For some, SyFy’s Defiance may have a lot of things going for it, but at times, you have to wonder about the writing.

Take the most recent episode, where we get a glimpse into Alien Geddy Lee* Datak Tarr’s past on Casti. He’s getting down with his father’s mini lightsaber charge blade when Daddy Tarr comes along and scolds Lil’ Datak. Later we get the following dialog from the Tarr Father:

Remember, Datak: pride, greed, ambition. These are vanities of the flesh. Only honor endures. And when honor dies... the spirit dies with it. Make me proud.

See the problem there? Pride is first in line in his “vanities of the flesh,” and after explaining honor, the very next thing he says to his son is “Make me proud.” Pride is a vanity of the flesh; make me proud. What the hell kind of mixed-message is that? It’s no wonder Datak turned out the way he did.

Sure, maybe he meant pride in two different ways, one an overwrought sense of superiority and one a sense of fulfilled satisfaction. Sure, if you were writing this you could use different words to signify those different intended meanings. But then you wouldn’t get the seemingly sloppy but cunningly seeded mixed-message that set Datak Tarr down his vanities-of-the-flesh path.

The lesson here: Choose your words carefully if you don’t want your children lopping off their own limbs.


(* I originally had Alien Jimmy Saville, which he does look like. But there are some connotations there that, as Balmut suggested, we probably don’t want to think about. Google him if you must.)