Defiance cast teases the shtako that's coming in Season 2

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Jul 23, 2013, 2:13 PM EDT

Now that she is no longer the mayor and the Earth Republic is occupying Defiance, where does Amanda Rosewater fit in? These and many questions will be answered in the second season of Defiance. Showrunner Kevin Murphy came to Comic-Con International with Julie Benz, Grant Bowler, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Jesse Rath and Stephanie Leonidas to preview what to expect for the new year when the show returns.

For Amanda, season one was a wreck. Her ex-husband died, she lost the mayor's election, her sister is missing and that's on top of people hating her and no personal life. What few relationships she formed over the years have been taken away, leaving the former politician to start at ground zero. Benz said that she hopes that we'll see a darker side and what's going on internally with Amanda. "She has to rely more on herself to move forward. She was lucky that she had all these relationships that gave her a leg up. I think you're going to see a stronger, more independent Amanda, but she has to go through a lot of 'shtako' first."

"She definitely does form other new alliances with unexpected characters. Her obvious motivation is to get the Earth's Republic out of Defiance and find her sister. That's what's driving her through season two." As well as whether or not Amanda can live in Defiance now that the Earth Republic is occupying it.

Both Benz and Bowler are remaining tight-lipped on a potential romance between their characters, but one thing is clear, Bowler wants Nolan's dog collar to come off. "We brought in this interesting bloke into the town of Defiance but in the pilot episode we stuck a badge on him, which instantly put a collar around his neck, and a leash that kept him attached to the mayor's office. I think that dog can hunt."

But it sounds like the Tarr Family will be the major source of drama for Season Two. Murphy expressed that they are what he's looking forward to the most, having left them in a precarious position at the end of season one after Datak was arrested after winning the election, leaving the Tarrs broken. He will be missing in the beginning of the season (as will be Irisa).

"The family is constantly changing because the balance of power keeps changing." Curran explained. "As the second season starts and progresses, if Datak is to survive, wherever he is, he has to learn not to be such a hot head. He has to be more pliable instead of brittle. Like steel when it's brittle, it snaps. He needs to be more manipulative in his approach. His attack, kill and ask questions later obviously isn't working for him. You can't demand respect, you have to earn it. Unfortunately his way is very demanding and the future is going to get him in trouble again."

Curran has read a few scripts from the second season and shared his excitement for the interesting stuff within the Tarr family that he found to be especially compelling. "It's a sci-fi show set within this immigrant drama, and a lot of it puts the mirror up to society in many ways for immigrants around the world. I have a wife who's Vietnamese, she was an immigrant from French-Bosnia-Serbia. So many ways there's a lot of similarities in a lot of those aspects that I find compelling in the sci fi world as it pertains to our society. I think we're going to touch on that with a lot of back story."

One of the harder things to embrace in season one was the relationship between Datak and his son Alak, who is punch drunk with love for his new wife, Christie McCawley. The separation will do nothing to repair that bridge and will lead to great significance in season two. "It's huge. Jesse Rath is a wonderful young actor and the dynamic between father and son is unfortunately very similar to many father and son relationships where there's no fluidity to it. Datak loves his son, but he doesn't want him to become what he is. But he has a bad approach at showing it. He has to let his son be what he wants to be, but there's a difference in loving your son and telling your son what to do. Datak's not letting the flower grow."

"Alak has to step up and be the man of the family, with more responsibilities. Rath said. "We'll have to see Stahma's role." Asked if Alak would be as easily manipulated as his father and replied, "He's going to be more aware of his parents manipulations; it's going to be more evident in his life. Growing up he always got anything he's ever wanted. He's going to see the grimier side of things and what 'getting whatever you want' entails. He's a husband now and has more responsibilities, we'll see how he handles it."

Does Jaime Murray think Stahma being able to handle her son by herself. "Oh definitely. Alak's a pushover isn't he? He's putty in her hands and maybe his journey will be him asserting his sense of self, the poor thing. Could you imagine having parents like Stahma and Datak? I'm surprised he's as adjusted as much as he is. I don't think she has any fear that she can't contain or control Datak or Alak. Now that we've established that, maybe we'll turn it on its head and she'll run into problems along the way."

"Also with no Datak or Kenya, she'll feel her freedom in other ways. There's a whole new exciting world to embrace now that things have been turned truly upon their heads. Datak is not the head of the household so maybe she'll assume herself in that respect. Alak's not going to like that so she'll have to manipulate her own son which is pretty dastardly but needs must."

Of course, we the Tarrs cannot be discussed without fishing for information about the McCawley Mines, a thread that will stretch out over all 13 episodes of season two. "It's tied into a lot of Votan history," Murphy said. "We're going to go in the past, and dealing with who put the Kaziri there, why the Kaziri's there, what it's all about and how it ties into things in season one but you don't realize are a part of the bigger story, like what happened to Sukar is an example of this. It should be a pretty cool ride."