Dark Matter Episode 4 Review
Yesterday’s episode of Dark Matter was already its fourth. So far the series has mostly treaded on familiar ground, albeit introducing mysteries and backstories that are unique. Episode 4 breaks with the first three episodes by introducing the larger world I which the show is set. All six human characters as well as The Android (Zoie Palmer) developed a lot more colour this week by having fun and acting mischievous as the ship they travel docks at a space station.
At the space station, finally!
Dark Matter is told linearly. Each episode builds on the previous one. Episode 4 deals with the aftermath of the Raza’s encounter with the Ferrous Corp on the mining planet. The plan the six members of the Raza have is to dock with the space station, repair the ship and re-stock supplies. Two decides it is best if One and Three team-up to sell what have left of the armory. Neither One or Three think this is a good idea because they dislike one another. The plan to sell the weapons for money goes awry when a potential buyer decides to knock them unconscious with gas. After they awaken they find themselves strapped to two chairs back to back. One’s plan to make for the hallway by shuffling to chairs like in the Indiana Jones movie goes wrong when all they manage to do is tip them over. Both One and Three accuse each continuously of being the crewmember responsible for wiping their memories. The two are astonished to discover that the person who gassed them is Jace Corso, who claims One is an impostor.
Meanwhile the other crewmembers take their time to explore the station. Six (Roger Cross) has his wounds looked at the medical facility, but finds he has to wait for most of the episode before he gets help. When he does the doctor pushes an alarm button when a DNA scan shows who Six truly is. Two and Five make use of Five’s skill at gambling. Until an owner of a casino confiscates their winnings and decides to thrown them out. Things end badly when Two feels threatened and kills most of the casino’s security force. Four (Alex Mallari) uses the station to discover more of his past. He gives the ring he found to a pawnbroker who recognizes it as an heirloom of a royal family. The pawnbroker quickly closes his store and leaves a bewildered Four.
Meanwhile Jace Corse reminisces to One how one day he was supposed to board the Raza but couldn’t because his hide-out had been comprised (Jace is a mercenary). After he missed the flight he tried to apologize only to discover that another Jace Corso, or a man who looks a lot like him did board the Raza. One and Three manage to make a deal with Corso. He gets the weapons they wanted to sell in return for their release. As Jace moves the weapons off the Raza without alerting The Android One and Three break from their bonds. Once onboard the Raza they lie as to how they lost the weapons. None of the other crewmembers are aware they may be clones. As Six’s arrest warrant puts the station on alert The Android pilots the ship away.
In the final scenes of the episode Three tells One that from then on he should help him with every vote that is made by the crew. Because as he sees it, the other Jace’s existence proves he was the one who wiped their memories. In another scene Four watches news of the murder of an Emperor belonging to one of civilizations most powerful factions. The news caster accuses the crown prince of the murder that took place some time before the beginning of the show. A picture of the crown prince shows Four’s face.
Episode 4 was a lot of fun. And that is important. So far Dark Matter has focused on creating the backstory and maintain pacing consistency. That meant there were few big revelations in the first three episodes. Some criticized this, but I think Dark Matter has a better chance to not jump-the-shark too soon. Despite each character getting something to do most of the focus was on One and Three as they dealt with Jace Corso. Three in particular seems to have his own special blend of madness. My hat goes off to Anthony Lemke for his portrayal of Three. Some of the other parts of the episode may have been filler, but they did add little touches to each character. Amanda Tapping, who directed this episode, did a wonderful job. It shows the same consistent quality as did the episode of Continuum she directed. Sadly, the limited budget of this show could be seen. There were few special effects shots of the exterior of the space station or the Raza and some of the interiors were clearly filmed in a studio. That didn’t stop my enjoyment of this episode though. This was Dark Matter Episode 4 Review – directed by Amanda Tapping. See you back next week for another review of Dark Matter.
Score; 8.8 / 10. Still plenty of big mysteries that we don’t have answers to.