For a sci-fi show, Defiance’s second episode was pretty light on the special effects. Or perhaps subtle would be a better adjective. Having visited the permanent sets in Toronto, I can tell you that Defiance is not nearly as big as it looks, but even having been there, the CGI portions are so seamless, I can’t tell where the real world leaves off and the CGI begins. I’m really liking that they are foregrounding big splashy effects, and I think it bodes well for where the show is going. No doubt there will be lots of opportunities for chase scenes and big shoot outs as there were in the “Pilot” and as you might expect to tie in with the video game, but I think they are clearly setting out to tell a story about human (and alien) interaction. This is what everyone has said in interviews and it’s nice to see it already starting to play out.
Once again, it is Nicky (Fionnula Flanagan) and her assistant Birch (Steven McCarthy) who are behind Ben’s escape and the plan to blow up the nuclear plant. Nicky clearly thinks she is doing bad things for the greater good. It’s chilling when she says to Amanda that she’ll “miss her” because she has a double meaning in that she will miss Amanda when Amanda is dead not when Nicky moves. Birch’s motivations remain less clear.
Having Nolan be a newcomer to Defiance is a good device to provide a lot of the back story. We learn, for instance, that St Louis looks so different because of the terraforming which essentially folded over the city, trapping much of old St Louis within the mines. The audience also learns about Rafe’s history with Nolan.
I'm also really loving the languages that have been created for the show. The Castithan language is very lyrical and is appropriate to their rather ethereal beauty and their preoccupation with indulging their senses - as seen in the bath scenes. This week’s episode set up some interesting storylines going forward.What is Nicky a part of and who else might be involved in the plot to destroy Defiance? What was Luke up to? Did you enjoy this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below.