Defiance – Season 1, Episode 9 “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” Review

Rating: 8.8

Dear Defiance: what’re-you-doing now that you weren’t able to do before?

Like, seriously. All of the dramatics and high stakes in this episode, Defiance, it’s like you’re trying to be on par with Battlestar Galactica or something.

Defiance, if there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I love my TV shows when they incorporate a little political-personal drama. There’s just something about characters slighting one another that is so invigorating that it gives me goose bumps. There’s no way that any of us viewers didn’t see Datak’s pull for Mayor-ship coming, but there’s a part of me that is surprised by how supportive and willing to be equally evil to his father Alak is slowly becoming.

Defiance, you’ve got this unfortunate tendency to tell monster-of-the-week / disaster stories that don’t fully flow from one episode to the next (I’m looking at Tommy’s gut injury that magically healed in 2 days from “Goodbye Blue Sky” to the following episode “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”, specifically), so when “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” did a surprisingly good job of tying almost every episode to date into one fancy bow I practically jumped for joy. Clearly you’re starting to figure this whole episodic-storytelling thing out, Defiance. I’m really proud of you.

Furthermore, Defiance, you pulled off something that I really, genuinely enjoy: significant character death. Not every show pulls this off gracefully, but you sure did. The collateral damage associated with the rise of Datak Tarr has certainly marked him as the villain that you have so desperately needed.

Thank you. Thank you for finally figuring out where you needed to go with your story, because I was about to stop believing in you. Take care of yourself and keep it up.

Your most concerned fan,

Blaire

 

A couple of stray thoughts for recap:

  • We finally learned the mystery of Pilar, Rafe’s former wife and mother to Quentin and Christy. She was bipolar and could not remain with her children for their safety. I really enjoy the old-world references for the modern audience.
  • Nicky tricked Quentin into giving her a lot of items that will certainly make her a dangerous opponent. I don’t understand the point of her character other than that she is seriously only exposition-McGee for now.
  • Due to a moment of desperation paired with a close-encounter with death, Christie and Alak might be married? I mean, he did put a ring on it.
  • Irisa continues to choose Irathients over everyone else and this character trait continues to feel a little bit forced to me. The beginning of the series offered a father-daughter relationship yet it has failed to deliver anything but a teenager who is rebelling against her father so that she can spend time with her hippie friends.
  • I’ll miss Connor Lang mostly because Gale Harold is a gorgeous, talented human being who has not been on my television screen enough in recent years… But it’s possible that I just really miss Queer as Folk, guys.
  • The quarantine was successfully morally grey. This episode made me question my sense of justice… There was no proof handed to the audience that Irathients are a disease-carrying race, but there were many compelling arguments for locking them up if this is indeed the case. Dr. Yewll absolutely confirmed that they are carriers who do not express this specific illness (not the many others Datak claimed), but does that warrant the caging of an entire race of people? Defiance is trying to make me think long and hard on that issue. It’s working.
    • OH YEAH: We also talked about ABORTION in this episode. That’s right, folks, Defiance wants the audience to start making some moral judgments. Concentration camps, plague, and abortion. Not exactly the light-hearted sci-fi party that I’ve come to expect from this show.
    • Also, Datak is terrifying when he’s killing people. Like, he used the phrase “cleansing fire”. That is horrific. If you do not agree, you are wrong.

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