by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)
Okay, so before we catch up with the current issues of the crew of the Raza, we have to have a tiny recap from the first season of one of Syfy’s best original series. There’s plenty of underlying drama and secrets that go on, but the upshot is about a crew of strangers who wake aboard a ship with no memory of their past lives, how they got there, et al. Even the shipboard Android can’t help them, due to programming malfunctions and such. So the crew of the Raza name themselves with numbers according to the order in which they woke, and attempt to reconstruct what the hell happened to their lives!
Spoilers in the void of space!
So, of course, season one ended on a cliffhanger, with the unconscious crew of the Raza being taken prisoner yet again by what appears to be a sellout, the man they knew as Six. The crew has been separated, each according to the purported crimes of their past lives, and everyone is stuck here at the Galactic Authority-run maximum security detention center known as Hyperion-8.
Two, Three, and Four are all decontaminated in the most unpleasant manner possible and then sent to general population, where they immediately all start making friends and starting trouble. Three gets a shake-down by his accomplices from a botched job he doesn’t remember and, of course, Two just has to step in and defend him. Then, newcomer badass Nyx (Melanie Liburd) shows up and she and Three make a kind of prison friendship you’re not likely to find anywhere else. Four is minding his own business in the mess hall and, after some minor confrontations, hey, there’s a prison riot. Only for information gathering purposes, of course.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, One and Five are being held in the staff quarters and treated fairly nicely, but no answers are being presented as yet. One is the only one who can afford a lawyer, the sweeping and haughty Felicia Brand, because in one of his former lives, One was supposedly Derrick Moss, the CEO of CoreLactic Industries and the heir to the Moss fortune. One also gets a visit from the current CEO of CoreLactic, Darius, who promises to aid Derrick however he might in whatever he needs, only to balk quietly when One starts demanding information on his wife’s murder.
Oh, and the ship? The Android is still aboard the Raza, somewhat conveniently docked near the prison, but she is refusing to cooperate with the Galactic Authority folk as they attempt to de-bug her programming. As we recall from season one, the Android of the Raza is no longer Pinocchio, and she took it upon herself more than once to save the crew of the Raza, at the risk of her own existence. She never cared what their pasts were, and I’m betting she’ll save them once again when the crew makes their escape from the maximum security prison.
Six seems to have embraced his new name and job, Lieutenant Kal Varrik of the Galactic Authority, and keeps insisting he’s only trying to help the crew of the Raza when he sees them in their various shenanigans. But it’s Five’s reaction, when Varrik tries to explain all this to her and give her her real name back (he says it’s Emily Kolburn), that makes him realize that the fecal matter has really hit the whirling dervish. It’s been decided that Five will be remanded to the custody of a group home somewhere nearby, for her own good of course, but before that can come anywhere near happening, Commander Lee Shaddick of the Galactic Authority Serious Crimes Division shows up and takes control of everything.
It looks like the only one to truly escape is, oddly enough, One himself. He’s decided to take up Derrick Moss’ comfortable life, but before he can do that, a man wearing his own face (this would be Jace Corso, for those of you who paid attention in the first season) shows up and apparently shoots One all kinds of dead.
Whew! That is an awful lot to take in for a season opener. The show appears to have gotten a larger budget this time around, and are making strides in trying to give the scenes more of a realistic flair, which we the audience all appreciate. All our beloved amnesiacs are back, plus some new unsavory characters to run around with them, and this is how we truly do summer Scifi the right way.
Catch the furious flares of Dark Matter on the SyFy channel Fridays @10:00 p.m./9:00 p.m., Central!