Defiance Season 2 Review “Painted from Memory”

Defiance Season 2 Episode 8 Slouching Towards Bethleham (3)

On the latest episode of “Defiance,” we finally got an answer to the question of how exactly Kenya was back, in the aptly-titled “Painted From Memory.” Was she one of Irzu’s possessed army? A zombie? Was she only sort of dead at Stahma’s hands and got up and stumbled into enemy territory, where she was then held for ransom later on? As it turned out, the answer was none of the above, and I can’t imagine anyone else predicting what was really going on in a million years, and yet, the evidence to back it up was always there.

It seems that the Mayor and Yewll were up to more than stealing Amanda’s memories- they were implanting them as well- and into an Indogene, not Kenya. The plan was for the Indogene to actually think she was Kenya, and then the Mayor could use her as a spy, which was precisely what she was for the Voltan Collective, until the Earth Republic captured her, used her as a lab rat and Yewll herself experimented on her. As faux-Kenya only had a limited lifespan, the Mayor would use her passing as a way to get closer to Amanda, which sounds crazy pathetic when you think about it.

Only problem was, “Kenya” started to remember things, and the things she remembered weren’t her own memories but Amanda’s, and Nolan picked up on that. What little she did remember about her own situation was that Yewll and the Mayor were behind it, which ended up getting her shot and nearly killed before she bailed on Defiance and split town, after a confrontation with Amanda, who was understandably heartbroken. Yewll also made a break for it, with Datak and Rafe taking her to a safe house, as the Mayor put the blame for faux-Kenya right at her feet.

In retrospect, this all makes perfect sense, even though, as aforementioned, it was a pretty crazy plan on the behalf of the obsessed Mayor. Not sure what he was thinking, but it’s neither here or there now, as the jig is up. I guess he’ll just have to find another way to seduce Amanda, since drugging her up and stealing her memories and fabricating a fake sister for her didn’t pan out. Yeah, that doesn’t get any less crazy on paper.

I suppose I knew Kenya was actually dead- how couldn’t she be, after what Stahma did? And indeed, Stahma proved it to her husband- and herself- when they tracked down her body in the woods and did indeed confirm that Kenya had been dead for a long time. But with the other stuff going on with Irisa, I just assumed it was associated with that. After all, Kenya wouldn’t exactly be the first to come back from the dead, now would she?

Which is, of course, exactly what the writers wanted us to think, even though the evidence to the contrary was right there. We knew that the Mayor and Yewll were up to something and it involved Amanda’s memories, but who knew it was to do that? Honestly, the thought of it never occurred to me. I can’t imagine it did to anyone. Well played, “Defiance.” Sort of.

Other stuff: A whole lot more Irzu followers and/or possessed people were showing up to meet Irisa and company, enough for a real army in earnest now. Will they all attack Defiance, or do they have something else in mind? Also, Tommy punched Nolan, but he deserved it, for the whole Berlin thing, and Datak doubted Stahma having killed Kenya, as he knew she was in love with her- which she confirmed by putting up a gravestone for her in the real resting place. You only hurt the ones you love, and all that.

Poor Kenya. It was nice having her sort of back, or at the very least, a version of her, as it gave the always-welcome Mia Kirshner a reason to come back as well, however short-lived. Though I guess alterna-Kenya is still alive and kicking, technically, so maybe she will be back again.

Also back is Rafe’s son, Quentin, who’s still mad about his mother, but Rafe doesn’t much care, as he said he would always choose his kids over her anyway, regardless of the situation. Not sure that was very comforting to Quentin, but it is what it is. Also back is some mysterious guy I can’t place who I first thought was Connor Lang, Amanda’s ex, but then I looked him up and remembered what he looked like, and it’s nothing like that dude whatsoever. I suppose I just had the name on my brain because it was mentioned a lot as of late. But I know that actor, and this wasn’t him at all. Anyone who knows, please let me know!

That was about it, but it was a plenty crazy episode, to be sure. Pottinger’s plan was a bit far-fetched, definitely- maybe he was hitting on that drug Amanda was hooked on a little too many times to think that wacky scheme was ever gonna work. Regardless, it did line up with the information at hand, so I’ve got to hand it to the writers: I certainly didn’t see all that coming, but then, who could have? I can see where some might be a little disappointed that it wasn’t really Kenya, and that it felt like a bit of a cheat, but it was certainly an original cheat at that.

What did you think of “Defiance” this week? Were you as surprised at the twist as I was? Did it feel like a cheat? Do you think Nolan will eventually figure out that Pottinger was involved, too? Will they catch Yewll? Will faux-Kenya be back, or at least contact Amanda to let her know what really happened to her? Why is Quentin back for real? Who was the mystery masked man? Sound off below and see you next week for two back-to-back episodes!