Dark Matter (Syfy, 10/9C) started off with a space vessel with a crew of six who couldn’t remember who they were. Before the premiere had ended, they’d learned that they were – with one notable exception – wanted mercenaries with extremely bad records.
Since then, the series has been about them learning who they are now – and that’s not necessarily the same as who they were before someone hacked their stasis pods to wipe their memories. Now, in the season’s antepenultimate episode, we learn that there may be a great deal more to learn about them – as the Rasa has been taken over by mercenaries who look to double their take by collecting the bounties on them. Oh, and Two has been spaced.
Episode Eleven of Dark Matter pics up right where last week’s ep left off – with Two (Melissa O’Neil) still out there somewhere, and One (Marc Benavid), Three (Anthony Lemke), Four Alex Mallari Jr.), Five (Jodelle Ferland) and Six (Roger R. Cross) stuck in the vault along with the device they stole. And the Rasa is still down a functional android (Zoie Palmer).
So, after Cain (Conrad Pla) and Vons (Jon Cor) try to convince One to share the location of Jace Corso’s alleged secret stash of loot, the other team’s plans begin to come apart when they discover that the ship’s FTL drive is down (just in time to prevent problems for Five.
It seems the same coupling that caused problems earlier in the season has decided to act up again. In the meantime, the Other Guys can’t go anywhere – putting a few crimps in their plans to double-cross everyone. When Wexler (Ennis Esmer) can’t even read the problem from the ship’s console, he orders Five brought to the bridge. Meanwhile, in the vault, the rest of the Rasa’s crew is slowly running out of oxygen.
Episode Eleven was written by Stargate veteran Paul Mullie and directed by fellow Stargate vet Martin Wood. These are guys who get space opera and really, really enjoy working in the genre. So when I tell you the biggest WTF revelation of the series awaits you in this ep, you can trust that I’m not exaggerating even the tiniest bit.
One of the fun things about Dark Matter is how seemingly unrelated events not only have resonance but set up bigger events later – or big, stupid moves (the One/Three identity fiasco) pay off in unexpected ways. Events from earlier episodes definitely pay off here – though not the one with the hologram android assessing the android’s fitness for duty (which is too bad, but it’ll be fun when it happens).
The point is that everything that happens on this show has some kind of consequence (for good or ill) – and not necessarily on the same order of magnitude (as you’ll see several times here).
Like Killjoys, Dark Matter is building an intriguing universe for its characters to inhabit – a universe that is growing and shifting in unusual ways and in which a seemingly trivial thing can generate huge effects (and speaking of effects, Dark Matter has some good ones). The result is one fun hour.
Final Grade: B+
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