Defiance: This Woman's Work
July 27, 2014 4:15 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Stahma's rise to power runs headlong into the dogmatic views of Castithan patriarchy and the question arises, is it time for a Castithan feminist movement. Good Tommy surprisingly returns after an angry confrontation between him and Nolan over loyalty, and he finally discovers Irisa's secret. Meanwhile, the Earth Republic mayor is sent on a mission to recover an important piece of alien technology that has crashed near Defiance and forced to take Nolan along for his expertise. Lastly, Rafe suggests inviting Datak over for dessert.

There's also a Castithan cosplay segment for two reoccurring cast members and Berlin takes her clothes off twice, but only wants to film it once.
posted by Atreides (7 comments total)
I love how Stahma is able to complete these manipulative and murderous actions without seeming very evil. Datak seems evil and he's not half as conniving as his wife.

The cosplay thing I didn't understand. Everyone there knows they're all in costume, right? Or is it also a club for real Castithans. This bit I found pretty distasteful for what it says about the thinking of the writers. I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist.

Nolan wasn't loyal to Tommy (taking his job). Why should Tommy owe him any loyalty? Tommy should have said fuck Nolan and Erisa and their shitty treatment of him and gone to the border with Berlin. But he stays. Gah. I would hope he doesn't end up sleeping with Erisa again but despite his words, I'm sure it'll happen--until Erisa dumps him for someone else or, you know, he sacrifices himself for her or Nolan.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:46 PM on July 27, 2014

Man, what.

Nolan I am so disappointed in you. And this is as someone who's accepted more than one inappropriate drunken revenge fuck invitation in her life with a relatively clear conscience. The damage this is going to do to his relationship with Tommy is probably irreparable, and Irissa is going to be pissed.

My viewing partner and I figured out the "out of your own skin" thing at the same moment, and he said "WHoa, Votan drag!" and I said "Holy shit, Votan blackface!" at the same time. Looking at the secret club's attendees, it was clear that it was drag for some (I mean really the scene with Atherton was right out of any number of queer coming-of-age films) and something closer to, but not quite, blackface for others. I am horrified and intrigued and very curious where this is going to go. Probably somewhere very bloody.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:07 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

(Also, I searched for "This Woman's Work" to play it for my partner who wasn't familiar with the song, and the version Google brought up as default was the Maxwell cover. WTF, Google. This is not okay,)
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:08 PM on July 27, 2014

Another great episode. I love the new alien race they introduced, even if it was all cgi. I really hope Churchill comes back with his memory erased.

That cosplay club was so great and yet so, so wrong. No wait, it's so, so, so, so so, very wrong. Oh and also great.

And Nolan, you dog. You should know this isn't going to end well.
posted by Catblack at 2:14 AM on July 28, 2014

Nolan is either a complex character or a rather sloppily written one. I want to believe its the former, as he often can show a high degree of care and consideration for other members of the Defiance community (see how he tried to help Rafe get his son out of trouble a couple episodes back), but he definitely also has a very thin line he crosses often to do things with little to no compunction. His sleeping with Berlin hit two chords. One, he was aware she was in a relationship with him, and if she's flinging herself at him, it must be with an intention of doing so to hurt Tommy. So he's complicit to hurting Tommy, emotionally, at least the least. But then, he's also in a quasi-relationship with Amanda, and he's immature enough, that when she goes to console the mayor who at least appears to be upset over the loss of Churchill that he immediately accepts an offer to have sex with someone else. The question is whether this will result in hurting Amanda, as well? (And drive her toward the Mayor)

Irisa, meanwhile, has gone total delusional in thinking that attacking people, vomiting organic/metal vines into their mouths, which temporarily kills them, is an OKAY THING. Right, so that's an exaggeration, but she has definitely accepted as unalterable this current setup with herself and crazy mind person. I think the show is driving a good mystery on what exactly this will all end up being, as I definitely feel it's a puppet show setup. Everyone she is attacking will end up being under the control or just a puppet for this alien intelligence, but what is its motives?

Good Tommy has returned. I like Good Tommy, and he's definitely been crapped on by Nolan enough. Given his refusal to work under Nolan as a deputy, and the lack of an identity outside of being a deputy (besides his romantic interests, we really have no real characterization of Tommy outside of how he became interested and became a lawkeeper), I'm placing Tommy on the He's Going to Die List for Season 2. They've set up Tommy as being on one rail going forward and unless they can re-invent his place in the show and Defiance, he's either going to go back to being a deputy or he's dead. That's my thought, anyways. He may be our next Kenya.

Poor Churchill. I really want him to make a return, even though it seemed apparent his brains received quite the electroshock therapy from our new alien opponent. I definitely appreciated the Mayor calling out Nolan and asking, "Would you have sent Irisa out in the same situation?" The one problem is that I can't fully trust the Mayor (ex-mayor?), and when the writers might try and create sympathy for him, I never understand how much is genuine to the character and how much the character is just making an act for others.

The shake up. I am definitely not complaining if Atherton steps in as the new mayor. He's one of those actors that I've always appreciated, at least playing someone you really don't like, ever since he gave the Ghostbusters trouble in the '80s. It was my understanding that the club he went to was at least a place where it was known people dressed up as other races (and possibly genders?), based on the conversation he had with Amanda and her directing him to it. What's really awkward is Rafe's daughter popping up there. Again, we have another incident of a romantic partner acting out to presumably hurt the other or at least, secretly strike back. There was definitely a bit of upside down humor with two humans dressing up like Castithans and speaking the language bookending an episode which a central part of the drama was the erosion of Castithan tradition and language by its exposure to humans, "We' re speaking English, aren't we?"

That takes us to Stahma. DANG, she's definitely the Swearingen of Defiance. She's the "bad guy" you can't help but enjoy/like. She adopts, momentarily, the banner of Castithan Feminism, but the second she discovers that none of the other Castithan women will follow her lead, she pulls out a second solution. POISON THEM AND FRAME THE ULTRA CONSERVATIVE WHO'S CAUSING HER PROBLEMS. I didn't see it coming and I loved the twist. I think Datak was a little naive when he told her she could have framed him, as she definitely had more to gain from the priest's death (extreme public shaming) over his. Incidentally, not only has she removed a threat to her power, but she also has helped cast a more derogatory light on the conservatives within Castithan society by introducing an appearance of unbridled zealotry. "They're so hard core about preserving their society, they're going to start killing people!"

This is another storyline has has me highly interested in what's down the road. Datak definitely wants it to end with his return, and I don't yet trust him to want to do anything but kill Stahma now. I presume that the end of the season will end with the Earth Republic losing control of Defiance, so we can have a turn with the Voltan Collective in charge, and will this mean that Stahma will ultimately be dethroned by a new government over Defiance, one too powerful for her to deal with on her own?

Season two has definitely been more enjoyable than the first, me thinks.
posted by Atreides at 7:34 AM on July 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I agree, atreides. Stahma is going to ride the BadMotherFucker train all over Defiance, destroying enemies...

Prediction: Stahma will at some point stop the Mayor from doing something terrible to Amanda, Doctor Yewll will join the other Voltan feminists and strong women (like Berlin) in helping overthrow the E-reps controlling the city, and just before the Dawn of a Brand New Day... Irisa will discover and/or reanimate Kenya, and boom! No more Stahma-nation.

Probably much weirder and unpredictable shit is coming (I hope!), but those "musical wrap-it-up montages" at the end of every ep make me cringe. Two or three have been great, the rest give me Angry Tommy Face.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:12 PM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

No kidding Unicorn on the cob about the musical wrap-it-up montages. Such lazy TV and so unnecessary when they got all that other good stuff going on.
posted by purple_bird at 10:10 AM on March 16, 2016

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