Friday, June 20, 2014

'Defiance' Recap: 'The Opposite of Hallejulah'

Image courtesy tvfanatic.com
Guys, we're back. FINALLY! I don't know about the rest of you but I've missed this crazy, mixed up band of people who loathe each other with every fiber of their being. Let's do this.

Checking in, it's been 9 months since the mayoral election where Amanda lost, Datak won with the backing of the Earth Republic, went crazy, killed Colonel Marsh and then to 'camp', for, you know, killing the Colonel. Or, what we call around these parts, 'Monday'. Sir Douche, er, Niles Pottinger from the Earth Republic has taken over as acting mayor and makes a pretty speech about how great Defiance is to celebrate Founder's Day because who doesn't love hand lotion, am I right? Seeing that Amanda is now running Kenya's House of Boobs and Booze the NeedWant, Datak is enjoying his summer at Extreme Sleepaway Camp, and Stahma has taken over the protection money run, I'm going to go out on a limb and say 'No.' Though Amanda is rocking it with the black lace veil and plunging neckline: mysterious and seductive and very much the anti-mayor. Go big or go home. But what about the other members of our merry little group?



Out in New Chicago, Nolan is tracking members of the cult that made Irisa into the New Earth version of Thor. He finds Thesho in the sewers where he quickly demonstrates that even at gunpoint he is incapable of making smart decisions. Thesho taunts Nolan with what he'll do to Irisa and to the shock of no one, Nolan behaves exactly like a dad and empties his magazine into him but not before getting a good lead to head to AngelArc thanks to Thesho's vision of Irisa near a 'wall of stone, covered in handprints'.

Over in Camp Sunshine Reverie, the E-Rep in their infinite wisdom locked up Datak and Doc Yewll together. One passionate (okay, completely looney-tunes) and unpredictable, the other clinically detached and brilliant and both absolutely lethal. Stahma visits to apprise him of business and legal issues but all he's interested in is a little mano-a-family jewels action. Stahma obliges with the subtlest eye-roll ever but they are interrupted and Datak is not having a very good year at all.

Nolan gets to AngelArc which looks suspiciously like Hollywood. This would explain why he doesn't even look twice at the punk Castithan who seems to be keeping an eye on him. Drawing on his keen lawkeeper instincts, he threatens a knife seller for information on Irisa's whereabouts but does pay for it so we'll call it a draw.

Back in Defiance, Alak Tarr is the new head of household and is distinctly uncomfortable with his role, even more so after skeevy Skuever is late with a delivery. Showing himself to still be very much a boy, he allows more time with Stahma looking on disapprovingly in the background. See, that never ends well for anyone.

Thanks to the E-Rep, Rafe now works in the mines rather than owning them. Wow, this new regime is totes working out for everyone! Discontent is brewing in the mines - they are being worked too hard and even though wages are up, departmental safety inspection scores are down as evidenced by a drill falling and amputating the arm of a miner, ultimately killing him. That's definitely an OSHA recordable.

You know what we've been missing? Bath time! No beads this time but bubbles. Lots of happy bubbles for Stahma alone in the bath when Alak arrives. Looks like no one gets to finish these days. She tries to tell Alak he handled Skeevy wrong but Alak is wearing the pants in the family now and will hear none of it and geez woman, what is wrong with you, bathing alone and whatnot.

Nolan continues to track Irisa when he gets cornered by the men of Varus Soleptor who is apparently a large red leprechaun and in classic Han Solo fashion, tries to charm his way out. Jabba, er, Varus is having none of it and authorizes a beatdown when knives start flying. Flying knives can only mean one thing: Irisa's back!

Striding through town, Pottinger comes on two young miners defacing signs. Goaded by Dr. Hathaway, I mean, Viceroy Mercado, he has the two arrested and sent to Camp Reverie for making him look bad. If only he had an actual mustache to twirl. Halfway there though, the Bioman driving them pulls off to the side and allows them to escape, if by escape you mean eaten by Hellbugs, to deal with the problem. Mocked by Mercado, Pottinger takes his humiliation out on Rafe and in one fell swoop makes him into a leader of the nascent rebellion.

Nolan and Irisa do some catching up but their recollections of that awful night are quite different - Irisa claimed that the ER caught her when the party was set on by Hellbugs and she was the only one who escaped. Nolan's all, yeah, no. I got shot, you jumped into the glowy green hole then *poof*, my wounds were gone. To-may-to, to-mah-to. Being a teenager, Irisa stalks away but then stops short at the sight of Izru in the guise of a small Irathient girl only she can see. Clearly, removing the artifact from her back didn't put an end to the visions. Nolan wants to head south but Irisa is set: she is returning to Defiance.

At the funeral for the mine worker, the surviving escaped miner returns. Because Amanda is no dummy, she goes straight to Pottinger to tell him that no one will actually believe the story of the two escaping from a Bioman only to be eaten by Hellbugs, no matter what the video shows. She'll take the offered position of Chief of Staff in return for the returnee (Joseph) being granted a full pardon. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Done and done.

It's lunchtime in the camp and the guards go to slop the prisoners. Literally. Scrambling for a piece of food, Datak is oblivious to Fat Bastardess behind him when he's warned by Doc Yewll. War and prison make for strange bedfellows.

Alak is now large and in charge - thanks to Stahma. Alak figures out that his mom is calling the shots when Skeevy appears before him beaten and bloody and doesn't like the interference. Dropping the deferential act, Stahma lets him know in no uncertain terms that the family business belongs to her- it's a new world; she's surrounded by strong Castithan men yet is still the one who has to open the airlock. Alak will do what she tells him when she tells him now run along and play with your music hobby dear. It's pretty clear that she holds one helluva grudge; she and Cersei need to get together.

Gathering supplies for the trip back to Defiance, Irisa sees the punk Castithan and goes after her. No words, just tackles her and leaves her dead in the grass. Irisa is stone-cold but she's not an indiscriminate killer. What's going on here?  Settling a score from her past or a vision playing out?

Nolan and Irisa hit the road where she has a vision of herself slitting Nolan's throat but is warned by Izru-in-Young-Irisa's clothing to not say anything while Datak and Doc Yewll huddle together in the camp. Because Datak has lost touch with reality, he grabs Doc's hand to finish what Stahma started. In the best line of the night, Doc asks if he wants her to check for lumps. (Spoiler alert: no lumps) And just like that, the once-mighty Datak Tarr tumbles even further into ruin. Amanda closes the bar and heads upstairs where she unwinds by getting high. Oh goody, Pottinger has installed cameras in Amanda's room so now he gets to watch her AND have leverage via video record of her drug use. Something for everyone!

We've got some interesting themes being set up here this season: destiny versus choice (Irisa), strength (Amanda and Stahma), what happens when you hit rock bottom (Datak and Doc Yewll and Rafe) and being in way over your head (Alak). What angles are you most intrigued with this season? What questions do you want answered? Hit us up in the comments with your thoughts and tune in next Thursday, June 26 at 8/7 on the SyFy channel for the next episode In My Secret Life.


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