Defiance: Bottom of the World/Doll Parts Review

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By: Ashley Binion



The conspiracy theorist in me wants to say that airing two Defiance episodes back-to-back (with the season finale also being two hours) feels like Syfy is trying to burn off the episodes before canceling the series. But in reality, “Bottom of the World” and “Doll Parts” needed to be seen consecutively as neither episode was particularly excellent on its own.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.


Deirdre was the main catalyst connecting the two otherwise stand-alone episodes. In the first, Alak puts an end to his relationship with Treasure Doll, she swears she won’t give up on him, and Stahma eavesdrops on the two and finds out their secret. This then propels the second of the episodes where a “whodunit” arises after Deirdre gets pushed off of the top of the St. Louis Arch.

“Bottom of the World” was altogether forgettable. It was one of those episodes where you sit there and wonder, “Why am I watching this show again?” The cave-in at the mine was cliché and anticlimactic and Amanda and Pottinger’s chemistry was forced. Tennety, an ambassador, reappeared with her husbands only to quickly meet her fate in the mine collapse. Tennety did have some fun verbal sparring moments with Amanda, though.

Women are constantly pitted against each other on television shows, which I find appalling, but Amanda and Tennety’s constant jabs at one another were entertaining. One thing that makes it somewhat acceptable was that their feud has more to do with their political rivalry from the previous season than anything else.

One bright spot from “Bottom of the World” was Linda Hamilton playing the McCawley matriarch. Now that she is on the canvas, I expect the McCawley family drama to step it up a notch and actually become compelling to watch.

No matter how much Stahma steals every scene she’s in, Amanda was the all-star in “Doll Parts.” At first I was shocked that Nolan would just give Amanda a deputy badge and leave her to do an investigation all on her own, but two minutes into her reign as deputy, she was clearly competent – maybe even more so than Nolan. It almost makes me wish Amanda were the town’s permanent lawkeeper. Her flashbacks of Treasure Doll gave so much more context to Deirdre’s actions concerning Alak, no matter how crazy it is to think blackmailing him would actually make him love her.

Poor Tommy. Seriously, the guy can’t catch a break. First he gets dumped by Berlin, then he gets infected by Arc Brain, then he couldn’t get the charges to work to save Nolan, and then he gets stabbed by Irisa, AKA Kaziri. However, it was nice to see the Nolan and him repair their relationship.

With one sentence from Nolan, so much of Irisa’s condition was explained. It’s just curious why it took the series that long to explain what was going on with Irisa, especially considering it only took the one sentence from Nolan. Not only that, his explanation actually made plausible sense – of course, as plausible sense as possible considering it’s a sci-fi show. As a result, the show seems to be on a path to stop the Voltan rapture in the finale.

Rating for “Bottom of the World”: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Rating for “Doll Parts”: 4 out of 5 stars


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