Defiance: When Twilight Dims the Sky Above (recap/review)

Datak Tarr and his new arm
Defiance last week watched Nolan struggling to deal with the death’s he felt he was responsible for and T’evgin banished Kindzi, When Twilight Dims the Sky Above is all about return. Datak Tarr returns; with a brand new arm, the Omec leader’s daughter comes back from the Harvester ship and Stahma return, which actually began last week, reached fruition in this episode. By the end of the show, things in the town of Defiance have taken a down turn.

Nolan is having severe issues with the artech left in his head by Doc Yewll. Whether it is his overindulgence in alcohol that has encouraged the problems or the several blows to the head, he is seeing “The Butcher of Yosemite” and conversing with him. This hallucination prompts Joshua to act upon his baser instincts and also leads him to see things that do not exist.

There is no way that this battle between “good and bad Nolan” or deadly and deadlier Joshua was going to end well. The end of the show, which could have been titled “Sic Transit Nolan Mundi” except that Irisa has to go as well, since the two have that stasis pod artech connection that Yewll’s could not completely remove, has Amanda’s lawkeeper being driven out of town for murder.

The episode revolves around the Voltanis Collective rolling into town, headed up by the Vice Chancellor Voske, who are there to make peace. (Or as she puts it, “to apologize” for Rahm Tak’s over exuberant interpretation of his orders, which were not to wipe the human race from the planet.) It turns out that this is really so much smoke and mirrors from the Voltanis reps. They are terrified of the resident Omec and the rest of his clan who are in stasis up in that Harvester.

The overtures of peace are really about keeping the big purple guy sweet rather than trying to mend any bridges that Tak burned while increasing his “heads on poles” collection. Little wonder then that Nolan, and his other self, do not trust the Chancellor or her minions. He sets out to find out what they are really planning to do and things go belly up pretty quickly once the container of coffee is discarded for the purse under the bed.

Doc Yewll is still under the control of Kindzi, which is going to be bad news for T’evgin later in the show.

Highlights in the episode:

(1) Kindzi (in Omec-ian aka native tongue) “I’ve been upstaged.” She arrived at the party for T’evgin prepared to indulge in a bloodbath/feast to show that there was a new Omec emissary in town and Nolan’s shooting of Chancellor Voske, who was holding very dangerous cup of coffee, that to a delusional Joshua looked like a gun, stole her thunder. She was so disappointed that she cut her meal short, before it began, and left.

(2) Joshua and Irisa in that alley. When they are trapped, Nolan says “All right. Lets do this, Butch and Sundance.” He is not saying it to his adoptive daughter, but to The Butcher of Yosemite Nolan, in reply to his, “Better to go out in a blaze of glory,” remark.

(3) Doc Yewll trying to get that device out of her neck.

(4) Datak Tarr snippily telling Andina to stop standing about like a “scullery maid” while looking daggers at T’evgin with his wife Stahma. The Omec leader, seeing that Tarr is looking puts his arm protectively around “our favi” and the one-armed “hero” of Defiance is not impressed.

(5) T’evgin telling Datak Tarr to protect his wife because he, T’evgin, loves her and this is why his daughter will kill her.

(6) Kindzi, again, using her father’s drones to read T’evgin the riot act and let him know that she is in charge now.

(7) Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater in that dress at that party. Benz is value for money, not only can this beauty act, with massive chops, but she is a delight to behold.

The theme of returning is not just about Kindzi coming back to create death, destruction and a la carte dining on the local populace it is also, as mentioned before, about Datak Tarr who comes back with a brand new arm. Alak is not there to welcome his poppa with a brand new bag (arm) and that really is the only thing missing from the show.

Everything is pent up, or in Nolan’s case un-pent up, emotion. Stahma is pleased, in more ways than one, that her partner is back. One unfortunate consequence of his return is that Favi Tarr must tell T’evgin no about Australia where she was meant to be “mother” to the Omec leader’s family. Later, she has to face her lover’s anger to invite him to Amanda’s and the Chancellor’s party but then, diplomat that Stahma is, she turns the tide and convinces T’evgin that he is a wise chap and that he really should attend the party “in his honor.”

The party, as anticipated, ends badly. It appears that this is also the end of Nolan and Irisa…Or is it? He, after being caught by the late Voske’s head of security Sturuje (Alden Adair) is being sent down to Brazil, along with Irisa as they cannot be apart since the stasis pod connection, and Amanda gives Nolan’s daughter a wad of cash to bribe a guard so they can escape.

The show ends with T’evgin being immobilized by Kindzi with her Doc Yewll sabotaged drone and as predicted, by this reviewer weeks ago, looks to be the next “big bad” in the show. Since she has a real thing for Nolan perhaps he can escape and return to help Defiance fight this Omec princess with the voracious appetite and addiction to the hunt.

Defiance is part of SyFy Friday and while Nolan and Irisa appear to have been shipped off, tune in. Julie Benz is worth the trip, as are Jaime Murray, Tony Curran and new favorite “stop standing like a scullery maid,” Andina (Amy Forsyth).

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

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