Dark Matter: Season 3 Episode 9 review – Isn’t that a Paradox?
This review contains spoilers.
Time travel is a one of Science Fiction’s most enjoyable tropes, when it’s handled correctly. In the hands of Joseph Mallozzi, it goes without saying that it was handled perfectly (right down to playfully higlighting the paradox issue in the title, the existence of which is a common complaint in time travel fiction).
While the show has explored the distant future before, this time The Raza crew are accidentally hurled 600 years into the past – finding themselves stranded in our own time period, as they search for the owner of the only other blink drive.
It’s an episode that provides the same “out of place” charm that Star Trek: The Voyage Home and Eureka‘s fourth season accomplished; that careful trick of placing your futuristic heroes into a modern era setting and not having it come across as hammy.
Where the “well this is weird” observations by our team could have faile miserably, almost all of them worked. Particularly Five and Two growing to love computer games. The Android strangely bopping to extremely loud modern music didn’t work quite as well for me, but then her human upgrade is damaged/out of use.
One very clever play by Mallozzi was introducing the point of view of three local children, giving things a slight Stranger Things/Stephen Spielberg/Stephen King feel. The children discover The Raza craft, then smartly decide not to tell anyone.
When a parent gets hold of the image, an E.T.-like plot ensues, as the kids form some affection for our “aliens” (our crew), even to the point falling in love with Five (or at least thinking he has). We even had the federal government closing in and a scene with them watching the craft fly off into space.
The false identities that The Android concocted were brilliant and getting to see our crew mingle in such quaint situations as a neighbourhood party gave me a similar thrill to seeing Rick’s group arrive at a similar party in Alexandria in The Walking Dead (comics first, then the show). Our team aren’t made for such situations, which allows for a wonderfully awkward juxtaposition.
As our cast walked around what I presume was Vancouver – given that’s were the show usually shoots – in modern/simplistic attire, I couldn’t help but think of Eureka (another SyFy property that was also partially shot in Vancouver) and the charm of that small town setting.
The closing teases this week included Nieman approaching Ryo for a potential allegiance. This means that Nieman might now be in league with both the Dark Raza crew and also Ryo and his forces too. That’s quite a rogues gallery for our Raza crew to go up against, even if they do get other major powers like Truffault on their side. The other tease was Victor contacting The Android, which play right into what next week’s episode is about.
This will be The Android backstory episode that Mallozzi promised us. He stated that this will reveal a connection between The Android and Two, which will be surprising for fans. Check back next week for our review of that episode.
Image credits: SyFy