Friday, August 8, 2014

'Defiance' Recap: 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'

Courtesy Syfy
BY DAWN FEAKES

Last week on "Defiance," Professor Hathaway dressed in drag and sang a ballad, Votan eyes were a hot commodity and Datak and Stahma started reconnecting over vengeance. Let's do this.

Nolan makes terrible decisions but with a bit of trickery is able to discern Irisa's secret without her saying a word. Of course, then he goes and mucks it up by yelling at Irzu to leave his little girl along or Irzu will rue the day. I'm sure that went over swimmingly well. No time to dwell though because strange things are afoot at the Need/Want which required a SWAT team to take down one of Amanda's most popular workers, Mesuvis, for being a Votan Collective spy. They're...not wrong.

But what's the rush? There's a bomb planted somewhere in New York that is primed to detonate within the next 12 hours and Mesuvis is the best lead to stopping it. Difficult enough as it is and then Amanda gets a call saying that if she doesn't bust Mesuvis out, he'll kill her sister Kenya.

Wait, what?

Yup, Kenya was only mostly dead in the woods with Stahma and man this is going to be awkward when she gets back to town. Just a word of advice Kenya, if Stahma asks you to tea, decline.

With the torture session about to get underway, Amanda tries to reason with Mercado that as Mesuvis has an incredible pain tolerance, torture won't work so why not remand him to her custody and she'll sweet-talk it out of him. Yeah, no.

Spies, spies, everywhere there're spies and Stahma is interviewed by Berlin and Tommy who's looking quite snazzy in his Earth Republic uniform. Fortunately (?), Stahma's a gangster, not a spy but they'll start digging around more and how can one not, what with Loose-Cannon Datak around. On another note, Berlin seems put out by Tommy's familiarity with Stahma and seriously? Girlfriend needs to get a grip.

Nolan drew the short straw so he's in charge of the torture which he really, really doesn't want to do but Mesuvis won't play ball so blood worms it is. In the midst of this delightfulness, Amanda gets another call from the VC kidnapper asking what's taking so long, you know, no pressure. Blood worms aren't working so it's time for double secret torture: the Ego extraction. Wow, Amanda is really having one helluva bad day.

Over in Datak's trailer of machismo, he's washing up when Stahma arrives with...kale? He's suspicious but just shut up for a moment and listen: she was visited by the Earth Republic who are going to find a link between him and Mesuvis and seeing as how Mesuvis was supplying weapons to Datak and Rafe, this will end very badly for everyone. The mutual loathing is shifting to not-loathing and they celebrate by as Castis do - with rough sex. Okay then. But she brought Datak more than a roll on the counters; she also got him a gun. Whyever would he need something like that I wonder?

Amanda finally realizes that she can't do this alone so she confides in Nolan that Kenya's alive, the VC have her and want to trade Kenya for Mesuvis. Seeing as how Mesuvis is the only way they have a chance at stopping the bomb in New York, Nolan's going to put the kibbosh on this trade plan, especially given how he doesn't believe that she's alive, but they'll track Kenya. Or Irisa will as she points out that 1) she's never safe so it doesn't matter where she is and 2) she can't die. What does she need? The car keys. Advantage: Irisa.

Kenya's pretty resourceful and eschews dinner for the steel tray in an effort to break her chains. Two things hon, 1) it's really loud and 2) you might want to face the door. Her salvation is almost at hand but Irisa has a vision of a fish while driving (Dammit Irzu! Don't you know distracted driving is dangerous?) and almost crashes the car. She wanders instead through the woods and and gets caught in an ankle snare. And it's the first person she 'killed' - the punk Castithan. She goes to gut Irisa who manages to get the upper hand and the moment passes so, friends? Damn teenagers, always losing focus on their missions. I'm sure this won't worry Nolan at all.

Kenya finally gets some leverage against her chains but I do wish she'd hurry up. The unholy love child of a Tusken Raider and a Predator is absorbed in working on a car when Kenya attempts the Jabba garroting move but: denied. She finally slams his head in the hood a few times and when stealing the keys doesn't work, she settles for a phone. Calling Amanda, she tries to describe where she is but she didn't hit the Sand Predator hard enough as he knocks her out again. This obviously calms Amanda down and she begs Nolan to help her save her sister by releasing Mesuvis. Nolan breaks out the 'good of the many outweigh the good of the few' line of reasoning which she accepts for a millisecond before knocking him out with an urn? Fire extinguisher? Either way he's gonna have a helluva headache when he wakes up.

Out in the woods, Punk Casti and Irisa bond over the capriciousness of Irzu. Um, Irisa? You know the whole 'looking for Kenya' thing? Whattya gonna do? Visions gonna vision. But wait, who's this walking out of the woods? Why it's Sukar! Now it's a party. Just waiting for Bertie to show up...and the rest of the Silver Tongued Army.

While Irisa gets her own personal army, Nolan wakes up handcuffed to a jail cell. Damn, Amanda is cold. And is rummaging through Doc Yewll's medicine cabinet. Doc of course catches her with a handful of tranquilizers which she claims are for her employees. Doc ain't buying but misses the bigger picture, mistaking her visit for that of an addict going through withdrawal symptoms. You guys just don't get how very dangerous desperate people are, do you?

With the Earth Republic getting ready to start the Ego treatment on Mesuvis, Amanda steals a uniform, injects him with something to put him down, sequesters him in a small room, administers the antidote and smuggles him out. I really didn't think she had it in her to do that. They're almost home free when Nolan cuts them off and suddenly, she's on the business end of two guns. It's a standoff but no one checked for the gunman on the grassy knoll fire escape. Looks like Datak's deadly with more than just his glowing knife as he puts Mesuvis down, thus vexing Nolan AND Amanda but for different reasons. His secret is safe so whatever. Mesuvis whispers the location of the bomb to Nolan with his dying breath so now 2 out of 3 got what they wanted. Amanda's beside herself with grief that the one chance she had to save Kenya is now gone when the phone rings. Nolan reminds her that yes, Mesuvis is dead but Sand Predator doesn't know that so they still have a chance.

Amanda and Nolan head to the meeting location for the hostage swap where her attempts to double-cross  him with a disguised Nolan are weak indeed. The side braid of justice doesn't have that much power apparently. Anyway, the Sand Predator escapes but Kenya isn't in the trunk. That bastard, double-crossing her! She's disconsolate when Kenya softly calls, 'Amanda' and finally, the sisters are reunited. Huzzah! Nolan is in shock that she's actually alive and I wonder how long before he considers the possibilities open to him now.

At Camp Silver tongue Irisa manages to hold a fairly civilized conversation with Irzu, still wanting to know why. Well dear, the honor is not in being asked but in being chosen and now it begins: arkrise. See, that doesn't sound good.

We're closing in on the end of this season so what do you think? Will the battle with the Earth Republic happen? Will Christie and Alak reconcile? And will Amanda attempt a new hairstyle? Join us next Thursday, August 14 at 8 p.m. ET on Syfy for "Painted From Memory."

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