Past Is Prologue

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


Irisa Nyira Nolan's parents fell into a cargo cult when she was a child, and she was declared a messiah. Before the ritual was quite complete, Joshua Nolan's squad raided the camp and killed everyone and he adopted her. Since then, strange clairvoyant visions and night terrors have driven a wedge between them, becoming a symbol of their Irathient/Human disconnect. Upon arriving in Defiance, Irisa reconnected with her heritage through a relationship with Sukar, the leader of a group of Irath Spirit Riders.

This is, until Nolan shot him, sending him into a coma from which he'll probably never wake, their shared experience of saving Defiance reified her messianic stuff, but this time it was through the lens of the Irath Goddess of destiny, Irzu. Nolan and Irisa have been working their way back to each other ever since that awful day as she tries to mediate her spirituality while also begrudgingly coming to love the town and her place in it.

The spiritual stuff has a third component: The Golden Knot, an ancient artifact that may be key to wiping either all human or Votan life from Earth, but also seems connected to Irisa (through prophecy and, this week, empirical evidence). We've since learned that Nicky Riordan's dangerous season-long schemes to recover the artifact arose not from human-first bias but in fact from her status as an Indogene sleeper agent, meaning she intended to complete the mission of the original Arks: To make the Earth safe and clean for Votan life.

Her various compatriots in this plan have all died, leaving only the deserter Meh Yewll, who last week murdered Nicky once the trap seemed too ready to spring. Everybody's pretending Defiance is valuable because of Rafe's gulanite resources, but the truth is that half the power-players manipulating Jeb and Amanda are fully aware of the Kaziri and what it represents. The ex-Mayor's death occurred only days before the official election to name her replacement, bringing Datak Tarr to the table as a viable opponent for interim Mayor Amanda Rosewater. Tarr's wife Stahma Tarr has entered into a romantic relationship with Rosewater's sister Kenya, a situation that could easily lead to both their deaths.

Amanda always strongly opposed the Earth Republic's imperialist interest in Defiance: Along with her own painful history with the organization, she also shared with Nicky a true horror at their tactics and the mechanized "company town" results of their acquisitions. What she didn't know is that Nicky opposed the E-Rep politically as well, as the strongest bloc of post-apocalyptic human interest. But for those Votans caught between the giants of E-Rep and Votanis Collective, the question seems both more and less complicated: Past idealism, past defiance, past hope, the only question is which master to serve.

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