Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Defiance' recap: 'If I Ever Leave This World Alive'

Plague days are these. 

Last week we learned that Doc Yewll had quite the past during the Pale Wars, helping make assassins and fun things like that. Sadly, her past was left there as she and Nolan were interrupted by more pressing matters, like a plague. While it's not a zombie plague, viral hemorrhagic fever seems pretty ugly too. Luckily for all the votans in Defiance, it only affects humans but is carried by both humans and Irathients. It seems the poor Irathient savages get the blame for everything these days.

The good old Earth Republic catches wind of the human-killing plague festering in Defiance. They decide it would be a really good idea to park themselves outside the town to keep the infection from spreading. This prompts Amanda and Nolan to pay a visit to Ambassador Connor Lange, Amanda's old flame. He's currently drinking himself silly in the NeedWant. He clues them in that the E-Rep will let everyone in the town die to keep the virus from spreading, including him.

Proving that humans and votans aren't very different after all, the town council overrules Amanda and votes to “confine” the Irathients in the mines. For their own protection, you know. Rafe places himself in charge and sets out to round up Irisa. He starts off trying to reason with her. Really? Has he met her? Anyway, he interrupts her praying with the visiting Spirit Riders. This goes as well as you might imagine. Irisa kicks ass before being overwhelmed by the brute squad. Turns out that good old boy Rafe didn't tell Nolan about any of this.

Luckily, he and Amanda show up and he immediately points a gun at Rafe's guys. In a move that puts him at the top of my bad guy list, Rafe McCawley points his own weapon at Irisa's face. Amanda tries to calm Nolan down, by asking Irisa to tell him that it's okay, she wants to go to the mines. Harkening back to the beginning of the season, Nolan insists that he's not going to let Irisa down again, but she reluctantly tells him to put his gun away. She is hauled off to the mines and locked up with all of the other Irathients Rafe and his bullies could round up. Rathus, her Spirit Rider friend, tells her that this is how the Casti killed them during another plague, by gassing them in the mines. The Castithan are really a lovable people.

Remember when Nicky told Quentin that Rafe was lying about his mother? Well, he pays Nicky a visit where she strongly implies that his mother isn't really dead. She'll tell him everything he wants to know, but she wants the little trinket that his brother found. Perhaps as karmic payback for being a crappy human being, Rafe's daughter has fallen ill with the plague. This brings both the Tarr and McCawley families to gather at her sickbed in the hospital tent. With so many sick, they have run out of pain medication and Datak offers up a little blue pill from his own personal stash to ease Christie's pain. I think I'd rather hurt. At this point, Mayor Amanda also falls sick and is brought into the tent. The little wheels start spinning in Stahma's pale little head.

While Nolan and Amanda are still screaming at each other about the Irathient internment, San Francisco has used an old ICBM to drop the cure in the Badlands outside of town. So Nolan and Connor head off to fetch the medicine. The boys try to bond on the trip with Nolan giving him crap about his relationship with Amanda. Turns out that he and Amanda broke up because she aborted a pregnancy without telling him. Thankfully, they reach the Earth Republic barricade and after some tense moments are allowed to go after the medicine. Of course, if they deviate from the path they'll be shot.

Back at the mines, the Spirit Riders and Irisa are chanting and dancing, praying for the sick humans. Sadly, one of their human guards is a real bitch and stomps in and knocks over their prayer rocks. Rathus jumps on her and is shot and killed. At this point Irisa goes a little crazy, clawing and screaming at the fence.

Meanwhile Connor and the plague stricken Nolan are almost back with the medicine when they get hijacked by Nizar and the escaped Spirit Riders. The Irathients demand that their people be released from the mine or no one gets the medicine. Datak, who has assumed command of the town due to the skillful manipulation of his wife, agrees to release the confined Irathients. He breezes into the fugitive's hideout just in time for Nolan to pass out from the plague. He does a big song and dance for the poor Irathients though. He claims that they should destroy the cure and let the humans die to save all votans.

He makes a big show of pouring gasoline on one of the boxes of medicine and then throws it into the street, inviting the volatile Nizar to shoot it to set it ablaze. The idiot moves to the doorway and is promptly shot by a sniper. Datak takes his gun and shoots the others before getting put in a headlock by the priestess. She almost has him choked down when Connor saves him by slamming his chair into the woman. Datak then proceeds to stomp the woman to death in a nasty display of temper. It's too bad Connor had to witness his actions, “It doesn't fit my narrative” he confides before killing the man still tied to the chair. Datak then goes over to Nolan to give him the same treatment, but finding him truly unconscious he gives him the cure instead. It would be difficult to explain two dead humans you see.

Now that the town is saved and the afflicted have risen from their sickbeds, it's time to do some damage control. Amanda and the Tarr's are up in the Arch to broadcast a little speech to the townsfolk. Amanda does her part, apologizing for the treatment of the Irathients and then turns it over to Datak, thanking him for helping while she was ill. As he starts into one of his smarmy self-serving speeches, Alak surreptitiously unplugs Amanda's microphone from the sound board. Datak goes on and on finally ending with his intention to run for mayor. Amanda agrees that a little competition will be "fun." About as much fun as being stomped to death I bet.

Sadly, it looks like Doc Yewll's bad deeds may not have ended with the Pale Wars. She gets in an idling car with Nicky. Turns out they are old compatriots and Nicky implores her to join forces once again. Doc Yewll refuses, citing Nicky and Burch's recklessness as justification. Nicky promptly informs her that Burch is dead, but that she has “The Golden Knot”. Ah, finally we have a name for Quentin's new toy. Apparently this little thing is one of several devices that will reshape/destroy the world and Nicky wants them all. There are only three episodes left this season, they're sure to be exciting and possibly destructive!

The next episode of Defiance, “The Bride Wore Black” airs Monday, June 24 at 9PM ET on Syfy.