The episode starts off with Nolan, Irisa, and Tommy pulling a bust on a couple of Castithans driving down the street. When Nolan searches the car, he finds guns and money in the trunk.
As the Town Council is having a meeting, Datak busts in to report that the arms deal they had with the Votanis Collective is off because Nolan intercepted the arms. Apparently, the Town Council had made a deal with Datak to smuggle arms into the town to provide more protection in light of the recent Volge attack and the fact that the stasis net is down, but Amanda didn’t know anything about that deal.
We are learning that the mayor is not trusted by the council. They also want to make a deal with the Earth Republic for a new train. The mayor feels that the Earth Republic will take over the town if they make a deal with them. But this council seems fairly shady making these deals behind the mayor’s back.
As Amanda is walking down the street, a woman comes up to her and blames Amanda’s sister for destroying her family, since her husband spends so much time at the brothel. She starts in with the name calling, but Amanda slaps the woman and defends her sister, saying that Kenya runs a legitimate business and that the blame lies with the woman’s husband, not with Kenya. The woman scornfully comments that their mother must be so proud, which triggers a flashback of Amanda and Kenya as children, and Amanda tells Kenya that their mother is dead, and puts a necklace on Kenya.
I guess the brothel is not quite as accepted as I thought it would be. Although to be fair, it is the husband’s responsibility to be faithful to his wife. If he didn’t have a brothel to go to, he would probably find someone to go to. The flashback gives us some insight into Amanda’s and Kenya’s relationship though.
Speaking of Kenya, she’s on the job over at NeedWant, “entertaining” Nolan. As they finish up and he starts to pay her, she tells him to keep his money, that they should be “fun” together, and see how that goes, but insists on “no labels.” So… they’re dating without the label or what? Anyway, Amanda shows up at NeedWant looking for Nolan, where she finds him with her sister. I assumed she would have a jealous reaction, but it seemed like that was not the case, as she appeared more concerned about scolding him for intercepting the arms.
Seems like a relationship is starting between the two, even though Kenya doesn’t want to acknowledge it. Amanda did seem a little bothered by Nolan’s actions. Funny enough, Amanda defends the council’s decisions to trade for arms despite her lack of knowledge of the operation before a couple hours ago.
Then there’s a confrontation between Amanda and Kenya, with Amanda judging Kenya for being a prostitute and sleeping with married men. Amanda is feeling insulted by the woman she encountered on the street earlier because Amanda’s the one who raised Kenya, not their mother, but they’re interrupted by someone reporting to Kenya that one of her girls stole some money. When the girl, Tira, is pointed out, she runs off and Kenya chases her down to a sketchy area of town. They run across a Bioman loading a truck full of people with their mouths taped shut. The Bioman sees the two women and chases them.
I think that Amanda is a bit jealous of Kenya, as she does bring up their sleeping together again in their argument. The girl Tira seems to be addicted to some drug we learn as well. I am curious if this will become an investigation later for Nolan to look into. Anyway, Kenya also attempts to fight the Bioman, with a rather futile attempt. I would have thought she would have screamed for more help though.
Later, it is discovered that Kenya is missing, so Amanda and Nolan go looking for her. They send a pulse to her hailer, which a kid has picked up, along with Kenya’s necklace. They catch the kid, and bribe him to tell them that he saw the Bioman take the two girls, and that the Bioman comes at night to take people to the “blue devil.” We learn that the blue devil is a bad drug whose main ingredient is obtained by draining people of their adrenal fluids. They estimate that Kenya has about 10 hours before she is completely drained.
Also interesting was the fact that this drug was used back in the war, and Nolan refuses to answer Amanda about if he used the drug or not. I assume this means that he did. I enjoy learning about the history of this world, and it seems like the writers have put a lot of effort into making the show’s timeline make sense.
We see captured people being held in cages. The Bioman carries the two girls out of the truck, and his human partner Miko freaks out when he sees that one of the girls is the mayor’s sister, reminding him that he was only supposed to pick up people that wouldn’t be missed. Miko shoots up with the drug, and tells the Bioman that they should plan to head south after this batch. Then he tells the Bioman to help him prep the two for “the maze.” We get the same flashback of Amanda of Kenya as children, then we see Kenya and Tira running, presumably now in the maze, as they hear pounding footsteps above them.
Knowing that Datak is affiliated with the Bioman, Amanda and Nolan show up at Datak’s house to question him. Nolan immediately attacks Datak, demanding to know where Kenya is. However, Datak claims that he doesn’t know anything about it. Amanda brings up the fact that Datak now has an elevated status in the community, due to his help during the Volge attack, and that he should help them because the Bioman misbehaving could threaten that status. Unfortunately, this tactic does not work, as Datak refuses to help because Amanda lacks respect, and thinks she’s better than him. As they walk away, Amanda is visibly upset, but when Nolan tries to comfort her, she pushes him away.
A rather aggressive move by the “Lawkeeper”, which shows his feelings towards Kenya I think. Datak seems to be rather bothered because of the racism against him. Although, I would think that Nolan could lock him up for obstruction of justice for his refusal to assist Amanda. Assuming they have that sort of law at this time.
Datak’s wife, Stahma, comes out to talk to Amanda privately. She confesses that Datak visits several different “night porters” (prostitutes) at the NeedWant brothel, most of which will not make eye contact with her when they see her on the street. However, whenever Kenya sees Stahma, she goes up to her and gives her a hug, and thanks Stahma for sharing her husband with her. Stahma praises Kenya, saying that she has a rare gift for knowing exactly what people need. Stahma then advises Amanda that she can get Datak’s respect by appointing him to the vacant seat in the Town Council. Wow, Stahma is so smooth and sneaky!
I am curious why the other prostitutes avoid eye contact. Are they afraid of her? Why isn’t Kenya afraid? Also, this “offer” by Stahma seems much like blackmail. Again, I say Nolan should throw him in jail rather than reward him with a council position. Also, if Stahma thinks Kenya is so “special” why is this deal necessary? Seems rather odd that the mayor would even consider this “deal”.
The next day, Datak and Nolan are walking around the town, as Datak criticizes Nolan’s technique at lawkeeping, saying that he needs to get to know the people, and that knowledge is power. For example, Datak knows that the Bioman fancies Castithans, so they go visit the house of a certain Castithan man. However, Nolan notices marks on the man’s face and quickly figures out Datak’s plan, where he had found and roughed up the guy beforehand, so that when Datak showed up with Nolan, he could look like the hero for getting the information from him. Datak doesn’t even try to deny it, and the man tells them where to find Kenya.
I really liked this scene, as Nolan is able to deduce the plan before it is carried out. It makes you feel Nolan does have some brains. Again though, I feel this is enough to detain Datak, as he is willfully withholding information.
Meanwhile, Kenya and Tira have been running through the maze and trying to hide from what was chasing them – a Volge! The Volge finds their hiding place and begins to try to break through and get to them. We get yet another flashback to Amanda and Kenya as children, with Amanda placing the necklace around Kenya’s neck, telling her it’s an image of St. Finnegan, the patron saint of lost children. In the present, Kenya gives her necklace to Tira to hold onto as they fear for their lives.
But, it turns out the maze and the Volge are not real, as Kenya suddenly wakes up in the real world, wearing some sort of (Virtual Realty?) headband, and carefully removes a needle from the back of her neck (which was presumably being used to drain the adrenal fluid produced by her fear in the maze). Luckily, Miko is looking the other way, shooting up with the drug, as Kenya quietly gets up, grabs a bottle of the blue drug, and smashes it on the back of Miko’s head. A shard of glass from the bottle goes into Miko’s neck, killing him, which angers the Bioman, who is about to attack, when Nolan and Amanda bust in and shoot the Bioman from behind. Kenya runs to Nolan and hugs him.
I am curious how Kenya was able to escape “the Matrix”esce dream. The show also seems to be taking some Catholic religious elements with the saints, as I don’t think that St. Finnegan is a real saint. I also wonder about the scene earlier in the show, that shows Miko and Ulysses in the cave with Kenya and Tira. How is that scene possible if that was all a dream?
Back at the bar, Kenya calls Tira over. She has a gift for her – the Saint Finnegan necklace. However, Tira scoffs at it, saying that she was raised by nuns, and that there’s no such saint as Finnegan, that it’s St. Christopher who is the patron saint of lost children.
This scene resolves “Saint Finnegan” for me. Apparently Catholicism is still going in this post apocalyptic world.
Kenya goes to Amanda’s office to ask her who St. Finnegan is, and demands to know the truth about how their mom died. We then get a more in depth flashback. A young Amanda and her mother are scavenging so they can put food on the table. However, they are in the blast zone, as bombs begin exploding all around them. Amanda finds a necklace in the pocket of a dead soldier with a nametag reading “Finnegan.” Her mom wants to run off without Kenya, saying that Kenya should know to meet them at the river, but Amanda refuses to leave without Kenya. Her mom runs off on her own, telling Amanda that she knows where she’ll be. Ouch. Pretty harsh that a mother would run off without her children. Amanda goes and finds Kenya playing hopscotch (yes, in the middle of a war zone), apparently oblivious to everything going on around her. Pretty unrealistic if you ask me, because I’m pretty sure any kid would be scared just by the sound of bombs going off around them. Anyway, so when Kenya asks where their mom is, Amanda says that their mom is dead, and then puts the “St. Finnegan” necklace on Kenya. Kenya wonders why Amanda’s never told her this story after all the “shtako” she’s given her all these years, and Amanda tearfully replies, “Because you’re my sister,” and they hug. Well, that was an easy make up. For now. But the issue will probably come up again, as Kenya might have liked to know this important information about her mother.
While I agree the flashback was a bit unrealistic with Kenya as a child not freaking out from the bombings, it was good for character development. I am curious why Amanda choose St. Finnegan for the name of the Saint other than because it came off a soldier with that name. I am also curious if the Saint on the necklace was Saint Christopher? I guess Amanda was trying to find a way to instill bravery to Kenya as a child?
The episode ends with Amanda introducing Datak to the Town Council as the newest council member. Some of the council members seem to disapprove, while others are cautiously accepting of him. They shut the door on Nolan, and he is left in the waiting room with Stahma, who is sitting outside the door crocheting. Nolan comments to her that he’s had his eye on the wrong snake, and it’s Stahma who is the dangerous one. She just smiles and replies, “You’re very sweet,” and the episode ends there. I actually like Stahma’s character a lot. In contrast to her husband, who is hot tempered and blatant, she is cool and slippery, just like a snake, as Nolan aptly put it. Her seemingly sweet innocence and charisma makes her fly under the radar, allowing her to be undetectably manipulative, to the point that her victims probably don’t even realize that they are being manipulated. I’m surprised that Nolan called her out on it, and what effect this will have on her future dealings, if any.
While I appreciate Stahma’s character, and think she will make an interesting story, I hate slippery deceptive people! I guess it will be that much more enjoyable to bring her down. Again though, I am stuck wondering how Datak could get away with withholding information and then be appointed to the council. I suppose this is politics?
The side story in this episode is a mine tunnel called L7 that Rafe McCawley closes down, claiming that it is too dangerous. However, Rafe’s son Quentin thinks his father closed it down because he doesn’t trust him. Rafe explains that there are things at the bottom of the L7 shaft, and thinks that Luke was hiding something, and that that’s where he found the gold artifact. Rafe doesn’t know what it is, but thinks Luke was killed because of it. At the end of the episode, Rafe and Quentin go down into L7 and look around at all the random objects in there. Additionally, there are several drawings on the wall which look like cavemen type drawings.
I am curious as to why Rafe thinks this area of the shaft should be kept a secret. I would think he would want to tell Nolan, so they can have some resources to investigate it. Does Rafe hope to turn a profit from it somehow? Or does he have good intentions and think withholding information may be necessary to preserve Defiance? It is hard to say. I have a feeling this area is a part of the old mayor’s agenda however, and she would be very interested in seeing these caverns.
Yet another not so exciting episode. However, I was able to appreciate some of the character building that was going on here. I was disappointed that Irisa was not in the episode at all except for the opening car bust scene. Defiance has just not managed to capture the interest it garnered in me during the pilot, and I keep watching the show, hoping that my interest will be piqued again, but to no avail thus far. One of the things I liked a lot in the pilot was the relationship between Irisa and her “father,” Nolan, but it seems that they haven’t spent much time together since then, and that they’re always on separate paths. I’d like to see them work together on more cases. Also, now that we the mystery of the golden artifact and the L7 mine shaft to solve, I’m hoping things might get more interesting. Here’s to hoping (once again) that things pick up next episode…
I enjoyed this episode more than the past few episodes. I am enjoying the themes of racism, and how the show will handle the clashes between different alien species. There seemed to be a lot of character development this episode, especially for Datak, Stahma, and Amanda and Kenya. I am ready for the story to become more cohesive however, with the old mayor Nicky’s story coming more to the forefront. As Violet stated, I also think that more detective type episodes would be fun, with Irisa and Nolan working together. Here is to waiting for next week’s episode!