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Dark Matter - Episode 11 - Review: “Full Circle” *Best Scene Poll*

From the first seconds to the last this episode delivered an emotional rollercoaster ride full of action and heart. The assumed murder of Two drives most of the early part of the episode and provides for some beautifully acted scenes of mourning over her loss. When she makes her glorious return the action kicks into high gear as Two teams with Five to reclaim her ship and save her crew. Here is a review of the journey each character went on this week as they dealt with the fallout of the events from the last episode.

One has been dealing with a lot lately and last week was not his finest hour. He basically turned against Two and forced her into a situation that got her spaced and nearly got the entire crew turned over to the Galactic Authority. In my last review I said that One wasn’t fit to lead in Two’s absence, but this episode did a good job of providing some redemption. Granted, I still don’t think he is prepared to lead if Two is ever incapacitated, but at least he earned back some respect.

This was an episode about the crew uniting over the loss of Two. The scene One shared with Five was heartbreaking. Five has the strongest relationship with Two and Six, but the rest of the crew does care about her as this week clearly showed. When Wexler brought Five into the interrogation you could see the horror flash across One’s face. He believed Two was dead and he knew what Five meant to her, so he knew he had to do everything to keep her safe. Tied up he was powerless to shield her, but he was willing to give up some of his biggest secrets to try and give her a fighting chance. He may not have been able to save Two, but he knew he had to at least try and do something for Five. They got lucky that Two was busy sabotaging the ship because it gave them that lovely moment alone after Wexler and Cain left to deal with the mechanical issues. The scene was about grief and mourning and both Marc and Jodelle delivered on that emotion with such rawness that the scene was heartbreaking. A lot of the emotion fell on Jodelle to perform as Five couldn’t contain her tears as she spoke of Two, but Marc did an outstanding job supporting her performance and delivering his own high level of emotion that she was able to play off of. One was trying to be strong, but it was evident how much the events of the day and loss of Two was affecting him.

Speaking of affects, the core of his story in this episode hit once he was back in the vault with the other guys. With Two dead he thought they were the only ones who could get Five back and protect her, so he tried to rally the others guys. Losing Two was one thing, but losing the person she cared about the most was not acceptable. Even if it cost him his own life he was prepared to do whatever it took to get Five back and shield her from any further trauma.

I really enjoyed the editing around One’s motivational speech. While the speech was good the way they showed the true irony of his every statement was brilliant. Five was not helpless. The men were not the last hope for the Raza. Oh, and Two wasn’t dead.

Two has been one big enigma wrapped in an enigma since the series began. She is the one we knew the least about going into this episode. We all knew there was no way they would truly kill her off, but how they would get her back was a whole other question. Of course she self rescued and with Five’s aid reclaimed her ship and saved her crew. I don’t think anyone would argue that she is the perfect super soldier and her skill set is massively diverse. After what we learned in this episode I’m not ruling out the possibility that she was engineered to be the perfect soldier. Was she a military experiment gone rogue?

She has not only survived being infected by a fatal virus but now she can add being spaced to her superhuman resume. This episode was a spectacular showcase for Melissa O’Neil to show off her fighting skills and her amazing acting range as Two became a one woman army. From the moment Two made it back into the ship and took her first desperate gasps of air she was a woman on a mission. She is Commander Portia Lin and the Raza is her ship and she would be damned if anyone stole it away from her. As soon as she freed herself she went in search of her crew and when she came across Tash hitting Five the fight was on. Apparently no one gave Tash the memo that people who inflict harm on Five have very short life spans. This fatal error by Tash did lead to an amazing fight between Two and Tash that was expertly executed by Melissa and Jessica. These two actresses and the stunt team committed to this fight and the end result was a gracefully violent fight sequence that can best be described as mesmerizing. Dark Matter has an extremely talented stunt team and they really got to show their stuff off in this episode and they did not disappoint.

Amazing fights aside this was an emotional episode driven by Two’s presumed death. There were many great moments of mourning from the crew, but the moment that tugged the hardest on the heartstrings was when Five sees Two alive and launches herself into Two’s arms. The raw emotion and heart of that moment was superbly played by both Jodelle and Melissa. In that moment both characters needed that human connection to verify that each other was indeed alive and okay. It was a defining moment for Two because of all her relationships this is the one she has fought the hardest for. While she consistently pushes One and Three away she is always fighting to keep Five close. This hug was the culmination of all the hard work Two has put in to heal the rift between them. I think it is fascinating how hard she fights for this relationship while she can’t make a romantic relationship stick no matter how hard she tries.

Considering what we learned about Two at the end of the episode I highly doubt this maternal/sisterly bond she has with Five stems from any kind of past experience with a child or sibling of her own. In those early moments of the premiere all the characters seemed to be working off of muscle memory and Two was drawn to Five from the beginning. I still think she had something to do with rescuing Five from the airlock therefore launching this unique bond they share and hopefully we’ll find out for sure in the season finale next week. All of this does leave one to wonder why she has had such a strong bond with Five since the beginning. On two occasions now we’ve seen Two kill to protect Five and her default instinct is to always send Five to safety. Letting Five come along on the last mission was out of necessity and not a decision she made lightly. We know that Two was engineered, but don’t know for what purpose, and we also know that Five is an orphan. These are two women from mysterious origins and one of them has a primal instinct to protect the other when they’ve seemingly never met prior to Five’s stowaway experience. Could it be possible that the paths of these two crossed at some point prior to their meeting on the Raza?

Authors Note: After writing all of this I saw this sneak peek (US Only). I won't spoil anything, but it certainly changed my opinion of Two before the memory wipe and obviously altered many thoughts I had above.

I must admit to cheering as Two took down each of Wexler’s crew and the troopers. Being spaced, and surviving it, is a massive deal and it is was almost a guarantee that it would change her. At first it looked like we got the Two we all know back, but in the end when she spaced Wexler that was a sign of the changes this experience has inflicted on her. Prior to now we’ve seen Two try and be merciful when she can, except when she lost control on the space station, but Wexler’s spacing was done in a very lucid state of mind differentiating it from Two’s last act of murder. At least this time Five didn’t have to witness it, however after her own act of murder in this episode I’m not so sure she can judge Two anymore.

After everything we learned about Two many questions remain with the biggest being who engineered her and why? Someone went through a lot of trouble to create her, so I can’t imagine them just letting her go willingly. How did she escape her creators and why? The reveal of her engineered beginnings answer several questions, but it has certainly generated even more questions to keep the mystery of Two going strong.

Three started off as the bad boy that no one thought could be redeemed, but Sarah certainly proved us all wrong as her love helped him become a better man. Keep in mind, for him to be able to know what a good man is like he had to have been one at some point in his life. I have a feeling that when we learn more about the life Marcus lived we’ll find one dark and defining moment that made him the man Sarah first met. He loved her, which means he understood love before meeting her, and he cared for her when the sickness incapacitated her, which means he had a basic knowledge of caring for the sick or injured. The more we see of this side of Three the more I become convinced that he was the boy in Five’s farm life memory. There is no way Derrick Moss, heir to a fortune, started his life off on a farm, but Marcus Boone on the other hand very likely did.

It was necessary to look at that analysis of his journey to understand the emotional reaction he had to the loss of Two. To mourn with that much passion indicates a basis of emotional connection. Three may have pushed Two away in the end, but I think he genuinely cared for her even if he can’t admit it. After all he was the first one to give up the password to try and save her.

Three isn’t a saint, but I think he is a much nicer guy then he wants anyone to know. I also don’t think he is the one who murdered Derrick’s wife. Still, One is of the firm belief that he did, so how long can these two go on like this when One still holds so much animosity towards Three? I did enjoy watching Three trying to bond with One over Two’s death. There is an uneasiness between them, but they know they have to work together. Who knows, maybe by Season 5 they’ll actually be friends.

While Three was trying to deflect Six’s attention he did have a point regarding the fact that they must have lost friends before the memory wipe. I do believe that at one time there were more members of the Raza crew. I wonder what happened to them and was Three a part of the Raza when he was left behind and on the planet where he met Sarah? So many questions and so little time left to get answers.

Four has spent the last couple of episodes as more of a background character. This isn’t unexpected in a large ensemble show, but I do miss Alex Mallari Jr. gracefully wielding Four’s sword. Fortunately for Dark Matter they have the very good problem of having to many incredibly gifted actors bringing depth and heart to their extraordinary characters, and when one falls on screen time it is noticeable. Every actor has owned their role and despite how quiet Four is Alex has forged so much life into this character. Even in this episode, Alex was able to project Four’s loss of Two without it outwardly showing while still using actions to convey to the audience that Four did indeed feel that loss. He took his lines and made some masterful choices and his actions said every bit as much as the words did.

Upon first watch the sleeping/air conservation scene frustrated me because it meant less time with Four, but after a second watch I realized that in the context of the episode it did actually work. Four knew they couldn’t bang their way out of the vault so he was being his practical self and doing his part to give his brothers-in-arms a little more oxygen. It was a very Four thing to do and therefore I came around to this story choice. Some things make more sense on a second watch then they do the first go around and this was one of those things. Prior to the second watch I was prepared to call this Dark Matter’s first story falter, but in my book they are still riding a faultless record.

At least we still got to see a small Four fight scene when he joins Three in a failed attempt to get free of their captors. I’m hoping for at least one more sword wielding fight scene for Four before the season draws to an end. Alex manages to use Four’s sword as an extension of his own arms and between his skill and the beautiful choreography his fight scenes always hit hard and on point.

Five was forced to watch what she thought was the murder of Two and it was devastating to her. No one would have blamed her if she just shut down and gave in to the pain of that monumental loss. Instead she rallied and fought through the pain to be an active part of the crews’ desperate fight for survival. Still she needed to talk through that pain and the scene she shared with One gave each character a much needed moment to deal with their loss. They both loved Two and the tears that were shed were telling of the hold she has on both their hearts. To Five she is the closest thing to a mother or, at the very least, a big sister that she may have ever had. Like any family this crew has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day they have each other’s back and support one another.

As I mentioned above, the most poignant moment of the entire episode was when Five raced into Two’s embrace. This is a woman Five cares about deeply and spent the early part of the episode mourning. Two came back from the dead and in that moment it didn’t matter that the ship was in captive hands, all Five wanted was to be in Two’s arms. For that brief beat everything was right in the universe and she was no longer alone and on her own. With Two back in the fight you could see the relief wash over Five.

While the hug served as the most poignant moment of the episode the most shocking Five moment was her encounter with Cain. When I saw Five wielding a gun in the previews I thought she’d shoot it off, but I never imagined she’d actually kill someone. When she saw the invaders she knew Two was out there all alone and after just getting her back from the dead there was no way she was going to lose her again. By going after her gun she made a very conscious decision to actively join the fight. Two may have sent her off to find safety, but gone are the days where she will sit idly back while those she loves are in danger. Yes, I did say love, because these people are her family now and no matter how much they bicker and argue she loves them and they love her as much as each individual is capable of. When it comes to family you can mess with them, but let anyone else mess with them and this primal need to protect them will come out. Five may not be an active fighter, but much like Two’s primal nature keeps kicking in to protect Five we got to see Five’s primal nature come out to protect Two. Even with that in mind I was shocked when Five shot Cain and even more in shock when she kept pulling the trigger. Overkill much? Remind anyone else of another primal and instinctual fight?

For my own curiosity, was anyone else wondering exactly when Two had time to tell Five about her struggle to get back in the ship? Were they really having detailed conversations while running through the ship trying to rescue the guys and take down Wexler? That was the only point of this episode that confused me, but at least we got to fill in some of the blanks of what happened to Two off-screen.

Six is mostly a counselor this week as he tries to help his comrades through the pain of Two’s murder. I was surprised by how easily Six was able to get Three to open up to him. They’ve all spent enough time together by now that they are starting to get in tune with each other. I liked it when they were talking about changing from who they once were and Three admitting that Two wanted them to be better people. Anthony Lemke delivered his side of the conversation perfectly, but it was the look of comprehension on Roger’s face that sold the impact the revelation had on Six. For all the differences he has had with Two regarding Five he finally came to realize just how alike he and Two are. They were both trying to forge a better future for themselves to be able to give Five a good life. He and Two without really thinking about it fell into parental roles relating to Five and they fight over her like a divorced couple, but they both do it out of their love for her.

Speaking of Six’s relationship with Five, when the fight broke out he threw himself between her and Wexler’s crazy team. He was able to knock her out of the path of danger and he did it without any thought of his own wellbeing. I love the relationship these two have. It’s very similar to the one Two and Five have, yet it is special in its own ways. I do wonder if Six had a family in his past. I can see him being the kind of guy that would have been an amazing father. Just look at the way he treats Five for examples of his strong paternal nature. This show needs a Season 2 because there is still so much for us to learn about these characters and I don’t think they can cram it all into the last two episodes.

On a side note, how awesome was it to watch the guys give into the hypoxia and laugh hysterically? It seems like Marc, Alex, Roger, and Anthony had a ridiculous amount of fun filming those scenes.

The Android really has got to stop being so trusting of strangers because so far it hasn’t ended well for her. I get why the show had to do it, because Two wouldn’t have had to become a one woman army if The Android was up and functioning, but that doesn’t make it any easier to spend ninety percent of the episode without her on the screen. I hope that as her story is fleshed out more next season that she will get an episode all her own to just kickass.

Here is what I want to know, why did The Android not detect Two’s supercharged nanites back when she scanned Two for the virus? She says that she had her suspicions, but shouldn’t she have known for sure? I have a feeling she knows more than she is letting on. She proved back in Episode 8 during her scene with Two in medical that she was fully capable of offering up her thoughts and advice without being asked. Why then did she not even mention this possibility to Two? Was she hoping for her commander to come to her as a friend would expect? It’s hard to know what is going on in The Android’s complicated mind, but she is definitely not like most other androids.

Wexler’s crew got what they deserved. While I do like the actors they cast in the end the characters were all too far beyond redemption that letting them live would have just come back to bite them in the asses. This crew has enough enemies without adding to the list.

This was by far my favorite episode of the season. It was a great showcase for Melissa O’Neil and Jodelle Ferland who took the intense material and totally owned it. Jodelle shouldered a lot of the emotional moments and she did it with grace and integrity to be truthful to the journey Five has been on. We’ve all known from the beginning how physically skilled Melissa is in fight scenes, but tonight she was called on to headline no less than three major fights and she owned the challenge with incredible grace and skill. She is very fluid in her movements and that grace certainly helps add an extra element to her fights. The fight sequences in this episode were among some of my favorites of the series.

I can’t leave out the guys. Marc and Anthony each had some heavy scenes while their characters dealt with the presumed loss of Two and they embraced this painful moment and allowed their characters to feel the emotions that accompany such a loss. One and Three have been on very separate journeys, but in the end these two men are really not all that different. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. The big question is whether or not One can ever get past the knowledge that Three may have killed the wife he can’t even remember.

Next week we say goodbye to Season 1 of Dark Matter with what looks like an epic season finale. I hope we finally learn who wiped their memories and it looks like we’re poised to find out more about Two. While I wholeheartedly believe the show will get a Season 2 be sure to keep adding #RenewDarkMatter to all of your Dark Matter tweets and social media posts until we get news of a renewal. Go on a binge watch and watch all the episodes on SyFy.com and if you have this episode on your DVR be sure to watch it. We can all do our part to help secure this brilliant show another season.

Tune into SyFy at 9/8c next Friday for the epic 2 hour season finale. Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode and your theories for what is going to happen in the season finale.

In case you haven’t heard I will be interviewing Executive Producer and Co-Creator Joseph Mallozzi next week ahead of the season finale, so check out this post and leave me your questions. I’ll be selecting a few SpoilerTV community member questions to add to my own, so be creative and I may just pose your question to him.

Vote for your favorite scenes in the below poll. You can pick up to 5 scenes. Place your vote then hit the comments and let everyone know which scenes you thought were the best.

About the Author - Aimee Hicks
Aimee works for a local newspaper and has a BA in Broadcasting and Cinema. She has been a TV lover since before she really understood what TV was. She has a long list of shows that she loves to watch and can be found on twitter (@ahicks83) live tweeting about each new episode whenever she can. A list of her favorite shows includes (but is not limited to) the following: 12 Monkeys, Orphan Black, Outlander, Chasing Life, Scorpion, The 100, The Night Shift, Bitten, Black Sails, 2 Broke Girls, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Continuum, Lost Girl, Faking It, Falling Skies, Finding Carter, Once Upon A Time, Orange Is The New Black, Switched At Birth, The Fosters, The Flash, The Originals, Teen Wolf, Under The Dome, & Z Nation. The upcoming shows she is most excited about are: Supergirl, Dark Matter, UnReal, Blindspot, Lucifer, Legends of Tomorrow, Stitchers, Recovery Road, Shadowhunters, Quantico, Code Black, Heartbreaker, and Chicago Med. She has a large and passionate dislike of ""reality"" TV, especially ""reality"" dating shows, but has a weakness for Americas Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. But those two don't really count as ""reality"" shows, at least that's how she justifies those guilty pleasures. She was the original creator and co-founder of LOST Video Island (lostvideo.net) which is still operating under the management of the very capable and skilled group she turned it over to.
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