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This episode of Defiance, “Devil in the Dark”, gave us a glimpse into the Irathian race and their motivations, as well as more character building for our young hero in the making Irisa played by Stephanie Leonidas.
Devil in the Dark:
In “Devil in the Dark”, we are treated to an opening sequence of classics! First up are a pair of classic Adidas running sneakers, a classic iPod Shuffle, and the good ole classic jog through the woods to help clear ones’ head.
Though, in this jog, Dalton Taggart (played by Darren McGuire) manages to not only clear his head, but to lose it entirely when he falls into a sink hole of some sort.
From one head clearing practice to another, we are next shown Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) performing some Irathient head clearing in a fashion quite similar to Tai-chi practiced by humans on Earth before the invasion.
Peace and quiet is quickly interrupted by the arrival of the Irathient Spirit Riders, led by the big, burly Sukar (Noah Danby), and inclusive of Rynn (Kanietitiio Horn), Nizar (Dion Johnstone), and Rathus (Ishan Morris).
Having helped to defeat the Volge in the previous episode, the Spirit Riders are more welcome in town than they had been previously.
However, that does not mean that the Spirit Riders do not put the entire town of Defiance on edge simply with their presence.
The potential for friction is because the Spirit Riders are prideful, stubborn, hot tempered beings that do not take well do being criticized about anything.
And on cue, we find Rynn getting into it with the local butcher, Boyd Bowen (Glen Cross). Rynn had picked up a piece of fruit whereupon her attempt to put it back received a comment from Boyd to the effect that “you touch it you bought it.”
Not exactly finished with her “comment”, Rynn brings the piece of fruit up to her face, glares at Boyd, promptly licks it and then drops it back into the pile.
Sensing an escalation, Sukar and Irisa are now close by, and the altercation (temporarily) ends with Irisa throwing a knife decisively into the butcher’s cutting board, perfectly between Rynn and Boyd, startling Sukar as it goes by.
Sukar tosses some currency down, Irisa collects her knife, and the disagreement has reached an end, for the moment.
As Irisa, Sukar, and Rynn are now calmly walking through the town, they stop when Irisa is met with a statement from Sukar that his “offer still stands, that she should spend more time with her people.”
As Sukar is speaking, Irisa sees blood running from Rynn’s scars on her face, like the wounds were fresh. Their conversation is interrupted by Irisa’s hailer, a call from Nolan (Grant Bowler) to grab Tommy (Dewshane Williams) and for them to meet him at Bissell Pass to investigate a dead body.
Upon arrival, Nolan is recounting the scene to Irisa and Tommy, to the point of saying that the body was effectively ripped apart, bones crushed, and “marrow sucked dry”. As Nolan continues, Irisa is distracted by a lone butterfly, a Monarch, on a small, jutting tree branch.
We find ourselves in a vision of Irisa, blurred and broken pieces of the past. Nolan sees that Irisa seems to be nodding off and asks if she’s alright, she quickly brushes him aside with a nod and an affirmation.
Switching gears, we are now in Mayor Amanda Rosewater’s (Julie Benz) office, and we find Sukar commenting on her collection of “everything Voltan”, though an Irathient artifact is glaringly absent.
Sukar is there to face a complaint from the people of Defiance, through Amanda, that his Spirit Riders are causing disruptions and fear.
Sukar assures Amanda that he will have his Spirit Riders fall in line with the rules and regulations of Defiance, they’ll fall in line until such a time that he fears the town will turn against the Irathiens. Amanda reassures Sukar that this will not happen, and the discord is quelled for the moment.
As the episode progresses, we find ourselves in the “Need/Want” brotherl, in particular in a room with Kenya (Mia Kirshner) and Boyd, the butcher obviously in “need” of her talents.
Their liaison ends tragically as Boyd himself is butchered by a Hellbug, a fact revealed by Doc Yewll (Trenna Keating) as she looks at his wounds that ultimately killed the poor butcher.
As Irisa enters the room, she catches sight of Boyd’s tattoo, Old Glory, and it throws her into another vision. She becomes uneasy, and leaves the room, blaming it on the blood, though Nolan knows that that cannot be the reason.
Their argument is happily (from Irisa’s point of view) cut short by the introduction of evidence and the presentation of an M.O. by Doc Yewll – the antagonist is using attack pheromones to guide the Hellbugs to their victims (as this was discovered on Taggart too).
There seemed to not be a decent flow to tonight’s episode, it seemed all over the place at times, as shown in the next few scenes, as they now take place at the Tarr residence.
We see that Christy McCawley (Nicole Muñoz) is trying to do right by her future in laws and has prepared a Castithan dinner for their consumption. There is much banter being made by Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) and Stahma Tarr (Jaime Murray), as the kids, Christy and Alak Tarr (Jessie Rath) look on.
As the conversation is being conducted in Castithan, Datak is under the assumption that Christy does not understand. Lo and behold, to his surprise, she gets up in disgust as she could no longer accept the slights being slung her way. Alak also exits, going after his fiancée.
As Stahma attempts to twist things to a positive light, that which she is wont to often do, they hear screaming coming from the distance. It’s another Hellbug attack, but Christy and Alak have a chance this time, as she wisely grabs a torch and keeps it at bay until Datak can subdue it and its friends.
In a poignant scene, we get to see just how much of an outsider Christy really still is the Tarr family, as they share a group hug in relief that all are alright and she is left on the outside looking in.
They decide that their home is no good for a spoiled dinner and they trek over the McCawley residence for a calming bite.
Rafe McCawley (Graham Greene) is there to greet his distraught daughter, and has that glowering eye cast upon her followers. As she recounts the evening’s events, Datak jumps in to tell Rafe that it was Alak that saved them, his heroics are the reason that they are in Rafe’s dining room now.
Having heard about another Hellbug attack, and having put two and two together, Nolan and his “posse” arrive at Rafe’s house, magic wand in hand, Doc Yewll scans all present for the “attack pheromones”. The last one to be scanned is Christy, and she is covered in them, as if she had bathed in the pheromones.
It turns out she had hung her clothes out the dry, and that had been the moment the clothing was doused. She is rushed up to the shower, to “rub her skin raw” and her clothes collected to be burned. Nolan turns his attentions to Rafe and questions him in regard to a connection between Taggart and Bowen.
They begin to pore over an extensive pile of papers, an obsolete filing system that seems to have survived, and they come across a deed to a piece of land that Rafe had purchased from Irathient homesteaders some twelve years ago.
Having another vision, Irisa hurriedly exits and heads for the land in question. Nolan goes after her, and as he arrives on scene, Irisa is in the middle of a full blown vision, and it is all he can do to comfort and collect her as the vision runs its course.
Nolan and Irisa arrive back at Defiance township proper and Irisa is determined to find Sukar, determined to find Rynn as Irisa has concluded that Rynn is behind the Hellbug attacks.
To prove this and seek more answers; most pressing is the answer to where Rynn is. Sukar and Irisa embark on a vision quest of sorts, an Irathient ritual called a Gyatu.
With a watchful and wary eye, Nolan watches as Sukar and Irisa begin the mystic alien ritual.
The ritual exposes Bowen and Taggart as the perpetrators of the crime against Rynn’s parents, and it shows Rynn running off as a child, saving herself.
The scene also reveals where Rynn is at this particular moment in the story about these hideous creatures, the Hellbugs!
More tension ensues between Irisa and Nolan as he is now faced with not having listened with an open ear to her struggles, of trying to put an earthly tone to her problems, being so blind to her being different (alien) that he did not see the differences. They gear up and head out to “Old 36” to capture Rynn before she gets the chance to do more harm.
A malfunctioning elevator ride and liberally applied Hellbug feces later, the group arrives at where they want to be and comes to find themselves in Hellbug central – complete with Momma Hellbug. As they had previously spread the Hellbug stakko on themselves, their presence was masked to Momma and her babies.
Nolan starts to issue orders – for Tommy to fix the elevator and Irisa to start to set the charges- and as he and Sukar are looking for Rynn, she finds them, shooting Sukar. Holding an IED of the attack pheromones, Rynn listens to Irisa explain all that happened at her farm as a kid – how Rynn’s parents were killed, their land taken; trying to plead with her that her vengeance had been paid.
Wanting nothing to do with Irisa and the rest of them, Rynn tosses the grenade. Nolan picks it up, tossing it at Momma Hellbug, making certain that their getaway is as clean as can be – the babies attack the Momma, as that’s where the attack pheromones were now originating. As they make their getaway, Nolan makes sure nothing survives as he fires on the charges and blows the cavern up.
As the episode concludes, Rynn’s land is given back to the Irathian settlers, with the mines being leased back to McCawley. In the eyes of the town, Defiance has begun to right a wrong and begun to write a new history.
After the ordeal, it is a clearly time to stand together, and to be together. However, Rynn and Sukar are further apart than ever, and Irisa and Nolan have a great chasm to cross and try to heal.
Meanwhile Rafe is beginning to see what his daughter has become and respecting who she wants to be.
Yet in the closing scene, it is the father figure of Nolan that is there to comfort his little girl through her nightmares as she tries to sleep
Thanks to Kenn for audio video embedding and final image staging, and many thanks to you for reading and for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency to read about our review of Syfy’s Defiance – “Devil in the Dark”!
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