Dark Matter: 3.12 My Final Gift to You
The penultimate episode of Dark Matter season two saw Four reclaim his old memories and reclaim the throne of Zairon in a brutal ascension as Emperor Ryo Ishida. Here we are a year later and the penultimate episode of season three, as all those political machinations and war mongering came to a head as Ryo played his hand too far and lost Zairon, leaving him back on the Raza by the episode's end as a prisoner and facing execution.
Ryo's exclusion from the rest of the crew has not always felt successful; too long have audiences waited for the schemes of 'loyal' advisors Teku Fonsei and Misaki Han-Shireikan to come to fruition while the Android's recent trip to the future teased the fall of the House of Ishida. But it was executed well, thanks to the inclusion of the rest of the cast, that have been ostracised from Ryo for all but a couple of episodes.
Portia / Two's capture at the hands of alternate Marcus led her to Zairon to be used a trade with the Raza in exchange for the blink drive. Admittedly, I was looking forward to seeing how she dealt with her alternate self, but these 'evil' doppelgangers seem largely background players at present. However we were treated to another epic showdown between Portia and Ryo as she took down his guards and faced him in a frantic duel before an explosion kicked her down and saw her face capture once more.
The death of most of Ryo's generals was just the start of a people's uprising that ended his reign, all pulled at the strings by the villainous Misaki. Ellen Wong has been a great addition, ruthlessly killing Nyx last season and then revelling in her psychopathy went confronted by Teku this episode. But I wasn't surprised when she used the uprising to attempt to kill Ryo, leading to the second of the episode's excellent swordfight sequences that ended with her death and Ryo's capture by Portia.
I've commented before that I've loved the show's use of transporting characters from locating to another by uploading their consciousness into host bodies. Das / Five, Marcus / Three and Grffin / Six used this technology to travel to Zairon and hear Ryo's demands. The dinner scene was a delight, particularly the conflict it caused between characters but more interesting was Ryo's use of full memories to reveal secrets long hidden from the characters as a result of their memory wipes.
Das learned who her sister was - though frustratingly we weren't privy to the reveal, only her reaction, while the episode ended with Ryo telling Portia she had a daughter. Griffin learned that his undercover mission to infiltrate the Raza was blown by a member of the GA (Anders?), while Marcus learned the grim truth that by returning to his old ways and smuggling rare minerals was what infected and ultimately killed Sarah. Staying behind while Das and Griffin uploaded their memories back into the real bodies, Marcus instead chose to go out in a hail of bullets rather than take that horrid memory back to his real self.
Plus, let's not forget this episodes also had the Android discovering plans to overthrow humanity...
There were plenty of surprise twists in My Final Gift To You, even if the fall of Ryo's rule was signposted long ago. It set up some intriguing personal journeys for each crew and gave Alex Mallari Jr. some great material to work with finally. I'm looking forward to seeing how the show brings everything to a head in next week's season finale and really hope we get a fourth season after that. Please Syfy, hurry up and renew the show!