Dark Matter: “Episode Nine” Review

Season 1, Episode 9: “Episode Nine”
Air date: August 7, 2015

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after nine episodes of Dark Matter, it’s that the showrunners do NOT want us getting attached to anyone outside the crew of the Raza. In “Episode Nine” we follow Four as he goes after his step-brother Hiro and One, Two, and Three decide to rescue him. Meanwhile, Five and Six spend the episode bonding and I cannot help but fall more in love with their relationship.

When Four goes missing it’s One who advocates rescuing him because he’s probably in trouble and he “owes” the crew an explanation for leaving. More and more I find myself agreeing with Three, especially when he says that “nobody on this ship owes anyone anything.” Odd coming from the guy who keeps score on the lives he saves, but he’s right. They’re a group only held loosely together by the hope that they might one day find out about their past. Four knows what happened in his, so why would he stay?

DARK MATTER -- "Episode Nine" Episode 109 -- Pictured: Alex Mallari Jr. as Four -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Episode Nine” Episode 109 — Pictured: Alex Mallari Jr. as Four — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Ever the hero, Three sees an opportunity for growth in saving Four from the trap his step-mother set against him and the group follows him in rescuing Raza’s ninja. This is another moment in which I’m disappointed by Two. She’s their leader, the strongest of the bunch, and yet, outside of her firm decision-making in the first two episodes, she’s mostly been swayed by the likes of One and Three. Sure, she has secrets like the rest of them but it’s almost as if that guilt is keeping her from actually being a leader so as not to draw attention to herself. I love her strength but she doesn’t really make an appearance in the episode until the end when the group rescues Four.

Most of the episode follows Four’s journey and we see even more of his backstory with his mentor, Akita-san and his relationship with his brother and father. Four is a stern figure, to say the least, but he isn’t without compassion. Much like Three he seems incredibly protective of those he cares about, which makes the ending of the episode so…surprising.

Undoubtedly, the most antagonistic relationship on the show is the one between One and Three. After the cliff-hanger ending of last week with One finding out that his pre-amnesia self had a wife and Three was allegedly her murderer, I didn’t imagine One would handle things well. And he doesn’t. At all. Anyone with half an eyeball can spot his inner turmoil and naturally, Two takes on the job of finding out what exactly is wrong with the poor baby. I don’t think One is particularly a bad character. I can see his appeal. However, let’s go half an episode without him whining. Please.

When Two learns the reason for One’s “new” fight with Three, she tells him to get over it because it’s not like One even remembers his dead wife. Geez. One, of course, doesn’t get over and still, despite all they have been through, cannot bring himself to trust Three, even reaching a point where he considers shooting his shipmate. I appreciate learning more about One’s true self, the death of his wife and so on, but I wish we’d move past this rivalry One and Three seem to have. When Three recounts their “score” at the end of the episode, I had hope that One would finally put that feud to rest. Knowing him, however, that seems unlikely.

Dark Matter - Season 1
DARK MATTER — “Episode Nine” Episode 109 — Pictured: (l-r) Jodelle Ferland as Five, Roger Cross as Six — (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

While all of these shenanigans are going on and Four is off getting himself stabbed and threatened, Five confronts Six, asking him to teach her how to defend herself. It isn’t an unreasonable request, considering life on the Raza is anything but dull, but Six, along with the rest of the crew, sees Five as a child, and he refuses, not wanting to sully her innocence and all that hullabaloo. Five responds angrily, telling him that when the crew is attacked, she isn’t spared because she’s a child and she’s nearly died for them a few times now. Six later apologizes in one of my favorites scenes of the show thus far.

And that’s what I like about this show, the unexpected sweet scenes between the crew of the Raza. Two and Three discussing muscle memory, One and Three recounting their “score”, Four and Two discussing family, and any scene with Five or Six. Even the android’s discussion with Three about resetting her memory because she is “flawed” got a happy sigh from me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the action on the show, but I appreciate that it’s balanced with the scenes showcasing the crew’s different relationships. With an ensemble cast such as this one, it’s easy to highlight one or two crewmembers and push the rest to the side, but Dark Matter shines light all of the members of the Raza and that makes it a better show.

Dark Matter airs Fridays on Syfy at 10PM EST.

Follow Jen on Twitter for more nonsense. 

Jen Stayrook
Jen Stayrook
Don't let the fancy nerd duds deceive you; Jen’s never been described as “classy.” You can find her on Twitter where she stalks all of her favorite celebrities: @jenstayrook. Or you can find her on Steam or Xbox dying in every game she plays as "Rilna." Email: jen.stayrook@theworkprint.com

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