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

Dark Matter 3x13

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

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

Dark Matter 3x12

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

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

Dark Matter 3x11

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×10 (Here’s a twist; Shaw is just another android programmed by Rook, that dastardly villain)

Dark Matter 3x10

 

SUMMARY

After responding to a distress call from Victor, the Raza meet with him and two other androids on a station after an owner of one of them is killed. They take refuge on the ship, but are chased by the Galactic Authority forcing Anya, an android with a locator beacon within her, to self-terminate. The raza follow a course from a cipher that the android decrypts leading to a planet where they find a facility ran by a lone android named Chase who offers sanctuary. Within the facility also lies Dr. Shaw, the creator of the recent brand of androids who is identical to the Raza’s android model. Two discovers that Dr. Shaw was her original creator and built in her escape routine and after, helped her rehabilitate many androids while falling in love with one another. When a brain tumor is discovered on Dr. Shaw, she makes the android to copy her mind into but instead chooses not to and Two (Rebecca) places her in stasis. In the present, Two uses her 2nd generation nanite technology to slow down Dr. Shaw’s tumor and revives her. Unfortunately the Galactic Authority arrive just as Dr. Shaw is helping place Sarah’s digital consciousness in an android body of likeness. They escape but are forced to split between ships with Sarah having to stay with Dr. Shaw to complete the process. Later, the android comes to terms with her unique identity as Three discloses an apology to her over his distrust with androids. On Dr. Shaw’s ship, Sarah is woken and informed she is to be used for some dark purpose by Chase and the androids.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

There was a lot to balance in tonight’s episode, mostly with the android’s existential crisis and Two’s newly discovered romance with the android’s human counterpart. The reveals and backstory were among the strongest aspects of this episode while the android’s self-induced pressure should be commended as science fiction’s most frequent dilemma; can androids sustain a soul? It turns out, Three was still harboring issues with androids and the like, but eventually came around as the prospect with regaining Sarah permanently was coincidentally in reach. By and all this was one of the more emotionally charged episodes of the season, giving us a new look at Two’s past and the android’s quiet yet conflicted nature.

 

THE GOOD

To begin, Five and Six each gave the android more than enough credit for being their friend and often lifesaver since she’s been reactivated. The android was given a unique variation on the android model and thus was able to comprehend much more human traits than any other android could with the exception of having an emotional upgrade to match. The best part about seeing her transition is that she doesn’t need that upgrade to be humane and overall more human. Every time she wears it, it creates a disguise but doesn’t represent her true nature, which I think has been important since day one. She carries a stubborn sense of awkwardness built on attention and acceptance, but that’s what made her so quirky and likeable. It was hard getting used to in the beginning, now, I can’t imagine her acting any other way.

 

THE BAD

I’m not entirely sure I get Dr. Shaw as a character. We’re given a sentimental background full of remorse and empathy for Two leading her to construct avenue’s for androids to seek freedom and human choices. Yet the motivation behind it and her ultimate goal never seemed to fit within the confines of the plot. The cliffhanger suggests that she’s at least understanding of Victor’s “death to human owners” attitude that randomly surfaced at the end, but we don’t really know if she’s going along with it or not. Where I think everything went sideways was her choice to not transfer her mind into her android counterpart. If she was going to change her mind, why did she accept to build one to begin with? I just feel there’s a few inconsistencies with her nature and don’t quite know if she’s hiding more secrets or not that could damage her relationship with Two, not that there really is one at this point.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Three apologized to the android. I never really thought about their similarity of blunt comments, but having the android identify and applaud that trait of theirs was probably one of her biggest moments reflecting as a human being would. Instead of always trying to mimic human qualities and quirks, she’s seeing how a human reacts like she does. That deserves a lot of points for being subtle but carry a lot of flavor on the topic.

 

CHARACTER MVP

The android is vastly approaching a seasonal MVP status and certainly deserves the credit tonight as well. This was more genuinely acted than any real choices she made, because she was never really in any physical danger, nor did she save the crew in any heroic form. This was clearly an internal struggle brought to light by the idea she thought she wasn’t unique and it took a few friends to convince her otherwise, but in the end did. Ironically, Two was the only one who really didn’t take part in that conversation considering her own conflict with Dr. Shaw and how awkward this will be for Two and the android to be around each other from here on out. Since Two is operating on a different conscious level, her feelings toward Shaw are apparently nil, but we’ll see if that lasts.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

One thing I’ll add for Six, he could have easily used the “twin” argument to sell his point to the android by stating that twins may share all physical attributes but carry distinctly different thought processes and share vastly different experiences that help them grow in different ways. Alternately, I thought Five’s outburst toward Chase was a touch much over-protective but considering Chase’s “what does it matter what you think” comment was entirely forced and unnecessarily called for. Probably one of the more uncomfortable moments for both parties who want what’s best for the android.

 

I kind of have to disagree with how the Galactic Authority handled that bombardment, not because of that specific act, but that they completely ignored the Raza which, by now should have been easily on their radar to pursue and capture. One ship could have diverted to disable the Raza considering at least 4 showed up.

 

The android’s flashbacks were a nice touch to add some clarity to her existence prior to season 1’s start, but I keep thinking, what led “Rebecca” down such a dark and distinct road that her “Portia Lyn” personality became such a radically volatile character. Those nanites must have had an effect on her since the beginning, but not being around Shaw was maybe why she lost her emotional connection with anyone? Seems to fit, but odd at the same time.

 

Victor could be involved with future Five’s foretelling of the “double-deception” if their plot has any real significance moving forward, which I imagine it will considering Sarah’s involvement now. If not, it could still be tied to her other key moments that will no doubt bring the Raza down in several ways. We’ll see.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter takes significant time to give Two and the android ample backstory regarding their creation and ties to one another. Dr. Shaw’s inclusion to the series will give the android arc more significance and mystery surrounding her involvement with Victor who has darker plans for human-kind. At its core, the show understandably focuses on the android’s plight for self-acceptance and friendships with the crew to sustain a meaningful existence which I think plenty of humans can relate to over the course of any lifecycle. It’s often difficult to fit relatable traits when dealing with space-operas, but Dark Matter found a perfect key in doing so tonight. Until next week, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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

Dark Matter 3x09

 

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×08 (Someone out in the cosmos said “Make me a shirt with shiny pineapples on it”)

Dark Matter 3x08

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words

 

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

Dark Matter 3x07

 

SUMMARY

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

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

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

 

THE GOOD

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

 

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

 

THE BAD

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

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

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

 

CHARACTER MVP

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

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

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

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

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

 

OVERALL SCORE

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

 

 

No more words