Defiance Review – S3E8 My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You

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Defiance - Season 3This is the best season of Defiance yet. I’ve been feeling that way for a while but this episode, My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You solidified that for me. What’s been working so well for this season is that the story is following a pretty tight plot and…they’ve killed a lot of people. A lot.  No really, the writers of Defiance have taken a page out of George RR Martin’s playbook and decided the best way to tighten things up is to just slaughter as many people possible First off, this episode starts with the VC killing 10 people in the Need Want. That’s already a high body count. Sure, we didn’t really know any of those humans but Amanda’s speech to the town later on made each of those deaths feel real. When she said something along the lines of “these were someone’s neighbors or parents or children…” it was an easy way to get us, the audience, to connect to these random people. But that was just the beginning. Then you have VC terrorists going around slaughtering people in their homes. The way this season has gone I thought they were actually going to kill that mother and her two children. Lucky for them, T’evgin decided to have a change of Omec heart and intervened but I’ll get into that later.  Now all this death would have been enough. But wait…there’s more. Just to drive home the feeling of despair, they go and kill off half the militia by having them burn to death in that tunnel.  And the icing on the cake? Killing that young Irathient sniper that we’ve all been drawn to.  I had a feeling when his father protested him going that he wouldn’t make it back but I wasn’t expecting this. I also expect it to have some serious consequences. Nolan said he would protect him and instead he was only able to save his own daughter and the son of a traitor. Granted, Nolan thought he was actually protecting the rest of the squad but no one is going to want to hear that truth. We saw the charred remains of the militia that were trapped in the tunnel.  Holy hell this season has been dark.

defiance-s3e8-datak-armBut death isn’t the only thing that made this episode so good. It was the complete package. What they did with Datak was nothing short of brilliant. For the first time ever, I was actually rooting for Datak to survive. First, they set us up with the flashbacks of a young Datak with his father’s charge blade looking in a mirror and saying “My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You.”  These flashbacks showed us the rebellious nature of Datak as a child and his impatience. He just didn’t have the patience of his father. Granted, his father knew when it was time to put his foot down…or should I say, put the charge blade down. but what I got from them was that Datak’s time on the shaming rack had him realize how far from his father’s purpose his greed and impatience have taken him. His father turned down going on the ark to stay with the scrolls because it was his duty and honor. This is how far Datak has come: I still thought he was going to betray Defiance. I thought when he asked for his blade back, he was going to use it to cut out the tracking device to warn the general.  Instead, Datak cut off his own arm in front of the General (What a gruesome but awesome scene by the way). Now one could say that Datak did this to save his own skin but I think it’s more than that. One, he needed a reason for the General to keep him there so that the Stasis Net bomb could track and work. Secondly, he wanted his charge blade to give to Alak. I think Datak has finally realized the man that Alak has become and realizes how terrible of a father he’s been. I actually think Datak has turned over a new leaf. Can’t say the same for his wife though…

Defiance - Season 3This Stahma-T’evgin-Kindzi love triangle is an interesting one. Kindzi tried to force T’evgin’s hand by bringing Stahma in on their little secret: That they’re entire Omec family is on the ship and the plan is to wake them and conquer.  Problem is, she didn’t anticipate T’evgin forming a soft spot for the locals. This goes back to earlier in the episode when he saved that mother and her two children. The mother asks him if he’s going to kill them and he says no and that the myths were a long time ago. I think he’s tired of war and conquering. Problem is, it’s tough calling for peace when your entire race is built off war and conquering.  One of the best scenes this episode was when Stahma and T’evgin decided to drop the niceties for once and just be honest with each other. T’evgin got the last word but he’s smart, has has to know that Stahma is right. Kindzi is going to be a problem. She’s not going to be down with this plan of coexisting and at some point, he’s going to have to make a decision on what he wants to do.I think this could lead to an interesting future. Stahma still seeks power, Datak on the other hand seems to be humbled and seeking redemption. Truth is, you can make an argument that being with Stahma corrupted Datak from the path of honor his father wanted him on. Not because Stahma is a woman but rather because of her status and class. In order to keep up that appearance, Datak had to become something he’s not. Despite the differences in race, Stahma and T’evgin are more of a power couple match.  I’m really interested in seeing how all this plays out, especially now that Stahma has a pardon (even though she doesn’t know about it yet).

 
There was so much to love in this episode. So much emotion and suspense. We also got Doc Yewll with the always hilarious bedside manners. This might be my favorite episode of Defiance ever. Every moment and scene felt like it counted and mattered. Even got a scene with Nolan apologizing (well, as much as one could expect Nolan to apologize) to Irisa for not recognizing that he was pushing her too hard. That paid off again later when Nolan is volunteering to sacrifice himself and Irisa is trying to comfort him and say what happened wasn’t his fault. He took a risk and while it didn’t pay off, there was no way for him not to. I will say, I did think that it was a little odd that Nolan would trust “Beckman” because Nolan’s a little more observant but, with everything else going on, it didn’t bother me too much. They really crammed a lot into this episode without making it feel stuffed. That's something that's been an issue before with this show but not this episode. They even managed to get in a few lines about how Amanda and Berlin became so close and why Amanda felt betrayed when she left. This was definitely some of the best writing they've done with this show.  With the General out of the way, its going to be interesting seeing where they go next. They have their work cut out for them though because this episode was top notch.

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Charles (Kriss)

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    Payton McMullen Jr 28 July, 2015 at 20:42 Reply

    Is there a higher rating than A+? This episode was sooooo good! Stahma and Datak are survivors. They will outlive everybody. I knew T’evgin wouldn’t kill Stahma. He hooked on that Chivo.

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