Defiance In My Secret Life


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

After its mediocre sophomore season premiere, “In My Secret Life” quickly revealed Defiance’s true narrative story for the season.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Defiance benefited from a politically-charged theme in its freshman run, but with politics decided for now, a resistance movement is brewing in the town. The Earth Republic (E-Rep) has occupied the town for nine months and the citizens are fed up. A resistance is stirring deep below the city in the mining tunnels.

It’s not surprising there is a power struggle between Datak and Mayor Pottinger, especially since Pottinger is Datak’s successor. Datak’s always been one for seizing power, which is why he feels so helpless in the internment camp. Watching the chess match between the two rivals was riveting. The scene between the two had some unusual camera work. The entire time, the cameras were on an angle, creating a neat optical illusion. So far, the addition of Pottinger has been a positive one. The E-Rep is this powerful entity that now occupies the city of Defiance and Pottinger is the human face of the monster.

Defiance made use of all of its series regulars, even giving Alak’s wife Christie some screen time. Her absence was so notable from the season premiere that I actually thought they got rid of the character all together. Their Romeo and Juliet romance in the first season was a buzzkill each time they were on the screen, but from the quick interaction between the two in the family bath, not all is well with the young newlyweds. Hopefully Defiance can take this tension and turn it into a solid storyline between the couple, maybe even evolving it into a young version of Stahma and Datak. With Alak’s act of murder in the closing minutes, they’re sure on their way.

Watching Nolan and Irisa’s interaction about Tommy was so fun. Before this episode, I didn’t really care if Nolan died. He was a gruff, bland character whose main purpose on the show was to be the town’s lawkeeper. As he’s the “main character” and the audience’s proctor into the terraformed world, the series was trying too hard to make him likable and respectable. However, it came off forced.

“In My Secret Life” loosened up the character making his humor much more jokey than sarcastic. Sarcasm is a wonderful thing, but it takes the right character and actor to get it right. Take Doc Yewell for instance. She’s extremely sarcastic and it plays well with her character. Making Nolan more of a campy character is the right decision.

Another solid addition to the town is Berlin. She’s an E-Rep foil to Nolan’s lawkeeper and romantically involved with Tommy. Poor Tommy had the least to do last season. Giving him a love triangle is certainly a way to get his character interacting with more characters. Of course, by the end of the season, the E-Rep and Berlin will probably be gone and Tommy will be with Irisa.

When Berlin and Nolan are forced to team up to catch the terrorist who bombed the marketplace, she quickly puts Nolan in his place, as she did while he attempted to enter the city in the first act of the episode. However, their interactions went from a good chuckle to outstanding when Berlin tried to analyze Nolan. To be fair, she was probably right about everything, he probably likes the world just the way it is: with little responsibility.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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