Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
How did stowaways manage to hide out on the arks? Space was so limited the Votans had to decide who to leave behind. The trip is so long or dangerous that hypersleep chambers are needed to make the journey. It's not like you could just squat in a random hallway waiting for the trip to end and you couldn't just kill somebody and take their hypersleep chamber as that may attract the suspicions of their relatives or ark managers when everybody awakes.
Not necessarily. If hypersleep chambers are set to wake their occupants on some sort of time schedule then a technically adept stowaway could maybe program their stolen hypersleep chamber to wake them a few hours or a few days before everyone else, then run and hide somewhere. It's also possible that "stowaway" in this context may also refer to people who were smuggled aboard by family or friends when they couldn't make the lottery.
Another alternative is folks creating fake identities in order to grab as many lotto wins as possible and then selling those places off. Ship personnal might sneak people on board or mess with manifests. When it's the end of the world as you know it, the possibilities really open up. And it's not like the average person (Votan or otherwise) really thinks about the implications and cost of space travel.
Another alternative that happened in real life is the idea of paper identities - families selling or giving away the identification papers of dead relatives (or otherwise) to others.
Volge army stowaways
How could an entire Volge army hide on the arks when space was at a premium?
Maybe they were brought by the Gulanee from their home system? See the WMG page.
Can Volge survive in vacuum? If so, they might have hitched a ride on the outside of the Arks.
I suspect a rogue Indogene group.
It seems possible that the Volge could have hijacked an entire Ark or two and kept its Indogene pilots on a tight leash, making them claim everything was all fine and dandy when in fact the passengers who should have been aboard were summarily spaced and an army of Volge went into hypersleep in their place.
Alternatively, the Volge may be able to go into an indefinite hibernation mode, allowing them to stow away in cargo bays, squatting in the corners, or even on the hull.
Bombing of Defiance
Why would Nicolette Riordon send Ben Darris to plant the bombs. He is under guard and will be missed, ensuring a faster reaction to his escape and bombing attempt. Why not send Mr Birch or another trusted employee down there with a time bomb. They are not under guard or under suspicion and will provide at least a precious few minutes to hours head start before anyone realises something is wrong. If she is worried about losing inexpendible employees then the bombs can be set on a timer.
Because they're not going to let just anyone walk into the mines. Ben had to blow up the shaft to make sure he wasn't followed. This isn't like walking into a bank or something like that. Anyone not doing their job is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Ben was expendable and had the motivation, not to mention they needed him dead anyway.
Nicolette later admits in the ninth episode that she screwed up with these plans, having been forced to think on the fly after the Volge attack went south.
Why doesn't Nolan have a kinetic shield? Considering even a standard VBI Tech shield seems rather easy to acquire. I can understand he might have not been able to acquire one while on the road due to perpetual debt, but since he's Lawkeeper of Defiance, wouldn't have made some sense to invest in one? Only reason I can think of is plot, considering what happened to him in episode 5 could've been avoided if he had a shield.
It may be that you need specialized armor or cybernetic implants to use a shield. The only people who have shields in-game are 99's (cyborgs), The rogue E-Rep Troops (who are fully armored), and Dark Matter and the Ark Hunters (EGO users).
It's exactly this. Von Bach is the source of personal shielding for player characters. It's not technology that's available to the masses, war hero or not - if you aren't VBI (or one of the other above factions) then you're not in a position where the resources are available to you.
It could also be stubborn personal preference. "I didn't need some fancy-schmancy shield to survive the War or the wasteland. Why would I need one to survive Defiance?"
How did the Hellbug kill that pervy guy (you know the one) in "The Devil in the Dark"? Did it burst out of his chest, Ridley Scott-style? Or did it tunnel up through the bed?
Tunneled up through the bed. It's quite easy to miss but there's a brief moment where you can see it coming up through his back and out of his chest.
Okay, then how did a Hellbug get there in the first place? Was it sleeping under the bed?
The eggs were found outside and lured by the pheromones. Hellbugs hatch and mature extremely quickly - coupled with the pheromones Rynn was using and it wouldn't take much to use a newborn in that way.
So it actually hatched and grew large enough to kill a man in the span of that one scene?
Yes, as I said they mature extremely quickly. The Skitterlings aren't intended to be little more than fodder.
One possibility is that the egg was placed on the floor (as in the building floor, not that specific place) at the same time that the guy was covered in pheromones. Knowing that he had a food fetish (or whatever), that might have provided enough temporary substance for it to grow. It fell asleep under the bed and was woken up by the ruckus at which point, it detected the pheromones and attacked.
How did Clancy die, exactly? The scene was so frenetic I couldn't tell. It seemed there was a blur of knives and thrown fists and all of a sudden Clancy's lying in a pool of blood. Did one of Irisa's throwing knives go awry?
One of Rafe's men killed him when opening fire on Nolan. His aim was thrown off which caused the bullet to strike Clancy instead - it was a weirdly edited scene all around.
Law and Culture
Exactly how does the legal system work in this future Earth, anyway? Rynn is getting carted away to a prison in Las Vegas. Who runs that prison? If Defiance is basically an independent municipality, why are they shipping a criminal to a far-away location? Is there some international prison agreement among the nations of Earth? And further, why was Rynn's sentence so lenient? Irisa mentions it being only two years or so. Rynn has killed two people and attempted to kill the whole city of Defiance. She's basically a terrorist; how does she get off with just two years in jail?
Vegas probably runs the prison in exchange for financial support. Ship your inmates off for a fee so your citizens don't have to deal with them. It'd actually be a pretty lucrative business post-war when few places have the facilities for such things. Defiance might have cut her some slack on account of the circumstances, what with her entire family having been murdered to steal their land. She does a paltry few years for the murders and the Spirit Riders stay happy.
Also regarding Rynn: Her adoptive father is the leader of the Spirit Riders. He would make sure she got a good defense. I figured he managed to convince the town that they would have had those guys executed if their crimes were known, so her own crimes got bumped down from double murder to vigilantism.
If nothing else, by the time of her sentencing, it was known that her own family was murdered by her victims. This would make people more likely to sympathize with her. Plus, Amanda was trying to make amends with Sukar - a light sentence might have been a token gesture of agreement and guilty in the city's part in her villainous makings.
As for location, Defiance appears to only have a jailhouse, a building that isn't really meant to have one of its cells occupied for eternity, or even two years. Shipping her to Las Vegas Prison makes more sense. They presumably do this with anyone who gets an actual jail sentence, as opposed to just needing to be locked up for a while.
Why didn't Nolan say he shot Pol Madis in self-defense?
Because Madis was unarmed, and the E-Rep likely wouldn't have cared anyway. He was already a mass-murdering psychopath, self-defense wasn't going to be enough justification for them.
Basically that. The E-Rep representatives aren't completely stupid - Defiance has a reputation for frontier law, as does their Lawkeeper (and that was within a few minutes of Nolan taking the job!), so claiming self defense wouldn't have flown with them.
Not to mention Pol was already handcuffed. That'd be a little hard to explain since they had no time to do anything between the shooting and the E-Rep reps showing up.
Just how often are mayoral elections held in Defiance? In the pilot, Amanda has only been Mayor for three weeks, but by the third episode, people are already talking about the next election being just around the corner? As far as can be calculated from the shows timeline, when Datak put his name forth as a candidate in episode nine, Amanda had only been mayor for a couple of months?
Amanda was appointed mayor by Nicky to finish out her term when she retired.
Amanda was already Assistant Mayor when Nicky supposedly became unable to finish her own term due to poor health.
Permanent campaign / speculation season. A carryover from certain old human regimes.
Why in God's name would anyone vote for Datak Tarr, let alone enough people to give him the election? He's the biggest criminal in town and everyone knows it. It's not even like he's got particularly good publicity. Are there just that many citizens of Defiance who are beholden to him and/or afraid of him?
Actually the pilot episode establishes that Datak does have pretty good publicity. The only reason Rafe got a bigger applause than him at the Armstice Day celebration is because Rafe packed the crowd with miners. Plus, Datak was able to set himself up as the "anti-human" candidate at a time when human-votan relations in Defiance were particularly strained.
A combination of several factors:
(A) Datak probably won the overwhelming majority of the Castithan vote thanks to being landlord and mafia don to them, as well as having recently engineered a situation wherein a human Lawkeeper (Nolan) atally shot a Castithan youth (the idiot) who had an essentially harmless (well, non-lethal) paintball gun, and compounded that by both getting Amanda on record as having fully supported Nolan, and then getting access to sealed E-Rep records from the Earth Military Coalition of a time when, in the midst of war, Nolan aggressively defended his own choice to vigorously shoot a Votan youth with a blaster before said youth could hurt him or his men.
(B) He probably won the Irathiant vote thanks to having previously arranged matters so that humans - specifically Rafe and his miners - aggressively rounded up the Irathiants and murdered one of them, and furthermore humans took the blame for murdering the Spirit Riders who escaped custody during that, and it was on his order that the Irathiants were set free.
(C) He pursued an aggressive, and evidently effective, "Get out the vote" strategy, to the point of sending his campaigners into the town's votan skid row to rouse the chemi-heads because "their votes will be counted!"
(D) As Colonel Marsh suggested, he "had to have some stuffed ballot boxes around somewhere," and given his character, Datak isn't the sort to lose a fair election when he can win a rigged one, so it's not entirely improbable that Datak managed to sneak in some falsified votes, too.
Even so, he was shown as desperately scraping for every single vote he could get, to the point of even specifically mentioning to Stahma that despite the fact that Castithan law called for him to spill her guts the moment he learned she'd been unfaithful to him, she hadn't yet cast her vote, and so he wouldn't. It's likely that the episode with Nolan shooting the Castithan kid may have swayed some human voters as well; if not to vote for Datak, then at least to abstain altogether. Altogether, he wound up winning by a margin of a few hundred, out of a vote count of about 5,000.
Isn't it pretty huge freakin' news that the Votans were not totally honest about their initial contacts with humans? If nothing else, wouldn't it throw the human leadership of Defiance (Mayor, Chief Lawkeeper, long-time deputy, plus most of the council happen to be mostly humans) for a real loop knowing that the basis of what they stand for was instigated, in part, by lies on the part of Votans?
Yet, Rafe, Amanda, Nolan et al just kind of shrug and go "meh".
The E-Rep guy does make a big deal of it, since it's political leverage against the Collective. What Defiance stands for is independent of that. Defiance is a place commemorating the ability of the both sides to work for a common good after they had already been embroiled in a bitter war. Sure the Votans lied at the start, but that's practically nothing to them by this point. It would kind of defeat the message if they turned their backs on that ideal because of one incident.
You're forgetting that there was a huge war after they came, so the fact that they lied during initial contacts is probably already suspected by a majority of the population. The specifics would probably make a splash, but it wouldn't be earth-shattering news.
Not to mention, we've already been told (by way of Nolan) that humans did equally unsavory things during the war. Nolan, while upset, probably would realize at least some of the hypocrisy of calling the Votanis out on something like that while being hush hush about his and his side's own indiscretions. Also, at some level, spies and espionage is something most militaries engage in - Nolan wouldn't be unfamiliar with that behavior.
Interestingly it looks like the whole plotline was set up so that it would allow for explaining Nicolette's origins and behavior.
Why do the Tarrs seem to almost purposely go out of their way to not understand the way humans think and act? Every time Alak does something assholish or stupid to a human (like disconnecting the mayor's mic, egging his friend on to a prank, etc) it's at the behest of his father and Alak, being married to one should know better than to assume filial duty trumps good relations.
Tradition is a very strong force, especially for Castithans. Alak wants to be the good son and does what his father tells him. It's only been recently that he's begun to seriously question things. As for being married to a human, well...Castithan society seems pretty patriarchal. His possible he just doesn't listen to Christie, because he doesn't think a woman's opinion matters. This attitude, by the way, is confirmed in season two when he dismisses his mother's commands at first.
That said, the Casti teenagers mostly seem to act like human ones do: willing to go against tradition, and the males in particular get rowdy with one another and even fight sometimes.
Aside: Watch Stahma. Every time she does her weirdly subservient act, she's trying to manipulate someone.
And Stahma doesn't understand humans. She would have otherwise understood that humans sometimes say things they don't mean to someone else because that someone else has hurt them emotionally.
How was Nicolette able to trick Rafe with the blood thing?
McClintok was shown to have silverish blood. With Nicolette also being an Indogene, shouldn't she have the same blood?
As noted on the character page, this is presumably a sign of the deep cover process being more advanced. She also knows she's an Indogene (though that problem was probably solved simply by just giving up on the memory imprint thing altogether). The other guy was a prototype, remember, apparently one of the very first altered in such a way,
Why, oh why did Nolan confront Stahma? He seems Genre Savvy enough to not tip off a potential enemy, that he himself identified as the "dangerous one," yet that is exactly what he does. It seems like an extremely dumb move to inform a dangerous rival that you are watching them, again, especially as he identifies her as the more dangerous of the two. The "I'm just a dumb monkey that can't understand what just happened" defense should have been the one used, with a careful (and secret) eye on the "dangerous one."
That was probably his plan. By telling the Tarrs that he's watching them, he's hoping to rattle their cages a bit, thinking maybe they'll get sloppy and slip up. Nolan's mistake, unfortunately, is overestimating his authority. He's assuming - incorrectly, as it turns out - that he'll have the law on his side when Stahma slips up.
Stahma and Datak
Unless the mechanics of Castithan gender is different, then how did Stahma "learn" a trick that she then uses on Datak? Datak mentions that only one other woman (Kenya) has performed such a trick, but again, how would Stahma (a female) learn a trick done on a male with another female? How would this have been demonstrated on another female?
Maybe Kenya is just that good...
Do you mean was that good?
You're assuming the trick involved directly stimulating the genitals. There are plenty of other erogenous zones, some that men and women both share. Hell, maybe most Castithans have no concept of causing pain for pleasure and Stahma just dug her nails into him or something.
Well, it's a good assumption. Casti males do avail themselves of the human females at the Need/Want, so it's a good bet the "filthies" do match each other rather well.
It could have been anything, really. It might have been the dirtiest, kinkiest thing you can possibly imagine. The fact we're given no indication just what Stahma did, aside from it being something she and Datak had never done before, is the whole point. It's like the Noodle Incident. Whatever explanation the writers might have given would pale in comparison to what the viewers imagine in their own heads.
It looked rather standard to this troper. It just seemed that with both of their hands visible (at least Stahma's, Datak's were probably in a holding pattern), anything special happening was going on "down below."
It could be as simple as position; Castithans might have no tradition of having sex vertically, while we're shown pretty explicitly that Stahma pushes Datak against a wall and starts to ride him and make out with him. Stahma, presumably, could easily have learned this from Kenya; she wouldn't need a penis for Kenya to push her against a wall and start grinding against her, and Stahma's certainly clever enough to figure that out. (Or she and Kenya played against a wall with a strap-on at some point...) Either way, she exuberantly pushed herself on her husband, and he later connected the dots.
Datak's Date With Rosie Palms
Is there some Castithan cultural taboo against masturbating? It just seems unnecessarily complicated and weird that Datak tried to use Yewll's hand to get himself off rather than just use his own. It's almost like he was trying to get around a ban on pleasuring himself.
Given this is Datak we're talking about, he probably just too entitled to consider using his own hand.
Characters Too Young To Be Making the Pop-Culture References They're Making?
According to the backstory, Nolan was born in 2003, Amanda in 2011, and who knows how young Berlin is. Are they really old enough to remember (and appreciate) the original Star Wars movies? Especially when they basically grew up in a world full of real-life aliens? Or the work of REM, for that matter? REM had broken up before Amanda was even born! Is everybody on post-terraforming Earth a retro hipster nerd?
Nolan is certainly old enough that his cultural knowledge is acceptable in context. The war didn't kick off immediately. Amanda's is a bit less so. As for Berlin, it seems probable, living in the E-Rep as she does, that they would have taken steps to preserve the classics. She has to do something in her downtime (besides Tommy). Maybe the E-Rep has better entertainment back in their main territories.
Not only is it likely some cultural items survived (Alak has access to records and Nolan and Irisa are introduced listening to music) but Berlin makes films and it is possible that PR wasn't just a job she was given but that filmmaking is an interest to her. She may well have studied films like the Star Wars series as part of her film studies.
Datak has found religion...wait, what?
Apparently Datak has become the Castithan equivalent of a Bible-thumping Fundamentalist...why, exactly? Because the writers thought he wasn't enough of an asshole already? Dramatically it seems to come out of nowhere and doesn't seem to make much sense.
Well, yes and no. Datak was always very traditional, insisting on things like the woman being subordinate, very concerned with honor, so on and so forth. He hated religion because his father was a priest who refused to leave Casti in order to keep watch over some religious scrolls even as the sun was exploding. The thing is, Castithan culture is heavily based on Castithan religion. So when he picked up the bible (half out of curiosity, half out of good old fashioned "I have nowhere else to turn, let's try God"), he realized that all the things about honor and duty had explanations in religion. It also helps that the book basically told him "Go punish everyone who slighted you, and everything will work out." Know your audience and all that.
A small question: why was this war called the Pale Wars?
At a guess, Castithans and Indogenes are very white in color and seem to be the most prominent of the Votan races. It's pretty thin, though.
This is a pretty minor question, but me and my friend can't seem to find an answer; what is Irisa's age as of 2046?
According to her Defiance wiki page, Irisa was born in 2024, which makes her around 22 or 23 by the time of the series.
Not a player of the game here, so apologies if this question could be answered there. Was there some reason our heroes didn't try to talk the Gulanee down? Obviously it's sentient, and obviously the Votans were able to communicate with the Gulanee in some way, so reasoning with it was at least a possibility, but they didn't even try. Do the Gulanee have some kind of Berserk Mode where they can't be reasoned with?
Every single person who went to the Ark was human, and the Gulanee was convinced they were still at war. She probably wouldn't have understood English, and even if she did wouldn't have believed anything they said (the fact that the E-Rep was planning on using her as an energy source wouldn't have helped). They could have tried shouting at her in the Votan languages, but even if they could find one she understood, once again she wouldn't have believed them. What they probably should have done is ordered Churchill to try and talk to her while they were setting up the bomb, just as a last-ditch resort, but they might have decided it wasn't worth it at that point (she had just slaughtered an entire regiment). The real irony is that if Tommy hadn't insisted Irisa stay home, they might have been able to negotiate with the Gulanee. Sure, things might have gone south somehow or she might not have spoken Irathient or whatever, but seeing a Votan would have at least given her pause.
The Mechanics of "Irzu's Gift" (Warning: unmarked spoilers)
There appears to be a Plot Hole: Tommy's reaction to the nanites indicate that it only works on Votan physiology. Humans reject the nanite treatment. But part of Irisa's deal with "Irzu" was that Nolan be brought back to life after being killed in the First Season Finale. If it doesn't work on Humans, how did Irzu bring Nolan back to life?
Apples and oranges. Irisa tried to do the full-on bonding procedure that was supposed to turn Tommy into the same cultist-type that every other Votan became, but Tommy rejected it and the nanites vacated him. Nevertheless, they do repair his body as seen when Nolan whacks him with the shotgun, so they could revive Nolan in the same fashion. The indoctrination may have failed, but their medical applications are universal. It's also possible that Tommy simply had the will to reject them.
There are still a few questions about the nanites, and really the ship in general. One of Irisa's early visions (after her attempted suicide) implied that Irzu would spread this gift to the humans as well as the Votan races. It's definitely stated specifically that he loves all life, not just Votan life, and so he wouldn't let them slaughter the humans to make way. But now he's full-on mind-controlling people as part of a Rapture scenario. Something must have changed in the interim.
Maybe Irzu was not completely dormant, but observing human history for the last 3,000-odd years, and decided that humanity is more trouble than it's worth. That could be the explanation for the out-of-left-field Green Aesop that Irisa was ranting about.
It also could have been lying to ensure Irisa would be more complacent. While it's a programmatic hard AI, it does have enough sapience to know how to lie and to vaguely tailor its communications to the people it's talking to.
Rynn and her passenger
At the end of "The Serpent's Egg", Rynn takes off with one of the evil ambassador's husbands. (Not the black one, of course, but that's irrelevant.) Go to the video game, and a mission entitled "The Irathient Vagabond" is available. Sure enough one of the first things you do is save Rynn's behind... but where's the ambassador's hubby?
He was asked to be dropped off at the next town, so that's probably where he is.
And it's rather doubtful Rynn would tolerate him any longer than necessary.