*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Dark Matter episode “We Were Family” ***
A simple trip to a space station evolved into one of Dark Matter‘s most emotional episodes. After activating that beacon, Three (Anthony Lemke) came face to face to Tanner, the reason Marcus Boone became a ruthless mercenary. Lemke’s emotional depth as Three has impressed us since Season 1, and this episode demonstrated that more than ever before; ranging from the cold-hearted killing of Tanner to those warm moments with Five (Jodelle Ferland).
There were plenty of other moments to love about the episode. The Android (Zoie Palmer) met a strange group of fellow Androids fully integrated into human society, who revealed to her that her ability to feel emotion is no programming flaw, but an intentional tampering of her program. We also learned more about the dark sides our new crew members Nyx (Melanie Liburd) and Devon (Shaun Sipos).
We spoke with Dark Matter showrunner Joseph Mallozzi for a “We Were Family” postmortem where he breaks down keys moments of the episode and shares a few hints about where the characters are headed next.
The TV Junkies: In this episode Three was finally able to fit the missing pieces of his life together, and in doing so he was able to avenge his parent’s death. Was that something Marcus Boone would have eventually done?
Joseph Mallozzi: No. It’s like Tanner said; you can call it Stockholm Syndrome or something a little more complex than that. In this case, he’s a young child and Tanner became the father who raised him. Even though he had those memories, psychologically he cast them aside because they conflicted him so much, and continued to view Tanner as his adoptive father.
As Three pointed, without those memories he was no longer conflicted, so as soon as he found out Tanner was responsible for his parent’s death, he kills him. It’s one of those instances where a lack of memories works to his benefit, or against Tanner’s.
TTVJ: So where does Three go from here?
JM: As we get into Three’s backstory we begin to round him out more and more and give him depth; not only to make him a fully realized character, but a character that fans can connect with on an emotional level. We can see through that bad boy exterior to the guy underneath, and we saw glimpses of that last season with Sarah, and we’re seeing that this year in this episode.
You’re going to see it manifest more in his relationship with Five. They had those great scenes together in this episode and it’s something we’ll see more of as the season progresses.
TTVJ: I have to say, this was the first episode where we saw a real gentleness to Three in the way he treated Five, and that young boy as well, which is not something I thought I’d ever say about him.
JM: Even though he’s a badass and he has no compunction about killing those who are a threat to him, he seems to draw the line at kids. He’s got that going for him!
TTVJ: We also saw the Android enjoy her own adventure, where she met fellow like-minded androids. What surprised me was that we learned that her so-called malfunction wasn’t a mistake after all.
JM: Correct. We set up her storyline [of discovering the flaw] last season, and now in this episode we find out it was disguised to look like a flaw, and actually it’s an advanced emotional sub-routine. Who gave it to her and why is a question for another time.
TTVJ: So what will happen next now that she has this possible new upgrade capability?
JM: She’s got this upgrade that allows her to appear as human and presumably on an upcoming mission when someone is going to need to go undercover. They just got out of galactic supermax, that’s not something the Galactic Authority will forget. They’re going to be on everyone’s radar, so they need someone who maybe would fly under the radar and she seems like a perfect candidate with that upgrade. That is going to pay off very soon.
TTVJ: This is the first episode where we learned that Earth exists in this universe. Are we going to learn more about the history of what lead humans away from Earth?
JM: Not necessarily. We can infer the fact that these organizations came from Earth, seated colonies and expanded outward. We will be visiting Earth later this season. That was a fun little scene. It reminds me of Episode 4 of last year where they visited the space station and everyone had their own little stories. In this case, Two (Melissa O’Neil) and Nyx had their visit to the space station, which was a lot of fun, and it got Melanie to use her natural English accent. I think she sounds great with her regular speaking accent, and we saw it as a great opportunity to use it.
It was funny seeing the two of them play off each other, especially Melissa’s facial reaction to Melanie. It was fantastic. They were small scenes, but really memorable with those two together.
TTVJ: It’s interesting to see Nyx and Devon bond with the rest of the crew, especially in light of the fact that we’ve gotten a glimpse at their own dark past; Nyx has this ability to read other people’s moves before they happen, and Devon seems to be suffering from a substance abuse problem. Will that be a problem for the crew moving forward?
JM: I can tell you that at least one of their backstories is going be a problem for the crew and is going to put them in danger. Very soon, I might add.
What are your thoughts on “We Were Family?” Sound off 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.