Dark Matter 2.01 “Welcome To Your New Home” REVIEW
Airing on SyFy on Mondays at 8pm
Writer: Paul Mullie
Director: Amanda Tapping
Essential Plot Points:
- The Raza crew (plus a few strangers) wake up in a strange space station after being betrayed and captured by Six, and are quickly separated into two groups.
- Six goes to One and Five’s assigned cell, and tells them that he’s really “Lieutenant Kal Varrick”, part of the Galactic Authority Special Investigations Unit. They’re in a maximum security detention facility, but the staff wing. The same can’t be said for Two, Three and Four, who’ve all been detained.
- Six had no idea he was a Lieutenant until he went looking for the General and discovered that he was an undercover agent. Infiltrating the Raza was his new assignment after he lost it after finding out he had been partly responsible for the blowing up of a space station which killed 10,000 people.
- Two, Three and Four are going on trial, but the GA are still trying to figure out how to deal with One and Five.
- It turns out One – aka, Derrick – has an attorney, who transfers him to a much nicer living space.
- Two and Three are accosted by one of the female inmates, Nyx, leading to an in-cell fight which of course doesn’t go down very well with the guards. Three is taken to medical, whilst Two and Nyx are stun-gunned and taken into isolation.
- Meanwhile, the Android is being questioned after being impounded by the GA along with the Raza, but refuses to give up any information, despite threats. Her personality “glitch” has stuck around.
- One has a visitor: Darius, the acting CEO of the company Derrick has inherited. One’s been investigating Derrick’s wife’s death, and he needs Darius to help him. The only testimony against Marcus, aka, Three, is from a single security guard. One wants to talk to that security guard; evidently he isn’t sure Three’s guilty – but it turns out the security guard has conveniently died.
- Four’s doing about as well as Two on the “making friends” front, starting fights in the mess hall and being threatened by the leader of a prison gang. The rioting causes the guards to set off a “sonic disabler”, a sonic blast that takes down all inmates. Four wants to find a way around it.
- Two finds out that her isolation cell has a virtual reality simulator, where Nyx is already hanging out. Nyx knows about Two – her reputation precedes her, seems like. She tells her that she’s never seen anyone else who didn’t get a trial before.
- Six goes to visit Five in her GA assigned room to give her a coded file which contains classified information about his old self – Kal Varrick – on it. He reveals her real name as an incentive for her to help him crack it: Emily Kolburn, age 16.
- The information? The GA knew about the plan to blow up the space station. Kal had realised that there had been no other choice in the past, but Six is less than happy.
- Two, Three and Four meet up in the mess hall to relay what they’ve all discovered, and come to a group decision: they’re going to try escape the inescapable.
- Five’s verdict comes through – she’s being transferred to a group home. That doesn’t last long though – she’s quickly intercepted and put under investigation. She’s not going anywhere.
- One has another visitor – Jace. He doesn’t beat around the bush, vetoing talking for shooting. He leaves One for dead.
Things aren’t going great for the crew of the Raza in Dark Matter’s second season opener – but then again, when are they ever? Season one saw the dysfunctional family of amnesiacs face off against a whole host of galactic enemies, from a killer entertainment android to space zombies, as they tried to recover lost memories from their sordid pasts, and their journey is far from over yet.
We pick up where season one left off, with the crew of the Raza captured and imprisoned by Six and his new buddies, the Galactic Authority. Yeah, turns out Six was never actually “Griffin Jones”, but has always been Kal Varrick, undercover agent assigned to the Raza to bring the crew in to custody. Anyone else feeling the Inception vibes? An alias within an alias within an alias… Anyway, the crew are understandably pissed with him, particularly Five – and who could blame her? She and Six had what seemed like one of the strongest bonds amongst the Raza crew in season one, and now it’s all come crashing down around her. At least Six has the decency to show some guilt.
With Six’s actions comes a huge change in Dark Matter’s dynamic. Whilst season one was all about bringing seven strangers together and bonding them through various catastrophic events and life-changing revelations until they formed something like a family, from the off season two is set to change that, separating the crew and forcing them to go it alone. It’s a good, fresh way for a new season to kick off – we’re not going to lie, it was getting a bit stuffy in the Raza even from a viewer’s perspective! It’s also a great opportunity for some new characters; Two’s new prison acquaintance Nyx looks to be a particularly interesting addition to the team.
Hopefully we won’t be losing a member of the crew to compensate for it, though! Members of the Raza crew have come back from worse (Two and the airlock incident comes to mind), but One got shot point blank like, six times. We highly doubt that he’s going to be a manufactured human-based lifeform filled to the brim with healing nanites as well, but he’ll make it through, right? Somehow? We’ll just have to wait to find out.
- It’s a fresh start that takes us away from the limited space of the Raza and opens up a whole host of new storyline possibilities and world building opportunities, which can only be a good thing!
- It may have been brief but the Android’s appearance was great, and showed us that she hasn’t lost any of her flair.
- Nyx looks to be an interesting new addition to the show – we’re looking forward to finding out more about her.
- Three stuck in the laundry room is kind of adorable. (Right up until he sticks his hand in the burning hot press, anyway!)
- There’s a new British character, and he has a proper British accent! Well done, Dark Matter.
- Six’s storyline is getting a little convoluted and hard to follow at times.
- Not enough of the Android!
- Although it’s good to see a new take on character interactions, we’re not going to lie – there’s something missing with the Raza crew separated like they are.
And the Random:
- This episode was directed by Amanda Tapping, an established sci-fi personality most well known for her roles as Samantha Carter in the Stargate series and Naomi in Supernatural.
Review by Jessica Anson