Dark Matter: 2.06 We Should Have Seen This Coming
Of the two new crew members to join the Raza this season, Melanie Liburd's Nix is bar far the more interesting. We've had five episodes to puzzle what her abilities are and we got some big answers this episode that only strengthened her character and her place on the show. I can't necessarily say the same for Shaun Sipos's Devon though. After a couple of episodes of the drug-addict storyline, I can't help but think this is just an attempt to give him something 'interesting to do'. So far Devon's arrival feels more like necessity than natural plot progression. After all, he's already had to complete surgery on Six / Griffin and now helped Nyx's brother recover from his time in stasis. A ship's doctor is a key component of any spaceship-led show but I don't think he has much more going for him then that at present.
But back to Nix. It turns out those impressive fighting skills and precognitive abilities are down to a rather insidious abduction of her planet's populace - brother Milo included - years earlier. The seer ship she escaped from, with it's hive mind certainly had a rather sinister Borg-vibe to it and the idea that the crew could work in unison to predict future events was a cool idea. They certainly make for an interesting adversary and I look forward to seeing them appear again. The idea of an enemy that can guess your move before you make it is a terrifying one, maybe not used effectively enough in this episode, but with the promise for some interesting things to come.
Like the upcoming war. Milo, with his enhanced abilities predicted that an all out war between the corporations was coming as soon as six months away and a small group of people - like the Raza - could play a major role in the events to come. He also predicted another betrayal too, setting up two intriguing events as the show heads into the second half of the season. Dark Matter has been building up to something big in year two, with the key that can access inter-dimensional pockets of space time still in Five / Das's possession. If season one was about learning the crew's identities, then season two is about Joseph Mallozzi's bigger plan starting to develop; I just hope it delivers on the premise it is setting up.
The raid on the ship to obtain a drug shipment was part of Nix's ruse to rescue her brother Milo (a guest starring Mpho Koaho). We learned that she was not the villain Two, Three and Four were before the mindwipe but has the ruthlessness borne out of desperation. There are certainly some obvious similarities between her and Two / Portia (two women with enhanced powers) but I think this episode worked to flesh out Nix's motivations and her reasons for joining the crew. After killing Jace Corso, Two has certainly softened her approach, trying to get Three / Marcus to work with former traitor Griffin and agreeing to help Nix with her plan. It's a moral path that will obviously serve her well if and when this war takes place and I finding Melissa O'Neil's performance more engaging when she isn't just kicking ass and giving orders.
The forced partnership between Marcus and Griffin as they were trapped on the planet was an amusing diversion, but far more interesting was the role Four / Ryo played, as Nix's confidant and later setting Milo on the path to escaping his imprisonment with the only option available; suicide. I suspect that will have huge ramifications if Nix learns the truth, still believing her brother alive but captive come the episode's end.
We Should Have Seen This Coming was another strong episode, building to something bigger while still delivering a good origin story for Nix, some strong moral dilemmas and some exciting action too; both the heist and the firefights with the Seer ship while the shuttle escaped into the shuttle's atmosphere providing plenty of tension. I don't feel that the Seer ship was fully utilised as an enemy - I was expecting something a bit cleverer from them or Portia in outwitting them - and Devon hasn't really made a strong enough impact. But Nix has cemented herself as a central character and the tease of bigger things to come is certainly keeping me hooked.