‘Defiance’ Season 2, Episode 4: ‘Beasts of Burden’ Review

By Ricky Riley,

After his caravan is viciously attacked in the badlands, a badly shaken Pottinger orders Nolan to hunt down and destroy those responsible. Nolan’s manhunt implicates one of Rafe’s miners, causing tensions to explode.

This episode focused mainly on two key storylines. The first was the caravan hijacking in the badlands and the second was the civil war between the Tarrs.

In the beginning of the episode, Mayor Pottinger and Berlin are traveling through the badlands with some precious cargo. They get hijacked by miners who are led by Rafe’s nephew. Since the beginning of the season, Pottinger took Rafe’s mines and made working conditions hard for everyone. The reality is that this plot ends brutally for Rafe. His nephew is plot device. He has to kill his nephew to prevent him for going to prison or worst. Rafe loses his house because Pottinger is vindictive and wants someone to pay for the hijacking. This entire plot was about the fall of Rafe McCauley and the rise of Pottinger.

The second and more entertaining plot revolves around the Tarrs. At the end of last week’s episode, Datak gets released from prison. He enters the family bath covered in dirt. He tries to choke Alak and drown Stahma for their defiance. In this episode, we see Datak re-establish his operations. He threatens to kill all of his henchmen. Stahma pays to E-Rep cops to try to get Datak to kill again but we see that he has become a religious man and has grown closer to the Castithan way. However, he burns Alak hand and rejects Stahma’s offer to be partners. So by the end of the episode Stahma gets all of Datak gangsters together to put a whopping on him. Datak is forced out of his own criminal empire with nothing. Stahma is his enemy now.

This episode was amazing primarily because we see the two most influential men from season one lose everything. Datak thought that things would return to normal after jail but it has not and people are not of his hard nose tactics anymore. Rafe has become a shell of himself. His family is gone, Christie is a Tarr now, and he has no more wealth. This episode sets up a possible renewed alliance between Datak and Rafe that originally happened before season one. There were minor things like the love triangle between Tommy, Berlin and Irisa. That really falls short because Tommy and Irisa did not get enough screen time in season one to explore that relationship. Amanda and Pottinger were both sexually assaulted which brings them close but could their need for the Blue Devil drug also.

Overall, this was a great episode. Now Nolan must be clean-up –man for the upcoming catastrophe. Keep giving us the Tarrs. Defiance airs on SyFy.

Here is a sneak peek for the next episode:

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