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Dark Matter - Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had The Chance & Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose - Double Review: “Revelations " + POLL



Since these episodes came to us for review at separate times I felt it appropriate to review each individually instead of as a lump sum. The below review will be broken up accordingly for each episode.

2x11 Review - Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had The Chance

With this episode, Dark Matter delivered what I think was its best planet based action-adventure episode of the series. The flow of the episode was perfect and the editing was expertly done to interweave all the stories flawlessly. While I won't call this the best episode of the series, though it's a very close second, I did think it was quite a phenomenal episode. It was really enjoyable to watch ther characters go on this intense adventure. Without question, this was definitely Three and Five’s opportunity to shine and standout.

For quite some time now we’ve known Three has a soft side, but he definitely got to show it off in this episode. While Marcus Boone couldn't necessarily be classified as a good guy, I don’t think he was quite as horrible a man as we have been led to believe. Back when Das first arrived on the Raza he was stopped from spacing her, but I honestly don’t think he would have done it. I could be wrong, but I don’t think even Marcus Boone had it in him to murder an innocent kid. I also certainly don’t think he would have sold her into slavery earlier this season when Three's Marcus memories were briefly reinstated. The tough guy exterior seems like one great big act as was made abundantly clear when Marcus met Sarah. He has a larger capacity to love and care than even he would like to admit. To survive after his parents were murdered he had to grow up extremely fast and learn how to be tough, so that's the persona that he settled into as an adult. Still, Titch and his kind innocent heart were never entirely lost to him. It is Titch who provided the fundamental base for the man Three is now and the kindness Three exuded this week proves that there has always been good inside of him, even though he has tried his best to push it away and hide it from the world.

I noticed something in the last episode, though at the time it didn’t seem extremely important, but now it has much more meaning, and that was the fact that when the gas started to fill the ship it was Three who ran for Five. He was on the other side of the workstation and could have easily made a break for the doors. Instead, he double backed and pressed his hand to Five’s back to get her moving and guide her to safety. As they were making their dash to safety, down that gas filled hallway, it was Three on one side of Five keeping her on her feet and moving towards safety. A life of harshness makes it hard for him to express his kind nature, but it’s starting to shine through, at least in regards to Five. He sees something in her that he seems desperate to protect. Perhaps it was his own kidnapping as a child, but the idea of Five being captured and all alone sent Three off in a rage.

When he found out Five had been grabbed, Three looked downright frantic. He was like a father who had just had his kid snatched away from him. The moment he realized Five was in dangerous hands there was no one or anything that was going to stop him from getting her back. He had a determination burning in his eyes that I haven’t seen in him since he saved that little boy from Larcan. He didn’t care about the consequences or the risk he was taking, all that mattered was getting Five back. And, when he did finally retrieve her before he was shot, he was very gentle with her and extremely concerned. When she wobbled on her feet he jumped to help her and was genuinely concerned. We’ve seen this side of Three before, but never to this extreme. He was very focused and on task to ensure that he safely delivered Five back to the Raza. Whether he was able to go with her or not, he didn’t care, as long as she was safe.

Anthony Lemke, can’t be commended enough for this episode. After a lifetime of television watching, it’s really hard for a performance to have a genuine impact on me. But the way Lemke chose to play Three after he was shot not only perfectly translated through the screen but it also transcended the screen-to-audience barrier allowing his performance to slam directly into the chests of the audience. I can’t even find the right words to describe how impressed I was with Lemke throughout this episode. He has mastered the art of sarcastic line delivery, but in this episode, he also got to show off his incredible emotional range as well.

While I started by throwing my praise at Lemke, Jodelle Ferland can’t be left out of the praise for this episode. She has spent all season cultivating Five and showing the audience Five's emotional journey of growth as well as her evolving ability to protect herself. Five's captors were taught that just because someone looks young and innocent doesn’t mean they are easy targets. Five fought, and she fought hard, and her will to survive was palpable. She wasn’t going down without one hell of a fight and I applaud not only the strength that Ferland poured into Five but to the writer, Joseph Mallozzi, for allowing Five to show off her strength. They had to drug her to stop her assault and be able to contain her. Had they not done that I fully believe Five would have found a way to break free before Three got to her. This wasn’t a case of a damsel in distress needing saving, yes, Three’s assistance was needed, but she held her own with a fierce determination that doesn't get shown nearly enough on television. Ferland’s performance was every bit as indescribably intense and powerful as Lemke’s was. The tears that she turned on when Three was trying to push Five away did actually impact me. I felt a tightening in my chest as the weight of Five’s emotions slammed through the screen. In that moment Five realized that Three wasn’t being intentionally mean, it was his way of trying to give her a chance the only way he knew. He was sacrificing himself for her. He didn’t expect to make it out alive and he thought that if he broke Five’s heart it would make it easier for her to forgive herself after he was captured or killed because she couldn't save him as he had her. The words don't exist to properly convey the magnitude of Lemke and Ferland's work in this episode, so I'll just leave it at this: Bravo, Anthony Lemke and Jodelle Ferland, bravo!

I honestly don’t know why these two haven’t been paired off on a solo adventure before. The level of connection they maintained throughout this episode was extraordinary. Even when Three was trying to push Five away these two never once disconnected their characters. They were each present in the scenes and extremely giving to each other. It also helped that Mallozzi blessed them with an extraordinary script and beautifully wrote the scene to each character and performer. Mallozzi deserves as much praise for this episode as his cast. I’ve had the pleasure to talk to him before and he’s an incredibly humble and giving man who can’t speak highly enough of his cast, and they deserve it, but for this episode, Mallozzi deserves a ton of praise as well. He wrote to the strengths of the performers he knows so well and gave them very deep and rich scenes to play. I don’t think writers get enough praise, I certainly know I don’t praise them enough, but in this case, I have to applaud the writer right along with the cast. This was a case of all the pieces flawlessly coming together to create something magical.

I’ve had a lot of favorite scenes this season, but the moment in the forest at the rock with Three bleeding out is going to be hard to beat. This wasn’t some grand sci-fi moment of intergalactic war, but a moment of selfless humanity. No matter how strong Three seems, he is still flesh and blood, and not immune to serious injury. At the end of the day he is just a man, and in that moment he was a man trying with everything in him to save someone he cares about. When Three started to lash out at Five there was this deep-rooted pain in his eyes, not at all related to his injury, that conveyed how much saying those things was hurting him. I think that’s what Five picked up on, and it’s what caused her to start to cry. She realized that Three was trying to set her free at the sacrifice of his own life. Anytime one person is willing to sacrifice themselves for someone else it is the noblest of things a person can do. Three struggles to admit to it, but he cares for Five every bit as much as Two, Six, and the Android do and he was willing to give up his life to save hers. Then, the final blow to the hearts of fans came as Three gently touched Five’s hand in a silent plea for her to save herself. The contrast between his big bloody hand and her small one made the moment somehow feel very paternal. I’m not saying Three is like a father to her, far from it, but in that moment his sacrifice felt like a father shielding his child from an unspeakable trauma. Then, Five begged Three to give her his gun so the G.A. wouldn’t have a reason to kill him, oh, that moment was almost as heart wrenching as the hand touching moment. Five knew she couldn't drag Three out of that forest, but she could ensure he lived long enough for her to get the others so they could rescue him. She was desperate to do anything to not lose someone else she cares about. The scene left me with two options: smile or cry. I chose to smile, but I’m certain that it left more than a few viewers in tears. That was a phenomenal scene that was the epitome of flawless writing and unprecedented acting.

Not that you can tell by the review so far, but Lemke and Ferland weren’t the only ones in this episode and their fellow co-stars did amazing work too, but in this particular instance, these extremely gifted performers were slightly overshadowed. Melissa O’Neil, Melanie Liburd, Alex Mallari Jr., Roger Cross, and Zoie Palmer all turned in great performances in their respective storylines, but Lemke and Ferland owned this episode. I don’t want to totally dismiss the others, though, their storylines were very well done as well. I really enjoyed the time that Two, Four, and Nyx spent at the bar on the space station. It was a fun change to get to see these characters having a good time. This part of the episode also gave some great insight into Four. He is capable of just sitting back and having fun and with the heavy decisions weighing on him he needed a bit of downtime to decompress. As for Two, in the past two episodes, she has almost died twice, so I think she was way overdue for a little rest and relaxation. And it was nice to get to see Nyx not having to try to fit in, but to just have fun with her friends. It was a nice change for all of them, even though it was rudely interrupted, it was still fun while it lasted. Their escape from the station was fun to watch but given everything going on with the others it just kind of felt anti-climactic. There was never a single doubt that those three weren't going to safely escape. It wasn’t bad, it just failed to match the intensity level of what Three and Five were going through.

It wasn't just the series regulars driving this episode with fierce performances, Kris Holden-Ried made his grand return and he was right on point with Lemke throughout all of their interactions. The stuff between them during the standoff was so intense that I honestly didn't know how it would all play out. The fact that Three spared Kierken, even though he was only in clone form, perfectly displayed how much he has evolved. This season has seen Three grow a lot and it was wonderful to see so many great moments of growth put on display here. Kierken was the perfect opponent for Three to be able to show off how far he has come because there was a time he would have just shot Kierken without a single worry for the consequences. Kierken has proven to be a great foil for all the characters this season and I’m glad that he keeps popping up at the most inopportune times. Also, worthy of note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Holden-Ried that clean shaven. Am I the only one that was totally surprised by how different he looked without his normal scruff? While I loved his stuff with Lemke, as a Lost Girl fan, I’m still holding out hope for him to have some scenes with Palmer eventually. However, this was a bit of a The Listener reunion, because I think Holden-Ried guest starred on that show at the same time Lemke was on it, but I can't recall if they ever shared any scenes. Kierken is an epic pain for the crew of the Raza, but as long as his appearances mean more Holden-Ried on the show I'm excited to see him keep popping in and causing trouble.

In contrast to all the action, the scenes between Six and the Android on the Raza were a nice buffer to all the intensity going on. That doesn’t mean their scenes were all light and happy, far from it, but they weren’t as intense as everything else going on. I loved that the show finally had one of the characters confront Six in a logical way. She said things that I think the audience have been waiting to hear addressed. Six got off kind of easy thanks to Two’s intervention, but he’s right, without her they would have left him for dead back on Hyperion-8 and at the time he would have deserved it. Two was his salvation, but even she is still keeping him on a tight leash. He may have more privileges now, but he’s still on probation. It will take a long time for the crew to get over what he did. But, he has to be commended, for his eagerness to help once it was made obvious that they were in danger. When Nyx suggested that they would benefit if Three and Five were captured, an instant look of anger flashed across his face, but luckily he restrained himself long enough for Nyx to explain herself. No matter what stupid things he has done Three and Five are still his friends and he was willing to take whatever risks were necessary to get them back.

This was an amazing episode and was beautifully capped off by Five visiting Three in the infirmary. After all, they had been through together they were able to settle back into their normal routine, except, now they each are privy to how much the other cares. The fact their story ended with Five smirking after pranking Three then Three looking quite proud was just what this episode needed. They went through hell together and that will forever leave a lasting impression on both of them, even if they try to deny it.

However, that isn’t where the episode ended. With Nyx asleep at his side, Four finally accepted what he had to do. No matter how much all of these people mean to him, and how much he has come to care for Nyx, he can’t shake his responsibilities to Zairon. While Four doesn’t think he alone can save his home, Ryo might just be able to succeed where he has been unable to. Merging the man we know him to be with who he once was will certainly serve to forge some unique changes within him. I’m curious if the Android will flat out help him, or if she’ll involve Two and the others before helping him. The story is certainly about to take an interesting turn, but luckily we didn't have to wait but a mere few seconds to find out what that turn was. Continue reading to see how this choice plays out and changes Four.

2x12 Review - Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose

The final hour of this Dark Matter doubleheader event will go down in show history as the darkest hour of the show to date. The best way to describe this episode is as a full on bloodbath. I’m still not sure how I feel about these episodes being paired up. I think that this duo was put together in order to push this episode to the latest time possible due to the content. Otherwise pairing up these two was a risky overload to throw at viewers all in one sitting. Though, in this age of binge watching, perhaps viewers have become immune to being overloaded and that is what Syfy was gambling on.

Without question, this was Four’s episode and Alex Mallari Jr. was brilliant throughout it. He took Four on an interesting journey from the man we’ve all come to know to this vile hybrid had his own brother murdered to secure his place on the throne. Given all that Ryo went through to try and protect his brother when they were younger, it surprised me that he would give an order that would mean his death as well. The running theory that pairing up the old memories with their new would balance out the darkness of their former personas seemed to be debunked fairly quickly. But, perhaps Ryo wasn’t the best one for them to test this theory with. Of the three with neural links saved on the ship Four always seemed the most like the person he used to be. Ryo is the product of the way he was raised. While we know very little about his mom, we do know that his father wasn’t the nurturing type. Unfortunately, that left a dark and long lasting impression on his son so deep that not even Four’s memories of his time on the Raza could counterbalance it. From the moment Four learned about his past he has been on a mission to reclaim his throne to help his people. However, hybrid-Four seems more interested in the power that comes with it than helping the people. Interestingly, though, he didn’t order the Raza crew killed along with the others. That tells me that Four is still maintaining some control over Ryo.

While I’m not a big fan of Ryo, I am glad that his reappearance has finally given us an insight into some of the things that went on aboard the Raza before we met the crew. The biggest revelation he delivered was about the Android's creation in relation to both Portia Lin and Das. At some point after Portia reluctantly agreed to allow Das to stay and the memory wipe they acquired the Android. That would explain why she was always missing from the flashbacks last season. I kind of felt like she had been with Portia since before the rest of the crew, but the fact that she was the last addition to the crew surprised me. Even more surprising is that she is the one that finally united Portia and Das. Who knows under what circumstances they decided they could stand each other long enough to work together, but I really hope to see an actual flashback to that time at some point. I think most viewers have been working with the impression that Two and Five didn’t build a bond until after the memory wipe, but with this revelation, it would seem like they had already forged a tentative friendship. This new information could possibly explain why Two was so instantly protective over Five. I don’t know if they were as close as Two and Five are, but their time working on the Android definitely paved the path for these two to become the closest of friends. I think it will surprise Five to find out that she too had something to do with creating the Android. I always thought that Portia would have had to have some help since she’s never shown extreme programming prowess and I’m very glad that it was Das who aided her. Together, united as a team, Portia and Das gave life to the Android. There is something beautiful about people from completely different backgrounds and with completely different personalities coming together to create something.

There were a lot of big secrets revealed in this episode and more backstabbing betrayals then I can easily rattle off. But, perhaps one of the most heartbreaking ones was the reveal of Milo’s death to Nyx thanks to that vile Seer leader. She really cares for Four and her reaction to hybrid-Ryo almost seemed like she was mourning Four. It was obvious that having Ryo’s memories has changed him and not for the better. Nyx could see Ryo slowly taking over and while she cared a great deal for Four, she couldn’t bring herself to care for Ryo in the same way. Despite that, she still tried to care, but after the Milo reveal, I’m not sure she’ll ever be able to look at Four the same way ever again. She adored her brother, and risked a lot to try to save him, so finding out he was taken from her thanks to assistance from someone she cared about was a devastating blow. Even worse for her is that the Milo situation happened when he was entirely Four without any influence from Ryo. If he can ever be redeemed after this whole situation it’s going to take a lot of time for him to regain her trust. After hybrid-Four's attempt to convey his feelings for Nyx I think it made his betrayal all that much harder for her to deal with. While this situation was awful for Nyx, it was a phenomenal scene for Melanie Liburd. The tears streaming down her face as she found out about everything was almost hard to watch. Her performance felt so raw that I felt like I was watching a private moment not meant to be shared.

Though the Raza crew are the forgiving types with each other, this might very well test the limits of their ability to forgive. My guess is Ryo will try to steal their Blink Drive to start some kind of war that will distract Zairon’s enemies. I don’t foresee Two allowing that to happen without a fight. She gave the Android very specific instructions which involved even sacrificing her own crew if necessary. Should Two order the Android to hold the ship against Ryo and his forces I’m confident she would. Though, she does consider Four a friend, so that might be a little harder for her. On the opposite side of that, she now knows that it was Two and Five who made her who she is, so I think Four’s revelation to her only helped reinforce her loyalty to those two. She’ll do whatever it will take to honor anything Two tells her to do.

I imagine that the Android is now further questioning her decision to help Four regain his Ryo memories. While Two was forgiving, and even supportive, I think the Android sees the error in her decision. She trusts Two and upon realizing that Two had logical reasons for not wanting to regain her old memories, she started to doubt her choice to help Four. The fact she was trying to sooth herself with hot chocolate was quite a telling moment. Her first experience with hot chocolate was when she was worrying over Two. I think, and hope, that hot chocolate will be her go-to thing in the future for stressful emotional situations. We should all thank Five for turning the Android on to hot chocolate because it's a fun new quirk in her ever-evolving personality.

Speaking of Five, it was great that she burst in at the exact right moment to try and save the day. In fact, she actually did save the day right up until Four went all crazy Ryo on them. She’s been in a lot of tough situations and seen a lot, but that massacre is probably high on the list of horrific things she’s had to witness. Five was already freaked out by Four’s change, and rightfully so, but this is sure to have a permanent effect on how she feels about him. Though, this whole messed up situation Four put them all in, did give Five and Six some much needed time to chat. For the first time this season I was reminded of their close bond from last year, such a beautiful friendship they had and it was almost lost to them. I’m very glad that this episode established the recovery of what they had before his betrayal. He’s still like a very overprotective big brother to her and I was glad she was receptive to listening to him and taking his advice. All is not entirely forgiven, but they have come a long way this season. I hope that next year we get to see more of these moments. They are good together, and it’s their bond that set the memory wipe into place in the first place. In essence, this entire journey began with them.

Then again, did it actually start with them? I feel like the reveal about the Android may actually have clued us in that the true start to this whole journey began the moment Portia accepted Das as a part of her crew. To formulate any solid theories, more information needs to be provided, but when Four hinted that Portia and Das picked the Android because of what was inside of her it made me wonder about a few things. Could it be possible that Portia knew about the memory wipe device all along? Could she have been the one to order Das to make it? Perhaps not for the way it was used, but it's one theory. It's entirely possible that Portia was over living the life she was and wanted a clean slate to get a second chance. Just a theory, but I think we may all be surprised when we find out more about Portia. Much like Marcus Boone, I don’t think she is as heartless as we’ve all believed her to be. Not a good person, yes. Has done bad things, yes. But I don't think Portia was without her redeeming qualities. After all, she carried a good amount of compassion in her otherwise Two would never have been able to exist. It’s all very intriguing and I hope that next season we get to see the actual birth of the friendship between Portia and Das.

Until then the crew has a lot of things to deal with. Ryo is going to cause problems for them, that’s almost a guarantee, and I for one can’t wait to see how they deal with him. Will he move on to become a new big bad? Will they try to find a way to remove his Ryo memories once and for all? Or, the most horrific option of them all, will they have to destroy him to save the universe? I hope it’s not the latter because I’d hate to see Mallari exit the show, but the fact that they had Four go around and basically say goodbye to those he cared about the most has me worried. I’m really hoping that they will somehow remove Ryo’s memories from him and then he can spend next season trying to right all of his wrongs, but I am preparing myself for some major dramatic ending for the season.

This was a powerful and intense episode that changed the game. The enemy isn’t just a big corporate entity anymore, but one of their own with the force of a fierce army at his command. The rules of engagement will almost be guaranteed to be different. There is always the possibility that Two will try to forge an uneasy alliance with Ryo, but that is also a recipe for disaster. Maybe Ryo will surprise us all and end up being a just and fair commander, but I’m not counting on that option either. He’s already proven his willingness to kill to get what he wants. The bigger bit of drama will come if Ryo ends up fighting on the opposite side of the corporate war from his former crewmates. That would make for some great drama for next season and allow Zairon to play a bigger part in the story. It would also give the show the opportunity to use the brilliant Ellen Wong as Misaki more. She and Mallari have a lot of chemistry, so it could be fun seeing how Ryo is with Misaki versus how Four was with Nyx. I’m not usually big on love triangles on shows like this, but having Ryo stuck between Misaki and Nyx would be quite fascinating to watch. This episode gave viewers a lot of extraordinary moments and major shocks. Where the crew goes after this is anyone's guess at this point. With only one episode left this season, we're about to find out what the endgame is then the long wait for next season can begin.

Summary:
This was a powerful two-hour journey that delivered a lot of information on top of a lot of drama mixed in with some extremely bloody action. The first hour will undoubtedly be the favorite for many, but the second hour shouldn’t be dismissed because that episode was crucially important to the actual infrastructure of the show. A lot of blanks were filled in and everything changed. While I loved each episode I really wish they hadn’t been paired together. I wholeheartedly believe that they would have had more impact airing separately where the audience could have better digested all that was thrown at them. These episodes were a great setup for the season finale and now all we can do is sit back and nervously wait to see the wild ride the season finale is going to take the crew on. They have a lot of plot points to tie-up or at least touch on, including the story of One’s wife that hasn’t really been mentioned again since the season premiere as well as Five’s backstory. I suspect both will be at least touched on in the season finale. I expect it is going to be a jam-packed episode and I can’t wait to see it.

Tune in for what promises to be an explosive season finale next Friday, September 16th at 10/9C on Syfy in the US and Space in Canada.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about these episodes. What were your favorite moments? Did you enjoy one episode more than the other? What do you think about the Android reveal?



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 and has a passion for analyzing performances and theorizing what may happen on her favorite shows. Her interest in television covers just about every genre, but her first love is the sci-fi/fantasy genre. For the 2016/2017 season she will be reviewing Chesapeake Shores, Dark Matter, Frequency, Gilmore Girls, Jessica Jones, Lucifer, and Orphan Black. She will also be handling the Best Scene Polls for Supergirl and previewing several new and returning shows. She also oversees the popular SpoilerTV feature, Performers of the Month (#POTM) which highlights the most outstanding actor and actress from each month. You can email her at aimee@spoilertv.com.
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