Dark Matter Episode 2 Postmortem: Moving on From Past Events

Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy
Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

The Dark Matter crew pulled off a nice victory in the series’ second episode as they helped a mining community survive against the big, bad Ferrous Corporation–all while dealing with the premiere’s revelation and the truth about their pasts. Opinions amongst crew members may be varied as to how they should proceed, and Five (Jodelle Ferland) seems to hold the truth about their memory wipe. Will she reveal what she knows to everyone else? Where does the crew go from here now that they’ve somewhat put a target on their own back by double crossing the Ferrous Corp?

For the answers to all these questions, and many more that we had after watching Episode 2, The TV Junkies sat down for a post-episode chat with showrunner Joseph Mallozzi. Mallozzi was kind enough to give us details on each character’s perspective, what it was like filming the episode’s large action sequences and a little preview of what lies ahead in the coming weeks on Dark Matter. As a heads up for Dark Matter fans, Mallozzi will be sitting down after each episode throughout Season 1 of Dark Matter, so don’t forget to check back in with us here at The TV Junkies on a weekly basis.

The TV Junkies: In Episode 2 we started to explore the idea of redemption and whether or not someone can atone for past bad deeds. That certainly seems where One [Marc Bendavid] is headed this season, but is it safe to assume Two [Melissa O’Neill] may be headed down her own path of redemption?

Joe Mallozzi: You get that impression from her response to the Android when she says, ‘Look, don’t call me Portia, you can call me Two.’ There is certainly a sense of that, a sense from everyone else–the Six character, even to a certain point the character of Four who essentially says, ‘Look what does it matter? That’s who we were and this is who we are moving forward.’ You know who I’m not so sure about and who may not be all that interested in the idea of redemption is the character of Three played by Anthony [Lemke]. He kind of, not that he wears it as a badge of honour, but he talks about a very diversified portfolio. So in that respect it’s almost like maybe the past isn’t such a bad thing, or aspects of our past aren’t so bad.

That was one of the things we wanted to play throughout this first season is the idea that the character of Two, as commander who has to be tough and empathetic to the crew, the mark of a good leader and there’s always this push and pull between One and Three–with One being the idealist and Three the mercenary. Ultimately in Episode 2 you also get the sense that they represent two different paths. One is representing the future and moving forward and a fresh start. Three is representing the past and what the past holds. On the surface it seems pretty simple, you think, ‘Oh well you want to start over fresh,’ and yet there are aspects of the past, as Three points out, that really make them who they are and aren’t such bad things–like their abilities, Five’s knack for fixing things, or Four’s ability with a weapon, Three’s ability with his guns or Two’s fighting ability.

People are faced with this all the time, this idea of moving on from a past event, and we’ll discover that a lot of times it’s not as cut and dry as it would appear. That’s a journey that’s going to face all six of our characters.

FiveAndroid

TTVJ: It was nice to see some bonding going on between Two and Five. How will their relationship continue to grow?

JM: Five is very interesting and I discovered as the season wore on that I really loved her relationship with Two and her relationship with Six [Roger Cross], but more than anything I really loved the relationship she begins to develop with the Android [Zoie Palmer]. We got a brief glimpse of it in the first scene of Episode 2. They are both immature but in different ways. It’s just a fun relationship. With regards to Two and Five, their relationship is thrown a curveball in Episode 4. One of the things I really like about the show is the idea of shifting alliances and relationships. No one can ever get comfortable because there’s always the possibility that things will get upended. Very early on Two and Five start to develop a big sister/little sister relationship and I don’t want to say the wheels come off, but something happens in Episode 4.

TTVJ: Five seems to hold the key to solving the mystery with her memory flashes and she seems very open with Two and telling her everything. That makes us very nervous like something is bound to go wrong with her trusting Two with all that knowledge.

JM: Well uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. That’s Two especially, right? She always has to find a way to do what’s best for the crew and sometimes the crew may not think that it’s in their best interest. For instance, the fact that she’s keeping this a secret and as the show goes on and we start to reveal bits and pieces about the different characters. There’s going to be a lot of secrets being kept, a lot of secrets being shared. For instance, that room downstairs with the big metal door–so far Three knows about it, is he going to share that secret or not?

TTVJ: Will we ever find out what’s behind that door?

JM: Oh we will find out. One of the things I promised early on is that we’re going to be establishing a lot of mysteries but we’re going to be answering quite a few of them. Some of the major ones, ‘What’s behind the door?’ and ‘What’s the deal with the memory wipe?’ we will get answers in Season 1. But then we open up the door to more questions which is kind of fun as well.

TTVJ: The deal Two negotiated made an already bad relationship with the Ferrous Corporation even worse. Will we see this come back to bite the team at all in the future?

JM: That will reverberate throughout the season, the fact that as mercenaries–in a sit down with Six and Three in the shuttle, Six points out that, ‘We’ve got enemies out there. There’s the galactic authorities after us, there’s our former rivals, former victims, former enemies, and none of whom we’ll see coming.’ The only thing they did have going for them ultimately was the protection of this or any other corporation because the corporations are the power players. The fact that they double crossed Ferrous Corp. is very bad for them because one, it put them in Ferrous Corp.’s bad books and they have a very powerful enemy after them. Two, word is going to get around that they aren’t very dependable all the sudden and other corporations are going to be much less likely to hire their services. So yes, it puts them in a really bad spot.

TTVJ: One seemed to really bond with the miners, especially Mireille. Can we expect to see a return trip there at all?

JM: No, we won’t be seeing them after Episode 2. Who knows what the future holds, but not for Season 1.

Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy
Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

TTVJ: This episode featured some pretty big action sequences. What was it like filming those and was everyone else jealous of Alex [Mallari Jr. who plays Four] getting to do all those cool moves?

JM: He is having such a blast and such a good time. The great thing about him is that he wakes up at 3 a.m. in order to get in his workout. One of the really pleasant surprises, even though it’s something you’d kind of expect, but not to the degree that it was accomplished, was the stunts. John Stead, our stunt coordinator, did such a brilliant job of choreographing these fight sequences, especially that last one–you swing over and catch them coming down the stairs and get shot, and you swing over and they’re repelling down and you take them up and Three takes them out with Bubba, then One shoots, Three jumps over the railing and One goes down and meets up with Mireille. That was incredible and TJ Scott who directed did such a brilliant job of shooting those sequences. We were incredibly, incredibly pleased.

We watched both episodes on the big screen for the little premiere party we had. In watching those I just thought it was too bad that viewers can’t see the first two episodes back to back. That first episode is tough because you have 43 minutes and you’re establishing the premise, a bunch of mysteries, the world, seven very different characters where in most shows you’re introducing 2 or 3 different heroes and the rest are supporting characters. But this is a small ensemble show so you’re servicing 7 different characters, none of who have their memories and you only really get to scratch the surface on them.

But in the second episode things really open up and you get those nice little moments–right off the bat between Five and the Android, the Android’s humour shining throughout. Two and One kind of face off and you get that distilled essence of their characters–him throwing caution to the wind and wanting to do the right thing and her basically saying, ‘Look I’m the leader and what I say goes.’

Three’s kind of nonchalant regarding their past and trying to put everyone in order. The moment where Four goes in and interrogates the sergeant–that’s actually the scene that got Alex the role. Most actors came in and were very over the top and threatening and he just came in and was very calm about it. It was very unsettling and that’s what I loved about it.

One more thing about Two, in talking about how tough she is, in that debate scene at the end of the pilot where they are wondering if they should deliver the weapons–it’s 3-2 in favour of delivering the weapons and it goes to her for the vote. Her vote is neither, she basically says, ‘We are going to split them.’ So you think it’s a healthy debate and a democracy, and on the surface it seems like she casts a vote in favour of helping the miner’s, but in fact she said no such thing. Neither One nor Three are happy and no one argues. She makes the decision and everyone else falls into place, which again speaks to her character and strength of leadership.

Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy
Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

TTVJ: It was great to see more of Six in Episode 2 but a little surprising to see him so ready to sacrifice himself for a group of people he barely knows. Was that his way of punishing himself for past crimes?

JM: Two of the most level-headed characters on the show are Two and Six. I think if anything were to ever happen to Two that Six would step in and take command. Like Two he can balance logic and emotion, and I think he just looked at that situation, and it wasn’t a matter of him sacrificing himself for past misdeeds, but him just looking at the situation and realizing, ‘We’re all going to die here anyways. Either I die down here or I die up there and if I die up there I can save these people and I can save my friends so that’s what I’m going to do.’ Obviously it was a difficult decision but it made sense to him. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a smart, level-headed guy who is like One, but to a more logical extent has a moral underpinning.

That makes me curious as to what crimes these people have committed. In the case of Three and Four, who seem more ruthless, you think, ‘OK, I get it.’ But in the case of Six and Two who are charged with murder as well, but who seem more grounded as individuals? Where as One has this moral compass that you would think is kind of crazy because how could someone like that, whose rap sheet is as big as anyone’s there–his personality is presumably shining through so what’s the explanation for this? Time will tell.

TTVJ: What can we expect from Episode 3 next week?

JM: Episode 3 involves a ship board issue that starts people thinking and wondering and the paranoia starts to seep in. Alliances begin to get formed–it’s almost like an episode of Survivor behind the scenes. We touch on that big metal door and find out a little more there. We find out a little more about Five and those flashes of insight she’s been getting. It ends, as we do every episode, with a major revelation.

 

What did you think of Episode 2? What has you curious as Dark Matter moves forward? Sound off in the comments below.

 

Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space Channel and Syfy.