YMMV: Defiance

TV Series

  • Anticlimax Boss: General Rahm Tak is built up as the most threatening antagonist ever faced on the show, but he never gets his big confrontation with the protagonists, instead dying of instant vaporization to a Deus ex Machina. The only time he's even in the same location as the main characters is when Irisa and Nolan trash his base camp in the third episode. The intense, personal confrontation that seems to be built up is instead given to Lieutenant Bebe.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Stahma Tarr.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the first episodes of season 3, a book about Irisa's exploits is treated as a joke, between the Contemptible Cover and cheesy writing. In "The Beauty of Our Weapons," the Defiance militia nearly crumbles because they expect her to be a badass killing machine because of the book, and she doesn't want to be that, and can't because of PTSD from what she did that got immortalized in the book.
  • Growing the Beard: The general consensus is that the part of season 1 garnered a lot of negative responses (possibly a form of Hype Backlash), but from about the 9th episode, the show seemed to be finding its voice and getting better reviews.
    • Season 3 is getting even more positive reception than the previous two, thanks to a strong new antagonist, tighter episode plotting, and a high quantity of Wham Episodes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Every single scene with Pottinger in Season 2 becomes this after Season 3's "Dead Air". That masked E-Rep soldier who raped Amanda in New York? She was working alongside him, sleeping with him, and confiding her darkest secrets in him for the better part of an entire season.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A former soldier with a past he's ashamed of, trying (as of the end of season 1) to save his superhumanly gifted daughter from being abused and exploited by unscrupulous forces sent from a place called Columbianote ... will they eventually come to a lighthouse?
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The last five minutes of "My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You." DANG.
  • Les Yay:
    • Between Stahma and Christie, which is especially played up in "In My Secret Life", where Christie joins Stahma and Alak in the family bath.
    • Canonically between Stahma and Kenya.
    • Berlin and Irisa have some chemistry, even if they hate each other. Berlin gets right up in Irisa's face (like... inches away) and gives her a pat-down. She later ends up pinning her against a car.
      Berlin: Irisa's a real pretty name. It'll look good on the arrest report.
    • Christie and Deidre, the girl Alak hires to handle the record-playing on the Arch.
  • Magnificent Bastard: A few.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In-universe, Nicolette killing Hunter Bell was this for Yewll, who broke ties with her after that. Sending the Volge and trying to irradiate the town certainly weren't nice either, but the last straw, for Yewll, was killing Jarred the bartender to cover up the former. Yewll killed her to stop her from doing anything worse.
    • Datak's slaughter of the Spirit Riders was pretty bad, but he hits it in-universe when he scars Alak's hand for betraying him. Stahma had him beaten to a pulp and took over his business outright for that.
    • Pottinger may be slimey and ethically-lacking, but he really tops himself in "Painted From Memory". He paroled Yewll for the purpose of using her skills making Indogene spies that look human to create a convincing copy of Kenya, whom he would then "find" and present to a grateful Amanda. Since the process severely reduced the copy's lifespan, "Kenya" would then die and he could woo Amanda while she was vulnerable. Even Yewll found the idea sick, though she wasn't in much of a position to object. The worst part is that it worked out for him in the end, even though it didn't go exactly as planned. And then in "Dead Air", he's revealed as Amanda's rapist.
    • Scraping off Doc Yewll's skin to save an Omec in the name of the greater good of restarting gulanite production qualifies, since it means Nolan and Amanda have pretty well broken any trust she has for them. In addition, this could backfire badly as her medical skills were instrumental in helping commit atrocities during the Pale Wars, which the VC are all but openly aiming to reignite. Suppose she sides with them as a result?
  • The Scrappy:
    • As of season two, Tommy earns a place on the scrappy heap after becoming an E-Rep collaborator.
    • Nolan gets some hate during the second season as well. His jerkass nature has been amplified by his search for Irisa, and finding her again hasn't really helped.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Unusually for a show like this, with consistently good and creative special effects, the Castithan makeup can be spotty at times. Sometimes you can see where the pale makeup ends and the actors' actual skin color begins (usually around the neck).
    • Season 1 implemented CGI in some bizarre ways, such as Ben Darris fleeing in an obviously CG version of his Impala, which is wrecked in CG.
    • Season 3 has the destruction of the St. Louis Arch, which features some of the most obvious CG in the series. Made more bizarre for the fact that it's such a powerful moment otherwise, and that it happens in the same episode as the below-mentioned Visual Effects of Awesome at Camp Arrowhead.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The shows effects are movie quality, and that's a huge compliment for a television series. If nothing else, because a game is being made along side it, there's likely some cross-contamination of digital assets. On the other hand, some assets are show specific - the entirety of the mines in "Down where the Dead Men Go" save for the entrance itself, interior and exterior, were CG as seen here.
    • The Season 2 finale has the destruction and terraforming of New York City by the Kaziri's terraformers.
    • Season 3 has the destruction of Camp Arrowhead.

Video Game

  • Goddamned Bats: Hellbugs. Their existence is one of the game's most annoying cons. It's bad enough that they tend to pop up when fighting other enemies, but each of the different enemy types is powerful yet boring to kill: the swarmers are brittle but small and fast, the armored bugs can take a LOT of damage and explode when you finally hit their weak points (oral, boobs, and butts, and these are sometimes armored), and the archers are surprisingly weak but also surprisingly annoying with their emp / tar spitters.
  • The Problem With Licensed Video Games: The game's launch was rife with bugs, server issues, and lack of content, getting mediocre reviews from critics as a result. Updates have alleviated the issue to some extent.