I like to go into shows with as little knowledge as possible. I avoid previews for next week, recaps of previous weeks, and as many commercials as possible for shows that I like because it’s all too easy to spoil the fun these days. I caught the recap of previous episodes of Defiance tonight and I immediately knew we were going to get more insight into Doc Yewll’s previous life, hinted at a few episodes ago by Pol Madis.
Tommy and Nolan head out to the arkfall, the spacecraft that Sukar brought down to save Defiance in the previous episode. Inside of the ruins of that alien spacecraft, they find American artifacts and a man alive. We were due for an alien probe episode and this opening scene is vaguely familiar as an amalgamation of every actor cut out of an alien sac in every movie ever. Naturally, his first question to Tommy and Nolan is, “Are you Americans?”
Connor Lang is back in town to see Amanda once more, noting that she kept his flowers for far longer than necessary. He offers her a territorial governorship in New York and she quips something about working for the evil empire to deflect. Desperately, he pulls her aside and confesses that he misses her, calling her Mandy when they are interrupted by Irisa, who came to summon Amanda.
She’s brought to Doc Yewll’s, where the found man, NASA Astronaut Gordon McClintock, is being checked. It turns out that Gordon McClintock died in 2013, the year the Votan invaded, when the space station he was on blew up. The crew was known as the Bravery Nine, with a book and a movie being made of the event. Nolan and the rest immediately begin to wonder if the disaster was staged by the Votans, who may have been kidnapping and studying humans before actually making contact with Earth. During Doc Yewll’s scan of his eyes, he begins to have flashbacks to his wife that turn to horrifying images of being probed by aliens that look suspiciously Indogene.
In the NeedWant, Tirra is trying her best to please Datak Tarr, but he is having none of her seduction because he was expecting to see Kenya. He’s offended when Kenya tries to sell him on Tirra and leaves in a huff. When he gets home, he finds Stahma bathing alone, which is taboo in the Castithan tradition. He told her about how he felt Kenya had gone above and beyond to offend him, but Stahma diffused the situation by distracting him.
Upon leaving the doctor’s, Gordon is bombarded by press and fans who are curious to see him in person and hear of his experiences. Connor Lang thinks they should use him as a pawn against the Votanis Collective, but Nolan has other plans for him. They escort Gordon to Rafe McCawley’s home and he is almost immediately smitten, more comfortable than we’ve seen him during the entire episode. They put him in Luke’s clothes and explain to him about what happened after he “died.”
This whole segment was completely cringe-worthy to me. Gordon talks about his space walk with Borovsky, the Russian – because we must always be in the space race with the Russians, obviously. And when he asks who played him in the movie of the Bravery Nine? Robert Pattison – they even make sure to mention he came from Twilight and had a hilarious talk about whether he was the vampire or the werewolf! Don’t worry, Amanda knew which one he’d played! I threw a sock at my television and booed loudly. The Fifth Amendment and the reason there is no more flying and space travel were given less thought than the Twlight movies.
Everyone’s drunk soon enough, maybe because they had to remember Twlight was a thing, and Amanda and Nolan are a half-step away from cuddling, fueling this will they-won’t they dynamic they’ve remembered and forgotten many times throughout the season so far. It’s decided that everyone must stay the night and everyone goes off to their respective beds. However, Gordon awakes to alien voices and is suddenly not himself. He does his best to kill Amanda, but is pried off of her at the last second by Alpha Male Nolan, who obviously had to be the one to save her.
They have no choice but to take Gordon off to jail, while Amanda is off to see Doc Yewll. Connor tries to see her, but Nolan blocks his entrance and sends him away. You go Alpha Male! Cockblocking complete, he heads over to the jail where Irisa is still a bit touchy about the Sukar subject. She relates to Gordon, in that he doesn’t belong in Defiance – or possibly this world at all – and he knows it. Suddenly, Gordon starts speaking in a strange alien language and throwing himself against the walls. When they get into the cell, he’s fallen to the ground and while subduing him, they realize he is bleeding silver like an Indogene would.
Nolan leads the charge to confront Doc Yewll about what she knows, since she was the doctor to check Gordon out originally, giving her okay without a word. She confirms their earlier speculation of Votan probing of humans and explains that prototypes like Gordon were trained to be “alien assassins.” They were meant to go after people in positions of power and kill them, as demonstrated by his attack on Amanda. Indogene Gordon has all of the memories of the human Gordon, but he has none of the sensory memories, which Doc Yewll callously explains are the hardest of the memories to imprint. She also reveals that in order to imprint him with those memories, the brain of the human Gordon is destroyed in the process. When asked why she lied to them, she reveals that she knew the Earth Republic could use this knowledge against the Votanis Collective. In the midst of this, Gordon panics, attacks everyone, steals Nolan’s gun, and runs off.
Stahma and Kenya are shown together once more, after just having finished a business transaction, and have a little discussion about how Kenya treated Datak. She told him no for Stahma because she “knows Stahma is in a bad marriage.” She recognizes the game, but Stahma warns her that she must learn to control her hatred, to play the game better and smarter. I see where they are going, but I’m still hoping Stahma is going to pull off a double cross somewhere down the line. Kenya seems overly eager to impress her own moral views and standards on Stahma, without really listening to what Stahma may actually want.
The Blade Runner vibes were strong when Rafe met Gordon at the edge of Lake Nothing. Add in some rain and we may as well have been watching Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer having their iconic conversation. After trying to give him hope, Gordon gives Nolan’s gun back to Rafe and we are led to believe he jumped into Lake Nothing, committing suicide and ending his sad story.
Back in her office, Amanda is meeting with Connor Lang once more and lets him down about the job offer. He warns her that the Earth Republic is after Defiance for their resources and they will get into town by any means necessary. He reminds her of Olfin Tennety, who tried to get rid of Amanda once before already, who has convinced her boss that Amanda is the problem. Connor offers her protection in New York, reminds her that they could have been a family once, and ultimately leaves without her consenting to take the New York job.
Nolan visits Rafe in his office and they talk a bit about Gordon. Nolan suggests they send some people down to recover the body, but Rafe claims that it never came back up, the lake is too deep, and it must have gotten tangled on something under the water. Nolan thinks that’s mighty convenient and Rafe does not disagree. With lens flair that would make JJ Abrams proud, Gordon is seen reuniting with an older woman, who was sweetly still wearing her wedding ring. How he got all the way to Alabama from Missouri in an unknown alien landscape, who knows. Just enjoy the sweetness, don’t question it.
In the closing sequence, Nolan is not quite done with Doc Yewll, but their confrontation about her place in the Pale Wars is interrupted. A young female who was seen earlier fawning over Gordon collapses on the floor and Doc Yewll diagnoses her as having viral hemmoragic fever. She tells everyone to put on their gloves and masks; the next thing to hit Defiance in the sci-fi lexicon is a plague.