Defiance: Painting from Memory Review


By: Ashley Binion

Surprisingly, Defiance took little nuggets it’s been spreading throughout the series and put them together for an extremely well-plotted episode, until it fell apart in the last act.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Kenya’s return in “Slouching to Bethlehem” was a jarring development as Defiance the town and Defiance the series have successfully moved on after her death. It felt like the series was reneging on its first big death as well as cheating the audience out of character development for Amanda.

Typically Defiance stays away from plot points it’s made in the past, so it was a pleasant surprise when they used Doc Ywell’s past and Indogene spy technology as the catalyst behind Kenya’s return. The episode also revealed why Amanda was implanted with the EGO implant device in “Put the Damage On” and why Ywell was released from the internment camp early. It all wove together quite nicely.

Nolan is typically portrayed as one of the smarter characters on the series, so I was thrilled when he figured out, on his own, that Kenya was an Indogene. Since the Indogene left to go find Doc Ywell’s colleague, I’d imagine that we will see her once more before the series concludes.

The biggest problem with the episode: Mayor Pottinger’s motive. It was all to get the girl. Really? Really? Come on Defiance. You’re slowly killing me. Not only was his plan idiotic, it was poorly thought out. There’s no way that after Amanda’s sister died again would she run into his arms, especially when she inevitably finds out he was the one who orchestrated “new Kenya’s” reappearance.

Pottinger started off as an interesting character that I was excited to get to know, but now he’s been reduced to another side in Amanda’s love triangle.

Defiance has had more love triangles in its series run than a typical soap opera. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good love triangle, but it has to be exactly that a good one. So far, none of these love triangles have been well written.

Looking back at “Painted From Memory,” the series would have benefited from connecting the “new Kenya” to the Votanis Collective. Maybe even going so far as to making Pottinger a spy for the fringe group. It would have tied in well with the Votanis Collective’s New York bomb threat from “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.”

Quentin, Rafe’s son who looked like he aged 10 years thanks to a proper haircut, returned to the town only to be revealed as Kenya’s captor. Hopefully he has connections to the Votanis Collective and sparks a true resistance in the mines.

Who knew that Stahma and Datak were going to become a comedy duo? Not me. Typically, the estranged married couple is full of angst and drama, but this episode they were hilarious. The constant bickering and jabs at one another while trying to find Kenya’s body were so entertaining. Jamie Murray (Stahma) was downright excellent in her reactions to seeing Kenya “alive and well” and when they finally found Kenya’s skull in the poppy field. The husband and wife continue to be the series’ most dynamic and fully realized characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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