Dark Matter S02E02 “Kill Them All” REVIEW
Airing on SyFy on Mondays at 8pm
Writer: Joseph Mallozzi
Director: Bruce McDonald
Essential Plot Points:
- According to Six’s debrief to Commander Shaddick – one of the GA’s Chief Inspectors – before the memory wipe, two Raza crew members discovered that he was an undercover agent and planned to kill him for it. Five wrote a program that should have erased that specific memory, but instead erased everyone’s memories.
- Shaddick knows that the Raza was behind the delivery of the white hole device to Iriden-3, which ended up destroying the planet, but she has no proof. She intends to get that proof.
- After her transfer got vetoed, Five is being interrogated by Shaddick about her role on the Raza, with the aim of getting her to sell out her crew mates for the destruction of Iriden-3 in mind. She refuses.
- Nyx wants in on the prison break plan. As a bargaining chip, she has the supply run schedule for the one way off of the rock they’re on – a shuttle.
- Two, Three and Four are assigned to a new work detail: waste disposal. But after being locked in, they quickly realise that they’ve been trapped and left to burn out. Literally. Turns out the prison’s received a kill order from Traugott Corp, where the illegal white hole device was stolen from, to make sure they aren’t able to talk. Luckily for the Raza crew, the prison gang leader Nero lets them out.
- Six is taken to the Android to try and extract her records of her time on the Raza, but she refuses to give them up to even him, claiming that arguably he’s never been a member of the crew she’s loyal to.
- It’s time for Two, Three and Four’s interrogations, and they’re just as stubborn as you might expect. Shaddick wants them to admit to their involvement in the destruction of Iriden-3, but they all decline the offers she gives.
- She has an extra incentive for Four – he’s been convicted for the death of his Father, and an Ishida cruiser is waiting to pick him up and take him for execution – if Shaddick signs the order.
- Three’s got a visitor: Commander Truffault of the Mikkei Combine. She wants the Raza crew to talk, meaning the blame for illegal activities would shift from Mikkei to, presumably, Traugott Corp… but implicate the Raza crew in the process. Three says no, of course.
- Before they part, Truffault gets Three to look into her eyes, where a green spark lights up and transfers across to Three. It’s a surreptitious data transfer. And the data? A complete floor map of Hyperion-8, their prison.
- Nero calls Two, Three and Four in – turns out he wants in on the escape plan. But according to Nyx, their shuttle has been suspended, leaving them without an escape route. Four jumps in, knowing that there’s a cruiser waiting in orbit for him that they could use. He tells Shaddick to sign the execution order.
- For what seems like no reason at all, Two is put back into solitary. When she steps on the simulator, she finds that Six is in there with her. He’s found out about the kill order on the Raza, and he wants to help them evade it.
- With Two in solitary, the other crew mates need to buy some time before they take the Ishida cruiser, so they knock Four out to get him into medical. But it doesn’t work – he’s going to be taken away regardless.
- After refusing multiple times to give up what she knows, the Android is being dealt with in a more forthright manner. Five is brought in by Shaddick, who holds a gun to her head and demands she extracts the Androids memories. Instead, Five orders the Android to, “Kill them all.”
- As soon as Two is brought back from solitary, the prison break starts, sparking a whole intense chain of events, including sword fights, Five toting a huge stun gun, and Six getting shot. Incredibly, the whole crew makes it back to the Raza, but things aren’t looking great for Six.
- To give him time until they can find a way to help him, the Raza crew store Six in stasis for the time being.
Well that prison stint didn’t last very long!
Things are moving at breakneck speed this episode, with a whole lot packed into the time constraints. Primarily, the white hole incident that led to an entire planet being destroyed last season has come back to bite the Raza crew, with the almost Hans Landa-esque “major bitch” Commander Shaddick leading the investigation. Not that the crew seem to care all that much; they just want to get out of jail. It’s for the best – the major corporation war circling around them just doesn’t seem worth the effort. With Traugott Corp trying to kill the crew to make sure they can’t place the blame for illegal white hole technology on them, and the Mikkei Conbine trying to get the crew to talk for the exact opposite reason, it’s no wonder that they just wanna get out and be done with it all.
Speaking of all those corporations, normally Dark Matter is fairly easy watching; you don’t have to commit too much mental energy to follow what’s happening. But it’s a different story here. Dark Matter doesn’t ease you into things, doesn’t offer any refreshers from last season to catch you up to speed and make sure you remember who the Mikkei Conbine or Traugott Corp are exactly, or who’s dealing with who, who’s double-crossing the other… if you aren’t paying attention, it’s entirely possible for the deeper plotline to go straight over your head.
But hey, there’s something for everyone here; if you’re just in it for the epic prison breaks, the Android going full Terminator or the camaraderie between the Raza crew, then it’s fine to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Alongside all the sci-fi jargon there’s a hell of a lot of badass action going on as the Raza crew make their escape, and everyone gets their moment in the spotlight. Two kicks off the prison break, Three gets the map from Truffault, Four has another epic sword fight, Five totes a gigantic stun gun, Six changes his allegiance (again) and helps the crew escape, and the Android kicks ass. There’s so much going on in this episode that it definitely warrants a re-watch or two to make sure you take in all the information being thrown at you left right and centre.
On a final note: are we going to be losing a crew member a week now?! With One’s fate still in the dark and Six in a critical condition, it’s sure looking that way.
- There’s something for everyone here! If you like action scenes, you got ’em. If you like space politics, you’ve got that. Sword fights? Yup. Giant guns? Them too. It’s an episode spilling over with content.
- Every character gets their moment this episode, which is impressive with so many to balance!
- Five’s “kill them all” command to the Android sends chills down your spine. Plus, Five toting that gigantic stun gun is a sight to behold.
- There’s a lot of plotlines being set up for the rest of the season, with Five’s evidently sordid past being one of particular interest.
- With the prison break a success, the Raza crew has increased by a few people, bringing a fresh perspective to the Raza. It’ll be interesting to see how they fit in with the crew.
- Sure, there’s tonnes of content – too much content, maybe. This episode definitely could have been spread over a double billing.
- The plotline can be difficult to keep up with if you aren’t too familiar with all the corporation names and who connects with who.
And the Random:
- Torri Higginson, who plays Commander Truffault, is best known for her role in Stargate Atlantis as Dr Elizabeth Weir.
Review by Jessica Anson