Violet recaps Episode 9 of Syfy’s Defiance, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive,” where a plague has taken over the town, and there’s a race to get the cure! Look for Josh’s commentary in blue font!
The last episode left off with someone coming into the infirmary and falling to the floor, and Dr. Yewll saying “We’ve got ourselves a plague.” This episode starts off with Alak broadcasting information from the arch radio station about the contagion: It is a viral, hemorrhagic fever, commonly known as the “Irath Flu.” Humans and Irathients both carry the bug, but Irathients don’t get sick. He advises humans and Irathients to stay indoors, then announces that it spreads through skin to skin contact, and to report to the triage tent if you feel like “shtako.”
This episode seemed to be another one detailing the plight of the Irathients, portrayed almost like Native Americans, people persecuted just because they are “different”.
Just then, Amanda and Nolan walk into the aforementioned triage tent so see several cots with those who have caught the contagion. Dr. Yewll tells them that 6 have died, and 21 are sick. The only thing they can do is keep the patients comfortable and wait for a cure, as there was an outbreak in the Bay area, and hopefully they’ll send a shipment of the cure to Defiance. (So, the San Francisco area is still referred to as the Bay Area?) A man calls the doctor over because his wife is convulsing, with blood streaming out of her eyes and out of her mouth. It seems like everyone in the tent is coughing. Amanda asks Nolan if he is sweating, and he replies , “It’s hot.”
I am curious as to the reason that Nolan and Amanda aren’t wearing full haz-mat suits when they are in the triage area. Seems like a logical decision to me, but I guess not to them.
Alak then broadcasts that there’s a rumor that a cure is coming from San Francisco. Christie is up in the arch with him, and they notice E-Rep trucks coming toward the city. Alak calls the mayor.
Meanwhile, Connor Lang is over at NeedWant getting drunk. Amanda and Nolan show up to question him about why an E-Rep garrison is camped outside the city. Connor informs them that they’re trying to prevent the spread of the contagion to the East. Nolan had heard that Patient Zero had escaped to the East Coast, but Connor informs him that they were intercepted and destroyed, so the E-Rep is imposing a quarantine on Defiance, and are happy to let everyone in the city die, himself included. Then they’ll come in and take over the city. Amanda comments how the E-Rep may be cold-hearted opportunists, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Amanda is called away for a Town Council meeting, but before she goes she tells Nolan that there’s always hope, and it’s their job to remind people. After she leaves, Nolan comments to Connor “Weren’t you stupid letting that one get away,” to which Connor sincerely agrees. Connor tells Nolan that she’s wrong about the hope thing, and that they’re all going to be dead soon, and asks Nolan if he wants to get drunk. However, Nolan declines, as he is on the clock, and leaves.
Part of me was wondering if the E-Rep had started this contagion to help kill off the Defiance residents, so they could get in there without too much trouble. Connor seems to be acting hopeless without much effort to fix things though. Shouldn’t he have some connection with the E-Rep that will help them out?
Out on the streets of Defiance, several Castithans are throwing rocks at a group of Irathients, who are Irisa’s Spirit Rider friends. As Nizar, one of the Irathients, begins to shoot a bow and arrow toward the Castithans, Irisa shows up and throws a rock at the Nizar’s hand, preventing him from shooting, then tells the Castithans to go home. Irisa greets her friends and asks about Sukar, who is still sleeping the “deep sleep.” The group had come into town for medicine and supplies, but now the E-Rep won’t let them leave. The Irathient woman fears that if the sickness spreads, the humans will hunt them down and kill them “again,” and asks Irisa to pray with them, to which Irisa replies that it would be an honor. Again? This happened before?
The racism has begun against the Irathients again. I did not know that the Castithans were so against the Irathients however. Especially in this situation, as I don’t think they can catch the disease. It looks like the Irathients are not going to be having a great time in Defiance however.
At the Town Council meeting, the council members discuss what to do about the Irathients, and Datak speaks about how although his people are bigoted against Irathients, their bigotry is rooted in truth. Apparently Irathients have the reputation among Votans as being unclean because they carry many diseases, but rarely get sick themselves. Rafe comes up with the idea of sending the Irathients to the mines to prevent them from spreading the disease, and the council members seem to agree that it’s a good idea because it will also keep the Irathients safe from the bigots. Amanda tries to protest, but they put it to a vote, and Amanda is the only one who votes against it. Their decision makes me think of the Japanese internment camps during World War II. Apparently we don’t learn from our mistakes.
Odd that most of the council is so racist towards the Irathients, but I suppose that is why they mainly live outside the walls. This part felt like Japan in during World War 2, when they were sequestered to the internment camps. This has a little better reason I suppose since they are highly contagious and it is impossible to know if they are or aren’t infected. This show seems to like to talk about morality, and the “tough decisions”. I can see Rafe’s point to quarantine the Irathients, but it seems very inhumane.
Irisa and the Spirit Riders are praying together on a balcony, when a couple of rollers show up, and Rafe gets out and goes up to the balcony to talk to Irisa and tell her about the Irathient quarantine. She asks if Nolan knew about this, and he says no. She gets angry and pushes him off the balcony, and the men below are barely able to catch him. Irisa single-handedly creates a skirmish as a distraction so that the other Irathients can run off and try to round up other Irathients in the city and get them to safety. Several men try to catch Irisa as she fights back, but none of them seem to notice or care about the others running off.
I would think these guys that went behind Nolan’s back should be held for vigilantism. Doesn’t this town have a lawkeeper for a reason? I guess they are the council, but still, does not seem like something they should be taking into their own hands. Irisa sure is tough though, taking all those humans on.
As the men start to put Irisa into the roller, Nolan and Amanda show up and Nolan pulls out a gun, demanding that they let her go. Rafe was supposed to let Amanda tell Nolan before he did anything, but he says that he “lost track of time.” Amanda tries to convince Nolan that it’s okay, that the safest place for Irathients is out of sight. Nolan doesn’t want to let Irisa down again, but Irisa tells him that she doesn’t like these odds, and convinces him to put the gun away and let them take her.
I am surprised Amanda willingly agreed to all of this. I guess she is upholding the laws of the council, and their vote, but it does seem wrong. Then again, as I said, I see the point of the quarantine. It definitely is a tough decision as to how to handle this situation, no matter who makes the call.
Nolan stalks off, and Amanda follows him, explaining that she tried to oppose the council, but she has to accept it, so he has to accept it too. Nolan tells her that he and Irisa have a rule: they live or die together. So Nolan thinks that Irisa will be expecting him to come for her. Amanda again brings up the fact that Nolan is sweating, but he claims that it’s hot and he’s under a lot of pressure, and also points out that Amanda is sweating too. She tries to talk some sense into him, since she knows this is about him trying to make up for shooting Sukar, and he shouldn’t get a lot of people killed to do it. They start to get in each other’s faces, but just then Dr. Yewll comes in and interrupts their “moment” to tell them that San Francisco got the distress beacon she sent out, and Defiance has a cure.
Looks like they needed those haz-mat suits after all, as Nolan is already showing signs, despite his denial. As for Nolan and Irisa, I think it’s more than just Sukar affecting his decision. Irisa is basically his daughter, and most good people don’t want to see humanoids locked up for reasons they can’t control, especially when one of them is practically family.
Nolan and Amanda go over to NeedWant to talk to Connor because the cure was dropped out in the Badlands, and they need Connor to talk his E-Rep bosses into letting them past the barricade to go pick it up. Amanda starts to look a little weak, but as Connor reaches for her and calls her “Mandy,” she reminds him no skin contact, claims she’s fine but just felt a little dizzy, and tells them to go.
It seems like Connor should have been talking to the E-Rep a long time ago. If he has such a great job, he should clearly have some strings he can pull.
We then see Irathients being rounded up using a device that’s a noose at the end of a long stick, as Alak broadcasts that the plague seems to consist of two stages. Stage one is coughing and sweating. Stage two is more serious and no one can predict how quickly it will come on.
Quentin meets up with former mayor Nicky at the train car cafe, Chez Renard. He wants information about his mother. She reveals that his mother is not dead, that’s just a lie that his father told him. She knows that Quentin killed Mr. Birch to protect the artifact, and tells him if he brings it to her, she’ll tell him where he can find his mother, Pilar.
Curious to know what happened to Quentin’s mom. Did Rafe do something to her? Why hasn’t she been around? Questions that have to wait I suppose.
Meanwhile, the Irathients are being herded into cages at the mines. Irisa’s friend Rathus has been caught, and the Irathients believe they will be gassed, like the Castithans gassed the Irathients during the Great Diaspora. Irisa doesn’t think Nolan would let that happen, but the others are skeptical, as Nolan is only one man. Okay, apparently this has now turned into the Holocaust. I’d like to know more background on this “Great Diaspora” though.
I am sure this cannot happen. Nolan would stop it somehow, considering Irisa is currently a part of the lock up. This does not seem humane, and this decision I cannot understand.
Quentin goes home and retrieves the artifact from its hiding place, as his imaginary dead brother Luke tries to convince him not to give it to Nicky, because then he’ll never see him again. But then Quentin gets a call on his hailer, and rushes over to the triage tent, where his sister Christie has been taken as she has caught the plague. Rafe, Alak, Stahma, and Datak are sitting by her bedside too. Christie complains of pain, but the infirmary has already run out of pain medicine, so Datak offers up a pill to ease her pain. Rafe is skeptical at first, but gives it to her. Christie wonders if she’ll recognize her mother, but they tell her not to talk like that. Just then, Amanda, who had collapsed in her office, is brought into the tent. They say that she has gone “stage two,” and we see blood trickling from her nose.
I am curious about the drug that Rafe gives to Christie, as Rafe asks if the drug is “on the up and up”, and Datak doesn’t answer. Are we going to have a medication addiction on our hands? Or was this just something that won’t go any further? Looks like Defiance is to be without a mayor soon.
As Nolan and Connor drive out to talk to the E-Rep, Connor notices that Nolan is sweating and looks like shtako, but he coughs and tells him to shut up. Nolan asks Connor about the fact that he served, and Connor tells him that he served in the 101st, intel, the rear echelon, and that they can’t all be heroes. Nolan comments that Amanda must have seen something in him, and Connor tells him that she did, for three years. Nolan asks him how it ended, and Connor wonders what’s up with all the questions, and he replies that it makes for a pleasant drive, then accuses Connor of cheating on her. Connor says he doesn’t want to have this conversation, which reinforces Nolan’s guess that he cheated on her. Connor tells Nolan that if he wants to hook up with his ex, he should ask her all this stuff. Nolan just laughs. But then Connor reveals that he got Amanda pregnant, which he was excited about, since he loved Amanda more than anything. But Amanda must have gotten scared, because she aborted the baby without telling him. He then sarcastically comments that Nolan’s right, this is a really pleasant drive.
Very odd that Amanda had an abortion to me. This does not seem like her character at all. I wonder if there is more to this story than we are told so far. Clearly this shows Nolan is interested in Amanda however, if it wasn’t completely clear before. Hopefully they both live for us to find out what happens here!
They arrive at the E-Rep blockade, where everyone pulls out guns on Connor and Nolan, and a soldier threatens to shoot them if they don’t get back in the car and go back to Defiance. Connor pulls out his E-Rep badge and demands to speak to the commanding officer. An older man named Colonel Marsh, and Olfin Tennety (who was in Episode 5, “The Serpent’s Egg”) come talk to them and tell them to return to Defiance. Nolan explains that they just want to go pick up the anti-virus two klicks away, and Olfin says they’ll just go pick it up for him, but Nolan says he doesn’t trust her. Connor points out that the snipers have a three klick range and could take them out if they made a wrong turn, and Nolan brings up the fact that the E-Rep is trying to build a strategic alliance with Defiance, and if the E-Rep denies them access to the cure, the town will know about it and hold the E-Rep responsible. The Colonel gives in and lets them pass. As they drive toward the cure, Nolan is coughing and looks worse than before.
Another reason I thought this disease may have been more than just a random outbreak. Olfin clearly hopes that they die. Good of that Colonel to let them go get the cure though.
The streets of Defiance are empty. We see a full triage tent, and body bags being carried out. Stahma is by Amanda’s bedside, apparently trying to talk Datak into the position of Interim Mayor while Amanda is sick, since he is Castithan and immune to disease. But even in her weakened state, Amanda does not fall for Stahma’s manipulations and insists that Rafe, as senior council member, will be the Interim Mayor.
More conspiracies! Did Stahma plant this disease to get Datak in office? She clearly is sneaky, and I would not put that past her. Her family is safe from the disease, so it would be an easy way to get rid of the mayor.
Back at the Irathient camp, the Irathients are singing in prayer. A female guard named Gail becomes annoyed by their chanting and demands that they stop. When they ignore her, she goes into the fenced area to make them stop, and gets attacked by Irisa’s friend. He knocks her to the ground, and she shoots and kills him. This angers Irisa, who climbs up the fence and animalistically screams in frustration. Stupid move on the part of the guard to put herself in that situation. Not sure what she thought going into the fenced area alone would accomplish!
Again, reminiscent of Native Americans, as their chants seem “ritualistic”. This show sure makes humans seem intolerant though, not letting them chant in peace.
Quentin meets up with Nicky again at Chez Renard, and hands the artifact over to her. Nicky then tells Quentin that his mother was bipolar, and eventually ran out of her medicine, since it was no longer being made. Nicky and Datak were able to get their hands on some more medicine, but eventually the medicine stopped working since it was too old. Pilar got worse and worse, until one day Rafe found her buttering the children’s bread with rat poison. Rafe would have shot her, but Nicky intervened. She also reveals that she and Rafe were having an affair at that time, and she knew that the guilt of murdering the mother of his children would prevent any happiness and she and Rafe might have had. Although her and Rafe’s relationship did not survive, Pilar did. Nicky tells Quentin that his mother is in Mendocino, and she’ll draw him a map, but first she’ll need his key card, since he won’t need it if he’s going West. He lets her take his key card from him.
Poor decision Quentin! I guess I can see the allure of trying to find your mother though. Could Nicky be lying about this just to get the artifact? That would seem plausible, but I guess she has no reason to lie considering she already had the artifact. It does seem odd that Pilar would be poisoning her own children though. She would really have to be crazy to do that. Perhaps Nicky had a hand in this rather than Pilar? It would be a good way to get Nicky closer to Rafe. Perhaps this plan backfired?
Nolan and Connor are driving back to Defiance. Nolan is coughing as he’s driving, and Connor tries to convince him to pull over so he can get an injection of the cure, but Nolan says people are dying, and refuses to stop. There is a loud noise, and they get out of the car to see that they have driven over a strip of nails. Irisa’s Irathient friends attack them and take the cases of medicine. They tie Nolan and Connor to chairs, and Nizar tells Nolan in his native language that he never trusted Nolan, to which Nolan replies in English that the feeling is mutual. Nizar tells Nolan that the cure will be delivered when he hails the mayor and frees the Irathients, and when his brother Rathus stands before him. Nolan says he has a better idea: they release the cure, the Irathients go free, then they go get a drink. Connor thinks getting a drink is a good idea, and says that he’s buying — which gets him punched in the gut.
Again I understand why the the Irathients decided to take matters into their own hands, but this seemed like a poor move. This is of course coming from an outsider, and I am able to see a bigger picture than the Irathients can, but if the humans get cured, then there is no reason to quarantine the Irathients. For them to cause trouble now, seems counterproductive.
Meanwhile, at the triage tent, Christie is bleeding from her eyes and nose. Alak, in tears, tells her he knows this wasn’t what they had in mind for their wedding, but he puts a ring on her finger, as his parents watch, and Rafe is crying. A Castithan woman comes over to Rafe and tells him that the Lawkeeper is trying to hail the mayor, who specifically appointed Rafe as her successor. But Stahma takes advantage of the situation, saying that she and Datak will handle it so that Rafe can be with his daughter. (Now THIS is the Stahma that’s been missing the past few episodes!) Stahma takes the hailer and tells Nolan that Amanda has taken ill and that Datak is in charge now. Nizar takes over the hailer and tells Datak that he will destroy the medicine if his demands are not met. Cut to the Irathient camp, where the guy in charge there informs Datak that handing over Rathus is not going work because he is dead. When Datak asks how that happened, the man replies that the miner feared for her life. We then see Christie, Amanda, and Nolan in bad shape. Stahma tells Datak to release all of the Irathients, and to trust her. Datak relays the order to the mines, then he and Stahma kiss.
Devious Stahma! What do these devious Castithans plan on doing now? Hmm…
Connor tries to convince the Irathients to give Nolan an injection, to which Nizar replies that they need to do what he asks, and questions why aren’t they bringing Rathus? Just then, Datak comes in and tells Nizar who he is, and that for simplicity’s sake, he may call him mayor. Nizar frisks Datak for weapons, but Datak tells him he’s come unarmed and that the Irathients have been released. When Nizar asks where his brother is, Datak tells him that there was an altercation at the mines, shots were fired, and his brother is dead. Datak then goes on to say that he blames the humans, that he’s come to the conclusion that the planet is better off without the humans, and that this pestilence is a cleansing, a gift from all the Votan gods. He says the first step on this path is to destroy the cure. Datak then pours gasoline (or some sort of other flammable fuel – I’m not sure if they still have gasoline at this point!) all over the medicine containers. Connor tries to protest, but Datak throws the human words “survival of the fittest” in his face. He throws the case into the street, and invites Nizar to shoot it.
What is Datak’s plan here? Clearly he has ulterior motives than destroying the medicine.
However, before he can, a sniper hiding in the alley shoots Nizar in the head first, then Datak takes Nizar’s gun and shoots the other Irathient man in the room. The Irathient woman immediately attacks Datak, strangling him, and tells him she wants him to beg for his life. He begins to beg, and the Irathient woman points out how he shames his “liro” (caste) by begging. But Connor is able to free himself and rushes at the woman, pushing her off of Datak, who turns around and shoots the woman. Even though she’s already dead, he continues to kick and beat her, angrily calling her “shtako” and a “diseased animal,” then screams and spits in her face, while Connor watches. He tells Datak that it’s over, and Datak seems to regain his composure. He apologizes that Connor had to see that, then shoots Connor in the head, and comments that it doesn’t fit his narrative. Kind of an intense scene, as I went from hating Datak, to thinking he’s an okay guy after all, to hating him again, all in the matter of a couple minutes!
I have always hated Datak, and knew he would be trouble. He seems to only care about his “legacy” and, even if it means killing. It looks like he was setting himself up to be the hero all along. Again…Did Stahma or him start the plague?
Datak then goes over to Nolan, who appears to have been unconscious this whole time, and tells him to stop faking. When Datak realizes he’s not faking, he muses that it’s just as well, since explaining away two human deaths could prove awkward. He then places the gun in Nizar’s hand, to make it look like he’s the one that shot Connor. Then he injects Nolan with the cure, and reports by hailer that it’s over. I’m guessing that they don’t care about forensics at this point in time, since Datak doesn’t bother to wipe his fingerprints from the gun (do Castithans even have fingerprints?), or worry about the positioning of any of the bodies in relation to the others who were shot.
Nolan lucked out being unconscious it looks like. I am really hoping he gets onto the trail that Datak is providing. I am really not liking Datak right now.
We then get the trademark end-of-show montage, where we see the furniture in the triage tent being steam cleaned, Irisa standing over the body of Nizar, and Amanda unzipping a body bag to see Connor’s dead body. We then see several body bags being dumped into a large fire pit, as Amanda walks away. At the McCawley house, Quentin and Rafe appear to be arguing, and Quentin leaves the house with a bag, presumably on his way to see his mother in Mendocino. Amanda returns to her office and sees the flowers that Connor had sent her, then breaks down in tears. Nolan is walking down the street and Irisa catches up with him, and tells him he’s supposed to be resting, to which he replies he’ll sleep when he’s dead. She tells him he’s an idiot, he says he knows, then they hug. Guess that means she’s forgiven him for Sukar and all’s well with them now?
Sad scene for Amanda, as she sees her ex dead. I am glad to see Irisa and Nolan making up, after the Sukar incident. Still curious as to the death of Sukar, and when he was actually “dead”. And it looks like he may be back, given the scene earlier in the show indicating he was still “asleep”.
Up in the arch, Amanda is broadcasting to the city, telling them about how Nolan and Connor braved the Badlands to bring them the cure. She also thanks Datak, who is in the arch as well, and he goes on to say a few words, complimenting his wife (who is also there) and how she helped him see that he could not ignore the pain he saw in the townspeople’s eyes, and helped him understand community, that there’s no greater honor than service. Amanda tries to cut him off, but Alak has disconnected her mic, and Datak continues to speak, announcing that he is renouncing his old ways and running for Mayor of Defiance. He gives the mic back to Amanda, who says that she’s up for the challenge, it’ll be fun.
Meanwhile, Nicky is sitting in her car, listening to the radio, as Dr. Yewll gets in the car with her. Dr. Yewll takes the cigarette away from Nicky, saying that they’ll kill her more efficiently than a poorly planned Volge attack, to which Nicky replies that was Birch’s idea. Dr. Yewll criticizes the two of them for always having been reckless and stupid, and that’s why she stopped working with them. Nicky then informs her that Birch is dead. Dr. Yewll comments that they’re the last two left in the “old gang,” and Nicky asks Dr. Yewll to come back and work with her, because she can’t do this alone, she’s certain she’s being watched. (Do what? Watched by who?) Dr. Yewll says she’s not interested, but when Nicky tells her that she finally got her hands on one of the “Kolovan,” this seems to get Yewll’s attention. When Yewll asks which one, Nicky tells her the “golden knot,” and Yewll tells her to destroy it immediately, but Nicky says she can’t do that. Yewll calls her crazy, and Nicky asks her to come be crazy with her, that together they can reshape the planet. Yewll questions, reshape or destroy? Nicky says that you can’t create without destroying, and that she thought Dr. Yewll would have figured that out by now. End of episode.
I had a feeling about Yewll, especially after last week’s episode. I have a feeling she will be getting her hands dirty again though, considering she was willing to even speak to Nicky. I am nervous was to what dangers she could cook up. As for the “change” I think it may be Terraforming, since we know that something terraformed before.
Reshape how? More terraforming? Or some sort of mental reshaping? And is that last thing Nicky said to Yewll supposed to be blackmail, that she’ll reveal what she knows about Dr. Yewll if she doesn’t help her? We already know that Yewll was involved in something bad during the Pale Wars, as this has been alluded to in a couple of episodes, but we don’t know exactly what. I’m guessing that the revelation would destroy Yewll’s reputation in the Defiance community.
This was a pretty decent episode, as we got some pretty good background on Amanda’s relationship with Connor. Kind of annoying that they killed him off, but I guess that was just a convenient way to get rid of him to make way for the Nolan/Amanda relationship. I give her an episode to grieve, then I think things might start to spark again between the two. Although I usually enjoy a good plague scenario, it’s a little odd placing an apocalyptic device in a post-apocalyptic world, so I’m not sure what to think about that. I’m glad that we got the “real” Stahma back this week, and we see just how much she is in charge versus Datak, who would probably be nowhere without her. Quite a lot of female villains in this show, but my favorite is Stahma. We also got to see the racism between the Votan races, which was interesting. Speaking of female villains, it was a surprise to find out that Yewll had been working with Nicky, even though we already know that Yewll is a little shady.
Overall this episode was alright, which is how I am feeling about the entire show. It seems to enjoy “discussing” moral dilemmas, and many shows deal with issues that can be an analog to today’s society. As for next episode, we will be seeing a bachelor party for Alak it looks like! I am curious as to Nicky and Yewll’s plans as well. I guess we will find these out next week!
Next week, it looks like Datak is arrested for the murder of Kenya’s late husband, Hunter Bell. I’m guessing Stahma will find some way to clear his name though, and he’ll come out looking a like a hero, strengthening his candidacy for mayor.
Below, you can watch the first four minutes of the next episode, “The Bride Wore Black,” where the skeleton of Hunter Bell is found at Alak’s bachelor party, and Stahma and Christie bond over Christie and Alak’s upcoming wedding.