***Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter episode “I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” ***
Dark Matter took the phrase “returning to your roots” a bit too seriously this week, as Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke) and Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) received an accidental neural reboot and reverted to Portia Lin, Marcus Boone and Ryo Ishida thanks to the recovering Android (Zoie Palmer). Five (Jodelle Ferland) and the rest of the newbies (Nyx, Devon and Arax) were quickly thrown into survival mode against three deadly mercenaries defending their ship from what they believe to be invaders.
The incident did nothing to help rising tensions between the crew, especially now that we know that Arax (Mike Dopud) is working with Alicia Reynaud (Inga Cadranel). Guess that explains the sudden change of heart on Hyperion-8, huh? Most strikingly, however, it opens a big can of worms for part of the crew, who now have their old memories at their fingertips.
For more exciting insights into the episode, read our postmortem interview with Dark Matter co-creator and executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, who explains why he wanted to make this episode and previews an “adventure” ahead for members of the crew next week.
The TV Junkies: Let me just say that I loved this episode. It was so exciting to get to see the crew with their original personalities.
Joseph Mallozzi: You know why? Because you’re a fan of the show. When I started to think about the stories I wanted to tell for Season 2, I thought, ‘what, as a fan, would I love to see?’ and I thought obviously I want to see a glimpse of these characters before they had their memories wiped. I knew where I wanted to go [with the episode]—having Two, Three and Four revert back to their old ways, giving the audience a glimpse at the badasses they were. And to pit them against the new crew to see how that goes, with Five caught in the middle.
We sat down and broke the story over a couple of days. Paul [Mullie] wrote the script, he did a phenomenal job on it, and Steve DiMarco, this was his first directing gig with us, did a phenomenal job as well. This was one of my favourite episodes of the season. It’s a smaller episode, but I just love it.
TTVJ: Melissa O’Neil in particular gave such a great performance here. We got to see two very different personalities from her.
JM: Melissa was fantastic in Season 1; she’s even better in Season 2. This episode you see such a wide range, from ultra evil and in control to that vulnerable moment with Five in the alleyway. She’s just terrific.
TTVJ: This episode also revealed some new details about Two. She’s physically capable of linking with the ship, and we have an idea of what her worst memory is like. Will we be revisiting either of these this season?
JM: I can tell you we’ll be visiting one of them very soon.
TTVJ: It was also a great episode for Five; last week we talked about how she’s becoming this hardened character, but she held back this time with Two.
JM: You juxtapose that with her “kill them all” moment and you see that she has changed, but she’s still very much the Five we’ve come to know. At the end of the day her loyalty and her love for her crew and friends guides her. Especially in that moment where instead of letting Two have it in order to sever the link, she just talks her down.
TTVJ: We saw from the beginning of the episode there was tension between the crew and the newbies. We also saw that Arax is working with Reynaud. How do the events of this week affect tensions moving forward?
JM: We’ll have to wait and see. They were instrumental in helping turn the tables. On the other hand, there was a point where they were perfectly willing to kill the present crew in order to take back the ship. There’s that moment where they’re exchanging fire and Nyx (Melanie Liburd) really opens up on them with the automatic. There’s a level of mistrust.
Season 1 was all about that mistrust really early on. No one knew each other, but they came together at the end and then were torn apart. Now they’re in a position where One (Marc Bendavid) is killed, Six (Roger Cross) has been revealed as the traitor and essentially is put on ice at the time being. We’ve got these three new crew members, so our remaining crew have formed an even tighter bond. You see it in this episode and as we move forward as well.
TTVJ: We did get the first indication of Three and Five’s bond this week, which I found very sweet. Considering Three unwittingly released that beacon, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll see a lot of him next week. Will we be seeing another tender moment between them?
JM: In fact, actually, one of my favourite scenes of Season 2 between them is next episode.
TTVJ: I can’t wait for that. This did feel like a very interesting episode for Three because, while Two was a very different person, we saw a lot of similarities between Three and Boone, especially when bringing up Sarah (Natalie Brown).
JM: You see there’s a badassness to him and his willingness to kill who he sees as a threat to the ship. In those moments when they discuss Sarah you do see that softer side of him and even Ryo calls him out on it. However, this is the same Ryo who you’ll recall in Five’s flashback made the deciding vote to keep her. So, you know, they’re bad guys, but even the worst of the worst have their softer sides.
In the case of Two, a lot of it was that the neural link was affecting her. Obviously Portia Lin is very much a mercenary and looking out for number one, but her connection to the ship and the power that was coursing through her really solidified that darkness at her core.
TTVJ: The Android gave them to option to get back their old memories. They rejected it out of fear of retaining their old personalities, but is the option still on the table?
JM: Those neural imprints have been stored away in the computer to be accessed should anyone need or desire to access them at a later date. Maybe we’ll see it played out later this season.
TTVJ: We were also re-introduced to the Randroid this episode. Why did you decide to bring her back?
JM: When we were discussing the story, I suggested the idea that they try to establish the neural link and the Android is offline. Paul came up with the idea that it was something that happened to her on Hyperion-8, so we played with that. Rather than just do away with the Android–which we did a couple of times last season–we love Zoie, and we love the Android, we decided to bring back the Randroid and still have her be part of the action.
I know that Zoie really likes playing her counterpart because she’s kind of a different take on the Android. I think she likes the red outfit because it’s something new. She enjoys those opportunities to mix things up, and she’ll be doing a lot of that this season.
TTVJ: Can you tease a little bit of that for us?
JM: I think you’ve already seen sneak peek pictures of the Android with her hair down, in a completely different outfit and pointing a gun, pretty atypical of the Android. I will say that next episode is one of my favourite types of stories to tell, one of those stories where each of the characters have their separate storyline going on. They’re going to be headed to the space station, there’s going to be the need to acquire medical supplies because presumably Devon’s (Shaun Sipos) going to perform surgery on Six. As you mentioned, the fact that Three sets off that beacon, elements from his past are coming back to haunt him.
The Android sets off on an atypical adventure. She’s never been on a space station, and I remember one of the fans asking why the Android never goes on the space station. I thought it would be kind of fun, so we did an episode where she heads out and has her own little adventure. All of the stories, as usual, you’re setting up dominoes that pay off down the line. What happens to her in episode 4 will yield consequences in episode 5 and further on down the line as well. She goes on quite a ride this season.
Were you excited to meet the crew’s old personalities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space Channel and Syfy.
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.