Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens – A Sharknado Too Far (Review)

 Sharknado: The 4th Awakens - Season 2016

It is hard to believe that the same production company that gives us  Z Nation can continue to  produce such irredeemable rubbish. In Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens the plot is that no sharknadoes have been spotted for five years. Sadly this is not the case in our world.

The Asylum churns these cheese-fests out like so many Babybels.  With substandard gags, acting, stunts and FX the bloom has gone off this teeth filled rose. Perhaps the only thing left  to do is play “spot the cameo” where z-list celebs can be found in their dozens.

It is amazing how many actors actually appear in these things. From David Faustino to Alexandra Paul (who literally looks no different from her “Baywatch” days) the scope was pretty amazing, more so that the actual movie. (At one point it even looked like Melissa Joan Hart was consumed by a flying shark, but her name is not in the credits. So Melissa, was that you?)

Reality “stars” made appearances also. Even Dog the Bounty Hunter, aka Duane “Dog”Chapman and his wife have a small set piece as proprietors of a chainsaw store.

Even Carrot Top made a cameo.  (Like Gottlieb he was also on the Jim Gaffigan Show “The Trial” episode.)

As these “movies” continue to punish those bored enough to watch, the search for “stars” to appear must be hitting rock bottom. Performers so far past their “use by” date popped up in number four.  Poor old Wayne Newton, a fixture in Las Vegas since time out of mind, looked like a Spitting Image puppet version of himself. (Quite sad really.)

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens - Season 2016
Wayne Newton. Is that really you?

Cheryl Tiegs, a personal favorite from back in the day, proved that despite still looking fabulous should have been left to play a silent role. To be succinct, acting is not the lady’s forte.

Others were as funny as the material allowed them to be. Stacey Dash was suitably “witchy” as was her character’s demise. Gilbert Gottfried was, perhaps, the best cameo as he bellowed out “COW-NADO” and so on. (Although not as funny as his cameo on The Jim Gaffigan Show “The Trial.” His “AFFLECK” was truly hysterical.)

Some cameos made no real sense. For instance, Jedward. Does anyone this side of the pond care or even know who these X-Factor twins are?  A minor sensation in 2009 – they came sixth in the competition – is was puzzling to see them included in the movie. The Asylum are either fans or the cameo well has dried up in the US.

One cameo was purely business related. Steve Guttenberg, another personal favorite, stopped by to plug his upcoming SyFy film “2 Lava 2 Lantula! ” Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens is not the first installment to do this, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No gave a plug to The Asylum’s “Z Nation.” The beautiful and talented Kellita Smith appeared as her character in Sgt. Warren and zombies were alluded to.

Sidenote: It looked like another sort of cameo appears  in the movie. At one point, one of the ‘nado’s whirled past the arch in St Louis, Missouri. It smashes the top of the arch and it suddenly looks like the damaged article in another SyFy series  Defiance. The show was cancelled. But, is this a hint that it will be returning withJulie Benz and co?

The main plot dealt with Las Vegas, where a real-life party was held to aid animal charities so at least some good came from this movie, and a shark themed hotel casino.  A giant sandstorm releases the sharks within and the new threat waltzes across the US.

Tara Reid‘s character did not die, she was resurrected by her father played by Gary Busey.  Ian Ziering returned to play Fin Shepard, yet again. (Surely the pay cannot be that good? Ziering must want to do something else by now.)

There really is no discernible plot for this (hopefully) last offering from the Sharknado franchise.  It consists of set pieces slapped together at random. It seems that even writer Thunder Levin is tiring of this mess he created.

The film ends with all the previously eaten Shepard friends and family are rescued by Fin’s son with his tiny chainsaw.  (An odd scene that uses the device of those matryoshka nesting dolls but with sharks…and a whale.)  As the family reunite Fin spots Nova Clark (Cassandra Scerbo) – she was in Sharknado 1 and 3 – atop the Eiffel Tower. 

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens - Season 2016
Jedward…Really??

Does this mean there will be a Sharknado 5? One with an international slant? For the love of all that represents good taste, please no.  Another TV movie with deliberately bad FX, a skeleton storyline and more bad acting than one wet paper bag could possibly hold is too much to bear.

The first one  only became “popular”  when derogatory tweets during the movies broadcast thrust it into the publics eye line. Please SyFy, stop now.

Defiance: Upon the March We Fittest Die (recap and Review)

Defiance - Season 3 Last week on Defiance the episode saw things come to a head with the Datak Tarr family being threatened with the “unhinged, unstoppable” daughter of the dead T’evgin. It also saw Doc Yewll released from the control of Kindzi and the Omec were being stopped from feeding. Kindzi had Luke and Andina died.

This week in Upon the March We Fittest Die, aka the season finale, Yewll finds complete redemption and sacrifices are made by many, some are ultimate in nature and others are life changing.

At the start of the episode, which begins where last week’s ended, Kindzi has knocked out Alak and has baby Luke. Stahma pleads with the new Omec leader for her grandchild’s life. Just as Kindzi tells Stahma that the baby will die anyway, Datak shows up with his bionic arm and that long “Wolverine-type” blade.  He shoves this through Kindzi’s neck pinning her to the wall. The Omec “All Mother” screams with rage and pain as she struggles against the sword shoved into her neck.

“You’ve upset my wife,” he yells and as the family Tarr escape, Alak (Jesse Rath) gets the line of the evening.

It is the actor’s delivery that sells it, “How is she still alive??” Alak is amazed and terrified and Rath shows it with this one line. Just brilliant.

*Sidenote*This line does almost get overshadowed by Grant Bowler’s performance towards the end of the finale. That “big-kid” grin of excitement as he prepares to leave is just brilliant.

After Datak rescues his family, sadly losing that cool blade in the process,  and the lawkeepers are talking strategy. This is a brilliant scene, the group (Nolan, Irisa, Berlin and Amanda) are eating while Yewll observes. The topic is about the Omec being weak when they arrive and getting stronger when they feed. Great set up as that is exactly what the lawkeepers are doing. Tarr comes in with a shotgun to kill Doc Yewll.

Nolan talks Datak down and tells the Castithan that Yewll is “back on our team.” “Yeah? Are you sure,” asks Datak. Doc gets the second best line of the episode as she shouts back, “Yes! I’m sure! We’re all sure!” The camera pans over to Irisa and Amanda who nod affirming that Doc is back on Team Defiance.

Yewll goes on to prove her good intent by outlining how to blow the Omec ship to pieces. When Nolan asks Doc how she knows so much about Omec ships, she replies, “it is entirely possible I’ve done this before.” This answer reveals a lot behind the question of who sabotaged the Omec ships before. Yewll asks for volunteers to go to the ship.

Nolan and Irisa volunteer as does Datak. “If the mayor will have me,” he says. Amanda replies, “Ship full of Omec…A violent psychopath could come in handy.” “Be my pleasure to serve,” Tarr says and Stahma mutters in Castithan, “I married a fool.” She is not, obviously, pleased at his decision to go on what could be a one way trip.

Amanda goes to tell the citizens that the Omec are no longer allies. Her speech is combination warning and a mea culpa admission. She apologizes for putting her constituents in harm’s way. Irisa and Alak have a moment with Luke. Apparently he is not too disturbed by Andina’s death as he invites Nolan’s daughter to come visit after everything has calmed down.

Berlin and Amanda are talking when they hear gunfire, it is one of the Omec’s intended victims from last week shooting an Omec who is collecting “food.” The man collapses after being tased  and Amanda is wounded after a brief standoff. Berlin shoots the Omec who badly cuts Rosewater.

Defiance - Season 3
Nolan carries a wounded Amanda to get treated.

Nolan comes and grabs Amanda taking her to Doc Yewll’s office. She is treated and it looks very bad for the mayor of Defiance.

The team of volunteers leave Rosewater at the clinic, where Samir monitors her process and Stahma tends to Amanda’s needs. The group of volunteers head to old St. Louis and use the pods to access the Omec Ship. Yewll asks for someone to go first and Nolan leaps to the platform, “I’ll be point,” he shouts.

Yewll says dryly, “Like I had to ask…”

When they arrive, Doc places herself in a control pod. She has to be plugged in to manipulate the ship. The plan is to start the engines and have Nolan shut the vents causing them to overheat and explode. Datak and Irisa help Doc while Nolan fights off security bots until Yewll can shut them down.

Back in Defiance, Amanda wakes up, despite the sedative that Doc Yewll ordered for her, and hears a baby crying. Rosewater picks up a gun from the floor and with her wound steadily dripping blood she follows the noise. Slowly she goes out of the infirmary and into the street. The Omec have taken everyone from Yewll’s. Earlier, Amanda sees one of the Omec decide not to take her “Spoiled meat,” the creature grunts , turning away from the mayor’s drugged and inert form. Rosewater sees the Omec in the street and shouts, “Hey a**holes!” As they turn to take her, she fires killing them all. As Stahma approaches, Amanda smiles and collapses.

Defiance - Season 3
Doc Yewll back on Team Defiance

Doc Yewll continues to operate the ship while fighting off the system’s firewall.

*Sidenote* Trenna Keating as Yewll, rocks it in this episode. Her delivery as the Indogene “savior” was spot on and she almost pipped Jesse Rath to the “line of the evening award” with her response to Tony Curran’s Datak Tarr line, “No, you’re a real person with enormous honor and infinite soul.” Yewll pauses for a moment and then says, “Just stick it in me, sailor. ” She is amused and obviously pleased at Tarr’s comment.

Earlier in the episode, before the “Hey a**holes” incident, Amanda and Stahma share a moment in the infirmary. Both are strong women and very different. Stahma reveals she is frustrated by the fact that the one woman she admires can never be her friend. Amanda reveals that Stahma frustrates her as she often does not do her best. Two frustrated women who will most likely never be friends but who know understand one another.

As Nolan begins the process of destroying the Omec ship, Kindzi (Nichole Galicia) shows up and the two battle for control.  As she and Joshua fight, Kindzi tells him that he is a “natural born predator.” “You are no better than me,” she says. The Omec leader begins to open her jaws to feast on her one time pet and Nolan, as he pulls a knife from Kindzi’s belt, replies, “When you’re right, you’re right.” 

He plunges the knife into the side of her head and heaves Kindzi over the edge of the platform and she falls down to the engines below. Her snarling and screaming  descent is interrupted twice by beams before she falls into the whirling blades at the bottom.

Kindzi is chopped to bits.

*Sidenote* Even if Nolan had not killed Kindzi, or if they had not opted to destroy the Omec ship, it was apparent that her days as “All Mother” may have been very limited. Her madness was obvious to her own people. Her edict that it was alright for Omec to eat Omec may just have been that despotic, and insane, step too far. 

Nolan starts the ship back up, Kindzi had stopped the process that Yewll started, with the taser she used on him. Doc tells him and the rest to get out. Irisa tells Joshua that she is staying. The two share a moment. Irisa tells her father that the Omec deserve a chance to live. Nolan asks Doc if there is a way to vent the energy and not blow up the ship.

Yewll reveals that they can vent the energy but it will “slingshot” the ship out into space with no chance of it ever finding Earth again. “Well, that’s kind of what I was going for,” Joshua says. He goes to hug his daughter and  taser’s Irisa, he then puts her in the descent pod.

The “Butcher of Yosemite” has decided to go with the Omec ship. Later Irisa says, via voice over, that the people of Defiance say Joshua “saved the world” and name the rebuilt arch after him. Irisa finishes her narration with, “He’d laugh his a** off about that if he were here.”

The season finale of Defiance was an adrenaline fueled mix of comedy (Doc Yewll) and tragedy (Doc Yewll and Nolan.) along with some pretty satisfying moments. Kindzi finally getting her just deserts and the Tarr family finally getting over the death of Luke’s human mother were two of these satisfying moments as was Doc Yewll and Datak Tarr regaining their friendship.

Kudos to Trenna Keating, Grant Bowler (who obviously will not be back if the show is approved for a fourth season) and Nicole Galicia as Kindzi. The Defiance writers pulled out all the stops for this end show of the season and it was appreciated by all who watched the finale.

*Final Sidenote*Julie Benz proved, yet again, what big chops she has. It was a cold hearted viewer who felt nothing when she had her scene with Julie Murray (another performer with mammoth chops) and then that beautiful smile (at Stahma) before she collapsed…Whew, tissues required for both of those scenes. Aw Ms. Benz, “We are not worthy…”

Defiance: The Awakening (recap and review)

Datak Tarr as an Omec Happy Meal
With the death of T’evgin becoming general knowledge last week in Defiance, along with Doc Yewll busily collecting “food” for the new Omec leader Kindzi (who is now the show’s new “Big Bad”) just the title The Awakening has an ominous ring. This foreboding feeling does not abate by the episode’s end and this penultimate season end installment sets the stage for a big finale.

Before the episode ended, Datak Tarr once again proved that, like a magician, it helps to be the smartest person in the room/Defiance. Nolan learns that Kindzi is now practically indestructible, Stahma finds out that T’evgin, the one person who could protect her from his psychotic daughter is dead, Amanda learns of the full Omec threat, Doc Yewll is discovered as the Omec Dark Harvest enabler and Joshua and the mayor “have a moment.”

At the start of The AwakeningNolan arms up and goes Kindzi hunting. Later, when they catch up with the Omec “mother” he shoots her in the head, with a long range rifle. The bullet knocks her down but she then removes the spent round from her forehead and starts toward Nolan. He shoots her a few more times with the rifle and then empties his pistol into Kindzi. She does not flinch as she runs up the hill toward Nolan.

After this attempt on her life, Kindzi sets herself up for a fall with her own people. Lying about T’evgin’s demise, she tells the Omec that Defiance denizens murdered her father, and she opts to rule behind this lie. The enchanters are following her lead but it is doubtful that they will continue when she is found out.

Amanda proves just why she is in charge of Defiance be revealing that she knows why Kindzi is so powerful. Nolan and the rest learn that Doc Yewll’s recent patients have all gone missing, a total of 13 and they go to question her. Meanwhile, Kindzi orders more takeout and Yewll obliges.

Kindzi notices Datak on the menu and they talk. The new Omec leader tells Tarr, “You Castithan, I recognize you. You’re Stahma’s mate.” “I’m also the last person you’ll see before you die,” he says. She makes a threat against Stahma and Datak scoffs at her, reminding the Omec that Earth will not give up easily. Mixed into his diatribe are a number of insults, including one about inbreeding. Kindzi tells her captive meal that she is going after Stahma.

Nolan and Amanda reach Doc Yewll’s office and she is not there. Mayor Rosewater has a moment of crisis. She feels responsible for the Omec invasion and it concerns her. Amanda tells Nolan that it is all her fault. The Mayor heads to a corner and starts crying and Nolan pulls out that motivational streak inside him and regenerates Amanda. Joshua tells her that he believes Defiance needs her to be in charge and that he, Nolan needs her.

They kiss.

Yewll is ordered to bring out another meal for the newly arrived Omec and there is a short comic moment where two of the intended meals argue about who should be next. Datak Tarr pushes all of the doctor’s buttons forcing her to let him out to be the next Omec “un-happy meal.” He insults the Indogene and when he calls her a “golem” Yewll lets him out.

Alak and Jake are sharing a moment and interrupts by Andina bringing Stahma for a visit.

Meanwhile back at the Defiance smorgasbord Tarr reveals that he really does have a trick up his sleeve, or to be more accurate up his Votan manufactured bio-replacement arm. Datak shoots a long blade out of his fist and the first Omec that gets in range is skewered in the head. Tarr holds off the others and while the rest of the captors cheer his victory, he escapes.

Yewll puts the injured (and bellowing) Omec in the back of her roller and turning up her music takes him away to be treated. Stahma tells Alak that Datak is missing. Nolan and Amanda stop the doctor and as she protests Rosewater removes the control stem. Yewll is relieved and borrows the mayor’s pistol, emptying the entire clip into the Omec in the back of her roller. “Looks like momma got her groove back,” Yewll says looking at her victim.

*Sidenote* This has to be mentioned, was anyone else “freaked out” by the appearance of the Omec that Yewll dispatched with Amanda’s pistol? If nothing else this scene spoke volumes of just what the race really are. The dead Omec, face frozen in a overly large snarl, fangs extended and mouth stretched, and one eye distended looking for all the world like a giant fish eye. This viewer took that image to bed last night. Defiance delivered one shudder scene on a roller platter.

Alak and Stahma talk further and after he declares that his family is a fraud, she reveals a few home truths of her own. The two sort of make up. Stahma decides to leave, after Alak informs her that she put Luke in danger by showing up. Stahma leaves and Alak asks Andina if he should go after her.

Andina: (Holding Luke) “Do you want an honest opinion?”
Alak: “Yeah of course.”
Andina: “Forget your mother. Think about Luke. He’s in danger if we stay here.”

Andina is a clever castithan handmaiden, she knows the way to Alak’s heart is not through his stomach but through his half-human son.

Samir is removed from his cage to be the next Omec offering and true to his belief (stated earlier to Datak, who offers to urinate in Samir’s cage as a response) Nolan does indeed save him. The veterinarian rolls in the Defiance dirt laughing hysterically as dead Omec surround him.

Back at the Alak household, Andina makes her move and her target responds. While Alak tells Andina that it is too soon, she responds that she is patient and her “Favi” tells the handmaiden to call him Alak. There is a knock on the door and in stumbles Stahma, “Run, Run.”

Kindzi follows.

The Omec knocks Stahma down the length of Alak’s hallway and Alak goes for Luke. Andina rushes to intervene and Kindzi snaps the ambitious handmaiden’s neck. The Omec leader follows Stahma down the hallway and in the kitchen Alak’s mother grabs a knife. “Really?” Kindzi says, amused and as she starts to kill Stahma, Kindzi is stopped by Luke’s cries.

The Omec heads to the baby’s room and Alak empties his pistol into her. Knocking Alak away, Kindzi grabs the baby and sniffs him.

*Sidenote* Right up till Kindzi snapped her head back to touch her spine, the Castithan handmaiden Andina looked to be moving into her own. Alak seemed to be in danger of being “owned” by this beautiful hair brushing servant. As she proved last week in her scene with Favi Tarr Stahma, this young lady had plans and the will to make them happen. Baby Jake was definitely set to get a new mommy. Sadly, with one push of Kindzi’s hand, Andina is now out of the equation. So long Andina and Amy Forsyth the actress who brought her to life.

This week’s episode of Defiance was brilliant. In one go, the show started the invasion and then pretty much shut it down before the end credits rolled although now it seems that Kindzi is about to “up the stakes.” The denizens of Defiance still have to defeat the seemingly un-defeatible Kindzi but she really has set herself up for a big fall with her own people.

Kudos to Julie Benz who proved, yet again, that this performer is not just a beautiful face, this gal’s got chops mate. Great big beautiful ones that are capable of knocking everyone else off the screen. Grant Bowler gave a lot in the Doc Yewll’s office scene, but the lovely Ms. Benz rocked it.

*Sidenote* It seems that Berlin might be suffering from a severe lack of intestinal fortitude since she got back from her boyfriend’s loving arms. The lawkeeper seemed pretty freaked out by the Omec threat, it looks like she may just bolt again if things get too bad.

The season finale is next week. As things stand, Datak Tarr is set on rescuing his Stahma, Alak is either unconscious or dead on the floor, along with Stahma. Andina is in Castithan heaven, or its equivalent. Doc Yewll looks set for a little payback, Nolan and Amanda are dangerously close to being an item and Kindzi looks to be seriously considering a snack of baby back ribs. (Sorry, could not resist that one, it begged to be used.)

Defiance airs Fridays as part of SyFy Fridays. At this point, the network have not revealed their plans for the series, so news on whether it has been cancelled or renewed is still up in the air. Till then, tune it to see how this season ends next week.

Defiance: Of a Demon in My View (Recap and Review)

Berlin and Irisa in Defiance
By the time end credits rolled on Defiance last week, Nolan was sent off for execution in Brazil and Kindzi had overpowered T’evgin placing herself in charge of the sleeping Omec in orbit above the Earth. This week, Of a Demon in My View has Nolan being taken from his temporary captors, Doc Yewll as Omec assistant and Kindzi is indeed the new big bad, along with the Omec hoard that she is in the process of waking for the Dread Harvest and Berlin is back.

Things have been going south for the denizen’s of Defiance since Rahm Tak was destroyed. Now, just when you thought things could not “go south” any more than a crazed Nolan killing the Voltanis Collective emissary, and his being sent to Brazil for his own execution, Kindzi proves to be clever enough to take over the reins of power from T’evgin.

While last week’s episode was pretty dark, and anyone who forgot just how dark need go no further than the pre-opening credit scenes in this week’s show. The specter of The Butcher of Yosemite is still with Nolan. Irisa and Joshua sit in the back of the van and the camera shows the “shadow” all dressed for battle and no one to fight. Irisa asks Nolan if he can still see it and he says yes.

Datak Tarr and Stahma are playing cards while waiting for the Omec leader to give them the Kindzi all clear. While they wait, Datak takes little jealous nips at his wife. In one of the few amusing moments in the show, Tarr shows that he still resents his Favi Tarr sleeping with T’evgin. Stahma reassures him that while she has affection for the Omec leader, her heart belongs to Datak.

Kindzi is draining her father’s blood to keep him weak. “You are stronger than any other Omec, stronger than me.” she tells the chained T’evgin. “You should just kill me,” T’evgin tells her. “Kill you? No.” Kindzi leans close to her father and after kissing him, finishes in their native tongue, “I love you father.”

The Omec princess loves someone else too, or perhaps lusts after is a more accurate description of her feelings for Joshua. It is she who took Nolan from the Voltanis Collective and Irisa, who was rescued from the crashed van by Berlin, comes close to figuring that out. She recognizes the bite marks on the dead VC members. Meanwhile, Doc Yewll who is still under Kindzi’s control, is keeping Nolan alive.

Doc still will not remove the remaining bits of “hardware” from Nolan’s head but Kindzi has no issue with endangering her new pet. She takes the remaining tech out of Nolan’s brain but not before Yewll displays uncharacteristic backbone as she tells the Omec princess that she is “broken.” The Indogene’s  analysis of Kindzi includes telling her that: She has a screw loose, is a born sociopath and is “sick.” She ends her display of bravado  with “You make me sick and that’s the truth.”

*Sidenote* Did anyone else hear Lily Tomlin’s character of “the kid” lisping delivery in their head – “and that’th the truth.” (Insert raspberry noise here.)?

Kindzi kicks Yewll out and does the risky surgery herself. (She is not going to have a damaged pet thank you very much.) She forces the drone to take the last of the tech out and instantly the connection between Irisa and Nolan is severed.

A pause to contemplate the return of Berlin (played by Canadian actress Anna Hopkins). Jessica “Berlin” Rainer scarpered away from the rogue VC troops and Rahm Tak just when Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) needed her most. Using her weapons dealer boyfriend as combination excuse and means of transportation, Berlin deserted what she saw as the sinking Defiance ship. Now she is back, she says, to offer the mayor of Defiance help since Nolan went nuts and killed the Collective emissary.

Meanwhile back at the Omec “headquarters” Kindzi seduces Nolan. Afterward, as the two “cuddle” and Kindzi praises Joshua for his killing of the “Castithan politician.” She tells him that the action reminded her of how her father used to be. Nolan explains that killing the vice chancellor is not something he is “proud of.”

As their post coital conversation continues, Nolan learns that the shadow he saw, while the arktech was still in his head, is not unusual. According to Kindzi there is even an Omec name for it. Joshua begins quizzing Kindzi about the raid where she rescued him and how Irisa is. Kindzi starts lying and Nolan, despite having just had brain surgery, picks up on it.

After one amusing moment where Kindzi actually offers to make pancakes for Nolan, he tells her, “No, I got this,” and heads to the kitchen. He grabs a knife and Kindzi shocks him. As he drops the weapon and falls to the floor, she tells her new pet in her native tongue “You’ve disappointed me.”

Disappointment is the theme in the Tarr household as well. Datak has hired some reluctant mercenaries to guard Stahma as T’evgin has still not arrived to give the Tarr’s the Kindzi all clear. Datak is desperate to see Doc Yewll. She is not answering her hailer and he wants to know how to kill a mature Omec, in case T’evgin has sided with his daughter. He is not overly thrilled with his temporary security force.

Andina (Amy Forsyth) tells Datak to give her a gun. “I’ll fight for you Favi,” she says, “die defending you if necessary.” Stahma is touched. Tarr gives the handmaiden a gun and tells her “Safety’s on the side.”

Nolan is learning that he has lost status with Kindzi. He is no longer a cherished pet. Now he is to be lunch. Irisa and Berlin show up at Kindzi’s to look for her father. Kindzi gives them the run of the place. Berlin decides to warn Amanda that the VC convoy was attacked, and Nolan taken, while Irisa stays to search for her father.

Joshua has escaped and found a weakened T’evgin. As Nolan frees the Omec leader, T’evgin explains that Kindzi wants war and that her sociopathic tendencies are his fault. Andina and Stahma have a little “getting to know you” time. It seems that the handmaiden’s bonding with Alak and Luke has given her ideas. While Stahma shows Andina how to “knit” the girl tells her Favi that this closeness is only temporary. Favi Tarr plays “matchmaker” and points out that Andina could raise her social status through marriage…to Alak.

Andina puts all her cards on the table and tells Stahma that while she “whispers” into Alak’s ear for him to forgive his mother, she can bring Luke to his grandmother for secret visits. Stahma, looking at the knitting, says, perceptively, “you’ve got quite a knack for this. I’m impressed.” It looks like the Shanje may be getting a new family member.

Berlin, risks the wrath of Amanda (Julie Benz) to tell her of the attack and Nolan’s kidnapping. Rosewater immediately begins collecting personal bits that belong to her missing lawkeeper. She plans on placing these at the attack site and telling the Voltanis Collective that Joshua Nolan was killed in the attack.

Datak Tarr finds Doc Yewll and she tells him of a pandemic and offers him a vaccine. She injects him as he insists that the Tarr family need to be inoculated. He passes out and Yewll promises that she will be collecting his entire family, “the Omec will see to that.”

Berlin helps Amanda drag Votan bodies into a fire and the mayor of Defiance reluctantly thanks her former lawkeeper. Berlin tells Rosewater that she will be there as long as she is needed, “Conrad understands.”

“I missed you,” Amanda says flatly. “Same here,” says Berlin.

Kindzi interrupts Nolan while he is releasing T’evgin. She throws Nolan across the room and then goes to eat him. Irisa stops the feast before it can get started emptying her gun at Kindzi. As she comes down the stairs, she throws an axe at Kindzi and it misses. T’evgin grabs the weapon and uses it to free himself from the last of the chains.

His daughter demands that he fight and kill Nolan and Irisa, “They will come back with weapons and kill me,” she says. Telling Nolan that this is not his fight, T’evgin tells the father and daughter to leave. After a very short battle, Kindzi tricks her father and kills him. “You are old and stupid,” she tells her father as he dies. Kindzi screams, it is not a victory scream but one of grief.

Cue a flashback to 1978 and the Omec ship is scanning radio frequencies. T’evgin and Kindzi are the only Omec awake and just as she states that nothing is out there, a song crackles into life on the radio, it sounds like the Bobby Day original version of “Rocking Robin”. The Omec father and daughter dance to the music, excited that they have found the Votan’s planet of refuge.

After this brief memory, Kindzi sings a ceremonial song and then rips her father’s heart from his chest and eats it. She flies to the Omec ship, where a caged Datak Tarr waits to be eaten in the Dread Harvest. Kindzi is awakening her brothers and sisters for the big war and feast. Datak is not alone.  His cage is surrounded by hundreds of others, Doc Yewll has been a very busy Indogene. Tarr begins speaking in Castithan as he struggles to free himself.

This episode was the “Kindzi hour.”  As predicted, she is now the new villain in Defiance and Doc Yewll is her reluctant “sidekick.” Intense stuff from all concerned and it seems that Andina’s climb to gain social status may be interrupted by the Omec Dread Harvest.

Most shocking moment of the show had to be T’evgin’s “death by Kindzi” followed by Datak’s waking in that cage.

Nolan and Irisa may be going for reinforcements and Berlin may have come back to help Amanda, but this could all be for naught if those Omec siblings wake up too quickly. Kindzi and her family are almost ready to take part in a Defiance smorgasbord.

Meanwhile, the Voltanis Collective have yet to learn of the Nolan convoy incident. These uncomfortable allies may well help “save the day” when Kindzi starts “the big munch.”

Defiance is part of SyFy Friday and is not to be missed. Fans will now be desperate to see who survives this latest threat.  Join them and be mesmerized by Julie Benz, Grant Bowler, Tony Curran, Julie Murray, Stephanie Leonidas and Nichole Galicia as Kindzi.

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).