Holy crap sandwiches on a stick! Who else completely lost their butts watching this episode? Okay, maybe I had a little too much caffeine, but you gotta admit that was one hell of a ride. And one hell of an ending, even by Dark Matter standards. I think doubly so because it was a season-finale-worthy shocker … and we still have one more episode!
Here’s the Story
(Yes, there are lovely ladies, but please stop singing the Brady Bunch song in your heads)
An Ishida ship comes under fire by the Raza using the Blink Drive. Four boards the crippled ship to state his intention to take the throne. Some aboard join him, others do not. Others do not survive. This is Four with his memories back. I’m not sure I like him. I think he’s even meaner than Wendy was.
Four uses the captured Ishida shuttle from their Hyperion-8 escape to lure Hiro into a trap so he can propose his plan to take the throne. After disabling the Ishida cruiser, Four boards and has the Raza demonstrate the Blink Drive. Hiro agrees to help Four, saying he never wanted the throne. It’s not like Hiro really had a choice, though.
On Zairon, Hiro confronts his Mombitch about the Emperor’s murder. Mombitch admits to doing the dirty deed (I bet she even did it dirt cheap). Hiro runs to his room to cry. I mean, he contacts Four to say he supports his brother’s taking of the throne.
The Raza blinks to Zairon with the expectation of help from Hiro, but Mombitch is on to them and blows the traitorous Ishida ships to bits. She then broadcasts her lies about Ryo to the entire empire right after sending Hiro to his room to think about what he’s done. The Raza blinks away … for now.
Blinking back to Zairon, Four takes the Ishida shuttle to the palace. Sneaking in, he finds General Drago dead, his throat slit. Just then, Mombitch walks in with Misaki and they proceed to put Four/Ryo on trial. But it’s more like a sham to fool the citizenry rather than an actual trial. No big surprise, right? The sentence of death is unanimous. Again, no surprise at all.
The Raza crew decide to rescue Four even though the Ishida forces have seemed to anticipate every move they’ve made so far. Two is aware of this and seemingly knows why. Dressed like a muted version of Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition, Two, Three, Five, Six, and Nyx infiltrate the palace. Five immediately splits off from the rest.
Surprisingly, nobody brings a comfy chair … or even a pillow.
Two, Three, Six, and Nyx get zapped unconscious by the Seers! (How can you be the Spanish Inquisition if you’re expected? Stop being expected!) They wake in the royal court to learn Mombitch has been working with the Seers. That’s when Nyx learns Milo is dead and Four gave him both the means and the idea. If Four thought getting the stankface from Nyx was bad, it’s only going to get worse.
As the guards are about to take the crew away, the Raza, piloted only by Android, appears over the palace. She demands they release the crew, then fires several shots to prove she’s not screwing around. During the commotion, Five stuns some guards and “rescues” Hiro from his time-out.
Mombitch decides to call Android’s bluff and orders Misaki to kill one of the prisoners. She chooses Four/Ryo. Before she can strike, the newly freed Hiro orders her to stop and place Mombitch and her cohorts under arrest. He also orders the crew freed, then abdicates the throne to his brother Ryo.
Ryo demands the Seer tell everyone what will happen next, but he gets it wrong – dead wrong. The new Emperor gives a command and the guards kill all the Seers, plus Mombitch, her right-hand man, cronies and … Hiro?!!
Traumatic Episode Reactions
(My fractured observations of the spectacle I’ve just witnessed)
-Android taking the initiative to put the Raza in FTL, making it harder to track is a huge departure from her usual behavior. She basically made a command decision without first consulting anyone. This is great as long as she doesn’t decide to, pardon the phrase, break bad.
-I adored the conversation between Android and Two regarding the former helping Four regain his memories. Android sincerely wants Two’s opinion and approval. Humaning is hard.
-Six still believes what Anders told him about the station massacre that killed thousands of people. He thinks his old self was fine with it, but we know better. My gut tells me Anders wasn’t lying to Six, but that he himself was lied to, so he’s simply passing along a lie.
-Armed with his new old memories, Four tells Six he and Portia wanted to kill him, but they disagreed on when. Four wanted to do it before they went into stasis, Two wanted to wait until after. Clearly, Two got her way.
-We learn a lot about Android’s origins when she speaks with Four. He tells her how they bought her as an old utility android. Two and Five modified her, that’s what brought Portia and Das closer and improved relations on board.
-Before his memories were returned, Four would have never allowed the Blink Drive to be reverse engineered and given to an army. Now, he has no qualms about it. So much for his recent experiences as a kinder, gentler person.
-We learn that Ryo and Misaki have been friends since childhood and that she was once in love with Ryo. Apparently, that ship has sailed, though Misaki’s expression shows some affection remains.
-If you still had any lingering doubts that the crew have accepted Android as an equal, her flying the Raza solo and scaring the bejesus out of the citizenry should quash what’s left.
-For being so good at predicting the future, the Seers made a fatal mistake in underestimating Five.
-BIG REVEAL!: Four tells Android she has “internal recorders” that have record of her time on the Raza before everyone went into stasis. He says the data is still there, she just needs to find it.
-BIG QUESTION!: Will we find out what information at least some of that storage contains?
Riddle Me This
-Why does Android feel the need to lie to Two about why she’s drinking hot chocolate? I fail to see the advantage in being misleading, unless it’s to hone her skills in deception.
-Four flies the Ishida shuttle down to Zairon himself. Apparently, he knows how to fly now that he has his old memories. So how did Six retain that knowledge when Four seemingly did not?
-Why is Four avoiding Three now that his memories are back?
-How do you hide data from an artificial intelligence and do so by putting it inside said AI? One would think Android has full access to all her hardware, so some systems diagnostic subroutine should’ve alerted her to the presence of this data by now. Not that I know anything about androids from the future.
-Why did Four/Ryo have his brother killed? Perhaps he thought Hiro too weak and easily swayed. I mean, Hiro did double-cross them at their first meeting by bringing extra ships. Oh, and Hiro did say he was willing to sacrifice his life for the safety and security of Zairon. I guess Four took that literally. Better watch what you say around that guy.
He Said, She Said
(So much talking!)
“My name is Ishida Ryo. Your ship is at my mercy. Surrender or die!” – Four, doing his best Inigo Montoya
“That’s a pretty big tasting sample.”-Two
“I like to be thorough”-Android
“… and I never want to see that side of them again.” – Five
“I’m glad we didn’t kill you.” – Four
“The person you used to be would have never questioned me.” – Four
“Well, I’m not Portia.” – Two
“No. Hers was a ruthlessness born of insecurity. But you … you hold a strength drawn from confidence and compassion. I don’t miss Portia Lin.” – Four
“The answer lies within you.” – Four
“I fled because I was framed. I killed because I knew I would never receive justice. And I maimed to send a message. When the guards came for me that night, I cut their eyes out and left them for my step-mother to find. A message for our exalted Empress. I saw the truth.” – Four
“They’ve anticipated our every move so far. They’ll sure as hell know we’re coming this time.”-Six
“Of course they will.”-Two
“Why? Why?!!” – Nyx
“Because he was dangerous, Nyx.” – Four, stating the Raza Crew motto
“Hi, your majesty. My name is Five & I’m here to rescue you!” – Five
“The death of my crew would be an unfortunate, but ultimately acceptable loss in this scenario.” – Android
The After Party
(Really, it’s more like recovery than a party after that episode)
I applaud Joseph Mallozzi for not using the betrayal as the season ending WTF moment – that would’ve mirrored season one too much. It was far more effective in this episode because I think I kind of expected it to be saved for next week. He fools me every time.
Now I see why episode 211 showed Four relaxed and smiling so often. Those evil bastards who write the show (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!) were setting us up for a huge blow in this episode. It was masterfully planned and it t-boned me like an 18-wheeler hauling an oversized tank full of Concentrated Betrayal Juice, fortified with vitamins W, T, & F..
I may need therapy after the season ends. Hell, I need therapy after these last two hours of truly intense Dark Matter storytelling. Joseph Mallozzi promised the excitement and intrigue were going to keep ramping up. All season long he’s kept that promise better and more incredibly than I could have hoped.
Read my review of episode 211 here: Dark Matter 211 Review: Here’s Looking At You, Kid