After the spectacularly insane finale (pictured above), Dark Matter returned for Season 3 with its stakes raised up to eleven. Four, the swole samurai, got some pointers from his alternate universe self and took the throne, becoming the Emperor of Zairon and causing a spectacular diplomatic incident. Where can we go from that? Well, into entire new levels of crazy, it turns out.
Let’s focus on Four and his absolutely pants-on-head-retarded, colossally fuckstupid plan: as it turns out, blowing the shit out of a space station full of diplomats is not enough to consider you a terrorist lunatic running a rogue state - because not only nobody gets the idea to curbstomp Zairon and hand whatever’s left to the Republic of Pyr, but it also takes the people of Zairon considerable time to realize that Emperor Ryo Ishida is a warmongering cretin. Worse yet, the only sane man at the imperial court, Ryo’s former teacher Teku Fonsei (criminally underused Andrew Moodie), seems to be constantly ignored, particularly when he has a point. Even worse yet, Ryo’s obsession with the Blink Drive causes him (and the producers) to waste money on hiring a bunch of weirdos, of which only two ever get to show anything in their feeble attempts at getting the Drive and offing the protagonists.
Of course if you have the only sane man tutoring an idiot and shit going bad beyond simple idiocy, there’s gotta be someone even crazier egging the idiot on. And that person, of course, is Knives Han - who, sadly, doesn’t get decapitated when Ryo learns that she shanked Nyx back in Season 2's finale. Luckily, when Ryo gets the undoubtedly bright idea to exchange Two (kidnapped and delivered to Zairon courtesy of Ferrous Corp.) for the Blink Drive and, just by the way, invite the protagonists to dinner, Knives Han gets fucking SERVED. And on top of that, some Chekhov’s Guns get hot-loaded when, relying on the memory backup restored back in Season 2, Ryo starts revealing the crew’s secrets.
Last season, it turned out that the Blink Drive can do some crazy shit like traveling between alternate realities, and this season, the spacey-wacey, timey-wimey shenanigans get even crazier. Not only Three winds up stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop courtesy of a fancy mantelpiece clock brought aboard by Tabor Calchek’s comically inept understudy Adrian Maro (Mishka Thebaud), learning to speak French and sending the Android into the future, where the chocolate-loving bot learns of an entire laundry list of bad shit rattled off by decrepit old Five, but a couple episodes later, the entire ship gets punted back in time - right to the early 2010s - in a particularly contrived storyline involving a Blink Drive or two. The episode in question, “Isn’t That A Paradox?”, not only makes the Drive an annoying piece of applied phlebotinum, but also poses several questions about the alternate reality that would make it go to shit in several spectacular ways because several actions weren’t taken.
But that’s not all. By far the craziest Blink Drive-related shit happens in the finale. In the setup for Season Four’s “Aliens and Androids” premise, we get something so balls-out insane that it needs to be seen to be believed. And when it comes to aliens and androids, both turn out to be a part of the Twenty-One Chekhov’s Gun Salute going off since the latter half of Season 1. I mean, seriously, there’s shit so contrived that you’re gonna need a corkboard and a shitload of pins, post-its and string to figure it all out.
For starters - remember Three’s girlfriend? The one from the Cosmic Donut episode? The opening two-parter reveals that her mind was copied and saved in the Raza’s databanks. And if you’re thinking that something copied to a computer memory can be uploaded into an android body, you’re right, duh. So that one not only goes off later in the season, but is promptly reloaded and hung on the wall again. More android shenanigans are triggered by one of the clowns from Ryo Ishida’s Flying Circus, as debugging of the Android’s unauthorized update (3.0: Cocky Chocolate) from Season 2 reveals more about Victor and his Android Liberation Front - including Two’s girlfriend (!) and why Two is the Team Mom, calling the shots ever since she got aboard.
As to aliens, we finally get the answer to season 2's question what mouth-fucked Three in the Dwarf Star lab and why Dwarf Star was so hell-bent on getting Two back, including why Old Man Overmind was on life support. However, that episode, “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”, raises as many uncomfortable questions about the show’s internal logic as “Isn’t That A Paradox”, especially in light of what happens in the finale.
The fact that Syfy still haven’t renewed Dark Matter for a fourth season is worrying, particularly with the showrunner pretty much holding more than enough Chekhov’s Guns to the network’s head. Because aside from the entire thematic setup for Season 4 that’s gonna throw a serious wrench into the ongoing corporate war, we also get other things on the laundry list of bad shit that don’t happen this season, including Two and Five’s family issues (the latter straight up in the opening two-parter, the former stretched out across several late-season episodes), and the fact that the GA is even more corrupt than it was shown yet, as Ryo revealed in the dinner episode. Those are all plot points and have to be resolved.
Syfy’s reluctance is even more odd when you consider that this season wasn’t all that extravagant, sticking to the usual soundstage and Canadian woods for shooting and saving the fancy CGI for the finale. The ratings don’t look that bad either, particularly for the Friday Night Death Slot on a network like Syfy. So my only question is, what the fuck, Syfy?