Defiance Season 2 Review “Beasts of Burden”

Defiance Season 2 Episode 4 Beasts of Burden (1)

On the latest episode of “Defiance,” certain people decided they didn’t want to be anyone’s “Beasts of Burden” and took matters into their own hands, for better and for worse. In this corner, we had the former rulers of the roost, Stahma and Alak, being taught a thing or two about ruling from the recently returned Datak, who, after attempting to strangle the former in the last episode, promptly set about maiming his son, after he offered his own life in exchange for the payment Datak felt was owed him for people betraying him and falling under the rule of his wife in his absence.

Naturally, Datak took the low road and killed one of his men anyway to make an example of for their perceived “betrayal,” before putting his own son’s hand under a hot press. This did not go over so well with Stahma, who momentarily grinned and bore it, asking for a 50/50 split in the business between the two. After that didn’t go over so well, she had what was clearly now her men, and not so much Datak’s anymore, beat the living crap out of him and toss Datak out of his own- or at least former- place of business.

Now that’s what you call a coup, mob-style. Well played, Stahma, but you probably should have just killed the guy, because if you think he isn’t coming back for what he sees as his…well, you’ve got another think coming. That said, he certainly had that coming, and well deserved it was after his horrific actions. I don’t deny that Stahma has been Lady Macbeth-ing Datak for some time now, but still, his actions are far worse than anything she’s done, outside of that unfortunate business with Kenya. How much you want to bet that eventually comes to light somehow, too? If that happens, she might want to watch out for a certain former Mayor…

In corner number two, we had one Josef and his assorted masked men, who decided to go all “Road Warrior” and attack the current Mayor’s caravan, which was transporting some equipment and various top-secret goodies. Things quickly went south, and most everyone ended up dead, save Josef and one other guy, who absconded with the stuff, but not before making an enemy of the Mayor by forcing him to strip down and (holy crap!) pissing on him. I did not know you could show something like that on Syfy, but there you have it.

Unfortunately for them, this understandably did not go over well with the Mayor, and even dredged up some unpleasant memories of when the Votans kidnapped him as a teenager and held him and other students captive, torturing, starving and generally abusing them. So, he hired Nolan to track them down, only to discover it was Rafe’s godson behind it. Giving him a head start for Rafe’s sake, Nolan let the guy go, only for him to make the unwise decision of sticking around to recover some video evidence taken by the only other survivor, Captain Berlin, who he kidnapped, forcing Nolan to go after him again.

Ultimately, Rafe had to shoot the guy in the back, which couldn’t have been an easy decision, even if the guy brought it upon himself. The Mayor wasn’t crazy about this outcome overall, though he was happy to get the stuff back, particularly some specific mystery item. Clearly wanting to take matters with Josef into his own hands for a little payback, he warned Nolan that, if it weren’t for his relationship with Amanda- which he obviously knows about now- he’d have fired him or worse.

Speaking of Amanda, we finally got the whole story about what led her to Defiance in the first place. She’d been raped by an E-Rep employee afterhours and hadn’t reported it, only to discover that she was pregnant. The problem was, it was the rapist’s, and not her fiancée’s, so she had an abortion, which is why they broke up and why she and her sister left town and moved to Defiance. From the looks of next week’s preview, Amanda looks like she’s either going to have some unpleasant reminders of her tragic past, or go a little too overboard with her drug use and only think she is being revisited by the man who raped her.

Also on the horizon, an unlikely joining of forces of Datak and the now-homeless and, one assumes, unemployed Rafe. It will be interesting to see where that particular partnership leads, but I’m guessing nowhere good. Like I said, Stahma really should have killed him. That’s not going to end well, to say the least, probably for anyone involved. This whole thing could end up going full “Godfather” before it’s all over.

Some great moments throughout the episode, to be sure. Both Amanda’s and, surprisingly enough, the Mayor’s tragic tales were heartrending, though you’ll have to forgive me if I took his with a grain of salt. It would be just like that guy to take advantage of Amanda’s sympathies for his own cruel gain- which he’s been doing quite a bit of anyway by feeding her drug habits. Her, on the other hand, I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt.

The opening attack sequence was exciting and surprisingly vicious- I still can’t believe I watched a guy pee on another guy after forcing him to strip down to his boxers. That’s some pretty hardcore stuff right there. Even the “Road Warrior” thugs got nothing on Josef. He should be glad his death was quick, as it probably wouldn’t have been if the Mayor had been involved.

There was one great moment with Nolan and Dr. Yewll which provided some much-needed levity, however, and it was probably my favorite moment of the show by default. When Nolan asked her how she managed to get out of the prison camp, she answered, in her typically deadpan fashion, without skipping a beat: “Raw sex appeal.” LOL. Great line!

What did you think of “Defiance” this week? What was your favorite moment? Or least favorite moment, for that matter? Were you glad to see Datak get his well-deserved comeuppance? What will Datak’s next move after teaming up with Rafe be? What about the Mayor? Are you sympathetic, or did he have what he got coming as well? Should Nolan quit while he’s ahead and just get out of town already? Why did Irisa want to come back in the first place, anyway? Sound off below and I’ll see you next time!