In case you’ve forgotten, last week’s episode ended with the song, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and I’m giving the writers credit for that one – what a clever hint for this week. This episode opened with metal debris from old spaceships falling from the sky onto the Spirit Riders. Sukar calls it “razor rain” and is injured by it when he moves to help a fallen Irathian Spirit Rider. In his dying moments, he sees Irisa and tells her, ‘What we must do is for the good of all.’ Irisa then awakens with a start, believing the events to be a vision of the future.
Back in the arch, Alak is playing the radio once more – apparently this is going to be a re-occuring thing – with Christie joining him. Mayor Amanda calls him on his hailer and demands he play Shiny Happy People, ha ha ha, she’s so old school! I don’t understand how all the records ever survived, but no CDs? And he doesn’t want to just use an iPod, we’ve seen them! The runner killed by hellbugs had one! Getting back to serious business, Alak and Christie are discussing their upcoming wedding and the “bathing ceremony” that Christie feels squicky about. The whole family in a tub, naked – with beads for the women, according to Alak – gee, who wouldn’t want to do that with their in-laws?
Irisa is seen packing her bag to head out to the Badlands and prevent Sukar’s fate. I thought it would be another father figure showdown when she walked out without Nolan, but she popped her head back in to invite him along. Unfortunately, as soon as they ran into more Irathians, they kicked Nolan to the curb. He was not allowed to attend Sukar’s sinking ritual, as the events witnessed by Irisa in the beginning of the episode have already occurred and Sukar is dead. Nolan put up less of a fight than I was expecting, but he did have to rush back to warn Defiance of the impending razor rain storm.
Ex-Mayor Nicky shows up at the McCawleys’ home after her roller conveniently breaks down. She’s all smiles and chatty about Birch in Iowa visiting his family when brooding Quentin huffs off. Rafe excuses it by saying “he has allergies,” which actually did make me laugh out loud.
From one uncomfortable topic to the next, Stahma visits Kenya to discuss her teaching Alak about the female anatomy. She actually says painfully awkward things like, “Making love to one of you is complicated,” talks about the g-spot, and how she wants Christie to tell her father good things about Alak in bed. Kenya laughs in her face and Stahma gets understandably upset by being made a fool of. Before she can storm out, Kenya soothes her and offers to buy her a drink and to have a serious discussion about Alak and Christie.
This episode is heavy-handed on the religion from this point forward, though I’ve noticed it to be a theme with the Irathians. They hold their sinking ceremony by putting Sukar’s belongings into what appears to be a tub of acid. It melts and bubbles and hisses immediately. Then they put his body into the same tub of acid. After much bubbling and hissing, Sukar emerges and is magically healed! A resurrection, if you will. While the other Irathians argue whether Sukar is now cursed or blessed by Irzu, their god, he is storming about the camp and tries to tempt Irisa into helping him. When she hesitates, he storms off to Defiance alone, with her hot on his heels.
After warning Defiance of the impending storm, everyone gets prepared for it to hit. One idiot is shown running through the streets trying to be hot shtako before Tommy has to save him from the razor rain. Back in the McCawley household, ex-mayor Nicky is surprisingly candid about her reason for being there after being pressed. She plainly tells them Birch was going to break into the house for evidence linking Luke and the attack on Defiance.
Sukar comes blazing into town with Irisa and they break into a store to collect all of the cables they can. The owner of the store confronts them, shooting Sukar in the process. Rather than dying once more, he is seen magically healing. He feels so great, he throws a dagger into the guy who shot him! Irisa argues with him and he lays on the religion once more, claiming that, “This is a test of faith.” He presses on about Irisa’s visions, telling her again that she was chosen, she is special, and she is not alone. This is the worst possible thing to tell her, in my opinion, after that whole episode with the religious fanatic who tortured her as a child. Religion hasn’t been great to Irisa and she’s blindly clinging to it because she’s feeling some belonging. It is a slippery slope…
Quentin is having visions of his dead brother Luke again, who is encouraging him to kill ex-mayor Nicky in much the same way he killed Birch last episode. His father asks him about what happened to Birch and Quentin comes clean… kind of. He lies about getting rid of the artifact like he was supposed to, at Luke’s urgings. Everyone in that house must have drunk some truth serum or something; they give up information all too willingly.
I don’t see a purpose for this little Kenya and Stahma detour besides some gratuitous lesbian undertones. They’re talking about Datak and Alak, she’s talking about how she loves her family, but that she feels in service to them. Stahma shares that she was once good at performance poetry on her home planet, but her father disapproved while Kenya encouraged her. Kenya asked her to dance, she asked for another drink instead. I think Kenya is partially manipulating the situation for an emotionally vulnerable Stahma, but good for her. Out-scheme the schemer, Kenya. Good luck.
Tommy ends up being injured by the razor rain and when they take him to see Doc Yewll, Nolan and Mayor Amanda see that she’s been attacked by Sukar, who stole some machinery from her. They try to figure out what he is planning and discover that there is a ship hovering over the razor rain cloud and Sukar seems to be activating its thrusters from the arch. It appears that he is signaling the ship to crash into Defiance, which Doc Yewll helpfully explains will kill them all.
At the McCawley’s truth house, ex-mayor Nicky shows Rafe a pillow with a corner stain of blood on it and he admits to killing Birch. She yells out to Quentin that if he would like to hear about what “really” happened to his mom, he can talk to her. She then tells Rafe that there is no way he would have admitted to the murder, unless he was protecting his family – correctly guessing that Quentin must have killed Birch. Rafe, enraged, attacks her and throws her out of his house. In her parting, she shows him how she must have cut her finger while she was upstairs, revealing that it was her blood on the pillow all along.
Nolan bursts into the arch and orders Sukar to step away from the switch that would signal the ship to hit Defiance. Sukar informs him that, if that is the purpose, it is “for the greater good.” Yawn, cliché. Nolan shoots him and it obviously doesn’t work, so they have to fight. Irisa stands there until Sukar tells her to help him tie up Nolan. It is the father figure showdown that I was hoping to avoid and she has chosen Sukar. She tries to help him, but superman Nolan uses his Alpha male powers to overpower them both. He gets ahold of his gun once more and shoots Sukar a ridiculous amount of times and this time it sticks, as he falls out of a window in the arch onto a piece of scaffolding.
An upset Irisa proclaims that “he had faith and so do I” as she flips the switch, with Nolan too stunned to stop her. They watch the ship change direction and avoid Defiance altogether in the totally-unsurprising-easily-predicted-plot-twist of the episode. Once Sukar’s body is recovered, Doc Yewll takes a look at it and offers some harsh words for Irisa. It was no “ooga-booga Irathian god,” but the work of tiny robots that used his body as a vehicle, working on their primary objective to keep the town safe. They put him to rest for real after showing some more gratuitous making out between Stahma and Kenya, who now have a “secret.” Giggle, giggle, just like your sixth grade slumber party after a game of Truth or Dare! And Alak never did play Shiny Happy People for Mayor Amanda…