'Defiance' Recap: 'Beasts of Burden'

Courtesy Syfy

Last week on "Defiance" we learned that Amanda has a killer right hook, the dead don't stay dead, and Datak's back (all right!) (My abject apologies to the Backstreet Boys.) Let's do this.

You know where a great place to shoot a PSA is? In the back of an armored truck carrying secret mining/terraforming equipment to Defiance. Berlin and Pottinger clearly don't check for secure communications as the Insane Clown Posse Tusken Raiders ambush the convoy and kill all of the E-Rep soldiers accompanying them. Next time they might want to invest in better armor is all I'm saying. Pottinger finds his balls and attempts to take down the Raiders. Unfortunately, all he's got is a door. Berlin quickly finds out that a handheld video camera is no match for a boot or a gun. Live and learn I guess. The Raiders appear to have a smidge of compassion as they just make Pottinger strip instead of killing him too. Though they probably should have killed his as total humiliation tends to incite one to make Very Violent Decisions.
Datak sweetly threatens Stahma saying that before prison, he would have gutted her like a fish but now he's a changed man. But she increased profits 20% while he was away! Shouldn't she be made a partner? Ha. Haaaaa. No. And his sad devotion to clinging to the old ways will trump logic every. damn. time. There's not enough make-up in the world to hide that amount of loathing.

Having finally returned to Defiance, Pottinger relays his harrowing afternoon. He lost six men and wants Nolan to find the perps NOW! Use as many men as you need. I...what?  Tommy has zero chemistry with Berlin but yet, they're together. However, they spend their time talking about if he's over Irisa. Jeebus, is anyone secure in their relationships?  

Rafe returns home to find a scary red mask in his house...that looks a lot like the one a Raider wore when who should come dragging stolen equipment in the back door but Josef! He did it so save lives! The equipment would cause the mines to become unstable, potentially killing a lot of miners. So you brought it here? Where the E-Rep is watching Rafe 24/7? I don't think you can any less brilliant than Josef and his merry band of Halloween refugees were. Plus you killed E-Rep soldiers?! What good will possible come of this? And just like that, Rafe aged another 20 years.

Time for a father/son bonding moment. Dad, since you're back, can things return to as they were? Nope. Sorry, son; glad we talked. He's such an ass. However, on a walk through town, Datak is confronted by two E-Rep soldiers wanting to punish him for the death of Colonel Marsh. Initially going to fight back, Datak decides instead to defuse the situation but acknowledging their anger and asking for forgiveness. Wait, what? Datak showing personal growth when personally humiliated? I smell a rat....

Amanda and Pottinger have a quiet moment at the bar together where he starts to process some of the horror he endured. Turns out Amanda is also a good listener in addition to being a bottle-slinger. Let's just say that Pottinger has quite a grudge against the Votans.

Doc Yewll's back in her clinic when Nolan and Irisa visit to gather evidence from the attack. Apropos of nothing, she assures Nolan that she said made no mention of what was going on with Irisa. In gratitude, Nolan destroys evidence of a miner's bootprint on a dead soldier and Tommy almost chokes in an apoplectic rage. These blasts are much too precise for sand people raiders...sorry, wrong movie.  

It appears that Stahma paid off the E-Rep soldiers to antagonize Datak enough to unhinge him but he didn't take the bait. And that my friends, is a power play that no one wants to be in the middle of, I don't care how much she's paying you. This will end well for no one.

Nolan visits Rafe to let him know that he knows that one of the "Raiders" was a miner when Josef gets the drop on him. Because Nolan is a tracker/Lawkeeper and not a scared out of his mind miner, he easily turns the tables and arrests Josef. Because Rafe shot an E-Rep soldier to protect Irisa, he's on double secret probation so can't Nolan do the kid a solid? Berlin's reconstructing the hard drive of the destroyed camera which will show Josef's face so Nolan gives Josef the money to get out of town. Did Nolan have to swear an oath of office? Or maybe take out an insurance policy? Because playing both sides isn't a good long-term game plan for survival.

Nolan returns the stolen equipment to Pottinger who doesn't for one second believe that he found it in a cave. Okay, you got me. It was in a "warehouse", not a cave but given that he E-Rep has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, telling you I found it in town would have ended badly for everyone. 

Datak, let's take a meeting with the 'family'. And by meeting I mean I scold you all for being very very naughty by listening to a woman. Alak mans up that he should have stopped Stahma but he was weak. Well, for your failures Alak, someone needs to by punished. And by punished I mean die. And YOU have to choose. Alak volunteers himself  but Datak can't destroy his legacy so he chooses the one who hated changing Alak's diapers. The similarities to the Godfather are striking; just call him Don Datak.

Josef the miner ended up NOT taking the last train to Clarksville, opting instead to steal the video recorder from Berlin. When that backfires, he resorts to kidnapping her. I wonder if Tommy actually cares at this point.

Pottinger and Amanda bond over Adrena and shared violation stories. Why did she tell him this? So he wouldn't feel alone. Amanda has the kindest heart but there is no way this won't come back to haunt her.

Nolan's Tracking Team is on the case to find Berlin. He's in communication with Rafe who looks so incredibly beaten down at this point. Where could Josef have taken her? Now that Datak cleared the air with the family, he and Alak take a leisurely stroll through Alak's record operation which is fronting a weapons manufacturing facility. Datak was going to torch the place but this has promise. He'll settle instead for crushing Alak's hand in a record press.

Christie tends to Alak's wounds and wants to make Datak suffer. Don't call my father a monster! Your not Castithan! Again with the not being Castithan. Alak, dear heart, you KNEW she wasn't Castithan when you married her. This is not actually a huge surprise. Stahma sees his injury and knows who did it. Oh, you do NOT mess with mama's boy. She confronts Datak that he's turned into his father. He dismisses her words by quoting from the Castithan bible. Everyone misbehaved, lesson's learned. Now let's hug it out. I'm not sure Stahma can possibly loathe him more.

In a cellar, Josef is having Berlin read what will happen if they use the laser cutting equipment in the mine. If E-Rep says it's so, they'll listen. She tries to escape but he smacks her down again. Just before Josef' shoots her, Nolan drops in and takes the bullet. Methinks that any chance of clemency has flown out the window now. While Tommy attends to Nolan and Berlin, Rafe hustles Josef out of there, telling him to run for the love of god! Finally Josef listens and Rafe guns him down. The concern that Tommy has for Berlin is overwhelming, much like the apathetic kiss he gives her. And of course, Irisa sees all.

Pottinger still wants Rafe to pay even though he's the one who shot Josef. Shouldn't that count for something? Apparently not as Butthurt runs rampant through Defiance. So Pottinger does the only thing he can think to do - serve Rafe with eviction papers, effective immediately. And Rafe's so beaten down he gets up and walks out. Datak, however, is feeling pretty good about things. He's back on top and king of his world. He walks into the fight tent and see the family there with Stahma at the head. Belatedly sensing danger, he pulls his knife but to no avail as the family beats the 'Tarr' out of him. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Thrown out onto the street, Stahma hisses in his ear that he should have made her a partner. And that, ladies, is how you go full mama-bear on someone. 

Tune in to Syfy next Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for "Put the Damage On" where Amanda has a really bad day and Rafe and Datak team up in the oddest of odd couple pairings. Click here for a sneak peek.