Dark Matter S0210 “Take The Shot” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- We pick straight up from last episode, with the Android having a dream during her charge cycle; a dream of her and the android who gave her the human implant – Victor. She’s worried since normally her higher cognitive functions don’t work during her charging cycle.
- With her worries about her supposed flaws heightening, the Android finally shows her crewmembers her doppelgänger simulation, who has no hesitations in pointing out those flaws. The Android is worried that the crew is going to delete her personality matrix.
- Five is worried about it as well. She sees the Android as someone with real feelings – a real personality – and doesn’t want to resort to deleting her, since it would essentially be killing her.
- Meanwhile, Four is having problems of his own. Misaki has somehow boarded the ship, and challenges him to a sword fight. She tells him how Zyron is losing its war; how the people need a capable leader. When she deems Four unworthy, she runs him through with her sword.
- Except the sword isn’t real and Misaki isn’t real – it was all an hallucination.
- During the “fight”, Four cut into a coolant valve, damaging the ship. Two goes to check it out, but is stopped in her tracks when a group of ominous masked men appear, citing one “Mr Rook”. Another hallucination?
- With Two’s comm non-responsive, Nyx and Six go to scout her out, and find her terrified, but alone. When Six confronts her, Two tries to choke him; she’s still deep in the hallucination. Nyx manages to punch her out just enough to bring her back.
- Next in line for hallucinations is Three, and he sees his dead girlfriend Sarah alive in front of him. She tells him that if he reveals her to the others, she’ll leave, and so when Six comes to check on him, he lies.
- Sarah asks Three to join her, which of course means joining her in death. “She” raises a gun to his head, convincing him to take the shot. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger, Six bursts in to stop him.
- The Android, meanwhile, is much more savvy to her situation. She’s back with Victor in her dream world as she charges, but she knows that it isn’t real.
- With the Android out of action, the crew turn to her simulation for explanations. Turns out that the Android has uploaded a virus to the ship in an attempt to take over the ship, which affected the neural link to Two, Three and Four. Why? The simulation deems it self-preservation.
- The simulation suggests that the only way to stop the virus progressing is to shoot the Android in the head, which none of the crew is too keen on doing. But there doesn’t seem to be another way.
- Five makes a vital discovery at the last moment: it was the Android’s simulation who released the virus – and they’re running out of time. Even more so when the virus starts to release toxic gas into the Raza.
- Two orders the crew onto the Merada whilst she tries to get past the simulation and destroy it, but is cut short.
- Through her dream, the Android is alerted to a problem on the Raza, and pulls herself out to try and help. Despite threats that the simulation will kill Two if she progresses with destroying the virus, Two tells her to do it.
- Two is struck by what should be a fatal charge of electricity in exchange for deleting the virus but pulls through.
- She allows the Android to restore her neural link.
There are a lot of factors this episode that should make it easy to enjoy. It has the makings of a great sci-fi episode, with evil simulations, dream worlds – even a bit of toxic gas thrown in for good measure. The problem is the same one that Dark Matter seems to be constantly plagued by: lack of context.
The Android is malfunctioning, that much is evident. Her higher functions are staying on even during her charging periods, when she’s supposed to be entirely non-functioning. It’s one of the most interesting storylines this season, seeing all the changes the Android is going through as she tries to get used to her growing personality matrix. Some of the best moments this episode come from the sheer humanity that shines through her; her loyalty to her friends, her desire to be seen as more than just a robot by them.
Her simulated counterpart is not at all happy with the way things are progressing. She believes that the Android is flawed and can’t do her job correctly considering the changes she’s going through. Still, making the jump from that to turning into a virus-releasing super-villain seems a bit of a leap. We don’t get a completely clear explanation as to why exactly the simulation decides to gas the crew; it seems like she wants to goad them into killing the Android so she can take control of the ship, but it’s not explicitly stated.
The explanation as to why the mass hallucinations occurred is also thin. Lots of technical jargon about neural links does not a good explanation make! Still, they made for good viewing – Three with a gun to his head is a tense moment!
With Dark Matter jumping from left to right with no obvious path in site, it feels like the show needs to find its feet sometime soon. There are only three episodes in the season left to go, after all! This episode, although not without its merits, doesn’t do much to help give the season a sense of momentum. At least the Android gets another moment in the spotlight – we’re looking forward to seeing how her character keeps on progressing.
- The Android always has some of the best storylines, so it’s great to have another episode focused on her ever-changing personality matrix. Her desire to stay alive and her unbending loyalty to her crew in particular.
- Five’s compassion for the Android is heart-breaking – and, in fact, Three being unable to shoot her comes in at a close second. By this point, she’s so much more than a machine.
- In what seems to be a trend, the lack of proper exposition makes for a confusing watch. Things aren’t explained properly, leaving viewers in the dark.
- Was there really a need for gratuitous nudity on the Android’s part?
- If there’s an overarching plotline lying around somewhere, we’re having trouble finding it.