Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Tipping Point: A Dark Matter Update

***Spoiler Warning***
As I have mentioned before, Dark Matter is a great series, that is until three or four episodes into season 3.  FOUR regains his memories and changes in a large way, although he doesn't appear very different at first.  But when he kills his half brother seconds after he abdicates the throne, FOUR shows his how different he has become.  His stepmother I could understand with all the scheming and killing she did.  But his half brother only turned against him by deception.  Once he finds out the truth, he turns over the thrown and is killed seconds later for it.

This is only the start of FOUR's rampage that includes blowing up a station full of people, steeling the blink drive, and even sending assassins after the crew of the Raza.  Then SIX leaves to help a mining colony.   At this point I gave up for awhile.  Eventually I looked ahead via Wikipedia with regard to the synopsis of the next few episodes and I see it only gets worse.  Even though SIX comes back by the end of season 3, there are aliens and they take over TWO.   And in turn convince everyone to explode the blink drive to prevent their invasion.  SIX does this and apparently dies, creating a aperture where alien ships are moving in.  And THAT is the end of season 3.  Seriously?  I read elsewhere the end of season 3 ties up a lot of threads, but does leave a few things out.  A FEW?  Are you kidding?  Another crew member dead and one possessed by aliens is not a huge hole?  From what I read it didn't tie up much if anything.

I will admit the start of season 3 is a must-watch.  Also the episode "All The Time In The World" is well worth it.  Some of the best Android moments yet.  Not to mention wonderful scenes with THREE.  I can't remember when I have laughed so hard.

My problem is: it was all going so well then it fell apart.  Outside conflict I understand, and internal as well.  But this is like internal x1000.  There were something similar in previous shows (Babylon 5 for example), but it feels like this was too much for some reason.  Recently of Joseph Mallozzi's (one of the creators and lead writer) mentioned on his blog here and here giving the full timeline of Dark Matter.  In it he reveals that FOUR does revert to his previous self losing the Ryo's memories.  Which I admit, was not a twist I was expecting (and a good one).

However seeing the (planned) very end I have to shudder.  FIVE is alone on the bridge with (apparently) everyone else dead?  Joseph Mallozzi mentions having a backup plan in case it didn't go over well with the fans.  Really?  You think?  I suspect there would have been a outright revolt if that was the ending.  While we were given a glimpse of that ending back in "All The Time In The World", he was seriously going to end the series that way?  In a way I am glad it was canceled in that case.  I would have felt very cheated.  I had thought the glimpse was of a bad future they changed and did not come to pass.  I suppose I should have expected it with a series named "Dark Matter".  Still, there was so many lighter or "light at the end of the tunnel" moments with the characters developing in a positive way despite their backgrounds.  Heck, the whole show was based on that and how they could be better.  Yet to end it that way?  A little too much (dark) realism there.  I am not asking for the moon here to have such a show end on a good note am I?

Of course when I think about it, I guess it is the prevailing theme these days: kill everyone off.  I stopped watching NCIS when they killed off Gibbs' X-wife.  Some of my favorite episodes were with the "triad" of Gibbs, Diane, and Fornell.  Then they kill her off the same way Kate was killed?  That was too much.  I hit the abort button and never looked back.  In my opinion "killing everyone off" is a shock shortcut and a sign of lazy writing.  It is far more of a challenge to keep the characters alive and fresh.  Something we see less and less of.

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