TV Review | Defiance 3.03 ‘Broken Bough’

Defiance 3.03 ‘Broken Bough’
Original UK Airdate: July 2nd 2015

Writers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (the show’s best writers) deliver another quality episode which is high on character development and intrigue.

Datak and Stahma arrive back in town and begin their undercover work. Datak is arrested for trying to steal guns from the towns armoury and swears his allegiance to the town for his freedom. No spoilers here but the twist in the tale is a neat little sting and an another victory for the Votan Macbeth. Elsewhere Stahma uses her not slim charms to become friendly with T’evgin.

They also deliver the bad news about Rafe, and in a rage Nolan leaves Defiance with Irisa under the pretence of doing a reconnaissance mission of Tak’s camp. Datak and Stahma get a message to Tak to expect Nolan’s arrival.

Nolan and Irisa arrive at the outskirts of the camp only to get attacked by VC soldiers. Nolan is about to be captured when Pilar does a run in to save them.

“COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE.”

What could have been a cheesy and knowing wink to Linda Hamilton’s (see, no caps this week) past career was actually a funny, dramatic (and knowing) wink to Linda Hamilton’s past career. She takes Nolan and Irisa back to the shack where she’s been hiding. Nolan works out who she is. Trying to avoid spoilers again, but needless to say he isn’t exactly trusting of her. (minor spoiler) In fact he leaves her ties up in the shack.

Tak tortures Alak to get information about Defiance’s law-keeper and it seems he is familiar with Nolan; specifically he was on the opposing side in the battle where Nolan earned his nickname of “The Butcher” and seems keen to take revenge for his people. It’s certainly interesting that the villain has a personal grudge against Nolan and the two seem like equal adversaries so far.

Without giving too much away, Nolan and Irisa complete their reconnaissance mission and realise Tak has a powerful tank that needs to be destroyed before they head back to town.

Broken Bough works as a stand-alone episode that also ties in perfectly with the overall season arc and the continued character developments. I really liked the recurring uncertainty about whether Irisa has lost her nerve for killing people; and Datak and Stahma get to to what they do best….playing everyone in sight against everyone else while I’m really liking how much darker Nolan is this year. He’s much less apologetic about his decisions and seems to mentally be already in a war with the VC. The plot of the week was simple, but logical and Slavkin & Swimmer found ways to twist it to maintain interest. It also gave a chance for Nolan and Tak to come face-to-face (sort of) while still building to the inevitable showdown between the pair. There is at least one shocking moment and the hook for next week (Tak wants Datak and Stahma to blow up the arc; the symbol of Defiance the town and Defiance the show) has me hooked and ready to reel in. A winner of an episode as far as early season development goes.

4/5

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