Defiance: “The Cord and Ax” (S1Ep3)

All the action in this episode of Defiance was reserved for Irisa’s (Stephanie Leonidas) story line, so much of the episode felt slowed down compared to the last couple. We got to spend a lot of time with the characters we already know and it was needed for how fast season two has thrown us back into the story.

We start by re-visiting the strange relationships between the McCawleys and the Tarrs. Rafe (Graham Greene) is grumbling about getting dinner made for the in-laws. Christie (Nicole Munoz) is telling him not the worry. Then Stahma (Jaime Murray) and Alak (Jesse Rath) arrive and apparently Castithans can smell when humans are pregnant. Christie said she was going to tell everyone at dinner. The parents seemed happy and Rafe told Bertie (Jessica Nicholas), over the phone.

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This is awkward

We cut to her jumping around the market in excitement. But happiness never last long in Defiance now. She is being trailed by a distressed looking Irisa. She shouts at Irzu (Katie Douglas) that she doesn’t want to kill anyone else. Irzu reminds her they had an agreement. She spends Irisa into some weird vision thing, it was very CGI and flashing so it was hard to see. When Irisa is pulled out of it she is straddled atop Bertie’s lifeless body.

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The market is the dangerous place in Defiance

Back at the McCawleys, Rafe is having a protective father moment with Alak. He tells him he doesn’t care what his family is involved in but he better get out of it because he was to take care of Christie and their baby now. Rafe knows about the guy Alak killed last episode and assumes he or his family did it. Over in the prison, Datak (Tony Curran) is telling Doc Yewll (Trenna Keating) that based on his visitors it seems like the Tarr family crime ring has been doing better without him. He also fears that Stahma might be trying to keep him in prison.

Nolan (Grant Bowler) spent the night worrying about Irisa because he hadn’t seen her in a while. She was out in the woods trying to bury Bertie’s body. He waits up for her to return in the morning. They get in another fight when she won’t tell him what is going on. She is about to storm out but Rafe, Christie and a guy from the mines –where did Quenten go? — burst in and tell them Bertie is missing.

Mayor Dickhead (James Murray) becomes a suspect since he doesn’t like Rafe very much. He says he doesn’t know anything and will help with the search. He and Nolan send Irisa to go look at the security footage with Berlin (Anna Hopkins). She sincerely but rather awkwardly apologizes for being Tommy’s (Dewshane Williams) new girlfriend. Irisa has bigger problems than Tommy at the moment, like the security footage of her that Berlin is about the find. She has a knife pulled and is about ready to stab Berlin, when Irzu blows up the security systems. Irisa runs out.

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I kinda ship these two

Alak goes to visit Datak in prison. He only asks about how business is going. Too nervous to really say anything, Alak says the family business is doing better than is was and so is his record business so maybe he isn’t needed as the interim mob boss. Alak said Datak’s old crew seems to have everything under control. Datak knows that is impossible because they are idiots so Stahma must be running things and trying to keep him in prison. He goes off in Castithan about Stahma betraying him and threatens to kill her. Alak screams they aren’t on Castee anymore just like he did all last season, but backs it up with yelling he can only blame himself for what happened.

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I like adult Alak

Alak goes home to find Stahma balancing the books with rolls of cash lying around. She give him his father’s knife that he brought from Castee because he needed to protect his family. She said Alak needs it know. He gets all nervous and says his dad will want it when he gets out. Jaime Murray plays Stahma so weird that when she actually has recognizable human emotion it is always fantastic. She tells Alak they can never let Datak come home.

Nolan has a moment of how difficult it is to be parents with Amanda (Julie Benz). She tells him sometimes not giving up is enough. He goes to their house and starts looking through Irisa’s stuff. Tommy follows him and says he can’t just invade her privacy and boss everyone around all the time. But, they find Irisa’s gloves that have blood on them. They both have a crisis moment of wanting to say she wouldn’t kill Bertie, but they both aren’t sure.

At the prison, Mayor Dickhead meets with Doc Yewll. He returns her finger and shows her the file about the experiments she used to perform hidden in her office. He wants to have her released so she can continue. She says she is going to need a bunch of stuff and an assistant. She picks Datak, but she overheard that conversation between Datak and Alak. I never understand your motives, Doc Yewll.

Irisa finds Sukar (Noah Danby) living in a cabin outside Defiance. She explains what has been happening. He tells her this has to be her path and killing a person is just part of it. Irisa tells him it has been more than one and then starts getting taken over to Irzu. We see that she has been killing people by having those weird light things go into their months and choke them. She watches up to find she’s killed Sukar. She then tells his gun and wanders back into the woods.

Irisa points the gun under her chin and Irzu is able to make her move it. Irisa doesn’t want to kill anyone else for her. Irzu says she isn’t killing them she is saving them because they are under her protection now. She doesn’t believe her, gets the gun back and pulls the trigger.

She gets through fully into the vision, which doesn’t make much sense. An older version of Irisa (possibly?), who seems to be the captain of the ship they are on, tells another guy that they are doing Irzu’s duty. They are headed to Earth, possibly way in the future I have no idea.

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That’s her right? Is she immortal now?

But being a super dark show now, we aren’t given the chance to process that before we go back to the woods and Irzu is slowly and painfully healing Irisa.  When Irzu is done, Bertie finds Irisa. She freaks out that she is alive and they start heading back to Defiance. The search party finds them. Bertie doesn’t remember anything and Irisa isn’t talking. She tells Nolan later that she would tell him what is going on if she could explain it.

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Irisa has been having a bad season so far

Apparently, Irzu was telling the truth. Sukar and the Castithan girl from Angel Ark are both alive and can now take people into Irzu’s protection too.

And because having two minor characters get killed, Irisa killing herself, Irisa being slowly healed and Amanda being a griefving drug-addict isn’t dark enough, the episode ends with Datak coming home to find Alak and Stahma in a bath together. They both try to hide their panic and act nice. Datak plays along for a moment, than starts drowning Stahma. Eventually, Alak is able to fight him off.

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I’m terrified for these two now

I am really liking this season. It has a completely different tone than last season. But, I’m glad Irisa isn’t actually a God-corrected mass murdered because that would have made everything a whole lot worse.


One Comment on “Defiance: “The Cord and Ax” (S1Ep3)”

  1. Michael says:

    “They are headed to Earth, possibly way in the future I have no idea.” – This sequence is, as far as i understood, way in the past (3000 years). When the first alien ship was looking for a planet to terraform. Thats why they say, the barely crossed their own oceans, referred to the humans. i believe they are on an expedition ship. They talk about the terraforming of earth and that humans will evolve in that 3000 years and how they should life with them on earth. The male one seems to think about earasing the humans, thats why the female says: Irzu values all life.
    I watched the sequence in german and in english too see if theres no missleading in the translation.
    If you can, watch it again to confirm.
    Nice blog btw 🙂


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