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Salvation - Truth or Darius - Review

Salvation “Truth or Darius” was written by Gavin Johannsen and Dennis Saldua and was directed by Stuart Gillard, whose other credits include Reign, Beauty and the Beast, and pretty much every other CW show, including, ironically that other the-world-is-about-to-end show – No Tomorrow! Neither Johannsen or Saldua bring a long history of writing credits. Johannsen has written for Extant and Saldua’s other credits include Limitless, Camp, and Deception, so at least a lot of experience with writing thrillers and sf. The team doesn’t seem to be able to make a definitive step forward as the EMP drive is functional and still blows up. I do like how the show is keeping us guessing about who the good guys and who the bad guys really are.

We get to see another side of Harris (Ian Anthony Dale) in this episode as we’re introduced to his son Dylan (Andre Dae Kim). Naturally, he’s leading a demonstration against the government – and ironically against the nuclear arms that may help to save the planet. It’s nicely ironic when Dylan insists that he’s trying to save the planet – which is more than his father is doing! Oh, if you only knew! Dylan won’t leave prison without his friends and then they all leave him the first chance they get. Harris tells Dylan that it’s basic human instinct – self-preservation. And this is nicely mirrored in the main plot.

Strauss (Derek Webster) has a new plan. They are going to hit the asteroid with a probe and break it into smaller pieces. The good news is that the smaller pieces will miss the western hemisphere. The bad news is that they will devastate Russia, China, and Mongolia, likely causing the deaths of about a billion people. But there’s that self-preservation thing again! Naturally, Grace (Jennifer Finnigan) and Darius (Santiago Cabrera) are completely against this plan.

There’s a new person on the team – Senior Advisor to the President, Claire Rayburn (Erica Luttrell) who also happens to be an old flame of Harris’, who just happened to be the cause of his marriage failing. Darius is still trying to get the EMP drive working, and Claire gives him 6 days – because in 7, they’ll launch the probe. I loved him saying they need 60 days, not 6 – it kind of reminded me of Scottie from Star Trek, right? ‘We can na do that Capt’n!’ – and then he does…

Back at the lab, Croft (Dennis Boutsikaris) and Liam (Charlie Rowe) are working on the drive. Croft is too methodical for either Darius or Liam. Darius urges them to take big jumps, and he promises to protect Croft. Croft thinks that Darius is a celebrity – not a scientist. I did like the chemistry between Liam and Croft.

Liam has two visitors – both of whom are really at Tanz Industries to see Darius – Amanda (Shazi Raja) and Jillian (Jacqueline Byers). Amanda admits that she’s a reporter and tells Liam she just wants to do a splash piece on Darius. Lazlo (Aaron Poole) chases her out. It was also Lazlo who turned up at the bookstore to invite Jillian to meet Darius – for a tour and lunch. He offers her a job – which freaks Liam out and the two fight. Darius tells Liam that he’s hoped having Jillian close would make her less of a distraction.

There’s another nice parallel scene as we see Darius meeting with Amanda, and Grace meeting with Claire – are they both tempting fate? There’s no doubt in my mind that Darius knows what Amanda is up to. She does get him a bit flat-footed with the pictures of Grace getting the uranium, but he easily covers with a plausible story about a co-program with the government to go to Mars.

He gets her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and give up the photos with the promise of an exclusive. And of course, she’s not giving up on Atlas. The big question is who hits her with their car and who do they phone to say the reporter got the message? Is it Darius? I’m going to say no, even though I’m sure we’re supposed to think that…

Meanwhile, Grace goes over Harris’ head in meeting with Claire. Surprisingly, the two seem to hit it off. Claire recounts one of the myths of Odysseus about him sacrificing 6 sailors to save the rest. Grace counters by asking Claire if she has kids. Claire does argue for more time for Darius after the EMP trial blows up.

Harris tells Grace that he’s a terrible father, and she encourages him to try again, telling him you can’t change the past, but you can change the future. Harris doesn’t change his mind about sacrificing the Russians and Chinese, however, insisting they’d do the same. He is furious when he realizes that Grace changed Claire’s mind. And he also brings up the earring. I am SO glad that they didn’t drag that stupid plot point out. Grace still refuses to tell him what she did, not wanting to implicate him. He tells her that she made her choices and now, he’ll make his.

Liam goes to Jillian and apologizes and tells her to take the job if it excites her. She’s already taken it and the project is to figure out the minimum viable population – she’s helping to choose the people that Darius will save – though she doesn’t know it. Liam is clearly a bit freaked out. I’m betting she’s not going to choose herself…

The episode ends with the launch of the probe to hit the asteroid. Darius is watching from his place and texts Grace: “I’m sorry. It’s not over. I have one more move.” And the probe suddenly engages its thrusters and is being controlled from somewhere else! NASA has been hacked! Grace calls Darius after the probe misses the asteroid, demanding to know what he did. However, Darius is on his helicopter going??? Again, we are supposed to assume that it was Darius, and this time I do think he was behind the probe going astray, but did he do it himself or maybe leak information to the Russians? Or maybe the Russians already know what’s going on? They have their own scientists after all!

What did you think of the episode? Enjoying this summer show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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