Dark Matter 3.9 Recap: Back to the future

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Jul 28, 2017

Warning: This post contains so many spoilers for the events of Dark Matter Season 3, Episode 9, "Isn't That a Paradox." Proceed at your own risk.

This Blink Drive seems to be a lot more trouble than it's worth. They've been able to use it correctly, what, once? Every other time it's either sent them into an alternate reality or brought their homicidal alter egos along for the ride back to our own reality, and now it's decided the future is boring. It's much more fun to drag the whole crew back to the early 21st century, aka the pre-historic hellscape you and I call home.

This episode is a lot of fun. It's a chance to see these characters outside of their own environment and within our own. But more than that, it's a bit of breathing room for the crew, and for us as the audience, before we get into the home stretch toward the end of the season. Yeah, they're still dealing with a crisis, but mostly this was a chance for them to take a break and sort of check in with each other, at least in the first part of the episode.

Pretty much everyone has something to do in this episode, but the real standouts, at least as far as character development and interaction with this new environment, are, of course, Two, Five, and Android, because the ladies on this show are awesome.

I'm never certain whether Android's deep desire to be human and to have friends and connections is sweet or sad. Maybe it's a bit of both. Whichever it is, it is turned up to 11 this week, as Android is really the only one excited about the prospect of being stuck on Earth during the early 21st century. She buys a car and rents a house and gives them all aliases and wants to go to a neighborhood party and bakes cookies and tries to be friendly with the neighbors. I guarantee if she had the choice, Android would just settle down and live a nice suburban life with the crew. She doesn't have the things that drive the rest of them. None of Six's desire to fix the universe, none of Three's need for pillaging and plundering, none of Two's waywardness. She just wants to cook and entertain and take care of people.

Two, meanwhile, is experiencing her own kind of melancholy in the primitive days without interstellar travel. She certainly has no desire to stay here. She needs to be doing things. Two is best when she has a mission and a goal, but the way she looks and talks and interacts with this time period, specifically the scene with the dog (side note: was that Melissa O'Neill's actual dog?), really point out how tired she is. Everything, since they woke up, has been nonstop drama and life-or-death situations and actual death and vendettas. She needs a space vacation, and now that she knows Ryo isn't the one who killed Nyx, it seems like she's actually realizing that herself. She's let go of this particular need for revenge -- at least a little -- and realized how exhausted she is, and she wants a dog.

Then there's Five, who would probably be pretty content as long as she had things to fix and puzzles to figure out. Then again, she also seems like she enjoys the adventures they get into on the Raza, so I doubt she'd be able to stay in one place too long without at least a little taste of danger. Her role here is pretty much to be the interesting but non-threatening one who helps play out this Stranger Things-esque storyline with the kids. It's very cute.

Of course, these are all small moments compared to the big plot point of the episode, which is the fact that they've discovered the only actual working, non-temperamental Blink Drive in the universe (and all of time and space). It's another familiar conversation about the dangers of technology, especially this type of technology, and whether it is safest just to destroy it. The Raza crew once again talks about it "going into the wrong hands" as though they are somehow the right hands, but really, even though they're ostensibly the heroes of this story, the question we're left with is whether there are any right hands at all. The Blink Drive is an extremely powerful piece of technology, and we already know Ryo is willing to go to any lengths to get his hands on it. What might a corporation even less moral than he do? Someone like Ferrous, for example.

Surprising no one -- and yet still unbelievably -- the crew is allowed to leave with the Drive in order to get home and back on track. This, of course, allows us to have the rest of the season, but it also leads to the best part of the entire episode, which is the discovery that Five's friend from the past was inspired by his interaction with them and became a science fiction author. Those stories, in turn, inspired his granddaughter to invent faster-than-light travel. Yes, the cyclical nature of time and space is fun to play around with, but what was really wonderful about this moment was the fact that this demonstrates a very real thing in the world. That science fiction can inspire the pursuit and discovery of science fact, and vice versa. Both disciplines feed off the other in a never-ending ouroboros of inspiration.

But that's not where the episode ends. Oh no. We've gotta get one more tease for next week's adventures. This time, it's Android's turn to get an ominous phone call. Victor is on the line and he needs help, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out what's gone wrong.

Random Thoughts:

Six should take a bike everywhere from now on.

What is up with their aliases? And does anyone actually think Two is old enough to have a daughter Five's age?

Update: Yes, it was, in fact, Melissa's actual dog.

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