Broken Bough

Stahma and Datak make a daring escape from Tak's camp (by "escape," we mean "planned departure to begin a life of lies and spying on their own town"). They tear into Defiance in a stolen roller (by "stolen," we mean packed full of guns carrying shrill intended to destroy the entire armory of Defiance) and weep to Amanda and Nolan about their persecution at the hands of Tak ("persecution" is pretty accurate, in this case) and the supposed death (capture as collateral) of Alak as Yewll treats Datak's wounds (all real, at the hands of Tak). Nolan and Amanda sense something fishy but have no evidence to back up their suspicions – until Datak breaks into the armory to steal the guns that were in the roller (by "steal," we mean stage a theft but give up really easily so that no one suspects they're full of shrill that will literally eat all the weapons in the place).

Amanda leaves Datak cold and lonely overnight in the lawkeeper's cell. When she finally comes to release him, it's only with the clarification that she, as mayor, needs all the force the town can muster if they're to ward off Tak's assault. If this weren't the case, she'd torture him and Stahma as long and brutally as she could in revenge for the death of her dear sister, Kenya. Datak swears fealty to Defiance (by "fealty," we mean … yeah, you get it) and Amanda sets him free to do his dirty work. He and Stahma waste no time setting up a long-range communication device for smoother spy business with Tak.

At the news of Tak's planned destruction of Defiance, Nolan and Irisa load up a roller with guns and explosives for a nice little picnic in the enemy camp. Nolan demands a pledge from Irisa that she can handle combat -- after seeing her freeze up around death after the incident with the Kaziri, he needs to know that he can rely on her. She promises she's up to it ... kinda.

In the dead of night, they're waylaid by some of Tak's scouts, and Irisa once again cowers instead of fighting. As it seems they may be toast at the hands of the VC, a shadowy figure emerges from the darkness and fells the enemy. None other than Pilar, aka Linda Hamilton, aka Sarah Connor, pulls back the hood of her parka and gives all the little fangirls and boys a thrill as she commands, "Come with me if you want to live."

Pilar has shacked up in an abandoned cabin, and though she gives false names to herself and baby Luke, Nolan and Irisa piece together her identity and lock her up while they do recon at Tak's camp (baby in tow). Nolan spies a net cutter –- a device that could make ribbons of Defiance's stasis net –- and hatches a plan to blow it up. Irisa insists she be the one to plant the explosives while Nolan mans the sharpshooter post, and when Nolan smells that same gun shyness on her, he agrees.

Irisa sneaks around the perimeter of the camp and is almost to the net cutter when she's spotted by the troops and brought before Tak. At this very moment, Pilar, who picked her way out of her cuffs, sneaks up on Nolan to steal back her stolen grandson. Nolan guns her down but doesn't stick around to check whether she's dead or just in shock; he has cover to provide for his captive daughter, who's now in the clutches of Tak himself ... who still seeks revenge against Joshua 'The Butcher of Yosemite' Nolan for killing so many of the soldiers and friends he loved in the Pale Wars. Nolan surprises Tak by sharpshooting nearby henchmen as Irisa uses Tak's disorientation to switch the hold and get him under her knife ... but at the critical moment, she can't slit the general's throat. Instead, she knocks him out, runs to plant the explosives and gets the heck out of camp. She and Nolan race to the roller and escape with the baby and their lives.

After handing baby Luke over to Grandpa Datak and Grandma Stahma, Irisa is visibly upset, and Nolan tells her to get her head in the game. This whole situation would be over if she had just killed Tak but instead they have to prepare for an onslaught of psychotic, deranged VC troops -- a battle that will be a lot harder to win considering the nullification of the town's armory. Nolan doesn't know if he can trust her anymore. And now that Tak has been insulted and embarrassed by Nolan and Irisa, he's got new orders for his Castithan spies, Datak and Stahma: blow up the St. Louis Arch.