Defiance Wiki

The NeedWant is the local bar/brothel in Defiance. It’s run by a sultry proprietress named Kenya Rosewater. Jered Kikema was the Liberata bartender for many years, and Tirra is one of the many prostitutes who live and work there. Kenya inherited the establishment when her husband Hunter Bell disappeared seven years ago. Hunter had run it as a hotel and bar, rather than a brothel, and Kenya was a waitress. He left the place to Kenya in his will.

Residents like to go there for a drink, live entertainment, a game of Ivali (Castithan poker)… or some especially friendly company provided by the many attractive women and men who work there. Private functions are also held there, such as Alak Tarr's bachelor party. It was at this party when Hunter's body is discovered to have been placed in the wall during the last renovations, "The Bride Wore Black".

The NeedWant is a legal establishment in Defiance, so prostitution is allowed and practiced openly, even by Lawkeeper Nolan who becomes involved with Kenya on a professional and then personal basis and who spent much of his free time there. Kenya does pay money to Datak Tarr. She calls it his weekly collection, "Goodbye Blue Sky", and it is unclear whether this is protection money or whether he has a stake in the business.

Kenya refers to her employees as "night porters", a term which she prefers to "prostitutes". Kenya attempts to maintain a respectable atmosphere and expects certain standards to be maintained by the clientele. She is protective of her employees. Drug dealer Ulysses is warned of dire consequences if Kenya finds him selling drugs to her employees again "A Well Respected Man". What is important to note is the fact that this is not a traditional brothel, in the sense of women forced into prostituting themselves solely for money, Kenya Rosewater employs workers of all races who enjoy sex. Kenya takes pride in the fact that the people who live, work, and frequent the NeedWant are happy. While human, Castithan, and Irathient men and women have been seen to be employed there, no night porters of the Liberata race have been shown.

In "A Well Respected Man" the brothel, particularly Kenya, comes under fire from one of the more traditional thinking human women, Rupert Mirch's wife, who accuses Kenya of sleeping with her husband. Kenya confirms that the "night porters" sleep with married men as well as singles. This causes strife between her and her sister Mayor Amanda Rosewater, who attempts to keep the peace and wishes a better life for Kenya.

In season 2, Amanda inherits the NeedWant from her sister, Kenya. Although she does not work as a prostitute herself, she runs the establishment and works as a madam, helping match people with night porters. In season 3, Amanda leaves her job at the NeedWant to return to her position as Mayor of Defiance. Although she does not run the day to day operations, she does still own it.

After the mines collapse at the end of season 2, all of Defiance is in rough shape, including the NeedWant. Production designer Steve Gegham said of the NeedWant during season 3, “We’ve pulled off some of the letters, and it’s looking kind of pale… Some of the bicycles are missing; the lights of the digba tree aren’t as bright as they were. That’s what we find here is that the Need Want, which is the central meeting place, still suffers the same fate as the rest of the town.”[1]

Building Features[]

The ground floor bar is set in an enormous two story main room. The second floor rooms are connected by a walkway which can be reached by a spiral staircase on one side and on the other by a flight of metal stairs, the stairs and curved metal guardrails being suspended by chains fixed in the ceiling.

The central feature of the NeedWant is an enormous alien tree known as a digba. Its branches spread out a few feet over head sending down pale mossy tendrils and lighted globes on vines, which seem to be a natural feature of the tree and the primary lighting system. The bar is built around the trunk, which has underlite shelves for liquor, and it would need two people to encircle it with their arms. It wasn’t just brought in for show – the entire establishment was designed around it.[2]

Kenya has room 106, which features a large round bed with gauzy pink curtains and throw pillows. There is a Buddha sitting serenely on a side table and a vintage Krazy Kat clock on the wall.

The outside of the building is decorated with backlite plastic commercial display art in garish colors, many seem to be cosmetic advertisements. The second floor balcony is lined with a row of bicycles and boughs of the digba reach out onto this balcony with its lighted globes. There are solar panels installed on the roof.