On the last episode of SyFy’s great new show Defiance, Irisa’s friend and fellow Irathient Sukar was killed in a razor rain storm. Turns out, the piece of shrapnel that struck him was carrying tiny little nanobots that allowed him to raise from the dead. Believing himself on a mission from the god Irzu, he gathered tons of electrical equipment and then beaconed a ship down to Defiance. Believing he was trying to destroy the town Nolan fires several rounds into the intimidating Votan and kills him. Believing in Sukar’s cause, Irisa completes the mission and the ship crashes just outside of Defiance. This events gives us the setup for last night’s episode.

Tommy and Nolan travel out to the crash site, called an Ark Fall in the show, and find the place untouched by scavengers so far. Inside the place is a wreck and, oddly, it is filled with technology from Earth. That’s not the only cargo from Earth though. Inside a life support container is a man who has spent the past few decades in hibernation. Imagine the culture shock he feels when he sees all kinds of alien races walking around the streets of former St. Louis. As he celebrates his return with Rafe McCawley, Nolan, and Amanda Rosewater something strange happens. For no apparent reason, he tries to kill Mayor Rosewater. Turns out, while he thought he was hibernating, the Indogens were actually conducting experiments on him and turned him into a weapon (I am reminded of The Manchurian Candidate).

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While this show offers great stories, excellent plots, and very nice special effects I have one complaint with it. Good sci-fi should present messages that relate to the world we live in. Defiance has a great setup in order to do this. The show’s tagline is “New Earth, New Rules”. Yet any mention of humanity’s former existence is given in passing and there is little in the way of social commentary. I had hoped that these things would play a larger role and that this show would reach the same heights as Star Trek. I don’t really see this happening now though. Therefore, if you are looking for pure entertainment this is a great show. Don’t expect a whole lot of thinking to go on while watching it though.

 

Originality: 5/5 – Terraformed Earth, original races (though Irathients remind me of Klingons), and plenty more get this show a high originality score.
Story: 3/5 – Very well plotted and told with excellent dialog and a massive back story, but there is no substance, no underlying social message that defines excellent science fiction.
Performances: 5/5 – Everyone pulls their roles off beautifully, and I am particularly fond of Grant Bowler as Nolan who pulls off the rough and tumble swagger excellently.
Special Effects: 5/5 – The crew of this show did a great job this episode, creating a great looking Ark Fall and underground scenes in the McCawley Mines.
Repeat Viewing: 5/5 – Thinking or no, this is a fun show and worth watching over and over. Every week I find myself watching the previous week’s episode along with the new one. Next week will be no different.

Score: ½

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