Defiance Review: “When Twilight Dims in the Sky Above”

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Here’s my review of Defiance season three episode “When Twilight Dims in the Sky Above.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

Just when you think things can’t get any crazier on Defiance, somebody accidentally shoots a diplomat and maybe sparks another world war? Who was expecting that?? I had been worried that the tension of the story would fade away after they wrapped up the Rahm Tak problem, but it’s actually soared to new heights since then. “When Twilight…” continues following Nolan’s descent into irrational behavior following his breakdown and also sets up more conflict for the characters of the town.

Nolan has become much more fascinating now that he’s more unstable. In the past, we always knew he would make tough choices, but there was always a bit of logic and practicality to those decisions. But with the alien tech exacerbating the PTSD he’s had since the tunnel incident, Nolan begins to act crazy. He talks to his hallucination, he threatens Irisa, and most important of all, he shoots and kills the VC ambassador. I appreciate the writing here because it’s not drawn out. The action is fast-paced. Nolan quickly goes from watching Stahma with suspicion to full-on paranoia complete with a “Butch and Sundance” stand-off. After spending most of the season stretching the plot out, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

The filming of the conversations with “The Butcher” (as my captioning refers to him) are filmed well too. You never get to see his face until the end, but you can tell it’s Nolan from the voice. He’s only ever partially in frame, creating a definite ominous tone about him. I think it’s an effective way to convey Nolan’s mental state and to also keep it interesting for the audience.

Another good thing is that we don’t drop the Omec storyline in favor of Nolan’s. Just when we thought the Kindzi problem was taken care of, she makes her way back and reverses her position. Again, this story moves at a face pace as well. Kindzi can’t stay away for long. And with T’evgin betrayed and out of the picture, Kindzi may be a bigger problem than the VC in the last episodes of the season. It’s good to see all the conflicts crashing together to create turmoil in the town. This has always been what this series has excelled at: showing how people with drastically different points-of-view interact with each other, whether they agree or not.

And the best part of this episode is that they do not shy away from the consequences of Nolan’s act. In a flash, everything has changed for Nolan and Irisa, and it’s a permanent one. I always thought it was a bit strange that Datak and Stahma can seem to get away from any consequences for murdering people, and that hurts the realism of the storyline. As much as I don’t want to see Nolan and Irisa have to leave the town (because, hey, they’re the main characters and the show is called Defiance for a reason), I’m still interested to see what will happen to them. Will they stay away for long or return to rescue the town once again? This show has been on a roll lately and I can’t wait to see what things will change during the rest of the season.

Beyond the Stasis Nets

  • In other fast-paced storylines: Datak got back home way quicker than I expected!
  • Why is Australia conveniently uninhabited?? And is it just me or does T’evgin’s plan to wake up all his family seem like a bad idea? Perhaps he should think that through a bit more
  • Unanswered question: why didn’t T’evgin remove the control-thingy in Yewll’s head last week? Probably would have saved some problems this week. Just sayin’
  • Speaking of Doc Yewll, can we talk about the fact that her fancy attire for the party is just a frilly ascot? LOL
  • “I’m searching for her,” T’evgin says. But how effective is that really when you’re just standing by the window??

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


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