Last week’s Dark Matter brought a sudden and violent conclusion to Ryo Ishida’s (Alex Mallari Jr.) reign as Emperor of Zairon when his own ally Misaki Han (Ellen Wong) staged a coup to assassinate him and put the throne in more capable hands. She would have gotten away with it, of course, if it weren’t for that meddling Two (Melissa O’Neil), who turned Misaki’s own poison blade against her, finally getting justice for when Misaki murdered Nyx (Melanie Liburd) in the Season 2 finale.
In part two of our interview with Wong, she explains why Misaki’s betrayal of Ryo and considers the possibility of her return to the series. You can read part one of our interview here, where we discussed how Misaki’s loyalty to Zairon doesn’t make her a villain.
TTVJ: You were so great in this episode. I absolutely loved the scene where she’s limbering up before her fight with Ryo, you looked so intense.
EW: It was so funny, because when I was doing ADR for that scene, there’s the part where in the script it says she’s cracking her neck, so I was joking and saying if I have to do the neck crack too, but then I twisted my head and there was an actual crack that came out, and said, “oh my god, use that! That’s legit, that’s real neck crack!” I wonder if they ended up using that or if they used some library of neck cracks that they already had.
TTVJ: In terms of the coup, what do you think made Misaki decide to turn against Ryo?
EW: So, I think at this point she realized–she’s given him so many chances already throughout the season–she has to take matters into her own hands. That means possibly overthrowing the throne because Ryo is clearly too emotional and has his hands in so many pockets. Especially with the Raza crew and Teku swaying him, there’s so much going on and already Zairon is at so much risk and we’re losing so many people, so Misaki is like, “okay, he needs to go.”
That’s what I love about Misaki. I always joke with Joe [Mallozzi] that it would be a really funny episode if we ever get to see Misaki when she’s not in her warrior gear, because she is a human being and it does hurt her, I think, that she has to make these harsh decisions, like being willing to stab Ryo or kill Nyx. I don’t think she’s heartless as some people might think, but she makes these decisions because it really is the only way, in her eyes, that Zairon can be saved, and for people to live in peace on this planet. She is, I think, one of the only characters that is able to put her heart aside and make the right choice, and that was really interesting to play with. I really loved in this episode that she had to choose Ryo as the next guy to get rid of because it gave me, thanks to Joe, so much to play with, and conflicting things to go on internally, because she has such a history with Ryo. But, at the end of the day, Misaki feels that he does need to go, and a true leader will step up and put his or her baggage aside in order to do what’s right for everyone. I think that’s what Misaki is doing.
TTVJ: How did you feel about Misaki’s death scene?
EW: You know, it made sense. Ryo has his crew, and even though they’ve been through so much together, there is a loyalty amongst them, which is amazing to see. I understand why Two had to step in and stab Misaki–I’m not gonna say kill, because you never know–but I think, in some way, it parallels Misaki’s intentions. It’s knowing what’s in yourself, as a leader, to be able to make these hard decisions like that in order to help everybody. In a way, I kind of admire Two and her badassery to be able to do that, and to save Ryo, even though he’s been such an idiot. [laughs] Or I guess Four in this case, for her. It was an awesome storyline to play with and it will only propel Ryo’s storyline and we’ll see what happens to Zairon. Ryo may very well see that she was right all along.
TTVJ: It doesn’t look too good for Zairon by the end of this episode, though, considering they’ve already coined it the Fall of the House of Ishida.
EW: Not right now, but if there’s anything left in Misaki, she will find a way to come back, even if it’s haunting Ryo in his dreams and forcing him to make better choices in life. [laughs]
TTVJ: It’s sci-fi, anything can happen!
EW: I know, anything can happen! We haven’t really deeply explored Misaki yet. She’s always there with Ryo, but who is she on her own?
TTVJ: We know in some alternate reality out there is a Zairon that won the war and is living in peace, so who knows, maybe we can visit a reality where Misaki has her feet up, living a normal life.
EW: I have joked about that with Joe also. Going into Episode 312 we were texting about it, and I said, “I want to see Misaki in a white, flowy dress, chilling by the beach, sipping on drinks.” She needs to relax and enjoy life, and put Ryo aside for a second. She maybe has a lover who is really understanding; there’s no killer in her, she’s just so chill, and after awhile she’ll probably get bored and put her drinks aside and say goodbye to her lover, break his heart or something, put on her gear and become that warrior again and do what’s right.
TTVJ: Once scene with Misaki this season that I loved was with Teku (Andrew Moodie) when she told that story about the boys that beat her in school. It was one of the few instances in the series where a character brought up having to work that much harder because of their gender.
EW: Yeah, I loved that speech with Teku, where she walks in and sees him enjoying breakfast like he deserves to be there. Misaki’s like “get the f*ck out of here, you don’t belong in here, and I’m not gonna let you get in the way of something I’ve worked very hard to try and save.” I think in that speech she’s basically saying to Teku, “don’t underestimate me. I’m telling you this story because this is what happens when you underestimate me.” It also gives her the place of being able to stand up amongst this world of men trying to wage war, I think. It’s interesting, that gender perspective, because I’ve always believed that if women were able to rule the world that everybody would live in peace and where would be no war, that we would find a way to balance things out. Here, we’re in this world of men needing power, and constant greed, and she’s tired of that. She’s lived in the world of men and she has this masculine side to her too, she knows how to bring thay part of her up and not allow them to mess with her.
TTVJ: I think she should have taken the throne for herself, things would have worked out much better.
EW: I know! I think that’s what she was planning to do in Episode 312, but unfortunately Two got in the way, and I can’t sit here and think, “oh, I hate that”, because I also love that Two is a woman and she’s fighting for what’s right for her too, and I get it. I think it’s pretty cool that she did it. If it was Three (Anthony Lemke) or Six (Roger Cross) I would have been like, “F*uck,” but kudos to Two, man.
TTVJ: Before I let you go, I did want to also say congratulations on getting a second season of GLOW. I loved Season 1, so I’m really excited to see what you guys have in store for Season 2.
EW: I’m glad you’re enjoying the show! Back on the gender topic, that show that makes me feel so empowered to be a female, and I’m really excited to be part of a project that’s so aware of the issues that we face, and all the stereotypes and racism that is out there. I feel very lucky to be working with creators that really get it.
Would you like to see Misaki return? Sound off in the comments below.
Dark Matter airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.