Defiance 204, “Beasts of Burden”
[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy]
Niles Pottinger and Berlin are part of an E-Rep convoy transporting mining equipment through the Badlands back to Defiance. The trucks are attacked by a group of hockey mask-wearing raiders. The raiders manage to kill all the E-Rep soldiers (who tend to be fairly bullet-catchy as a rule), with the exceptions of Pottinger and Berlin, but they lose two of their own in the process. The remaining raiders steal the mining equipment, but not before their leader Josef, a gulanite miner, forces Pottinger to strip and then…micturates upon him.
Infuriated (and justifiably so), Pottinger demands that Nolan track down the raiders and bring them in, even though Nolan thinks it’s a waste of time to run all over the Badlands without any leads. Meanwhile, the raiders bring the stolen mining equipment…to Rafe McCawley. Rafe is unhappy to say the least about what Josef, who is his god-son, and his crew have done. While he is interested in being unhelpful to the E-Rep, he is not interested in attacking E-Rep convoys. In fact, he’s downright irate about it.
Nolan inspects two new bodies in the morgue, which just so happen to be the bodies of the two dead raiders. One of their bodies has gulanite dust on it, which sends Nolan in the direction of Rafe McCawley. He confronts Rafe, but not before Josef gets the drop on him. That lasts about 4 seconds. Nolan moves to arrest him, but Rafe reminds him that he stood up for Irisa before, no questions asked. Nolan tells Rafe to get Josef out of town on the next land coach. He recovers the equipment and presents it to Pottinger, but Niles isn’t satisfied without a perpetrator.
Josef defies Rafe and kidnaps Berlin just as she recovers the video footage of his face as the raider leader. He wants her to record a statement that the new mining technology will cause structural problems in the mine which will kill miners. She refuses, believing it to be baseless lies. Nolan and Rafe track him down and stop Josef from killing Berlin. Nolan is shot in the leg in the process and, while giving Josef the impression he is freeing him so that he can escape, Rafe shoots Josef in the back, killing him. Again, Niles isn’t satisfied and evicts Rafe from his home.
Meanwhile, the Tommy-Berlin-Irisa love triangle moves inches forward, as Berlin expresses his distrust of their current dynamic, Tommy expresses his desire that he would rather Irisa leave town, and Irisa spies on Tommy and Berlin in a romantic embrace.
Fresh from prison (and wife-choking), Datak Tarr begins to acclimate himself back into Defiance. At the Tarr house, Stahma is recovering from Datak’s attack on her. She wants to be made a partner in his criminal empire, but he throws it back in her face. E-Rep soldiers who served under Colonel Marsh, whom Datak murdered last season, make their displeasure at Datak’s presence known, including one who spits in his face. Datak, at least outwardly, is apologetic. We then find out that the E-Rep soldiers were hired by his wife Stahma Tarr to antagonize him so as to get Datak thrown back in Camp Reverie.
And while he may be playing the regretful man publicly, he’s stepping on the throats of everyone else around him privately. If he were any more alpha male dominant, he’d be peeing on a tree. Datak reasserts himself at the top of his criminal organization, shedding a little blood in the process. He also gets the grand tour of Alak’s record business, which he wants to use as a front (after plotting to burn it to the ground earlier in the day). However, he punishes Alak by burning his hand in a record press, discharging Alak’s “debt” that Datak believes he is owed.
However, it’s not all coming up roses for Datak, as Stahma, Alak, and the members of the Tarr criminal group, prospering in life without Datak, then severely beat him, before throwing him out on the street.
Pottinger and Amanda get a little closer as they get high on Blue Devil and open up to each other, sharing some of the darkest moments of their respective lives. At the Need/Want, Pottinger tells Amanda about a previous memory that’s re-surfaced since he was urinated upon. Later in his office, Amanda tells him about how she was raped and her subsequent abortion, which resulted in her break-up with Connor Lang back in New York.
This is the first Irisa-lite episode this season and she serves mainly as window-dressing in various scenes. It’s nice to have a break from the repetitive “I HAVE AN EVIL INSIDE ME!” emoting. Datak, however, is in rare form, like he’s making up for lost villainy he missed out on when he was imprisoned. If he had a mustache, I’m sure he’d be twisting it. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here as he arguably has less now than he did when he had nothing and was in prison.
It was pleasant to see Rafe McCawley front and center for an episode. It’s obvious that both he and Datak are on personal downward spirals. Let’s see what happens when they collectively hit bottom.
This episode was good without being remarkable.
Woodchuck sez, “Check it out.”