Coming down off the epic premiere, Defiance slows things down a bit this week to explore more about the relationships and culture of its residents and species. In my opinion this is really going to be the bread and butter of the show, because we can’t have massive scale battles every week, and I was pleased with their followup effort.
Remember the Castithan that soiled his drawers and ran when the Volge soldiers were marching down on the town last week? Datak remembers and he and his people tracked the deserter down and brought him back for justice. What is Castithan justice you ask? Being strung up in public and ridiculed and mildly tortured while other Castithans throw blunt objects at you. Now that Nolan is the lawkeeper he catches wind of this and is none too pleased with their ritual, but he has bigger problems to deal with as a killer/terrorist is on the loose and sabotaging the town.
This is a nice episode that smartly and surprisingly picks a small continuity part of the premiere and creates a whole episode around it. Contrary to what I was expecting, the teen angst forbidden-love storyline was extremely downplayed in the episode, allowing the audience a look into the daily lives of the Tarrs and their family dynamic.
The killer’s identity is eventually uncovered by Nolan and McCawley (although its pretty easy to figure out) but his impact is still felt throughout the episode. More time is spent fleshing out Irisa’s character, due to the fact that Nolan was underground in a buried part of St. Louis tracking the killer, so in his stead she decides to take the Castithan matter into her own hands in direct contradiction to the mayor and Nolan’s instructions. I continue to enjoy her cold sense of humor as well as her seemingly resolute sense of duty, and also very much enjoyed the emotional Come As You Are Nirvana cover song by Civil Twilight near the end of the episode (although surely some will scoff at it) that capped off the show.
Defiance seems to be having fun expanding its world and the cultures and while the scope is scaled back, if the viewers liked the characters from Pilot they’ll enjoy returning to the world this week.
Irisa’s cold humor. The continuity from the Pilot! Grant Bowler. The song montage at the end. The alien politics.
The killer/terrorist plot is predictable. The McCawleys are still obnoxious. The level of camp goes up a bit this week.
The followup to the premiere is still a good time and explores more of the world of Defiance, continuing to offer the right level of interesting and fun while the audience settles into the universe.