Finally I am here with a review of the third episode of Defiance. It won’t be a full review but I will at least discuss the most salient details. I will also give a short preview of the fourth episode ‘The Devil In the Dark’ that will air Monday evening.
Episode 3 Recap…
The third episode ‘Down In the Ground Where the Dead Men Go’ takes off were the pilot stopped. Datak is punishing one of his fellow Castithan for fleeing from the battle with the Volge. The episode sees continued efforts to prevent the man public execution. Despite Joshua’s and Irisa’s attempt Datak finally murders the man and leaves him on the doorsteps of the sheriff’s office.
Meanwhile Ben has been woken from his coma by a fellow conspirator who urges him to finish the job by destroying Defiance. Ben makes his way to the McCawley mines and blows up the entrance after himself. According to McCawley he is heading to old St. Louis which was largely preserved intact despite the major terraforming events of the war. Quickly it is deduced that Ben intends to blow a nuclear facility to contaminate the mines that are the raison d’etre of Defiance. Ben is eventually stopped, but Joshua fails to question him as Ben forces McCawley to shoot him.
The third plot line involved the feud between Datak Tarr and McCawley. Now that a wedding between their respective son and daughter is planned they have all sorts of personal issues to take care off. McCawley’s daughter can’t stop arguing with her father and Datak’s son Alek is continuing his efforts at being the spoiled brat who doesn’t care about anything. It falls on Datak’s wife Stahma (Jaime Murray) to try and fix the various problems in order to further hers and Datak’s agenda.
There are furthermore some other minor plot lines but I won’t spoiler them here. Defiance certainly has the ability to be epic in the sense of personal relationship, similar to The Borgia’s. So missing episodes might be problematic in the future.
The third episode of Defiance is the first one in which we get a glimpse of how the show’s format will look like. In my opinion it is similar to Continuum with a fast pace and multiple partially independent plot lines woven together. I think it works, but it can still be a lot better. Some of the characters so far seem a bit wooden and familiar, especially one the McCawley side of the story. The character of Stahma Tarr is quickly becoming my favorite. Jaime Murray really knows how to carry the character, next to Grant Bowler I think she is the heart of the show.
Stahma Tarr seems to oddly enough fit the setting perfectly were as other characters seem very much out-of-place. Like the pilot this episode has a scene with Datak and Stahma enjoying their private Castithan bath. It is an effective way of allowing the two characters to plot their next move while also giving Defiance that little bit of Game of Thrones with the semi-nude setting. I hope the scene will be a staple in Defiance.
The special effects in the third episode are fewer than in the pilot. That is in itself not unusual (Eureka, Lost and Continuum), so at least viewers are not distracted by the fakeness. The old St. Louis was recreated rather effectively. So if every episode has a similar outing I think it could work very well. Why the old St. Louis isn’t occupied by the people of Defiance is a bit of a mystery to me.
Defiance still needs to find some solid ground in my opinion. The characters of sheriff Joshua Nolan and his daughter Irisa seem oddly unsettled in Defiance, something many fans have remarked upon.
Score; 7.5 / 10. Solid, but the many nagging details drag it down.
Episode 4 Preview…
The fourth episode of Defiance is called ‘The Devil In the Dark’ and will yet again take our characters out of Defiance and into the surrounding area.
Here is the synopsis…
A horde of Hellbugs attack the town of Defiance. In order to stop them, a search party is sent out on a mission to find and destroy the central source of the Hellbugs.
Here is the preview trailer…
And some preview stills…