Despite missing the boat a bit (or in this case “the Raza”) we have done a bit of binging to catch up on all that has transpired in season three of Dark Matter. A lot has happened since the explosive finale of season two with everything reaching dizzying heights of excitement and more than a touch of mystery in “All the Time in the World.”
Season three has rung in some amazing, as well as disturbing, changes in this world we have all grown to love. There have been losses. Nyx is dead and Six, aka Kal Varrik, has left the Raza to stay and guide a revolution. Two new crew members are on board – and Shockley’s interaction with Marcus (Three) provided one of the funniest moments in episode 4 “Deal! Ahhhhh!” while Ryo has shown that underneath all that cold exterior there beats the heart of a lover.
Episode four takes a now familiar plot line (a temporal time loop – aka “Groundhog Day”) and stands it on its head. Three, Marcus Boone, is reliving the same day over and over. More importantly, he has been doing it for some time.
We are allowed to see only a small portion of this repeat cycle – to hilarious effect – and this adds to the riff on this plot device. Initially this loop affects only Boone, who is rebooted when he sleeps or when Shockley knocks him out. Later it also affects Adrian and even later The Android.
It is The Android who manages to steal the show full stop with her mind numbing, and, in places, damned terrifying, five second trip into the past. The journey takes the robot to some dark and disturbing scenarios one of which entails The Android being told solemnly that the scientist who has dissected her is not a monster – while she looks at the various body parts removed and placed by her side.
Lemke, who shines in this episode more than most, does what he does best; he acts his little cotton socks off…effortlessly. Straight-faced and completely serious he faces his own personal Groundhog Day with an aplomb that speaks volumes about this man’s talents.
Stand Out Moment:
Marcus trying to remember the name of the particle accelerator and getting the name wrong repeatedly after each reboot. “Reboot…Sh*t!”
Palmer manages to keep up with Lemke throughout. She does, however, speed past her costar with ease in that short and upsetting montage with her very short trip down memory lane.
(Kudos to Ferland in those last moments of that five second trip. Her aged and creepy Five, complete with milky eyes that dart suspiciously as she tells The Android to destroy the device, is top notch and a throwback to those old days when creepy kids were her forte.)
Mallozzi and Mullie have managed to ring in the changes with scary ease. They have taken an almost stock plot in this latest episode and managed to make it new. I found myself second guessing (incorrectly) throughout and was completely surprised at the end to find that what caused the loop fell outside of my list of choices completely.
There are indications this season that the blink drive from season two may be the spanner in the works that upsets everything. It has clearly introduced parallel worlds, or at least parallel lives and times. The “jumps” made by The Android provokes a number of questions about the verse and its temporal stability in general.
The biggest question, of course, being whether or not the original crew of the Raza are not still working together in another dimension. A verse where One is not dead at all and Ryo (Four) has not gone against his comrades.
Dark Matter is still addictive television and, along with Killjoys, one of the best things about SyFy on Fridays. Despite this shows move into a dark and more disturbing direction this season, Dark Matter still has the ability to make me laugh and cry; often at the same time.
A September 1, press release from SyFy has announced that the popular science fiction drama mystery Dark Matter has been given the greenlight for a further 13 episodes in a second season. SyFy will premiere the Prodigy Pictures property in 2016 . Dark Matter follows the six member crew of the Raza who initially wake as strangers in a ship that is about to crash. With no memories of who they are the group bond and the first season followed their journey as they became a team and then a family.
According to SyFy the series got around 1.8 million viewers during its first season on the network. The Senior Vice President of Program Strategy for SyFy, Chris Regina revealed that the series has a passionate fanbase who are “loyal and engaged with the show’s creators.
Show runner, executive producer and creator Joseph Mallozzi told MikesFilmTalk that he is “Looking forward to blowing audience minds for one more year!” Joseph gave the site an in-depth interview about Dark Matterand it’s season one finale.
Dark Matter was created and developed from Joseph and Paul Mullie’s graphic novel of the same name and was developed with Prodigy Pictures (who produce Lost Girl). Dark Matter stars Melissa O’Neil, Marc Bendavid, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr., Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross and Zoie Palmer, with a recurring role by David Hewlett.
Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Vanessa Piazza and Jay Firestone are executive producers for the show.
For anyone who watched the first season this will be exciting news. The season finale was a two-hour surprise ending that left many questions for fans. Now there will be a chance to learn more about this fascinating verse. The season one finale can be viewed here and the MikesFilmTalk recap and review can be read here.
Congratulations to Joseph, the cast and the crew for getting a second season. Fans will be, as I am, excited that this brilliant show is coming back.
[UPDATE] For those fans of Dark Matter who watched the season finale and read this interview afterward, the actor seen walking the “long slow walk” off the ship with Six (Roger Cross) is none other than Canadian actorJeff Teravainen who plays Galactic Authority Officer Lt. Anders in episode 8 and the final episode of the season. To all those who ventured guesses via social media thanks for playing.
On August 26, after watching the season one finale of Dark Matter, MikesFilmTalk (MFT) got to interview show runner, creator, and executive producer Joseph Mallozzi.
Dark Matter is the latest offering from the man whose name is synonymous with science fiction. The award winning writer/producer has been involved with all three Stargate shows, SG1, Atlantis and Universe.
Joseph and I have been direct messaging on Twitter since I began writing reviews and recaps of Dark Matter and the first thing I discovered when talking to him on the phone is that Mr. Mallozzi is one heck of a nice chap.
During our call, Joseph spoke of many things; not, however, ships and sails and sealing wax, but the topics were varied.
Dark Matter Cast:Anthony Lemke is not like his character but in some ways, he can be. When someone new shows up on set, it is Anthony who automatically meets and greets the visitor.
Jodelle Ferland is the most experienced in terms of acting. Jodelle has been working since the ripe old age of 2 and now at 20, she has a total of 18 years in front of the camera.
Jodelle and Roger both lived near Joseph, as did many of the cast and crew, and it made for a real feeling of family.
Roger Cross and Jodelle Ferland used to watch The Walking Deadat Joseph’s place, along with his girlfriend, and he would make milkshakes for the occasion.
Alex Mallari Jr came across as such as nice and open person in conversations after auditions that Joseph actually began to secretly root for him to play Four. Once he had been cast, Alex also had to come in very early each day to have his tattoos covered up before filming. He got up even earlier to work out every day.
Julie Benz (Star of Defiance, another SyFy Friday show) used to walk her dogs in the same park that Joseph walks his and they talked quite often. She is, Joseph says, “A very nice lady.”
None of the Dark Matter cast knew the ending until right before shooting on episode 1.13 began. Joseph took the entire group of actors aside and revealed “the reveal.”
Dark Matter Season Finale:
MFT: Thank you so much for having a chat with me tonight. I’ve got to tell you I just finished watching the season finale and have one thing to say, “Wow!”
Joseph:Well, when I first envisioned this show, or conceived the show and had the initial concept, I had two big moments in my mind that I wanted to hit. Everything else sort of fell into place. Those two big moments were; the big reveal in the pilot where they find out that they are murderers and mercenaries and the last sequence of the finale where the Galactic Authority sweeps in and you see all our familiar surroundings…The feeling of the ship was like a home away from home in many ways. Not just for the characters but for the viewers as well and to see all these strangers come and take it (the ship) and to see everyone carted off and the last shot is the empty corridor and Andy Mikita, the director of the episode, did a wonderful job there.
MFT: Plus you get that moment of unreality where you see that Six is walking out. And you’re like “Oh no!”
Joseph: Right. Exactly.
MFT: The first thing I thought was, “Six?? He’s the grown up of the group. It can’t be him.”
Joseph: Well, I’ll just say, there’s more to the story there. It’s not as simple as…on the surface it looks like he’s just turned against them but there’s more there…A few hints that are in the episode and then if we get a season two…Well, we’ve already got a game plan and everything will be explained in the second season. And there will be a lot more questions. If you thought season one’s finale was big, ooh you wait till you see the end of season two.
MFT: Jumping now to Five and the conversation that she had with Six – it seemed to me that everyone kept putting a gun in her hand over the last two episodes.
MFT: And she tells Six now I’m more like you and he says that ironically they’ve all be trying to be more like her and failing. To me, Five is the most mysterious member out of the entire crew, we know least about her out of everyone else on the ship. She is my favorite character, I refer to her as the “Artful Dodger,” she was the street kid who picked pockets to survive and I thought it was interesting that when she heard the recording her level of trust went right out the window. It shows just how fragile their relationships all are.
Joseph: I’m curious, Michael, as you watched the finale and you drew toward the end…Did you have any suspicions, a suspect?
MFT: I decided it was Five, especially after the tape (recording) and the reveal that she could do so much more than we ever suspected, like programming and so on, and that the dream, at the beginning of the episode, revealed that her experience with this bunch on the ship was pretty abysmal and this caused her to wipe everyone’s memories so they could all start fresh. Am I miles away here?
Joseph: Not really, you are fairly close. All the pieces are there to figure out. I said to the crew, the cast, just before we started filming on episode 13…We actually had 12 out of 13 episodes scripted before we went to film except for the last one. Even then. we kept the reveal a secret except for the last day and I gathered the cast on the bridge like an Agatha Christie moment, “I’ve gathered you all here…” Which, incidentally, we ended up filming and that we’ll release as a special feature.
Joseph: I told the cast that the person who wiped their (character’s) memories may not be the one to worry about. She (Five) finds the recording, she overhears Two and Four threatening someone and she confides in him and Six, who at this point becomes savvy about certain things has pieced it together and realizes that she is the one who wiped everyone’s memories. Like the Android points out in Episode 3, the code was rushed because they had to get to the stasis pod, maybe that was not the original intent…And again this is something we’ll explore further down the road…But in all probability she was going to target certain memories and as a result of the accident, or the rushed code, wipes everyone’s, including her own. She asks Six, “Well why would I do this” and he says to protect someone. It’s clear now why she did it and who needed protecting.
MFT: Well, I’ve got to say that I love everything that you guys have done and for me everything clicks into place. Sorry, this is turning more into a fan-boy gush than a Q&A.
Joseph: That’s all right I love it, I love feedback.
MFT: I mentioned, in my notes for the finale preview, that we finally meet Two’s Geppetto and he turns out to be an evil bugger strapped in a bed. It is not even Will Wheaton’s character as he is the tool, or instrument, of the bed-ridden man.
Joseph: This is another one of those moments where more questions arise. You know the man ask Alex, “How old is this body?” Alex replies “24,” so you see what happens. Indeed, what does happen? Why does this individual need a body and his regular forms deteriorate so his team are working on developing a superior form which is why they created her (Rebecca/Two/Portia Lynn) and why they are working on another prototype. And the work is so secret that they cannot allow her or the crew of the Raza to survive. If we do get a second season there will be more to come on that front.
MFT: I love that whole part of that storyline. I mentioned in my review that the first thing I thought of was the video game Mass Effect 2 with Miranda Lawson, the genetically enhanced “perfect” human character. I love the way the show gives nods and winks to other works in the genre.
Joseph: My influences for the show were varied. I mean I grew up being into comic books and anime, science fiction and television, film. We like to drop the occasional tributes throughout, and we used to do the same in “Stargate.”
MFT: I just love it. Going back to show and the actors, a lot of whom (my apologies to the cast here) I’d never heard of before the show, Zoie Palmer’s Android goes through the ultimate of almost sacrificing herself for Two, will she get a chance to do that again, but this time for more than just Two?
Joseph: Well, you know, Paul (Mullie) and I have convened an early writer’s room, we haven’t heard whether there will be a season two but we are fairly confident…We have the 13 episode game plan, we have the beginning, middle and the end. We have the major moments that we want to hit and we have 7 out of the 13 episodes outlined and we have some great stuff planned for all our crew, including the Android.
MFT: Speaking of other cast members, my first question for Alex Mallari Jr as Four, is did you channel your inner Caine. [Joseph laughs] You know, “Accused of a crime he did not commit, Caine is forced to flee his country…”
Joseph: It’s funny you know. That when we held auditions, I had to call several actors back, around 50 or so, and Alex was so honest and open that I ended up secretly rooting for him to get the part of Four.
Joseph: He does a great job as do the entire cast.
MFT: Alex does come across as incredibly sincere on screen. I’ve sort of (rightly or wrongly) classed him as a sort of Jean-Claude Van Damme, a very fit chap, martial artist who wanted to act and is very good at it.
Joseph: He makes it look easy but Alex is the one, I mention it on the blog, who gets up at three in the morning to get his tattoos covered each day and then on top of that has to work out. It is amazing how many weapons he mastered for the first season.
MFT: I’ve got to ask, re: Two…Are there any other personalities in there, First there was Two, then Portia and now Rebecca…
Joseph: No. Those were just names, not personalities. Alex called her Rebecca and when she left she became Portia. It is interesting to note that the name she took for herself, she abandoned Rebecca for Portia and essentially she also abandons Portia to become Two.
MFT: I’ve just got to mention Will Wheaton’s character. I adore Wheaton anyway, since his days as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and everything else he’s done. His Alex was so snotty as a villain and yet the second things get rough, he’s gone. Alex points out that Rebecca has nothing wrong with her. There is no flaw, so essentially she is just naturally aggressive.
Joseph: Yes. [laughing]
MFT: Just out of curiosity, did you have an “alternate” ending set up? I know that you said this was your ending from day one, but did you have a “plan b” if things went a different direction? Or was it always going to be that situation where everyone was all out and “down for the count” at the end?
Joseph: Yes! I always approach each installment of each season like a book with a definite beginning, middle and end. So basically as a result of what happens in the finale, season two heads off into a wild and very different direction. But it was always that way…I knew who the mole was going to be and one of the great things about the show was we had time to really develop the stories. Basically it allowed us to seed in little clues and hints along the way.
Joseph: You know it’s funny, I just saw, on the internet, where someone posted a photo from episode 3 where the Android is about to go out on her EVA and she turns to Two and Two says, “We can’t do this without you.” And Android says, Well, you can” and then turns around and leaves. I remember people going on line and saying what a weird inflection for her to say “you can.” And other people going “no, no, no, that was just the way the actress’s delivered the line.” The entire first season was peppered with little clues and hints. One, I’ll leave with you, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the individual who flanks Six in the “slow walk” out at the end, you’ve seen before.
MFT: I thought he looked familiar! But to be honest, I was still too flummoxed at Six walking out while everyone else was carted out…I did think, “Blimey he looks familiar” and the more I think about it, I seem to remember seeing him at the mining community, if I’m not mistaken.
Joseph: You are mistaken!
MFT: Darn! I’ll have to look this one up now [I’ve still not figured out where this chap was before, although I think it was at the General’s camp where Six went for revenge.] I’ve got to ask, was it One that Two and Four wanted to “off?”
Joseph: Well, all that will be revealed in season 2, it could have been One or it could have been Six…That will all be explored more in the next season. It is safe, though, to assume it is one of those two.
MFT: What was the biggest difference between working on Dark Matter and Stargate?
Joseph: Miles different. For a start I was playing in someone else’s sandbox essentially. In Dark Matter we got to tell our own stories, although we did to an extent in Stargate as well. There were differences in budget obviously and things were set up differently. Of course we were working on 13 episodes for Dark Matter versus 22 or 20 and in Stargate we had all the stories in advance and that was such a luxury. In terms of our own show, everything was planned accordingly, Paul and I planned for each episode and we knew we weren’t going to run out of money at the end of the year.
The interview finished shortly after and Joseph revealed two things. One, he is a huge Stephen Chow fan (Shaolin Soccer) and he is pretty confident that Dark Matter will get the pick up for season two.
Sadly, it looks like the Time Zone God, or perhaps the Jet Lag Deity has sabotaged the Alex Mallari Jr. interview for now. MikesFilmTalk will be covering Dark Matter, season two, if it is picked up and I have already put in requests to speak with Joelle Ferland and Anthony Lemke and Zoie Palmer and Alex and…
MikesFilmTalk would like to thank Joseph Mallozzi for taking time out of his busy evening for chatting about: Dark Matter, why Canadian TV has so many great shows out at the moment and a slew of other subjects that did not make into this interview.
Last week’s episode of Dark Matter saw an entire planet blown to pieces by the tech stolen by Wexler and the crew from the Raza. The episode also had Two coming back on board after being blown out of the air lock the previous week. Things in the verse are getting even more interesting and this week, Five dreams about what things were like when she was caught on board the Raza as a stowaway.
Five remembers what the crew were like “pre-memory” wipe and (with the exception of Six and One) no one was overly keen about keeping her on the ship. Two states clearly she does not want a “child” on the ship and leaves the deciding vote up to Four (Rio she calls him) and he votes to allow Five to stay. “Welcome aboard little warrior,” he says, “Just don’t give me any cause to regret my decision.”
After her rather unenthusiastic welcome, Five puts a recording device under a table in the dining hall/room. It has remained there, uncollected and forgotten, until her dream and Five goes to collect it. On the recording, Two and Four are talking about killing someone, “him” before they head to the mining colony and after they get out of stasis.
Meanwhile Calchek contacts the group and tells them Ferrous Corp has hired them for a job. A simple “snatch and grab” he says. A scientist has been kidnapped and is being held on a small “backwater planet.” In and out, he says.
It is a trap.
Two is the objective here. Alex (Will Wheaton) wants the engineered human back, he calls her Rebecca, and the “scientist” forces the remaining Raza crew members to leave (after hosting a dinner for all those who arrived with Two and providing an explanation). The crew of the Raza now have to figure out how to get “Rebecca” back. The Android comes up with a plan and Five (who gets a gun shoved in her hand) stays on the ship.
Rebecca has been “disarmed” all her nanites shut down via dampeners which weakens her considerably. She is restrained and due to be studied. One scientist is particularly nasty as he had friends at the facility where she escaped. (Two killed 43 technicians and scientists while leaving and some of the victims were friends of this snarky chap.) Later he tells Rebecca that he is going to “test your pain receptors,” as he starts up the electrical bone saw.
This first half of the season finale has The Android going above and beyond for her fellow Raza crew member much to the consternation of her computerized self. “Rebecca” tries to escape and Alex orders her destroyed. Android does a “Captain America” and walks off the back of the shuttle.
Android infiltrates the facility to turn off the dampeners. After a comic entrance, Six has just told the rest of the crew in the shuttle Android will silently enter the place and on screen the robot noisily dispatches the security guards she encounters. After the men have been neutralized, she moves to find the dampener. The controls are working on Android as well and she has to struggle to finish her task.
The robot actually goes to sacrifice herself for Two. Androids willingness to “die”, is oddly human and, even with her flawed system, it is impressive and touching. When the program she created lectures her on leaving the ship, Android explains that she is saving her friends. The program reminds Android that it is a machine. “A machine with friends,” Android replies.
After almost dying, or more accurately, ceasing to function, Android meets up with Rebecca in the dining hall of the facility where Two has reads message left by Alex “Maybe next time.” The villain with the beard beat a hasty retreat when Two escaped before they could remove her brain. Chillingly, but in a very satisfying way, Rebecca told the scientists in the room that she would kill them all and she does.
On the shuttle, the men are getting impatient. Three gets the line of the first half of the finale when he questions why Android has not blown anything up, “It’s not rocket science,” he says. Android shuts down the dampener and Rebecca gets out. The two then blow up the facility.
It has to be pointed out that the music in the first half of the season finale is more than perfect. A driving, mechanical beat of techno music that feels…right. After Two is back onboard the Raza we learn about who Rebecca was made for. A weak and apparently old man is on a hospital gurney and on life support. He asks Alex how old the body is that he occupies. “24,” replies Alex.
After ascertaining that the whole crew know what Rebecca is, the “old man” orders the entire crew to be killed. Before this order is given, back on the ship, there is a celebration and afterward Five listens to the recording again. At the very end of the first half, someone collects the crowd control taser and zaps the Android putting her out of commission
There are a number of things revealed here, one being that Will Wheaton’s character is more lackey than big bad and Five can program. Of course the biggest reveal is that Two and Four were ready to kill a member of the Raza crew way back in episode one.
The second half of the episode begins with the discovery that the Android has had her neural link removed and that someone else has control of the Raza. A lot is revealed while the crew start losing members and trust flies out the airlock. Rather interestingly, the last two members who trust each other and team up against One are the two who voted to boot Five off the ship in her dream/memory at the beginning of the finale.
This is where we learn who wiped the crews’ memories (Five) and why (to save the person that Two and Four were going to kill). As pointed out by Android earlier, the code was crude and rushed and as Six points out, wiping everyone’s memory was not the intention, nor was it done to harm anyone. It was, Six says, done to save someone.
Two and Five find that the Android grabbed a patch from her attacker, it looks as though it is from the soldiers who boarded the ship earlier (episode 11). The crew then search for any left over soldiers and Three gets the “line” of the second half as well. “Nobody messes with my robot.” Two and three team up and she tries to thanks him for giving up the code when she was in the airlock. He messes up her “thank you.”
One and Four team up to search the ship and Four reveals he plans to go home and claim his throne. Six and Five are the last pairing and she tells Six that she feels part of the team. Six tells her that it is ironic as they have all been trying to be more like her and they failed, that in the end they can only be themselves. Five responds that is not true that they are now family.
Five searches the vents and finds nothing. It is finally decided that there is no one else on the ship, the person who zapped Android and took her neural chip is one of the crew. Two realizes that the stun device that Wexler used on Android before is missing and only the Raza crew members know the code to the vault where the taser was kept.
Six recommends that they all stick together but Four goes to his room to train. Three gives One a vote of “no confidence” while talking to Two and he tells her that the man cannot be trusted. One goes to see Four and tells him who he really is and why he came on board as Jace Corso. He tells Four that it must be Three who is the culprit.
Five is convinced that it is Two who took out the Android. She believes that something happened to Two on the planet while Alex and his scientists had control of her. The crew meet in the dining hall to talk strategy and after Three and One have a go at one another, Four tells his shipmates that he will be in his room training. After drinking a glass of water, he passes out.
The next to go down is Six who is injected with something that knocks him out. Five is given a gun and locked in the bridge. Two and Three force One into his quarters and lock him in. One calls Five and asks her to get him out. Five meets the program that Android created to observe her and after learning that the computer generated version of the Android will recommend that the robot be put back to her factory settings, Five orders the program to delete itself.
Two and Three learn that Five has gotten out and the remaining crew members meet in a standoff situation. Two and Three have their guns trained on One, who has his gun on Three and Five has her gun trained on Two. The girl attempts to tell everyone that Two is behind all the problems because she came back from the planet different. Five insists that they, the scientists, did something to Two.
In the meantime another ship comes out of FTL and it is a Galactic Authority vessel. The cops have arrived. As the four Raza crew members face off, the doors either end of the hallway close and two canisters are thrown in; emitting smoke. The four armed crew members crumple to the floor and Five tries to open the doors but passes out.
GA troops flood through the ship and before the end credits roll, the entire crew sans one are carried off by the authorities. The one crew member still standing, and walking behind the rest, is Six. Cue shock face.
The second half of the season finale was a proper whodunit. Fingers were pointing to a number of suspects, between the crew, and for a long while it appeared that Five was behind the whole thing. Six as the “mole” (or turncoat, or traitor…) was a complete shock, although if one watches the episode again there are clues…
It is interesting to note that after the episode where Five shot Cain, everyone seemed to be shoving a gun into the kid’s hand. Just as interesting is the effect that recording had on Five and her trust levels. Admittedly, Two was not such a nice individual in the dream/memory and if Four (Rio?) had not voted positively, Five would have been history.
Rather interestingly, the trust that built up over the first season fell apart with the attack on Android and the family lose their cohesion.
This season finale had a brilliant reveal. Six was the traitor and the signs are there, although the money here at MikesFilmTalk was on Five as the one who sabotaged the Android, and a number of other things, but it was obviously Six. Kudos to Roger Cross whose facial expressions and dialogue hinted that he was the one who “gave up the crew” before the reveal.
Kudos to Anthony Lemke, Zoie Palmer, Jodelle Ferland, Mark Bendavid, Alex Mallari Jr., Roger Cross and Melissa O’Neil for bringing their respective characters to living breathing life, or in Palmer’s case mechanical life. Honorable mentions go to Pinstar David Hewlett and guest star Ruby Rose as Wendy “dunking the cosmic donut” pleasure robot.
Dark Matter ended on one heck of a cliff hanger and the ultimate reveal of the season and now all that remains is for SyFy to renew the series for another season, and another and another. MikesFilmTalk spoke with show runner/creator Joseph Mallozzi about the season finale and the show in general and that will be up shortly on the site. The Time Zone Deities have yet to work out Alex Mallari Jr.’s schedule but hopefully he will stop by for a chat as well.
Let MikesFilmTalk know what you thought of the season finale in the comment section below.
Fans of Dark Matter who have been tuning in each week, and/or binge watching via Hulu, will be stunned by events that take place over the course of the season finale. Two hours of this exciting verse in one sitting that will leave the viewer gasping as the end credits roll and asking a collective question or several. MikesFilmTalk has seen the finale and part of the price of admission, for those who have been allowed to “pre-view” the season finale footage, is to avoid spoilers so not much can be revealed…yet.
While this does make it difficult to go too in depth on events, some things are admissible. For instance, the presence of Will Wheaton as guest “villain” has been mentioned by at least one other website, TIBS (ThreeIfBySpace.NET) who do a riff on the beard that Wheaton’s character sports in the first half of the two hour finale. So it is acceptable to mention that “that kid from Star Trek: The Next Generation” is the guest big bad.
Preview recap: Two learns more than she wants about her beginnings, One and Three still do not trust one another, Five learns something that upsets her deeply, Four proves he trusts no one and Six plays protector when Five reveals how afraid she is. The Android shows just how much her program is flawed and Calchek may or may not have set up the crew of the Raza yet again.
In another one of those nods to the science fiction genre, we have Wheaton as what seems like the kindly puppet master (maker?) aka kidnapped scientist, who the team are sent to “rescue.” Alas, things are not as they seem and it is soon all hands on deck as the crew of the Raza fight for their very existence.
As promised by show creator/executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, a lot is revealed in the last episode of the season as in every episode building up to the finale. For whatever reason, the last two episodes have been slapped together so a lot more is discovered while simultaneously asking new questions.
As this is a preview and not a review or recap, things can only be looked at in the vaguest sense. (As mentioned above.) So Two learns about her origins, but not too much or, more importantly, why. Alex (Wheaton) may be the welcoming committee but he is no more the man behind the curtain than he is the chap who is really in charge.
In these last two episodes we learn just how brave Five is and a lot more about her abilities. There are some disturbing things brought to light and Android does something very surprising.
Thus endeth the short recap/preview.
This series has been top notch in not only peeling back layers for each mysterious character in the show but also in keeping just enough back to make the viewer return for more. Each member of the crew has secrets and the season has slowly exposed them. There are, however, a number of things that still remain hidden. There are also those nods and winks to other works in the genre.
One thing is certain, Five learns something that shakes her faith in another crew member and this unsettling information is weighing on her mind. Although what is apparent from the moment things go awry, the trust factor has been damaged with more of the Raza crew than just the youngest member of the team.
Five’s backstory has not yet been revealed and now, with the surprise ending of Dark Matter, there is now another character whose history may be a little different than originally shown in the show. The series zooms out of thriller territory and lands firmly in mystery as the finale becomes a cross between Ten Little Indians and a very large “closed room” scenario.
There are still enough comic moments to keep things from getting too heavy (But not too many.) and there is still that Mass Effect 2 thing going on. Fans of the show will enjoy this last look at season one. Some characters, despite the new “suspicions” continue to act in character…except for one that is.
Zoie Palmer fans will love her performance and as the Android, Palmer does more than touch the viewer’s heart, she keeps them on the edge of their seat for an impressive amount of time. Wheaton as villain also stands out. (Only Will can manage to be so “snotty” in his villainy and yet unsurprisingly, turn out to be a little “b*tch” when things get tough.)
*Sidenote* It is nice to see David Hewlett back as “handler” Talbor Calchek. There can never be too much Hewlett.
Dark Matter airs on Friday as part of SyFy Friday and the season finale will air on August 28. Prepare to be amazed at the end of the first season. Readers of MikesFilmTalk can expect an interview with show creator Joseph Mallozzi and, if the time zone Gods play along, another interview with Four, aka Alex Mallari Jr. talk will be of the finale and the verse. Not necessarily in that order…