Defiance, S2 Ep05 – Put the Damage On

While Amanda has played a pivotal role in the first four episodes of Defiance‘s current season, most of the show’s attention has been focused on Irisa’s plight and the E-Rep occupation. “Put the Damage On” shifts focus as we are now given a very Amanda-centric episode. Of course Tarr family drama is still prominent, and even Doc Yewll has an intriguing character arc leading to some much needed character development.

Defiance, S2 Ep05 - Put The Damage On (5)

Amanda prior to her home invasion

In last week’s episode, Amanda opened up to Mayor Pottinger about being a rape victim. “Put the Damage On” begins with Amanda experiencing a home invasion and her believing the attacker to be the man who raped her all those years ago. After reviewing the crime scene, Nolan finds no evidence of the attacker, but does find the drugs Amanda’s been abusing. So, following a hallucination involving Nolan, we’re led to believe that Amanda is having negative side effects from the drugs. One thing I found interesting about this episode was that everytime we saw Amanda hallucinate, very quick flashes of her past were inter cut into the scene. It was a method Defiance has never used and it worked very well with the story they were telling.

Meanwhile, Doc Yewll gets a visit from her ex-girlfriend Lev, who is apparently dying. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing someone from Yewll’s past show up in Defiance, especially a former lover. Yewll’s past and characterization is usually glossed over, as we’re often led to believe she’s just a bad person with her own selfish motives. Additionally, Mayor Pottinger also gets paid a visit from Connor, Amanda’s dead ex. By this point in the show we know Pottinger is having the same side effects as Amanda, but why? It isn’t until we find out that Yewll’s ex is also a hallucination, since Lev had killed herself many years ago, that we begin to believe that these problems may not be the cause of drug abuse, but by something more sinister.

By the end of the episode we find out that, with the help of Yewll, Pottinger implanted a military device called an “ego” into the back of Amanda’s neck in order to collect her memories. The ego broke and became defective, causing Amanda to appear as if she overdosed later on in the episode. When it broke it infected both Pottinger and Yewll, causing them to see hallucinations also. Overall, the situation with the ego and its side effects was just plain weird, but it helped flesh out these three characters more. Yewll and Pottinger’s dark pasts came to light. This was definitely needed and gives me mixed feelings about them. While Yewll did unspeakable things in her past, which led to children being killed and her ex committing suicide, she feels appropriately guilty. She considers her duty to serve Defiance as their doctor her penance. Yewll has a very human moment towards the end, which is odd to say with a show filled with several different species, but unlike Pottinger, she leaves her ego implants in, allowing her hallucination of her ex to remain with her. She doesn’t want to be without her once again just yet. It would be nice to see Yewll interact with Lev for a few more episodes.

The other main story arc in “Put the Damage On” dealt with the Tarr family and Rafe McCauley. Datak, after reciting a certain scripture to Stahma, is allowed visitation rights to see his family. Their customs confuse Alak’s wife Christie, but she has no choice but to go along with it. Understandably she lets Datak know that even though Stahma may have forgiven him, Christie will never allow him to see his unborn grandchild. Meanwhile, having been kicked out of his home, Rafe is now staying with the Tarrs. This leads to an awkward yet amusing moment with Stahma in the family tub. As the episode progresses we are continually reminded of how much Datak has fallen. He even gets punched in the face at one point. Something I definitely enjoyed seeing. By the end of the episode he’s had enough and decides to recruit Rafe in his mission to bring down the E-Rep occupiers in Defiance. It seems Rafe will accept his proposal.

Defiance - Season 2

Lawkeeper Nolan is on the case

Overall, “Put the Damage On” was another highly enjoyable episode of Defiance. The main story arc was weird and helped develop a few of the characters. I’m really glad the show is giving us some background on Yewll. Like several of the characters on Defiance, I both love and hate her. This episode at least showed us that she might deserve some sympathy. That sympathy is almost undeserving, though; we see she was involved with implanting Amanda for reasons we’re still not sure of. I liked the episode’s twist involving the ego. It would have been too cliché if we found out Amanda and Pottinger were just really high.

Like last week’s episode, “Put the Damage On” barely focused on Irisa. However, she did accidentally get shot by Amanda when Amanda mistook her for her attacker. None of the characters found out about the gunshot wounds because, ofc ourse, Irisa has the ability to heal, an ability Nolan and the other characters are currently unaware of. Her getting shot and healing just helps to remind viewers that Irisa is still relevant and her story will hopefully pick back up soon.

In next week’s episode, a space ship crash lands near Defiance containing something that will definitely mean trouble for the city. Check out the preview for “This Woman’s Work” below, and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Put the Damage On” in the comments.

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