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Dark Matter 3.10 Review: “Built, Not Born”

Dark Matter 3.10 Review: “Built, Not Born”

“You have robot friends?” Three says incredulously because he has no home training. Thus we begin our story. We’re in the mess with the whole crew assembled, and Android is asking for help on behalf of Victor and his comrades. The whole scene is cute. Everyone is pleasantly surprised and a bit amused about Android’s MCM.

“Built, Not Born” is the total inverse of the previous episode as far as the Android is concerned. In “Paradox” her motivations seemed opaque, in this one she’s lain bare. Zoie Palmer’s portrayal of the character gives us so much throughout the hour. It’s a gift to be able to underplay extreme existential distress but still have it come across as extreme.

After last week’s diversion from the main arc, we recommence the story with gusto this week. It felt like a foundational episode for the 5-year arc. We get a huge info dump of backstory finally explaining the connection between Two and Android, an escalation of the android rebellion, and an end to the Sarah’s-consciousness-in-the-ship story line.

Android’s Creator

“Built” didn’t start off auspiciously enough to indicate how game changing it would wind up being. I thought the main crux would be dealing with Victor and his folks, plus unearthing bits and pieces of Android’s memory. Well, the joke was on me because we get a super long narration of Rebecca’s tragically beautiful lesbian love story with Dr. Irena Shaw, cyberneticist, mother of the android liberation movement, and body model for Android.

I’ve never thought of Two and Android together romantically, but Rebecca and Irena definitely had some chemistry in the brief glimpses we got of them. I’m deeply curious as to what Irena, Chase, Victor, and their new unwitting recruit, Sarah-bot will get up to now. Will they need to threaten Sarah or can they convince her to join the cause some other way? Will Three save her? By the time he catches up with her, will she be turned to the androids’ side completely?

The Rebellion

I’m telling y’all now, I’m rooting for the androids. I was a Maquis sympathizer, Kohn-Ma apologist, and Magneto advocate. I don’t eff with the shem. Skaikru can go float themselves. I will cure the genophage and threaten the salarian Delatrass while I do it. And Naomi Nagata did the right thing with the OPA at the end of The Expanse‘s last season. Victor is clearly on some villain ish, but it doesn’t change the fact that sentient beings deserve liberation from enslavement.

At the end, when we see the true events leading to Victor and Co. needing to flee the station; it’s clear the first flashback was a lie Victor concocted. Him viciously snapping a human’s neck gives me pause, of course, but I have no context with which to judge. I’m more concerned about Ruak. Did Victor just shoot him to lend credence to his cover/sob story? That seems excessive and wasteful in addition to cruel. Was it a setup? If so, why did they target that guy in particular? There are so many questions.


Memory Retrieval

The most relevant part of Android’s unearthed memories was Portia fussing over Suki while Emily is rebooting her neural matrix, and Portia interupting Suki and Ryo’s companionable interlude to set up the plot for next week.

It was nice to see Ryo indulgently giving Suki chocolate and conversing with her kindly. Come to think of it, didn’t Ryo already tell Android she can access her memories just as he was leaving the Raza? Why didn’t she pursue it back then?

In another scene, we see how Portia got the Raza by beating and killing the ship’s former captain and his crony. Boone is present as well, not lifting a finger to help either side. Anthony is quite good at reacting in scenes. After the former captain said he doesn’t like nor respect Portia, Boone pauses shoveling food into his maw long enough to issue a low “yeah,” into his plate. It’s as if he was saying, “Yeah, you about to catch it.” And catch it, he did! How many origin stories can one episode pack in?

I have not seen Episode 13 yet, but I fear it’s going to leave me in a pit of despair. The crew doesn’t seem all that alarmed that the litany of prophecies old-Five has laid out are coming true. Considering she offered these events up with grave tones, I’d think they would be a bit more concerned over everything.

So many miles more to go til the finale, see you next week!


This is the first time I’ve seen a Blooper reel that isn’t riddled with profanity. Save these sweet, wonderful people’s jobs Syfy and Space. They are darling.



  • Finding out the Android/Two origin story. Didn’t see that coming!
  • Sarah has a body now and has been kinda kidnapped. You just piqued my interest in this storyline, show.
  • I liked how they changed the coloring to denote that we were in a flashback.
  • That was only 42 minutes? Way to pack in a lot of content without it getting muddled or confusing
  • Zoie! I love when actors pull double duty and give both characters depth and distinction.
  • Six cheering up Android
  • Android teaching herself smiling then practicing with Three



  • Considering everything that goes down in this episode, there is another revelation that happens in a later episode that should have come up here.
  • Why is the GA just orbital striking them? Shouldn’t they try to infiltrate to find out what is going on?
  • Five being a gatekeeper between Android and Chase
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