Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie answer the question about whether Androids dream in “Take the Shot.” Dark Matter this week had a splendid bit of misdirection that kept everyone guessing right till the end.
There was a brilliant nod to “Solaris” and perhaps a wink to Event Horizon as well. Both films deal with people who were not really there and each had characters who could physically interact with these “visions.”
The storyline takes up where last week’s episode left off. The Android is in a nightgown and in a bedroom surrounded by a snowy forest. This time the dream includes the other Android who offered her the upgrade in episode four, Victor.
All of the dream takes place while The Android is on the charge pad. When she wakes up, The Android tells Two about the dream. She then tells the crew of the Android “simulation” and about her mistake.
Both the simulation and The Android act like Tweedledum and Tweedledee during the briefing. The quibbling between the two annoys Three and the rest of the crew are not keen on this behavior either. Two talks about rebooting The Android and Three argues that would be tantamount to killing the robot.
The crew decide to put The Android back on the charge pad and she retreats into her world of dreams as her friends decide on what to do with her. The simulation does a system diagnostic. Here is where the misdirection begins.
Once The Android steps into the charger bay and closes her eyes, Four experiences flashing lights and sees someone walk past his door. It is Misaki Han-Shireikan and as the lights continue to flash in the Raza, Four follows the woman and they fight.
Misaki chastises Ryo for not helping his people. She also calls him a coward. Ryo protests that without his memory, he does not know who to trust. Throughout the fight, Misaki is kicking Ryo’s arse and she ultimately wins the fight. Ryo is left slumped on the floor having been run through with Misaki’s samurai sword.
We are as stunned as he is.
Two also has a “dream.” Rook’s technicians have caught up with her on the Raza. They capture her and are about to torture her. Five calls Six and asks him to check on their leader as she cannot contact her on the comms link.
Six takes Nyx and they find Two standing in a corridor. She is frozen in one spot and not responding. When Six touches Two she attacks and begins choking the life out of him. In her mind, he is one of Rook’s men. Nyx knocks Two out.
Three finds that Sarah (Natalie Brown) has returned from the dead. The love of his life urges him to kill himself so they can be together. Five asks Six to check on Three saving his life.
(Three’s dream was interesting, and emotional, as he tries to take control. He realizes this cannot be real but his love is so deep for Sarah he almost kills himself.)
All these dreams take place while The Android is in her own dream. The robot, however, knows she is “dreaming” and Victor attempts to convince her into staying in his world. He mentions Zhuangzi and his butterfly dream. Is The Android dreaming of the Raza or is she really dreaming of Victor and his world.
Back on the ship the simulation android reveals that the ship is infected with a system virus. The hacked computer is taking over all functions. It is, says the simulation, The Android trying to take control of the Raza. The program urges the crew to “kill” her “real” counterpart.
It also reveals that the dreams, or visions, were caused by the neural uplinks with the ship’s system. Two orders Four to erase the uplinks to prevent further issues. The simulation android begins to pressure the crew to destroy The Android.
Five argues that The Android has not infected the ship nor would she try to harm them. The robot has a loyalty not only to the crew but, as they learned in the parallel world, to Portia Lin for making her more human.
The simulation becomes strident in her commands to kill The Android. Three, even after being told to “take the shot” cannot bring himself to pull the trigger.
Inside The Android’s dream she sees a news broadcast. A news anchor reads that the crew of the Raza are under attack and that the ship is helpless. The robot makes the decision to leave her dream and save her friends.
The virus floods the Raza with a poisonous gas and all the crew, sans Two, head to the Marauder. Two and The Android take on the simulation and the program tries to kill Two. Five is the first person Two sees when she regains consciousness and the youngest Raza crew member has once again helped to save the Raza.
We learn that the parallel universe’s Truffaut infected the ship when the Raza crew stole their version of the blink drive. It is interesting to note, that while Two and The Android defeated the virus and saved the ship and crew, it was Five, one again, who was the voice of reason.
This explanation rings true as all the affected were hit with their weaknesses. Ryo for his guilt at leaving Zairon in turmoil, Portia’s fear of Rook and losing her power and Marcus’ love for Sarah.
Five is, despite being the youngest member of the crew, the “adult” in this scenario. She often is the one crew member who stands up for what is right.
Initially the dreams or visions seem to be some sort of blowback from the other universe. Then the connection is made to The Android’s dreams. In the end,however, it was the all powerful Commander Truffault from the alternate universe who caused the dreams with her virus. This was a brilliant look at bending reality and the effects it would have on this world’s crew.
Although, at the end of the episode, it is revealed that some blowback has indeed taken place. Ryo/Four, after seeing his other self ruling the Principality of Zairon, has not erased his brain implant. His vision and his guilt may prompt him to return and reclaim his throne.
It appears that this Raza crew may lose Ryo as well. Will he talk his shipmates into helping him regain his throne? More importantly, will he be able to after getting back his old memory.
Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see what happens to the crew of the Raza next.
- Marc Bendavid – One/Jace Corso
- Melissa O’Neil – Two/Portia Lin
- Anthony Lemke – Three/Marcus Boone
- Alex Mallari Jr. – Four/Ryo Tetsuda
- Jodelle Ferland – Five/Emily Kolburn
- Roger Cross – Six/Kal Varrik
- Zoie Palmer – The Android
- Melanie Liburd – Nyx Harper