Dark Matter: Joseph Mallozzi Talks “Nowhere To Go”

Stephen Scott/Syfy
Stephen Scott/Syfy

*** This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter Season 3 episode “Nowhere To Go” ***

Well, that’s one way to end the war, right? Dark Matter Season 3’s corporate war came to a close after 13 episodes of bloody warfare in “Nowhere To Go”, only to end with a full-out alien invasion thanks to Dwarf Star Technology’s remnant simulants, who had infiltrated the corporations. After a failed attack on Ferrous, one of the simulants planted an alien into Two (Melissa O’Neil), who used the blink drive to bring the black ships through the portal. Even worse, poor Six (Roger Cross) sacrificed himself in a heroic attempt to end the war and bring peace to the galaxy, only for total chaos to emerge. Now the Android (Zoie Palmer) is down, Three (Anthony Lemke) has been abducted by Portia and Five (Jodelle Ferland) is left to deal with the aftermath, alongside Ryo Ishida (Alex Mallari Jr.) and Wexler (Ennis Esmer).

This begs the question: where do we go from here? Dark Matter has yet to receive a Season 4 renewal as of press time, but that didn’t stop us from chatting with showrunner Joseph Mallozzi one last time this season to discuss the major events of the finale, written by Paul Mullie and directed by Ron Murphy, and offer a preview of what will happen next.

 

The TV Junkies: You’ve had all the big season finale moments in your head for years, so how did it feel to see those black ships come to life on screen?

Joseph Mallozzi: It was a long process that was really spear-headed by our visual effects supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and his team, and the design came from Dark Horse. Paul [Mullie] and I went back and forth on it. We wanted something kind of different, something we hadn’t seen before, and Lawren delivered something very unique. It was amazing in that final scene seeing them come out. My only regret is, after seeing it come out, I thought the scene should have been longer. We should have gone back and made a bigger deal of it.

TTVJ: As cool as that scene was, I definitely have mixed feelings about it considering what happened with Six. However, I couldn’t help but note that the Marauder disappeared rather than being destroyed. I know he said his goodbyes, but is this really the end of Six?

JM: I guess we’re going to have to wait and see. It could be the end for everyone.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: It’s true, aliens have now officially invaded the galaxy. How do you stop something like that?

JM: I don’t know, it seems pretty impossible. Those are some pretty powerful looking ships, and even with the blink drive the Raza are no match. The corporations are obviously weakened by the war, the Galactic Authority will have their hands full with the chaos that’s created with an alien invasion. Who knows what’s going to happen? I will say this–you can’t get more sci-fi than aliens! For the past three seasons fans have been asking for aliens and if we get that fourth season, you’re going to see aliens in a big way. That’s next season: Androids and aliens.

TTVJ: The aliens seemed to have intimate knowledge of the blink drive. Is there a connection between them and the creation of the blink drive in this galaxy?

JM: No. The individual who was studying the blink drive at Ferrous Corp was an alien. It’s not so much that they’re intimately familiar with the technology, but they have an intellectual capacity that allows them to understand it better and faster than a human being. In that scene where Two is marched in, the scientists tells her, “you’re going to help us” and Two resists. On the surface, she’s a scientist with Ferrous, but in reality she’s an alien that has been studying the device and has figured something out, and imparts that information to the alien implanted in Two, who uses that knowledge to set it to overload and create the rift.

TTVJ: It makes them seem even scarier to know that they can take something as complex as the blink drive and immediately take advantage.

JM: They are scary!

TTVJ: This episode saw another of Future Five’s predictions come true with the black ships. There were also a ton of reversals and deceptions. Were any of those the Double Deception that Future Five mentioned?

JM: Wouldn’t it be lame for it to have happened already and us to go, “well, maybe that was it.” Presumably if it was worth mentioning, it would be something more notable. I’m just going to say no, we have not mentioned that yet.

TTVJ: I’m glad to hear that! The last thing I’d want is for it to pass us by unnoticed.

JM: There are many opportunities for it to be, and as far as the characters are concerned, maybe it did happen, but I can confirm it has not happened yet.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: There was this wordless scene where Three visited the little corner of the ship where Sarah (Natalie Brown) used to live. What was the significance of it?

JM: I mean, just the fact that she’s gone. She’s no longer a presence on the ship. He went from the end of Episode 303, where he is told about her and he’s so overwhelmed, to Episode 304 where he doesn’t want anything to do with her then starts breaking the ice, then over the course of the season going in and spending time with her, being intimate with her. After the events of Episode 310, she finds a new lease on life, she’s gone and in this episode the fact that she’s no longer with him hits home. Who knows when he’ll see her again.

TTVJ: It did feel like he was being a little reckless in this episode, tagging along on the Ferrous mission when he wasn’t needed. Was it related to that?

JM: I wouldn’t really call it recklessness. Three is a lot needier than he lets on. At the end of the day these people are family and the people he can depend on. Sarah was someone he could depend on and now she’s suddenly gone and he feels very alone. They’re heading off on a mission and it’s not so much that he thinks that they’re going to need him, but he doesn’t want to be left out. He’s part of the family and they’re going out as a team.

TTVJ: He’s now with Portia Lin, and it looks as if he’s been kidnapped, so does that mean his story will go in a different direction from the rest of the crew in Season 4?

JM: Not necessarily. He certainly is a prisoner, but they were seemingly on good terms. She was saving him from being killed and he seemed appreciative. There was a little bit of chemistry as they were heading off, so presumably she’s not going to kill him immediately and has other plans for him, which we will discover in Season 4. Hopefully.

TTVJ: The alt-crew, specifically Portia and Wexler, played a pretty big part in this episode. Will their roles be expanded if the series continues?

JM: Chances are yes. I’m a big Ennis Esmer fan. We cast him back in Season 1, killed him at the end of his two episode arc, and I thought he was such a good actor and great character, he brought so much to the role. I wished there was a way to bring him back. Then I thought, “wait a minute, this is sci-fi! Of course there’s a way to bring him back!” We brought him back in the alternate reality episode, and someone came back in that episode, and it turned out to be pretty much the entire crew.

He’s a fun a character. Certainly the version from our reality was a lot creepier and reprehensible. This version may be not as bad. The interesting thing about him is that he’s almost an early version of Three. The totally amoral character who audiences hated at the very beginning before they grew to love him. This is pre-loved Three, in many ways, which I like. He’s a little more of a coward than Three was, certainly sneakier than Three was. I like his dynamic with Anthony and Melissa, and that’s something I would love to explore. One of the fun things we set up in the finale is that they’re screwed. Three’s gone, Six has seemingly sacrificed himself, the Android’s down, and Two has been taken over by an alien. That leaves Fives, Wexler and Ryo Ishida, and those are the two people she has to rely on as we head into next season. That’s a pretty cool dynamic.

TTVJ: This season ender is a bit similar to last season in that they’re all separated, though, with the exception of Six, we know they’re not dead.

JM: They’re all very different season enders. In Season 1 everyone gets hauled off to jail and they reveal Six is the mole, Season 2 the space station blows up with everyone on it. Now this one everyone is in some sort of a crazy situation, plus alien invasion! That’s our “holy sh*t” moment. It nicely sets up what we have planned for Season 4.

TTVJ: Speaking of Ryo, he did get a reprieve from his death sentence. I do want to point that Two hesitated. I know she made her decision, but she also hesitated, and that made me happy.

JM: Oh yeah, absolutely. She makes the hard decisions, but the hard decisions are hard! She still has an emotional connection to him, whether he’s Ryo Ishida, Four or both. She even admits as much when she’s about to pull the trigger, and when she gets that call from Six it’s almost a relief, in a way. It allows her to not have to make that choice or pull that trigger in that instant. Of course, at the end of the day it just puts off the decision to a later date.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: At that point Ryo had really accepted his fate, but now that he knows Teku (Andrew Moodie) and the loyalists are out there, will that give him that little bit of drive to live and take back the throne?

JM: Presumably it does, and it gives Two even more of a reason to kill him, because he does have allies out there and potential drive to retake the throne.

TTVJ: You’re not making me feel any better, but at least we know there’s still a lot of drama to come.

JM: Oh, there is, definitely.

TTVJ: We really haven’t talked about Jodelle Ferland enough this season, so I was really glad to see she delivered a lot of the emotional moments in the finale.

JM: She’s terrific, especially in that goodbye scene with Six. She’s always amazing. Her character is very much the heart of the show and the heart of the crew. A lot of the times she’s the one who saves the day. You look back at the various instances they’ve been in over the course of the series and she’s the one a lot of the time who comes up with the ideas. In Episode 309 she sets the Marauder to release the charge that takes out the authorities and allows them to retake it. Instances like that just prove how far she’s come from Season 1.

It’s something we emphasized early on this season when Adrian (Mishka Thébaud) comes on board and Two tells him to go to his room because it’s too dangerous and he says, “What about her?” It’s come to the point where she truly is, like the Android, an equally well-respected member of the crew and the family.

TTVJ: Speaking of family, we found out that her sister is the adopted daughter of Alicia Reynaud (Inga Cadranel), who we met in Season 2, and whose storyline never really did fully conclude.

JM: After last episode everyone was like, “What was on the screen!” and I said you won’t have to wait long, since I knew it was something fans would freak out about and I didn’t want to keep that secret going too long, so we revealed it in this episode. What Five does with that information remains to be seen. Obviously her hands are full while she’s dealing with an alien invasion, but at some point she’s going to reach out again—presumably.

TTVJ: In that first scene where we met Reynaud, she did seem to recognize Five in a way that made you wonder if there was more to the story than just the blink drive, so it was great to see that payoff.

JM: Right, and as Ryo tells her, she reached out to her sister to meet on the space station, and she had to leave the space station because her and her friend get their hands on this device that turns out to be the blink drive. You start putting the pieces together and connecting the dots, and it would seem that by trying to connect with her sister and inviting her to the space station, she set in motion a series of events that eventually landed her on the Raza.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: Is there anything else you’d like to add about the finale?

JM: In this episode enemies becomes allies and friends become enemies in an interesting way. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to get most of them out of this mess and deal with the aliens in Season 4—not to mention that bourgeoning android rebellion.

TTVJ: This is something I’ve always been curious about, but will we eventually learn the meaning behind the title of Dark Matter?

JM: For the time being we can just say that it’s more thematic and symbolic than literal. The idea that essentially dark matter engenders a notion of mystery, almost malevolence, an all-encompassing presence. It’s all around us. I’ll leave it at that and who knows what the future holds. Maybe in Season 5 it will all tie in somehow.

TTVJ: Now that the season finale has aired, what advice do you have for fans on how to improve its chances for renewal?

JM: Pressuring SYFY is the key. Wynonna Earp is a great show with really great fan support, and I know that support really drove that campaign for the Season 3 pickup. It really came about because of the fans. As I keep on pointing out, we’re one of the higher ranked shows in total viewers, even in the key demo, last week we were the #1 scripted show of the week. Our numbers are not that far off from last season. I’m not sure what more we can do, so I’m turning it over to the fans to make some noise. Go online, go on Twitter, tag SYFY or individuals at SYFY, send postcards to the offices and let them know fans are interested.

 

Were you shocked by the Dark Matter finale? Where do you think the crew will go from here? Sound off in the comments below.

Dark Matter airs on SYFY and Space Channel.

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