The first season finale of Defiance is entitled ‘Everything is Broken’ and that is a understatement. Plenty of characters are killed off and almost everybody’s world is turned over. Some people might hate the episode, but I think most will love it. It’s a show that has only slowly begun developing a pair of balls.
Nolan and Tommy continue their search for Irisa, who has disappeared. At the voting polls for the election Kenya suggests to Datak that Stahma has been disloyal to him, and Datak threatens his wife when he realizes its true. Earth Republic storms into Doctor Yewll’s clinic. They ask where Irisa is and, during the interrogation, the objects are revealed to be keys to an ancient Votan ship with a weapon capable of wiping out entire species. The ship itself being buried in the mines. Yewll reveals that the keys are both inside Irisa and active. Nolan and Tommy find Irisa with Rynn in the Irathian settlement praying for Sukar’s recovery. Stahma approaches Kenya and offers her a chance to leave Defiance with her, saying that Datak will kill them both, however Kenya remains skeptical. Nolan and Irisa, now aware of the keys and their purpose, are comforting each other as the Earth Republic takes the Spirit Riders captive, forcing the pair to surrender to them. They take Irisa and leave the rest to be killed.
Nolan however disarms his captor and goes after them. Back in town the election results are announced, naming Datak the next Mayor of Defiance, much to Amanda’s sadness. Kenya comforts her sister before going to meet Stahma. Kenya pulls a gun on Stahma knowing that she lied. She reveals her plan to hold Stahma hostage, using her as leverage to get Datak to leave town for good. Stahma however has poisoned Kenya causing her to fall unconscious and die in her arms. At the mines E-Rep discover that the Keys have fused completely with Irisa’s body and force Yewll to try and remove them. Back in town Datak confronts Colonel Marsh in the mayor’s office for having his men move in without telling him, making him look the fool. He realizes too late that the Earth Republic wants something else in the mine, and Marsh reveals that they have used him. Stahma enters the office to find that Datak has murdered the Colonel. With the Earth Republic soldiers looking for Marsh, and no way to escape, Datak and Stahma accept their fate as the soldiers find them.
At the mine Yewll begins to operate on Irisa as Nolan, Tommy, Rafe and Rynn battle the E-Rep soldiers. Nolan frees Irisa and they fight their way out, however Nolan is shot and killed during the escape. Heartbroken Irisa has a vision of Sukar and descends into the mines where she sees the mysterious girl from before who calls herself Irzu. She says that Irisa can bring Nolan back, but only if she agrees to become her weapon, to which she agrees. Irisa enters the ancient ship and uses its power to bring Nolan back to life, disappearing inside. Nolan awakens and looks for Irisa, who is nowhere to be found. His search comes to an abrupt end when, to his horror, he discovers the Earth Republic army moving into Defiance, declaring that they have assumed control.
The first thing I have to say is that the finale of Defiance wasn’t at all as I though it would be. That said, no one will watch a show that they can easily anticipate, but so far Defiance has been a bit predictable. So the finale was if anything new and fresh. It finally felt as if Defiance would come into its own. There is of course plenty of controversy. The death of Kenya seemed pointless and ends a wonderful character prematurely. However, it also make Stahma (Jaime Murray) look even more tragic.
The supposed death of Datak and Stahma was very unexpected and might actually cause the show problems as they were two pillars. I say supposed death because we didn’t see anything. It might just be that the shows creative staff wanted to give the actors a possibility to leave the show or stay. That would be rather controversial if that is the case.
The finale also had a fair amount of science-fiction and fantasy elements which seemed well thought out and gave the episode a distinct flavor. The visuals have come a long way since the pilot episode so I hope they won’t be such a drag in the shows second season.
I do hope that the second season will expand the world of Defiance a bit more. I certainly want to see more of the Earth Republic because the only thing we know so far is that they are all assholes (to put it mildly).
Defiance has so far shown us a unique mix of science fiction and fantasy in a world that seems to come right out of ‘the Borgias’. Season 1 felt a bit weak time so here is hoping season 2 can do better. You will have to wait while for the second season. Expect it no earlier than June 2014.
Score; 8.5 / 10. Great episode with a confusing cliffhanger.