Dark Matter: Ep 11 & 12 – Two Hour Sucker Punch (Review) Major Spoilers

 Dark Matter - Season 2

Kudos to Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie for pulling off a masterful two hour sucker punch.  Rather than opting for a two episode bang up for the finale of season two, Dark Matter did a back-to-back for a penultimate rug pull.  Softening us up for the kill, literally, with a great tale of redemption and further bonding between Five and Three in episode 11.

“Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had the Chance” had the crew enjoying some R&R on a space station. Five is kidnapped by “white slavers” or the space version of traffickers in human flesh. Three goes after the youngest Raza crew member.

This episode proved just how far Marcus Boone has come since the memory loss.  While still canny enough to sneak up on the space station “rednecks” Three manages to get wounded pretty badly.

After saving Five, she then “saves” him. The rest of the crew do their cavalry impression and arrive to keep the GA from taking Boone back.  The crew are also saved from the cloned cops by Five via a well placed missile launcher.

Episode 11 softened things up for the viewer.  Once again, at least one fan was surprised into schmaltzy tears during the exchange of the Three and Five. Although it was obvious that Three was not buying the whole “Wish I’d spaced you when I had the chance,” drill. The fact that Five thought it could work spoke volumes about how he feels about the littlest crew member.

The entire plot line was a set-up.  It took our minds off of last week’s surprise ending where Four asks The Android to give him back his memory.  In fact the last few episodes have lulled the audience into a false sense of security.

Building up the idea of The Android being a friend of all the crew, and showing how tight they have all become was a trap. Even Six has been accepted again.  Then Four’s request to The Android and, like a martial arts expert scarecrow, Ryo Tetsuda has gotten his brain, in the form of those old memories.

After the amusing end to episode 11, “Sometimes in Life You Don’t Get to Choose” takes Dark Matter into an uncomfortable place. (While taking time to show Five smiling shyly as she rescues Hiro, played by Karl Ang.)

Dark Matter - Season 2
“Your highness, I’ve come to rescue you.”

While the previous episode managed to keep us off-balance it is episode 12 that delivers a brilliant jaw dropping  moment.  The sucker punch ending stunned and may have had more than a few fans slamming fist into palm and exclaiming “I knew it!”

After Four has the implant uploaded into his brain, it all seems to be a little too good to be true. He has, as The Android claimed could happen, kept his new memories.  But there are two sides to the new and improved Ryo.

He plans to take back his throne and starts the steps necessary. He forges an important ally and then speaks with his brother. Hiro, then gets his mother to confess she killed the emperor. Ryo and his brother plot to put Four in charge of their people.

It does not go to plan. Every step Ryo makes is overshadowed by someone who seems to know what he is planning. On the Raza, Four is nice to Two, Six and The Android. He smiles and is complimentary to all. Five avoids him, as she remembers all too well what he was like before.

Four, however, does not approach Three. This should have been a warning that something was up with Four.  Boone believes it is something from his past that Ryo knows.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Boone looking for Five.

It is however, more likely that Ryo felt Boone may sense he is not quite and benign as he appears. Four plans to make copies of the blink drive and outfit his country’s ships and win the war. Six vows to  stop him which Four ignores. For now.

Ryo is ambushed in the palace by his stepmother’s supporters. Hiro has been locked away and the evil woman has taken over the throne. The crew come to the rescue while Ryo and Misaki talk about old memories. (She loved him when they were children.)

The childhood infatuation does not, however, stop her from starting to execute Ryo when order to by the Empress. The entire crew of the Raza, sans Five, are captured and Ryo, after being found guilty of his father’s murder, sentenced to death.

The Android shows up in the nick of time to save her friends and Hiro, who shows up with Five, accuses his mother of murder and abdicates his throne. He names his brother Ryo as the real ruler of their people.

He then asks the lead “seer” Hansmeed, played by Daniel Fathers  to tell him what will happen next.  (It was the seers who almost foiled his plot..) Hansmeed predicts that the former empress will be exiled, Hiro will be placed on the cabinet and the seers will work as allies to Ryo.

Ryo tells the man he is wrong. Issuing an order, Misaki and her security force kill the empress, Hiro, and all the seers. Tetsuda puts on the royal ring and declares himself the new emperor.

Sucker.

Punch.

The rest of the Raza crew look on in shock. Cue end credits while the music plays out the episode.  Mad props to all the cast for killing it in these two episodes and as alluded to above, “Mssrs. Mallozzi and Mullie, we are not worthy…”

So far, this second season of Dark Matter has revealed so much more while deftly changing the direction of the show. Last year’s season finale was a shocker but it has paled compared to the events in this second helping of the show.

While the mind races trying to figure out the meaning of the last episode of season two “But First, We Save the Galaxy” the excitement of wondering where season three will lead us is almost too much to consider.

Dark Matter airs its season two finale next week on SyFy and Space. Do not miss this brilliant show’s concluding episode.

CAST:

Guest Starring  Ellen Wong  as Misaki Han-Shireikan  

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Author: Michael Knox-Smith

World traveler, writer, actor, journalist. Cinephile who reviews films, television, books and interviews professionals in the industry. Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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