With ‘Warehouse 13’ gone, and ‘Lost Girl’ on its way out, the SyFy Channel needs to rely on a new generation of original programming to keep an audience.
‘Defiance’, its space western on a decimated Earth, continues on for a second season.
See the first season review to get oriented into this world.
This season absolutely builds upon what came before it. The focus is, logically enough, developing the characters. Sometimes, this comes at the expense of moving the plot forward in a timely manner. The town has been taken over by an oppressive outside military force, the Earth Republic. While this has shaken things up, it could have been explored and dissected a little more as much of the story still sticks to the groups of beings we are already familiar with.
The most explored plotline involves Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) who is clearly possessed by some insidious entity that is rapidly spreading. Her being indisposed dictates much of Nolan’s (Grant Bowler) motivations for the season as he goes rogue and can’t be relied upon as the town’s lawman. Their bond is the cornerstone of the series. Some of bemoaned the amount of time this season focuses on this dilemma, but it is a high stakes situation and was very watchable to this Examiner.
Perhaps the most interesting plot development explores the volatile Tarr family. Given their notoriety, one could expect some instability and drama, but my goodness! There is deception, shameless power plays and certainly murder. Their complicated relationships with each other are some of the most interesting aspects of the show. Late in the season, there is a fantastic mini-mystery where Alak (the Jr. Tarr) and his wife Christie encounter some unforseen complications. It is an example of how some of the more intimate details and moments in a season can have the biggest impact.
Less successful is the direction we go with Amanda Rosewater as she is removed from her position as mayor and takes over the brothel for her sister. While the missing sister subplot is a compelling one, it doesn’t last very long and it leaves the character with little to do except to clash/have complicated feelings for her appointed successor. That said, her character undergoes the most drastic change/journey of anyone in the show and a tip of the cap to that.
While some shows seem to have an ability to sustain momentum throughout seasons and leave you wanting more, ‘Defiance’ has been inconsistent with some episodes being gripping and others dragging. While only twelve episodes, it feels like it is a little longer than that.
This doesn’t seem like it has enough gas to be one of those shows that lasts five or six seasons. At its current trajectory, unless there is a drastic new direction that the show’s creators decide to take, one or maybe two more seasons should be sufficient to tell the rest of this story. This could allow it sufficient time to create satisfying closure before it wears out its welcome.
Special features include: an alternate ending for the first season, deleted scenes, a gag reel and some minisodes.
As before, ‘Defiance: Season 2’ isn’t perfect and still doesn’t live up to the expansiveness we have come to expect from its creators, but it is a solid show.
If you saw and enjoyed the first season, it is absolutely worth continuing as it answers some questions from that but also stirs up some more.
Not Rated 555 minutes 2014