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Dark Matter - She's One Of Them Now - Review: "A Fun Romp" + POLL

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Dark Matter faltered slightly this week, but still managed to deliver a fun romp. While the episode was fun it was also very chaotic due to an overcrowding of plot points being covered. Even when the characters were united the episode had so many parallel storylines going on that it became difficult to figure out which particular part of the story they were trying to focus on in that moment. This is the one time when the show should have taken a less is more stance. They tried to cover too much ground and incorporate too many plot points into a single episode. Breaking up these storylines across a couple episodes would have greatly benefited this episode. None of this is to say this was a horrible episode because it wasn’t, but it also wasn’t a typical tightly crafted masterpiece episode either.

This episode had three core storylines, which is pretty standard, but each of those storylines had a satellite storyline that at times awkwardly revolved around it. That’s the point where things started to get mixed up. What appears to have been meant as the primary storyline of the episode, the mission to infiltrate Alicia Reynaud’s (Inga Cadranel) office, also had Five’s storyline of independence revolving around it. Devon’s story of self-destruction also had Nyx’s story of self-acceptance molded into it. The Android’s continuing storyline of self-discovery was merged in with the continuing storyline of Tabor Calchek (David Hewlett) and his escapades, though I must admit that this part merged together very nicely.

Because I think each individual storyline was strong, when viewed outside of the episode as a whole, I’m going to focus on each as its own entity. First up is the Mission Impossible type of mission into the heart of Alicia Reynaud’s operation. We haven’t seen a mission like this in quite some time and it was fun to watch it unfold. It’s about time that Two let Five participate in a mission on her own and Five has more than earned the chance. Even though Five’s body was, presumably, safely tucked away in her pod on the Raza it was still a grand gesture on Two’s part. This was a big step in her allowing Five to start to spread her wings and evolve as the fighter she could possibly one day become. She proved herself time and time again in this episode. When they picked Five up off of the roof the pride in Two and Six’s eyes was evident. They were worried for her, but they were very proud of what she accomplished. One part of this storyline that I thought was unnecessary was the fact that Five repeatedly hyped up her own abilities. We all know Five is a tech prodigy and everyone on the crew knows it. Was it necessary for her to say over and over how amazing she is? I get that Five is a teenager, and they love to brag, but this just seemed a bit below Five. She’s proven that she’s very mature for her age and I felt it out of character for her to be going around bragging about how good she is. Jodelle Ferland expertly captured the teenage brat part of Five in these moments, I just don’t think they were necessary moments for the episode.

While I wasn’t a fan of those parts, I loved how Five stepped up to the plate and made some really tough decisions. When she found Three and Four restrained, knowing she didn’t have time to save them, she made the tough call to terminate their clones to give them a chance and to ensure they avoided any more torture. This was one of those moments where it was quite obvious that her time on the Raza and her time spent around Two in particular, has started to change her. Five is at that pivotal age where teenagers think they are invincible, but it’s also a stage where they can learn the most and can be most easily influenced. While this isn’t an easy life for any of the crew, especially Five, it is the only family Five really knows and the Raza is her home. Whether the crew realizes it or not they are impacting Five with every decision they make. Given the environment she is surrounded by it was inevitable that she was going to start to become more like those she’s surrounded by. And, to be honest, that’s not a bad thing, because the crew are good people trying to do good in the universe. She could have way worse role models than them.

It was fun getting to watch Three and Four partake on this mission with Five. The suits they were forced to wear were hilarious, but beyond that, I like that they were there acting as her protection. Not because she needs protection, but because they have that very big brother-like need to protect her. For all Three bickers about Five, I think he’s come to see himself as a bit of a big brother to her and he was quite proud of her for all she was doing. He even went so far as to praise her and that was very uncharacteristic for Three, but somehow it worked very well in that moment. While Five’s bragging seemed out of character, Three’s pride over what she was accomplishing seemed like a very nice evolution for him.

This episode also built on the Three and Six chat from last week, while Three is slowly starting to forgive Six he also isn’t ready to totally drop his guard just yet. Telling Six he was on “probation” was the correct next step in Six’s reintroduction to the core of the crew. Had Three, and the rest of the crew just welcomed Six back into the fold that would have seemed highly uncharacteristic of them. Though it is obvious that Two has started to welcome Six back into the core of the crew far sooner than the others. Her trusting Six on a mission critical operation would dar have been out of character had the show not been building that up since she ordered Three to help her save Six. Whatever her feelings regarding his betrayal I think she has come to understand why he did it, and even though it’s obvious she doesn’t like it she sees what he can bring to the crew. Especially after she trusted Three with pilot duty in the last episode, I think she’s come to appreciate Six’s unique skill-set.

This whole adventure also served to give the crew a valuable new weapon. It’s now quite obvious why Alicia has been so adamantly chasing after Five and the crew of the Raza. The chip Five stole as Das was the last component to a new FTL drive known as a Blink Drive. I found it interesting the way Alicia reacted to Five terminating the clones and taking off with her device. She was actually impressed by Five, and I can’t figure out if that is because she has some familial connection to Five, as the first episodes of the season implied, or if she’s just intrigued by how smart Five is given her young age. Does she think she can sway Five to work for her? Is that why she wanted her captured alive? Or does she have some obligation to ensure she stays alive for reasons we’re not yet privy to? Whatever the reasoning her desire to capture Five alive led the young tech genius to escape with Alicia’s prize Blink Drive, and that was an interesting turn of events. I think it’s safe to say Alicia will be gunning to get possession of that back in her custody. In the meantime, this new drive may just be the thing that will help the crew deal with the pending war Milo predicted in the prior episode. That is pending it doesn’t kill them first, because that first trial run didn’t seem to be going so well.

Speaking of people being killed, we got to learn a lot more about Devon this week, just in time to possibly lose him from the show forever. I was under the impression that the girl dying is what led Devon to drugs, but it appears that the drugs have been part of his life for a very long time. I’m curious what actually led him to a life of drug abuse, but we may never know. It’s obvious that his inability to save the girl compounded the problem. The acting Shaun Sipos did in his scenes in this episode was spot-on. He beautifully conveyed all of Devon’s complicated and messy feelings regarding his addiction. The scene where he confessed everything to Nyx was a truly heartbreaking moment. Sipos was exceptional in his episode.

Now, to what frustrated me most about this part of the storyline, I remember back in the days of watching Lost that the most frustrating thing was when an episode focused on a specific characters just to kill them off at the end. I got that same feeling of frustration as this episode came to an end. Now, granted, we don’t know if Devon is actually dead or not, but the fact that we learned so much about him and started to finally get to know him to only have that happen was frustrating. I’ve been able to accept One’s death because I feel like it served a purpose, but to introduce a character only to possibly kill him off after we barely got to know him just seemed like a very odd choice. I have faith in this show, so I’m sure what happened to Devon is part of a bigger story, but I wish we’d been allowed to get to know him more up to this point so what happened to him would have had a bigger impact. If this was his swan song then I am happy that he went out protecting Nyx from the Seers. Alone on that space station, even though she’s phenomenally skilled, she would have been a sitting duck for the Seers had they known she was there with him. I do find it interesting that Nyx has apparently become unpredictable enough that their models didn’t predict she’d be on the station with Devon. That does go a long way to showing how she has evolved. I do however find it off that she wasn’t able to predict what was going to happen to Devon at the hands of the Seers. We’ve seen several examples of her heightened senses, so it was odd that after last week’s big revelations nothing was mentioned about it this week. Does her ability only manifest randomly to the point she can’t really control it? I do hope we learn more about what she can do as an individual, but it was still nice to see her throwing the elder Seer off his game with her unpredictability.

While I think it was a bit much to deal with both Nyx and Devon’s demons in a single storyline it did give Melanie Liburd and Shaun Sipos some great moments to play. I see why they interconnected the stories, since last week they setup Nyx’s exposure to Shadow, but at the same time, I think it would have been more poignant to deal with these in separate episodes. This way forced each character to try and prop up another character while both characters were down and hurting. Neither was able to be a true anchor to the story. Dealing with both in the same episode made each side of the story feel rushed. As a follow-up to the prior episode it was appropriate to tackle Nyx’s depression and need to self-medicate after losing her brother again, but to then throw Devon’s issues on top of it seemed to overshadow Nyx’s side of the story which made more sense for this particular episode. Despite my feelings that they would have been better being split into different episodes, the bottom line is that Liburd and Sipos stepped up to the plate and perfectly conveyed the pain each of their characters was experiencing. Whatever comes next for Devon, if there is even a next, at least we now better understand him.

As for Nyx, it was great to see her be faced with temptation and for her to turn it down. She had the pills at hand and could have easily drowned away her pain, but through some unintended interventions she found strength to rebound. Despite the fact she basically blackmailed Devon to get the pills it does appear that she heard what he was saying to her. Though, I think the biggest impact on her was when the Android paid her a visit. A big debate is whether or not Nyx has been fully integrated into the crew and it would appear, at least in her eyes that she hasn’t. She feels lonely and isolated despite being with a crew of people. It’s ironic that she ran from the Seers to escape the torture of being interconnected to all those other prisoners, but companionship seems to be something she desperately wants. It’s why she did everything in her power to sway Two to let her join in on their escape plans. I think she was content in prison because she had a purpose in the prison ecosystem plus she was around other people, but when she found the Raza crew she found the opportunity to be free and still a part of something, plus they had the means to help her rescue Milo. Except, she underestimated the closeness of the crew and didn’t account for how hard it would be to become one of them, so she was once again left feeling alone. I think when the Android paid Nyx a visit she was a bit stunned to hear the Android, an original part of the crew, admit to feeling like an outsider at times. Suddenly she was with someone that understood what she was going through and I think she started to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The Android gave her the first kernels of hope and she tried her best to pass that along to Devon. She went as far as to not let him go to the station alone. Even though there was ultimately nothing she could do to help him she did try. It was also sort of ironic that even Devon acknowledged that she was part of the crew, but she was still struggling with that.

While a lot was going on in this episode we still got to see the Android express how unique she is compared to other androids. She sought out Nyx of her own free will and had the sense to know that Nyx was in need of comfort. The Android understood the importance of physical contact and was able to connect with Nyx in a way others were unable to. Well, perhaps unable to is an inaccurate read of the situation, I suspect others on the crew would have been able to connect with her, especially Two and Four, but they were a bit preoccupied. It was a lovely gesture to have the Android be so humanlike despite no longer running the upgrade. This goes to show that even without the upgrade she is incredibly evolved and Zoie Palmer has been incredible in the way she has guided the Android through this beautiful journey. Palmer filtered a real sense of understanding and compassion into her eyes during this scene with Liburd.

On the opposite side of her compassion to Nyx, the Android was barely tolerating Tabor. She is self-aware enough to know that had she left him to roam free and he’d done anything to jeopardize the crew she would have taken him out without hesitation. That goes to show how much she cares for and loves her crew, even beyond what her programming would have dictated. The back and forth between Zoie Palmer and David Hewlett was nothing short of perfection. I could have, and would have gladly, watched an entire episode of them bickering with each other. I am hopeful that we’ll one day see Tabor and the Android have to team up to help the crew or something. I think it would be gold to have them on a mission together. Palmer and Hewlett have amazing chemistry and the conflicting energies they each brought to their characters made for the perfect balance when they were in scenes together. The scene where the Android countered Tabor’s questioning of her humanlike qualities was intense and powerful. But the conversation did bring up a good point, how exactly is she like this? Did someone make changes to her personality matrix? Is she like this because she has somehow evolved past her own programming? It is a curious thing to contemplate. I do hope that one day we get to see the Android’s first days with the crew and learn more about her backstory.

As I said at the start of this review, this wasn’t a horrible episode, but it wasn’t as well organized as I have come to expect from this show. My first watch of this show left me feeling frustrated and confused. This is Dark Matter, a show I absolutely adore, and I didn’t really know how to feel about not liking this episode. It wasn’t until I watched it a second time, and focused on individual storylines, instead of the episode as a whole, that I was able to actually really enjoy the episode. The individual storylines are fun to watch and beautifully acted, but as a whole, this episode was just too chaotic. My guess is this episode suffered from being placed in the middle of the season. That forced this episode to be the conduit between the first half of the season and the push to the season finale. It’s not uncommon for episodes in that placement to become overcrowded as the series has to pick up seeds planted earlier in the season, but I wish it had been executed just a tiny bit differently. I’m sure some people will love this episode, but while I came to enjoy it I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say I love this episode as a whole. I know this will probably sound contradictory, but I do love the individual storylines within this episode, I just don’t love that they were all crammed into a single episode. Split apart these important plot points could have been explored more and had a much bigger impact then lost in a sea of other plot moments. I don’t enjoy having to write anything negative about this show, and I can promise you that this is the last time I will have to for awhile because the next two episodes following this one exceeded my expectations. If we had to get this episode to get the phenomenal ones that follow then it was a worthy tradeoff.

Tune in next week for the Alternative Universe episode that is one of the best AU episodes I’ve seen from any show. Don’t miss that Universe-bending episode next Friday, August 19th at 10/9C on Syfy in the US and Space Channel in Canada.

Hit the comments with your thoughts regarding this episode. Did you have the mixed feelings I did regarding it? Did you love this episode? If you did then please highlight what you liked the most because I’m always fascinated by the different ways episodes can be interpreted. Why do you think the Android is the way she is? Did you like Five getting to be the hero of the mission? Do you want to see Tabor and the Android work together again in the future?

Which characters did Joseph Mallozzi describe as a lion and a black panther?

JM: I see Two as kind of a black panther. That she’s quiet, in control, and can be sort of predatory and incredibly dangerous.

Four, I kind of lean towards a lion. In that, it has a certain serenity but that surprising strength and almost kind of a wise approach to other animals. The ability to pinpoint rivals and deal with them effectively. Very much Four.

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 ( which is still operating under the management of the very capable and skilled group she turned it over to.
You can email her at
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