The two major plots in tonight's Defiance include a boring wedding between two boring characters, and then the uncovering of an old murder in which you knew no main cast member was going to be implicated. It should have been rote. Instead, we get the biggest mind-fuck of Defiance’s first season.
The wedding was of course the Tarr-McCawley one, which has always been a snooze. So let’s start with the discovery of the corpse, which actually happens during Alak’s bachelor party at the NeedWant. Alak does not particularly want to fuck a prostitute before he marries Christie (he seems more personally squeamish about it than concerned about Christie’s feeling, imho); some of the Castithan boys razz him, they get in a fight and knock into a wall and holy shit it’s the corpse of Hunter Bell, the former owner of the NeedWant and ex-husband to Kenya, who disappeared seven years ago.
The show does a great job confusing us to Hunter’s character; he’s first introduced in a flashback, throwing Tommy out of a game for cheating — after he’s been caught cheating, thus effectively saving his ass — and then dropping him off at the Lawkeeper’s office to do some honest work. But in the next flashback, he’s beating Kenya in a way that seems pretty bad but might (might) just be sexy? But then Amanda’s flashback confirms it was the bad kind of physical abuse, though.
Nolan doesn’t give a shit (partially because the possibility of Kenya or Amanda being the murderer is not implausible at this point), and is willing to ignore the whole thing. But then the wacky little bartender alien guy from the NeedWant is found murdered — with weirdly blue hands — and now Nolan has to care. Luckily, the blue hands reminds him of some Castithan murder tool, so he decides to arrest Datak, less because he has proof Datak did anything and more because he loves the shit out of arresting Datak.
This time, though, it’s actually for a purpose. The pissed off Datak goes to find Rafe McCawley and accuses him of murdering Bell. Rafe denies it while Tommy hides and listens in, although he doesn’t get to hear the flashback of how Hunter brought a knife to a fist with Young Hobo Datak Tarr, a fight only stopped by Rafe and his shotgun. Intriguingly, the two walked off together, clearly getting ready to discuss a partnership. I expect to hear more about this eventually.
So whodunit? Well, Evil Ex-Mayor Nicki walks into Doc Yewell’s office. EEM hopes it's because Yewell has changed her mind about renewing their former partnership; instead, they get a flashback — one where Hunter Bell walks into the doctor’s office while she’s examining Nicki… and Nicki is very clearly not human. She’s one of those genetically altered Indogenes, like our Channing Tatum-esque astronaut friend from last week’s episode! At the NeedWant, Hunter offers to keep his mouth shut for $100,000; EEM Nicki proposes a counter-offer of her beating in his skull with her cane.
Back in the present, when Yewell asks Nicki why she killed the bartender, the person who had kept their secret for seven years (he had accidentally stumbled upon the scene and then got towels), Nicki says it’s for the greater good. To which Doc Yewell proposes a counter-offer: She injects Nicki with a paralyzing agent and tells her she’s gone too insane to let live and poisons her and then sticks her in a car in a garage to make it look like suicide and she even writes a lovely note in EEM’s hand, confessing for both murders. For the greater good.
HOLY SHIT. We barely got our heads around the idea Nicki’s is an alien, not knowing whether she's plotting against humans, or the other Votan species, or what, but then Doc Yewell murders her! It’s almost a mini-Game of Thrones, in that instead of killing the traditional good guys to make you wonder where the hell this story is going, they just killed off all the traditional bad guys! I like it! We have no primary antagonist now! …unless you happened to find that last shot of Doc Yewell placing the Naziri/Thingie into a dark bin a bit unsettling.
• I didn’t really talk about the wedding, but it had a few nice moments for the Tarrs and the McCawleys. Rafe tells Datak he’s willing his mines to the city after his death, which is actually a great idea since one son is dead, the other ran away and Datak might have Christie killed to get sole ownership if Rafe is gone. Datak, again demonstrating how he has no long-term planning abilities other than “GET MORE POWERFUL,” is pissed and calls the wedding off. Alak has a hissyfit, Rafe sees Alak really loves Christie, Stahma seems genuinely interested in Christie not being miserable and even makes her a human-style veil, and Christie does nothing because she's Christie. At any rate, the marriage goes through, but if Rafe relented about the mine/will thing I’m not sure. I don’t think so, though.
• On the other hand, I feel like Alak and Christie's many, many cultural wedding issues should have been worked out well in advance, preferably by the couple involved. I do not sense their marriage will be a happy one.
• Defiance, I’m willing for forgive a lot of fuzzy science in this show, but not the science of the smells of a decomposing corpse behind thin drywall for seven years.
• Castithan bachelor parties seem reasonably like human bachelor parties, although the prostitute pretending to be the bride-to-be while standing in a giant birdcage is admittedly a bit weird.
• Seriously, they already confirmed he was Hunter Bell. What the fuck was the comically large “HB” necklace for?
• I assume that flashback with Hobo Datak was set well before seven years ago, because I assume Datak had to have been higher up on the social ladder when Alak was born, right?
• Speaking of the wedding, I feel like it was as Castithan as hell. I mean, if this was the compromise, unless a true Castithan wedding involves fields of flaming hippopotamuses dancing through fields of grapes while everybody wears sacred diapers or something, I feel like Datak and his cultural was super-respected.
• Seriously, where the hell do we go from here? I guess there's the E-Rep to deal with, but their threat is going to need to change from "looming" to "imminent" pretty quickly, right?