Dark Matter: 3.08 Hot Chocolate
As much as I love the character of Alex Mallari Jr's Four / Ryo and his deformation back to his dark, ruthless self last year, his presence on the Raza has been missed. He's spent most of the season ostracised from the rest of the main crew back on Zairon where he has futilely tried to retain his powerbase, so it was a delight to see him back on the ship and in the midst of the action.
The reveal of why the Android was behaving so strangely last episode delivered a surprise twist as it was revealed that she was being remotely by the strange looking Corvik (Dylan Trowbridge), allowing Ryo and his warriors to sneak on board the Raza, take control and steal the blink drive. His betrayal of the Raza and his inadvertent part in the death of Nyx brought their long-running conflict to a head in an episode filled with plenty of action and a few surprises too.
The long fight between Ryo and Two / Portia was thrilling, making great use of the setting to deliver a spectacularly choreographed fight on multiple levels and showing just how skilled these two warriors were. Making the android the enemy was great twist, given that there really isn't anyone who can stand up to her physically. And there were plenty of other great moments as Three / Marcus and Portia were pinned down and separated in a gunfight and Six / Griffin leading a bunch of sword wielding resistance leaders through the ship to safety.
Admittedly though, those three leaders were the weakest part of the episode, a bunch of squabbling, unlikeable workers turned protectors of their independent colonies and unable to find a way to agree and unite. The 'who killed one of them' subplot was soon cast aside as they got caught up in Ryo's attack and I'm not surprised Griffin washed his hands off them by the end.
But making up for that we had Five / Das proving just how essential Jodelle Ferland and her character is to the show. Taking on Corvik for control of the Android's mind using the titular 'hot chocolate' command, she proved yet again why the crew of the Raza need more than just brawn. Trapping Corvik in his own mind was a nasty end for this character - in fact it was so nasty the Android pointed this out to Das - but her lack of compassion showed just how influenced she has become by the rest of the ruthless crew.
And up to now, I've been unsure what the purpose was to bring Sarah back into the show, other than to provide some emotional angst for Marcus. But her role in this episode, tapping into the ship to warn Das and help her fight Corvik cave her an interesting new purpose; as the Android becomes ever more 'human', it's interesting to have a very human character become part of the ship.
Hot Chocolate was another strong entry for season three of Dark Matter, the show finally finding a direction by continuing with a story that focuses on the inner struggles of the crew. The Ryo / Portia fight was a highlight in a thrilling, action packed episode and ended with another intriguing cliffhanger - the crew falling unconscious with the latest blink drive test. Judging by the synopsis for next week's episode, I think it's going to be another fun one...