The second season finale of Dark Matter (Syfy, Fridays, 10/9C) – But First, We Save the Galaxy – brings the crew of the Raza to Eos-7 to try to prevent a war between the corporations. It’s the first Council of Corporations face-to-face meeting in over a decade (these people really don’t trust each other…).
What began as a series about mind-wiped six strangers on a spaceship has evolved into one where they’ve learned who they were and chosen not to be those people anymore. That decision put them in the surprising position of becoming something of an unheralded group of interstellar Robin Hoods – while leaving them among the most wanted (former) criminals in the galaxy.
But First, We’ll Save the Galaxy opens on our old friend Truffaut (Tori Higginson) as she’s planning a voting strategy for a trip to Eos-7 for the first face-to-face meeting of the Council of Corporations in over a decade. When the Raza suddenly appears above the Traugott Corporation headquarters, she recognizing the ship and welcomes Two (Melissa O’Neill) – who apprises her of the probability that one of the other corporations will plant a bomb to destroy the Council and foment war.
Using the blink drive to avoid the otherwise impenetrable security at Eos-7, the Raza arrives and the android (Zoie Palmer) discovers a way into the station – a way that’s set up by the delegation from the Ferrous Corporation.
Five (Jodelle Ferland) – in a pretty clever disguise – arrives with the Traugott Corporation delegation and, after meeting Arian (another android with the emotion upgrade), spots Ryo/Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) with a late delegation from the Unaligned Worlds.
Adding to the complexity of the mission, another old friend, Galactic Authority Inspector Kierken (Kris Holden-Ried has arrived to head up security – leading to complications for Six, especially (though, unsurprisingly, Ryo/Four has diplomatic immunity)..
Series creators Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie provided the script for But First, We’ll Save the Galaxy and it’s a corker – filled with all kinds of potential for bad stuff to happen.
Director Ron Murphy does the space opera thing where the episode zips by at breakneck speed without seeming rushed or forced – allowing for character beats and unexpected plot elements to arrive at just the right time. Unlike a lot of shows that try too hard to create tension with unnecessary handheld camera work, Murphy chooses his spots and relies on devices like editing and score to add impetus, or provide an emotional underpinning.
As a season finale, But first, We Save the Galaxy builds to a crazy finale, but with a few minor flaws (we know where certain arcs are heading and some events are just a bit too predictable – and considering the way last week’s ep ended, it would have been nice to know how the Raza’s crew was where they were when the finale opened).
Overall, though, this is a very good hour of space opera fun. (It’s really good to know the show has been renewed!)
Final Grade: B+