***Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter episode “Take the Shot”***
One of Dark Matter‘s beloved characters almost met her end tonight when a devastating virus had the crew questioning their trust in the Android (Zoie Palmer). Palmer showed us yet another side of the Android tonight when she experienced dreaming for the first time, experiencing what life is really like as a human.
The same virus tapped into the fears and insecurities of Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke) and Four (Alex Mallari Jr.), resulting in Four stealing his neural link, which holds the memories he needs to reclaim the throne of Zairon.
Will he us it? What was the deal with the Android’s dreams anyway? Dark Matter showrunner Joseph Mallozzi answers these questions and more in our postmortem interview for “Take the Shot.”
The TV Junkies: I should tell you, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this episode at first. As a fan of the Android, it was deeply unsettling to watch some of the crew slowly turn on her.
Joseph Mallozzi: You know what, I had a feeling that there would be some negative reaction just because the Android is a beloved character. Not so much what happens to her, but reactions of the crew. They’re put in a situation where they think, ‘What do we do? What are our options?’ Taking her offline was an option.
TTVJ: Out of everyone, the person who most surprised me was Two. Besides Five (Jodelle Ferland), Two has been the one closest to the Android. Why was she one of the members considering taking the Android out?
JM: It always comes back to the same thing with Two. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. She has this empathetic connection with the crew members on a one-to-one basis, but on the other hand she is the leader. She has to make the hard decisions. I find it interesting to put her in a situation where she has to weigh her emotional connection with her duties as a leader.
It’s a classic example, in this case, where she’s faced with a very tough decision. The Android is a valued member of the crew but, on the other hand, is she a threat to the rest of them? At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s best for the ship and for the crew, no matter how difficult it is.
TTVJ: What exactly caused the Android to have those dreams?
JM: One would assume it was the ship’s virus basically interacting with her and causing her to manifest these, well, I don’t want to say desires, but it gets insight into her mind.
TTVJ: What is her emotional connection to Victor (Brendan Murray)?
JM: You know, that remains to be seen. It’s clear that she’s intrigued by Victor. The only way to really find out that potential relationship or to see how feelings progress is to see Victor again. I’m going to stay tight-lipped on that for now.
TTVJ: So why was he the focus of her dreams?
JM: There’s that instant in “We Were Family” where she meets him, he asks her, ‘may I kiss you?’ and she says okay immediately. You can tell that there’s an attraction and a curiosity there. Obviously there’s a curiosity for her with regards for humanity and what it’s like to be human. She imagined herself in a very human milieu and in a very human relationship, and lived that in scattered little glimpses. We’re definitely going to be finding out more about the Android, her backstory and her relationship with regards to other androids.
TTVJ: I loved the banter between the Android and Randroid early on in the episode mixed with the crew’s reactions. What was it like to shoot?
JM: All those scenes are kind of laborious because you do it with Zoe, then her stand-in, then you do a costume change and you switch. It’s definitely tougher than any other scenes we shoot, but our visual effects supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson does such a fantastic job. It’s almost seamless, really. It’s come such a long way. I remember we used to do ‘tweening on Stargate and it never looked quite convincing in terms of the reactions of the people. I think we do it so well on Dark Matter.
TTVJ: Three’s hallucination of Sarah (Natalie Brown) was arguably the most emotional moment of the episode. What made you decide to go that route with Three, as opposed to what we’ve learned about his past this season?
JM: I think he’s put his past to bed. When he killed Tanner (Nigel Bennett) he made his decision, so that chapter of his life is closed. The chapter of his life with Sarah is still open. He feels regret, he feels her loss, so it made sense from an emotional standpoint to address that in this particular episode. These types of episodes, where we get inside the heads of the characters, allows you to explore emotional aspects that you may not always get the opportunity to do in other scenarios.
He’s always comic relief but it’s always nice to ground him a little by offering a glimpse inside his head and realizing that he’s a multifaceted character. He’s a deeper guy than just the ship comic.
TTVJ: The episode ended on Four revealing that he saved his neural link, but we don’t know what he’ll do with it. Is that something we’ll find out soon?
JM: Yes, we will definitely find out sooner than later.
TTVJ: What else can you preview for next week?
JM: Next week’s episode is actually an episode I’ve wanted to do for a long time. In Season 1 we didn’t get all that many Three and Five scenes, and I just love their dynamic. I knew I wanted to do a Three/Five episode where maybe they’re isolated from the rest of the crew, they’re on the run together and have to rely on one another to survive. That was the episode I wanted to do from the very beginning and the opportunity presented itself in Episode 11. So, if you like Three and Five, this is the episode for you.
Were you nervous for the Android tonight? Share your thoughts on the episode 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.