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"Past Is Prologue" is the eleventh episode of Season One of Defiance and the eleventh episode overall. It is scheduled to air on July 1st, 2013 on Syfy.


On the eve of the election, Nolan is involved in an accident that could threaten Amanda’s campaign.

Syfy's Fun Facts [2]

  • Amanda and Kenya's trek from New York to what used to be Missouri wasn't easy. They were desperate - Kenya traded sexual favors for traveling money and Amanda bailed her out of more than one ugly situation. By the time they got to Defiance, the two woman were willing to do anything to survive. Kenya started waiting tables at the NeedWant, while Amanda scrubbed floors in the Darby building - where then-Mayor Nicky promoted her to her assistant.
  • Nicky co-founded Defiance in 2037. Publicly, she told the townsfolk it was to create an all-inclusive community where everyone could have a fresh start. The truth: Before coming to St. Louis, Nicky read about the miraculous survival of the Gateway Arch following Arkfall. She believed it was a sign that St. Louis was the final resting place of something called the Kaziri (the gold/silver artifacts we saw Irisa with). Nicky led an expedition to Missouri, with her team posed as miners. When gulanite was actually discovered, it started a gold rush (for lack of a better term). Nicky became mayor to manage the situation.
  • Tommy is reading the last few sentences of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It describes the culmination of protagonist Pip's relationship with Estrella, the novel's enigmatic love interest. Like Pip, Tommy is smitten with a girl who finds it difficult to love him back (hello, Irisa).
  • Mr. Kurr, the father of the slain boy, was also the Castithan priest we saw in Episode 2. He presided over Elah Bandik's shaming ritual.
  • Most Indogene technology was destroyed when the Arks exploded in space. Yewll's been forced to cobble together equipment from old world salvage and bits of Votan technology that she's taken from fallen arks. This particular X-Ray technology uses alien chemicals, like developing film in a dark room.
  • It all comes together! The gold artifact (which Luke McCawley discovered in the mines, and Nicky had him killed for) and the silver artifact (which Thesho/Daigo implanted in Irisa, as seen in flashbacks in Episode 5) seem to have a symbiotic relationship. They also seem to hold the key to the cave paintings in the mines. But what's the whole story?
  • Echelon is a highly successful private military corporation that operates across all of North America. They don't have any political affiliations, working instead for the highest bidder. The Earth Republic often employs Echelon due to the stellar reputation of their operatives. Echelon only hires the best, including many Ark Hunters in the Bay Area (and the Defiance game).
  • The Yosemite Masscare spoken about was one of the uglier atrocities of the Pale Wars. Yosemite valley was home to human and alien pacifists who got caught in the middle of crossfire between the Earth Military Coalition and Votanis Collective forces. In the end, 98 humans and 112 Votan civilians were killed.
  • Rynn is back! The surly Irathient escaped from her prison van back in Episode 5 and made her way to the Bay Area (and the video game). There, she's been helping players combat an Earth Republic black ops project designed to weaponize Hellbugs. Rynn got word that Sukar was in a coma, hence her return.
  • Veonuvanawo is Castithan for "great shaming." In Castithan culture, appearance is everything. How you are perceived by others determines your worth in life. These is nothing worse than shame...except maybe the vengeance of a Castithan husband who learns his wife has been cheating on him with a hooker.
  • Datak is angry and disappointed with Alak for allowing Christie to wear a traditional wedding veil instead of a telo. By giving into foreign customs and disobeying his father's wishes, Alak has shamed his father, which is why he needs to perform this supplication ritual (and the "favor" Datak has Alak's friend perform) to get back in Datak's good graces.
  • The Shanjifyo are the highest rung of Castithan society. Heads of state, military commanders, the highest ranking religious officials and the aristocracy all belong to the Shanje liro. Shanje families can trace their genealogies back over two thousand years. Datak wasn't born into this liro, but in the new landscape of Defiance, managed to build his power base up enough to be in it.
  • The debate scene was shot during some of the worst weather experienced during the first season. Hurricane Sandy was on the way and the rains were fierce and unpredictable. However, the grey skies and rain contributed to the mood of the scenes and the umbrellas hid much of the crowd, contributing to Nolan's paranoia.
  • On average, 100 extra were regularly called into the streets of Defiance for exterior shots of the debate.
  • The pink Castithan blood that Alak spits out after his beating was actually strawberry yogurt.

Votan Translations

David J. Peterson, the creator of the Votan languages, has made translations available on his Archive of Our Own page.

Translations for the Votan spoken in this episode can be found at Conlang Dialogue: Defiance, Episode 111.

Highlighted Quote

Destroyer. Creator. Devouring Mother, possessor of both womb and grave.
Garitso. Vanatso. Kanu yeno, fadivyo ki fetho kyeritso.

Deleted Scene

Nolan and Doc Yewll walk through the streets looking for Irisa. Doc says that Irisa's escape was fueled by adrenaline, but Nolan is skeptical. He knows she's lying to him, and asks her to to tell him the truth.


Season 1
Episodes "Pilot" • "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" • "The Devil in the Dark" • "A Well Respected Man" • "The Serpent's Egg" • "Brothers in Arms" • "Goodbye Blue Sky" • "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" • "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" • "The Bride Wore Black" • "Past Is Prologue" • "Everything Is Broken"
Stars Grant Bowler as Joshua NolanJulie Benz as Amanda RosewaterStephanie Leonidas as IrisaTony Curran as Datak TarrJaime Murray as Stahma TarrGraham Greene as Rafe McCawleyMia Kirshner as Kenya Rosewater
Guests Fionnula Flanagan as Nicolette RiordonTrenna Keating as Doc YewllNicole Muñoz as Christie McCawleyJustin Rain as Quentin McCawleyJesse Rath as Alak TarrDewshane Williams as Tommy Lasalle
Recurring Rob Archer as UlyssesCarl Bauer as RupertNoah Danby as SukarWesley French as Luke McCawleyTiio Horn as RynnDouglas Nyback as BenSteven McCarthy as Mr. BirchJessica Nichols as Bertie/JaredKevin Shand as Dog Walker/Nak/Raiga