Brothers In Arms
Starting off with a bang, literally, Brothers In Arms opens with Nolan arresting a Castithan man who evades pursuit by causing an explosion in the town market. Once apprehended, we meet the criminal’s tracker, Eddie, a former soldier comrade of Nolan’s turned bounty hunter. The mysterious felon is Pol Madis, a weapons inventor wanted for war crimes. Amanda plans to extradite Madis to the Earth Republic as leverage for gaining priority access to the Oklahoma railway. Nolan would rather entrust Eddie with Madis, in order for his friend to gain his bounty.
Over in Defiance’s jail, it seems Irisa has cooled down following the explosive encounter between she and Tommy last episode; she rejects Tommy’s advances with such a nonchalant brush-off that it is almost impossible to tell whether she even has feelings for him or not. Whilst these two are busy not speaking to one another, their prisoner manages to create another bomb using water, salt and a mysterious substance covertly given to him. Madis’s subsequent jailbreak leads to a buddy cop team-up between Nolan and Eddie, which is fun to watch for the banter alone.
On the run, Madis winds up at the Tarr’s household, as he knows that Datak is a potential ally working with the Votanis Collective. Datak, however, sees Madis as a loose end and a risk to his carefully cultivated status in town. Nevertheless, before Datak can shoot Madis he becomes victim (though thankfully not fatal!) to some nifty nano-tech torture devices that Madis has surreptitiously fed to him. Ouch.
Swivelling away from this storyline briefly, in a short scene early in the episode Amanda and Kenya discuss Kenya’s inability to sleep with Eddie due to her relationship (or at least burgeoning connection) with Nolan. Amanda’s claim that Nolan is a “cocky, stubborn, pain in the ass” is great, as she understands why Kenya could be falling for him, at the same time as acknowledging his more irritating traits. It looks like Amanda has a new (hopefully recurring) interest – the charming envoy from the Earth Republic (played by Gale Harold, recently seen in the short-lived CW show Secret Circle).
Despite the envoy’s demands to have Madis returned alive, and Eddie’s desire to obtain the bounty, Nolan ultimately kills Madis when it is divulged that he will not be punished for his actions, but given privilege and status by helping the Republic to create more WMDs. The emotional fallout from this impulsive action leads to a fantastic confrontation between Nolan and Eddie – it turns out that Eddie was imprisoned for years following their joint rescue of a young Irisa from a refugee camp. When the envoy comes to collect Madis, Eddie again voluntarily takes the fall for Nolan’s actions, ensuring once more that Nolan can continue his life with Irisa.
The McCawley’s plot this week revolves around the artefact found a few episodes ago and how it relates to the scheming being orchestrated by Defiance’s former mayor. Quinn McCawley ends the episode by strangling the ex-mayor’s henchman, egged on by a vision of his deceased brother. This mystery just keeps getting stranger and stranger, though arguably Defiance remains strongest when handling its emotional character-based scenes – its lofty themes of heroism and sacrifice – rather than this enigmatic subplot.