This show only gets better by the week. The poster for Defiance is true to its purpose as the “tick, tick, tick,” is the perfect way to represent the boiling points that many of the situations on this show are reaching! This is week is a perfect example of this.
Beasts of Burden opens up to the Mayor and Berlin shooting a propaganda video during an important transport. Suddenly they are attacked, its Raiders! The Radiers attack and the kill EREP soldiers, thinking that the coast is clear they start stealing the equipment from the transport. Some more shots are fired and an EREP soldier is still alive, he kills a couple of the Raiders. We hear some fear in the voices of the Raiders, they are ordered by their leader, who is wearing a badass hockey mask with shotgun shells in it, to throw them on the truck. The Mayor, who obviously has MAJOR interests in what he was transporting, decides to take on the Raiders. He and Berlin take the fight to them, Berlin is quickly knocked out and her camera gets smashed. The leader then draws a gun the Mayor, the fight is over. Next thing you know he is being told to strip and get on his knees. Just when you think that something terrible is going to happen to the him, the Raider leader urinates all over the Mayor, totally humiliating him.
Now that Datak is out of prison, its time for him to take back his business and be top dog again. But there’s something different about Datak. He is putting on an act. Datek explains actions from last week’s episode, he tries to convince Stahma that his actions were light compared to what Castithan tradition would call for. He actually uses this excuse a lot in the episode. Creating reasons and explanations for his new behavior. So since he is all about the “new world” Stahma tells him that she raised profits 20% and that she should be a partner. Datek refuses, the first example of not practicing what you preach. Datak is the perfect character to use the old misdirection trick with. Of course everything doesn’t work out the way he wants, by the end of the episode.
The Mayor is very shook up about his run-in with the Raiders. He summons Nolan, and demands that he tracks down the Raiders. Nolan tries to explain to the Mayor that it won’t be that easy as Raiders are one of the hardest people to track due to their movements. I really liked the Hockey reference that the Mayor made about the Raider’s mask. Talking about Old World things with humor is one of my favorite aspects of the show. The Mayor is not being nice to anyone, he even tells Amanda to basically mind her own business, not recognizing that she is supposed to be his adviser. Over the course of the episode they mend things, the Mayor goes to the NeedWant to apologize. He tells Amanda that the attack brought back bad memories when he was sexually assaulted. Later on while doing drugs together, it’s Amanda’s turn to share. She tells him a dark story from her past about the time she was raped. But she had to keep it a secret due to it making her look weak in politics, and it ruined her life. Looks like these two have some things in common. I’m sure that this is all headed somewhere, but what I don’t like is that they make you feel bad for the Mayor, a lot, and then make him out to be a total creep. Just look at the preview for next week!
So who stole the equipment. Joseph. Poor Joseph, his family was killed by the EREPs and he wants revenge. But everytime he tries to do something he ends up doing something worse. Flash to the McCawley household, Raff gets home to find Joseph unloading the equipment into his kitchen! Joe calls him boss. Raff slaps him. We find out that Raff is not involved. Joseph tries to explain himself, he asks why are the erep bringing this stuff in? Are the mines in danger?! But Raff isn’t listening, he’s pissed that Joseph would bring it to his house. He yells at Joseph telling that the EREP is always watching! Raff is in a tough spot now, protect himself or his Godson?!
So how far is Datek willing to take his act, does he have a breaking point? Datak and Alak are discussing the events that have unfolded when Datak was in prison. Datak actually offers praise to his son, and Alak is nervous about his. While they are walking in the street two EREP Officers approach them. One verbally assaults Datak about Col. Marsh and makes racist remarks. But Datak he plays it off in the best Ghandi impression ever! When the officer spits in his face, Datak still plays it with peace. Instead of grabbing his knife, he pulls out a cloth to clean his face, while offering his humble apologies. Next he is pushed to the ground, only to stand up, get down on his knees and starts speaking in Castithan, asking for their forgiveness. Realizing that Datak is not going to bite their trap, they go away. Next thing we know they are walking up behind Stahma, is she going to be attacked?! No, the officers tell her that they were not able to get Datak to fight them, this angers her. She tells them off, and throws their money on the ground. Time for a new plan.
In Doc’s office, she, Nolan, and Irisa are examining the bodies of the dead EREP soldiers from the attack. Nolan notices that the shots don’t really match up to normal Raider attack patterns. Tommy walks in and tells them that Berlin should be able to get an image off of the broken camera. Someone notices a boot mark that is on the shoulder of one of the soldiers. Nolan sweeps it off, saying its just dirt. Tommy of course being Tommy has to call him out asking him it Goulinate, something that is only found in the mines. Nolan knows that his next move is Raff, but now Tommy does too. Nolan head over to talk with Raff. Joseph stupidly puts a gun to the back of Nolan’s head, only to be taken down by the Lawkeeper. Nolan is about to take him in, when Raff pleads with him, he even plays the Irisa card. Remember that Raff came close to sacrificing everything he loved last season to protect his town and Irisa from the EREPS. Realizing that he’s right, Nolan releases Joseph and tells Raff to put him on the first coach out of town. With the ideas of revolution being planted every week, this is another storyline that has reached a boiling point. When will we see a true movement to take Defiance back from the EREPs?!
Nolan turns in the missing equipment, and he tells everyone that he found it in a cave. The Mayor, though happy to have his stuff back, doesn’t believe his story. He asks about Goulinite and reveals that Tommy narked. In response, Nolan offers him the Lawkeeper badge back and says you gave it to me, if you don’t believe me then give it to Tommy. Mayor refuses this but wants the other situation resolved, before he has to do it himself. unfortunately for Joseph he makes the wrong decision and goes after Berlin for that footage, not wearing a mask. When she ends up seeing his face, Joseph is forced to kidnap her. Things only getting worse by the minute!
In tent, Datak lectures his crew. He very mad about them doing Stahma’s bidding, they try to argue that they were doing Alak’s. This only makes Datak angrier. He states that one must die for all of their mistakes. He then makes it Alak’s choice. Totally disgusted by this Alak offers himself. But Datak kills one of his men anyways! He then tells his son that he could not because Alak is his legacy! So Datak has seemingly gone off the deep end. His speech demonstrates one thing while his actions show another. Things get worse when Datak and Alak visit Alak’s studio. Datak reveals that he originally intended to burn it to the ground as payback for his betrayal, but instead again praises his son. Datak says that his “act” to sacrifice himself for his men was a great move and that his record business would be a perfect front for their family’s activities. But Alak still has to pay for his betrayal, so Datak takes Alak’s hand and burns the crap out of it using some of his equipment! Later we see Christie cleaning his wound, but Alak won’t put blame on his father, but then Stahma walks in and see it. She goes immediately to see Datak and she reminds him of a statement that he made about never following the religious beliefs of their people again. He then counters that saying that his time in prison had taught him much. This makes Datak even more dangerous in my eyes, he is adapting the original teachings of his people, only to be more dangerous and suit his purposes.
So it’s time to rescue Berlin. In the cave Joseph has tied Berlin to a chair and is making her read his message as he tapes it. She refuses telling him that she won’t read it, they argue about their beliefs. She makes Joseph so mad that he hits her to the ground! He realizes that she has untied herself so he goes for his gun! Nolan team sweep in just in time, and Nolan actually takes a bullet for Berlin! Raff puts Joseph in cuffs and walks him outside, he then releases him! Raff obviously upset tells Joseph to get out of here, Joseph thanks him and run off down the alley. Raff draws his gun and shoot him in the back of the head. I knew that this would happen, but it is a great way to push Raff over the edge and closer to revolution. Something that this show is just about due for! Later at Doc’s, Berlin thanks Nolan for saving her, and so does Tommy. Nolan is still not happy about his betrayal, but moves on. Berlin and Tommy share a tender moment, but then we realize that Irisa is watching from afar. What’s with people watching other people all the time on this show?!
I really liked the end of this episode. The Mayor and Amanda talk about Raff, Amanda pleads that what happened is enough punishment. But Mayor responds by saying that “it’s a cruel world”. Is he going to kill Raff? Raff is sitting in a chair at home when suddenly behind the curtains you can see the shadows of soldiers coming to his door. The mayor and some EREP soldiers come in and he gives Raff eviction papers. But expecting this, Raff’s bags were already packed, he gets up and walks out. Next we see, Datak walking through town. He heads into his tent only to find his crew, Stahma, and Alak. Suddenly he is assaulted by his men and they beat him down. Alak starts to turn his head but Stahma makes him watch. They throw him out into street, and Stahma whispers into his ear that he should have made her a partner. Game on! Looks like old frenemies, Raff and Datak will have somethings to talk about…
HEY TOWELITES! Look for our interview with actress Anna Hopkins, who plays Jessica “Berlin” Rainer, later this week on DFAT!!
Next week… Put the Damage On
Defiance airs Thursdays at 8pmEST on SYFY!