Defiance was never a great show in it’s first season, in fact I wouldn’t even call most of it good. What kept me coming back to the show week after week was that it did just enough right to make me stay invested enough to keep watching. As the season went on it started to build momentum and with that momentum, so too did the quality rise. There was a season finale that at its core did everything you want a season finale to do: provide a climax and leave the door open for the next season. In the year since the first problem with this set up became apparent: it wasn’t good enough to stay on my mind. For once, the previously on part of an episode wasn’t grating but actually helpful. With that perspective in mind, let’s get into it.
The season premiere has one big problem, it really isn’t an episode. Instead it’s setting up the new status quo after a nine month time skip. I’m not really fond of this move, since as I mentioned in the intro, Defiance’s greatest strength was that it built up momentum. Leaving the uncertainty of the season one finale for a new status quo were we’re only told indirectly what happened means that we’re back to square one. All of that momentum has to be built up again. Aside from that, the show also shows that it’s strongest part is Stahma. There’s not much else to be said about this episode by itself, it’s fine and functional.
The same cannot be said for the second episode though, which suffers from two bigger sins. The first is that it primarily exists to get Nolan back to where he was in season one as lawkeeper. The second is that it’s not really engaging. The race against the clock to find the culprit is something that Definace has done several times already and before it was done better for a variety fo reasons that basically boil down to what it revealed about the characters while they were doing this. The most that this episode manages to do with it is a conversation between the E-Rep captain Berlin and Nolan that was the highlight of the episode. The actual climax was dull, the show has never presented the possibility of it’s characters being in any sort of danger, the closest it’s come is with Irisa’s dream sequence in the premiere. Speaking of Irisa, the lack of any sort of meaningful continuation of the Kaziri is going to be obnoxious; so far it’s caused the following: technicolor resurrections, hallucinations, and the desire to kill random people. The odds of a ‘Nolan investigates murders committed by Irsia’ is fairly highly if I had to guess. The only character left to account for is Datak, who hasn’t done much aside from his one trick of killing someone to make himself look better.
Given that we’ve now spent two weeks doing little more than being acquainted with the somewhat new status quo, I”m hoping that going forward we can actually start doing something new. Preferably this something new would involve picking up all the plotlines from the season one finale and actually continuing them. Right now the show has been spinning it’s wheels and quickly trying my patience. I’m still watching for now, but my standards are higher for a second season and I don’t have much qualm in jumping ship.
Feel free to comment, I’ll be back next week to talk about…something. Not sure, if you have any suggestions or something you want me to talk about feel to comment on that as well.