Dark Matter: Season 3 Episode 8 review – Hot Chocolate
This review contains spoilers.
Jumping ahead into a set-up that saw our crew sharing quarters with an independence-seeking group, this week took the murder mystery angle initially, then developed into something much stronger.
Someone on board dies and both the crew and the viewers are left to figure out who the killer is. It’s a small whodunnit in space (the comic book Southern Cross already did this), but not one that’s leaned on as the core plot device, luckily.
One prime suspect was The Android, who had been acting oddly since last week’s closing scene. This was because she had been taken over by one of Ryo’s bounty hunters (who is surprisingly a man, not a woman). Not by Sarah, as many fans assumed (I never thought it was Sarah but I can see why some fans did – Mallozzi baited this by having The Android point the gun at Three).
The big surprise (because at this point we didn’t know who was in control of her) was The Android then bringing Ryo aboard. Which changed the entire state of play, giving Ryo the upper hand and giving us the foundation for some rare interactions.
Five – with her usual adept intelligence – had the sense to act ahead of Ryo’s ploy. Which led to a superb multi-tiered fight between Two and Ryo – a complexly choreographed ballet, the likes of which you’d only expect in the endgame of a season.
Head games then ensued, as Ryo offered deals and attempted to convince the independent group that he’s the one doing the right thing, not The Raza crew.
One powerful dialogue-free moment was simply Ryo walking back into The Raza’s training room, looking at the weaponry. His expression is nostalgic and soft, and he takes deep calm breaths, like he’s mourning the loss of what he once had.
It’s yet another signifier that our Four is still in there somewhere, which gives me hope that the season won’t end with his coldness reigning supreme. Despite the threats that came from both sides near the episode’s close.
I think Ryo will die but I think he will repent first and I think our crew will mourn his death. Think Darth Vader’s final moments in Return of the Jedi.
With Sarah’s aid, Five then managed to save the day with those crucial two words: hot chocolate. Which up until that point seemed like a mighty strange choice for an episode title.
We then got a calm parting conversation between Ryo and our crew. Although full of threats, it was an amicable exchange, which I love to see in any fictional feud. Nothing beats two mortal enemies sitting down with each other for a conversation, abiding by the violence-free etiquette of that situation.
This episode started off looking like it was going to be a weak entry, then quickly evolved into something magnificent and refined. Right down to having one of the last scenes be Five doing The Android’s hair, which was heart-warming callback.
The murder mystery was then circled back around to when The Android revealed that she didn’t murder the man. This opens up the lingering threat once more. Is someone else on board, was this a member of the man’s own group, or worse: has someone else we love been taken over?
It then ended on a ship-wide blackout, due to the pulse that Five’s actions released, which is almost tradition now; a simple tease for next week.
Image credits: SyFy