Dark Matter S02E04 “We Were Family” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- In a flashback, a scene from Three’s childhood is revealed. His mother gives him the toy rocket we saw last episode as she hides him away from an attacker in their house.
- In the present, the new crew members – Nero, Devin and Nyx – are all making their cases for sticking around on the ship. Nyx in particular has a trick up her sleeve: she gains expertise in any form of combat within seconds of picking up a weapon.
- The crew’s next stop is a space station. Five’s job is to pick up supplies for Devin, and the Android is set on going with her for a chance to study human behaviour beyond the Raza crew.
- Two wants to go back to the place from her memories – the place where terrible things happened to her. She and Nyx go to a Transfer Transit to try and find out where it is. There they discover that the building she’s searching for is called “Dwarf Star Technologies”, located on Earth.
- In a bar, Three’s past catches up with him: the man who pulled a young Marcus out from his burning house and killed his parents’ attackers, Tanner, comes to talk to him.
- Left to her own devices, the Android is seen as suspicious, and nearly gets thrown out of a shop. A man named Victor protects her, and takes her to his hideout, where he and a group of other androids are in hiding.
- Turns out the Android is an earlier model without emotion programmed in – and yet she shows emotional responses, hence why Victor took an interest in her. He offers her an upgrade that will essentially turn her human, if she wants it.
- Three’s off on a mission with his supposed former crew, but things get dark quickly; turns out they’ve taken a hostage, and aren’t afraid to commit cold-blooded murder. Three eventually figures out that, of course, Tanner was the person who killed his parents.
- In return for all he’s done, Three murders Tanner.
- Devin operates on Six, saving him – although Six doesn’t understand why he’s been saved, given his betrayal.
- After stealing a key from Five’s room, Nero meets up with his contact at the space station – but he’s got the wrong key. Five has a security cam hooked up to her room, so she saw Nero steal it, and managed to switch it.
- Supposedly this key allows the holder to access pockets of interdimensional space time, but Five has no idea how it works. Regardless, it’s something she’s going to need to protect.
One of Dark Matter’s strongest points is its ensemble cast, and in that respect this episode does not disappoint – although it can get confusing at points, with so many storylines happening at once! Nearly every character has their own individual storyline, but does that work to make a cohesive episode?
Three’s storyline is the primary one this week, with the cold open including a flashback to his past paving the way for him reuniting with the man who turns out to have been his parents’ murderer. We finally find out just how he went from adorable kid with loving parents on a farm to the cold hearted-killer he was before the memory wipe, giving his character that bit more depth. Of all the Raza crew, Three’s character progression has arguably been the most interesting, going from total jackass at the beginning to something akin to the “jerk with a heart of gold” by this point. It’s impressive to have achieved that with so much going on this episode.
The Android also gets a fair bit of focus this time round as she’s introduced to a new type of super-android, who use implants to make themselves practically human. She has a self-discovery arc and a romance arc all in one episode through Victor, an android who can see the potential in the Raza’s Android. For all its speed, this plotline doesn’t feel forced; it feels like a fairly natural progression in her storyline, given that she’s slowly been coming to terms with her new emotions. It’s also nice to see her in a different outfit for once!
On a different note – sometimes Dark Matter feels like it should have longer episodes, or even be a movie instead of a TV series! Why? It seems like every episode, plot points are left hanging – Chekhov’s guns that aren’t resolved within episode constraints. Overarching storylines throughout the series are all well and good, but it feels a bit awkward when things are introduced in episodes and then left forgotten until a couple of episodes later. For example, Nyx and Two trying to find out where the building from Two’s memories is, Nyx’s weapon expertise or even Devin shooting himself up with drugs. There are no immediate consequences to these actions, leaving a sense of a lack of fulfilment, almost. The drawing out of the conclusion to One’s death could be seen as another example; we wanna know what happened, damnit!
That aside, this is overall a great episode that keeps you interested through all the different storylines and character interactions introduced. Keep it up, Dark Matter!
- The continuation of Three’s character development. His line about being a terrible influence on Five ends up being sort of sweet!
- The Android subtly insulting the crew to Five’s face, with her usual placid expression. Burn!
- Nyx’s English accent isn’t actually that bad!
- The Android’s storyline this episode – it’s great to see her have some focus.
- For someone with so little screen time, you really get a feel for how creepy Tanner is as a person.
- There’s a little bit too much going on sometimes, meaning that some plotlines get dropped halfway through to be picked up later. It can feel a little awkward.
- On the other side of the coin, Six’s operation seemed to come from nowhere. We’re glad he’s back, but where was the preface for that?
And the Random:
- Nyx mentions something called “Bellatrix Tech” – a reference to Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series, perhaps? Or maybe the star in the constellation Orion?