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Alak Tarr is the son of Defiance’s subversive Castithan power couple. He is a young man caught in the middle, chafing against tradition in a world full of new possibilities.


Alak Tarr was born near the end of the Pale Wars and raised in a life of privilege by his parents, Datak Tarr and Stahma Tarr. Despite the material wealth, he struggled with his parents ruthless tendencies and traditional Castithan ways. Unlike his parents, Alak was raised on Earth in a town that was integrating different cultures, so he grew to have different perspectives than his parents. One such difference is Alak's very human love of music. In some circles of Castithan culture, a love of art is perceived as weakness, something his parents often accuse him of.[1]

When Alak was seven years old, his parents forced him to beat up another little boy, his friend, Petek Keev. As a member of the Shanje liro, his parents believed it was his duty to uphold his liro, and that he would be mocked if he did not. Petek was in the Yuke Liro, and therefore a lower class than Alak, but because of Mayor Nicky’s attempts at integrating the Castithan liros, Alak and Petek went to school together, something that would not have happened on Datak and Stahma’s home world. Alak cried after being forced to beat up his friend, but Datak laughed at him.

When he was a child, his parents purchased a seven year old girl, Jalina, to serve as a handmaiden. Together, they would put on puppet shows based on stories from the Castithan holy scrolls.

Season 1[]

Alak Tarr is working as a radio DJ atop the arch and in a relationship with a human girl, Christie McCawley, the daughter of his father’s biggest rival, Rafe McCawley. Although his father despises Rafe and the idea of his son marrying a human, he allows it because he has ulterior motives. Alak is rarely entirely aware of his father's ulterior motives behind the things he allows his son to do and the things he asks his son to do until it's too late.

After Alak and Christie are engaged, Alak's family begins bringing her into their Castithan rituals. One of these rituals is communal family bathing, a custom from Datak and Stahma's home world that the higher liros still do on Earth. Christie finds this strange, but Alak tells her that he that humans are way too hung up on their bodies. Initially, he pushes aside her concerns, more focused on making out with her in the arch than on her concerns, but Christie continues to press the issue. Alak tries to avoid confronting his parents by insisting that Christie tell them that she doesn't want to bathe with them, but when she's still upset and goes to leave, he is persuaded to be the one to tell his parents.

At Alak's bachelor party, his friends hire a night porter for ritual coitus, but Alak thinks the concept of ritual coitus is old school. It is 2046 after all. And his real bride would have a problem with it. His friends, particularly Kupak Kurr, start to insult him for hooking up with a human, and Alak rushes at him, starting a fight.

As the wedding nears, Datak attempts to persuade Alak not to marry Christie. Datak's father was a highly traditional, religious man who would not approve of his grandson marrying a human. Datak says, "our Castithan blood will not be diluted," and demands Alak obey his wishes. Alak nearly falters and calls off the wedding without his father's support, but Christie's father, Rafe, tells him that Alak's love for Christie is all that matters. With Rafe and Stahma's support, the weeding goes forward, and, at the last minute, Datak turns up to attend his son's wedding.

At the wedding, Christie does not wear the Tilo, a traditional metal Castithan face covering that blocks the bride's view. Although Stahma allowed Christie to walk down the aisle without it, Datak is upset. By allowing Christie to break with this tradition, Datak feels Alak has dishonored to his grandfather's memory. Alak attempts to reason with Datak by saying that he was trying to be a good husband by allowing Christie to do something that was important to her, but Datak doesn't care. He forces Alak to kneel before him and beg his forgiveness for shaming the Shanje liro. Datak tells Alak that his forgiveness must be earned and asks Alak to recruit a friend to paintball the mayor during Datak's upcoming political debate with her.

Although Alak initially thinks Datak wants Alak to play a harmless prank on his political opponent, Amanda Rosewater, when his friend lifts the paintball gun, Lawkeeper Nolan shoots him. Alak then comes to suspect that he was used as a pawn in his parents scheme to disgrace Nolan, and by association, Amanda. Although Alak does not know the extent to which Datak and Stahma schemed to make Nolan believe Alak's friend was legitimately trying to kill Amanda, he suspects that his parents knew the lawkeeper was going to be there and that he would shoot.

Radio Job[]

Although Alak's primary responsibilities at the radio station involve providing entertainment, he also makes weather announcements, patches the lawkeeper through to the town, and hosts the mayor for her speeches.

Season 2[]

Caught between Stahma & Skevur[]

With the start of a new season, Alak has a new business, Tarr Trax records. He comes up with the idea of pressing white vinyl as a marketing gimmick to give Tarr Traxx label some personality and represent his Castithan heritage. The Tarr Traxx motto is "bringing you hot stacks of Casti wax."

He hangs out in his warehouse with his friends and employees, smoking and listening to music. Alak has also become the head of the Tarr family business since his father was sent to Camp Reverie. In this role, he orders Skevur around and does his best to put on a tough act, but it is not in his nature. Skevur reminds Alak that he has a good heart, and Alak decides to give him three extra days to meet a deadline. Stahma watches from a distance, disappointed in her son.

When Alak returns home to find Stahma bathing alone, he expresses how strange he finds this habit of hers while she expresses her disappointment in him. Alak believes that giving Skevur extra time was a kindness. Stahma replies, "where you see kindness, others see weakness." Stahma had been trying to mold Alak into a proper Castithan man, but his behavior with Skevur was the last straw. Stahma decides that Alak is not fit to be head of the family business. She claims the family business for herself despite his protests that Castithan men will never listen to her. She says, "Who knows what the men may tolerate in time? But for now, you will deliver my orders exactly as I give them. You will not question me. In return, you will have money in your pocket. You will be free to pursue your music hobby or whatever else you wish. But all power will reside with me."

Stahma has Skevur beaten, and he retaliates by placing a bomb underneath her car. Nolan saves Stahma, and she turns her mind towards revenge. Alak reminds Stahma that Skevur did this because she had him beaten, but she says, "my son's weakness forced me," and orders Alak to make it right. Reluctantly, Alak goes to Skevur to get revenge for Stahma. Skevur insists, "you don't have to be like your father and mother. You can show mercy," but Alak kills him. Alak then runs into the alley and throws up.

Choices & Impending Fatherhood[]

Christie quickly realizes that something strange is going on. She notices that Stahma asks him about his "record business," something she had never shown interest in before. It's obvious that she isn't talking about the record business. Stahma only cares about the family business. Christie is uncomforatable that Alak is involved in his parents’ business as it involves gambling, loan sharking, and drugs, among other things. Alak flees rather than discuss this.

Alak goes to the radio station where he is still working as a DJ. He's also hired Deirdre "Treasure Doll" Lamb to help him. She's a night porter who takes an interest in Alak because she thinks he will be rough with her like his father. Deirdre begins flirting with him, and he initially turns her down because he's not like his father - he doesn't sleep with Night Porters - but when she persists, he grabs her and begins making out with her. When she tells him to be rough with her like he was with Skevur, he pulls away. He doesn't want to talk about what he did to Skevur. Angrily, he says, "if you just shut up and play the records I tell you to play, this could be a nice little side gig for you. But if you stir up trouble, if you get in my way, I swear I will drop your skinny ass off the top of this arch." This will come back to haunt him.

After his makeout session with Deirdre, he goes to the McCawley house, where he learns Christie is pregnant. After they celebrate, Rafe takes Alak aside to promise that he will leave the Tarr family business. Rafe doesn't want his daughter or grandchild anywhere near the Tarrs’ "gangster crap." This is the final warning Rafe will give.

Alak keeps his promise and confronts his father in prison. Impending fatherhood has made him realize who he wants to be in life, and he doesn't want to be his father. Still, he wants Datak's blessing to step away from the family business. Datak refuses and gets extremely upset by the idea of Stahma, a woman, running the business, so Alak tells him off.

She's doing it to protect the family. Don't you dare blame mom for this! You're here because you couldn't control the one thing you needed to control... yourself! You're a miserable, old bastard! I hope you rot in this cage.

When Alak returns home from visiting his father, Stahma already knows where Alak has been. Her people told her, so she is prepared to tell him that, "we both know we can never allow your father to come home." She also gives him his father's charge blade to protect his new family. Unfortunately, Datak is unexpectedly released from prison. He returns home while Alak and Stahma are bathing together. He attempts to drown Stahma, but Alak fights back against him.

Punished by Datak[]

Over lunch, Datak and Alak once again discuss Alak's future. This time, Datak has all the power. He tells Alak that he had always imagined that Alak "would prosper and raise a family, [would be] a pillar of the community. But I was mistaken. For better or for worse, you are a Tarr." Alak is deeply unnerved by this discussion, but this is exactly what Datak wants.

He then takes Alak to visit their employees, threatening to kill one of them in front of his son. In Castithan culture, there is nothing worse than being shamed, so Datak must set things right. He must counteract the shame he experienced when his men decided to follow a woman's leadership, Stahma's leadership. This process upsets Alak, so he volunteers his own life. "Kill me. I could have stopped mom, but I didn't. I was weak." Datak agrees that Alak was weak, but Alak is his legacy, so he kills Ozin.

Next, Datak goes to Alak's record warehouse. He had planned to burn it down but decided that the record business would be a good front for their illegal businesses. Datak has begun interpreting Alak's actions as if he were a shrewd, Shanje man. He thinks that Alak must have offered his life as a clever tactic to maintain their loyalty. Through this lens, Datak is impressed by Alak, but he still must be punished. Datak slams Alak's hand into a record press, permanently burning and scaring his son. Alak screams in pain as Datak declares them to be equals.

As Christie bandages Alak's hand, she calls Datak a monster, but Alak becomes defensive of his father. He insists that Christie just doesn't get it because she's not Castithan, but when Stahma sees the injury, she is just as disgusted by Datak's actions as Christie. So, Stahma has him beaten in front of his men out of revenge. Alak stands next to his mother during the beating and attempts to look away, but she tells him not to.

Wife & Mistress[]

Unbeknownst to Alak, Christie has been visiting a nightclub where humans dress up as Castithans, so when he discovers that someone has given Christie a Castithan courtship gem, he is deeply upset. She started going to this nightclub because she felt like a constant outsider in the Tarr family, but when Alak finds out, he's furious. He sees her wig and makeup as an offensive mockery of his culture, but she insists it makes her feel powerful, like Stahma. After their argument, Alak goes to Deirdre at the NeedWant where they sleep together. Even though Deirdre was the one to introduce Christie to the nightclub, she tells Alak that Christie's actions are wrong. He takes comfort in hearing this, but, of course, Alak doesn't know that this is all a part of Deirdre's plan to win him over.

Alak quickly decides to end things with Deirdre. He informs her that he loves his wife and it's time for him to grow up because he's going to be a father soon. Deirdre is offended and believes that he used her like a prostitute. She demands 5,000 scrip because "if you're gonna treat me like a whore, you're gonna pay me like one."

After breaking up with Deirdre, Alak goes to speak with Christie in their room. He apologizes for getting so upset about the nightclub. He now thinks that Christie should be able to do whatever makes her happy. He also confesses that he lied to her about killing Skevur and about working the family business, but he does not confess to sleeping with Deirdre. Christie then asks Alak kneel before her and give a Castithan vow to never shame her again. After he makes the vow, she forgives him, and they kiss.

Unfortunately for Alak, his problems aren't over. Because Deirdre and Christie are friends, she visits the Tarr home. When she's momentarily left alone with Alak, Deirdre insists that she doesn't actually want the 5,000 scrip from him. She wants to marry him and have his children, but Alak forcefully declares that he does not love her. Unbeknownst to Alak, Stahma is watching in the background and decides that Deirdre must be killed before she causes more trouble for the Tarr family.

When Deirdre falls from the arch to her death, Alak becomes the prime murder suspect. Amanda has him locked in jail, where Stahma reminds him that he swore a human oath of fidelity to his wife, an oath Christie expects him to honor. She says, "Perhaps some time behind bars will help you grow, as it has your father." This causes Alak to suspect that Stahma set him up to teach him a life lesson, but Stahma is offended by such an accusation. Alak angrily holds up his scarred hand to remind her just how far his parents have gone to teach him life lessons.

Stahma is right about one thing. Time in jail does get him thinking about his actions. He tells Amanda, "I didn't kill her. But I did treat her badly. She was hot and fun for a while, but then I got bored, and I threw her away. Look, I wish she was alive, so I could... so I could tell her I'm sorry." Then, a man comes in with an unexpected confession to Deirdre's murder.

Freed from jail, Alak returns home to find that Christie actually murdered Deirdre and Stahma covered it up for her. In Castithan, Christie tells Alak, "join me, my love. A Castithan woman bathing alone is unseemly." Her transformation into a Castithan woman has gone beyond hair and makeup. She has also taken on the morals and values of a Castithan woman.

Kidnapped by Pilar McCawley[]

Christie's mother, Pilar returns to Defiance claiming that there's a research facility where humans and Votans live together peacefully. It's everything Defiance claims to be, but Alak is skeptical. How can such a place exist and he's never heard of it? PIlar wants Alak and Christie to move there, but Alak can't abandon his mother, so Christie's brother, Quentin, knocks Alak out and tosses him in Pilar's car.

Season 3[]

In the season 3 premiere, Christie sacrifices herself to Stahma to save her life’s son. Rahm Tak then kidnaps Alak, causing Datak and Stahma to work as spies for him. When Alak confronts Datak over his ations, he says,

You know, even if Rahm Tak had killed me, so what? I would have died protecting my child and my home. I'd be with Christie now. My death would have meaning. You... you should have told the truth. You and Mom should have helped.

When Alak escapes from Rahm Tak, he attacks Stahma. Although she escapes and believes she was justified for killing Christie because it was her choice to die for her som, Alak does not forgive her for killing Christie. He moves into the McCawley house where he lives with Luke. He keeps a gun beside the door in case Stahma dares visit him. Inside the gun, there are two bullets meant for Stahma. One for Rafe, and one for Christie.


Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley

Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley


The Tarr Family

He is the widow of Christie Tarr with whom he shares a baby son named Luke.

Their relationship was believed to be a symbol of hope for the town of Defiance because it showed how Votan species and Humans alike, could become well-connected together in peace and harmony.

After Christie's death, Alak was separated from his son and taken hostage by the V.C, he soon escaped and was reunited with his son. Not much has been shown about either one. He is adjusting to being a single father.


  • Although Alak's age is not mentioned, Christie was 17 in 2046, so Alak's age is likely close to Christie's.
  • Jesse Rath frequently remarked on how his character often got beat up in fight scenes. "I was in a lot of the fight scenes, but the only thing then was that a lot of the fight scenes were my character getting beaten up for most of the time. I was always very proud of those fight scenes because I was like, ‘Hey, look how I fell in that shot.’" [2]
  • After Defiance, Jesse Rath went on to play Brainiac 5 on the CW's Supergirl where he once again played a painted alien. He said, "It seems to be my thing now to play aliens. In terms of getting painted every day, I enjoy it. It’s like putting on someone else’s skin and wearing a mask. There’s more freedom in it. You can take more risks and it’s liberating in a way."[3]