Ryan Thomason

Defiance: “A WELL RESPECTED MAN”, TV Review

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Defiance is a show I waited until I had the first 3 episodes on the DVR to watch all at once to determine if I was going to keep watching or not. Well, I’m writing a review about the 4th Episode, ‘A Well Respected Man’ so it seemed to passed the test.

Defiance - Season 1

I was a little hesitant to start watching a new Sci-Fi show, especially on the SyFy Channel of all place. After Stargate: Universe went off the air after 2 glorious seasons I’ve been a bit jaded about the capacity of SyFy to have shows I want to watch.

Defiance is starting to change my mindset.

Mind you, Defiance isn’t crazy hard sci-fi. It’s fun and focuses on character building within the sci-fi setting which is big for me. One of the reasons BattleStar Galactica was good enough to turn my Wife who is very much, not into anything involving science fiction is that it was a heavy focus on story and characters. Some of the CGI was good, but it was short and sweet, stuff like dogfights in outer space and such. Defiance seems to be building it’s show around a core group of characters that we’ll come to love/hate and hatelove.

Spoilers Ahoy!

Defiance - Season 1‘A Well Respected Man’ is basically about Datak Tarr, a Castithan who is a bit on the shady side being able to finally muster the political power that he’s been so desiring. As well as “earning” the respect of the citizens of Defiance but more importantly, the leaders of the city. There are several scenes from outside of Datak’s house, when he snubs Mayor Rosewater because Nolan roughs him up in front of his family just prior. Or, the scene where Datak is “helping” Nolan question a Castithan that might know the whereabouts of a missing citizen (more on that next). Nolan calls him out on the ploy of staging it all for show, for respect. Datak, caught red handed doesn’t even lose his cool just saying “You’re right, but I had no intentions of whispering into that mans filthy ear” and just walks away, letting Nolan get the information he wanted, and losing his end of the political battle. The episode has a very vibrating theme of respect through all the the character side stories, especially for Rafe McCawley’s youngest son, who is trying to work the mine his dead older brother used to work, and his dad puts a whole kabosh on the thing. Also, what the heck is that weird thing that Rafe found in his dead son’s room, what does it have to do with anything? It is the reason why the terraformers folded over old St. Louis instead of leveling it? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

Joshua Nolan, the now Chief Lawmaker (sheriff) of Defiance really likes to have sex with the owner of the Need/Want, which is basically the town brothel/bar/gambling hall. Kenya, the aforementioned owner of the establishment is also the little sister of Amanda, the Mayor of the town. So, that’s not awkward at all. But this is a new Earth with new rules. See, when the aliens arrived, eventually a war broke out called the “Pale Wars” it only ended with the Arc Ships that had carried the aliens for 5,000 years to earth (cryogenic sleep, yo) blew up and unleashed a swarm of terraformers on the planet. Now, they weren’t using them yet because they didn’t know humans would be on the planet. Basically the terraformers went unchecked and changed the entire planet, dropped alien animals/predators and made crazy hybrids with our current animal stock. So essentially, earth got REALLY messed up.

That leads for new thoughts on what is acceptable in society it seems.

Defiance - Season 1

Back to the story, Kenya has a run in with one of her younger prostitutes or “Night Porters” as she calls them, when the youngin was stealing from the staff. They get caught by Ulysses the Bioman, which is essentially a hulk, minus the total anger issues. He takes them to a factory where some scientist that is wacked out on a adrenaline drug that is made by pushing people and scaring them nearly to death and extracting the adrenaline to make the chem. It’s crazy stuff, especially since as Kenya is going through the “maze” that the bioman put them in they’re boxed in by a Volge walking around. I’m not sure how that made sense, but we still don’t know a lot about the alien races but I thought the Volge was more of a swarming conquering army type.

My favorite part of the whole episode, tieing in everything about the theme of “Respect” was when Nolan looked at Stahma (Datak Tarr’s wife) after Datak accepts his newly appointed spot on the town council and appropriately just gives Nolan a look and shuts the door in his face. Nolan said to her “You know, I’ve had my eye on the wrong snake. You’re the dangerous one.” Her reply? “You’re very sweet.”

RESPECT.

Defiance has been earning mine, and I’m very interest to see where this show keeps going. Thank you SyFy. You still have a lot of building to do with me, but it’s getting there.

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