Dark Matter: Season 2 Episode 10 Review – Take the Shot
We’ve stressed all season how the creators are crafting exceptional and superb SF every week and this week’s episode is another that ranks among those for us. This week was a hallucinogenic feast of wonders, which reminded us very much of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris (and Tarkovsky’s film adaptation). Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of this week’s episode.
Amidst a debate about whether to end (or reboot) The Android – all at the insistence of the hologram version of The Android – this week very quickly took that age-old Horror trope of focusing on secluded members of the The Crew being attacked one by one. First up was Four, who saw Misaki-Han appear before him. Mallozzi himself promised us that Ellen (who we are very happy to have back) and Misaki would indeed return this season, and he wasn’t wrong, even if this wasn’t the real Misaki-Han abroad The Raza, but only a hallucination. Misaki implores Four to return home to claim his throne, while testing him in battle while they talk.
We know from previous episodes that Four has been plagued about his divided loyalties and whether or not to return home, so this gave the game away straight away for us that Misaki wasn’t in fact real. We guessed quickly too that the cause of the hallucinations was the colder, hologram version of The Android and not our own Android. However, these transparent revelations did not detract for our enjoyment of the episode.
As soon as Two then told Five that she would go and check the situation out alone, we knew that we were in for a treat and that each successive crew member would be given the hallucination treatment. Naturally, what Two saw was Rook’s men, trying to re-capture her, ready for further torture. You could argue that she really should have seen Rook himself there too and that the show only likely avoided this due to how many episodes they could (or would) get Wil Wheaton in for. It’s not that foul of a move, as the men still mentioned Rook and it might have given the game away for everyone sooner if we had seen Rook himself standing there.
Then came our favourite of the hallucinations and the one that made us realise that Solaris was probably a big inspiration for this episode. This was Three seeing his late love Sarah (Natalie Brown) and being so wrapped up in her words that he very nearly executed himself. Solaris is about a sentient ocean that makes the protagonist’s dead wife appear within his ship. It’s a beautiful narrative, amazingly depicted by Tarkovsky. There are many influences for the show and for this season, and we love that Solaris now probably stands among them. Of all the hallucinations this is the one that we wanted to see more of.
The Android herself played the victim in this episode and very graciously too; stating that if they decide to have her aboard no longer then she will understand. She implored only to be allowed to go free. This spurred the response that she will be caught if allowed to go free, which left us a little baffled, because the crew know about the human upgrade that The Android previously used and presumably still has tucked away somewhere. All it would take is for her to implement this upgrade again and she would easily pass as human.
One of the best lines in the episode was said within the false reality that The Android enjoys while recharging. This was: “Are you absolutely certain that they’re your friends?” As we’ve said before, the heart of this show is the family and friendship that has formed among this ragtag crew. Often the show places this into question, but always our crew pull through and stand by one another.
Next week is a back-to-back double episode (episodes 11 and 12), which leads us to assume that there is an arc that runs through both episodes (probably the big, promised war). In the promo (spoilers ahead) we see Kris Holden-Reid return as Galacatic Authority Inspector Kierken as well as a host of other action. Except one big review from us next week that will cover both episodes.
Image credits: SyFy