Dark Matter: 3.06 One More Card to Play
Now this is more like it! While Dark Matter season three opened strong, it hasn't always been firing on all cylinders. The Groundhog Day shenanigans of All the Time in the World were fun but between Six / Griffin's lacklustre departure and new crewmember Adrian failing to make quite the impact I think the show was hoping for, there has been the sense that the series has struggled a little in its direction now that war has broken out.
Fortunately One More Card to Play more than made up for it, playing with the audience's expectations from the get go. Just why Portia / Two and Marcus / Three were on a Zairon prisoner ship was an intriguing set up - all part of their plan to kill Ryo? - but the moment they spaced all the prisoners, you knew something wasn't right. It was only when Wexler (Ennis Esmer) and Tash (Jessica Sipos) returned from the dead and the crew of the Raza double crossed Commander Truffault by stealing her shipment of missiles that it all began to click into place; these were alternate versions of the main crew.
Even better the episode quickly revealed that this wasn't the alternate reality glimpsed last season (despite attempts to make it appear so) but bad versions of our [good] guys crossed over into this universe and out to wreak havoc. It's always fund seeing the good guys play evil versions of themselves - from bearded Spock to Angelus - and there was something quite fun about seeing Portia and Marcus unleashed, without inhibition as they ruthless slaughtered innocent people and then double crossed everyone. Of course what is interesting about our versions of Portia and Marcus is that they're not exactly pure themselves; the 'evil' versions of themselves are just them without any sense of morality. Both Melissa O'Neil and Anthony Lemke did great jobs playing these compromised versions of their characters.
Those double crosses were a lot of fun, from Portia taking out Marcus to the Android cluing in to her actions and taking her down to Marcus playing the victim and shooting the Android to Das / Five playing the hero and shooting him with a big ass gun. The face off between Das and Tash was tense and fun and the 'evil' Android knocking her down and leading a truce was a surprise turn of events. The added standoff between both Androids was another highlight, particularly their accusations of deceit.
One More Card to Play was a whole lot of fun and certainly shook up the dynamic of the show; having two versions of Marcus and Portia out there will certainly have consequences later on, particularly Portia's new alliance with Ferrous Crop Commander Nieman at the end. I'm not sure I was too sad to see Adrian realise he was out of place on the Raza and leave with Solara. I assume we'll be getting Griffin back though, if he survived the destruction of the colony the Raza crew discovered in the episode's cliffhanger. My only frustration was that we didn't get to see the return of Marc Bendavid as fellow alternate bad guy Jace Corso. But otherwise, this might have been my favourite episode of season three yet.