Defiance: My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You (recap/review)

Datak Tarr in Rahm Tak's camp Defiance
Last week’s episode of Defiance saw Datak Tarr on the shaming wall being stretched to death by his fellow Votan’s placing weights on the device. The Beauty of Our Weapons also saw Berlin scarper, Irisa underwent a meltdown at the target range and afterward Nolan boosted the militia with a motivational speech. In My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You, the town of Defiance has been breached and suffered its first fatalities, Nolan screws up, Bebe gets his just deserts, Omec makes a stand, Irisa gets her mojo back and Rahm Tak’s curiosity proves fatal.

At the start of this episode, Datak Tarr is on the shaming wall and remembering an moment from his childhood, a young Tarr faces a mirror holding his father’s blade and repeats the phrase “My name is Datak Tarr and I have come to kill you.” Tarr senior comes in and takes the blade back and tells his son off.

Bebe, with his human face, is in Defiance with the rest of the infiltration team and they spot Tarr on the rack/wall. After a moment of contemplation, they move to take hostages along with the Mayor and Nolan. They line up the hostages so that Rahm Tak can tell them his “demands.” He does so via an interactive hologram. He offers to let the humans go if they let down the stasis nets. Rosewater refuses and he orders the hostages killed.

Nolan gets free and kills one of Tak’s troops with a knife to the throat, they are all wearing body armor, and Bebe kills another ensuring that he will get close to the Butcher of Yosemite. “Nice shooting Tex,” Joshua says, accepting Bebe as human instantly. Despite his getting free, many of the hostages die.

Stahma is in the Omec ship but only in “spirit” as she and Kindzi are linked mentally, via the blue “rock” that T’evgin’s daughter made her swallow. While on the ship, she learns the plans of the Omec and what will happen to the inhabitants of Earth. Before that, Amanda and Nolan question how Tak’s troops got through the net. “Tex,” aka Beckman and Nolan bond and the new guy agrees to join the militia. Joshua tells Alak to show Beckman around and Datak’s son asks Bebe if he knows him from somewhere.

Irisa “weapons” up and Nolan comes dangerously close to apologizing. Irisa points this out and Joshua reverts to type after saying that he is getting soft in his old age. He also tells her that he is proud of her. Amanda tells the citizens of Defiance that they are under attack with Rahm Tak’s infiltrators still in the town.

During her broadcast, T’evgin stops for pancakes. He listens to the message while observing the Votan shop. Tak’s men are entering homes and killing innocents, Nolan splits up his group, taking Bebe with him and sending Irisa and Alak in the other direction, when they hear the gunfire and both pairs head out to stop the infiltrators.

One of Tak’s men starts to shoot a human mother and two small children when T’evgin interrupts him. He turns the Votan around and tells him that he “lacks honor.” The Omec’s teeth suddenly become huge and he rips the throat open of the assailant. The mother then asks if they will be next and T’evgin says no. “But the stories,” she says. “Old stories,” T’evgin says. Nolan tries to talk the Omec into helping more but he refuses saying again that this is not his fight.

Kindzi plans on her father killing Stahma after she revealed the Omec plans but is bitterly disappointed. T’evgin explains that originally the plan was to enslave the denizens of Earth but that has changed. Kindzi responds by spitting in his face and calling him a traitor. Stahma warns that T’evgin’s daughter is dangerous and “something needs to be done.” The Omec leader makes it very clear that Stahma is out of line. He reminds her that they are “not a team.”

Bebe “finds” a map to the tunnels back to Rahm Tak’s camp. Nolan wants to go through the tunnel and strike Tak where it hurts. Amanda wants to plug the hole up and Joshua talks her out of it. Alak is waiting outside Defiance at the other end of the tunnel keeping an eye out for more Tak troops.

Nolan gives his team last minute instructions before going into the tunnel. Bebe is in the group. When they get to the end of the tunnel, Nolan and Irisa go out after he tells the rest of the team to wait for his signal. Joshua gives Alak a “thumbs up” signal and motions for him to join them. Bebe/Beckman tells the team that he hears something. He instructs the militia members to wait there and he leaves.

Outside, Nolan sees Beckman and tells him that he said to wait. Before the words are completely out of his mouth, Bebe disarms Irisa and Nolan, shoots Alak and grabs Joshua. Irisa fights back and gets stabbed in the shoulder with her own knife. Bebe throws a grenade into the tunnel killing the militia team. Nolan fights Bebe and is losing when Irisa takes the knife and stabs Bebe to death.

The “Goddess” is back.

Datak Tarr has more memories of growing up and being punished by his father’s blade, it was shoved through his hand. In the doctor’s office Nolan is full of guilt about the death of his team in the tunnel and Irisa tries to make him see it is not his fault. Amanda comes in and reveals that Rahm Tak has set up camp outside the city.

Dr. Yewll explains that Tak has done them a favor. Using a volunteer she can blow up the stasis nets and kill Rahm and all his troops. It is, she says, a suicide mission, the volunteer will carry the detonator in his or her arm. Nolan wants to go and Amanda says that she will do it. Alak says that he knows the perfect person to be sent to General Rahm Tak’s relocated camp.

Datak Tarr has another memory of his father and that blade. As their world is ending Datak’s father decides to stay behind. He gives the blade to his son along with a talk about honor and vanity. Amanda tells Datak that if he accepts her offer of redemption that Stahma will be pardoned of her crimes and Datak will be pardoned as well…posthumously. He accepts.

He has the detonator hidden in his left forearm and when he gets into Rahm Tak’s camp, Yewll will set it off, killing the general and all his troops. Tarr is allowed outside of Defiance and enters the camp, Rahm Tak allows him to enter because, “He’s got me curious.”

Back in Defiance, Yewll sets the timer for four minutes and the countdown begins. In Rahm Tak’s camp, Datak has to do a “song and dance” to keep the general from killing him. Getting on his knees, he ask for his blade to prove his humility. Tak’s curiosity is piqued again and he allows Datak to have the blade.

Datak tells Rahm Tak that he rescued him from the shaming wall and therefore Tak owns his body. “Including,” Datak says, “my good left arm.” Taking the blade he begins to saw his own arm off, which contains the detonator, while Tak and his troops scream and yell at this act of self mutilation. Amid the cacophony, they are yelling, laughing and excitedly shouting, Rahm Tak screams out, “That is some “gangster-a** sh**!” the general is massively impressed.

Tarr removes his arm and as Tak goes to pick it up, Datak says he needs a moment. Tak agrees that he can leave the tent. As Datak heads shakily to the exit, Tak grabs the arm and plays with it, giving “high-fives” to his troops. Datak is outside the tent running madly away from the area and Rahm realizes that there is something in the arm. “Oh sh**, he says as the stasis nets explode killing everyone.

As the blast engulfs Rahm Tak’s camp, Alak and Irisa touch hands and the camera moves over the shattered camp and lingers on Datak Tarr. Laying on his back, with the blade under his right hand, Tarr grins.

This episode was nothing less than brilliant. Granted, Nolan did accept Bebe/Beckman rather quickly, but it was essential to the plot and therefore forgivable. The continued bonding between Joshua and Irisa is nice to see and it looks like Alak and Nolan’s daughter may just become an item. Yewll got some excellent lines out, with her quips of “Cowboy guy” and “…Teacher’s Pet, see me after class.”

*Sidenote* The set piece with T’evgin and those teeth. A truly terrifying moment and one that proved that the Omec really does not need any other weapons.

The scene in Rahm Tak’s camp where Datak Tarr removes his own arm was an epic win. How could anyone not love Tak’s reaction. While Rahm’s demise was not down to his own fascination with all human pop culture, his “gangster-a**” comment was just brilliant. It was his curiosity that killed him in the end.

*Sidenote II* The playing of The DoorsWhen the Music’s Over as Datak slyly fools his captor and then runs off to live another day was spot on.

This will be a hard episode to beat, let alone match. Tony Curran rocked it, as did Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll. Special kudos to Lee Tergesen as General Rahm Tak, what a great ending for a great villain, a real OMG performance even at the end. Speaking of villains, the new direction that T’evgin appears to be heading may just make Kindzi the next “big bad.” Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays. Cracking science fiction television that is not to 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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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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