Defiance: Down In The Ground Where The Dead Men Go (PREVIEW)


Down In The Ground Where Dead Men Go
Air Date: 
Thursday, June 19, 2014

So here we are in week two of Defiance. Tomorrow night's episode expands on a lot of the themes that I touched on in my review of the pilot: political machinations between the various alien races, Jeb Nolan trying to make inroads as the new sheriff, Amanda Rosewater trying to make inroads as the new major of Defiance and then the main conflict of this particular episode: a killer is on the loose and naturally, there are a lot of suspects.

I didn't go into this aspect of the show in the pilot review, but there's a story thread that's basically Romeo and Juliet of the aliens. Alak Tarr, son of Datak Tarr (the leader of the Castithans), is in love with a human, Christie McCawley. Naturally, their fathers are completely against it, but they're in love and getting married and blah, blah, blah. In a show with a lot of aspects that are reminiscent of other sci-fi shows, this Shakespearean element rings a bit hollow and cliched. I'm not writing this part of it off yet, but I feel like the momentum grids to a halt whenever they focus on this storyline.

Beyond that, this episode does a pretty good job of starting to unpack the Castithan culture and how much it differs from, not only the humans, but all the other alien races. They have a strict moral/religious code that runs counter to the others', and therein lies the basis for a large part of this episode's conflict. Again, it'll be interesting to see where they take this stuff over the course of the season, but it feels like they're laying the groundwork for what could be some interesting stories.

All in all, it's not a bad episode. It's not at as strong as the pilot, but there's some good stuff here. Check it out!

Jeremy Hunt
Review by Jeremy Hunt
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