Defiance Episode 1.04 The Devil in the Dark *** SPOLIERS***

Brief episode summary: Irisa is forced to confront a disturbing power; at the same time, Defiance is invaded by a swarm of menacing Hellbugs.

Episode summary by Shooter: Dalton Taggart, a human Defiance resident, prepares to take a run in the wilderness nearby using scavenged running shoes while the Irathient Spirit Riders led by Sukar ride into town. Shortly after beginning his run Taggart is attacked by Hellbugs and is killed before he can return to his Roller. Meanwhile, as the Spirit Riders arrive in town Irisa is performing her morning Tai Chi-like exercises with knives. The Irathient Riders begin their trading. Rynn and the local butcher antagonize each other until Irisa intervenes. After the confrontation Irisa has a vision and notices blood on Rynn ‘s face while Sukar re-extends his offer for Irisa to ride with them. Tommy and Irisa are called to investigate Taggart’s crime scene with Nolan. Irisa has a second vision involving a past crime. Meanwhile back in Defiance Sukar is meeting with Major Amanda Rosewater regarding the Spirit Rider’s presence in town. Amanda asks Sukar to stop provoking people yet vows that as long as she is mayor they are welcome in town because they helped fight off the Volge. Sukar mentions that Amanda is up for re-election soon and states his people will attempt to assimilate until the citizens of Defiance turn on them again. At the NeedWant Kenya is busy with a food sex customer until a hellbug comes up from under the bed and kills him. Doc Yewll pronounces the killer to be a hellbug while Irisa has another vision of the past crime after seeing the dead man’s tattoo while Nolan is explaining that killing the hellbug Matron is the only way to get rid of the hellbugs. Nolan confronts Irisa about the visions and explains that they are Post Traumatic Stress yet Irisa states that they had been getting stronger since they came to Defiance. Doc Yewll discovers an empty hellbug egg purse under the bed and the hellbug attack pheromones on Boyd Bowen’s clothes, Taggart’s red shoes and Kenya’s sheets. At the Tarr’s Christie McCawley sets out a Voton River Otter meal but Datak insults Christie’s cooking in Casithan, yet Christie has learned Casithan. Christie retreats to the patio where a hellbug lays in wait for her. Datak successfully kills the hellbugs and the Tarrs take Christie back to Rafe McCawley’s house. Doc Yewll and the lawmakers arrive and determine Christie’s clothes were soaked in the pheromones. Rafe admits to knowing Bowen and Taggart as Wildcatters in a land deal more than a dozen years ago. In going through the records Rafe states that the filing system is the best he could do without a computer and that Defiance started as a tent city. While going through the pictures of the records Irisa has a vision about one of the properties and drives out to it alone. Irisa has a more intense vision and collapses into Nolan. When the pair return to town they confront Sukar about Rynn. Sukar helps Irisa channel her gift to locate Rynn in the mines after identifying Taggart and Bowen in the murder of Rynn’s parents on the property in question. Sukar comforts Irisa after the vision session while Nolan looks on. Nolan attempts to apologize to Irisa about her gift, but Irisa resists his offers. Sukar, Nolan, Irisa and Tommy travel to the mine to apprehend Rynn. On their way down the mineshaft they cover themselves in hellbug shtako to mask themselves from the hellbugs. They return to the elevator only to fall the rest of the way to the bottom of the mine into hellbug central where the hellbug Matron is. As the team prepares to blow the nest with explosives Rynn ambushes them and shoots Sukar while keeping them on the defensive with the threat of hellbug pheromones. Rynn throws the pheromone bomb at the team but Nolan grabs it and throws it at the Matron while Irisa subdues Rynn by throwing a knife. Tommy hotwires the elevator while Nolan sets the charges off by shooting the charges and killing the Matron and collapsing the hellbug nest. Back in Defiance Amanda officially returns the property to the original Irathiens (Rynn’s family) and Rafe will lease the land back to continue mining operations. Rynn will be tried for the murders of Bowen and Taggart and the other attempted murders as well. Nolan watches Irisa become closer to Sukar in the NeedWant. Christie, now with a mended relationship with Rafe goes to spend the night again at the Tarr’s house. At night Irisa has a vision induced nightmare while Nolan calms her.

Please use this thread to discuss the series’ 4th episode.

A good episode, but I would have done it differently. I would have made it a two parter, in order to develop the relationship between the bikers and the town/Irisa. I would have had Nolan assign Irisa as a liaison between the townspeople and the bike gang, in order to better assimilate them into the town and ease tensions between the merchants and the ‘Spirit Raiders’. And while interacting with them she begins to rediscover her people’s culture, and this would have been the trigger which restarts her visions again. And as an aside I would have had Irisa and Rynn develop a friendship, it would be natural since they are both orphans. And this friendship would make Irisa’s revelation about Rynn and her ties to the deaths in town have much more impact, and her eventual leading of the team sent to capture her more tragic. And I would also explore more deeply the fact that when Irisa is having her visions pre ‘Irathient Ceremony’ she is seeing everything through the eyes of Rynn, and feeling all of her emotions as well…

This would cause a great deal of emotional conflict for Irisa, because she would sympathize with what Rynn went through. Feel the need for revenge, the rage. And I would use this period of Irisa rediscovering her culture to drive a wedge between Nolan and Irisa, have her spending more time with the ‘Spirit Raiders’ and less with him. Have Nolan discuss his conflicted feelings about this with his new Madam/Girlfriend, he would be glad that she is finding new friends and reconnecting with her roots; but fears he is losing his adopted daughter. Anyways, I just feel that if more time had been allowed to develop the characters more the ending would have had more impact on the viewer. One hour simply does not allow that.

Maybe the producers felt that each episode needs to have a certain quota of action in it, since American audiences tend to be a little ADD. Maybe once the first season is over the show will be less flash and more character driven…

The Hellbugs were pretty nasty though!!!

The more I think about it…it did feel rushed…maybe two parts would have been better for it…but I like the addition of father/daughter tension for our sheriff and his favorite deputy… I do like how the Christie/Alak relationship is going “she’s learning the language asshole!” (nice touch)…and how his parents are using it to weave and work their way into getting control of the mines…I do hope every episode isn’t gonna be OMG THE ENTIRE TOWN IS IN DESPERATE PERIL…that’s gonna get annoying fast…

First off I want to state that I enjoyed this episode. This is not the usually sort of episode or scifi I like to watch but I enjoyed it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been killing those nasty hellbugs in the Defiance video game. Maybe it’s because of Stahma running the Tarr show. Maybe it’s because Irisa is a capable little spunky redhead. Maybe it’s because I have a newfound respect for Sukar. Whatever the reason I liked it.

I feel like this episode was about 1/4 ‘Monster Of The Week’, 1/4 ‘Star Trek Voyager Vision Quest’ (my least favorite part), 1/4 ‘Relationships,’ and 1/4 ‘Scheming.’

Part 1 of 4 - Monster of the Week: Okay, this is a bit obvious. But it does point out that things are no longer what they were 33 years ago. Giant alien monster-like creatures are freely roaming the Earth. They are ugly and they are LEATHAL. This is the second nasty animal we’ve seen on screen with the first being the bear/spider combo in the pilot. But I think they are deliciously evil. Why’s that? They remind me of Stargate replicators. I love Stargate. And they have a spider-like quality to them. I hate spiders. Plus they are crab like as well. I love Deadliest Catch and therefore love crabs. Plus, as I stated above, I love killing those little beasts in the game. And what’s not to like about Datak Tarr’s extendable energy bladed weapon? After watching him fight in the battle of the Volge and seeing him take out those two hellbugs in his home I have a new respect for the Casithan. He is not only the cheating, scheming wimp I initially made him out to be. So hellbugs really speak out to me.

Part 2 of 4 – Star Trek Voyager Vision Quest: Admittedly this was my least favorite part of the episode. Vision Quests just aren’t my thing. But I have to hand it to the Defiance team, they did it as well as I could have hoped. It did not seem like this sort of other-dimension witchcraft at all. It seemed focused, with purpose, understood and guided. Irisa will be the key to much to come in the future. She’s now sort of like a Teyla-like character from Stargate Atlantis and certainly not a Counselor Troi or Commander Chakotay from Star Trek. Irisa is a killer. She has common sense. She has loyalty to Nolan. But she is not vulnerable like Teyla (at least the pregnant Teyla). She’s not helpless like Troi, and she’s not gullible like Chakotay. Irisa is a strong survivalist. And she has values. That’s why she went to go find Rynn. Rynn had violated the code of their new society and was on the verge of tearing it apart physically. Irisa is still finding herself and what she thinks about the community but her values have brought her this far. I don’t see her abandoning them anytime soon.

One other point in the Defiance production team favor on this. The use of the butterflies to link Rynn’s, Taggart’s and Bowen’s past to the events of the day was very well done. I didn’t even notice it until my second watch through as I was admiring Irisa’s Tai chi performance. Did you see how it ended with her “catching” the butterfly on her blade? Very well done.

Part 3 of 4Relationships: Nolan-Irisa. Irisa-Sukar. Christie-Alak. Nolan is a decent man. Nolan is skilled. Nolan tries hard. Nolan has a good heart but the man has broken a lot of promises. Irisa has seen it over and over and over throughout their time together. Nolan didn’t handle Irisa’s visions well, but he was there to support here every step of the way. He was there to see the vision work. He attempted to mend the rift created between them when he was proven wrong about the visions. And Nolan was there to calm her vision-filled-nightmare sleep at the end of the day. But Irisa is re-discovering the Irathient people. And you can tell the two are going to clash. I think what ultimately might save the relationship is that Nolan will keep trying and that he has a good heart. But it depends on where the Irathient culture and Defiance laws will conflict in the future

I thought Sukar to be a common thug in the Pilot episode. He wasn’t much of a character other than a Road-Warrior type villain that came in the Arkfall to rob Nolan. Wow was I wrong. So far I like the dude. He’s a little rough around the edges and doesn’t trust humans, but knows that for the good of his people that they need to integrate into a larger community that will provide mutual support. The Volge pre-skirmish in which he lost 3 riders proved that to him. We’ll see if he reverts back to a common thug/gang leader, but so far I’m liking what I’m seeing. Sukar is obviously attempting to offer Irisa an olive branch. Irisa is interested in learning more about her people and re-integrating into them. Especially since this particular bunch seems to have some honor since they joined Defiance in the fight with the Volge. We’ll see how this relationship turns out.

Christie is an idiot. And she bugs the shtako out of me. If she had any sense the likes of Stahma she would NOT be with Alak. She can’t tell she is being played at all. She is frightened beyond belief of the hellbug attack that she doesn’t seem to recall that SHE was the one holding the torch to keep the hellbug at bay while Alak cowarded helplessly on the floor. Yet she forgot everything and immediately believed Stahma that Alak saved her. Now Datak, who DESPISES Christie might have saved her, but Alak most certainly did NOT. If this continues I might have to dedicate an entire thread to how much of a idiot Christie is. This twilight-esk teen forbidden love stuff is for the birds. It’s not even done right. There is no reason these two should be together whatsoever.

Part 4 of 4 - Scheming: Stahma continues to be the undeniable star of this show. Her grace, delicate wit, quick thinking, and ability to strategize are outstanding. In fact the only person on the show so far that might be able to outdo her is ex-Mayor Nicky. Since Nicky was absent from this episode it was the all-Stahma show, no matter how little screen time she actually received. Did you see how she handled the poorly made dinner by Christie? Did you see how she handled Datak after his blunder? Did you see how she gave Datak direction to heal the Christie-Rafe relationship? Did you see how she handled Rafe when the Tarr’s brought Christie home? She is a master. And she has a body like a goddess. She will be the true star of this show.

I will say that this is an incredible amount of money and effort that has gone into this enterprise for it to fail. They need to draw audiences in. Flash is definitely a way to do that. The ratings continue to edge downward. The premiere had a rating of 2.7, the third episode rated 2.4 and this one rated 2.29. We’ll see how flash vs story continues to evolve as the series progresses.

As far as using Irisa as a liaison I’m not sure that would have worked. Irisa would have immediately been branded another Irathient outsider and the task would have failed miserably. Plus they really can’t afford to lose any more deputies. She is much too valuable to nolan close at hand.

I do think that Irisa sympathized greatly with Rynn. I think that she would have done everything in her power to assist Rynn make things right. I’m not sure if that would have included helping Rynn murder Taggart, Bowen and Christie though.

I think Irisa rediscovering her culture will be a story that progresses over time. It will make it more intriguing for us in the audience. I’m not sure we needed two hours of hellbugs though. I think we need to get on with The Earth Republic, the other Voton races and the surrounding area instead at this point in the series. But that’s just me. I think we only get 14 episodes total and we’ve already burned through 4. the next 10 have got to count.

Eureka wasn’t a town-is-in-peril-each-week show and I don’t think Defiance will be either. But we’ll see.

As far as language goes, are you loving the two completely made up languages for this show? It’s incredible. David J. Peterson did an amazing job. Between Peterson’s language magic and McCreary music wizardry this show is just amazing.

Fair point…I’m just going on what I’m seeing…I would like to hear more about the original war that lead to the terraforming accident in the first place as well, that intrigues me too, but it’s why I always will love independence day…I love to see really big things break and blow up :smiley:

And yes the languages are very elegant…I hope there’s a Blu-Ray extra of the actors saying how difficult it was to learn it and some of their flubs…that would amuse me greatly too!

I gotta get the dang game when I have time too…

I wasn’t asking for more Hellbugs, I was asking for more character moments. I want to see them developed, I want to learn more about the alien cultures and to understand what drives them; why did they leave their homes and come here? Do the different races get along? If not why? What Gods do they worship? How many sexes do they have, which sex is dominant?

Besides, if the visions had been allowed to be longer and more involved it might have been a great way to give us a peek into an alien family structure and culture. And to learn more of how Rynn interacted and cared for her family, see her play with her sibling. That way the deaths of her family members would have more impact on the viewer because we had become familiar with them. This is also why I wanted Rynn and Irisa to develop a friendship before the big reveal, that way she would become conflicted as to what to do, and the viewer would both empathize with Irisa and Rynn’s emotional states as well. Because we shared the journey with them…

I am more wowed by good world building, good characters and good storytelling than I am by eye candy. Besides, it is also cheaper to film a good drama between characters than it is to make CG monsters and mechs. Hear that SyFy? :wink:

These two questions probably intrigue me the most. As Irisa says in her narrative during the Pilot, their world blew up. It would be nice to know more information than that. Everything is probably very normal for the people that lived through it 33 years later but for us on the It’s-not-yet-happened side of thingsit’s difficult to comprehend.

And, of course, the terraforming. Why did we have to do that again? Why did we have to ruin our wonderful planet for complete strangers? Did they trick us by saying our world was broken and they could fix it? Apparently, from what I’ve learned in the game the terraforming process creates a valuable mineral that is mined and used to power all things votech. So at least the mining in the show is beginning to shape up some form for me now.

hehe. That would be awesome.

I must have missed something, I was under the impression the terraforming was done by the aliens to make our world more hospitable for them. Either directly or clandestinely…

Good characters and a good story is why we all really loved BSG. But even BSG started out flashy with the miniseries, the Battle At Ragnar Anchorage, 33 1/2, water, and wherever Lee drove the viper in those tunnels. I think they’ll get there if given the chance. Perhaps the video game success will keep it on the air for another season where other shows might be cancelled after 12 episodes.

I think they’ve done a good job so far plopping us down in the middle of Earth 33 year after Arkfall. Stehma is fantastic. Irisa is amazing. Sukar is surprisingly interesting. The Volge are terrifying. Adn the humans are fighting amongst themselves - as usual. But that’s just me.

Using the visions to explore the past might become a staple of the show. This episode just introduced visions to us. We have yet to see their full potential. At the very least they will become Defiance’s sole source of intel.

Yes I want to see all of your points explored. But I do think we will get there one week at a time if we let them.

YES YOU DO! It’s amazing. Like Mass Effect merged with Skyrim. The back story it gives you is worth it too. I’ve already given it as a gift once and the individual will not stop bugging me about how great the game is and how well his/her character is doing.

Yes. That is my understanding. But why did we let them? My impression was that we did so willingly.

I looked up the wiki page for it and they explained what happened on there

Just posting the link for those who don’t wanna know…it makes a bit more sense this way…so far I have no jobs tomorrow…a walk to Best Buy might be in order to get the game :smiley:

Talk about material for a prequel! Or three!

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so you want more sex?

I kid! I kid!

Seriously, however: I like how they’re exploring alien cultures: the different music, visual aesthetics, values, norms, dancing.

And I wonder if sex is essentially this same, mechanically, for all of the races. Is interbreeding possible?

Yeah no kidding, or at least a two-hour special like “the Plan” was for BSG…hopefully this show has enough legs to it to get to that point!!

Thanks for the link, this explains a lot. I must have missed more exposition than I had thought (probably nodded off since it came on so late…), I was under the impression that Earth had been invaded and that a cease fire came about when both sides tired of the war; and the runaway terraforming created a threat that unified the previously warring species. There are more races listed there than I was aware of too, good. The more the merrier…

My dvr hasn’t been recording it!! I saw the pilot, and set my dvr, but this is the 2nd show that didn’t take! All the rest I’ve set are good- ack!

Does anyone know if hulu is carrying it? Or if there’s a Roku channel?

dang. :frowning:

The last time I checked all four Defiance episodes are available for streaming via