Jul 11, 2016

WARNING: SPOILERS – this is a review written with the assumption that you have watched the episode. Events, details, and reveals will be discussed.

DarkMatterS02E02Let me start right off by saying that I was very disappointed in Dark Matter, Season 2’s second episode, entitled “Kill Them All”. One, because I thought that we would immediately get back to resolve the apparent on-screen murder of One, which we witnessed as the Season Two, Episode One cliffhanger. I was also disappointed by the near-death of another character. In the former, that’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. I cannot malign the story-telling because the choice was made to get back to that in a week or two. Keep people watching and so on. In the second, I do question a bit of the story-telling choice there. But I’ll swing back to that nearer the end.

“Kill Them All” opens up (after the “last time on Dark Matter…” intro and one “blind-open” reveal scene) back on Hyperion-3 (the prison station), with Six undergoing interrogation by Galactic Alliance (GA) Agent Shaddick, played by Franka Potente (star of the Jason Bourne movies and Run Lola Run)  . Shaddick is out to bypass the small stuff that the various members of the crew have done before their memory wipe. She’s looking for the big fish; someone to pin the blame on for the destruction of the planetary research facility that went up in flames last season after being given the white hole WMD that the team had stolen from a Ferrous Corp space station. Everyone from the Raza gets paraded into an interrogation room and offered various deals or threatened to give up the others and pin the explosion of Iriden-3 on the Raza Mercenaries. Even the Android gets threatened. Meanwhile, Two, Three, and Four continue to plan their escape, while new allies arrive to assist them, including Starget: Atlantis alum, Torri Higginson. The overall plot thickens, and lines are drawn between loyalty and duty, which turn out to not always be the same thing.

Great character moments this episode cannot be mentioned without giving the big nod to Five, who continues her breakout from being the Cisco of the group to owning the part of a bad-ass in her own team portraitright. First up, she gets to utter the episode title in one of her lines of dialogue, which entirely caught me off guard. Because I was sure that this was going to be a line said about the crew of the Raza, not by one of them. The fact that Five utters the command to the Android and that the latter immediately whips herself into bad-ass martial arts mode doubles the fun. Then, as Five and Android are escaping, Five notices the door to the weapons locker standing wide open. Entering, she initially draws a dainty handgun from the wall. She turns to exit and as she does, notices Three’s “Gorilla Rifle” (my term) leaning up against the other wall, and grabs that instead. Since this weapon apparently has very little kick, despite its immense size and impact, we are treated to Five then just laying the smack down on the prison guards. This sequence is best punctuated by her blowing two guards into the bulkhead just when we think that the escapees’ jig is up having been cornered by said guards.

The oh so very slight letdown is the ending of the final dialogue between Two and Six. Two feels that Six has redeemed himself by aiding in their escape. Six still feels as if he has betrayed the group and has no business back on the Raza. His partner, Anders, appears and in a gunslinging shootout, they shoot each other. Anders is ended, Six is severely injured. Now, as Six went down, I was thinking and feeling that this would be a fitting end to the story for his tortured character. This guy, after all of his emotional confliction and double-double agentry, deserved to be at peace. Sort of like a Doyle-from-Angel first-soldier-down kind of play. But we then see him being stuffed into a stasis chamber back on the Raza. Given that they did not give him an honorable exit, I’m not sure which way I want it to go with my hopes for the future. Should he remain in stasis for the duration of Season 2, only to make a heroic last-minute comeback, being revived by the Android in a summer sweeps episode or the season finale, and save the day? Should he be on ice for the remainder of the season, not to be seen again until Season 3? Or should they resolve it quickly in the next episode or the one after? I’d love to hear some votes from other fans of the series.

Other great touch-points include the clear pain on Melissa O’Neil’s face as she emotes sadness for the reported death of One. And, while it continues the aggravating love triangle between One, Two, and Three (heh heh), the scene where Three challenges the convict who gives a lurid look and smell to Two was also a nice punctuation mark.

160629_3060366_Dark_Matter___Sneak_Peek___Season_2__Episode_1500x844_715300419726A big part of me wanted to rate this episode higher than the premiere, but then I remembered how out of breath the Episode One cliffhanger left me and had to reconsider. Things are still interesting in this series and I have no question that you should all be staying on through the end. My whole week now is pretty much centered on anxiously awaiting the release of the newest episode to Xbox Video. Episode Two is a great “getting the band back together” episode with some minor reveals, but nothing earth shattering. And I’m ok if they stay with that battle rhythm. This is an opera, and there is little point in shattering glass every episode. Let’s hope they keep it steady and spread the punches to the gut out a bit, lest they burn too bright, too fast.