Defiance: A Well Respected Man Recap

This episode opened on two Castithans driving through the Hollows making what appear to be drug trades. They’re upset when a roller broken down in front of them blocks their path and – surprise! – it’s the lawkeepers! Nolan has them both arrested and searches through their trunk, confiscating drugs and money as they threaten him with “who they work for.” It’s Datak Tarr that they work for, by the way, and Nolan knows this because he is purposefully antagonizing the man in retaliation for killing Elah Bandik.

A town council meeting is going on when Datak bursts into the meeting to complain about Nolan’s earlier actions. He tells them that Defiance’s deposit on the arms is forfeit and Mayor Amanda has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s Rafe that takes her aside to explain that the town council had made a deal with Datak to pay him in exchange for guns. These guns were supposed to help them with security as the stasis net is still down and the town is vulnerable to another Volge attack. It was operating on a “need to know basis” and apparently, the Mayor didn’t need to know. However! My confusion over Mayor Amanda’s upcoming election has been solved because she was apparently appointed mayor and the real election will be held soon.

As Mayor Amanda walks home, a lady stops her in the streets to complain about Kenya, her sister running the NeedWant brothel, sleeping with her husband. Amanda is prudent and fair in listening to one of her constituents. Just kidding, she slaps the hell out of the lady in front of children. This somehow triggers a memory of her own childhood when she and Kenya were young and in some kind of war zone.

No, no. Let's not tell the Mayor anything about our illegal, under the table dealings with the Votans to acquire weapons. That's a great idea!

No, no. Let’s not tell the Mayor anything about our illegal, under the table dealings with the Votans to acquire weapons. That’s a great idea!

While she is defending her sister, her sister is sleeping with Nolan (this is the fourth sex scene of the series, not that I’m counting) and Kenya refuses his money for the first time. She tells him that they should be fun together, but that there shouldn’t be any labels on it. Her sister bursts in as they’re getting dressed because she’s looking for Nolan. First, she reams him out for being in her sister’s room and then she yells at him because the town was trying to build an armory of Votan weapons and Nolan ruined that. She acts as if she was in on the plan the entire time and then picks a fight with Kenya about sleeping with married men. Kenya tells her she’s “so old world.”

After fighting with her sister, a customer approaches Kenya about a girl in her room stealing her money. She tries to confront the girl, Tirra, but the girl runs. When she goes after Tirra, Kenya finds her attempting to buy drugs from a familiar bio-man. In a fight with the bio-man, she threatens to get “her lawkeeper,” which I thought was an interesting turn of events. Is Kenya trying to put Nolan in her pocket for events such as this? Suddenly, people attempt to escape the back of the truck that the bio-man was guarding. They’re duct taped and trapped and at least Kenya understands she needs to get her and Tirra out of there immediately. Unfortunately, the bio-man follows them and knocks them both out.

Meanwhile, down in the mines, Quentin is upset that his father closed the L7 vein of the mines as it was Luke’s section and Quentin was told he could mine it after his death. He claims his father is doing this because he doesn’t trust him and that, after Luke’s death, he thought his position in the family would change. The writing in this series can be cringe-worthy at times and he actually speaks the words, “grow some balls” to his father before storming off.

Does Rafe McCawley get along with ANY of his kids...?

Does Rafe McCawley get along with ANY of his kids…?

Nolan goes back to the NeedWant looking for Kenya and that’s when they realize she’s been gone for too long. He and Amanda find her hailer and a necklace that Amanda gave her from their mother with a young boy in the Hollows. He demands twenty scrip to tell them that he saw the bio-man take two girls to the blue devil. Nolan helpfully explains that the blue devil is slang for a synthetic drug made from adrenaline drained from scared victims.

An ice cream truck delivers the earlier seen prisoners, now including Tirra and Kenya. When the bio-man, whose name is revealed to be Ulysses, shows them to a man named Miko, he gets extremely upset because he recognizes Kenya and knows what this means for them. Miko shoots something into his neck, presumably this drug they manufacture, and decides that the best course of action is to process their last batch of drugs, sell it and leave town. Poor Ulysses thinks he’s going with him. The guy just seems to be a bit easy to take advantage of – he fights in the ring for Datak Tarr and now we find out he is harvesting humans for this guy who orders him to “prep them for the maze.” Kenya is then seen running through a complex maze with Tirra while an unknown Volge creature stalks around. She has flashbacks to the same childhood incident Amanda was thinking about earlier.

In their quest to find where Ulysses took the girls, Nolan and Amanda go to the Tarrs’ house where Nolan immediately gets physical with Datak, who reveals he was aware that Kenya has gone missing. He is upset that they immediately jump to the conclusion that he was guilty by association and Amanda tries to appeal to him by telling him that his association with Ulysses will threaten some of his newfound status and celebrity in the wake of the Volge battle. Datak then rants about how they see him as a wild dog whose leash they can tug at and because they lack respect, he will not help them find Kenya.

Mayor Amanda, up for re-election soon, does a lot of spectacular PR moves in this episode.

Mayor Amanda, up for re-election soon, does a lot of spectacular PR moves in this episode. Including offending Datak Tarr.

Amanda runs off crying when Stahma approaches her. She explains to Amanda that she is very fond of Kenya and her special way with words. Apparently, Datak goes to the NeedWant to see “night porters” (prostitutes) and while most of them avoid her, Kenya has always approached her warmly, hugged her and told her, “Your husband is so wonderful, thank you for agreeing to share him with me.” It’s just as weird as it sounds and night porters remind me very much of Firefly’s companions. Anyway, Stahma tells her that Datak and Nolan are both hot-headed and that Datak needs respect to soothe his anger. To give him this, Stahma suggests, Amanda should appoint Datak to the now open council seat because the previous man died in the Volge attack. Like I’ve been saying, she’s the Tarr to watch, not her husband. Meanwhile, Kenya and Tirra’s time is running out, they’re shown hiding from a Volge creature in the maze when Tirra makes a noise and brings its attention to them.

The scene changes to the next morning, the next day, when Nolan and Datak are walking through the Hollows together. Datak gives a long speech about how lawkeeping is all about building relationships and he points out multiple relationships he is aware of in the Hollows – a man keeps his wife or child with him at all times to keep him out of trouble, a woman takes her children to buy a rug, but she’s not actually buying the rug, she’s just having the man spend time with his child without her husband’s knowledge. He’s learned something from Littlefinger when he concludes that knowledge is power. He then takes Nolan to meet with a man who knows about Ulysses, demonstrating his powerful knowledge. However, Nolan quickly realizes that the man is scared, but not of him and easily summarizes what must have happened before they showed up.

He tells Datak that his men must have gotten to the man first, before Nolan could get there, and threatened him not to tell him anything. He would beat the man up and still get nothing, until Datak swooped in and gave the man the magic words, ultimately making Nolan look like the savage to Datak’s calm. Huffing, Datak says that was close enough to the plan and leaves. The confused man asks if that means he can tell Nolan and he gives up Ulysses’ location.

Poor Ulysses. First Datak Tarr bosses him around, then this guy...

Poor Ulysses. First Datak Tarr bosses him around, then this guy…

Quentin is seen ready to leave his father’s house when they have a heart to heart conversation about how Rafe loves him for just who he is. He showed Quentin the (what I assume to be) key that he found in Luke’s things and tells him that he thinks this is what Luke was killed for. He claims to have closed the L7 vein, not as a slight to Quentin, but because there are things in the mine that can’t be explained. Things are all about Luke again, but Quentin seems assuaged by that explanation from his father.

To comfort Tirra, Kenya tells her not to be scared and to hold onto her necklace, which will keep her safe. However, we clearly saw the necklace drop during her capture and Amanda has it from when she took it back from the boy in the Hollows. That is the trigger that makes Kenya jump to the conclusion that “none of this is real.” Suddenly, she is out of the virtual maze and finds herself strapped to a table. While Miko is seen getting high again, she slowly frees herself and sneaks up behind him. By the time he realizes she is there, she hits him with a beaker and one large shard gets stuck in his neck. He pulls the shard out and a comical amount of blood spurts out of his wound before he falls over dead. Ulysses shows up and is visibly upset for five seconds before he’s shot full of bullets by the rescue committee.

Back in the NeedWant after their traumatizing ordeal, Kenya makes an effort to help Tirra by giving her the necklace of Saint Finnegan, who watches over lost children. Tirra blows her off, telling her that she went to Catholic school and she knows it’s Saint Christopher who takes care of the lost kids. Kenya is surprised by this information and confronts Amanda about it and about how exactly their mother died.

Amanda giving a necklace of "Saint Finnegan" from their mother to Kenya.

Amanda giving a necklace of “Saint Finnegan” from their mother to Kenya.

Amanda is finally truthful with her sister and says she doesn’t know, revealing that she had scavenged the necklace from a dead soldier whose name was Finnegan. In the flashback, their mother is shown scavenging alongside her and urging Amanda to leave with her. She refuses because Kenya is not with them. Their mother ultimately decides to go without her while Amanda goes back for her sister. When young Kenya gets upset, Amanda tells her that their mother is dead, but that she wanted her to have the necklace of Saint Finnegan. Kenya never knew this to be the true series of events and they embrace.

In the closing shots of the episode, Quentin and Rafe are seen entering the L7 vein of the mine together with the strange key. There are all sorts of markings on the wall and we see at least one that looks like the key that they have. Datak Tarr is seen greeting council members, though not all of whom are happy to see him. He gleefully shuts the door in Nolan’s face. When he goes to leave, Nolan sees Stahma sitting outside of the room and concludes what I’ve been saying every episode – he’s been watching the wrong Tarr, she’s the dangerous one.

This episode cleared up a few things I’ve been confused about, so good for the writers. However, I still have questions that may be answered later I suppose. Mainly, what happened to the ex-Mayor Nicky? After plan B obviously didn’t work, did she just give up? We haven’t seen her since the end of episode two? Does she even know that it didn’t work? And speaking of missing people, where was Irisa this entire episode??? And we still have no answers about why computers are literally the only bit of electronic technology that did not survive the alien invasion. Syfy’s heavy-handed approach at beating the meaning of an episode into my brain was not lost on me, I get it. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. Lots more things that reminded me of other movies and shows, but they may just be pulling every generic sci-fi trope out of the books to put in this show. Maybe they’re slowly starting to hit their stride, we can all hope.

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