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: My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You (recap/review)

Datak Tarr in Rahm Tak's camp Defiance
Last week’s episode of Defiance saw Datak Tarr on the shaming wall being stretched to death by his fellow Votan’s placing weights on the device. The Beauty of Our Weapons also saw Berlin scarper, Irisa underwent a meltdown at the target range and afterward Nolan boosted the militia with a motivational speech. In My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You, the town of Defiance has been breached and suffered its first fatalities, Nolan screws up, Bebe gets his just deserts, Omec makes a stand, Irisa gets her mojo back and Rahm Tak’s curiosity proves fatal.

At the start of this episode, Datak Tarr is on the shaming wall and remembering an moment from his childhood, a young Tarr faces a mirror holding his father’s blade and repeats the phrase “My name is Datak Tarr and I have come to kill you.” Tarr senior comes in and takes the blade back and tells his son off.

Bebe, with his human face, is in Defiance with the rest of the infiltration team and they spot Tarr on the rack/wall. After a moment of contemplation, they move to take hostages along with the Mayor and Nolan. They line up the hostages so that Rahm Tak can tell them his “demands.” He does so via an interactive hologram. He offers to let the humans go if they let down the stasis nets. Rosewater refuses and he orders the hostages killed.

Nolan gets free and kills one of Tak’s troops with a knife to the throat, they are all wearing body armor, and Bebe kills another ensuring that he will get close to the Butcher of Yosemite. “Nice shooting Tex,” Joshua says, accepting Bebe as human instantly. Despite his getting free, many of the hostages die.

Stahma is in the Omec ship but only in “spirit” as she and Kindzi are linked mentally, via the blue “rock” that T’evgin’s daughter made her swallow. While on the ship, she learns the plans of the Omec and what will happen to the inhabitants of Earth. Before that, Amanda and Nolan question how Tak’s troops got through the net. “Tex,” aka Beckman and Nolan bond and the new guy agrees to join the militia. Joshua tells Alak to show Beckman around and Datak’s son asks Bebe if he knows him from somewhere.

Irisa “weapons” up and Nolan comes dangerously close to apologizing. Irisa points this out and Joshua reverts to type after saying that he is getting soft in his old age. He also tells her that he is proud of her. Amanda tells the citizens of Defiance that they are under attack with Rahm Tak’s infiltrators still in the town.

During her broadcast, T’evgin stops for pancakes. He listens to the message while observing the Votan shop. Tak’s men are entering homes and killing innocents, Nolan splits up his group, taking Bebe with him and sending Irisa and Alak in the other direction, when they hear the gunfire and both pairs head out to stop the infiltrators.

One of Tak’s men starts to shoot a human mother and two small children when T’evgin interrupts him. He turns the Votan around and tells him that he “lacks honor.” The Omec’s teeth suddenly become huge and he rips the throat open of the assailant. The mother then asks if they will be next and T’evgin says no. “But the stories,” she says. “Old stories,” T’evgin says. Nolan tries to talk the Omec into helping more but he refuses saying again that this is not his fight.

Kindzi plans on her father killing Stahma after she revealed the Omec plans but is bitterly disappointed. T’evgin explains that originally the plan was to enslave the denizens of Earth but that has changed. Kindzi responds by spitting in his face and calling him a traitor. Stahma warns that T’evgin’s daughter is dangerous and “something needs to be done.” The Omec leader makes it very clear that Stahma is out of line. He reminds her that they are “not a team.”

Bebe “finds” a map to the tunnels back to Rahm Tak’s camp. Nolan wants to go through the tunnel and strike Tak where it hurts. Amanda wants to plug the hole up and Joshua talks her out of it. Alak is waiting outside Defiance at the other end of the tunnel keeping an eye out for more Tak troops.

Nolan gives his team last minute instructions before going into the tunnel. Bebe is in the group. When they get to the end of the tunnel, Nolan and Irisa go out after he tells the rest of the team to wait for his signal. Joshua gives Alak a “thumbs up” signal and motions for him to join them. Bebe/Beckman tells the team that he hears something. He instructs the militia members to wait there and he leaves.

Outside, Nolan sees Beckman and tells him that he said to wait. Before the words are completely out of his mouth, Bebe disarms Irisa and Nolan, shoots Alak and grabs Joshua. Irisa fights back and gets stabbed in the shoulder with her own knife. Bebe throws a grenade into the tunnel killing the militia team. Nolan fights Bebe and is losing when Irisa takes the knife and stabs Bebe to death.

The “Goddess” is back.

Datak Tarr has more memories of growing up and being punished by his father’s blade, it was shoved through his hand. In the doctor’s office Nolan is full of guilt about the death of his team in the tunnel and Irisa tries to make him see it is not his fault. Amanda comes in and reveals that Rahm Tak has set up camp outside the city.

Dr. Yewll explains that Tak has done them a favor. Using a volunteer she can blow up the stasis nets and kill Rahm and all his troops. It is, she says, a suicide mission, the volunteer will carry the detonator in his or her arm. Nolan wants to go and Amanda says that she will do it. Alak says that he knows the perfect person to be sent to General Rahm Tak’s relocated camp.

Datak Tarr has another memory of his father and that blade. As their world is ending Datak’s father decides to stay behind. He gives the blade to his son along with a talk about honor and vanity. Amanda tells Datak that if he accepts her offer of redemption that Stahma will be pardoned of her crimes and Datak will be pardoned as well…posthumously. He accepts.

He has the detonator hidden in his left forearm and when he gets into Rahm Tak’s camp, Yewll will set it off, killing the general and all his troops. Tarr is allowed outside of Defiance and enters the camp, Rahm Tak allows him to enter because, “He’s got me curious.”

Back in Defiance, Yewll sets the timer for four minutes and the countdown begins. In Rahm Tak’s camp, Datak has to do a “song and dance” to keep the general from killing him. Getting on his knees, he ask for his blade to prove his humility. Tak’s curiosity is piqued again and he allows Datak to have the blade.

Datak tells Rahm Tak that he rescued him from the shaming wall and therefore Tak owns his body. “Including,” Datak says, “my good left arm.” Taking the blade he begins to saw his own arm off, which contains the detonator, while Tak and his troops scream and yell at this act of self mutilation. Amid the cacophony, they are yelling, laughing and excitedly shouting, Rahm Tak screams out, “That is some “gangster-a** sh**!” the general is massively impressed.

Tarr removes his arm and as Tak goes to pick it up, Datak says he needs a moment. Tak agrees that he can leave the tent. As Datak heads shakily to the exit, Tak grabs the arm and plays with it, giving “high-fives” to his troops. Datak is outside the tent running madly away from the area and Rahm realizes that there is something in the arm. “Oh sh**, he says as the stasis nets explode killing everyone.

As the blast engulfs Rahm Tak’s camp, Alak and Irisa touch hands and the camera moves over the shattered camp and lingers on Datak Tarr. Laying on his back, with the blade under his right hand, Tarr grins.

This episode was nothing less than brilliant. Granted, Nolan did accept Bebe/Beckman rather quickly, but it was essential to the plot and therefore forgivable. The continued bonding between Joshua and Irisa is nice to see and it looks like Alak and Nolan’s daughter may just become an item. Yewll got some excellent lines out, with her quips of “Cowboy guy” and “…Teacher’s Pet, see me after class.”

*Sidenote* The set piece with T’evgin and those teeth. A truly terrifying moment and one that proved that the Omec really does not need any other weapons.

The scene in Rahm Tak’s camp where Datak Tarr removes his own arm was an epic win. How could anyone not love Tak’s reaction. While Rahm’s demise was not down to his own fascination with all human pop culture, his “gangster-a**” comment was just brilliant. It was his curiosity that killed him in the end.

*Sidenote II* The playing of The DoorsWhen the Music’s Over as Datak slyly fools his captor and then runs off to live another day was spot on.

This will be a hard episode to beat, let alone match. Tony Curran rocked it, as did Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll. Special kudos to Lee Tergesen as General Rahm Tak, what a great ending for a great villain, a real OMG performance even at the end. Speaking of villains, the new direction that T’evgin appears to be heading may just make Kindzi the next “big bad.” Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays. Cracking science fiction television that is not to be missed.