Portia’s past came back to the fore in another exciting episode of Dark Matter season two. Here’s Baz Greenland’s review.
This week we finally got a glimpse of futuristic Earth as the Raza jumped to Terra Prime in search of a cure for Portia; turns out those tremors she has been experiencing the last couple of weeks are the result of her nanites failing. Being the first artificial human created, there were always going to be some form of defect and we quickly learned that she had burned herself out.
Going Out Fighting was another strong season two episode that continued to develop the crew as a cohesive unit. Okay, so perhaps Devon has been forgotten but the rest of the characters were quick to put themselves in danger to help save Portia’s life. She has been such a prominent member of the crew that I didn’t doubt she would survive this, but the stakes were certainly raised, particularly when she was given 24 hours to live. It was great to see Nyx, Marcus, Ryo and Griffin working together, putting aside difference (and sexual tension) to sneak into the Dwarf Star Headquarters on Earth. Particularly Marcus, who took the leading role in the whole execution. The space elevator is a very real concept so it was great to see it in use here, transporting the crew from the stunning cityscape on Earth to the space station above.
We also learned a lot more about Portia’s past – or is it Rebecca’s? – as they captured scientist Eric Waver (Jonas Chernick) and forced him and his friends to get them access to the station. The flashbacks to her creation and training revealed the real horrors she endured as her nanite abilities were tested and Waver took it upon himself to support and educate her. It was the one reason she spared him and the reason he grudgingly agreed to help her again. So it was a tragedy that he was eventually taken out by the returning villain (and Portia’s creator) Alexander Rook.
Wil Wheaton proved to be a great villain, a scientist with delusions of grandeur and the finances to support it. I like to think this is some kind of Wesley Crusher from an alternate reality, fed up with all the schtick he endured on Star Trek: The Next Generation, using his evil abilities to slowly take over the universe. His offhand order to execute Waver and his torture of Marcus made him an formidable bad guy, most notably in his cold, ruthless decision to set a more advanced version of Portia upon her, using his latest creation to destroy her.
The entire break out scene was excitingly done. Using the slip drive technology to transport the Marauder inside the sealed loading bay was a cool idea and it was great to see Ryo burst in with his bloody sword to rescue Griffin and Marcus. The fight between Portia and her evil male successor was a pure Terminator moment and it took the whole gang to bring him down. Kudos too to Griffin for finding the obvious solution of taking the artificial killer’s blood and injecting it into Portia, reviving her from death.
The terrifying back creature injected into Marcus was both a thrilling and frustrating moment though. Turned into a virtual zombie, his eyes glazed with black oil The X Files-style, I was expecting something dramatic to take place with his character – perhaps the setup for a future betrayal as predicted a few weeks ago? But as soon as he got back to the ship, the crew realised something was wrong and put him into cryofreeze. And when that didn’t work, they were forced to space the black oil-like creature, barely saving Marcus in the process. It was over as soon it had started, feeling a little bit of flat ending as a result. But it does also set up something more insidious with Dwarf Star Technologies as the crew wondered just what Rook was working on.
That sexual tension between Ryo and Nyx as they sparred finally spilled over into sex and I loved Marcus’s sly observations as the breakfast table, much to the shock of the still very innocent Das. The episode ended with the Android waking up in bed during her sleep charge. Is this a connection to Victor and the other self-aware Androids from We Were Family? Her story this season has been fascinating and I am glad we are returning to this after a couple of week’s absence. And on a side note – Zoie Palmer’s ability performance a variety of emotions through her eyes continues to astound.
Going Out Fighting was another exciting episode, filled with some great twists and revelations about Portia’s past, plenty of action and a shocking possession of Marcus by the (alien?) creature, even if it was frustratingly resolved all too quickly. With so many plot threads continuing to be set up, I really hope Dark Matter gets renewed for a third season to allow it to really deliver on its premise.
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