Dark Matter: But First We Save the Galaxy – Explosive (Review)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

Dark Matter closed out the season with an explosive finale that made last year’s ending episode seem quite tame in comparison. With most of the crew caught in a life or death situation on Eos-7 and Nyx poisoned on the Raza, things look pretty dire in “But First We Save the Galaxy.”

(On a sidenote: Melissa O’Neil gets to say what may be the coolest line yet in Dark Matter.  After promising Three that they will pull a heist after this “job” she gets all “Mumsy” and tells the big kid, “But first we save the galaxy. Got it?” Just brilliant.)

Of course this is Dark Matter. Neither Mallozzi nor Mullie will allow this to go smoothly, there are too many things going on here.  All paths lead to Eos-7 and their convergence has a Humpty-Dumpty effect on the plan.

More characters are evolving in interesting, and in the case of Five, kick a**  ways. The littlest crew member proves that she can go solo, with a little help from an Android on the station. (Played by Between actor Kyle Mac who just killed it.)

Raza’s Android is still changing. At the end of the episode she seems to be expressing anger as she crouches over Nyx.

After last week’s bloody reassumption of Ryo’s throne, the remaining crew members head to warn Truffault about the upcoming summit at Eos-7. In the alternate reality, the station is blown up causing an intergalactic war. They want to stop it.

Truffault teams up with the crew and unfortunately for everyone who want to stop the war, people and events have conspired to keep this from happening.

There are no less than two different factions who want to blow the summit to bits. Ryo and Commander Neiman from Ferrous Corp have arranged for an explosion. Five stops the Ferrous Corp bomb (it was The Android who rescued her earlier) and the robot spaces itself to save the station.

Ryo, however, has also set up an explosive event which succeeds. (Loved the nod to Event Horizon here with Kierken as Smithy, finding the “bomb” too late to save anyone.)

 

Four/Ryo asks Nyx to join him as his empress and although she refuses to consider, it signs her death warrant as Misaki overhears the conversation.

Apparently Ryo’s childhood friend still has feelings for her new emperor.

The plan to stop the explosion comes unstuck almost immediately when Ryo spots Five soon after she arrives. He sends guards to check on what she is doing and The Android she met moments earlier steps in.

Raza’s Android finds a way for the rest of the crew, sans Nyx, to board the station. Once again, fate steps in  and scuttles things when Kierken grabs Six almost immediately.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Zoie Palmer as The Android, new and improved?

Sidenote: The humorous highpoint of the episode was Five putting all that pain on Three. He cries out when she punches him in the throat. What were you doing, she asks. I was trying to keep you from screaming, he replies.

“Like you just did?”

“That was not a scream, it was a manly shout of pain.”

Shortly after this comic interlude, Neiman’s men beat Three to a pulp leaving him unconscious on the ship’s maintenance deck. Six pleads with Kierken to check on the bomb. Despite telling Varrik that he does not believe him, Kierken does what Six asks.

Ryo boards the Raza and shuts down The Android. As he goes to steal the blink drive, Misaki guards the bridge. Nyx encounters Ryo’s head of security and the two fight. Misaki cuts her opponent with a poisoned blade and Nyx goes down.

Back on Eos-7 Two is the only crew member actively working on the plan.

Ryo reactivates The Android on the Raza and has her warn the crew to return to the ship. She does so but Two cannot contact her fellow crew members. As the  explosion begins tearing the station apart, Truffault takes Five, Three is just waking up and Six has no comms.

Out of the the four crew members on Eos-7 it looks like Portia Lin and Five may be the only survivors.  With no comms Six is as helpless as Three and they may join One as “former” Raza crew members.

(Fans of the show may believe that the crew will make it out of the exploding space station alive. For those that see this,  just remember Jace Corso, aka One. Both Derrick Moss and the original Corso ended up taking that big dirt nap. No one is safe in this universe.)

This explosive ending to season two of Dark Matter peeled back the layers to reveal that Four, aka Ryo, cares about his people first and foremost. He has betrayed his friends, although he does attempt to save them, for his country.

 Dark Matter - Season 2
Ryo/Four

“But First We Save the Galaxy” brings up the question of fate.  With the storyline encountering alternate worlds it seems that regardless of which universe the players are in certain events will still occur.

In the other universe the corporate war was being fought in earnest. It was caused by the explosion on Eos-7.  The crew try to stop the same thing happening in their world and fail. Apparently there was going to be a corporate war regardless of whatever actions they took.

This was an impressive season finale. A high-powered cliff hanger that will keep fans squirming until the next season airs.

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie have just “dropped the mic.”

CAST:

Guest Starring  Ellen Wong  as Misaki Han-Shireikan,  Torri Higginson as Commander Truffault, Kris Holden-Ried as GAI Kierken  and David Richmond-Peck as Commander Neiman 

Dark Matter: Take the Shot – Butterfly (Review)

Dark Matter - Season 2

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.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Portia Lin stands transfixed by her vision

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.

Dark Matter - Season 2

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.

CAST:

Guest Starring Brendan Murray as Victor and Ellen Wong  as Misaki Han-Shireikan  

Dark Matter: We Voted Not to Space You – Android Interrupted (Review)

Dark Matter - Season 2

Dark Matter has handed out more twists than a demented Chubby Checker this season.  Last week The Android got a game changing bit of illegal tech that would upgrade her to practically human.  In “We Voted Not to Space You”  The Android uses her new “self” in a number of ways. This upgrade does indeed  make her more human in that it also allows her to make a mistake.

Six is let out of his holding cell he also helps save the day later after the GA capture Four.  Three, however, is not impressed.  The reduced Raza team track down Jace Corso on a  revenge mission. The mission takes place because Derrick Moss’ murder investigation has been suspended . Corso is seen by hotel security so the Raza crew know who killed “One.”

The episode begins with The Android in a bar. She orders a whiskey and another patron warns her about flashing her money about. The Android states she can “handle” herself. “Watch me,” she tells the concerned barfly.

The Android then approaches Danny Bones. She offers him money which he takes with no intention of telling her what she needs to know.  A one-sided fight begins where The Android kicks arse and takes no names. She does, however, take Bones.

(The choreography for this fight sequence was brilliant.  Major kudos for The Android using the butt of one opponent to launch an arial attack on the other bodyguard. In the fight she places one foot on the downed bodyguard’s nether region and pushes up and off to take out the other chap.)

Six is quite helpful in this episode even though he is still healing from Devon’s surgery.  Nyx proves to be a valuable new crew member and Devon seems to have a version of PTSD. Three still does not trust Six and The Android enjoys her upgrade as she  evolves  into something  more human.

Evolving is the subtext in  Dark Matter this week.   Six is evolving into his new role as distrusted crew member. Two has learned to care, but is still cold blooded enough to shoot Corso between the eyes. Out of all this evolution, The Android is the focus of attention here though.

She becomes so human that, as mentioned before, she makes a mistake.  Her evolution is so complete that The Android then tries to justify her boo-boo.  The holographic Android points out, yet again, that   robot  is flawed. This, says the computer software program, is why the mistake was made.

The upgrade does allow The Android to go solo on two missions. One, to plant a bug in a small GA station computer and the second to bring Danny Bones in for questioning. Her new “personality” has The Android practicing  her swordsmanship. Four points out that her skills are programmed. “You can’t get any better,”  he says. The Android replies that it makes her feel “powerful.”

Speaking of power…What is going on with Nyx? This recent addition to the crew can instantaneously learn fight moves and has…What? Supersonic hearing? She saves Three when the tunnel ceiling collapses. She shoves him out of the way seconds before the rocks come tumbling down.

When Three asks her about it, she attributes it so great hearing.  Three does not buy it and neither do we. Is Nyx another version of Two, aka Portia Lin? Is she another human enhanced with nanites or could she be like The Android and her new chums, an upgraded bit of tech?

Only time and more episodes will tell. Nyx is quickly becoming a fascinating new crew member on the Raza.

Points to Ponder:

Three must be on a diet. He did not “stuff his face” once in this episode.

The Android computer  program has turned into a pedantic Jiminy Cricket.  The thing is also quite grumpy with her real life counterpart. Are we talking “upgrade envy” here?  Probably not as the software version does not like “flaws” of any sort.

Should Six still be in so much pain? Devon clearly has issues with surgery, this appears to be the reason for his “drug” abuse, and his mention of internal bleeding is worrying.

Two has developed feelings. (Or compassion.) Corso sneers at the Raza commander. He calls her vulnerable and declares it will bring her down in the end. It is Jace, however, that is brought down with a bullet in the brain.  Portia Lin may have lost that cold edge but she can still pull a trigger.

It was interesting to note that when The Android has her mistake pointed out by her computer self, she gives a technical excuse that is akin to “the sun got in my eyes.”  (Or any other similar “it’s not my fault” justifications that humans trot out.)

Who, or what, is Nyx?

Dark Matter - Season 2
Four, Two, Nyx and Three

Overall Thoughts:

Paul Mullie penned this episode and he has given us a new Android. A version of herself that is not the norm, a sort of Android interrupted.  The build towards a robotic/human  conversion has been in the cards since season one.  This upgrade will, no doubt, shake things up a bit and may even be quite disastrous for the Raza crew.

Mallozzi and Mullie have  taken this second season and pumped it full of creative steroids.  The looming GA and Corporate war and the evolution of the crew members have shot this series forward at warp speed.

That “pockets of inter-dimensional space-time” card is still hanging out there and it will be, like The Android’s upgrade, a game changer. The general already knows it can win the war.  It could also be used to save Derrick Moss from being murdered.

So many questions remain not least of which is who gave The Android those flaws? There are eight episodes left in season two. Will One be saved and will the new improved Android endanger the crew? (And will Three ever trust Six again?)

[The previous paragraph incorrectly stated that five episodes were left in season two. The show’s creator and Executive Producer graciously pointed out that there are eight episode left. This has been corrected.]

*Sidenote* Zoie Palmer looked brilliant in her new Android threads and relaxed hairdo.

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Like the old Batman intro used to say, “Don’t touch that dial.” (Or do to make sure you do not miss this brilliant show.)

CAST:

Guest Stars:  Melanie Liburd  –  Nyx and Shaun Sipos  –  Devon

Dark Matter: Season 2 Premiere – Slow Shocker (Preview)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

At long last Dark Matter is returning to our screens.  Co-creatorJoseph Mallozzi has kept his promise from last year’s interview with Mike’s Film Talk and kept the mystery burning bright.  The show’s season two premiere airs tomorrow; 1 July on SyFy and while it may be a tad slow, compared to last year.s finale it does manage to be pretty shocking.

Looking at the first two episodes, but not reviewing them yet (That would be spoiler city and very unpopular with everyone.) fans are in for a treat with season two.  The gang are all back and we learn more about their past lives.

Six is revealed to be a law enforcement official and the rest of the Raza crew are split into criminal and “not-criminal” quarters. Two, Three and Four are all placed in with the general populace while One and Five are in protected custody.

The Android is in a tech lab and proving to be a handful.

The first episode is slow, it is, after all, setting up this new predicament for the crew and it is a bit stationary compared to the fluidity of space.  This is prison and it entails rules, gangs and “fitting in.”

All the characters, with the exception of Six, are exactly as we remember them.  Three is irascible and quite comfortable in the stir.  Four and Two are equally at home in this prison environment.

More is  learned about the bombing, which so disturbed Six when he suffered from double memory loss.  There is a lot going on behind the scenes and it looks like a few more people may be joining the Raza crew.

Brit actress Melanie Liburd is Nyx; an inmate who appears to be a match for Two,  seems to be on board. Although things get off to a rocky start initially.  Gang leader Arax Nero, played by Mike Dopud, is also supportive after starting out on the wrong fool Nero and Nyx may be “on-side” but their   motives are a tad unclear at this point.  

There are a number of well known performers turning up in this season of Dark Matter.  Keep your eyes peeled for Franka Potente to make an appearance. The Run Lola Run and Creep actress (who was spectacular as the  hit-woman in The Bridge) shows up and knocks it out of the park.

The actors all continue to deliver in spades.  Even in this new setting they all maintain their characters and the paths they walk.  One crew member, however, shows a new side.  This surprising turn also shocks a little.

One slight word of complaint would be that there was not enough Zoie Palmer in the opening episode but that is rectified by episode two.  Before then the crew learn that there is much more going on their arrests and imprisonment.  A device must be found in order to stop a corporate war.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Zoie Palmer as The Android

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy.  Tune in and be ready for a slow open but pay attention! If you have forgotten last season a lot of hints are hidden in plain sight in this show. Do not miss this season two open. In the mean time let your excitement build and watch this trailer. One more night…

CAST:

Dark Matter: SyFy Says Yes to Second Season

Dark Matter Season 1

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 Matter and 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.