Defiance: The Devil in the Dark


by Ashley Binion

This week’s episode started out like many other procedural series like NCIS or Bones: with a gruesome murder. But as it progressed, it became much more than a typical ‘Whodunit’ storyline.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

This episode focused mostly on the Irathients and Irisa, Nolan’s adopted Irathient daughter. So far, each episode has had a primary focus on a single alien race.

Last week, the audience explored the relations between the Castithans’ religious beliefs and the rest of Defiance. Exploring these different alien races benefits the series and gives it a grounded feel. It allows the series an opening to relate to current issues. For example, this week had a couple different themes from the treatment of the downtrodden, to the bond between a father and his daughter, to the discussion of assimilation.

For some weird reason, I loved the opening scene much more than I probably should have. In the forest, an unknown man carefully pulls out a box with red tennis shoes. He was almost caressing them with how careful he was handling them. The whole scene was mesmerizing between the quietness and the mystery of what he was doing with the shoes.

He put them on, popped in his ear buds, and off he jogged. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it is ever safe to take a jog in the local forest. Eventually, he gets bit and dragged off by something. It reminded me a lot of the Smoke Monster in Lost. On multiple occasions, it would just drag people by the foot and out of the shot.

The Irathients reminded me a lot of Native Americans with a steam punk twist. One of the earlier scenes had Amanda asking the Irathients to assimilate if they wanted to return to Defiance. Earlier in the series, they discussed how Irathients were poorly represented in the city because of a battle that occurred when they held fast to their beliefs and refused to be inoculated from a sickness. As a result, they were all but wiped out and forced out of the city. They connected this very well and subtly with the earlier episodes.

On a random note, why is Amanda up for re-election already? The past two episodes said she was just elected mayor, hence the scene in last week’s episode of Riordan giving advice to Amanda and kind of passing on the torch. Is it a continuality error? Or do they have elections every couple of months?

More culture clash was seen during the ever boring Romeo and Juliet storyline. Datak took offence to Christy bathing alone.

As far as the murder plot line, Renn took vengeance on her parent’s killers, one of whom was the man jogging with his red shoes. Irisa discovered that her thought to be PTSD was actually a gift of sight where she is able to see the past.

After last week’s impressive small scale visuals in depicting Old St. Louis, the series took a step back and tried to do too much with the massive Hellbug hive.

What did you think of the Irathient episode? Did you miss the scheming of Riordan and Mr. Birch?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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