Defiance has always shown Joshua Nolan as someone who has done stuff he’s not proud of in the past. But in this week’s episode we see what sent him down that path. And he isn’t the only one hiding something from the past. Also, has Alak found his inner Michael Corleone? Spoilers ahead.

Nolan and Irisa are sharing a trip through memories caused by the alien tech that they were hooked up to for several months together.

We start off in pre-war St Louis and meet young Joshua Nolan and his older sister Rebecca. The siblings are pretty tight and even serve together during the war until Joshua’s error in judgement leads to his sister’s death. Nolan lost his parents and sister to the Votan so his hatred for them in his younger days to the point of using one as a dartboard later is understandable.

Irisa wasn’t too thrilled with Nolan’s parenting style that included teaching her to kill. She’s been hiding her own memory (or at least thought) about almost plunging a knife into Nolan’s chest because she was afraid of him.

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Out in the real world Nolan has been brought to Yewll’s clinic by Amanda and Samir the veterinarian. It looks like Yewll is holding a grudge about that skinning thing so Amanda is a little wary of her at first. Yewll realizes there’s arktech in Nolan’s head and sends Amanda to find Irisa.

Berlin quickly finds Irisa of course but is evasive when Amanda asks how. I’m sure the beef between Amanda and Irisa still has some more steam in it.

Yewll starts to operate but realizes she needs an Omec drone to operate both Nolan and Irisa simultaneously. Amanda convinces T’evgin’s daughter Kindzi to help. Yewll hooks into the Omec network and successfully performs the surgery.

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The Tarrs are arguing again. This time Datak wants to to kill the Omec the simple way with a bullet to the head but Stahma thinks she can use her charms to win T’evgin over.

Stahma works it with some softcore alien sex but T’evgin has around too long to fall for that crap and he won’t jeopardize his own agenda. Datak is waiting outside to take out T’evgin with a rifle but Stahma intentionally blocks his shot.

The relationship between Nolan and Irisa is strained. They’ve both killed but while Nolan can live with it Irisa wants no more of it. She’s ready to leave Defiance but of course things aren’t that simple. Yewll informs them that they are still linked and if they get too far apart again they will both die.

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Alak manages to escape from General Tak and return to Defiance. The homecoming isn’t a happy one when Alak puts a knife to Stahma’s throat.

A few weeks ago a commenter and I were musing that Alak couldn’t cope with the world of Defiance. This week’s episode shows he may have learned to cope. Now he’s acting more like his father’s son than he has before. All it took was seeing his mother kill his wife.

Assorted thoughts:

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  • Even though we don’t actually see her do it I’m sure Kindzi dutifully followed her father’s instructions and destroyed Yewll’s source print. There’s absolutely no way she’s going to go Clone Club and make a bunch of little Yewlls. (Though “A Fistful of Yewlls” would be a great episode title.)
  • Samir looks like he’ll be a useful assistant for Yewll.
  • Speaking of Yewll, she gets the best lines of the episode. There were too many good ones to pick a top choice.
  • This episode we only saw the back of the human arms dealer’s head but considering who is playing him (mild spoilers at the link) we’ll see a lot more right around the time a certain movie airs on Syfy.
  • I like what the writers are doing this season. It was bold to kill off the McCawleys and blow up the Arch. Both events tie in directly to the Votanis Collective plot so neither felt gratuitous. It looks like they sat down over the break between seasons and decided what worked and what didn’t (everything Pottinger) and corrected course.