Defiance: The Beauty of Our Weapons (recap and review)

Sharknado comes to Defiance
Last week in Defiance, Datak was captured and told by Nolan that he would probably hang for treason, Stahma and Amanda got into an altercation and Datak’s wife left with a letter opener in her side. Heading to T’evgin’s door, she pleaded for help, much to the dismay of Kindzi and Rahm Tak murdered his wife before telling Bebe to “put on the coffee.” This week in Defiance, The Beauty of Our Weapons brings everything that bit closer to the day of the attack.

Before the end credits roll, Datak asks to die at the Shaming Wall, Berlin gives Amanda a vote of “no confidence” and bails, with former lover Conrad Van Bach, Stahma almost winds up being a very clean snack for Kindzi, Nolan and Irisa share some father/daughter time and later when she has a major meltdown while shooting at the practice range, Joshua proves that he can support his daughter and give one helluva speech.

Ian Ziering guest stars as Van Bach while taking a short break from the Sharknado verse. This week leaves Rahm Tak out of the proceedings with Bebe standing in as the face of evil and Defiance focuses inward where punishment and understanding are the order of the day. The only real fly in the ointment is Berlin’s defection and Amanda’s decree of cowardice as a result.

Datak Tar manages to shine at his sentencing. Amanda asks the convicted traitor if he has any last words. Tar looks her in the eye and says, “Did my wife do that to your face? It’s a good look for you.” The mayor of Defiance snorts and shakes her head. Datak getting the last word is bittersweet and spot on.

Conrad Von Bach rolls into town and after a little comedic touch with the arms dealer and his “muscle” Benedict, he goes to buy some sunglasses, mainly so he can look at the vendors bum. Berlin comes over and the two reunite Indiana Jones style, with Conrad getting a punch in the nose from Jess after admitting he sold weapons to the Voltanis Collective.

Von Bach has, however, brought weapons for the residents of Defiance. Nolan doesn’t trust the arms dealer and aims a rifle at Conrad’s head, who deactivates the gun and reveals that the price is nothing. The reason, he says, is to impress Berlin. Back at Rahm Tak’s camp, the collective are about to break through Defiance’s defenses via their tunnel. Bebe gets a new face in order to be ready for the invasion.

Stahma learns from T’evgin that Datak is to be hung and Kindzi learns that their guest can speak the Omec language. Kindzi is not happy about her father’s decision to shelter the “spy” and reminds him that the entire town of Defiance will be against him if they find out.

Jess and Conrad compare notes about their “breakup” and both learn that his mother orchestrated the whole thing. Telling Berlin that her son was “through with her” and telling Conrad that Jess took money to leave. After a little backstory, the two kiss and Berlin asks Von Bach if he wants to go upstairs. Conrad says yes.

Nolan starts a training session with the local militia and one lad, Raniker “but they call me Zero” can really shoot with a homemade gun his father Indur made for him. Meanwhile, Lt. Bebe, with his new face, is ready to do that last bit in the tunnel.

As the local troops are put through their paces, Indur asks where Irisa is. The farmer demands to know where the “Amazing Goddess” is and why she is not training with them. After some words of discontent, Indur states that if Nolan’s family is not willing to fight, neither is his. Indur, Zero and a few other potential soldiers all leave.

Alak comes to visit Datak, as requested, but does not bring Luke as his father asked. The younger Tar says that his half-human son will never see his grandfather. Alak reveals that he would have died trying to save his wife and child. Datak admits that he failed his family. Saying that his “time is done here,” he asks a favor of his son; tell Amanda that he wants to die at the shaming wall, a death by painful torture in order to take away the “stain of my immortal soul.”

Nolan approaches Irisa and asks her to join the soldiers. As they talk, she asks Joshua if he is ever scared and he replies yes. “Now” she asks. He says yes, “and tired” and the two hug. “I love you,” Irisa says, a touching moment between father and daughter.

Kindzi decides to pick on Stahma while her father is in the mines. She describes what happened to former “concubines” of T’evgin and begins to throttle Stahma. Her father intercedes, throwing his daughter to the wall and then puts his foot to her throat. He forces Kindzi to apologize. “Think nothing of it,” replies Stahma.

Conrad woos Berlin with a film, the old Rock Hudson/Jane Wyman weepy All That Heaven Allows, and he asks her to go away with him. She puts up a little resistance, saying that Defiance is her home and Conrad reminds her that she was posted there. He also tells her that he wants a live with the girl he never stopped loving. Uncomfortable, Jess says, “Let’s just watch the movie.”

Mayor Rosewater agrees to Datak’s request, but thinks that he has some sort of angle. Right after her meeting with the condemned prisoner, Amanda returns to her office to find Berlin there. Jess tells her that she is leaving with Conrad and after some arguing, reveals that they will leave the next day. She asks for Amanda’s support and explains that she is scared, just like she was as a youngster. Rosewater tells Jess that she is her family and Berlin says that Amanda cannot protect the town or her from what will happen. “You’re a coward,” Amanda says as Jess leaves the room.

Irisa forces herself to go and shoot. Berlin tells Nolan about leaving and he coldly tells her “Defiance, thanks you for your service,” twice. The “Goddess” joins the line and begins firing. Zero continues to be a crack shot, “you should see me when I’m hunting kanga-rats.” Nolan tells Amanda that things are looking pretty good.

As his daughter fires her weapon, she sees Tommy; all bleeding bullet holes and dying, he calls her name. She drops her weapon and rushes to cradle him. Weeping she repeats that she is sorry and that she wishes she could take it all back. Nolan comes up and takes her out of the street, it was all in her head and there is no Tommy there, and Amanda warns Joshua not to let the training fall apart.

The “Butcher of Yosemite” proves, however, after apologizing for forcing Irisa to participate when she was not ready, that he can give one great motivational speech and the training soldiers unite behind him. During his speech, Nolan singles out Berlin with certain phrases, letting her know just how he feels about her leaving when the town needs her.

Before Datak is taken for his “execution” the doctor tells him that she will miss him, despite voting for his death, “I still have to live in this town,” she tells him. “I respect your pragmatism,” Tar says. After a short preamble, Datak is strapped into the wall and he apologizes to the town. As the Castithan’s start piling on the weight that will tear him apart, Alak brings Luke to see his grandfather. Datak’s son tells the baby that his grandfather may be flawed but that he has honor.

Bebe breaches Defiance via the tunnel and shoots the old man who asks who he is. T’evgin leaves Stahma with Kindzi yet again and he promises her that his daughter will behave. Kindzi stops brushing Stahma’s hair and retrieves what appears to be a pebble and tells her to eat it. It glows blue and Stahma refuses saying that Kindzi cannot force her, “I disagree,” replies T’evgin’s daughter and forces the thing down her throat. She appears to be transported to the Omec ship immediately after.

Defiance is now on the brink of Rahm Tak’s invasion and things look pretty bleak. Berlin has deserted her family, friends and post and Datak looks to be a goner, unless of course he really does “have an angle” as suggested by Amanda. Stahma looks to be in trouble as well, Kindzi may tremble under her father’s boot, but that has not kept her from doing something to his “concubine” that looks pretty final.

Grant Bowler, as Joshua, looked different this week and it took some time to realize that the character had trimmed his beard. In terms of performances? Bowler rocked in all his scenes, despite the disconcerting change in appearance, Stephanie Leonidas and her melt down was a tear inducing moment and Terry Curran managed to be both “doomed” and tragic. Brilliant heart wrenching stuff indeed. As for Berlin’s departure? Can we really miss anyone who loves the film All That Heaven Allows so much it is her favorite film?

Kudos to Ian Ziering who, as one reviewer put it, “didn’t suck.” The Sharknado star proved that underneath all that schlocky rubbish he is still an actor. He did a superb job as the “Indy” arms dealer still in love with Anna Hopkins’ character Jess, aka Berlin.

Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays and should not be missed.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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