Defiance S2 Ep01 – The Opposite of Hallelujah

Defiance S2 Ep01 - The Opposite of Hallelujah (3)

It’s time to take the trip back to Defiance. The Syfy series has returned, giving us a season premiere that takes place 9 months after the events of last season’s conclusion. “The Opposite of Hallelujah” aims to reacquaint viewers with the main characters, as the majority of them are in vastly different places than they were before. Additionally, we are introduced to some new faces and ideas. Do these new directions do a good job at hooking us back into a series we haven’t watched in nearly a year? Let’s find out.

Defiance S2 Ep01 - The Opposite of Hallelujah (1)

Firstly, the city of Defiance is now under the rule of the Earth Republic. This is supposed to be a bad thing, but it doesn’t really feel that way. Other than some deathly hard times in the mines Defiance feels very much how it felt in season one. However, there is a new mayor in Defiance by the name of Niles Pottinger (James Murray). From his mannerisms and dialogue it seems the show is playing him up to be this season’s villain and he does try and have two rebels killed, which further enforces this. He also spies on former mayor Amanda Rosewater’s bedroom. Creepy.

Rosewater now runs the local NeedWant formerly ran by her now deceased sister. Of course, Rosewater still holds out hope that her sister is still alive. Defiance throws in a new attribute to the character as we see Rosewater using drugs. Whether or not the show is going to make substance abuse an issue or if we just saw Rosewater having a good time for once is uncertain. It can go either way in Rockne S. O’Bannon series.

Meanwhile, Datak Tarr isn’t having the best of times while serving out his sentence in Camp Reverie for the murder of Earth Republic Colonel Marsh. Camp Reverie definitely isn’t a place that treats its prisoners well. Datak, along with several prisoners, lives in inhabitable conditions and practically has to fight for a scarce amount of food supplied by the guards. In season one, Datak is definitely one of those characters you love to hate. I really appreciate the reversal here from season one, seeing Datak being treated so poorly. It seems he isn’t going to be in Camp Reverie much longer as he begins to devise a plan to escape with the help of Yewll, the former doctor of Defiance. They later share a strange, awkward, and somewhat humorous moment together later that I didn’t fully appreciate.

Datak’s wife and son seem to be doing fine back in Defiance. Alak has assumed control of his father’s enterprise while Stahma tries her best to control things from a distance. Still living in the same luxurious house and taking baths by herself (which is weird according to Alak), Stahma lets her son know who the real boss is. She points out how he lacks the backbone his father has. I always like seeing the Tarr’s moments together, mainly because their culture differs so much from that of the humans in this world O’Bannon has created.

Defiance S2 Ep01 - The Opposite of Hallelujah (2)

What I really liked about “The Opposite of Hallelujah” is that we do get to see more of this world. Former Defiance lawkeeper Joshua Nolan travels far and wide in a search for his missing daughter Irisa. The episode begins with Nolan performing interrogations in New Chicago and eventually making his way to Hollywood, California. So much of season one took place in the city of Defiance itself. It’s nice to see the show branch out a little.

The scenes with Nolan were all very enjoyable. He’s determined to find Irisa by any means necessary, and when he finally reunites with her it’s definitely a moment to be adored. The father/daughter aspect to their relationship is always nice to see, and I’m glad the show didn’t waste too much time before we got to see them back together. I really enjoyed seeing the two of them sing together while driving back to Defiance. It was a nice callback to when we first met them in the pilot episode. Still, Nolan and Irisa’s reunion is not without its hardships, as Irisa is now seeing visions that are driving her to kill. One of the very last shots we see of this episode is of Irisa slitting Nolan’s throat. Fortunately, the events only occurred in her head and Nolan was fine, but the occurrence solidifies the idea that not all is well, or will be well.

Overall, “The Opposite of Hallelujah” was a solid season finale that did a decent job of reintroducing us to the world of Defiance. That being said I was expecting a little more. I wanted the episode to really hook me back in, and other than the fake out at the end nothing else did. I’m definitely still interested, of course, but mainly due to my already established investment in these characters. In next week’s episode, it looks like Nolan and Irisa will make their way back to Defiance. Will Nolan return to his role as Defiance’s lawkeeper? We’ll find out then. Check out the preview for next week’s episode “In My Secret Life” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Opposite of Hallelujah” in the comments.

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