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Dark Matter - Kill Them All - Review: “Loss Of Innocence” + POLL



Dark Matter knows how to capture attention and enthrall its audience, which is precisely what they did with the season premiere. The show wasted no time gearing back up to full speed and that pace doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. Before I get into talking about the episode it is worth noting that Marc Bendavid’s name no longer leads the cast credits, making it abundantly clear that the horror we watched unfold in the closing seconds of the last episode was exactly what it seemed. One is no longer alive and his portrayer has exited the show as a series regular. Though, thanks to previews, we know that we will see Bendavid on our screens again, just not as One. I’ll talk more about that in a bit, but first, I have to address all of the other major moments that occurred in this episode.

As last week made clear, the world of Dark Matter is rapidly expanding, and the crew is caught right in the middle of everything. Everyone either wants something from them or wants them dead, and prison is the least safe place they could be right now. With Chief Inspector Shaddick (Franka Potente) on the case, Six has now lost all of the leverage he had to provide any element of protection to his former crewmates. They hit him in a weak point by taking custody of Five and using her as leverage. My question is, especially after what Anders told him about the bombing, did Six really think they were going to care that Five was just a kid? Anders posed a similar question, about whether Six actually expected a fair trial for the crew. The universe they live in isn’t fair and Six definitely screwed up by handing his friends over to the enemy. Though his journey to accepting this error start to show in the last episode it appears like reality finally hit him. When Anders delivered the news about One being murdered there was really no way for him to be able to deny the truth any longer. He quite literally delivered his former crew to be slaughtered. The fact they are willing to target Five, and try to use her as a weapon against her crewmates, shows how heartless they really are. They were even willing to threaten death to try and get her to force the Android to give up her data. This tactic is as brutal and heartless as they come and I’m so glad Five held her ground.

Five has been one of the most mysterious characters up until the last episode, but we’re finally starting to get some insight into her past. We knew tiny bits about her but didn’t know what led such a young girl to such a rough life. Well, now we know that she is an orphan and turned to a life of crime after running away from the foster system. That makes Six’s betrayal all that much harder to swallow, especially since in those short forty-seven days she came to call the Raza home and the crew her family. Six was like a big brother to her and Two like a big sister, with the others falling into various familial roles in her life. The Android is also someone she’s come to have a very close bond with and they have each taught the other so much. Now, thanks to Six, she has been ripped away from all of them and is now fighting for her own life.

That doesn’t even take into account the fact that people are gunning for the youngest member of the crew from all over the universe. In the opening seconds of the episode, we were introduced to Alicia Reynaud (Inga Cadranel) who seems to be very familiar with Emily Kolburn, aka Five, going as far as referring to her as “pumpkin”. Supposedly Five’s parents were killed in a shuttle accident and if that is true, could Alicia perhaps be an aunt? The use of the such an endearing word like “pumpkin” would seem to indicate some sort of blood relation or familiarity. Watching that unfold should be interesting this season, because it now appears that Five is being hunted just as much as her more famous crewmates. Alicia doesn’t seem like the type to want a teenager running around her office, so I imagine she’s after the device Five was revealed to have last season, and as soon as she has it she’ll dispose of Five. All of that is in addition to the ending of the prior episode where the warden basically stated that Five wouldn’t be long for this universe if she made it to the group home planet side. Five is only sixteen, but in a brutal corporate controlled universe that doesn’t seem to matter.

All of these opposing forces aren’t the only ones with their guns set on Five. Shaddick is very good at her job, but seriously underestimated the youngest member of the crew. She thought she could manipulate her but Five’s loyalty to her family is strong. For someone so young, Five is very savvy to the dangers of the universe and has seen so much that Shaddick isn’t the scariest person she’s encountered. This is impressive because Shaddick is one very intimidating woman, which is a testament to Potente who was nothing short of perfect in her portrayal of this hard as nails cold-hearted Chief Inspector. The way her scenes were shot really aided in the larger than life ego this character displayed. To be honest, I’m not sure how many adults (aside from the Raza’s adult crew) could have survived an interrogation from Shaddick let alone a teenager, so the fact Five not only survived the interrogation but used Shaddick’s own game against her was extremely impressive.

What was truly shocking to watch was Five’s reunion with the Android. After Six’s failed attempts to get anything out of her, Five was really the last resort. Once again they underestimated Five, and she used her connection with Android to make the most shocking decision of the entire episode. She gave the Android the order to “kill them all” and that’s just what the Android did. I would have expected that order from any other member of the crew, but from her, it was a complete shock. Perhaps it shouldn’t have shocked me as much as it did, after all, at the end of last season Five was already changing, but this was such a brutal order that I couldn’t help but stare at the screen in shock as the Android executed Five’s order. When you take into account how much Five cares for the Android it’s not shocking that seeing her I distress would push Five over the edge. What shocked me the most is that she gave a kill order and not an order to just disable them. I think this whole ordeal is going to take a fair amount of time for Five to recover from…if she ever does.

Before I get into the escape plan, I want to take just a minute to talk about the Android. Zoie Palmer has been very consistent in her portrayal of the Android from the very beginning and has done a phenomenal job showing her evolution. She does this thing with her eyes where she can completely shut down all emotion and I honestly have no idea how she does it. When you see Palmer speak in interviews her eyes are always extremely expressive then here she makes them go stone cold and it is very impressive. That incredible ability brings so much to this part and really aids in the journey the character is on. While Palmer can cut off all emotion from her eyes, she has this incredible ability to, at the exact right moment, release just enough emotional understanding that the audience can connect with the Android and feel for her predicament. It is Palmer that makes the Android so easy to care for and worry about.

When the extraction device was attached to the Android we got to see a very human-like side of her come out. Through Palmer’s detail oriented performance we got to see some unusual emotions flash through the Android’s eyes. As she realized what was happening, and the device embedded into her head, there was a legitimate response to pain and perhaps even a tiny shred of fear. The pain was a physical reaction that seemed to defy her programming but the fear seemed to be more uncharacteristic for an android. To me, it felt like that reaction of fear was more for what will happen to her crew if she can’t manage to protect that data than concern for herself. She doesn’t want to lose the personality she’s worked so hard to develop, but it’s a sacrifice she is willing to make to protect those she cares about. Palmer didn’t speak a word in this brief scene, but her eyes told a powerful story of loyalty and love. What Palmer did with this scene was awe-inspiring and added a ton of depth to the Android. When the Android saw Five enter the room there was the slightest up twinge in Palmer’s lips that gave the Android the appearance of an attempt at a smile. The nuanced things Palmer did throughout these scenes were powerful and gave so much meaning to what the Android was enduring in conjunction with her human counterparts.

As we got to see at the end of last season, the Android’s actions go directly against everything she was programmed for. In theory, when the tech gave her the order to release her data, she should have done so without hesitation. She defied the very core of her programming and made decisions independently without Two or the crew to guide her. Forever protective of her crew, it was evident in her eyes that she was worried for Five as Shaddick held the gun on her. She followed Five’s kill order, but I feel that was as much out of her own desire to protect Five as it was out of her duty to the command. Five and the Android developed a strong bond last season and thankfully that bond seems poised to only keep growing. They were each isolated and alone until their reunion and when it happened they both rose to the challenge to fight and protect one another. As became evident at the end of the episode, the Android didn’t escape this ordeal without injury when it was revealed that the torture left her unable to secure a neural link with the ship. For whatever reason she is cut off from the ship and while she is home she now must learn how to adapt to that home in a whole new way.

While all of this was going on for Five and the Android the rest of the crew was desperate to find a way to escape Hyperion-8. They each had to face Shaddick, and each prevailed against her tactics, even Three, though he did falter for a half second. I found it interesting that Three ended up in Commander Truffault’s (Torri Higginson) company instead of Two. I can’t help but think that was intentional by the warden, but I guess we’ll never know how that switch occurred. She was clearly expecting Two, but I’m glad there was some sort of mix-up because the way Higginson and Anthony Lemke played this scene was hilariously perfect. The way they bounced sarcastic lines off of each other had me smiling the whole way through the scene. Truffault wouldn’t have had any better luck with Two, but the scene had a lighter feel to it than it would have had if Two had been there in place of Three. It was a lighter moment in a deeply dark and intense episode. Also, worth noting is Truffault’s habit of helping the crew in the oddest of ways. Clearly she and the Mikkei Corporation still have a use for them, so the big question is how long it will take her to call in this favor.

Truffault’s gift was an immensely important part of the plan, but the majority of everything rested on Two being able to help execute the plan by using the guard’s own sonic technology against them. That was problematic given that Six had Two taken away for a little sim yard chat with him. This little problem with the plan led to the fun introduction to Misaki Han (Ellen Wong) who seems to have quite an infatuation with Four, and it makes for quite a few fun scenes. Alex Mallari Jr. seemed to have a lot of fun playing opposite Wong and their combined swordsmanship skills made for an edge of your seat fight between their characters. Since Misaki seems to have survived the episode I look forward to her inevitable return one day. I have a strong feeling that before Four was framed they may have had a romance going on, so getting to watch her pursue him could provide a fun and interesting addition to Four’s story. Given how honor bound Four’s people are it should be interesting to see how future encounters between these two go.

With Four taking care of transportation the rest was left up to Two, Three, and their new co-conspirators Nyx and Arax. Also, finally coming around to his senses was Six who returned his loyalty to Two and the Raza. The sim yard conversation between Two and Six showed the levels to which he is willing to go to try and right his many wrongs. I did find it interesting that Six neglected to tell Two about One’s murder, but I guess he figured she should focus on saving the remaining members of the crew without mourning the loss of One. His murder was the direct result of Six betraying all of them, and it was obvious he felt some level of guilt regarding what happened. He thought he was doing good and instead he got one of his friends murdered and put the others in extreme danger of following suit. Thanks to the combined effort of the crew, including Six, they do successfully execute their plan.

All of the crew got to shine during the escape but I loved that in all of it Five stopped to arm herself. She has certainly learned a lot and I was ridiculously excited when she acquired Bubba and went on a blasting spree with it. I’m fairly certain that gun is bigger than Jodelle Ferland, but that’s what made her choosing that all the more perfect to her evolution. After everything she’d endured she knew she was strong enough to handle it and she handled it like a boss. I think Two and Three would have been very proud of the way she used Bubba to clear a path for her, Android, Four, and Devon to make their dash to freedom.

In those final moments of the escape, Six showed his true remorse as he was willing to stay behind to give the crew a better chance at escape. He didn’t think they would welcome him back, and it certainly won’t be an easy task, but Two couldn’t leave him behind after he was shot. Even though earlier in the episode, she toyed with the idea of leaving without Five and the Android, we all know the second they were armed again she would have launched a raid to get them back. One way or another she would have retrieved her entire crew. What she ended up with are the majority of her crew and three new crewmembers to deal with.

It wasn’t a surprise that Devon and Nyx made the escape with the crew, but I was surprised to see Arax also escape with them. I’m curious to see if he’s willing to bow to Two’s orders seeing as he’s on her ship now. I also don’t for a second believe that he won’t cause them trouble. I’m glad Nyx made the escape, though she did come extremely close to being left behind because I think she has a lot to offer the Raza and her crew. I look forward to watching Two and Nyx kick butt together throughout the season. I also look forward to learning more about her and where she came from. Devon is probably the biggest mystery of all right now. He wasn’t featured much in the first two episodes, but he was in them just enough to make viewers curious about him. I think it’ll be fun to watch him evolve now that he’s out of prison and with this wild crew. He doesn’t seem to have any fighting skills or any real desire for confrontation, even his attempt at standing up to Misaki was a little weak, but his medical skills seem top notch. I can’t wait to find out what landed him in prison in the first place.

Speaking of One, it was sad to listen to the GNN broadcast of his death and see the utter look of pain cross Two’s face. Even Three seemed gutted by the reveal of One’s death. I imagine that when they get their hands on Jace Corso there will be hell to pay. The way Melissa O’Neil and Lemke played this scene really showed the bond between the crew. They lost a dear friend, a member of their family, and I think that loss will help motive them in certain situations throughout the season.

For now, the crew has to deal with getting Six some much needed medical attention. Devon can save him, but only with the right equipment, which won’t be easy to come by given their status as escaped fugitives. The only thing in this episode that confused me a bit was why Nyx was present when they were securing Six in stasis. I get why the Android was there with Five, that made sense. Even Devon being there made sense since he’s a doctor, but Nyx seemed out of place. It would have made more sense for Two or even Three to be there, but perhaps, Two asked her to accompany them to the pod? After all, she knows Nyx but knows nothing about Devon. This could have been a case of the devil you know versus the one you don’t. Either way, it was a curious choice.

Now that the crew is free I suspect that the series will really start to expand the universe rapidly. I can’t wait to learn more about Alicia and her ties to Five. That is one of the encounters I’m most looking forward to this season because I think that meeting will do wonders for Five’s continued evolution. While Anders was shot, and gravely injured, we don’t know for sure that he’s dead. I would love for him to somehow recover from his injuries and try to assist the good guys. I doubt that’ll happen, but my desire to see Jeff Teravainen embody this richly complicated man makes me hope against hope that Anders survives his injuries. Teravainen made me root for Anders and hope that he’d see the light and join the good guys. Of all the Galactic Authority officers he seems the one most likely to be able to be swayed. Playing a character like Anders isn’t an easy job, but Teravainen handled the part with immense charisma and made Anders compelling. Through his portrayal, you could see and feel the conflict within Anders. He is not inherently a bad guy but, much like Six, he just got pulled in so deep it has become hard for him to see a way out of the bloody circle the Galactic Authority has him locked into. Here is to hoping Teravainen will one day get to bring Anders back to our screen. I’m not really worried about Six, there is no way the show will kill off two leading men in back-to-back episodes, but the journey to healing him, both physically and spiritually, promises to be quite complicated. With Cross expertly embodying Six I fully expect to see him partake in a grand journey of redemption throughout the season.

This action packed, and emotionally draining, episode was written by Co-Creator/Co-Executive Producer Joseph Mallozzi and Directed by Bruce McDonald. Their brilliant collaboration saw the crew finally make it back home to the Raza and on their way again. The crew now has more enemies than ever before, which is impressive, and unknown tested crewmembers to deal with. While Two, Three, Four, Five, and the Android seem likely to fall back into their old roles it’s only a matter of time before Nyx, Devon, and even Arax force various dynamics to change. Six is still an unknown factor in all of this, and if Three’s reaction to him being shot is any indication Six better be prepared for some rough days ahead. What comes next is anyone’s guess; the complicated universe this show exists in makes it nearly impossible to accurately guess things before they happen. We can speculate all day and still not even get close to what the brilliant minds of the creative team have in store for us.

Be sure to tune into Syfy in the US and Space in Canada next Friday, July 15th at 10/9c to see how the new crewmembers adapt to life on the Raza.

If you read the preview for this episode you know I interviewed Joseph Mallozzi on Monday and I had him describe each character using an animal. The first animal was a Mother Bear. Who did that represent? Surprisingly, the Mother Bear was used to describe Six! Here’s Mallozzi’s answer as to why:

JM: As for Six, as weird as it sounds I want to say mother bear, even though the genders don't line up. Just because he's powerful but he's got that nurturing thing going on sort of below the surface. You can see that very much in the protectiveness when it comes to Five. As odd as it sounds, I think mother bear would be appropriate for Six.

Watch SpoilerTV throughout next week for my multi-part interview with Joseph Mallozzi. This interview will answer everything from why One was killed to some previously unreleased (at least as far as I’m aware) teases of what is ahead in Season Two.

Hit the comments with your thought about this episode and your thoughts on the new crewmembers. How do you feel about One’s murder? Do you think the crew can actually find a way to save Six? Will they ever be able to trust him again? What is up with Five and why is Alicia so interested in her?



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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