Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Defiance Recap: "Past is Prologue"

I know, I know, I'm a little late to the game on the whole Defiance thing. Although I've been aware of the show since it was announced, I sort of avoided it altogether because it looked a little bit like... well... cliche Hollywood crappola, at least according to my cynical mind. This was not helped when I saw Grant Bowler on some awful breakfast show trying to promote the show and game by boasting about his role in the groundbreaking new "MMOPG game". Yep.

But hey, maybe he was just a little excited about the whole first-ever-convergence-between-gaming-and-television thing, so we'll let him off this time. Besides, he kind of does look like your friend's sexy dad. Also, I haven't actually played the game. I'm not really a fan of shooters at all (mostly because I really, really suck at them), plus I've heard it's awful.

However! Upon watching ten episodes of this show in about two days and rapidly switching from "whatever forever Hollywood" to "EVERYONE WATCH THIS SO WE CAN DISCUSS OUR LOVE FOR IT" status, I will most likely play the game at some point in the near future. Because I freakin' love this show. It's just my kind of Sci Fi. Crazy steam punk hippie aliens! A little bit of cheesiness! Swearing in made-up languages! Murder, mystery and sexual sexiness everywhere! Plus, it has definitely succeeded in temporarily filling the empty, gaping expanse left in my life whilst I wait for the next season of both Game of Thrones and Vikings.

It's a bleak and rainy day in Defiance, and everyone is gathered in the local pub/brothel (where else?) to mourn the death of poor old Mayor "Don't Tell Anyone I'm an Alien" Nicky. Amanda is perched on the bar, regaling the bereaved with tales of her old boss whilst nursing a scotch and looking a lot like the cool guidance counselor I never had.

But before anyone even has time to tell Counselor Rosewater to stop making it all about her, local power couple Datak and Stahma breeze on in through the door (no, literally, there's quite the gale out there- I love it when a show's weather tells me how to feel). Stahma, ever clueless on Earth fashion, appears to be sporting Christie's bridal veil, soliciting a disgruntled sigh from Amanda ("Ugh, Votans, am I right?"). However, all animosity is soon dismissed with more scotch, and superstar DJ Alak spinning some mad wicked somber indie vinyl. Where the hell is all this scotch coming from anyway? This is a town that seems to literally revolve around one brothel, has little or limited incoming supplies, and no evident distillery. Oh well. Less questions, more scotch I say.

Of course, nobody cares about that. All we really want to know is, "are Tommy and Irisa having more sex or what?" Answer: yes! Hurray! Look, there's Tommy, A.K.A the only black guy in all of St, Louis, being all sexy and reading poetry to his cool alien girlfriend (he's got the brains and the brawn). Irissa is literally curled up in his lap like a little ginger cat. D'awww. What an adorable picture of racial diversity they are. You go, SyFy.

Unfortunately, it would appear that their sexcapades are about to be cut short because Doc Yewll is getting all tech-savvy with her tacky gold trinket thing, which is totally killing their vibe. And Irissa's legs. Clueless Tommy simply interprets her writhing about and screams of pain as some sort of verbal approval of his sexual ability. Whoops.

Back at the brothel, it would seem the whole guidance counselor vibe only extends to the blonde side of the family, because Kenya looks none too happy about playing therapist to poor Mrs Tarr. Apparently, Datak is a prideful, murderous bastard who wants to take down Amanda because no way is he going to risk losing the election and bringing shame upon his arrogant white ass (and by a female human, no less!). "Datak? A vindictive asshole? Get out of town!" said no one, ever. Kenya dutifully reports this anonymous information to her sister, and a plan is hatched for Nolan to "keep Amanda safe", whatever that means. Did this just turn in to a futuristic dystopian version of Bodyguard?

Datak's set up base for his mayoral campaign in what appears to be a leftover tent from Burning Man- god forbid he rent an actual indoor office, or worse, risk having anyone dirty his pristine minimalist manor. Speaking of things that are unusually white in such a dust-laden town, Alak decides to take a break from that sweet married life (did someone say spin off show?) and, despite being literally the whitest guy around, fist-bumps Donkey Kong, who mutters a possibly condescending "hey, Little Man". But there's no time to revel in your new street moniker now, Little Man, because daddy's disappointed in you again! Datak forces him to dirty his freshly-pressed beige pants by kneeling in the dirt and begging his forgiveness in Japanese- er, I mean, Voltan. Everyone looks on with a mixture of silent disapproval and horror, like they're witnessing a parent smack their child in a supermarket.

This uncomfortable Joan Crawford impersonation is only echoed by Alak, who likens his father to a "scary bad mother", to which his stoner buddy Kupak agrees. He then persuades Kupak to do "something bad", which he of course agrees to immediately, because not only is he  also one "scary bad mother" himself, but he's after that "enormous respect", yo.

Back to the politics ("Boo!" says Mayor Rosewater, the least-willing politician ever). Kupak's perched on a pretty exposed balcony overlooking the mayoral debate, which seems to be a poor choice for a vantage point if you ask me. Irisa's alien senses must be tingling, because she's suddenly taken off (yet again) in search of misdeeds. While Amanda trash talks Datak like the sassy queen she is, Irisa takes to sabotaging Doc Yewll's prize-winning garden of succulents.

Luckily, Nolan snaps out of his reverie and, after a somewhat delayed reaction to spotting Kupak with a sniper rifle (maybe they have more in common than we think, eh?), he blasts that sucker straight in to next Tuesday! Go Nolan! Hold up, that wasn't a rifle at all- it was merely a paintball gun (and a weak one at that). Uh-oh, Nolan. He can see the headline already: "MANIAC COP SHOOTS ALIEN YOUTH IN COLD BLOOD". Alak collapses to the ground, overwhelmed by the possibilities of which Smiths song to play at the funeral.

Ever the opportunist, Datak is of course quick to jump on the hate crime bandwagon, with shouts of "tell that to his PARENTS" and "I wonder if the Lawkeeper would have pulled the trigger if... if Kupak Kurr's skin was a few shades darker!" OH SNAP. If there was media in Defiance, a frenzy would surely ensue. He's just that resourceful. Despite all these outraged cries of speciesism, Mayor Rosewater declares that she will stand by sexy Lawkeeper Nolan, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! Then Datak sort of out-sasses her. He out-sasses the sass queen. Double snap.

Meanwhile, Irisa is lamenting her hasty runaway- she should never have left her post! She shares a father-daughter bonding moment with Nolan over a cadaver, which seems to be a recurring ritual in almost every episode. Nothing brings family together like an autopsy. Tommy looks broody ("I thought she was one of those insecure 'daddy issues' chicks!"), and Doc Yewll looks irritated that there's three people crowding her surgery and not one explanation of why her garden looks like it's been attacked by a gang of of Irathian bandits.

Suddenly a morose-looking Alak is barging in to his father's blindingly white office (is it a camouflage thing?), demanding no less than THE TRUTH. His adolescent whining, however, is deflected by Stahma, who congratulates him for showing such defiance (see what I did there) in the face of his powerful father, then pecks him on the lips in a manner that seems so inappropriately sensual for a mother that even Alak looks creeped out. Datak declares that he is indeed proud of his son, though we all know that everything Datak says is lies and he's probably just backpedalling because he "accidentally" got his son's teenage bff murdered today as part of his crazy plan to set up the stupid human mayor. Smooth, Datak.Smooth.

For some idiotic reason, Nolan thinks it would be a great idea to pop by and see Kutak's grieving parents and offer his condolences by butchering their own language and being all "sorry I killed your son, my bad" whilst Kupak's dead body is being carried in to the family home. Strangely, it doesn't seem to help. But just when you think there's no way this situation could get any more awkward, Datak's regular guest spot on Defiance FM is broadcast over the entire town. The topic of today's show seems to be, "Joshua Nolan is a war criminal and probably a terrorist who hates America". Apparently, Nolan was quite the racist war tyrant back in the day- and this is a guy who Mayor Rosewater backs ONE HUNDRED PERCENT, remember? See ya later, alien vote.

Ex-racist Nolan nevertheless turns in his badge to the scotch-swilling mayor, and basically tells her that he knows more about this politics game than she ever will. The mayor doesn't have a sassy comeback for that one (blame the scotch), but basically states that she does not give a shtako about the election. Nolan's all, "um excuse me mayor, but maybe you should at least pretend to care about this town for, like a second." She suddenly realises that this means Nolan's actually leaving town, and this might be the last chance she has to finally sleep with him.

Whilst wandering about the marketplace in an apathetic daze (most likely scouting for more retro vinyl from 2003), Alak is suddenly apprehended by what looks like hired goons! Odd that something like this could happen so easily to the son of the leader of the underworld, but okay. They give him a good thrashing, totally ruining his cool vintage denim jacket and ruffling his perfect hair. And who's behind all of this? His father in law, of course! Rafe McCawley looks down on him like some mad powerful mafia don, stating how he will not be disappointed by his baby girl's husband. "Capiche?" Alak's a bit busy bleeding pink pudding from his facial orifices, but he seems to get the message.

Suddenly Kenya is barging in to the Tarrs' minimalist manor, shouting threats of "I'M GOING TO TELL EVERYBODY" and "I'M LOOKING TO HURT YOU". Stahma, unsure of which human emotion to feign in this situation, awkwardly smiles and laughs her away like the fabulous ice queen she is. But Kenya isn't having any of this! She continues to spurt threats, until she touches a nerve with a mention of a "great shaming". Stahma shoots back that this will only end "very badly" for her fiery mistress, and that she actually loves her abusive control freak husband, so THERE.

While we're still trying to figure out who won that one, Nolan is confronting Stahma's aforementioned psychotic husband, knocking out his best mate Donkey Kong and challenging Datak to a bit of old-fashioned fisty cuffs. Apparently Datak is crazy fit, and proceeds to show off his mad capoeira moves. He's pretty handy with a chain, too. Bet you wish you'd kept that gun handy, huh not-so-Lawkeeper Nolan? But before he can commit any more accidental alien hate crimes, Irisa steps in and deals a very satisfying kick to Datak's stupid gloating face.

But this unconventional little family isn't leaving town that easy, oh no! Doc Yewll has once again unleashed the mysterious powers of the gold trinket on Irisa, and before Nolan can say "DID I MENTION I ADOPTED AN ALIEN BABY ONCE" Doctor My-Mouth-Never-Moves has her sedated on the operating table and is slicing her up like a Christmas ham. It seems our little alien rebel has her very own magical trinket hidden inside her, from back when she was kickin' it with that crazy snake cult. Typically, she wakes up and kicks some evil doctor ass before- surprise, surprise- running away. "WHERE'S MY DAUGHTER?" shouts Nolan, who surely laments missing out on that lead role for Taken.

It seems the anesthetic hasn't completely worn off, because now Irisa is stumbling around the forest tripping total balls. Not to worry though, because one of her crazy steam punk hippie friends from that loose Irathian biker gang has appeared and is here to help! Oh wait, she's got a big-ass knife. Uh-oh. One of Tommy's poems must have been about old world possums though, because Irisa just rolls over and plays dead.

It's super effective!

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