I haven’t done a review since before Dragon Con, so I just wanted to say a few things about the last 4 episodes of Season 2. As I predicted, we do not find out who was on the FTL-enabled Marauder. Something for next year.
I plan to check out Season 3 next summer, but the likelihood of me reviewing is pretty slim. The reason should be apparent by the title of this article.
Now, I’m not suddenly going to backtrack over the complimentary things I’ve said in the past about this show’s casting practices. But, I will say that Nyx being murdered – particularly the reason why, was so excruciatingly cliche′, uninspired, and ridiculous my eyeballs did a full 360% in their sockets.
She got a quick but well choreographed fight scene at least. That’s better than Lexa’s Stray Bullet of Lesbian Punishment I suppose, but not by much.
Men. Stop writing about women who go homicidal over your dingalings. Fatal Attraction did it best, and everything after it pales in comparison. The frustrating and sad irony is that it’s men themselves who resort to killing and maiming when they don’t get their way in the romantic arena. So stop. Forever.
To be fair, this is not the first time the show has wasted a character, and it doesn’t seem to boil down to a selective recognition of humanity with this lot. Devon, a handsome white male character, had no real storyline until just before he died. The other characters didn’t seem to care while he was there, and they gave less than a shit when he was gone. While it was head-scratch inducing, it didn’t affect me on a visceral level.
Nyx, conversely, was a far more fleshed out and unique character with limitless potential. Next season will deal with all-out corporate warfare, and a kinetically precognitive person with a talent for running scams would have come in handy. Plus, she was truly integrated into the Raza crew, by season’s end. Completely squandered.
While the fictitious world of Dark Matter does largely take place in a vacuum, the production of the show does not. I’ve been watching TV for years, and when show runners remember Black people exist, that usually only extends to men. Therefore, the number of Black women on television has always trailed behind. The number of them that appear in the action-adventure, science-fiction, and fantasy shows that I actually enjoy is even smaller. Add to that, there is a strong tradition of these women being killed off or similarly discarded.
Even when they’re the female lead, they’re not safe. Are Mallozzi and company responsible for the entire television landscape? Nope. However, does their unwitting jump aboard the Disposable Black Women train in a world of scarcity affect how I view their program? Yep!
Anyway! The ensemble is still strong. Potentially any of them could be dead though soooo… I guess we’ll see when it airs in Summer 2017!
2.10 – Take the Shot
Fantastic acting on Zoie’s part. Great psychological elements. Android’s storyline will continue to evolve in the coming seasons. I’m intrigued by it. There were some great scenes where Five really challenges Two’s authority, not in a disrespectful way, but in a pointed well-earned way.
2.11 – Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had The Chance
Easily the best of the four episodes, Three and Five’s ever evolving protective older brother/capable little sister dynamic unfurls nicely. It was equally as refreshing to see Two, Nyx, and Four playing around and having a good time on the station. Short lived happiness is the norm with this show.
2.12 – Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose
In terms of strong story telling and continuity, this episode paid off in dividends. Four never gave up on his quest to regain himself and his throne. This has been consistent since Five told him in Season 1 that he had been set up.
He was conflicted because he only had an emotional connection to the Raza crew, not his people. He knew intellectually that it was his duty to retake the throne, but without the emotional drive to do so and the information he needed to make it happen, he was never going to be fit. Finally, after grappling with this for an entire season, he Becomes himself again.
Ryo is clearly a remorseless killer, but his time as Four has tempered him enough to still have feelings for the Raza crew. Four was clearly the most like his pre-wipe self. He pulled his Milo maneuver and subsequently entered a romantic relationship with Nyx before he ever got his memories back. How sad was it when Nyx realized who she’d been sharing her bed with for the past weeks?
Looking back at the season, I wish Nyx and Four would have had more depth layered into their relationship. We only really saw the intense physicality of it, from sparring to having sex. For Ryo to want her as his empress, the audience needed to see them talking and growing together on a more intellectual and spiritual level.
The art direction was an incredible feast for the eyes in this episode. I look forward to seeing Ishida Ryo as a recurring Raza adversary. I wonder if Alex will stay on as a main cast member.
2.13 – But First We Save the Galaxy
Why did Ryo let them leave Zairon with the blink drive to begin with? Why wasn’t the Raza crew watching the blink drive, knowing that Ryo was after it? This episode was pretty predicable especially after the previouslies they showed. There were some good set pieces, costumes, and lines that I enjoyed.
There was something cleansing about having all of this season’s bad guys dispatched in the last two episodes, making way for Ryo and the corporations to wreak havoc next season. The best scenes were between Two & Ryo and Five & Arian.
I will miss the Three/Four brotherhood.
I will miss Four and Two’s mutual respect and understanding.
I will miss the family I have been watching form over the last two years.
Most of all I will miss Nyx/Melanie Liburd immensely. I really loved the show in the first season sans representation, but was truly excited when I saw they’d hired a Black woman for season 2. I was even more stoked when I saw all the great things they did with her character over the year.
On the bright side, the wait for next year will be infinitely bearable. Check Melanie Liburd out on her new Netflix show, Gypsy.