*** This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter Season 3 episode “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy” ***
Dark Matter amped up the creep factor this week with its latest episode, written by co-creator Paul Mullie and directed by Steve DiMarco, where the threat of an alien invasion offered some big answers to more of Two’s (Melissa O’Neil) history. It turns out the Dwarf Star conspiracy that Future Five (Jodelle Ferland) warned the Android (Zoie Palmer) about is the fact that Rook has been secretly manufacturing biosynthetic organisms like Two to become simulants, or host bodies, for the alien species we first met last season when one took over Three’s (Anthony Lemke) body. In turns out that Rook is just a pawn in a more sinister endgame to infiltrate this universe and take it over.
If that wasn’t dramatic enough, the last moments saw Two whisked away by alternate Boone just before a nuclear blast wiped out the manufacturing facility, taking her out of the frying pan and into the fire. What’s in store for Two, and are the aliens still a threat now that the portal has seemingly been destroyed? Showrunner Joseph Mallozzi answers our questions for another instalment of our weekly Dark Matter chats.
The TV Junkies: This was another episode that answered a lot of questions regarding the reason Two was created, the secret behind Three’s alien possession, and Dwarf Star itself.
Joseph Mallozzi: We’re playing the long game, right? We’re slowly scattering these clues and over time putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Seemingly we’re done, but we’re not finished with that particular story yet.
TTVJ: Will we find out whether that nuclear blast was successful in destroying the portal?
JM: Yes, we will.
TTVJ: Obviously it must have destroyed those simulants on board, but there are still simulants out there hidden among the corporations.
JM: Yep, they’ve infiltrated. Whether these infiltrators can be caught, whether the Galactic Authority and the corporations will be able to keep a lid on things, and if they can’t keep a lid on things, how humanity will react, is a story for another day.
TTVJ: I can’t go without mentioning Three’s storyline. Anthony did a great job with this episode. It’s so rare to see Three be in a such a scared state, considering he’s normally a guy that exudes such confidence and savvy.
JM: As always. Anthony can do it all; he can do comedy, those really nice character scenes we see him do with Sarah (Natalie Brown) and obviously the Android in the end of last episode, and he can do action scenes. This is a totally different side of Three that we’ve never seen before and, yet again, Anthony Lemke nails it.
TTVJ: I noticed that Three’s episodes triggered every time Sajen (Kate Drummond) was nearby, so it seemed to be because of his proximity to an alien creature—
JM: Interesting, interesting, yes.
TTVJ: —so, in that case, were Three’s dreams triggered because of their proximity to the portal?
JM: I will not answer that question directly, but I will say that it would seem as though his experience in the past with these alien entities has made him somewhat more sensitive to their existence.
TTVJ: In terms of the motivation behind the Dwarf Star conspiracy, obviously we understand the alien’s need to take over the universe for their survival, but what about Alexander Rook? Is this really just a get rich quick scenario for him?
JM: Presumably he’s been benefiting from them for quite awhile. Essentially what we’re going to learn is in exchange for advanced technology, he helped them out. His R&D department is made up of aliens, and that’s why Dwarf Star Technologies is so successful. He owes it all to them. He traded this reality for a limited time success.
TTVJ: I’m wondering, was the name Rook a subtle hint that he’s a piece of a larger game of chess?
JM: That’s interesting, ha! I will say that no one has ever pointed that out before.
TTVJ: At the eleventh hour on this episode, Boone ironically comes to Two’s rescue here.
JM: We don’t know where they’re going, but the last time we did see Boone and Portia, they were in Nieman’s (David Richmond-Peck) company, and they were going to make a deal with Ryo Ishida (Alex Mallari Jr.) for something. We don’t know what, but I suspect we’re going to find out next episode.
TTVJ: Near the beginning of the episode, Six (Roger Cross) was trying to talk Two into getting involved in the corporate war now that they have this functioning blink drive. Now that they know Dwarf Star is involved, will Two be more open to that idea?
JM: Let’s just say the corporate war will come to a head in the finale.
TTVJ: One thing we haven’t discussed yet is the Android’s change in outfits. What was the decision behind that?
JM: We’ve always wanted to do different costume changes, and continue to show different sides of The Android. It was a way to add more color to her character. It was something we were meaning to do at some point in Season 3, but it’s so hard to find the right opportunity or moment to do it, because often the episodes fall on each other’s heels so directly, that there is no time to take a breather and make some sort of change. We saw the opportunity [in this episode].
Paul [Mullie] wrote the script, and then we got the uniform and after Zoie wore it to set she had a talk with me and said, “I’d love to have a conversation where we address this outfit.” So I wrote the scene where Two approaches her and they have that discussion in the corridor about the outfit, and the idea that it’s really more than just her changing her outfit, but the fact that she now has the ability to decide what she wants to wear, what she doesn’t want to wear, and what she likes. That’s something we’ll be expanding upon in Season 4.
TTVJ: I like the idea that Zoie Palmer was the one with the idea to address the outfit,n because obviously it is a bit of a departure for the Android.
JM: To be honest with you, those are the types of scenes that are most memorable. Anthony comes by my office a lot and talks about his character, Zoie texts me a lot, and I’ve spoken to Melissa quite a bit this past season. I’m happy to accommodate and I love that they’re so involved and want to pitch ideas. Obviously I can’t do all of them, but sometimes something really sparks and this was a moment where she said, “I don’t know what the scene is, but I would love if we could address it somehow.” I wrote that scene in half an hour, came down and she really liked it, and we shot it two days later. It reminds me of the accent scene in Season 1. There are so many instances where a lot of the Android scenes have come about as a last minute addition, and yet they tend to be some of the more memorable moments, just because they tend to do with her connecting with the crew or offering a glimpse as to who she is, and her role on board the ship.
TTVJ: I can’t go without mentioning Kate Drummond’s guest starring role in this episode, who Wynonna Earp fans know as Agent Lucado.
JM: Here’s an interesting story about how she got the part. She auditioned for another episode earlier in the season, and then she got really sick. I heard from our casting director that she was sick a couple of days before the costume fitting, so we had to recast at the last minute. I reached out to her on Twitter to see if she was doing okay, and it was just a passing thing, so I said I would love to have her on the show. I felt that she missed out on a role through no fault of her own, so I said, “We have another role for you.” In the case of Sajen, we didn’t really audition anyone. We just offered her the role, and she was terrific.
TTVJ: Yes, she’s such a nice, genuine person, but is able to become such a badass on screen.
JM: She definitely has that confidence and that power. It was one of those instances where, sort of like Ennis Esmer in Season 1, where you see his performance and you’re like, “wow, this individual is great.” We killed him off, but this is sci-fi, and there are ways around death in sci-fi. Perhaps it’s not the last we’ve seen of Lieutenant Sajen, but time will tell.
TTVJ: Is there anything else you’d like to add about the episode?
JM: The production design was fantastic in this episode. I give it up to our production designer Ian Brock, the art department and our construction team who built that creepy-looking industrial site. Also our visual effects department, Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, who is a co-executive producer and visual effects supervisor, for creating those creatures, who have come a bit of a ways since we last glimpsed them. We’ll see how they develop as a presence.
We’re seeing a lot of interesting storylines and clues, and paying them off as we go along. The last couple of episodes are going to be huge. Episode 312 is going to be a family reunion of sorts on Zairon. A lot of secrets will be revealed. We’re going to touch on Five’s sister, that secret that Ryo holds over Three that he’s been wondering about. There’s a secret for Six, and another for Two as well, so hopefully it’ll be another fan favorite.
What do you think will happen in the upcoming “family reunion”? Were you surprised by the reveals in this episode? Sound off in the comments below.
Dark Matter airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy and Space Channel.
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.