Defiance: “Beasts of Burden” (S2Ep4)

Though the overall darkness of this season of Defiance has certainly not left it did seem to be replaced with Datak’s (Tony Curran) general insanity. Thankfully Stahma (Jaime Murray) finally put him in his place, which I was rooting for all episode.

We start with Mayor Dickhead (James Murray) and Berlin (Anna Hopkins) riding in a land coach through the badlands headed for Defiance. Berlin is taking propaganda footage of him. We are told that she is the best at making propaganda for the E-Rep. Maybe I’m late to realizing this, but this girl is basically Joesph Goebbels and she is nicknamed after a city in Germany? Come on, Defiance, you aren’t usually as heavy-handed with your metaphors.

Anyway, the land coach gets attacked by a group of raiders. They quickly kill every E-Rep person except the two of them. Dickhead is actually a good shot and takes out two of them. Berlin catches on of them on her camera but he smashes it. In a dark humor moment–well maybe it was supposed to be dramatic but I just hate Mayor Dickhead– they make him strip and instead of shooting him they tell him to stop pissing on Defiance and then they piss on him.

photo 1

I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed this so much

Over at the Tarr house, Datak comes up to Stahma in bed acting all normal, like he didn’t try to drown her in the bathtub last episode. He tells Stahma she deserved it for betraying him and trying to take over. She tells him she did better and maybe they could reconsider the crime family structure.

photo 2

You’re not worthy, Datak

Over at the Need/Want, Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Amanda (Julie Benz) are having sex again. Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) then walks in and tells them Mayor Dickhead needs them. Nolan and Irisa kinda freak Amanda out by how causal they are in the situation. For how heavily the season has focused on Irisa so far, it seemed weird that she had pretty much only comedy moments and dramatic facial expressions this episode.

photo 3

We are already in your “dead” sister’s bed, my daughter watching isn’t that weird

Mayor Dickhead does a lot of whining to about the raiders and says the missing equipment has to the found. Nolan and Amanda tells him it is stupid to search all of the badlands for a couple of raiders that are probably long gone already. Dickhead gets mad at Amanda because she is only supposed to advise him on politics not security.

Nolan, Irisa and Tommy (Dewshane Williams) go to the hospital to check out the dead E-Rep guards. Tommy spots a boot print of mine dust on one of their chests. Nolan quickly wipes it away and then said it was nothing. Tommy calls him out for destroying evidence. Irisa holds back Tommy as Nolan storm out headed for Rafe’s (Graham Greene) house.

Turns out Rafe is indirectly involved. His godson, Josef (Ryan Kennedy), raided the land coach because the E-Rep is trying to bring in faster, but incredibly dangerous mining equipment to Defiance. Nolan arrives and Rafe said he had nothing to do with it. Josef pulls a gun on Nolan, but he is able to quickly disarm him and handcuff him.

It has been clear so far that Rafe has fallen from grace in Defiance, but the reasons were never explained. He tells Nolan in this episode that the E-Rep had him labelled an enemy combatant because he shot at E-Rep guards trying to safe Irisa with Nolan in the season one finale. Rafe said he still doesn’t know why they wanted her but he knew saving her was the right thing to do. That was pretty much the perfect thing to say to Nolan. He lets the kid go and tells Rafe to get him out of town.

Over at the Need/Want, Mayor Dickhead comes to whine to Amanda. He tells her he wants to catch the raiders so badly because he was held captive be a Votan army for 11 days in bad conditions, which I guess had a lot of pee, when he was a kid. I might be a terrible person, but I didn’t believe his story. Nolan said he was being “high school” about how they both have the hots for Amanda, so maybe he faked that story to get her sympathy.

photo 4

I just can’t trust him

Nolan got the stolen equipment back from Rafe and hands it over to Mayor Dickhead saying he found it in a cave outside Defiance. He and Tommy don’ t really believe that and still think Rafe is involved. While Mayor Dickhead really did nothing but whine since the opening attack, Berlin has been trying to restore the footage so she can identify the attackers. She is getting close. She seems to have a bit of an obsession about Tommy’s previous relations with Irisa. She thinks Tommy still likes her. He says that is crazy. He hates her and Nolan.

Over in the Tarr story line, Datak has decided that Alak (Jesse Rath) should be his partner in the crime business. He was going to let him not be involved and just do his music business, which is what he wanted. As the leave the diner they were in, two E-Rep guards provoke Datak but instead of stabbing them, which Alak thought he was going to , he breaks into a Caste prayer. The guards leave and find Stahma in the market. They tell her what happened. She says they didn’t provoke him enough, but she still throws money at them as she walks away.

Later on, Datak has collected all his men in the fighting tent and tells Alak the old Caste way is that one should be chosen to die for the groups disobedience. One guys tells them their orders might have been coming from Stahma but they answered to Alak. Datak tells Alak to choice who dies. He chooses himself, but Datak goes crazy and kills the talkative guy.

photo 1

Dad, are you losing your mind?

Datak then has Alak take him to his record factory under the pretense that he wants to see his business. He calls it cute and then says he was going to burn it to the ground to punish Alak, but has decided it would be good front business. But, he still needed to punish his son so he burns his hand in a fucking record press!

photo 2

Yup, his mind is gone.

Alak goes homes and gets his wound tended to be Christie (Nicole Munoz). She is rather freaked out, as the audience is, about Datak’s sudden and incredibly violent abusiveness. Alak says she just doesn’t understand because she is human. But, that excuse is quickly discredited when Stahma walks in. She then goes to see Datak and tells him he is becoming his father and hurting their son is too far. He tells her killing that E-Rep officer was a mistake but she and Alak needed to be punished for defying him. Stahma reverts into the obeying wife role, but it is clear she is done with his shit.

photo 3

I wanted her to impale him on the horseshoe of candles

Back in the other story line, Josef kidnapped Berlin because he knew she was going to be able to ID him with the video. Nolan lies again and says he will find them but Rafe isn’t involved. Rafe ends up super involved. He and Nolan go and find Josef and Berlin. Nolan jumps in front of  a bullet to save her. Rafe takes Josef outside and tells him to run. Josef thanks him, tells him he loves him and he needs to talk back the town and starts to run off. But, then Rafe shots him in the back and then starts crying.

photo 4

The darkness is not MIA

Over in the hospital, Berlin thanks Nolan for saving her and says she will not forget that he took a bullet for her. Tommy thanks him too and Nolan tells him to remember that when he decides to cross him again.

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And in case Tommy doesn’t work out, my daughter isn’t seeing anyone

The episode ends in the scene I was waiting for since Datak was released from prison. Datak walks into the fighting tent and seeings Stahma and Alak standing in the middle of his men. They don’t even say anything, but the men start beating the crap out of Datak. Stahma looks pleased. When they are done they throw him onto the street outside. Stahma then goes out to him.

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“We should have been partners.” Stahma out. Mic drop.

Yay, Stahma! This season has been fantastic so far. I’m glad Berlin was fleshed out a more and got some character development for her beyond being Tommy’s new girlfriend. Christie hasn’t been getting a lot of scene time, but I’m sort of okay with that. And, of course, Amanda continued to be sad as shit. Remember that abortion she had that broke up her and her fiance, Connor? Yeah, it wasn’t his baby. She was raped by an E-Rep employee while she was working in New York. Somebody get this woman a side-braid and a leather jacket.

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