By Rachel Thomas
IT’S HAPPENING. IT’S HAPPENING; EVERYBODY CALM DOWN.
We open right where we left off: Ryo in his Glass Cell of Villainy, Two with her gun raised. Ryo attempts to make it easier for Two to kill him, but Two’s moral dilemma rages on. She’s interrupted by Six. They got a subspace message from Teku.
Teku asks for Two to return the Emperor. Three replies that Ryo isn’t emperor anymore, and Teku forcefully states that he is the rightful heir to Ishida, and they want him back.
(Aww, Teku. I’m tearing up.)
Teku informs them that he’s brought a fleet with him—maybe to sweeten the deal. As the crew issue their grievances, Teku assures them that he knows Ryo was less morally bankrupt than they imagine. Guessing they need a cherry on top, he also notes that he tracked Boone as a precaution…right back to an off-grid base.
Begrudgingly the crew agrees to stay Ryo’s execution, albeit temporarily. Two questions Ryo’s affection for Teku, and Ryo replies that Teku is the most honorable man he knows. Three doesn’t like the situation, and Two isn’t much happier with it, but she knows it’s worth investigating.
Six visits Five to ask how she is. Five’s disturbed by half their crew voting to kill Ryo—and also something she learned from Ryo. She reveals that she was looking for her sister when she stole the Blink Drive on Eridani-6. In the end, her sister came to meet her on the station—along with her mother, Alicia Reynaud.
Android notes that Two is pounding on a punching bag with an unusual amount of force, and suggests a number of colorful alternatives (running…weight lifting…sexual congress). She then adds that she found a data storage device. All the files are locked, but the title of one—Kryden—caught her eye. Ooh…
Three visits Sarah’s Personal Holodeck, now (of course) minus Sarah. Bereft of her presence, there’s something oddly stale about it, even with the greenery. Does he have a sense of regret over the things he can’t remember?
On the bridge, Android shows them onscreen the complex where Boone’s ship is located—only to reveal Project Phoenix.
The real one.
Spurred into action, they realize that their one ship can’t possibly take on the secret Ferrous Corp fleet. Two suggests they call on Mikkei to lend a hand. Truffault helpfully reminds them that the Blink Drive makes the Raza the only ship in the galaxy able to surpass the exclusion field. Truffault suggests a summit, but brings a whitehole device along with her, revealing that they’re allied with Traugott now. She proposes that the Raza gang use the whitehole device to destroy the entire complex—and everyone on it. On the grounds that many more people will die if they don’t. They agree.
(…we’re only 20 minutes in. This won’t go well.)
They use the Blink Drive with the Marauder to bypass the exclusion field and drop the bomb successfully, but as Six attempts to blink out, the Marauder completely fails.
They are, of course, taken hostage.
Back on the Raza, Five and Android realize something’s wrong. Truffault discovers it was a double-cross—they were set up by Traugott. The good news: the bomb won’t kill our gang. The bad news: everything else.
Truffault bails, as she is wont to do.
On the station, Six and Three are escorted into a holding cell as Two is taken aside to a chamber where a blunt scientist orders her to tell her everything she knows. Two insists she really knows nothing—all Blink work was Android’s doing. The scientist assures Two that she knows everything—more than she knows—and she’ll share it.
Three and Six are reunited—unhappily—with Wexler. He assures them that Commander Nieman will join them soon. Unexpectedly, Wexler saves them from the guard…and then reveals that he’s Truffault’s contact. Wexler convinces them that the only way off the station is if they take down the field—and, bargaining for his own life, points out that he’s the only one who knows where the control room is.
Wexler and Three shoot their way into the control room where Wexler astonishes Three by coming up with a way to circumvent the field.
Six rescues Two, but warily—he suspects he’s bringing Portia Lin back.
As Three and Wexler head for the Marauder, Wexler realizes he’s slightly miscalculated how long they’d have before the alarm sounds…and promptly bails on Three. Or, more accurately, he runs as Three shoots.
Wexler, Two, and Six get to the Marauder, but Three is nowhere to be found. (He got stunned a while back.)
A few guards report back to the blunt scientist, and she assures them that Commander Nieman will not be pleased. As they exit, however, she gives a slight smile as her eyes cloud over, going totally black.
The Marauder and Raza reconnect, minus Three. Two berates Truffault, urging her to act. Truffault offers a half dozen ships—maybe. Two says she can do better, and seeks out Ryo.
Two tells Ryo that Teku has a fleet—enough for him to start a move towards taking back the empire. She asks if he has an alliance with Ferrous Corp, and he denies it—it was a one-time deal with Nieman, nothing more. Two considers it, and offers him a deal: if he pledges the fleet, then she’ll help him win the war.
Back on the station, Three’s being kept company by the ever-charming Portia Lin. Meanwhile, Ryo informs Teku of the plan—not to retake the empire, but to deal Ferrous Corp a death blow.
As the crew preps for battle, though, something is not quite right with our wonderful Two. That’s right, she too is now host to one of the dimension-hopping Cthulhus.
But the attack begins as planned, with Mikkei, the Ishida fleet, and the Raza all engaging Ferrous in a space brawl. On the station, Portia escorts Three to safety. The battle turns against them, and Two tells Android to rig the Marauder so that the Blink Drive goes critical and swallows the station. Just then Three calls them to let them know he’s escaping to safety—with Portia, improbably. Two goes to prepare the Blink Drive, and—to the annoyance of her new possessor—Android comes along.
Out of sight of the bridge, Not Two shoots Android. Paralyzed, Android asks simply, ‘why?’ Not Two replies that it’s the beginning of a new age.
Two hails the bridge, faking that a relay surge put Android out of order. She says they need someone to pilot the Marauder, and Three volunteers. Horrified by the implications, Five refuses to let him, begging him not to go. Six tells her that he has to go, and apologizes. He leaves the panicking Five with Wexler.
Six boards the Marauder and begins his suicide run towards the station as more and more Ferrous Corp ships drop out of FTL. On the bridge, Five’s console shuts down as Android remotely relays a simple message—TWO COMPROMISED. Five tries to contact Six, but has no response.
At last, she turns to Ryo.
Ryo ambushes the infected Two. Perplexed, she asks what he’s doing—he replies, ‘Keeping my word.’
Five frantically hails Six, but the message doesn’t get to him in time. With a stoic goodbye, he activates the drive, opening a massive space-time anomaly.
On the Raza, Five, Wexler, and Ryo watch as massive warships emerge from the anomaly. Five says in horror, ‘The black ships.’
Okay, okay. I’ll try to be reasonable.
Dark Matter has a thing for killer cliffhangers, but this one is especially nooooo inducing. So many questions! Where are Three and Portia? Six isn’t really dead, right? Will Android reboot? Is Wexler part of our team now? Can we start calling Ryo Four again?
As far as cliffhangers go, though, this is a good one. I was pleasantly surprised by the diversion away from Ryo’s villainy, and I hope that Season 4 will let out crew be a family again (please. please, they deserve happiness.). Two’s possession by the Cthulhu creature/Goo Monster is troubling, though—what lies ahead there?
This finale posed more questions than it provided answers, but it did so in a way that felt organic and kept the flow of the narrative moving briskly, right until the end. It’s not that loose ends were left dangling so much as they were reabsorbed into the wider plot, trickling into the great sea of Season 4.
…when’s Season 4 again?