Defiance, as a series, started out great for me, and it has constantly engaged me every time I’ve watched an episode, but this week’s episode felt above and beyond… I think we have my favorite episode, after the pilot.
And it seemed the Votans, particularly the Indogenes were up to some pretty horrific stuff even before the war started. As we see in memories and flashbacks, it looks a lot like the Indogenes were abducting and experimenting on humans long before the war even began.
We learn this through the course of the episode as Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Tommy (Dewshane Williams) investigate the Arkfall that narrowly avoided Defiance last week, during which Nolan warns Tommy about reading Moby Dick, and if he hurts Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas). Inside they find a long-lost human astronaut from the International Space Station Gordon McClintock (Brian J. Smith).
Doc Yewll (Trenna Keating) gives McClintock a clean bill of health, and Nolan, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) and Rafe McCawley (Graham Greene) have a celebratory evening together at the McCawley residence. There was something about this scene… it rang a bell in my own memories of being at my paternal grandfather’s house and the way friends and family would stay up, long into the night, amiably chatting, drinking and laughing, and this scene felt wonderfully real to me, even as Gordon is reading the book based on his exploits, and his eventual disappearance.
Then of course, a dose of memories come back, Gordon sees his wife, and then sees a bunch of grey aliens, Indogenes, leaning over him, and he wakes with some pretty freaky eyes and attempts to kill Amanda.
The E-Rep Connor Lang (Gale Harold) returns to town and gets caught up in events as well, while trying to persuade Amanda to take a position in New York, and how he still cares for her. He warns her that the E-Rep wants into Defiance, and wants a little bit more of a controllable mayor, even if it means removing the current one permanently.
The Tarr household is having issues thanks to Kenya’s (Mia Kirshener) refusal of Datak (Tony Curran) at the Need/Want, and he catches the lovely Stahma (Jaime Murray) bathing alone (DEAR GOD!). Stahma advises Kenya to be a little more wise about playing the game, or she could end up in real trouble with Datak.
Gordon makes a run for it, heading underground, until Rafe catches up with him, and they talk about what it means to be human, what he thinks really makes us who we are, and that if he’s wrong Gordon show throw himself off the edge of a terraformed cliff into the underground lake. It’s another beautiful and poignant scene, which also rang really true for me.
The writing in this episode is top-notch, so nice work Clark Perry, thanks for giving us a little more on the Nolan/Irisa relationship, the moments with Nolan/Tommy, and the McCawley living room scene, all of these moments simply make the show so much more believable, and I find myself becoming more and more invested in the characters as each episode passes.
I’m so glad we have another season about to start shooting, because just one season of this show would not be near enough to explore this amazing world!
Defiance airs on Showcase Monday nights!