show uses slow-motion so sparingly, there’s wasn’t a lot to accentuate, but again, it’s a just preference because Zairon is more fleshed out than most any other planet and that includes Earth. The culture is rich and I just felt we never got enough of it to understand everything with why Zairon is in the war its in and what they really represent in the galaxy.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The last scene. I’d almost argue that Four’s scene with the android was both warm-hearted and fascinating to watch and should have stood out as the best scene, but that last moment of death was the clincher to seal this episode into a dramatic shocker. I wasn’t expecting Hiro to be executed as well, but again, Four will kill anyone who essentially was against him to destroy any and all chances of an uprising and quite frankly, it’s wicked ruthless but appropriate for his stature as the returned Ryo, a maelstrom of death.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s all Four from beginning to end. He painted a picture of multiple tones each based on the person he was with, notably with Nyx and the android, but also Six, Two, and Misaki. He got to interact with almost everyone to a degree that had his character died, this would have been the episode to have that send-off. But it was all toward a singular goal, one he exploited by using the crew and those who found new trust in him. Does that trust stand? I’d say the crew will probably let this one go and move on to the bigger war at hand, but if Ryo wants that blink drive, who knows what he’ll do to get it. Awesome performance from Four, he stole the show tonight.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Regarding what Four knows about Three. I want to suspect it has something to do with previous plot threads that still haven’t been solved such as “Who killed One’s wife,” and other such things that possibly involved Three, but there’s also a stronger possibility that to push the series into further strangeness, Four probably knows something we haven’t been introduced to yet. I don’t expect it to be earth shattering, but it should be enticing enough to warrant a flashback of some kind.

 

We’ve gone this far and we still don’t know who hitched a ride from the other dimension. If I were a crazy betting man, I’d say it’s a long shot that the Four in this episode is really the Four from the other dimension, disguised and hell-bent on ruling Zairon from any dimension. Maybe the real four is out of action somewhere, who knows. I know, it’s a real long shot, but it would make for an interesting twist. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hold off on that reveal into season 3, let’s find out in this next episode.

 

Nyx finding out Four’s involvement in Milo’s death should put an end to any further relationship those two might have had moving forward. I don’t mind that, their scenes just didn’t hold enough gravity for me to invest in, but I will say, Four did a better job of telling her that he didn’t care than Three did telling Five and being called out on it. This won’t be something Nyx forgives easily if at all and I don’t blame her.

 

With as much time as we spent on Zairon and with Misaki in the mix I’m actually disappointed we didn’t see more sword fighting. The infiltration of the Raza crew was handled well enough, but I would have been perfectly fine for another Misaki and Four combat scene at least to truly declare who was the better fighter.

 

The promo for the finale doesn’t address Four or the plot of this episode suggesting that the crew and Four are going to part ways assuming Four doesn’t steal the blink drive for himself. Whether he’s a villain of his own making remains to be seen, but I can’t imagine he’ll put the crew through any suffering as they did help him get back the throne. It’s okay that he’s shedding his Four persona because he has the memories to be who he needs to be and now he can focus on the part of the war that effects him the most. He’s a silent believer in consequentialism where the ends justify the means and moving forward, he’ll probably continue with that mindset regardless of who opposes him.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. Strong opening and strong finish. Dark Matter shows the sci-fi world how gritty it can get with its pulse-pounding and frenzied violence softened only by the compassion the crew has for one another. Four dominates the penultimate episode by securing his place on Zairon and disposing of all his enemies in classic fashion. This flawless act promises a critical finale that should hopefully keep pace with the plot and give us a startling end to an incredible season. And as always, the Raza gets more and more detail in it’s CGI glory with plenty of flyby shots to entice. Looking forward to one more run with the crew as we near close out another spectacle in space. Bring on the rest next week and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 2×11 (Little did they know, bears do not exist on planet LYx29)

dark-matter-2x11

 

SUMMARY

While shopping for supplies on a rural planet, Five is kidnapped by a group of locals planning on selling her to those who would pay. Three embarks on a rescue mission while Two, Four, and Nyx are identified and pursued by the Galactic Authority led by Inspector Kierken. Meanwhile the android maintains orders to keep Six on the ship when he attempts to help as the crew still don’t entirely trust his intentions. Three finds the Danker family and manages to kill them all but is wounded. He and Five escape on foot into the woods as Two and the group return to the Raza and prepare to go back to retrieve Three and Five. Kierken and his men discover the Danker house and follow a trail to Three who forces Five to leave him alone. As Three is caught and interrogated, he reveals his part in delivering the white hole bomb to Iridin 3 but leaves the Raza crew free of blame. Unconvinced, Kierken orders the incoming Maurauder to be shot down from the sky but Five manages to find one of their missile launchers and blows it up nearby. Two and others find Three but leave Kierken with the knowledge of what he learned about Iridin 3. Back on the ship, Three recovers as Four wakes from an anxiety dream about home and goes to the android to have his old memories reintegrated back into him.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Though set in a frosty and rigid environment, Dark Matter engages in some heartfelt moments that continue to connect the main cast together while the universe around them continues to disrupt into eventual chaos. I wasn’t entirely sold on the first half of this episode given the campiness of the kidnapping plot and Three’s heroic venture into a wounded state, but something about second half really helped bring the episode around and give it a flair it richly deserved to have. Three and Five’s moment of desperation was the subject of hurtful honesty, one that we and Five easily saw through but needed to see. The consistency of this sci-fi world and its technology maintains high value while some specific character interaction is questionable given the run time. All in all, I’d say there’s just enough balance to regard tonight’s episode as a solid run with some bruises that will need mending.

 

THE GOOD

Three and Five’s relationship took a dramatic turn for the better. Never mind Three’s rigorous sense of humor, what’s important to note is the lengths he’ll go through to keep his crew safe. It can be argued that he folded slightly to give Kierken some aspect of the white hole plot he can use against the corporations, but more so is his demeanor that if Five hates him for being mean, at least she’ll be alive. He’s effectively shed that tough-boy armor in exchange for some necessary valor and it’s good to see it continue to build over the season.

 

As I stated earlier, I’m enjoying the consistent use of the tools this show has provided, in this case it was the transfer transit stations utilized by the Galactic Authority. The aspect here is understanding how both sides use the same devices and how it played into the offbeat decision that Three made in letting Kierken retain his memories. I think it was more for Three’s growth than anything else that he chose to let Kierken’s clone live rather than dispose of the body as any of the other Raza crew would have based on what that fallout might lead toward. It’s as if Three was playing his own game of chess for once which is normally not his forte.

 

THE BAD

Not overtly impressed with the first half of this episode. The kidnapping plot felt very weak and random with hardly any noticeable villainy that stood out from the norm. The wilderness family saw an opportunity to view Five as an object and tried to capitalize on it, which gave three all the motivation in the world to pursue and terminate accordingly. Perhaps it was a little too cut and dry for the plot, but there were no underlying connections made to Five being taken to those who have stronger ties to the Raza and as such won’t be remembered when thinking back on this season. I’m honestly surprised Five didn’t escape on her own given the intelligence level of the Danker family.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Without question when Three attempted to force Five away by regarding her as someone who should have been spaced when he had the chance. In a way it gave Five more justification to call him friend based on such a food hearty attempt to push her away and it showed by her tears of course. Instead of a hug, they merely touched fingers as she willingly left him for a the short term only to come back and once more save the entire crew from certain death. Five is more the glue for the crew now more than ever.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It should go to Three given the screen-time and sensibility he had in standing his ground and giving Kierken just enough to understand what may be at stake without giving up the crew. Also, notwithstanding, he clearly showcased his badassery by infiltrating the Danker family and annihilating each one in standard fashion given his abilities and strengths. He’s a tough character to kill and doesn’t give in to sentimental passion if he can avoid it, but since Five sees past the shell, it’s hard for him to maintain such appearances. Still, he’s grown plenty this season and he deserves the top spot tonight.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Let’s dive back into the issue with Four and Nyx. One second they’re in a casual fling, the next they agree to maintain a respectable distance and then end up back in bed together without very much context or scenes to help us figure out their motivations or intentions. It would almost be cute if it wasn’t so drastically discreet that even we the audience can’t see the events transpire as they do. I get that we need to care about this coupling, but it’s too invisible to make sense with what we’re seeing on screen. They simply need more manageable time together outside of guessing what color money is under the bowl.

 

With Kierken returning again I was hoping for a more dignified role that would have at least saw some ounce of respect between the Raza crew and the authority, but when Kierken ordered the Marauder to be shot down I was met with some confused thoughts. Throughout the season, he’s been relatively straight forward that he intends to capture the Raza crew, not kill them, so unless he was convinced sending a missile to bring down the small ship without killing them, the order feels like it goes against his own principles because he’s not a corrupt officer…so far as we know.

 

Six had the right idea with using the transfer transit units to go to the planet, but the crew didn’t follow through with that approach. Everyone went into the Marauder which effectively put them all at risk of being shot down. I would have probably split the crew up to take advantage of that idea and maybe limit the casualties more, but for time I understand why they didn’t do it.

 

I’m no doctor, but the area where Three was shot should have still punctured some of his lung, not to mention it was barely an inch or two away from his heart. Give the man a gold star for surviving a shot like that, but realistically he should have died from it, cauterized wound or not.

 

I’m hoping by this point in the season we can move past any distrust the crew may have for Six. It seemed unfair he had to be put through another layer of suspicion and of the android of all people who had just been accepted fully by the crew including Six. At least at the end it looked like she was sort of letting him try out his plan before things changed on the fly. No more distrust. Six is a part of the crew, he won’t betray twice in a row…right?

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Dark Matter sought to draw out more of Three and Five’s relationship at the expense of doing something more critical and grand, but the result manages to elevate the two as the crew continues to be drawn into the corporate conflict that will ignite presumably in the finale. Four’s final moment on the episode promises the next to hopefully settle a season long scratch that entails the resurgence of old-school Ryo, something I’m looking forward to. Not the kind of episode I was expecting this late in the season, but it brought out more heroism in Three that perhaps may have been missing previously. And with Six’s idea to becoming a singular unit enforcing order in the galaxy, we’re off to a fascinating journey into the penultimate episode coming up shortly. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words