Defiance Review by John Keegan

Defiance 2.02: In My Secret Life

Defiance 2.02: In My Secret Life

Written By:
Michael Taylor
Directed By:
Michael Nankin

If the season premiere was about updating the audience on the current state of play in the world of Defiance, then this episode was designed to bring the characters back into the same playground and establish the new rules.  Turns out those new rules are much the same as the old rules, with the not-so-minor exception of the E-Rep mess.  We get a better look at Mayor Pottinger and his support staff, and it’s not pretty.


The episode also takes “Berlin”, aka Captain Jessica Rainier, out of the background and into the forefront.  Her introduction is a bit of a work in progress, as Anna Hopkins is clearly still trying to find her way around the role.  In some scenes, she captures the strict military bearing of her character perfectly, while in others, it’s all too clear that she’s playing a part.  There’s enough potential there to assume she’ll find her footing quickly, but it means that a little patience is required.


As much as the episode was about bringing Berlin into the forefront, it was more about establishing Nolan’s place in the new status quo.  It’s pretty much the exact same place he was in with the previous status quo, only with the locals of Defiance being slightly more wary of him.  Saving Stahma from a bomber that took exception to Tarr family policy in the premiere seems to have made up a bit for killing a Castithan kid in the first season.


What was strange was the lack of actual work necessary on Nolan’s part.  The investigation wasn’t much of an investigation, so much as taking the time to ask incredibly straightforward questions and acting on the answers.  That this was supposed to be an example of his superior tracking and lawkeeping skills didn’t quite add up.  Nor did they address the tension that they highlighted between Nolan and Tommy, which one would have expected when Nolan was offered his old job.


I do have to give credit to the show for putting Nolan and Berlin together so much in the episode, though, because the size of the lampshade they tossed on Nolan’s characterization was hilariously large.  Yes, Nolan is essentially a play on Han Solo, and one could interpret Irisa as a ridiculously hot version of Chewbacca.  But it’s even stranger when one considers that Berlin is also supposed to represent the generation that grew up in the post-Votan Earth, where “civilization” was a thing of the past.  Exactly how did she get to know Star Wars so well?


The episode also did a lot to display Pottinger’s darker side, as he outplays the Tarrs at their own game, while creeping on Amanda.  Pottinger is smart enough to realize that Stahma wants Datak imprisoned and out of the way, and that manipulating that desire is the best way to achieve his own ends.  Considering how dangerous the Tarrs were in the first season, watching Pottinger outwit them both establishes him as a worthy opponent.  That’s important, since the growing resistance to the E-Rep means putting a suitable face to the enemy.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Castithan communal baths look like good times!
  • Pottinger continues to grow into a suitable opponent
  • Berlin is already growing on me
The Bad:
  • The central “case” was a bit too straightforward

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Defiance by - 6/27/2014 5:05 AM250 views

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