The World We Seize

It's been a long time since Nolan and Irisa have seen the sun … about seven months! And that's how it feels to the people in Defiance, too – they're stuck in a deep freeze of winter with no access to the gulanite that keeps the town powered up, from the jukeboxes to the stasis net. Amanda, returning to her seat as mayor after the assumed death of Pottinger and the flight of the E-Rep once the gulanite mines were rendered useless, has shut down all power except to keep people warm and alive. She and Berlin, now the town's lawkeeper, are holding down the peace as best they can.

Some purple skinned aliens wearing some impressive head gear land just outside of Defiance and make their way to the Gulanite mines, where they find Irisa and Nolan in stasis pods (remember, this is where we left them last season). They open the pods, stare at Nolan and Irisa for awhile and then dump them out in the snow. When Irisa and Nolan find their way inside the Defiance city limits, Amanda greets Nolan with a gasp and Berlin meets Irisa with a fist – or five. And a couple of boots to the gut. And a head slam. Nolan has told Amanda how he and Irisa escaped the collapsing mine by ducking into a stasis pod, and that they were busted out by the "purple skins" – mysterious Votans with an unknown purpose. Because they made it out somehow, there must now be a way into the mines, back to the gulanite, and back to a fully powered town. Nolan and Amanda check Berlin's rage, scoop up the battered Irisa, and head to the mine. Their mission is urgent, as Irisa and Nolan stumbled across some Votanis Collective spies on their way home, and the VC forces will use Defiance's current vulnerability to roll through and destroy the town if those nets don't come back online but quick.

Amanda, Nolan, and Irisa track the newly landed Votans at the gulanite mine and, in the heat of a scuffle, Amanda wounds the younger of the two. (She was aiming for her usual knee shot, but after being attacked by a Votan drone, her nerves were off and she pointed a wee bit too high.) They have little time to mourn their worthy foe, because hovering in the air is an orb of gulanite so large, it could power Defiance for years. Adding to it every second – and perhaps protecting it – are dozens of drones, just like the one that attacked Amanda. They have the gulanite they need – now if they could only use it!

Amanda and her crew aren't the only ones who know about the impending attack: Rafe, Stahma, and Datak, on the search for Pilar and Quentin (who kidnapped Christie, Alak, and their baby, Luke), come across a mean VC man named General Rahm Tak, and he's leading the charge to Defiance. The Tarrs pretend that Rafe is their quarry in hopes that they won't give away the position of their half-human family (bunkered in a house nearby). Tak's minions are swift, however, and the house is discovered. Tak shoots Quentin right in front of Rafe, and though Rafe manages to pick the locks of his shackles and gun down many of the VC soldiers, he, too, is gunned down.

Tak isn't buying the story that the Tarrs captured Rafe for the bounty on his head but failed to notice that two of his children were hiding so close. Firing up Datak's charge blade, he thrusts it into Stahma's hands and forces her to choose: kill Christie, or watch her husband be shot. Christie hurls Votan curses at the general and Stahma's icy face reddens as Christie bears her throat. Both women know that Stahma must kill Christie if baby Luke is to live undiscovered. With all the resolve she has, Stahma swings at Christie's throat. She thanks Tak for the clarity he provided and begs that they leave the stench of human death. Tak obliges just as Pilar and Alak, collecting food from their traps nearby, approach and witness the carnage.

Loathe to actually kill anyone, Amanda calls Doc Yewll into the lawkeeper's place to heal the purple female alien she shot. Yewell refuses, calling the creature an unholy taker, a devil. Nolan rephrases the request in the form of, Help her or we kill you. This time Yewll assents, but issues a nasty warning that they should kill both daughter and father of this race, known as Omec.

You know how a mama bear will charge anyone or anything threatening her young? That’s pretty much how Papa Bear Omec is about his daughter. As Amanda is researching the Omec – and learning that they were bloody enchanters who enslaved anyone they wished and feasted on their slaves' flesh when they got bored – Papa Omec, aka T’evgin, strides into the bazaar, causing all the Casti to flee screaming to their homes. Amanda and Nolan suggest a deal – half of the gulanite for full use of the Omec’s equipment.

Their peace talks are interrupted by the news of his daughter Kindzi's escape and her murder of a young Castithan boy. The Casti of Defiance form an angry mob, just as they've been hankering to do for months, so that's a good thing, at least. But just as they're about to hang Kindzi, Nolan busts up the mob. He takes Kindzi to Yewll's, where T'evgin makes everyone hurl in their mouths a little by saying he needs Yewll's skin. Ew!

Wait, it's not as weird as it sounds: Indogenes were engineered for many things, among them growing skin that's beneficial to the Omec … okay, that's pretty much as weird as it sounds. But with the fate of the town hanging in the balance, Amanda has no choice but to sedate Yewll and steal a strip of her skin. As Kindzi recuperates, her father consoles her by telling her that when they awaken their legion of kindred in their ship, they'll have retribution on all humans and Casti.

As part of the skin deal, T'evgin agrees to Amanda's gulanite sharing plan, and that'll probably be fine. Assured in the promise of future energy, Amanda returns electricity and stasis nets to Defiance, and the Omec use their transport pods to return to their ship, just in orbit, to view their thousands upon thousands of bloodthirsty, hypersleeping relatives. It's good to be among family.

In shock from the death of Christie, Quentin, and Rafe, Pilar and Alak leave their cabin in the woods in search of … a different cabin in the woods? What they find instead is a big trailer, and Pilar sweeps up to the residents, introduces herself, and shoots them. At least Luke has something to eat. Alak is reasonably shaken, and when Pilar assures him that she'll never betray him, he has a hard time believing her. To prove her point, she … steals the baby and hides in the woods! Pilar so crazy. Alak discovers them gone, runs screaming into the woods looking for his son, and is picked up by General Tak's soldiers.

This is good news and bad news: the good news is Tak was going to keep Stahma in his camp while Datak ran spy errands in Defiance. If Datak messed up, Tak planned to cut little bits off of Stahma, and now he's not going to do that. The bad news is, now Stahma and Datak are going to be a spy team, and if they mess up, Tak will cut little bits off of Alak.

So the status of Defiance is: power restored, gulanite still in danger, bloodthirsty legions floating in the sky hungry for vengeance, megalomaniacal Votan general poised to seize the government and murder all the humans. Sounds about right for a Friday.

Oh, and you might find this interesting: while Nolan and Irisa were in stasis for seven months, somebody wrote a book about Irisa that has half the town thinking she's some kind of superhero who saved Defiance with her bare hands. We have a feeling this plotline's gonna be a nice, slow burn, so get out your marshmallows and enjoy the fire.