Welcome back to Defiance, the post-apocalyptic war-torn alien-inhabited city standing on top of what used to be St. Louis. When last we left our cross-species band of ragtag dystopian power players, Castithan mob boss Datak Tarr beat out human angel Amanda Rosewater as the town’s new mayor and then beat an Earth Republic representative right to death in his new office. Just another mess for his wife, Stahma “Wells” Tarr, to clean up between bathing and poisoning her lesbian lover. Yes, Kenya Rosewater, sister to the mayor and madame of the local brothel, fell in love with Stahma and was rewarded with instant death. Human sheriff Nolan Grant was also killed to death, but his adopted Irathient daughter revealed herself to be kind of a god, so she jumped into a volcano to resurrect her dad. And finally, pragmatic, sarcastic, bombastic Indogene, Doc Yewell, did some murders and some voodoo and landed herself in alien jail.
Defiance‘s season two premiere didn’t slow down to bring newcomers up to speed with the show’s storylines or mythology; in fact, it did the exact opposite of that: It dove into the narrative nine months after the events of the finale, visually expanded the geography of the post-Pale War world, and dug even deeper into the mythos of Defiance‘s peculiar social orders. It was a ballsy move for a sci-fi show that has been off the air for nearly a year, but it paid off in spades.
The Earth Republic has appointed a new mayor of Defiance due to Datak’s bratty little murder spree. His name is Niles Pottinger and just around town he wears a silver breastplate and a cape. He’s a prick, but I’d download a mod for his outfit for any old RPG any old day. His look is very fetch. His boss is another E-Rep dillhole named Atherton, who wants Defiance to be prosperous for the sake of the Evil Empire, but wants to see Pottinger fail more than he wants to see the Evil Empire succeed because he’s a hateful old codger. He mostly stands around mocking the new mayor and making you remember how one of Bill Murray’s best lines of all time was from Ghostbusters: “Yes, it’s true. This man has no dick.” To try to impress Atherton, Mayor Pottinger arrests a couple of mining kids for defacing public property and has them shipped off to Azkaban — but he really doesn’t want to deal with them so he lets them escape and one of them gets gobbled up by a Hellbug.
The mining kids are mad because Rafe sold the mines to the E-Rep and now the miners are being so overworked that they forget not to stick their arms into chomping machines. These two kids, their dad died that way. Chomping machine right to the head. Amanda gets Pottinger to pardon the surviving mining kid. She thinks it’s because she’s a suave politician but really it is because her mourning clothes — which she is wearing for Kenya while eye-fucking insisting to Stahma that Kenya is alive — can best be described as: dem boobs/dat ass.
In addition to the boobs there is a little hat with a little lace veil and Amanda just wears that thing around, running the Need/Want 20 hours a day and doing alien ecstacy the other four hours, while Pottinger spies on her and projects her bedroom onto his office wall like some kind of high school literature teacher straight off of Pretty Little Liars. Also, he offers her the job of chief of staff, which she refused in the off-season but is taking now, and he is glad because, again: boobs. (Wait’ll you get a load of her braid of justice, you wanker.)
Nolan hits up New Chicago and New Hollywood — the third best visual treats of the episode — to try to find Irisia. Wouldn’t you know, she’s using an old California flag as assassin’s armor, and she comes to Nolan’s rescue when he inevitably gets himself kidnapped by some Votan he borked over in the past. They have a lovely moment of bonding, but he kind of ruins it by asking her to explain if she’s the messiah or what. In fact, she gets so pissy that she murders some random Castithan and leaves her corpse in the weeds in New Hollywood. Also, she keeps seeing her twin everywhere, whispering devilish things to her in twin code. Also-also, one of the things she hallucinates is stabbing Nolan right in the throat while they’re driving back to Defiance. She doesn’t, though. Just daydreams is all.