Defiance, S2 Ep08 – Slouching Towards Bethlehem

One of the major pl0t turns in last week’s episode of Defiance was Nolan learning of Irisa’s current predicament. While “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” touched on that aspect of their relationship a bit, the episode quickly changes focus. Nolan is called to deal with a possible terrorist attack on New York City, and Amanda gets a call from her long lost sister, Kenya. But isn’t Kenya dead?

Defiance, S2 Ep08 – Slouching Towards Bethlehem (07)

Nolan & Amanda disagreeing with each other

These two story arcs blend together and affect each other adequately. Nolan is tasked with arresting and interrogating Mahsuvus Gorath, a possible member of the Votanis Collective who may have information of a bomb in New York City, while Amanda finds out her sister is being is being held for ransom. The only way Amanda can get her sister back is if she brings Mahsuvus to Kenya’s captors alive. The only problem is Mahsuvis is fully capable of resisting Nolan’s gruesome interrogation techniques, and the only way for Nolan to retrieve the information he needs is to perform an ego extraction, which will end up killing Mahsuvis in the process.

Amanda is faced with a classic catch-22 scenario here. If she delivers Mahsuvus her sister will be saved, but Nolan will not be able to get the information needed to save New York from total destruction. If she doesn’t deliver Mahsuvus then her sister is as good as dead, but New York will remain unscathed. It’s a tough ordeal and Amanda is left practically helpless, as Nolan will not give up Mahsuvus for one life when tons of others hang in the balance. Even Kenya realizes her life over these other lives is not an option and demands that her captors just kill her. We can’t blame Amanda for thinking the way she does, though. It is her sister. Seeing Amanda take charge, knocking out Nolan, and practically performing a solo heist to retrieve Mahsuvis from E-Rep soldiers was definitely impressive, but it was nearly all for naught due to the plans of someone else in Defiance.

Stahma’s crime organization in Defiance has been working with the Voltanis Collective, and an ego extraction of Mahsuvus would surely bring that incriminating fact to light. So, the plot of “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” doesn’t only lead to some interesting developments involving Amanda, but because of Mahsuvus we are also treated to Stahma flexing her criminal muscles a bit and ordering a hit on Mahsuvus. And who does she order to do it? Datak. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing Stahma’s rise to power, and now she seems so powerful that Datak doesn’t even question her order. There was even a funny moment during their exchange where he felt disrespected when Tommy and Berlin questioned her early in the episode instead of him. That right there shows how much the roles have reversed.

That exchange between Stahma and Datak happened early on in the episode, so to be honest, I had forgot about it by the time Amanda retrieved Mahsuvus from the E-Rep soldiers. She nearly gets him out of Defiance to exchange him for his sister when Nolan finds them and stops them. This brief standstill gives Datak the perfect opportunity to gun down Mahsuvus from a distance, and since I had forgotten of his plans it did take me off guard a bit. Fortunately for Nolan and all the people in New York City, Mahsuvus gave Nolan the location of the bomb before breathing his final breath.

Defiance, S2 Ep08 – Slouching Towards Bethlehem (08)

Stahma being questioned, not Datak

So, by this time New York is saved, but Amanda is out one sister. After so many roadblocks I thought Kenya would be done for, but Nolan had one final trick up his sleeve. He pretends to be Mahsuvus with a bag over his head in order to retrieve Kenya. Kenya’s captor doesn’t fall for it, which leads to a brief shoot out before his escape. At this point all hope seems lost again. There is no Kenya and her captors have fled. Luckily, after all is said and done Kenya walks out calling Amanda’s name, which leads to a pleasant and surprising reunion. It seemed almost to good to be true. All the chips fell into place. The good guys won. The bad guys lost.

Now, I’m just wondering what’s Kenya been up to. Wasn’t she dead? Stahma did kill her? I’m looking forward to seeing how Stahma reacts to this news that’s great for Amanda, but could surely mean trouble for Stahma. Actually, in a recent interview at SDCC 2014, actress Jaime Murray, who plays Stahma, shed some light on what to expect. I’d recommend checking that out.

Of course, this whole episode wasn’t solely focused on the plight concerning Mahsuvus. Irisa had some interesting developments as well. Through her typical weird visions provided by Irzu, Irisa is led to somewhere in the forest outside of Defiance. Here she is joined by everyone else she had, for lack of a better term, infected. What’s to happen with these people? Will Irisa have to somehow lead them to something somehow? I have no idea. While I enjoy Irisa’s story, I feel the writers need to start filling in some gaps already. They seem to really be milking this story, giving us the smallest of puzzle pieces in each episode.

Overall, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” is still a very satisfying episode. Also, there was a great moment between Tommy and Berlin where Tommy asks if she’s dating Nolan. She appropriately responds, “no, we’re just having lots of sex.” You tell him, Berlin!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like next week’s episode titled “Painted From Memory” will shed much light on Irisa’s story, but it appears we’ll at least receive some much-needed explanation as to where Kenya’s been. Check out the preview for next week’s episode below, and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” in the comments.

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