So, what did everyone think of Dark Matter’s third episode? Questions? Concerns? Theories? Got it all figured out? Who wiped their memories? Why? What’s behind the big metal door? What’s the significance of FOUR’s ring? Who killed the boy?
Check out my weekly episode debrief with TheTVJunkies’ Bridget Liszewski for some additional hints:
This episode was written by former Stargate Executive Producer Martin Gero who has been busy of late, working on his new show, Blindspot, which premieres September 21st on NBC. While our first episode focused on the mystery surrounding our crew and the second episode was more an action-driven entry, episode 3 delves into our characters, shifting alliances, burgeoning shipboard paranoia.
1) I hope you’re all enjoying a hearty breakfast.
There’s nothing I like more than a good bookend and the scene of our Android, standing on the bridge playing the role of cruise director, offers just that. It does a nice job of visually conveying a pervasive sense of loneliness – her, standing alone, then cutting to our crew who, though enjoying a communal meal, are seemingly equally alone with their own thoughts.
Until THREE breaks the silence – allowing them all a much-needed cathartic release. Ultimately, THREE is odd man out, left alone with his thoughts – and everyone else’s leftovers.
2) You wanna play a game or something?
Perhaps no one is feeling more lonely than FIVE who, already feeling like an outsider, can’t convince anyone to spend some time with her. SIX is exhausted, ONE is busy reading and FOUR – well, he’s got other things on his mind. By the way, ONE references the book he is reading as “a classic”, but we never get a good look at the cover. Like most everything else in this show, this seemingly innocuous element will come back later in the season – but for now, I’d like you all to guess at the title. Guess correctly and I’ll send you a copy of the book!
FIVE finds herself back in the ship’s vents, exploring its maze-like labyrinth. Her search strangely, inexplicably (?) takes her to a small utility room in the ship’s underbelly where she makes a horrifying discovery: a dead body! Dum dum DAAA!
3) Did you want to organize a funeral; prepare parting remarks?
A scan of the body reveals he was a young boy, coincidentally (?) around FIVE’s age, who died of a single gunshot wound. ONE immediately jumps to the conclusion that one of them may have been responsible. TWO dismisses not so much the notion but the very prospect of considering the possibility. She sees the futility in and suggests they move on. This, of course, does not sit well with ONE who finds her decision, and seeming lack of compassion, objectionable.
The dead boy is played by a terrific young actor named Gage Munroe. Wait! How do I know he’s terrific? Because I watched him deliver a great performance – beyond just playing dead on an infirmary table and gurney. When? Well, suffice it to say we’ll be exploring this particular mystery in an upcoming episode.
4) Have fun playing with your stick.
Not to be so easily dissuaded, THREE drops in on FOUR, seeing in him a like-minded soul guided by self-interest. And he’s correct. Up to a certain point. FOUR may be as mercenary as THREE, but he’s much more even-keeled, logic-driven over emotionally motivated. THREE makes his pitch and FOUR politely hears him out, before turning him down – with the understanding that HE feels the time isn’t right. He’s not saying no, just no for now.
I can’t move on from this scene without mentioning two things. The first is Anthony Lemke’s ad-lib “Okay, have fun playing with your stick!” that almost had me burst out laughing at the monitors the second is Alex Mallari Jr.’s incredible dedication to his role, specifically his mastery of the various weapons in that training room. Over the course of the season, you’ll note, he uses them all – with seeming deadly precision. Chalk it up to Alex’s hard work, dexterity, and skill.
5) What if some of our memories were…what if they weren’t all gone?
A nice bonding moment between FIVE and SIX (did I mention how much I love these two together) in which she gives voice to what we already kind of suspect. Something lead her to that room; that body. The kid was her age. She probably knew him. She feels bad because she DOESN’T feel bad – or, maybe, should feel worse. SIX attempts to console her and talks about fresh starts (a recurring theme throughout this episode and the series as a whole). In the comfort and connection of the moment, FIVE suggests that, maybe, all of their memories aren’t exactly gone. Damn, it’s so hard to keep secrets on a spaceship!
6) She has all our memories in her head and you knew it!
As I was saying: secrets. The worst part about them is when they get out. And such is the case here when an angry SIX barges onto the bridge and accuses TWO of keeping the truth from them: that FIVE has everyone’s memories hidden away in her subconscious. TWO calmly informs him that she wanted to confirm it as fact first before sharing the information. SIX is far from convinced however…
Let’s check out some Dark Matter reviews:
“This is a promising new show and one that already keeps the interest level high and has the viewer trying to guess where the series will go from this excellent beginning.”
“The Understatement of the Year award, from last night’s episode of Dark Matter, goes to One – “We may have lost our memories, but I think it’s pretty safe to say we didn’t lose our personalities.” And as we get to know them, seven distinct, conflicting, mistrusting, potentially deceitful personalities are emerging. Isn’t it great?”
“This show has proven that it has a strong grasp of who these characters are and this episode does an outstanding job of further developing them. Already we’re beginning to see character growth as their shared experiences are having an effect on all of them.”
And these Dark Matter interviews:
Actor Anthony Lemke, Dark Matter’s THREE, chats with The Action Elite:
“I believe really strongly in folks with creative minds and active imaginations and I think science fiction or fantasy speaks to those people. I think it’s a positive thing to be an adult and maintain a youthful imagination and creativity moving forward. Plus, I think we are actively engaged in shaping the future. People who make sci-fi and people who read sci-fi and are part of that community and directly involved in shaping what our future looks like.”
Actress Melissa O’Neil, Dark Matter’s TWO, chats with the Calgary Herald:
“He saw the breakdown for this character and said, ‘You have to audition,’” says O’Neil, in an interview from her home in Toronto. “I was in the middle of callbacks and had the chance to take over a leading part on a Broadway show for a few months or keep auditioning for a TV show. (My agent) really encouraged me to take a chance. He said, ‘You’ve already played that part in Toronto. Do something new.’ And I’m so glad I did. Because it’s been such a ride.”