Friday, August 28, 2015

Geeky TV commentary - #DarkMatter S1 finale

Dark Matter aired at 10pm on Syfy Friday nights until this week; Continuum is taking it's place in two weeks (EEEEEE!!!)

Two hours seems to be the ideal length of time for a story here on the ol Raza, because even though this was technically two episodes, it read as one long one with two stories, and didn't seem so fast as the usual one hour episodes do!

Part I: Not-Rodney-McKay is back and he has a job for them that could save them from the corporate enemies they've made! Too bad it immediately becomes clear that they've been had when Wil Wheaton shows up in a snazzy suit and effectively turns Two off, answering all her earlier questions about where she's from and who made her--though, notably, not why. He calls her Rebecca, and explains that she's staying because she's his, and there's a dampening field that is keeping her manageable because there's something wrong with her that makes her murderous.

The others go, but they aren't giving up as easily as they seem to be. They go back with Anne Droid, literally drop her in the woods, and distract from her landing by buzzing the defenses of the compound to draw attention away from her. She breaks in and gets to be totally badass while searching for Two, but the further in she goes, the more the dampening field dampens her, too--but she's smart, and she takes out the field.

Two, meanwhile, has tried to get out and been declared too defective to save, and the psycho doctor who has a major chip on his shoulder about her is trying to take her brain out while she's alive to find out why she's broken. But when the field goes down, she feels her strength and badassery come back, and she kills all of them in about 22 seconds. She and Anne Droid meet up, and blow up the compound, and go home.

Yay everyone!

But wait, there's more!

  • Five has been having her own-memory dreams, and she remembers that Four is the one that kept her from getting spaced before, and that Two was the biggest ice-queen anyone ever saw--and wanted her dead. So now she's afraid of Two again.
  • She also remembers placing a recording device, that happens to still be there. It's corrupted, so she has to noodle with it, but when she gets it to play, she hears what sounds like Four and what is definitely Two agreeing to kill some undetermined "him" before they reach the mining colony, and right after they get out of stasis.
  • Alex / Wil Wheaton tells some old guy that "Rebecca" has escaped again, and the old guy says that she's got to die because her existence will threaten them, and since she has friends that will fight for her, they have to die, too. New villain!
  • They don't say as much, but it sounds like maybe she was built as a new body! Old-dude could use a new body, and they were talking about getting her a new brain, so maybe that's a thing.
  • Alex didn't sound too pleased about his kill orders; is it because he's got human decency after all, or because he doesn't want to break his toys? If he's decent, I say he should defect and join them with all his insider knowledge.
  • Red-droid the Hologram is not happy with how Anne insists that her friends are more important than the ship.
  • Four actually smiled and called Five "little warrior" and agreed to train her! And he loosened up enough to get some snark and it does well for him!
It was a great, interesting, fun episode with a lot of action, and some excellent character work for Two while she questions her very existence. There was that great scene where One says he still likes her--he doesn't say it, but they have something in common, what with not being who they seem and all--and she looks grateful, but also asserts her need to figure out some stuff about herself.

There was also all those looks Three was sending everyone. We know he doesn't like One--or likes him likes him and can't deal with it--but he also seems to have some lingering feelings for Two, though now he doesn't trust her, what with her being synthetic and all. But he's also the one who flipped out the most when she was "dead" last week, and he seems to be fine with her by the time they get her back this week.

Which leads to:

Part II: Someone takes out Anne Droid with that damned cattle prod again. It's like the third or fourth time she's been zapped immobilized and it's starting to feel like they don't know what the heck to do with her. UGH. But she's only the first of several.

After Anne, they take out Four with poison in a glass of water that Two hands him. Then Six hears something and goes to see what it is after lockdown, and in the minute or so before Five goes to check on him, he's down, with a poisoned injection. 

Which leaves Three convinced it's One, because he's never trusted him, and recruiting Two, who doesn't really think that One did it but can't rule it out. Meanwhile, One thinks it's Three, and Five thinks it's Two, and I feel like we need a flow chart to make this make sense, but there's a big standoff in the hallway toward the end of the episode--after they've pinged a galactic command ship incoming because someone told them where to find the Raza.

There's fighting then that wastes their time and the other ship docks and then they're all gassed, and there's the cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers. They're like unfinished sentences that just lurk in the mind until the next season, and we don't have a renewal announcement yet, and it could be up to a year away even if they are renewed because it's Syfy and these are short seasons and ugh.

Anyway, the reveal: Butt-tons of soldiers take every room and drag off everyone, even the ones in sickbay--except Six. At least he has the decency to look all tight-lipped and unhappy about it! But what does it mean? Is he a traitor like it looks, or is he working some other angle? Is he being forced or is this by choice? Did he always remember all this, or is this some other driving force? Is he even aware that he's the one doing these things?

  • Three stalking One outside his room to be sure he didn't sneak out was hilarious and also makes it look like he's got other obsessions with One to deal with. Like a fierce crush.
  • Three and Two had some nice cozy conversations when they were sweeping the ship to try to find whoever is taking them out.
  • Five found out about Red-droid, disagreed with her assessment that Anne is broken and needs to be wiped, and told her to delete herself--but did she?
  • Five also showed Six her recording. He discovered that she's the one who wrote the memory-wipe file, which we all sort of expected, but that she denies. He says he thinks she was trying to protect someone, and it was all very sweet because they're great, the two of them, and their friendship is probably the most caring on the ship--before that ending.
  • Three was very upset about people messing with "my android", which is great. Almost as upset as he was about Two getting spaced.
So we end the season on a definite high note, with some questions answered--where Two comes from, and who's the one who did all this--but also a hell of a lot of new questions posed for the next season to unravel, and it's all very exciting! And terrible, because of the much-mentioned cliffhanger. And maybe worst of all, is that everyone went out from the knockout gas not trusting each other, so next season they'll probably have to start from scratch when they wake up next season, which they had damned well better do, because #RenewDarkMatter or I will be very annoyed!

Here's where my shipping-scale ends up here at the end of the season:
  • One-Two-Three, in all directions, as TV's first functional triad!
  • Three also with Anne Droid
  • Five and Four, now that she's training with him
  • Five also with Six--at least enough that he gets back on the team for her, even if they never do anything about it because she's so much younger than him
And here's some headcannons until proven otherwise:
  • Everyone keeps harping on how young Five is, but I think she's actually in her 20s and has just been playing the helpless orphan because she's so little and cute--which is why she's often the most emotionally mature of them.
  • At least one of them actually is a clone, the same as the ones in the travel pods, but altered in some way that keeps them alive and independent.
  • Red-droid is not gone--she's part of the ship's programming and she's self-righteous enough to have made provisions in case they try to delete her. She's probably waiting for the chance to take over Anne's body (but Anne won't let it be a complete over-write because her "glitch" makes her more of a real person and therefore harder to erase--hopefully, even if her personality chip is removed).
  • There really are parts of the ship they haven't seen yet.
Questions still unanswered:
  • Why were they wiped? Was the wiping the point of it or a side-effect?
  • What's up with that programming chip Five found way at the beginning that's part of something bigger and more complex?
  • WTF Six?
  • Are there other crew members who were not present during the mind-wipe who have been trying to get back?
  • What is the ultimate plan with the corporations and the government and the rebels and whatever else?
  • What did they really want to do with Two, and what's this "next prototype" they're talking about--and how many were there before her?
  • What's the real Corso doing about this imposter he now knows is there? Or if not him, his pals?
  • What happens when they're support system--Not-Rodney and all--find out they're all new people now?
  • Why is Anne Droid glitched--did someone make her that way, or is it a result of the mind-wipe reacting weirdly with her synthetic brain?
It's a lot to think about, guys! Next week I'll do a proper season review after I've had time to think it through and talk it out.

What did you guys think about this episode? This season?

Questions and comments can be directed here or on Twitter, small cash gifts are gladly accepted through the link on the right, and Sami really really really wants her own spaceship from all these spaceship-shows.
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