Dark Matter S02E03 “I’ve Seen The Other Side Of You” REVIEW
Airing on SyFy on Mondays at 8pm
Writer: Paul Mullie
Director: Steve DiMarco
Essential Plot Points:
- Aboard the Raza, Five is being pursued – by Three and Four. And they have no idea who she is.
- Flashback 10 hours, and Nyx, Arax Nero and the guy from medical that tagged along in the escape from prison are being treated as untrustworthy and given limited access within the Raza. It’s not something that sits well with them.
- Since re-boarding the Raza, the Android’s been unable to link up the computer system. She thinks that the invasive procedure used by the GA damaged her higher functions, and needs to shut down for an extended period to recover.
- Arax has a proposition for Two: the Raza can’t hide in plain sight forever, and he knows somewhere safe they could stay safe.
- There’s a headache going around the ship affecting Two, Three and Four that’s bad enough to send them collapsing to the floor. Instead of turning to their new doctor, treating him as a suspect, Five turns to the Android’s projection for help. She’s not actually much help.
- With no other choice, Five turns to her new crewmates. Arax tries his, “I got a place,” offer again, and Five takes it given her limited options. But Arax takes the opportunity of controlling the ship to send out a message to a woman who wants to bring Five in for reasons unknown.
- Two, Three and Four wake up with their memories seemingly reverted back to before the first wipe. They have no memory of Five or their new crewmates, and refer to each other by name rather than number.
- Two, Three and Four, or maybe that should be Portia, Marcus and Ryo discover that they’ve lost 14 months of their lives, but they still don’t believe anything Five tells them. Marcus starts to believe when Five tells him she knows about his girlfriend who passed on.
- Between them, Five and Portia figure out what’s happened. The Raza crew uploaded brain scans to the computer to link with the crew if the Android ever became compromised. Whilst searching for neural links before her shutdown, the Android found those scans and reset the Raza crew accordingly.
- To get things running again, Portia sets about neural linking herself to the ship and becoming the new Android. The new guys don’t like that idea much, and set about trying to take the ship the old fashioned way: with guns.
- Five wants to link Portia’s memories that she has in her head to the computer, enabling her to establish her own link to the computer. It’s not safe, but Five’s willing to try.
- Marcus and Ryo get in a fierce gun fight with Nyx and co, and midway through Portia gains control of the ship, locking the “intruders” in. She senses Five’s attempt to sabotage the ship and gives a kill order.
- Portia tries to force Five out of the system, but on the Android’s suggestion, Five throws her into one of her weakest memories to stop her, from when she was slaved, hunted and moulded into Portia Lin. Through compassion, Five manages to convince her to sever the neural link.
- Two, Three and Four wake up with no memory of the past 24 hours, and are told that by linking with their brain scans, they might regain their memories. It’s a tough choice, given what they might revert back to. For now, they choose not to.
- Five gives Three a box that held sentimental value to Marcus. It has Sarah’s necklace in it, and also what turns out to be a transmitter, sending a signal to a distant planet.
Dark Matter gives us a real sci-fi journey this week, with memories and neural links being played with left right and centre.
Neural links are an important facet in the Dark Matter universe, and this episode expands on that concept even more, showing that they have more functions than controlling a ship – they can control the crew, too. Taking the crew’s past brain scans and almost “uploading” their personalities from then is an interesting concept, and allows for us to really see what the Raza crew were like back before the memory wipe for the first time.
Interestingly, it’s a very subtle shift. Marcus is still as much as a bastard as Three; Ryo is still stoic and dangerous; and Portia’s still boss-lady. It’s like an exercise in examining the human psyche; how subtle changes in dynamic can lead to drastic changes in how people see the world – and it’s Five’s job to show them their better selves before they kill her or sell her off to slavery for money.
One of the highlights of the episode is Five jumping into one of Portia’s most harrowing memories to weaken her link to the Raza, and instead of beating her down to submission, uses compassion to reawaken Two’s personality and bring her back. Still, Portia linking with and taking control of the Raza was pretty cool while it lasted.
There are a decent number of questions floating around after this episode: who’s the lady in white who wants to bring Five in, for example? It looks like that’s a plot point that’s going to be drawn out bit by bit; this week we found out that Arax is in with her, but we don’t know why. Or, speaking of Arax, why he was so insistent on getting the Raza to his hideout. Did he just want control of the ship, or does he have an ulterior motive? Then there’s the issue of One. The Raza crew certainly think he’s dead, and he definitely took enough bullets for it to be true, but there’s no confirmation yet. Anything can happen when you’re watching sci-fi, after all!
- It’s an episode with an interesting concept that allows us to get our first proper look at (some of, at least) the Raza crew pre-memory wipe.
- Five shines this episode as she does everything in her power to bring her friends back.
- Zoie Palmer does such a great job playing the Android and her projection – it’s such a subtle difference between the two, but she makes it obvious.
- Portia and Five’s Raza hack-off and the culminating scene with Portia’s worst memory is pretty badass.
- Three and the toy rocket is adorable, and is a very simple way of showing the differences between him and Marcus.
- The new crewmembers aren’t really doing much of interest right now. Hopefully they’ll become more interesting as the season goes on.
Review by Jessica Anson