Defiance Season 2 Review “Doll Parts”

Defiance Season 2 Episode 10 & 11 Doll Parts/Bottom of the World (3)

In the second and superior of the two episodes of “Defiance” that aired last night on Syfy, we finally discovered who that was plummeting off the arch in that preview a few weeks back. As many predicted, myself included, it was indeed Deidre Lamb, aka “Treasure Doll,” who certainly lived up to the episode’s title in the end, as she became an ad-hoc assembly of “Doll Parts” after getting tossed out of the arch’s window. But who did it?

Well, I know one commenter who totally called it, and in retrospect, it made perfect sense it would be…none other than Alak’s wife herself, Christie. Hell hath no fury and all that. Sure, Stahma would have been the obvious choice- nothing she hadn’t done before, after all- but I thought making it Christie was inspired, not in the least in that it showed that learning how to dress like a Casti wasn’t the only thing she picked up from her time spent studying their culture. She’s also got a way with Casti words as well, plus a fierce mean streak that made even Stahma smile in admiration.

Not that Christie didn’t have good reason, mind you. Sleeping with her husband while she was pregnant was pretty bad, but forgivable, given Casti ways, but trying to kill her baby? Not too cool, “Treasure Doll.” Ironically, it was Amanda that inadvertently inspired Deidre to do it, saying that if she really loved this mystery guy she had to fight for him. Fight she did, and got in some pretty mean licks, too, but in the end, Christie was one tough mama who didn’t take kindly to someone messing with her cub, and out the window Deidre went. Pretty harsh, but then the girl did try to abort Christie’s baby without her knowledge, which is pretty f’d up.

Even though she was ultimately kind of reprehensible, Deidre was a entertaining character, and she certainly had some fine moments in this episode, so if they had to get rid of the lovely Kristina Pesic, at least she went out on a high note- and a high fall at that. Bonus points for the double meaning of the title and for including the original Courtney Love tune, along with the customary remake at the end. Perfect choice for the song, and perfect execution of the, um, execution. I’ll miss “Treasure Doll,” but it was fun while it lasted. I guess there’s a new opening for a DJ, at least!

I really liked the Amanda-as-deputy sheriff and Berlin-as-her-sidekick dynamic between the two, as they tried to crack the Lamb case. Not that I want her replacing Nolan or anything, but it was interesting seeing Amanda crack the case, even as it threw her one curveball after another. We saw some great flashbacks between her and Deidre, as we discovered it was the latter who talked Amanda into taking over the Need/Want in her sister’s wake, and how the brothel was sort of like a surrogate family to these wayward girls, who wouldn’t be able to make ends meet otherwise.

I also liked that, as she made her way through the evidence, even after the case was seemingly solved and someone confessed to the crime- Stahma secured a confession out of a sickly denizen of the town, promising to house and employ his daughter as a handmaiden if he did so- she still kept at it, knowing good and well there was more to the story. When she saw the daughter arrive at the Tarr house, she got her answer (sort of), and Stahma saw it in her eyes, too.

Will that cause problems for Amanda later on? Possibly, but it’s not like she can really prove it, either. Not to mention she probably didn’t realize it was actually Christie who did it, not one of the parents. Who would’ve thought that, after all, without knowing the real circumstances that led to it? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but my guess is that Amanda won’t go poking that particular bear without some proof, and there isn’t much to go on anymore, with the father providing the murder weapon and all.

The big reveal of the episode, however, was the explanation of what all of this Irzu stuff was about, at least to a point. After Nolan tracked Irisa’s car to a site, he discovered all of the followers and was about to try and rescue her when Tommy struck out at him and a fight ensued. Of course, Tommy was possessed, so Nolan didn’t have much of a chance, but he got lucky when Tommy’s body rejected Irzu, or whatever.

Turns out that Irzu isn’t a god at all, but a collective of robots that were part of a larger whole, the direct result of an ancient space ship buried under St. Louis. It was actually an artificially intelligent machine known as the Kaziri, which used tiny robots to control its various hosts, rendering them virtually un-killable while they were under their possession. It seems that these “tendrils”- aka the snake-like things we saw go into various people over the course of the season- were part of a larger “Arkbrain” working together to ferret out servants in the war against humanity.

The plan was to terraform the Earth and start fresh, using the various people possessed as slave labor to rebuild after the Earth was essentially torn down. The machine merely pretended to be the god Irzu to more easily recruit people, claiming that it was picking them in a sort of “Rapture”-like scenario as the “chosen ones.” I think it’s safe to say no one saw any of this coming, to say the least! I do seem to recall as far back as the pilot Nolan seeing a space ship crashing down in St. Louis, so I assume that’s how he knew about the Kaziri, but I can’t be sure.

Tommy and Nolan made their amends, with Nolan promising to reinstate Tommy as deputy and giving him and Irisa his blessing, which is how I knew things probably weren’t going to end well for him, which they did not. After absconding with Irisa, she woke up and knocked Nolan out, before stabbing poor Tommy. When we last saw him, Tommy wasn’t looking good, but hopefully Nolan will get him to some help sooner than later, because I was starting to like and sympathize with him again, finally. Plus, Irisa’s going to need him when Nolan de-Irzus her or whatever. If he does.

Some great writing all around here, to be sure. Actress Kristina Pesic, much like Mia Kirshner (aka Kenya) a few episodes back, really got a chance to shine before (and after) her demise. If she must go, she certainly went out on a high, even if she ended on a low, if you know what I mean. The big blow out fight with Christie notwithstanding, I think my favorite part was probably when she was talking to Amanda and her big defense for why Alak should choose her over Christie was the fact that she was a DJ! As a former DJ myself, I got a kick out of that, definitely.

Other fun bits: When Berlin found some Ben Wa balls in Deidre’s room and didn’t recognize what they were and Amanda was like: “I’d put those down and wash your hands”- the look on Berlin’s face was priceless. Also amusing was when Nolan was taunting Sukar as he was leveling threats at him and Nolan fired back: “You should write children’s books.” But my hands down favorite was when Datak called Stahma a good mother after she resolved to take care of the Deidre situation herself, and she asked him: “Was that sarcasm?” Said Datak, without missing a beat: “Well, if you have to ask, it probably is.” LOL.

So, as you saw tonight, next week is another two-hour extravaganza, this time making up the season finale. As they’ve been doing the same thing with the CBS show “Extant” lately, this typically means the end of the road for a struggling show, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for “Defiance,” if not “Extant” as well. It’s definitely a show that’s worth saving, to be sure. It’s well-written, thoughtful, the writers clearly work out the entire seasons as a whole beforehand and plan accordingly- which is always nice, not to mention rare- and I genuinely like most of the cast.

It also just so happens to have some of the most fascinating roles for women on television right now (if not period, over the course of the entire year). Certainly it has the best roles for women in sci-fi, period, outside of “Orphan Black,” maybe, which is technically a lot of roles for one very talented woman, rather than women in the plural sense. It would be a shame if middling ratings ended this one prematurely, as it’s easily one of the best shows Syfy has, if not the best. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but it doesn’t look good for the show, which is unfortunate. Maybe if worse comes to worse Netflix will pick it up on the fly. I could live with that, even if it meant downsizing a bit.

What did you think of “Defiance” this week? Were you happy with the double dose of the show? Were you sad to see Deidre go? Or were you firmly on Team Christie? Will Amanda be able to let Deidre’s death go, or will she get on Stahma’s bad side in her quest for justice? Has Christie gone over to the dark side completely, or was this just a one-off thing? Will Nolan be able to save Tommy? Or Irisa, for that matter? Will he be able to stop the Kaziri from annihilating Defiance? Sound off below and see you for the big two hour blow-out finale next week!