After three extremely solid episodes in a row, I was expecting a bit of a clunker. For the most part, “Goodbye Blue Sky” is a collection of not particularly subtle relationship establishers… but that doesn’t mean the episode wasn’t without some craziness, i.e., KLINGON SPACE JESUS.
The forecast calls for “Razor Rain,” which is when pieces of the Votans’ Arcships fall through the atmosphere and fuck shit up. Why they arrive in packs in unknown. How they possibly come through the atmosphere, maintain their shape and size without melting and cause only mild damage (mostly to morons standing out in said rain) is… best not to think about it, really.
Irisa has a vision that Sukar, the top-hatted, green fur shawl-wearing Irathient leader of the Spirit Riders, is in trouble. She’s correct, in that when she and Nolan arrive, Sukar is dead, having been hit by the Razor Rain’s first sprinkle, I guess. Nolan recognizes the weather patterns (seriously, stop thinking about it) and goes to warn Defiance, while Irisa stays to Sukar’s Irathient funeral, which involves dumping him in a bathtub full of acid. Things get weird when Sukar stands up.
Yes, Sukar is now alive again, and he has a mission — a mission that he says is the will of the Irathient god, and involves going to Defiance and stealing a lot of shit and beating up anyone who gets in his way. Irisa goes with him, partially out of confusion (understandably) and partially to make sure he hurts the minimum amount of Defiancians.
Meanwhile, the Razor Rain is making some unusual character pairings.
• Evil Ex-Mayor stops by the McCawley house to hunt for info about Birch, whom you might recall the increasingly insane Quentin killed and dumped in a mine last episode. Remember, Rafe seems to be the only person who thinks Evil Ex-Mayor is actually evil, so maybe that’s why she doesn’t even pretend to not be horrible and diabolical. By the end, she’s revealed Rafe is hiding something about his wife's death, figured out that Quentin killed Birch solely because Rafe takes the blame, and made Rafe so pissed off he nearly choked an elderly woman with breathing problems to death.
• Stahma stops by the NeedWant to pick up the weekly protection money since Datak is out of town. She also asks Kenya if she wouldn’t mind teaching her son how to please a human woman before he gets married. Kenya laughs at the idea, offending Stahma, so Stahma apologies, gives her a drink, and soon Stahma is revealing she used to write poetry and they’re having a post-coital discussion about how if Datak finds out about this he’ll kill them both.
• Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley are stuck in Alak’s DJ station on the op of the St. Louis arch, having an argument because Christie doesn’t want to undergo the Castithan family bath time ritual in an argument that makes it seem like these kids have absolutely no business marrying each other. It’s dull.
So back to the good stuff. Sukar — who now also has healing powers, by the way — grabs the stuff necessary to make some kind of beacon thing as per the Irathient god, although even he doesn’t know what he’s doing or why. Doc Yewell figures out he’s going to use the device on a massive Arc-ship that’s aimed right for Defiance and going to kill everybody. Despite the fact that Defiance is effectively doomed, Nolan can’t help but feel whatever Sukar is doing is still going to be bad news.
Nolan confronts Sukar and Irisa in the radio room in the arch (since Sukar needs it to broadcast the beacon properly) just as Sukar’s about to hit the switch. A fight ensues where both Nolan and Sukar ask Irisa to help them, and she just stands there, frozen, unable to decide. That is, until Nolan shoots Sukar about 40 times in rapid succession, blasting his body right out of the arch and falling a good 100 feet or so onto a steel beam. Irisa decies — and hits the button.
What do you know, the beacon actually causes the Arc-ship to fire up what’s left of its engines and land somewhere else. Sukar has saved the city, Irisa’ faith is vindicated, and Nolan just killed an innocent man! Suffice it to say, Irisa is not pleased.
She gets slightly better when it turns out Sukar still isn’t dead, he’s just in a coma and his spince has been severed. She’s less enthused when the doctor reveals he wasn’t actually on a mission from Klingon Space God, but had been infected with nanites when he was first hit by Arc-ship shrapnel. These apparently knew the ship was landing on Defiance, were programs to protect all Votan life, and when they found themselves in Sukar they brought him back, healed him, and used him to enact their programming. Unfortunately, once Defiance was safe and their mission accomplished, the nanites shut down, which is why they aren't healing himany more.
In the end, I would assume there’s a major divide between Nolan and Irisa, although they both bring Sukar’s body back to the Spirit Riders to take care of (which, given that Defiance actually has a doctor and equipment and the Spirit Riders are nomads on dirtbikes, seems kind of shitty). But if there is, we’ll have to save it for next week. I’ll miss you, Klingon Space Jesus!
• As an abuse of her political power, Mayor Amanda forcing Alak Tarr to play “Shiny Happy People” is pretty brutal.
• I thought the Irathient funeral ceremony was mind-bogglingly boring, and then Sukar burst out of the acid bath, naked and screaming. Well played, Defiance.
• I’m still super confused why Evil Ex-Mayor resigned. It seems like whatever her evil plans are, they’d be waaaay easier to enact if she was still in power.
• That one moron who stayed out in the razor rain with homemade armor basically screaming “COME AT ME BRO” made me laugh.
• Do you think Kenya charged Stahma? I don’t think so, seeing that it was kind of apology sex. For the head of a brothel, Kenya seems to give away a lot of Free Sex.
• I don’t claim to be an expert on girl-on-girl action or anything, but it looked to me like Mia Kirshner was decidedly not into kissing Jaime Murray there at the end. I could be wrong, though. Maybe she’s just a bad kisser.
• I really thought that Irisa would choose to put Sukar out of his misery, and then I thought we might have another funeral. Then I thought it would be the greatest thing ever if Sukar burst out of the acid bath again and screamed “STOP DOING THAT.”
• I know Alak is a Castithan, which is basically a Space Albino, but even if he wasn’t he’d still be the whitest boy in Defiance.