I called the shots on this show with my first review of Defiance when it first premiered. I said that it was damn good science fiction and I was right. With top notch actors and its part western/part Farscape scenes and stories, my whole family and I are hooked. The ending was a surprise and we were left with a few mysteries and a few farewells. Who’s gone? Find out, after the jump, in this spoiler alert filled review.
I’m still recovering from our own three ring circus of a Presidential Election, and here I was again on the edge of my seat as Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) and Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) battled for the position of town mayor. There were enough backroom deals going on to keep me guessing on who would finally win the election, especially with Datak dealing with the secretive Earth Republic’s Colonel Marsh (Barry Flatman). Amanda was hoping that her good work while in office would bring in votes. Poor baby, that’s not how it’s done in politics.
Datak’s distain for Alak’s (Jessie Rath) attempt to help with the election was a bit confusing. Why wouldn’t he appreciate the free radio plugs? Datak is a cold hearted manipulator, but there are people more conniving than him. Colonel Marsh showed his true colors; a snake in the grass and just as greedy as Datak. In the end, Datak won the coveted prize of power as the new mayor, and one unexpected result; his own downfall. Oh yes, my little aliens, Shtako happens in every election, and Datak wasn’t spared a confrontation with the real people in power.
A new member of the Earth Republic is after Irisa. Who is Black Jonah (Matthew Lemche) and what does he want with the town of Defiance and Irisa. It was very upsetting to see this man line up the citizens of the Irathient village for execution. Even when Irisa surrenders herself to save the village, this nasty man gives the word to kill them all. Luckily, for the Irathients, Nolan doesn’t like executions or the Earth Republic.
Stahma had her own problems on this episode. She was guilty of a few pleasurable indiscretions with Kenya (Mia Kirshner) which would have left Stahma at the mercy of Datak and his short fuse temper tantrums. But blood is stronger than lust and Kenya was angry with the Tarr family; Datak tried to have Amanda killed before the elections. Did these two women love each other? Maybe, and I think Kenya helped Stahma to finally experience a sexual satisfaction that Datak was unable or unwilling to allow. But Stahma is a chameleon and no one really knows her. She’s graceful, beautiful and charming, but she hides a stinger and like a black widow spider, traps her enemies in her web. Stahma is the real power in the Tarr family and where Datak stomps his feet and screams at his enemies; Stahma whispers as she lowers her fangs on the unsuspecting flies.
Amanda and Kenya console each other after Amanda loses her job. The sisters are close and have survived some bad stuff, but it’s the last chat that they will share. Kenya is planning on running away with Stahma.
Stahma, to save her own life not only betrays Kenya, but causes her death. I think Stahma had feelings for Kenya. The method she chose to eliminate her lover was swift and I hope painless, but it’s what Stahma did as Kenya lay dying that makes me think there was more than just sex shared between the two.
I think one of the reasons I like this show so much is because of the loving relationship between Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his alien daughter. Irisa’s (Stephanie Leonidas) life is in the hands of fate, as we try to figure out her connection to what’s buried below the town. There is something powerful inside her and enough bad people, who want what she has, to make season two worth waiting for. When Nolan and Tommy try to rescue Irisa, Nolan’s mortally wounded, but Irisa holds his life in her hands. What does she do? This is one secret that you’ll have to watch the show to find out.
Dr. Yewll (Trenna Keating) is a complete mystery. Is she good? Or, is she good at being bad. I don’t know if we can trust this tricky alien. She easily killed her comrade, Nicky (Fionnula Flanagan) and she was secretly doing experiments on Irisa. But, when Black Jonah wants to remove the artifacts from Irisa at any cost, Dr. Yewll gives advice to the captive girl; run! Dr. Yewll is a character to keep your eye on and one of the most interesting aliens on the show.
I like the show and the like the actors. The stories are interesting, but the special effects need to be pumped up a bit. I had the honor of interviewing the amazingly talented Jaime Murray on her character, Stahma. It’s a two part interview in which Jaime talks about the show, the game and the comraderie between the actors. She also hinted at what Stahma is really like. See you for the next season of Defiance and try not to step into any Shtako.