Dark Matter: Joseph Mallozzi talks “Kill Them All”

Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy
Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter episode “Kill Them All” ***

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the crew of the Raza–three of whom were nearly burned alive–in the latest episode of Dark Matter, titled “Kill Them All.” The need to escape Hyperion-8 went into overdrive after Traugott made it increasingly clear that their lives were on the line, and a little unexpected help from Mikkei Combine and reformed traitor Six (Roger Cross) led to their daring escape with a few extra bodies in tow.

The crew may finally be back together, but the toll was high. Six is now in near-death stasis on a ship full of very hurt and angry former allies, thanks to a shoot-out Lieutenant Anders (Jeff Teravainen) and Commander Shaddick (Franka Potente) met a violent end at the hands of Five (Jodelle Ferland) and the Android (Zoie Palmer). While the plan is to lay low, the mysterious woman (Inga Cadranel) out to get Five is undoubtedly going to make that very difficult.

We spoke with Dark Matter showrunner Joseph Mallozzi to break down the events of “Kill Them All” and get a little insight in what’s next for the crew including Five’s big upcoming storyline, Four’s (Alex Mallari Jr.) history with Masaki (Ellen Wong) and another look into the crew’s shady history.

The TV Junkies: It’s becoming increasingly clear that nearly everyone wants to kill the Raza crew at this point.

Joseph Mallozzi: That’s one of the themes of Season 2. Season 1 was very much about identity, self-discovery and that slow burn mystery. Season 2 is a journey of discovery and redemption for our characters. There are still many secrets they’ve yet to learn, but now that they’ve found out who they are, Season 2 will be about their pasts coming back to haunt them.

For Five it’s in the form of that keycard she stole; she didn’t really know what it was, but people wanted it desperately enough that they ended up killing her friends and forcing her on the Raza. That keycard is going to play a big role in Season 2. Two (Melissa O’Neil) still wants answers as to why she was built and we’ll be answering questions there. The Android and her quest to find out about her identity as well. Three’s (Anthony Lemke) past will come back to haunt him in episode 4.

In terms of Six, obviously the past really informed his decision to turn on the crew and as he finds out more about his past suddenly he begins to reconsider his decision. Of course, at the end of last season Four told the crew he’d be leaving to retake his throne, so the past is calling him back. And in the most brutal fashion possible, the past does came back for One (Marc Bendavid) in a big way. That set the tone for the rest of the season.

TTVJ: Six made another huge reversal in this episode and turned his back on the Galactic Authority to break everyone out of Hyperion-8. Unfortunately it seemed to result in Lt. Anders death.

JM: We assume he’s dead. In a world of sci-fi you never know, and especially in a show with so many twists and turns, shocks and surprises. He certainly appears to have died at the end of this episode.

TTVJ: Well, we do know that Six isn’t dead quite yet, but he’s very vulnerable in stasis. At this point do Three and Four know about his betrayal?

JM: The inference is that the rest of the crew will have found out off screen. Five obviously had that strong bond with him in Season 1 and she feels betrayed. Will she forgive him? It seems like there is a willingness there, but how that will affect their relationship remains to be seen. Two brings him onboard because even though he was responsible for putting them in that predicament he was key in getting them out. She feels she owes him at least that much. How far she’ll go towards redeeming him remains to be seen because at the end of the day because her decisions are always based on what’s best for the crew.

You’ve got Three and Four and their reaction will be interesting. From the snippet you saw of Three, he’s not the type to easily forgive. Then we have three new crew members and we’ll see how they respond to having a member of the GA on board.

TTVJ: I can already see the problems arising with Arax (Mike Dopud). Out of all of the new characters, he’s the one I trust the least–it seems like he has some hidden agendas.

JM: Interesting, interesting. I think all three of our new additions harbour some sort of secret. I don’t want to give too much away. All will be revealed in Season 2.

Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy
Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy

TTVJ: I want to focus on Five for a moment. She’s being targeted by this woman named Alicia Reynaud, which I assume must be related to the keycard.

JM: That’s a very fair assumption. The fact that she’s fixated on Five is surprising considering this women seems to be fairly powerful. [She has] her right hand man, this short bearded guy. TJ, Five’s friend back at the space station, when she’s talking about stealing the keycard she mentions she stole it from some bearded guy. The clues are subtle, but they do point to that possibility that she is after that keycard.

TTVJ: It seems to me that Season 2 is a really big one for Five.

JM: I will confirm that.

TTVJ: So will we see any emotional or otherwise repercussions for her role in the death of Commander Shaddick?

JM: The effect will be beneath the surface. She’s always been very much an innocent, then in Episode 11 when Cain was about to kill Two she ends up shooting and killing him. As a member of the crew she’s been complicit in some of their actions, like delivering the white hole technology to Irides 3, the Mikkei research facility, which ended up killing 15,000 people.

She’s grown up a bit, but she’s hardened a bit as well over the course of that first season. She’s lost Six after his betrayal and in the Season 1 finale there was a loss of connection with Two as well, because she suspected her of being the traitor, so the only crew member that she’s really bonded with and continued to have a strong connection with is the Android. They’ve been betrayed, they’re in the prison, Shaddick threatens to lock her away and then drags her into this tech room where they’ve clearly been torturing the Android. They have that horrific pointy metal contraption connected to the back of her head. When Five refuses to cooperate Shaddick turns around, slaps her, points a gun and threatens to kill her; at that point she snaps.

I kind of parallel that to Two at the end of Episode 11, another similarly questionably moral decision where she spaces Wexler. Is it an emotional response to what she went through? Yes. Is it a logical response of the threat she may face from him in the future? That’s probably another yes. That echoes Four’s surprising execution of his former mentor. That’s a little bit of what we see in Five in this episode.

TTVJ: In this episode we were introduced to Masaki Han, who Four discovered that he grew up with. Obviously there’s a lot of tension there, but how will that relationship play out differently than what happened with Akita-san (Russell Yuen)?

JM: In the case of Akita-san there was that case of mutual respect, where he was a father figure to him. Akita-san is ruled by this nobility. In that respect their relationship is different, but also Akita-san’s attitude towards Four is different than Masaki, who has taken over from him. Her relationship [with Four] suggests there was a friendship there, possibly more. She is very loyal to the Crown, fiercely loyal, and you get a sense when she’s talking to Four that she seems slightly unhinged. She seems to be a kind of a wildcard. We’ll see a little more of that come out as the season progresses.

TTVJ: I have to mention how tremendous Tori Higginson was as Commander Truffault in this episode.

JM: When I wrote the role I thought [Tori Higginson] would be perfect, and I heard that she was in Toronto, so I essentially decided she had the role, but then it turned out she was in Los Angeles, so we had to fly her in. It was so worth it. She plays it with a little bit of Elizabeth Weir [from Stargate Atlantis] and a little bit of Mae West. She appears later in the season in episode 8 where she gives a fantastic performance.

In this episode you almost want to ship Three and Truffault just based on that scene where they’re sitting across from each other and having their little talk. Actually, in the director’s cut there was even more flirtation between the two, it was a lot of fun.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: I loved that scene. Every other time we’ve seen her she’s been so strong and serious, and here she pulled out a completely different side, but she never lost that sense of strength and authority.

JM: She’s full of surprises. I mentioned this on my blog, but originally the Truffault character was supposed to die in Episode 11. She was supposed accept the delivery of the device and to be on the planet when it was destroyed, but Tori was having trouble making the episode work. So I told her we wouldn’t put her in that one, but I promised to bring her back for Season 2. By missing out on episode 11 she’s gotten a lot more mileage out of her character. She’s in episode 2 and she’ll be appearing in at least two more episodes.

TTVJ: It’s good to hear that because the story with the corporations is so fascinating, and her role with Mikkei Combine really adds to that. Whereas Traugott very clearly wants them dead, things seem a bit more murky with Mikkei.

JM: What we find out in this episode is Traugott wants them dead because they don’t want them to testify and implicate them as the creators of the white hole technology that went off in Mikkei’s hands, meanwhile Mikkei wants them to testify so the blame for that technology can be shifted to Traugott and take the heat off them. If they had stayed in prison Traugott would have gotten to them sooner or later, so Mikkei and Truffault make the decision to help them escape so at least they’ll still be out there with the ability to pin the blame on Traugott.

You see very much the interplay and the power plays between the various corporations and you’re going to be seeing more of that in Season 2 as well.

TTVJ: What can you tell us about what happens in next week’s episode?

JM: Essentially the next episode offers us a glimpse into some of who the crew were before they went into stasis and had their minds wiped. You’ll get glimpses into Portia Lin, Ryo Ishida and Marcus Boone, and the glimpses you’ll get will be very unsettling; not just for the viewers, but for some other people onboard the ship.

 

What are your thoughts on the episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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

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