Dark Matter: Season Three Catch Up – All the Time in the World (Review)

DARK MATTER -- "All the Time In the World" Episode 304 -- Pictured: Zoie Palmer as The Android -- (Photo by: Stephen Scott/Dark Matter Series 3/Syfy)

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!”

Other Matters:

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.

Final Thoughts:

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.



Guest Starring:   Ellen Wong  as Misaki Han-Shireikan,  Torri Higginson as Commander Truffault, Natalie Brown as Sarah

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

“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.”


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: 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.)


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

Dark Matter: I’ve Seen the Other Side of You – Reboot (Review)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

Last week the crew of the Raza (sans One) escaped from the prison with a few new “friends.”  This episode of Dark Matter “I’ve seen the Other Side of You” opens  with Five hiding and then being found by a hostile Four.  Pointing a gun at the youngest Raza crew member,  he announces, “I’ve found her.” Rather than a flashback, this sequence is the result of a “reboot” of  the three Raza members’ brains.

The Elephant in the Spaceship:

Before heading into the storyline proper, so to speak, let us look a a glaring omission. When the neural scan is performed, three brain “backups” are found. Two’s, Three’s and Four’s.  This tracks perfectly as Six is: A) In cryogenic sleep and B) One is not there.


At no time, once the previous brain scan is “reloaded,” do any of the three crew members mention One or Six. (Although they would have referred to them by their real names as this scan was loaded prior to Five wiping everyone’s memory.)

Granted, the three were fairly busy; hunting down Five, re-capturing the other three “passengers” on board and trying to establish a neural link to the ships operating system.


Not once did any of the “rebooted” Raza crew mention their other crew mates.  (This could be down to their previous “self centered” personalities but really?  No one ever questioned what happened to the rest of their little mercenary team.)

(If anyone has an explanation to this apparent faux pas please leave a comment below.)

Back to the storyline.

On board the ship the three newest members of the team are made aware of how little they are trusted and The Android tries unsuccessfully to uplink with the ship. Two sets the ship’s computer to look for neural links  for The Android.  Soon after the computer accesses the medical files of the ship.

The Android shuts down for a system reboot and diagnostic service to repair the damage done by the prison.  Not long after the shutdown, Four and Three suffer from debilitating headaches. Both men cry out in pain and collapse.  Five tries to wake them and call Two but all three are unresponsive.

Five gets Arax. Nyx and the intern out and asks for their help. Arax, turns out to be a mole, shades of Six here, who contacts the wealthy woman who is eager to retrieve her asset, and he sets things in motion.

The three crew members awake with no recollection of where 14 months of their time has gone and who any other new Raza occupants  are.  Two encounters Five and she not only fails to recognize her but threatens to blow off her head.   When Two learns that Five knows about the nanites, her tension levels escalate alarmingly.

“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” is, again, primarily about Five.  The youngest crew member has lost her “Pike Bishop” persona and reverted to form; sort of. In her conversation with The Android program, she refers to the other three Raza team as “her crew.” There is still a lot more to be learned about Five, her thought process and role in this series.

This episode of Dark Matter focussed on the narrowed down playing field of crew members. Six is out of commission, One is presumed dead (We still believe that the Jace Corso murder is a ruse.) and the new “members” may not last very long at all.

“I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” Uses the reloaded brain scan to return our intrepid heroes to their previous state of being.  This served a dual purpose, it reminds us how truly self centered and unpleasant these mercenaries were and  it allows them the conscious choice to become better versions of themselves…again.

An interesting point about Five: She only becomes deadly when “weaponed up.” In season one with a gun she was pretty aggressive. In this season she used The Android as the ultimate weapon and afterward used the gun Anders repaired to shoot first and ask questions later. In this episode she becomes a kid again when her friends “turn.”  Her confidence level drops, as does her violence level, and she reverts to persuasion.

It works.

Five does influence the former versions of the crew.  She gets to Three, with  her remembrance of the doomed Sarah and she manages to almost get Two changed.  It seems that the stress connected with  linking with the ship contributed to the change.

Two does work out what happened to their memories and what caused the lost time.  The brain scans were done because the three did not trust The Android. (Once again there is no mention of the other crew members.)

Five works out that the scan has not obliterated the more recent memories of  Two, Three and Four.  She has the memories of all three and she plans to upload them via her own neural link.

The three passengers  get into a firefight with Three and Four.  Two, who is still linking with the ship,  steps in and stops the gunplay.  She notices that Five is still interfering with the ship’s record and sends Three and Four down to kill her.

Five is struggling to finish her memory upload and Two has set the ship’s computer to decrypt the program.  The Android helps by suggesting that Five use Two’s memories against her.  Focusing on a time when she felt the most vulnerable, Five overpowers  Two who is helpless in the memory.

Five beats Two into submission but stops before it gets too far. “I’m done playing the frightened little girl,” Five says but she stops before finishing Two off.  She also says the title line “I’ve seen the other side of you and I want my friend back.”  She talks Two into severing the link and the three crew members collapse.

All three are returned to normal and The Android reveals that they could restore the new memories now but it would cause them to revert to their old selves.  They decide not to download the old brain scans.

Five brings the crate to Three, that he opened while using his “old brain” and he finds Sarah’s necklace.  He also finds a round object that, when touched, turned blue.  It is a sub-space transponder and a signal has been sent out.

Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie continue to switch hit this season and shake the story and characters up.  Mullie, who wrote this episode, gave us a Five who may still be that kid inside, when it comes to her family;  which the Raza crew are, but she also has a rock hard core that will not bend, even as she battles herself.

So many questions… Is One really dead? How long will Six be out of commission?  And, more importantly, why did the three crew members, Two, Three and Four, believe that The Android could not be trusted 14 months  earlier?

(Note: The Android program always comes across as so humorless, as compared to the real Android, that she disturbs ever so slightly. Great work Zoie Palmer for  a range that includes delightfully quirky and scary.)

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see where the Raza crew end up next.


Guest Stars:  Melanie Liburd  –  Nyx and Mike Dopud  –   Arax Nero. 

Dark Matter: Episode Nine Review

Akita and Four
Ah Dark Matter…How do I love thee? Let me count the ways, while there may not be nine, as in episode nine, events in this week’s installment, there are a few that stand out and make this show worthy of the deepest devotion. These moments are what make this series special, network deities take note, and combined with the plot, they scream out for a second season.

Before picking out specific moments, kudos to the writers this week and to show creators Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie for managing to get so many comic, and endearing moments in what could have been a very sobering show. Minutes into the episode and Jodelle Ferland’s character came out with the “Also, I got these welding goggles that are both practical and cool.” Three’s “remembering” the whiskey that Two forgot is an excellent follow up. The crew then discover that Four is missing and the action heads to the planet where he has gone to meet his brother Ryo.

Cue a bit of very satisfactory sword play, of the ninja variety after Four discovers that his step-brother has not shown up, but Akita his tutor has.

Back to those “ways.” On the bridge, Two and One are discussing Four. One’s take on his fellow crew member? “Most of the time he blends into the background. You don’t notice him till he speaks up or takes the last of the carrots.”

Six and Three enter the bridge. Discussion about Four continues and Five points out that he may just want some time on his own. Six states, after they find Four’s comm on the ship, that it is apparent that he wants them to leave without him. Five points out that Four seemed to be happy here.

Which brings us to another “ways” moment. Three, Anthony Lemke’s character, says “He seemed nothing. That guy was harder to read than that book he gave me.” “That book is a classic,” One retorts. Three then proceeds to pronounce judgement on Charlotte’s Web, much to the disgust of One “Whatever. The pig’s a wimp and the spider’s a know-it-all.”

What makes this all the more amusing will come later at the end of the episode where the “tough guy” who pronounced the pig was a wimp, is shedding a tear, or two, while reading the book. These are the moments that bring this show from just entertaining to brilliant. Touches of humor amidst the mysterious plot line that unravels a little more each episode.

As the show progresses each crew member has something exposed about their makeup. Three, we have learned, is the “heel with a heart” and also more than ready to jump into the fray, even if it means that he will not be the victor. Six is an idealist who hates the man who made him a mass murderer. (He is also, perhaps, one of the wisest of the crew members, he reveals to One that his quest for revenge was unsatisfactory and that he merely redirected his anger…to himself.)

One is a rich man who wants to catch and bring to justice his wife’s killer. He reveals this fact to Two and she asks the pertinent question, “Do you even remember her?” While this is a good question it is not the most important thing at work here.

The show’s creators are asking a bigger question. Can a group of career criminals “go straight” if their memories are wiped? On top of the theory that people are really good until forced to go bad, another query is apparent. One, who is not a criminal, starts to take aim at Three during the firefight later in the show. As he appears to contemplate killing his wife’s suspected killer, a man from the opposing side shows up and takes aim at Three. One un-hesitantly kills the enemy.

On the bridge, the crew talk about Four’s defection and Three states that the man should be left behind. Two tells the group that there is something they need to know about the missing man. Back on the planet, Four is defeated by Akita and placed under arrest. Two reveals that Four is royalty and in line to the throne of Ishida. Three rants about all the secrets and asks that if there is anything anyone wants to reveal. Two does reveal something, as much as she wants all the crew to trust one another and not keep secrets, she instinctively touches the bandage on her neck that covers a wound that healed itself ages ago.

Amusingly, Three wants to go back for Four. The rest of the crew agree that being Four’s friend could be a good thing. Six and One have that talk about revenge and agenda’s. On the desolate, and lawless, planet where Four went to meet his brother, Akita and Four spend time discussing their mutual past and move to meet the ship that will take Four back to trial. They also encounter that lawless element mentioned by Android earlier in the episode.

Another “let me count the ways” moment. Three and the Android talk. Android is watching the diagnostics on-screen display while she runs the program on the ship’s systems. Three asks her why, when she is attached directly to the ship, she is reading the display. This prompts a discussion of her “flaw,” that Five pointed out earlier. Android tells Three that she will reboot herself if the flaw bothers him. After asking what that would entail; a complete memory wipe and a personality matrix change she tells him, Three says emphatically that he does not want her to change.

“So you are satisfied,” she asks, despite the “abhorrent” behavior? Three grumpily responds, “Hell no. But I’m damned if I’m going to start over with a whole new robot.” He leaves the room and Android resumes looking at the on-screen display. “That’s kind of him to say,” she says quietly.

This episode followed One’s struggle with his newfound knowledge as well as Four’s attempt to tell his brother Ryo the truth. It also deals with two’s almost desperate attempt to get the crew to bond and trust each other. There is also clarification on the backstory of Four and his relationship with Akita. Two and Three talk betrayal and realize that only they, and One, can be considered as suspects in that area.

By the end of the show: We learn that Four’s step mother is still murderous b*tch whose son is full of denial. One will not kill Three just yet and Six and Five clear the air…twice. One decides that Three is “rotten to the core” but…could someone that bad cry at Charlotte’s Web?

Not likely.

Later Four and Two clear the air and the former tells her that he appreciates his “true family.” Things go back to “normal” and the ship is stopped by three Ferrous Corp destroyers who take out the FTL drive. The ship cannot move and the crew look to be in big trouble.

This whole series is about appearances and how deceiving they are. It is also about characters that have depth and backstories that shows what they really are. Four, for example, is not just a cold assassin he is man whose sentimentality towards family left him open to be framed for his own father’s murder. He is not above killing Akita to pass a message on to his brother, he says, but we know he means his step-mother.

This is a brilliantly presented show. Each character is like an onion, with different things underneath each layer, as each episode peels off that little bit more. We are learning more about each crew member each week, but Two and Five still must be taken at face value.

On the surface, Five may be a sort of technologically skilled Artful Dodger, but her need to be a part of this adoptive family still needs to be explored. Two is the one we know the least about full stop. Certainly we know she is deadly and fast. She, like Five, is desperate for this group to be family while she hides her own secrets.

Secrets that we have yet to learn.

Dark Matter is part of SyFy Friday and is compulsive viewing. This group of disparate characters, who become more complex and real with each episode, are fascinating and entertaining as well as three dimensional. Simply great television but not a simple storyline. Watch this to see how it should be done.

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