‘Defiance’ 2.03 Episode Recap and Review: The Cord and the Ax


Word is getting out around town about how Alak “handled” Skeever’s attacks on Stahma. The denizens of Defiance’s underbelly are looking at him with new respect, but the more upstanding(-ish) citizens, like the McCawleys, aren’t so amused. Especially now that Christie has a bun in the oven. Rafe lets Alak know that he’ll do whatever he has to in order to keep his daughter and grandchild out of the Tarr family’s “gangster crap.”

Right around the time that Christie is sharing the joyful news, the McCawleys’ housekeeper, Birdie, is attacked (and supposedly killed) in an alley by an Irzu-possessed Irisa. Rafe calls Nolan to get him on Birdie’s disappearance. Nolan sends Irisa off with Berlin to check security footage from the marketplace, but Irzu magically destroys the equipment just before Irisa can be implicated. Nolan knows something’s up, though. He and Tommy search Irisa’s place and find her bloody gloves.

Meanwhile, Irisa has gone out of the city’s walls in order to find Sukar and discover what he knows about what’s going on with Irzu. Irzu doesn’t seem too cool with that, as Sukar becomes another one of her victims. This time, we get to see what’s really going on. A massive, translucent tentacle comes out of Irisa’s mouth and flows into Sukar’s. None of that looks like a good thing.

Sukar is one victim too many for Irisa. She grabs Sukar’s rifle and shoots herself through the head. Irzu is having none of that. She keeps Irisa from dying and heals her, albeit slowly and painfully. Once she’s back in one piece, Irisa is found by a remarkably not-dead Birdie. The two start walking back to Defiance and are picked up by Rafe and Nolan. Nolan’s convinced that something is up, but Birdie and Irisa both deny it. A brief montage shows us that both Sukar and the red-headed Castithan from L.A. are alive and brain-sucking for Irzu now, just like Irisa.

While all of this is going on, drama is building over in the Tarr household, as well. Alak goes to Datak to tell him of Christie’s pregnancy and that he wants out of the crime business side of the family. Datak manages to put the pieces together and figure out that Stahma’s been running things and using Alak as a puppet. He is NOT amused. Alak tells his father to rot in prison.

When he gets home, Alak is met by Stahma, who already knows that he’s been to see Datak. She gives Alak Datak’s only possession from the homeworld – a knife used to protect what’s his. She admits that they can never allow Datak to return home.

A good plan, in theory, but it looks like no one consulted Pottinger or Doc Yewll about that. Pottinger visits the prison again with Yewll’s secret project notes in tow. He gives her finger back and offers her to release her in exchange for her continued (and accelerated) work on the project. She agrees, as long as she can have Datak out to be her bodyguard.

Datak comes home during the family bath. Stahma and Alak are alarmed, and understandably so. Datak almost immediately attacks Stahma as Alak frantically (and ineffectually) tries to fight back. There’s some pretty heavy symbolism going on as the dirt from Datak’s stay in prison turns the family bath into a murky mess during the fight. I can’t wait to see how this plays out next episode!

So Defiance wasn’t my favorite show last season. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I was going to be frantically checking the DVR for. That might be changing this season. It looks like the storytelling has really kicked it up a notch or three, now that we have a firm grasp on who all the key players are.

The Tarr family power struggle remains my favorite plotline, but Irisa’s deal with Irzu is swiftly rising in the ranks. Do you think it’s actually the Irathi goddess who’s possessed her, or something else entirely?


Things to Ponder

  • I’m not buying the fact that Stahma and Alak could only just now smell that Christie was pregnant. Don’t they all spend an awful lot of time together? If something like that was detectable by scent, I’d think they would have caught it before a pregnancy test could register it.
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