Goodbye, Blue Sky.
Finally we get an episode of Defiance that isn’t afraid of pulling some punches. It certainly isn’t unusual that TV-Series shy away from radical decisions in their first season without knowing what the fans like but some of Defiance’s earlier episodes were borderline boring. They were in essence self-contained stories that did little to further the Defiance overall story arc or give the show its own flavor. This week’s episode, ‘Goodbye, Blue Sky’, might even have moved too fast. For most of the episode you are left guessing how everything will turn out by the end which for me makes this a very desirable episode. That said, I certainly wasn’t expecting that Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr) and Mia Kirshner (Kenya) would end up having lesbian sex! Wait!! What!! Yes, Defiance turned the tables on Star Trek by not dragging feet (heels) with the ‘gay thing’. Instead it choose to shadow Game of Thrones by not shying away from gore, sex and nudity without crossing the line as it still airs on Syfy. However, the scene is an indicator that the shows creative staff doesn’t just want to cater to 12-year-old boys reading comic books but can take cues from Mad Men, GoT, The Borgias and Breaking Bad by coming up with some mature Science-Fiction. Suddenly I am very excited about seeing another season of Defiance!
Irisa has another vision in which she sees Sukar killed by an object falling from the sky; she and Nolan seek out the Spirit Riders to investigate. Her vision is confirmed and they determine that the object was part of a storm of “razor rain” – small Arkfall objects – approaching Defiance. Nolan returns to warn the town while Irisa attends Sukar’s “sinking” ritual, where his remains will be consumed in an acid bath. Sukar rises fully healed from the bath, throwing the Spirit Riders into confusion; he and Irisa return to Defiance where he starts to collect numerous objects for an unknown purpose. Nicky arrives at the McCawley home, looking for Birch; Quentin admits to Rafe that he killed Birch but does not tell him he kept the artifact. Nicky tricks Rafe into admitting he killed Birch, knowing that he would do so quickly to cover for a member of his family. Luke appears to Quentin and suggests that Quentin kill Nicky, but he refuses. Stahma attempts to hire Kenya to “initiate” Alak sexually before his marriage to Christie; Kenya politely refuses and the two have a conversation over drinks which ends in a lesbian encounter. Alak and Christie have an argument over a proposed bathing ceremony in relation to the marriage; he agrees to approach his parents and cancel it. Sukar and Irisa take over the radio station and broadcast a message at a falling Ark; Nolan attempts to stop them, shooting Sukar and throwing him from the Gateway Arch. Irisa broadcasts the message, enabling the Ark engines which changes the course of the falling object and saves Defiance. Sukar’s miraculous healing is revealed to have been the result of nanites injected by the razor rain object which initially killed him; he survives the fall from the Arch but is paralyzed.
The episode does of course consist of more than Stahma and Kenya’s weird conversation and horizontal finale. The plotline between Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley and their trials and tribulations towards marriage does have a bit of teen angst to it but it doesn’t go to far. On the other hand, the under the table threats between Nicky Riordan and the McCawley’s feels like a scene from the Godfather. Which makes it a good jumping of point for the first season’s finale. The apparitions that Quentin sees of his dead brother Luke do feel strange. I hope it won’t be used as a device to miraculously bring him back from the dead because that would be a cheat.
Irisa’s journey with Sukar finally gets me interested in the Irathient race. Before I thought the Irisa’s visions as being too gimmicky but this week it is Sukar who manages to steal the show with it. Sukar manages to save Defiance from the razor rains at the expense of him getting paralyzed, but I doubt that will last. The fact that he is paralyzed because Nolan didn’t believe in his abilities means that a future showdown between Nolan and Irisa is foregone conclusion.
Score; 8.3 / 10.