Defiance has been absent from TV for a long time! It has been near a year since we left our friends and it sure feels that way in the town of Defiance as well, 9 months have passed on the show. Many fans felt that last year’s season finale was on the weak side, especially for the awesome season that lead us there. But after watching the premiere for season 2, this show is back in full force.
Last year there was an election for Mayor and it was to determine who was going to control Defiance, Amanda Rosewater (the acting Mayor) or Datak Tarr. Now if you recall, the Earth Republic, who are very similar to the Empire from Star Wars, came in and tried to seize control of the town. Datek, who had just assumed power after winning the race for mayor, is not interested in sharing power with the E-Reps, so he murdered one of their officers. Datak gets tossed in prison, and the E-Reps put one of their own into power. Meet Mayor Niles Pottinger, whose interests seem a little ambiguous. To me it doesn’t seem that the new Mayor is totally on board with his E-Rep masters, and has certain interests of his own within Defiance.
But this is what makes the show so good. The balance of power seems to be always shifting as these different parties all vie for control. The new Mayor has also taken a liking to ex-Mayor Rosewater. Amanda now works in her sister’s old job as bartender and madam at the NeedWant. She still has hope that her missing sister will return to Defiance. Little does she know that Datak’s wife killed her last season, to cover up her affair. Mayor Pottinger wants Amanda to sit on his advisory board, but at first she refuses, that’s of course until a situation arises concerning the people she has come to care for.
There is one benefit of the E-Rep control of Defiance, and that’s the pay. Miners have finally been given the money they deserve but the work is far more exhausting. This causes an accident in the mines and a character looses an arm and dies. We find out that Rafe McCawley has made a deal with the E-Reps that he is to keep the peace in exchange for pay. This of course goes against the morals of a character who we really started to respect during season 1. Of course McCawley is also undermining the E-Reps by speaking his mind as usual, so he’s not totally in their pocket. The sons of the man who died, in their grief, decide to deface a E-Rep flag and get themselves arrested. They are en-route to the prison when the transport stops and the driver gets out to go to the bathroom. The locked doors open suddenly and the brothers take the risk of escaping. Little do they know that it’s a trap, and they are in the middle of hellbug territory. One of the brothers gets eaten, while the other makes it back to town. Amanda finds out about this and goes straight to the mayor, where she readily accepts his invitation to join the council. Someone has to look out for the people, right?! It seems innocent enough until we see that he has planted a camera in Amanda’s room, and he projects her and studies her. Her being addicted to drugs doesn’t help her cause, but this is all a bit creepy.
Datak Tarr became one of my favorite characters last season. His ruthlessness and cunning ability to control situations, all the while seeming innocent to the people. Not that I admire him or anything, I really enjoy watching a show develop new species and the politics that are associated with them. Again that’s one of the aspects that I really enjoy about this show, and sci-fi as an overall genre. Datak has found himself in prison for murdering the E-Rep officer, which means he has not only lost his Mayor position, but he is under threat of loosing his underground political empire as well.
Luckily for him, his son Alak has stepped up into the position. But Alak is not strong and unforgiving like his father, which is seen as a weakness in the eyes of his people, especially his mother. Last season you almost felt bad for Stahma as she had to endure the “abuse” of her mate and follow the traditions of her species. But this season, Stahma is ready to seize control for herself. She revealed herself to be merciless when she murdered Amanda’s sister at the end of last season, to cover up her affair with her. Seems like she is willing to do whatever is necessary in any situation. She is a survivor at heart, but now she’s walking the road of a villain.
The Tarrs have their hands in the production of a drug that affects the body’s adrenaline and will allow for workers, especially in the mines, to work harder and longer. But when their manufacturer asks for more time to complete the latest batch, Alak agrees to allow it. Everyone looks at this as a sign of weakness, and Stahma becomes concerned that her family’s grip on this town may be weakening. So she has the man beaten, and “restores” the respect to her son. When Alak goes to question her, she tells him the truth and reveals that she will not allow the power that their family has attained in Defiance, to slip away. Stahma has revealed herself as a much more manipulative and controlling person than we ever expected! It will be interesting to see how things play out.
Datak of course is trying to find away out of prison. There are some pretty humorous scenes involving a sexual act, something that keeps the balance of show from becoming too serious. Datek runs into Doc Yewll, who has a plan to escape the prison. It is interesting to see such a proud character to become so low in the society pool. To watch this once powerful man fight for food scraps thrown on the prison floor is both rewarding and sad. You reap what you sow, but I’m sure this won’t last too long.
Nolan’s search for Irisa continues. If you watched the wedisodes, which you can here, they told the story of what happens between the seasons, chronicling Nolan’s hunt. What I really like about this aspect of the show is that it shows us what’s going on outside of Defiance. Seeing that the show has an MMORPG that ties into it, doing this on the show relates well to the different locales that are in the game as well. It is also nice to see what other cities have become on this new Earth. Nolan has no idea the sacrifice that Irisa made so that he could live, and we are just starting to find out how deep it goes and the cost. He finally tracks her down and after a happy reunion we realize that things aren’t quite right with Irisa. Last season she “sacrificed” herself to save Nolan, and we are starting to see the price that she has paid. She is having visions of the creepy Irathient girl and the need to murder people as the girl’s “weapon”. As the duo head back to Defiance we know that trouble is bound to follow!
So there you have it. I love Defiance because of its ability to balance politics, action, and science fiction, all within one hour of TV. Not to mention the colorful characters that exist within this universe. Many felt that the first season was a little rocky, but I really only felt that way about the season finale. This season started off pretty strong with this first episode, so I am really looking forward to seeing how all of these new situations pan out.
Here’s what’s happening this week!
Catch Definace on the SYFY Channel Thursdays at 8pmEST!