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 

Killjoys: Full Metal Monk – What a Beautiful Day (Recap/Review)

Killjoys - Season 2

After Sabine exited Killjoys last week, courtesy of Dutch, “Full Metal Monk” surpasses that action with a real  eye popping episode. (Sorry.)  D’Avin’s new ability to “control” the plasma in Level Sixes,  which seems to be pretty messy, opens the show.  Johnny and Simms end the show in trouble. “What a beautiful day,”  Pawter says as the fence around Old Town continues to affect them.

“Full Metal Monk” opens with Johnny still behind bars.  Dutch visits him but she is not there to release him. She calls Simms for that. Before leaving, Dutch tells Johnny he has split the team apart. Jaqobis explains that he loves Pawter and that is why he is helping her.

D’Avin and Turrin go to question a Level Six on the list and things get out of hand. D’Av is being choked by the man when the Six’s eyes pop out of his head. D’Avin is, understandably, freaked out by this turn of events.

Dutch and D’Avin team together allowing Johnny time to help Simms.  Dutch’s main objective is to find her “twin” Aneela.  Pawter and her Jaqobis brother try to find out how half of Old Town is going to die. Jelco contacts Seyah Kendry who orders him to activate the wall and to “handle’ Simms and Johnny.

(Kendry gets one of the best lines of the episode: “They’re like particularly stupid  children all sticky fingers and stubbornness.”)

Jelco does as she asks. Dutch and D’Av head to Leith to speak with Olan (Ricardo Hoyos). Unfortunately the student is, according to Alvis, broken.  The night before the lad tried to stab his little brother in the head. 

When Dutch mentions Aneela, Olan becomes wildly agitated. He has flashbacks and then  draws a map leading to Dutch’s twin. Alvis, D’Av and Dutch head to Arkyn, where Aneela is supposed to be.

Johnny and Pawter realize that the residents of Old Town have lost no weight. After Pree is mildly insulted by this line of reasoning,  the couple track down blackmarket food. They bump into Carl; the lone survivor from the prison.  He reveals that a “special” shipment of Company food is to be delivered  very shortly.

Simms’ only ally, Arun (played by Wynonna Earp’s Shamier Anderson) shows up to find out if Pawter has proof of the wide scale massacre planned in Old Town. By the time he arrives Johnny and Simms have been affected by the wall. Both appear intoxicated or high and Arun gets angry.

Killjoys - Season 2

Jelco arrives and shortly after shoots Arun dead. He then places the gun in Pawter’s hand and takes a picture of the two drugged lovers with Arun’s body.

At Arkyn, the monk and the Killjoys find another Khlyen cube. They enter and the cube plunges through the ground. When “the world’s worst elevator” stops they find a lot of corpses and a live monk.

Alvis puts it all together. There are 11 bodies and with the one live holy man, he realizes that these are the 12 monks who went to fight the devil. The monk is imprisoned behind a wall similar to the one around Old Town. Once he is released, the last holy man attacks Dutch.

It turns out that the devil fought by those 12 monks “back in the day”  was actually Aneela. The trio have to control the old monk and they explain that Dutch is not Aneela.  With Alvis’ help they learn that Aneela is Khlyen’s daughter. The old man asks to be killed and Dutch plunges the barbed spear into the old Six’s head.

Back in Old Town, Pree sings on as Jelco frames Pawter and Johnny for Arun’s murder. He also confirms that the food will poison at least half the population.  He also shows them that  the effect of the wall is counteracted by a device on the neck.

Johnny appears to be fighting the wall but he cannot sustain the battle.  Jelco takes his picture, along with Simms, in front of Arun’s body. Pawter holds the gun.

Jelco reveals that Seyah Kendry is behind what is happening in Old Town. D’Avin and Dutch learn that the wall makes people complacent. Johnny and Pawter walk through the streets of Old Town. A man has tried to fly and a girl dances barefoot on broken glass. Jelco announces that the Company is sending food.

Pawter says it is a beautiful day and she kisses Johnny in front of the wall.

Killjoys - Season 2

This episode started with Johnny behind bars and ended with him, and Pawter,  in danger of being poisoned or drunkenly hurting themselves.

Dutch is terrified that she really is Aneela and plans to kill her “twin” and Khlyen.  It will be interesting to see how Simms and Johnny get out of this one. Seyah Kendry is a nasty bit of work and there is no way that Jelco will not obey her orders.

Now that D’Av and Dutch know what the wall does, they will, no doubt head toward Westerly and Old Town to rescue Johnny and Simms.

The biggest question is why does Khlyen want Dutch to kill his daughter.  We may find out, but first there a rescue to attend to.

(On a sidenote, it was lovely to see Shamier Anderson from Wynonna Earp appear as Arun. Sadly, he did not last very long at all in Old Town. It was also a pleasure to see Julien Richings as the last monk on Arkyn.  The prolific character actor always brings much to any show he is on.)

Killjoys airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Tune in and see what happens next in Old Town. Will Dutch and D’Avin arrive in time?

CAST:

Guest starring  Pascal Langdale as Jelco,  Mayko Nguyen as Seyah Kendry and Patrick Garrow as Turin.

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:

Fresh Off the Boat: Ken Jeong and Chris Rock (Review)

FORREST WHEELER, LUCILLE SOONG, HUDSON YANG, IAN CHEN, KEN JEONG, CONSTANCE WU, RANDALL PARK

“Fresh Off the Boat” finished its second season on a high. Ken Jeong turns up as Louis’ estranged brother Gene and Eddie is obsessed with seeing the newest Chris Rock comedy offering “Bring the Pain.”  Eddie’s girlfriend Alison (Isabella Alexander) is off to camp in 14 days time and he is desperate to see the Chris Rock concert on HBO and spend the rest of his summer with Alison. 

At the start of the season finale Eddie tires to talk Evan and Emery into watching the comedy special on the free HBO preview. They refuse, preferring to watch a math detective program instead.  The boys get into  a fight and Louis tells them off.  Jessica tells Louis that his brother in on the phone and he reacts angrily.

There are three battles going on in this episode.  On top of the reveal of how Louis got to America, Eddie is fighting his brothers to watch Chris Rock, Jessica fights to pay  Gene (Ken Jeong) back the $200 that he loaned her years ago and the two adult Huang brothers are fighting to sort out a years long estrangement.

In “Bring the Pain” we are introduced to  Chinese “polite-fights” which, according to Eddie, can get “hella intense.” Eddie  tries to outsmart his brothers, who have been made deputy moms,  only to lose out to his  math detective siblings.  The eldest Huang brother tapes the Chris Rock show on VHS and the two boys tape a message over it and an episode of Mamma’s Family.

Evan: “Those hayseeds.”

The storyline reveal, which is held till the very end of the episode, is that Gene (Jeong) and Louis (Randall Park) were told by their father at the hot springs that only one of them could go to America.  Both men begin a “Chinese polite-fight” when Louis caves in and agrees to go. Leaving Gene behind in Taiwan.  Gene’s life has been a long unsuccessful fight to find a career.

KEN JEONG
The blow up…

Gene arrives and tries to rebuild burnt bridges only to have everything go pear shaped.  After a huge argument with Louis, Gene packs his bags, dis-invites Louis and his family to the wedding and takes Grandma Huang with him.

Jessica (hopeful): “Forever?”

In the neighborhood, everyone has seen seen Chris Rock except Eddie. Going outside he sees his posse members silently sitting on lawn chairs . They all agree that the concert was life changing. Alison rushes up, she is dying to tell one of Chris’ jokes from the concert.

Alison:”You know what the good side of crack is?”

Eddie: “No! I haven’t seen it yet! Let Chris tell me!”

Alison: “Eddie, I thought you said you’d watch it.”

After a moment Trent butts into their conversation:

Trent: “Eddie… here’s the thing. We all want Alison to say the punchline to the crack joke. Alison wants to say the punchline to the crack joke. So you can either stay or scoot. In five, four, three, two, one.”

Eddie bolts.

Gene turns out to be funny.  He does impressions and honestly wants to “bury the hatchet” with his brother, who he asks to be his best man.  Things go well until he breaks the piano and refuses to pay for it.  Gene leaves with Grandma.

The Huang family are now headed to Taiwan to fix things.

Jessica continues to live in her own version of America and she reveals to us that, unlike Louis, she loves being an adult.  Speaking of Jessica, the best line of the evening reveals loads about her and Louis as a couple. She reacts oddly, but not for her as it is about a ring, to Gene’s news of the wedding ring. Gene turns to Louis and says, “Is she okay?”

Louis: “I never know”

Ken Jeong blended in effortlessly with the “Fresh Off the Boat”  cast and easily had the best gags on the show.  “No it is not a Tumi,” his Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, goes right over Jessica’s head, but not ours.

Isabella Alexander was excellent in this episode, “We only have 13 days left!” The rest of the posse were also spot on this week with kudos going to Trevor Larcom as the Cleveland Browns loving Trent and Dash Williams as Brian “I wasn’t ready.” 

In terms of drama, that fight (not a polite one) between Louis and Gene was impressive. Both men looked upset, but Ken Jeong dug deep and conveyed anger, betrayal, hurt and regret.  Emmy anyone?

FORREST WHEELER, IAN CHEN, HUDSON YANG
Brother’s three watching Chris Rock on TV…

Ian Chen, Forrest Wheeler and Hudson Yang continue to act their little cotton socks off and help to make this show what it is.

Admittedly, “Fresh Off the Boat” was not an instantaneous favorite. Even  having Ray Wise and Chelsey Crisp as next door neighbors did not push the show automatically into favorite status.  It took  a few episodes and a brilliant cast to make it  a show not to be missed.

“Bring the Pain” was an excellent example of why the show works.  1990s topical relevance (HBO and Chris Rock and the Lethal Weapon mullet), a great guest star (Ken Jeong) and younger actors who get better with each episode.  A great end to a great season. Hurry back “Fresh Off the Boat.”

iZombie Season Finale – Zombie Homeland (Review)

Rose McIver as Liv in iZombie

The two hour season two finale of iZombie (two back to back episodes, “Dead Beat” and “Salvation Army”) featured an excellent cliffhanger ending and left Liv a choice of joining the new Seattle zombie homeland or not. A lot of threads were tied up and it was very touch and go with Major about to “zombie-out” with no brains.

Before the beginning of the end, an apocalypse does seem all too certain despite the valiant efforts of Clive (Malcolm Goodwin), Major (Robert Buckley) and Liv (Rose McIver). Of course that all comes later. First, in “Dead Beat” Lilywhite is arrested, charged with being the Chaos Killer and so is Ravi (Rahul Kohli), for being an accessory.

Major  is put in jail to await trial but he does get a high powered lawyer, Brandt Stone (played brilliantly by “Agent Carter “actor Ken Marino) paid for by Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber). It becomes a race to get Major out of jail or smuggle in some brains to keep him from turning all the way.

While Lilywhite is being held on the thinnest of evidence for the Chaos killings, Clive gets evidence to show that Major  did murder all the victims of the Meat Cute massacre. Liv and Peyton (Aly Michalka) learn that Major  is the Chaos Killer but that his victims are all still alive, frozen in stasis.

Ravi does not go to jail, but he does get suspended, and he, along with Liv, go to get the frozen zombies. The M.E. goes to ask Lilywhite at the prison  where they are and says he is having problems with the video game “Zombie Town.”

Vaughn sends out Janko (Colin Lawrence) to kill both Liv and Major.  As Lilywhite is released, Clive stops his departure and keeps him from the brain smoothie he desperately needs.  The detective  arrests Major for the Meat Cute killings. This thwarts Janko’s murderous mission. 

Later Liv reveals the truth about Major and her by stabbing herself in the chest which then turns her into an undead zombie versus a fully functioning one.  Clive has the charges dropped and gets Major released from prison once more.

Janko kills Liv, but Ravi saves her and the M.E. gets into a desperate battle with Janko after hitting him in  the head with a fire extinguisher.  Janko, being a huge strapping chap comes back and as the two men fight over the tranquilizer gun, the big man gets the fatal injection.

Major  and Liv later  eat the mercenary’s brains to learn his skill sets in order  to infiltrate the party.

Blaine (David Anders) helps Liv and Clive.  Mr. Boss learns that De Beers is still alive and orders him killed, along with Chief and Don.  Boss also demands that Peyton be taken, and Ravi gets pistol whipped in the process. Blaine does save his former gal later, much to Ravi’s chagrin. 

Vaughn throws a party to end all parties after selling his company and product; he got rid of everything for a cool billion.  Some of his technical team stumble across the faulty U and imbibe the stuff, tuning them into the type of zombies that attacked Liv at the boat party.

Rob Thomas, the lead vocalist for Matchbox 20, becomes a fatality and later the new zombie owner of Vaughn’s company and product sits snacking in the singer’s brains.

Du Clark tells Gilda/Rita (Leanne Lapp)  this was all for her, but she knows the truth.  Clive, Major and Liv infiltrate the celebration and end up being trapped by Vaughn. Liv is there to save Drake, who is still alive, but by the time they get to the basement he has been turned by Vaughn’s cure. 

Blaine is still standing at the end of the episode and Du Clark gets his just deserts. Gilda is also taken out, by Major, and Liv is given an offer she may not be able to refuse from Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage).

There was a lot of action in the two hour finale. Admittedly more in the second half of the two-parter with a lot of shooting from Clive and Liv, as well as Stoll’s troops.  On the relationship side Clive blows his with Dale and Ravi  connects  with Peyton.

So by the end of the “iZombie” finale, the list of dead includes, Chief, Vaughn, Gilda, Rob Thomas (the singer and not the show runner), Janko, Mr Boss’s lackeys, and a slew of party attendees.  The banjo playing Don may or may not be dead, after taking two rounds to the body, and Ravi, Peyton,  Liv, Major, Blaine and Clive  are still standing.

Amusingly, the cop almost has to be scratched by Liv when they are trapped by a crowd of zombies. Max Rager is now owned by Stoll and it looks like Liv either goes along with the whole Seattle being the new zombie homeland or else.

“iZombie” finished its second season with a cracking  two-hour finale.  If you have not seen it yet, head over to Hulu. It will be worth the trip.