Defiance Returns for its Second Half

I have to say Monday nights are pretty exciting. For one thing, they are the announcement date for the week’s upcoming rotation of free champions on League of Legends. But for another, they are the airing day for new episodes of Defiance.

As a nerd, I was eager to begin watching Syfy (hipster moment: I knew it when it was Sci-fi) Channel’s new show. I feel like the channel hasn’t had a good flagship show since Battlestar Galactica ended, and Defiance showed a lot of promise. I was even more intrigued because of its ambitious choice to launch in conjunction with an MMO set in the same world (which I haven’t gotten around to playing yet, but it looks really cool). I will say that the 2-hour premiere was entertaining but a little disappointing. The actors were appealing, and the setting was interesting, but the plot lines and some of the characters were basically just lifted right off of the TV Tropes page.

Nevertheless, I decided to stick with the show. I haven’t managed to really keep up with Castle, though I enjoy catching the re-runs, but this basically means that there isn’t a competing show on Monday nights anyway. The next couple of episodes kept the show in the same category of fun and entertaining but not much beyond that. Then, during the fourth episode of the season, things started to pick up and get interesting. More specifically, that’s when we started to get a little more political drama.

I’m not going to go too much into the specifics, but at that point we finally got to see more of the town’s internal politics at play. Much of this follows Mayor Amanda Rosewater’s (played by Julie Benz) on the job complications as she tries to be a good leader for the town. It also follows the rise of an alien named Datak Tarr (played by Tony Curran) who is transitioning from a sort of mob leader in the town of Defiance to a more respectable political position among the town’s elite, a position he achieves largely due to the manipulations and mechanisms of his wife Stahma (played by Jaime Murray), who is a wonderful Lady Macbeth like figure in the story. On top of the town’s politics, Mayor Rosewater also has to stave off the ongoing advances of the Earth Republic, which wants to incorporate Defiance into its dominion. I won’t ruin why they might want the town…though part of that is because I can’t. Suffice it to say there have been some interesting things found in the town’s mines, the true significance of which are not really known at this time.

Anyway, this show that started out as something that I would probably call a worse Stargate: SG-1, and mainly less good because it wasn’t as self-aware, has started developing as something a bit smarter and a bit deeper. With the second half of the season beginning tonight, I am excited to see how the rest of this first season plays out. The show has already been renewed for a second season that will air in 2014, so I hope that this season continues on its uphill climb and leaves me even more excited for what is yet to come.

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One thought on “Defiance Returns for its Second Half

  1. I have actually found Defiance to be surprisingly refreshing. Sure, as you said, the plot-lines are basically lifted from TVTropes, but there’s a reason they’re tropes to begin with. The effects and makeup have been solid, but not as adventurous as I would like to see them be in the second half of this season.

    It’s honestly nice to just have a decent story with well-portrayed characters in a science-fiction setting, even if that story is predictable, the characters are narrow and the setting is cookie-cutter. Science fiction for the last few years has been, dare I say, too far out. Defiance is just some good old fashioned Sci-Fi.

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