Defiance: The Opposite of Hallelujah
June 24, 2014 9:31 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Defiance celebrates Founders' Day. The Tarr family adjusts to their new situation. Amanda adapts as she always has. Nolan does what Nolan does best. Doc Yewell makes her scope of practice very clear. Bear McCreary rocks.

(A few days after the air date because I assumed a thread would already be up and running by the time I got around to watching the episode, but no! So tell me I'm not the only one watching.)
posted by rhiannonstone (9 comments total)
I haven't seen this episode, but Earth after a galactic war tears it up and strands many different alien races is worth it folks. This show is earnest and ambitious about what it's trying to do and the story it's telling. I'm glad it's getting a second season -- and there's some between season webisodes that are pretty good there too.
posted by Catblack at 9:58 PM on June 24, 2014

This episode wasn't exactly what I was expecting from the season 2 premiere, but I liked it. Nice round-up of all our characters' current situations, and plenty of unanswered questions left for the rest of the season to address.

I also watched the webisodes--but after I watched the s2 premiere. I recommend doing it the other way around.

I've joked from the start that even if this show were terrible I'd watch it just for Bear McCreary's music, but thank goodness it's the exact opposite of terrible. (Also my refusal to watch Walking Dead past the first season puts the lie to my I'd watch-it-just-for-him claim, so nm.) And the music really is extraordinarily well-done.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:34 PM on June 24, 2014

I felt like this episode was even darker than usual, and the show is starting to lose me with all the Grim Edgy. I don't care about the characters quite enough to put up with a lot more episodes like this. I wish they'd spend a little more time fleshing them out and a little less on the shock and awe stuff.
posted by chaiminda at 5:05 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

The show isn't great, but it's good enough that the fascinating world they are building makes it worth watching. There's a good mix of somewhat unique aliens, and we're slowly getting glimpses into how their cultures and rituals make them different from humans.

The main characters are fleshed out pretty well. Some of the conflict comes from the different cultures trying to live together, but much of it is political, or humans causing problems like we're prone to doing. It's not too edgy, but it does explore some social issues without throwing them in our face. (Stahma Tarr being influenced by the human women and realizing she can overcome her species' traditional female role. )

I hope the story with Irisa doesn't go on past this season. It feels like the kind of story line that TPTB would ruin by dragging out over 5-6 seasons. Let's have fun with it this season and move on. Meanwhile, I love the decision to make the central relationship of the show a father-daughter one and not romantic.

I didn't want the show to get into grand politics, and definitely not so soon in its run. But we're headed that direction with the Earth Republic. It's so much easier to screw up the story or the atmosphere when you're operating on a global scale.
posted by 2ht at 6:33 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Watched the premier last night and concluded it with a satisfied feeling. The one thing I was definitely kind of disappointed on was the addiction angle for the former mayor. Seriously? That's going to last all of one episode or two, in which we will have to deal with a B or C storyline of her breaking the addition. It just feels out of character. I like how Stahma is taking charge of her own identity, not as the demurred supportive wife that she had to restrain herself to play previously. It's really going to be interesting once Datak returns.

"Stop taking baths alone. It's weird."

Otherwise, I'm happy with where they placed the characters for the most part. Poor McCawley, man has been on a downhill trajectory since the first episode (but I do enjoy me some Graham Greene). I also enjoyed the location changes to offer a larger glimpse of the terraformed world. And the exchange between Stahma and the mayor about Kenya bordered on comedy sketch. "She'll be back!" "I don't think so..."(I MURDERED HER.) "She will, I know it!" "No, seriously, she's NOT COMING BACK." (I KILLED HER IN COLD BLOOD, FOOL)
posted by Atreides at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed watching S1, but it started to lose me at the end. If it's only getting more grim and political, I may not make it through S2. I've actually been putting off watching this episode in favor doing other things.
posted by moira at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I absolutely agree that this particular Irisa storyline shouldn't last more than another couple-few episodes. Hopefully it'll resolve, she'll level up, and we can move the hell on.

I also really hope the same thing happens with the Earth Republic business. The literal, over-the-top, heavy political conflicts in sci-fi often annoy me, but the shows that have used it as something to overcome and come out the other side--or kept the global political conflict as a backdrop for more local, character-driven stories--have mostly done it really well. I want to see Defiance on the other side of this: free of E-Rep, rebuilding itself, each character dealing with the consequences of the decisions they made during the dark times but also continuing to move forward.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:03 AM on June 25, 2014

Yeah, I thought the earth republic stuff was a little too much, but maybe it will even out in the next couple of episodes.

I didn't mind the dark grim edgy character stuff as much because for the most part, it fleshed some of the previously two dimensional characters out a wee bit. And Graham Greene can do no wrong, so more of him being put upon and working the mine please.

One thing that puzzled me was Stahma's confession that she had airlocked her previous fiancé. I had recalled the story as Datak being responsible for that so it did seem like a confession to me. Am I misremembering from last season? If it was new, I think it elevates Stahma from her previous Lady MacBeth posing.
posted by Cyrie at 6:40 PM on June 25, 2014

She shared it with someone last season, but I can't recall who.
posted by Atreides at 7:06 PM on June 25, 2014

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