‘If I Ever Leave This World Alive’
Well, that escalated quickly. It seems that the virus that sprung up at the end of the last episode has spread rapidly and mercilessly, with the whole town now gripped by fear of contagion. The plague is a severe Irathient ‘flu’ that only effects humans and Irath (though the latter have hardier immune systems) but has claimed six lives already and is on its way to claiming more.
The characters react to the trouble in varying ways. Earth Republic envoy Connor remains content getting drunk whilst the people he works for form quarantines around Defiance’s borders. Irisa attempts to keep the peace between the Irath spirit riders and angry Castithan townsfolk, whilst the council debate ways to segregate the population. Their great plan is to house all the Irathients in the mines until the plague threat diffuses. Clearly an idea that will not go down well with the Irathients, nor with Amanda or Irisa. When confronted by Rafe McCawley, Irisa assaults him in order to allow the spirit riders she was praying with to make an escape. However, eventually a town-wide roundup goes into effect as all Irathients are herded like cattle into a pen by the mines.
Viewers are also reintroduced to the former town mayor and her crazy evil scheming as she enlists the help of Rafe’s son, Quentin, in exchange for information on his mother – a woman assumed dead, apparently very much alive and living in another city. Quentin is tasked with giving the mysterious artefact in his possession over to the ex-mayor. Things heat up even more for the McCawley’s when Christie succumbs to the plague, followed shortly after by Amanda. Cue the dramatic music, although Amanda’s shiny forehead all episode leading up to this was a dead giveaway – pardon the pun – that illness was imminent.
Meanwhile, Nolan and Connor have headed out on a mission to obtain a cure dropped for them in the badlands. On this excursion Connor reveals more about his and Amanda’s backstory. When they were together they got pregnant, but still assimilating into the new post-invasion Earth, Amanda decided to abort the baby without telling Connor and their relationship never recovered.
When Nolan and Connor reach the antivirus and are bringing it back to Defiance, they hit a snag. Some Irathients who escaped being caged, attack Connor and Nolan, using the cure for ransom. Since Amanda is incapacitated and Rafe is by his daughter’s side, Stahma and Datak (though mostly Stahma) grasp the opportunity to run the situation and take the leading role. Datak’s confrontation with the Irathient hostage-takers leads only to more bloodshed however, as he kills them before turning his gun on Connor, murdering him as the only witness to his actions. This was actually a completely shocking moment in an episode verging on mediocre and predictable, and proved once again how awful Datak truly is. Datak chooses to save the unconscious Nolan’s life in order to avoid any unnecessary questioning and returns the cure to the Doctor.
The town recovers, but some characters cannot. Quentin leaves to search for his mother and Amanda is devastated by the loss of Connor. Nonetheless, Irisa and Nolan hug it out, and Datak manages to play the hero and announce his intended candidacy for Mayor. So, the Tarr’s find ways to come out on top, even by using a plague to their advantage – politics, eh!