Defiance: Ostinato in White (recap and review)

Last week in Defiance Datak Tarr and Tony Curran may just have had a series “best” when he defeated both Rahm Tak and Amanda. This week in Ostinato in White, the consequences of the tunnel explosion are felt by all. Nolan falls apart, burdened with a guilt he has never had before, and Stahma learns of Datak’s apparent sacrifice. T’evgin punishes Kindzi and Yewll, as worm, turns.

With all the action of last week’s episode, and that personal best of Tarr’s, this week could have focussed completely upon the grieving community, instead it zooms in on Nolan. A total of 27 people died in that tunnel and, apart from Indur and Nolan who are both devastated by the deaths, the town has come together to mourn their losses. Amanda erects a shrine, or wall, for all of Defiance to use as a remembrance to the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The mayor gives a small speech and asks Nolan to do the same, Indur reacts badly and storms out. He does not want to hear anything that the lawkeeper has to say and says so as he leaves. Prior to this touching moment of grief, Dr. Yewll is hunted down by some growling beast and eaten. As the Indogene is drug off to be devoured Rosewater compares the hate from Rahm Tak’s attackers to a raging monster.

After the ceremony, T’evgin speaks to Alak Tarr who reveals that he has not forgiven his mother and as he knows that the Omec is keeping Stahma safe, he asks that T’evgin pass this information on. The Omec leader later tells Stahma Alak’s message and reveals Datak’s sacrifice and her pardon because of his actions.

Nolan sits in the lawkeeper office holding Zero’s rifle, the one Indur made for his son. Irisa comes in and Joshua explains that Indur should have it back. She offers to take it for him and Nolan says it is something that he needs to do himself. He heads to Indur’s home and gets a less than welcoming reception.

Irisa and Amanda go to investigate an Indogene body found torn to pieces in an alley. They take the body to Dr. Yewll’s office and have to wait for her to show up making it seem, for a moment, that the corpse on the examining table may be Doc’s.

Samir, the vet, asks to assist Yewll during the autopsy and they banter, at least that is what Doc believes they are doing, with Yewll explaining that she was being sarcastic when Samir gets irritated. The two discover spores, or glitter as Samir puts it much to Yewll’s annoyance, and that the Indogene body is Doc Yewll, or more accurately a Yewll clone.

The vet is quite perceptive, something that will cost him later in the episode, and again, Yewll appears to be annoyed at his cleverness. T’evgin escorts Stahma back to her home in Defiance and they talk about the Omec “plan” and Kindzi. Despite his earlier warnings, Stahma points out once more that Kindzi is a problem. T’evgin disagrees.

At the Tarr house, Stahma is greeted with the word “terrorist” written on the front door in red and Andina struggling to scrub the graffiti off. She sees Stahma and excitedly greets her, “Favi! Oh, you’re alive.” She hugs Stahma who thanks her and replies that it is good to be home.

Nolan and Irisa are at the crime scene in the alley and T’evgin approaches them. Nolan tells the Omec that he is busy and T’evgin replies that his business is urgent; he is looking for Kindzi. Joshua sends his daughter to look on the roof for tracks as he and T’evgin head to the remains of the creature’s attack.

When the Omec sees the “grizzly” remnants of the Indogene body, he is disturbed. T’evgin knows exactly who killed and devoured this victim, he was talking about her only moments before; Kindzi. Nolan suspects that the Omec knows something and tells him that “If you have any insight at all in to what kind of creature might have done all this damage, now would be a really good time to tell me.” Irisa interrupts this line of conversation to tell her father that more blood is on the roof.

When Nolan turns back to speak to T’evgin once more, the Omec has vanished from the scene. As Joshua joins Irisa on the roof, the growing animal strikes again. This time in broad daylight and it kills three victims, none of which are Indogene. Nolan is furious. After he kills a raccoon, Irisa takes charge and tells her dad to take a “couple of hours and get your head straight.” Nolan leaves her in charge.

Back at the Tarr household, Andina talks to Stahma about Alak. She reveals to his mother that Alak keeps a pistol with two rounds in it. Both cartridges are meant for Stahma, one for his wife and one for the baby. He means to use both when he sees her again.

As Yewll continues the autopsy, Samir annoys her further with his riff on clones. After he tells Doc that he will stop talking, they find the spores in her clone’s lungs. Yewll tells Samir that these are only found in Old St Louis and she is off to investigate. Samir wants to accompany her and she tells him no. She asks that if she is not back at the same time “tomorrow” that Samir “sound the alarm.”

Nolan visits the shrine/wall. He is drinking heavily and remembering his interaction with the dead. After he punishes himself for “killing them” he leaves and goes back to the lawkeeper office where he meets Kindzi. She has been waiting for him and they come very close to sharing a very intimate moment when the beast’s growl is heard again and she leaves. Nolan senses that Kindzi knows what it is and he is right. This time the growl is from T’evgin and Kindzi recognizes it.

After Kindzi leaves, Nolan is still in the lawkeeper’s office. He is still drunk and trying to reload his rifle’s magazine. Amanda comes in as his hailer is going off. He ignores it and tells Rosewater that he needs to question T’evgin. The mayor talks him into sleeping it off and she arranges to go see the Omec in the morning.

Yewll is in Old St Louis and she finds not only her clones but Kindzi. T’evgin’s daughter reveals that she was using the clones to practice hunting. Now she is addicted to the hunt and she forces Yewll to help her. Placing a control device in Doc’s neck, she takes over the Indogene.

Just as she is about to force Yewll to shove her ax through her own hand, T’evgin appears and puts an end to his daughter’s cruelty. Kindzi sends Yewll away, telling her to protect her, Kindzi’s, interests at all cost, something that will end badly for Samir. T’evgin overpowers his rebellious daughter and tells her that he is tired of teaching her. He then tells her goodbye and sends her back into stasis.

Stahma is trying to buy ink for a Castithan mourning ritual. Amanda buys the stuff for her when the shopkeeper refuses. Nolan is hung over and Amanda is not talking to him. The mayor and Nolan question T’evgin and the Omec leader swears that there will be no more deaths. “On your daughter’s life,” asks Nolan. T’evgin pauses for a moment, “On my daughter’s life,” he replies. Nolan wants to push the issue and pulls a gun on the Omec. It ends badly for Joshua.

Yewll lies to Samir about the clones and he notices the device on her neck. He asks about what happened at Old St Louis and she stabs him with a hypodermic needle while she apologizes. Stahma performs the mourning ceremony for Datak and Nolan goes to see Indur. “I got your message,” Joshua says as he forces the door open and finds that Indur has hung himself. Stahma blows out the ceremonial candle.

This week, Defiance belonged to Grant Bowler, full stop. Certainly other characters felt pain from the deaths at the tunnel, but his grief was all-consuming because, in his mind, it was his fault. Intertwined with the Kindzi as free-wheeling-killer storyline, the audience got to see the Butcher of Yosemite at his most vulnerable. Rather interestingly we also see T’evgin being pretty vulnerable as well.

The main difference between the two was that Nolan struck out at everyone, with the exception of Indur (played brilliantly by Tony Nappo) whom he actually attempts to placate, while the Omec father struck out at Kindzi. The two men did have different reasons though.

Joshua was devastated by his failure to keep his troops alive and T’evgin appears to have been motivated by anger, that Stahma was right all along, and jealousy. It was, after all, his growling that interrupted his daughter’s attempted coitus with Nolan, quite revealing after his telling Kindzi off about her jealousy over Stahma.

The big question now is whether or not Samir will survive Yewll’s needle attack in her office. Hopefully, now that Kindzi is in stasis, Doc can overcome the controlling device inserted by the Omec princess. Tony Curran was missed, except for the “previously on” clip, but Jaime Murray and Amy Forsyth both did well in the non-Nolan drama stakes. Forsyth is quickly becoming a favorite character and it remains to be seen whether she and Alak will become an item, post Lucy. All those meals and clean laundry…

Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays and not to be missed. “Defiance!”

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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