Defiance, S2 Ep06 – This Woman’s Work

In the last couple of episodes of Defiance, Irisa’s subplot has been placed on the back burner in order for the show to focus more on matters concerning the Tarr family and the overall results of the E-rep occupation. “This Woman’s Work” sheds some much needed light on Irisa’s current ordeal, but overall it focuses on two other subplots. One revolving around Stahma Tarr’s threatened position of power, and the other revolving around an alien spaceship crash landing near Defiance.

Mayor Pottinger & Viceroy Mercado

Pottinger taking orders from Viceroy Mercado

The ship that crash lands is a Gulanee transport. Pottinger is ordered by Viceroy Mercado to take a team down to the crash site and retrieve some form of clean energy. Pottinger goes along with his Bio-Man and Lawkeeper Nolan to retrieve the energy source, but what they find is an open cell that once held a Gulanee soldier. This Gulanee, not knowing the war is over, having been locked away in the ship for over a decade, begins to attack and kill Pottinger’s E-Rep soldiers.

This subplot brought some new elements to Defiance. Not only did it show us an impressively CG-animated Gulanee soldier, but it also showed us yet another side of Mayor Pottinger. Pottinger has had a Bio-Man bodyguard named Churchill since we first met him, but it wasn’t until this week’s episode that we find out that he views Churchill not only as a bodyguard, but as a friend. He even compares his relationship with Churchill to that of Nolan and Irisa. By the conclusion of their story, Nolan creates a weapon to subdue the Gulanee, but before he can get it activated, Pottinger sends out his bodyguard to fight the Gulanee to buy them time. Sadly, Churchill dies while fighting the Gulanee. His death buys Pottinger and Nolan enough time to activate the weapon and subdue the Gulanee, so Pottinger can take out his frustrations and revenge by knocking the Gulanee’s head off.

What I really liked about this conclusion was a brief exchange between Pottinger and Nolan. Nolan mentions that if Pottinger didn’t send Churchill out to fight the Gulanee, than all three of them might have died. Pottinger fires back, asking Nolan if he would have sent Irisa out in the same case. Nolan had no response. Something I thought about after this exchange is the fact that Irisa might have actually been able to hold her ground against the Gulanee, considering she now has the ability to heal from almost anything. Of course Nolan doesn’t know that. The exchange between Pottinger and Nolan solidified how much Churchill meant to Pottinger, which also makes me a little more sympathetic to him, which is a weird feeling to have towards a character who we know has been up to no good. By the end of the episode, Pottinger’s mayorship is revoked, as he failed to retrieve the Gulanee for Viceroy Mercado.

While the ordeal involving Pottinger and Nolan was entertaining, the other subplot revolving around Stahma Tarr was much more compelling. Stahma struggles with her newly found power as her misogynistic Castithan culture doesn’t allow a woman to wield the power she wields. Inspired by Amanda, she gets together with three other Castithan women in order to rise up and make changes in their culture. When it backfires and the women decide to not go along with Stahma’s ways she murders them, thus framing the only Castithan man standing in her way.

Defiance - Season 2

Tommy still has issues with Nolan

Stahma, despite the evil acts she’s done, has grown to be one of my favorite characters. I want to see her get all the power she wants, and the fact that her rise to power threatens the principles of her misogynistic culture makes watching even more enjoyable. Still, the fact that she murdered three innocent Castithan women for her own benefit is not a commendable act at all, but it adds a lot to the complexity of her character.

Throughout “This Women’s Work” we were also treated to a small storyline concerning Irisa. Tommy catches her in the act as she is spreading the alien artifact within her to yet another host. The man she spread it to appears dead, but Tommy trusts Irisa that he will wake up. He does. Tommy, after quitting his job working under Nolan and deciding to leave Defiance with Berlin, has a sudden change of heart. He decides to stay in Defiance because he feels Irisa needs him. The ramifications of Tommy angering Berlin with his new decision leads to something just plain awkward.

Later in the episode, Berlin meets with Nolan at the NeedWant. After Nolan gets a little annoyed with an inattentive Amanda, who was only trying to console a heartbroken Pottinger, Nolan decides to have a few drinks with Berlin, which eventually leads to sex. He cheats on Amanda. This whole situation was just odd to me. For one, Nolan usually seems to have a resentment towards Berlin and vice versa. So, the two of them automatically deciding to both cheat on their respective lovers was definitely surprising. That being said, I still appreciated what happened. Defiance, especially this season, has characters that you can love one second and hate another. I love that Defiance shows us the many flaws in a lot of these characters, thus making them more interesting. Now, Nolan has some explaining to do.

The last scene of the episode was also very surprising. Both Viceroy Mercado and Christie McCawley decide to pose as Castithans to enter a Castithans-only club in Defiance. Christie’s motive for doing it seem to be that she wants to become more acquainted with the culture of her husband and new family, while Mercado’s motives weren’t specified. I guess he just wanted to dress up and have some fun. By the end of the scene Mercado approaches and flirts with Christie, thinking she is a Castithan woman, and Christie seems to be flattered. Though this plot point literally came out of nowhere, I’m definitely interested in seeing where it goes.

Overall, “This Woman’s Work” was another solid episode of Defiance. This second season continues to surprise me. While the first season felt more like a fun and sometimes goofy science fiction series, this second season has really explored the characters, new and old, in ways I wouldn’t have thought. Hopefully Defiance keeps this momentum going.

Next week’s episode of Defiance is titled “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes”. Check out Syfy’s official preview below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “This Woman’s Work” in the comments.

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