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Dark Matter - I’ve Seen The Other Side Of You - Review: “Find Yourself” + POLL



Every living person craves the chance to undo something in their lives and get a second chance at doing it over. It’s a primal human desire to undo at least one thing from the past. The problem is that the past is what has shaped us into the people we are. No one exists without the past, even amnesiacs. Just because someone can’t remember the past doesn’t mean it didn’t leave an everlasting impact on them. That’s the situation the crew has been stuck in and in this episode they had to literally face their pasts. This concept allowed the show to deliver an emotionally explosive episode that challenged who the crew was against who they have become. The past few episodes introduced us to a whole slew of new characters and the world Dark Matter exists within expanded twofold. This episode was a return to the formula we all know and love from last season. For the entirety of the episode, the crew was on the ship, which was nice because it allowed us a glimpse at the way things are going to be with all the changes that have taken place within the crew.

Before I get into the core of the review I will admit that I had to watch this episode twice to fully appreciate it. After the first watch something just felt off to me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I loved the story and I loved the emotional beats within it, but something was bothering me. That’s unusual because with Dark Matter I’m usually giddy with excitement after the end of the episode, but I was left a little uncertain about how I felt about it. So, I took the time and went back and watched the episode again before I started to write this. By the end of the second watch, I figured out that the problem I was having was actually the thing that would end up being the most impressive part of the episode. It was the fact that the cast were playing such drastically different versions of their characters that threw me off during the first watch. It was originally hard to connect with this version of the characters, but it was also a brilliant way to contrast between the two sides of each of these characters. For the majority of the episode, the big-hearted crew we’ve all come to know and love were gone only to be replaced by heartless versions of themselves. By the end of the second watch I had a greater appreciation for this episode. And at the end of the second watch I was indeed back to my normal giddy with excitement reaction to everything including that intriguing ending. I may be the only one that will have this problem, but if you do too then please take the time to go back and watch it one more time. I promise that a second watch really does provide a whole new appreciation for this episode. It is like a fine wine in that it is best after you let it sit and swirl for a moment. This episode carries a very powerful message about identity and I think that everyone should watch it at least twice anyway to fully absorb the importance of its message.

This episode was filled to the brim with extraordinary performances but Melissa O’Neil and Jodelle Ferland owned this episode with one emotional sucker punch after another. Ferland was nothing short of perfect as she tackled Five’s precarious position of trying to recover the crew she loves while trying to survive their alter egos who were trying to kill her. Five was also forced to work with the new crewmembers which provided insight into some interesting new dynamics. I can't wait to see more of the two groups uniting as a unified force. All of that was great, but when Ferland was up against O’Neil in scenes these two actresses delivered unparalleled performances. The scene in Two’s memory was one of my favorite scenes in the episode. When Five became the aggressor and Two the scared one we got to see both O’Neil and Ferland deliver tour de force performances that thoroughly impressed me. In an instant O’Neil took her eyes from being filled with rage to complete and utter fear as Two made the transition from badass to terrified. Ferland had to make a similar transition as she took Five from fearful to total badass and back to her normal compassionate self in rapid succession. The emotional beats were hit on point and the way these two actresses worked off of each other showed their incredible prowess for their craft. Given how last season ended I’m so grateful that this episode allowed the audience to see that the emotional bond between these two survived and may even be stronger. Two has taught Five so much about survival but Five has taught Two how to love in the most pure and heartfelt of ways. They are like sisters and will always prevail over the things that try to come between them. This scene wasn't the only extraordinary one for these actresses. Scene after scene these two delivered one powerful performance after another. O'Neil brilliantly played power-hungry sinister Portia in a truly incredible display of her immense acting range. I can’t praise Ferland and O’Neil enough for the work they did in this episode, they were beyond extraordinary.

While Two and Five drove most of the story the other characters weren’t forgotten. Ryo and Marcus got to cause some havoc as they played the roles of Portia’s enforcers. It was nice to see Three and Four as their alter-egos because it allowed for us to get a better grasp of who they were before the memory wipes. Marcus, as we already know, was a pompous jackass willing to sell a kid into slavery for some cash. Yet, whenever Sarah is mentioned he softens no matter if he's Three or Marcus she still has a profound impact on him. Regardless of what life Three is living Sarah will always be his heart. It doesn’t matter how many bad things he has done the very mention of her can still bring him to a stop. This is a major testament to Anthony Lemke who allows us to see Three's goodness under all his bravado and allows us to see that same potential in Marcus even though he's a sinister bastard most of the time. Marcus wasn’t a good guy on the exterior but on the inside, there was always a smidgen of a good heart and Sarah saw that in him. Luckily Three was able to latch onto that goodness and use it to inform the man he has become instead of becoming as jaded as Marcus was. In all fairness, Three still can be a jackass and he can be very pompous, but he is able to show kindness and compassion in a way that Marcus was unable to. The case with his stuff in it was very interesting, and not just because of the cliffhanger, but because of the toy rocket. I’ve had a feeling he was Titch from Five’s visions last season, but now I’m almost certain of it. Titch was from an Earth-like world and that rocket seemed like a very Earth-like toy. We also know, thanks to Kal’s service record that Earth still very much exists in the world of Dark Matter, so it’s very possible that Marcus could be an Earthling. It's also possible that maybe Titch was Marcus' brother and something bad happened to him that drove Marcus to a life of crime? This is all theory and speculation, but if Marcus isn't Titch I suspect he knows him very well. I believe the next episode has a big focus on Three, so I hope we learn some more about his past that may start to fill in some of the blanks.

Ryo was probably the closest to the character we’ve come to know him as. He was harsher and less open to possibilities than Four, but fundamentally he wasn’t all that different. When Portia was starting to get lost in the neural link the concern he had for her was very real. He's practical in all his incarnations and knows they need her to maintain her full cognitive capabilities in order to survive. He genuinely didn’t want her to get lost, or worse, in the link. He was still willing to be onboard with the idea of selling Five and the others into slavery, but if we’re being perfectly honest I could see Four doing that as well if the right opportunity presented itself especially if it got him back to his home world. This felt very appropriate given how in-tune both Ryo and Four are with who they are at their core. Four may not have Ryo’s memories, but on a fundamental level he knows what he stands for and holds firm to that.

We even got to see the Android’s alter ego in the Red Android. Every time they bring her in to help out I’m even more grateful that the Android is “defective”. Red Android has no heart or compassion as was shown when she coached Five to have no mercy on Portia. The Android cares about her crew and deems them her friends which is something so foreign to Red Android she can't even entertain the idea. It was sad that the Android was missing from so much of the episode, but it allowed the audience to see Zoie Palmer nail it as the cold and calculated Red Android. Nowadays several actors have the distinct honor of playing multiple characters. Marc Bendavid did it with One and Jace. Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black is the queen of playing multiple characters. In the cases of Bendavid and Maslany, the characters they play are all fundamentally different. Palmer is in a very unique position of having to distinguish two extremely similar characters. She holds her body more rigid when she’s playing the Red Android and is ever so slightly more relaxed when she’s the Android. Other than that, ignoring the outfit differences, you have to wait to hear Palmer speak to know which character she is portraying. The Android is much more inquisitive and caring while Red Android is by the book and will sacrifice anyone if the situation warrants it. I’m constantly impressed by Palmer and her incredible ability to portray such a complicated character like the Android.

This is the first full episode back on the Raza and a good introduction to how the newbies are going to fit in. Of all the new additions to the Raza I expected Nyx to adapt the best and it seems like that is the case. While both Devon and Arax are still dressed in their prison uniforms she's already bonded enough with Five for her to hook Nyx up with some clothes that Melanie Liburd absolutely rocked. By the way, where exactly does Five get all these clothes from? They can sometimes barely afford supplies yet Five has the most endless clothing supply ever to exist in space. Anyway, back to Nyx, she seems to genuinely want to belong and in this crew she’s found people she can connect with. While I think Arax definitely used the crew for his own means I think Nyx truly wanted to join the Raza crew. Devon, on the other hand, was just an accidental addition who was in the right place at the right time to get free of the prison. He seemed really out of place in the prison, and he still seems really awkward, but he clearly knows how to operate a gun. While he was hesitant to pull off the crazy moves Nyx was making he was still capable of protecting himself. It was also a true testament to his character that in the midst of all the insanity he took a second to check on Five. He knew she was struggling with her friends turning against them and even though he went with the other to overtake the ship he seemed hesitant to leave her exposed on her own. I would have preferred he’d gone with her to medical but it was nice to see him be able to finally get in on the action. Even when he initially ran into her in the hallway he intuitively knew something was going on even though she wasn’t ready to trust him yet. Whatever he did to land himself in Hyperion-8 it didn’t deter what appears to be a kind and compassionate heart. I’m curious to see how he evolves once he’s fully integrated into the crew. I think this episode allowed viewers to finally start to get a good feel for him as a character and he has some real promise. Shaun Sipos is a great addition to this cast and I can't wait for him to be able to get into the gritty bits of Devon's dark past.

The shootout they had against Ryo and Marcus was fun and it was nice to see them working as a team. This episode was a great way to get further into the development of all these new members of the crew. We got to see how they fit in together so that hopefully next week we can see how they start to fully integrate into the crew. When Nyx initially broke them out it seemed like Arax was going to try to take charge, but when the gun battle started it was Nyx who jumped into action and took over. She and Two have a lot in common even down to their natural take charge instincts. I found it to be a very interesting contrast in how easily Portia took down Arax in their fight versus how Two and Nyx fought to a draw on Hyperion-8. I can’t wait to find out more about Nyx’s background because, to me, she’s a fascinating character. I look forward to watching her and Devon find their places within the crew. Hopefully, they’ll start to be allowed some more freedoms, but given all the Raza and her crew have been through I can’t really fault them for bestowing restrictions upon them. I also don’t trust Arax in the least, so as long as he’s onboard I hope they remain cautious around him especially now that we know he's got ulterior motives. Though, it was interesting that he cared enough to interfere when Portia was about to beat down on Five. He could have walked away and turned a blind eye, though I suspect he's somehow tasked to look after the youngest member of the crew long enough to deliver her for some sort of bounty. As with all characters on Dark Matter there is a lot more to his story than the audience has been made privy to, but I don't see things going well for him once the crew find out they have another traitor onboard. Unlike many others, I never thought Nyx was the “asset” mentioned at the end of the last episode. I'm glad that they definitively answered the question of the asset and revealed it to be Arax. I'm really glad they didn't drag out that mystery for too long because now viewers can start to invest more into Nyx. Melanie Liburd is doing some extraordinary work bringing Nyx to life. I hope that now that the looming possibility of her being a traitor is gone other viewers can start to enjoy what Nyx brings to the crew and the immense talent Liburd brings to the show. On a random note, it was a nice touch that the newbies were referring to the crew by their desired names versus their given ones. That does show a certain element of respect for their new shipmates.

The one thing that still bothers is that part of the storyline seems to have been dropped near the end and not really brought to a conclusion. Once Nyx and the guys got locked down, and almost spaced, by Portia they never appear again. Are they still locked away? Did someone go and let them out? Did Two ending the link free them? I would be willing to bet this episode ran long and they were forgotten in a bid to get the episode under time. I imagine there is a missing scene sitting on a cutting room floor somewhere that would explain what happened to them, but something must have been cut and its absence was felt. Obviously, they were set free, but I would have liked at least a couple second shot of the doors opening for them. It’s also odd that they were in medical doing scans on the crew and their newly acquired doctor was nowhere to be found. Though, there could be an argument to be made that after the day they'd all had it was probably best to keep the two groups separated and have time to cool off. A small oversight, but it did make the flow of the final act seem a little odd.

It was odd to see the core team together and have both One and Six missing from the gathering. I’m looking forward to Roger Cross returning sometime soon, but One has left a huge hole in the hearts of the crew. Just looking at Two desperate, but unable to, get drunk showed how affected she was by his loss. When Two learns Jace killed One I’m certain there is no place in the Universe that he can hide from her and the crew of the Raza. They will track him down be damned everything else going on. Two is very loyal to her crew and I’m certain she will go to the ends of existence to avenge One.

This was a great episode. The emotional moments were spot on and the performers were absolutely perfect. The Two and Five scene in Two's memory is my new all-time favorite Dark Matter scene. I loved all of the Two and Five interactions and this episode was a fun return to the Raza after being away from her for far too long. There were a few pacing issues but the cast delivered powerful performances which helped convey the importance of the overall story, so for that, I'm willing to overlook a few minor issues and declare it an outstanding episode. I'm glad that in the end the crew chose to be who they are and not who they once were. That is a very important message to deliver.

Be sure to tune in for the Raza’s next galactic adventure next Friday, July 22nd at 10/9C on Syfy in the US and Space in Canada.

What did everyone else think about this episode? Who do you think that mystery guy was at the end of the episode? How does he connect with Marcus? Why was Marcus carrying around this random beacon? Did you love the Two and Five confrontation as much as I did? Leave all your comments below.

I only got this episode yesterday, so there was no time for a preview this week. That means I didn’t get to tease the next animal from my interview with Joseph Mallozzi. So, I’m going to tease it here and reveal the answer in the second part of my interview that will be live tomorrow afternoon.

Which character did Joseph Mallozzi describe as a giraffe? Extra bragging points if you can also figure out why he picked this animal for this character.



About the Author - Aimee Hicks
Aimee works for a newspaper in North Carolina 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. If the show is sci-fi, fantasy, comic book based, drama, or action the odds are good she watches it or has at least watched a few episodes of it. She also has a love for comedies 2 Broke Girls and Mom. 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.
You can email her at aimee@spoilertv.com.
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