Defiance S2E11 Review: Doll Parts

Falling without stylePicking up almost immediately from where the previous episode left off, the Kaziri plot revs up big time for next week’s finale, and some things finally start to make sense as some previously nonsensical plot developments lead to interesting character growth in unexpected directions.

This episode starts off with Treasure Doll doing the radio show, with chocolate covered strawberries and every indication she’s waiting for someone. And then that someone shows up, and we see her fall out of the arch, cause we all knew exactly who was getting thrown out the window every time that clip played in a commercial. Now it’s just a question of who finally did it. Amanda’s pretty upset about her demise, and the episode is interspersed with flashbacks to the days leading up to this, where the two of them had been chatting about her mystery lover. She goes to Nolan to get him to investigate it, but Nolan’s a little busy building some device before heading out to see Irisa and her army of Irzumbies, so that’s just going to have to wait. She asks to be made a deputy, so she can investigate the case herself. And why not? She’s experimenting with new career paths all over town, and Nolan’s a little shorthanded. He hands her the badge he took from Irisa in the last episode, and she and Berlin head out to track down the real killer.

Must have been something he ate.

Must have been something he ate.

Alak’s not looking too good as Amanda and Berlin question him while investigating the Arch. Berlin finds a hidden surveillance camera–one of hers, but she didn’t put it there. Alak just looks guilty in response.

Nolan heads out to the outskirts of town, and as he spies on Irisa’s group, Tommy sneaks up behind him with a shotgun. Nolan’s able to get into Tommy’s head enough to wrestle the gun away, butting him in the face with it. It heals up, and Nolan realizes what’s happened. Tommy takes the gun back, but not for long; he soon begins vomiting up the wires that Irisa has been converting people with. Seems triggering the healing factor made them realize he was human and caused them to abort.

Christie is still upset about her brother turning her father over in the last episode, although she doesn’t seem to doubt the story. It’s just the apparent lack of loyalty that’s upsetting her, which is really bad news for Alak because if she were to find out about his little fling with Treasure Doll… seems as good a motive as any. But clearly if we’re setting Alak up to look so obviously guilty, he can’t possibly be the one responsible. But who? Stahma? Alak? Datak? They all act like they’re guilty, but also like they think the other is guilty. Hmm…

Tommy’s bleeding like a normal person now, and he and Nolan are ready to try to come to terms so they can do something about this Irzu thing. Nolan recognizes them as fragments of “Arkbrain,” the nanobot material that ran the AI aboard the Arks. The “Irzu is the Kaziri‘s AI” theory is more or less confirmed at this point, but we all knew that all along, right? It’s a “Votan Rapture” in the making. Nolan’s devices from earlier are specially designed to disrupt the nanobots, and so they’ll be able to get Irisa away while the others are knocked out.

Amanda and Berlin go through Treasure Doll’s client list, and see Datak visited her lately. Amanda and Datak poke at each other, but Datak doesn’t really know much about that. She tries to provoke him, but to no avail. She figures out from him that Alak and Treasure Doll had a fling, and the camera soon confirms it.

Nolan kinda forgot about the healing factor when he picked this fight.

Nolan kinda forgot about the healing factor when he picked this fight.

Tommy takes Nolan into Irisa’s camp, and while the others try to kill him, Irisa decides to talk to him. And they have an all out shouting match, with Irisa accusing him of brainwashing her and using violence to deal with all his problems. The latter of which, for Nolan, is pretty damn spot on. She then goes on to generalize it, saying that all humans ruined the Earth and that she won’t save any of them because of it. Sukar comes in to break it up, and he and Nolan end up having it out.

Alak is confronted with the tape, and Amanda tosses him in jail while Christie protests. Stahma tells her to let it go, then tells Alak that he deserves this, with the apparent implication that she did it. But Alak thinks Datak did it, and Stahma leaves. She goes to deliver some food to poor people, which is far too saintly for something Stahma does without ulterior motive. She ends up talking an old, sick Castithan man into taking the fall for Alak by offering to take his daughter in as a new handmaiden, to replace the one who died a few weeks ago.

Nolan antagonized Sukar on purpose into fighting, to gather all the Irzumbies in one place and give Tommy a chance to set off his device. It works, although not before Sukar beats the crap out of him. They take Irisa and leave.

An act of charity? No, nothing Stahma does is free.

An act of charity? No, nothing Stahma does is free.

The sick Casti man comes in with the murder weapon to confess, and Amanda releases Alak even though she’s not entirely convinced. Stahma tells Datak that she’s gotten him out, and they glare at each other for a bit until finally realizing that none of them actually did it. As Alak returns home, he findsĀ  a bottle of poison, and Christie in the bath, wearing the bath beads. She chastises him about cheating, then, in her best Stahma impression, tells him about what really happened: having gone to meet Treasure Doll at the top of the Arch, Christie caught the scent of a certain chemical that’s used to cause abortions in her drink. See, being pregnant with a half-Castithan baby, her senses have been enhanced by the alien chemicals from the baby and she was able to recognize it. Treasure Doll admits the truth and tries to just kill Christie outright. They fight, and she falls out the window. She then proceeded to plant ideas and evidence to get all three of the Tarrs to accuse each other, knowing they’d like bail out a family member, but not her. Alak doesn’t have a clue what to make of this, but he just goes with it. Seems that whole cosplay club thing was leading up to this, which is probably the best possible outcome for this subplot. It gives a character whom the writers seemed to be unsure what to do with a more interesting role to play, as Christie’s fascination with Alak’s mother has led her to become almost as Machiavellian. Mama Stahma’s so proud.

Nice placement of the subtitles there. I'm on to you, captioning guy...

Nice placement of the subtitles there. I’m on to you, captioning guy…

Tommy and Nolan are driving back as fast as they can, with an unconscious Irisa in the back. Nolan tries to make nice with Tommy, and offers him his job as deputy back. Things seem to be going well, so naturally it’s time for Irisa to awaken and pull some kind of EMP trick that causes the car to stop and knocks Nolan out. Tommy tries to talk some sense into her, but she actually stabs him and leaves him to die. She won’t let Irzu talk her into killing Nolan, though, so she leaves. Nolan regains consciousness, finds Tommy bleeding out, and creates a makeshift gurney to drag him back to town. It’s only due to moments like this that allow Nolan to maintain his status as the nominal hero of the show.

The episode was, essentially, a by-the-numbers whodunnit, but it still managed to keep it interesting without getting bogged down the way episode 2 did with its by-the-numbers plot. Things are set up for an interesting finish, and I honestly can’t wait for next week’s episodes. The show’s bounced back from its episode 7 misstep; I only hope it’s not too late to recoup its audience.

 

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