*** This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter Season 3 episode “Give It Up, Princess”***
Who says nice guys always finish last? Adrian Maro (Mishka Thébaud) took the spotlight on Friday night’s Dark Matter as he led the crew through corporate territory to collect top secret data from Ferrous Corp. After a painful betrayal by his would-be love interest Ambrosia (Anna Hopkins), Adrian and the crew decrypted the Project Phoenix file to find Ferrous’ secret and deadly fleet… only to discover it was already gone. With Nieman (David Richmond-Peck) targeting the newly independent colonies, things aren’t looking so good right now.
The same can be said for Zairon, too. After a failed maneuver to win back sacred territory and an assassination attempt from one of his subjects, Ryo Ishida (Alex Mallari Jr.) is out for blood. Is this is the House of Ishida already heading into a downward spiral?
In spite of the ominous conclusion, “Give It Up, Princess” was another fun hour of Dark Matter, written by co-creator Paul Mullie and directed by J.B. Sugar (Bitten). We spoke with showrunner Joseph Mallozzi about Ryo’s plight, Adrian’s goal to become the new Tabor, and whether we’ll be seeing the Android’s (Zoie Palmer) upgrade again in the near future.
The TV Junkies: This episode was a great showcase of the strong supporting cast Dark Matter has developed. Thébaud did an amazing job as Adrian, and Teku (Andrew Moodie) and Misaki (Ellen Wong) also really stood out as strong players. Was that something you had in mind when you broke the episode in the writer’s room?
Joseph Mallozzi: This episode was really a vehicle for Adrian to introduce him and to get a sense of who he is, and what his deal is. The Teku and Misaki beat is part of a longer game, a bigger arc that we play throughout this season. This idea I’ve mentioned where they’re kind of the angel and devil who sit on Ryo’s shoulders as he tries to rule. They’ve both got very different suggestions for how to rule, and sometimes one is up, which causes the other to be down in terms of favor, then the roles are reversed. As of a couple of episodes ago it looked like a very happy reunion for Teku and Misaki was nearly killed. At the end of this episode Misaki is proven correct, and Teku is proven incorrect, much to his embarrassment and to Ryo’s displeasure. How that plays out will be interesting to see.
TTVJ: It really feels like these two are in the midst of a battle for Ryo’s soul, and we’re left wondering who’s going to win out in the end. Any hints?
JM: Maybe one will win, maybe neither will win. We’ll have to see. This is a story that will play out over the course of the season, so you won’t get a quick answer to that one. It will culminate in spectacular fashion near season’s end.
TTVJ: One thing I felt the episode really hit home with is how Adrian is a decent guy in a cutthroat galaxy. Does he really want to become the next Tabor?
JM: See, this is it. You aspire to greatness and what are you going to give up to be that person? The classic example is of Hollywood and how much you have to sell your soul for success. That’s Adrian. He’s the guy that aspires to be like Tabor. Tabor is the perfect example of underhanded, scheming and always working the angles, and he’s trying to do that, and he’s so clearly out of his element. The reason is that you see these flashes of kindness and that maybe he’s not quite as Tabor-ish as he wants to be, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
TTVJ: Thébaud really did a great job and carried the episode well. Did you get that sense when you were filming?
JM: You never know when you cast someone how they’re going to turn out. Mishka did such a good job in the audition. His first day he came in, we asked for a little adjustment, and he just made the character his. He was terrific, kind of an everyman sort of person in that he’s clearly in way over his head with the crew of the Raza, whereas when comparing him to Five (Jodelle Ferland) and he points out, “hey, she’s just a kid, she’s the one who’s in over her head,” but in reality, Five’s come such a long way. Clearly he’s the one who has a lot more growing than she does.
TTVJ: Could we see Adrian and Solara (Ayisha Issa) becoming official members of the crew of the Raza?
JM: Anything’s possible. They’re not here for the long haul. They’re only here for a short visit, but when they return, whether they return, how long they return… a lot of it is story related, but a lot of it is how the audience reacts. Do you like these characters? If you do and you want to see more, then chances are you will see more.
TTVJ: We also learned a little about Solara’s past as a Prioress of the Seventh Order of Chandarith, which I’d say is up there with Three (Anthony Lemke) and Two (Melissa O’Neil) in terms of tragedy. Will we learn more about the Order or the Abbot of Daro?
JM: Not in the near future, I’ll say.
TTVJ: But this is Dark Matter, so nothing is mentioned for no reason.
JM: Exactly, exactly.
TTVJ: The Android got the chance to use that upgrade in this episode. How did Zoie enjoy letting her hair down again?
JM: I think she always has a good time. She always likes doing those scenes because it’s very different from the Android, but she’s always very mindful, and always reminds me, that the fun in those scenes where she lets her hair down are only fun because it’s in contrast to the normally buttoned-down Android as she normally is. Without the contrast, it doesn’t really pay off. I know a lot of fans say they want to see more of her doing this, and certainly there will be more opportunities for it, but at the Android’s heart she still remains our Android.
TTVJ: I did get the sense from the Android as a character that she was hesitant to turn off the upgrade this time around. Is there a part of her that wants to keep it going??
JM: It’s something that’s a learning process for her. She finds out a lot about humanity and herself when she uses it.
TTVJ: So will it make a reappearance sometime this season?
JM: I will say: possibly.
TTVJ: In this episode you had UFC champion Michael Bisping guest starring as Goren. How did he end up being cast in the role?
JM: That was Jay [Firestone]. Jay was in talks with Michael about another project and just thought he would be perfect for Goren. I thought he actually made a really good Goren. Michael’s a nice guy and he really enjoyed being on set.
TTVJ: We spoke a bit about Ryo’s story earlier, but I did want to point out that things aren’t looking good for Zairon. They lost a major battle in the war, and Ryo just had an assassination attempt. Is this is the beginning of the prophesied fall of the House of Ishida?
JM: I don’t know if you’d say this is the beginning. There is definitely some unrest. I guess we’ll see. Things probably would have been a lot of easier if he’d had that blink drive. His scientists would have been successful in reverse engineering it and fitting an armada with it. The blink drive could have gone a long way toward the war effort, but as far as he knows his former crew members threw a wrench in the works, so now he’s going to have to find out another way.
TTVJ: Obviously he’s done evil things, but you have to feel for the guy. He went into this with such a clear idea, essentially he knew what was going to happen because of what he learned from the alternate reality, but now he’s been thrown his huge wrench and has to maneuver how to rule without his big master plan.
JM: Correct. He’s in a tough spot, he’s in a very tough spot, and it’s only going to get tougher for him as the series progresses.
TTVJ: He’s cracking down on his subjects now. Will we see the fallout of that?
JM: Possibly, yes. Every action will have a reaction. So chances are very good that his potential enemies within the court will react. Who those enemies are still remain to be seen.
TTVJ: Ferrous was also a big part of this episode. We know they’ve created this huge fleet under Project Phoenix and at the end of the episode we heard Nieman talk about Agent Zero. Are those two things related at all?
JM: I don’t want to give too much away. Things will dovetail before season’s end.
TTVJ: Based on that last scene, will we be seeing Six (Roger Cross) in the next episode?
JM: We’ll probably be checking in on him. Agent Zero could be a reference to Six, but perhaps an even more ominous reference to something else that will involve Six and the colony he’s at.
TTVJ: What else can you hint about next week?
JM: The next two episodes are going to be tough to tease, just because they’re packed full of surprises. I will say that this next episode, 306, is one of my favorites of the season. I have four or five of my favourites and 304 is one of them. 306 is another, 309 and 312. It’s obviously very different from 304, but it makes use of a classic sci-fi concept that I always love exploring. That’s all I can say about 306.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? 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.