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"The Beauty of Our Weapons" is the 7th episode of Season Three of Defiance and the 32nd episode overall. It aired on July 17, 2015 on Syfy.


A visiting handsome arms dealer changes Defiance's fortunes, and divides Amanda, Nolan and Berlin. Nolan recruits a militia to fight the oncoming Votanis Collective army, but the people of Defiance need convincing to fight what may be an unwinnable war; Datak and Alak have a reckoning; Stahma's presence causes strife among the mysterious Omec.

Syfy's Fun Facts[1][]

  • The method of casting a ballot using black and white marbles was first used in Season 1, Episode 9, when the council voted to quarantine the town's Irathient population following an outbreak of the Irath flu. The practice dates back to the 17th century and was used by secret organizations such as the Freemasons. In certain circumstances, a single black ball was enough to defeat a measure or to reject a new applicant. Hence the term, "blackballing."
  • Conrad Von Bach is played by Ian Ziering, who is also known for his roles in Syfy's Sharknado and the long-running series Beverly Hills 90210. Joining him is Defiance's own Rob Archer, who plays Benedict the loyal Bioman bodyguard. This marks the fourth Bioman played by Rob, who previously played Datak's bodyguard Ulysses, Pottinger's valet Churchill, and George, one of the four Beatles-inspired Biomen found in Station Arrowhead.
  • Von Bach Industries is the largest weapons manufacturer in North America. They pride themselves on unparalleled quality and house the most advanced research and development lab on the planet. Shortly after the Pale Wars ended, VBI hired the brightest engineers from both the Earth Military Coalition and the Votanis Collective (including notorious war criminals such as Pol Madis). Von Bach Industries is an apolitical organization who doesn't take sides in any conflict. They're happy to sell to anyone, assuming they can pay VBI's exorbitant fees.
  • Many of the Von Bach weapons on display in this episode come straight from the Defiance video game. The Snapdragon is a bolt action sniper rifle that's readily available in the Paradise territory. While slow to fire, its shots can penetrate even the thickest armor. The Particle Ultimag is beam weapon that can slowly build up a charge to provide additional damage. Cold fire, of course, is well-established on the show. Created from an Omec alloy, they were employed by the Volge during their assault on Defiance in the show's first episode.
  • The voice command that Conrad uses to energize the weapons is a little in-joke among the writing staff. In real life, every time a revision is made to the script, it's distributed on a different colored paper, "goldenrod" being one of them. "Aloe vera," the command Conrad uses to shut off the guns, was chosen simply because it sounded funny.
  • Indogene shapetakers were developed shortly before the Votans left for Earth. The first models were sent aboard the Omec arks to sabotage their engines and prevent the Omec from ever reaching Earth. Although they succeeded in their mission, the shapetaker technology was never fully perfected. Gordon McClintock, the first human to be replaced by a shapetaker, behaved erratically (as seen in Season One, Episode 8). Mayor Nicolette Riordon, another Indogene shapetaker who co-founded the town of Defiance, required periodic maintenance from Doc Yewll. It was even rumored that John Paul Bullock, the human assassin who started the Pale Wars, was an Indogene spy in disguise. Lieutenant Bebe represents a newer breed of shapetaker -- quicker to transform and harder to detect.
  • "It was actually the 'r' sound and the news that Omec would shapeshift into beast-like creatures that got me over my writer’s block (or conlanger’s block). I basically reconceptualized the Omec as predators, and this ended up really driving the creation process. Suddenly Kinuk’aaz (the Omec language) had a character, and everything else fell into place." - David Peterson, Language Creator.
  • Berlin and Conrad's "Redwood" apartment is a nod to Trion Worlds, makers of the Defiance video game, whose headquarters is located in Redwood City, California.
  • "The young man who played Ranikar, Spencer MacPherson, played a different character in an earlier episode of season ["Wannabe," one of the teenagers who taunted Kindzi in her lawkeeper jail cell]. We thought he was a wonderful young actor and we could get away with it as he was a human in the earlier episode and in this one he played an Irathient." - Mairzee Almas, Director
  • All That Heaven Allows is a 1955 film directed by Douglas Sirk, starring Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman. It's about an upper-class widow (Wyman) who falls in love with her gardener (Hudson), and how the wealthy family reacts to this relationship, despite their love having nothing to do with money. Not entirely unlike the situation that split up Berlin and Conrad in the first place!
  • [Executive Producer] Michael Nankin would invite us to his home on Sunday morning for coffee and croissants! He'd have the New York Times available. We'd sit and chat or quietly read, but it helped build a climate of trust and support. He would also email "Daily Inspirations" to the actors, directors and Director of Photography. They were old film clips or scenes, old photos or quotes. Things that kept us inspired to reach higher. Amazing really. What a lot of fun it was!" - Mairzee Almas, Director
  • In Castithan culture, a person who dies with a stain upon their immortal soul is condemned to the three hells -- a purgatory that's divided into layers according to one's liro (even in the afterlife, members of the shanje liro enjoy a nice view from a high ledge ... as millions of lower liro souls attempt to crawl their way out of their pit and overtake them). Death upon the shaming rack may save one from this fate, but only at the discretion of the Castithan god, Rayetso.
  • Fashion aficionados may have noticed that this is Irisa's third hairstyle over the course of the series. In Season One, she sported a short, sassy look. In Season Two, she wore her hair longer as a sign of maturity. This new look reflects some of the war-braiding that's traditional among the Irathient people.
  • Special guest time! Dewshane Williams reprises his role as Deputy Lawkeeper Tommy LaSalle, last seen at the end of Season Two. Though Irisa is burdened by the deaths she caused in New York and Belize, it's Tommy more than anyone else who personifies the pain and regret she's struggled with over the course of the season.
  • The Shaming Fack prayer (as performed by the Castithan priests):
  • Fárubolo líro no Ráyetso… "God in heaven…" Wódhazhiwe no ksa pómbuna re fávizwala do hárala. "We look to you from below." Fávizwala do veónupsa je… "We have shamed you…" Kwóro íshkudholenanda. "But we shall be put in your grace again." Pómbuna do nyámbulu péswa ksa… "The stone weighing us down…" Ji yélaka re névinonda. "This damned one shall return to you." Yélako lázulina ksa pómbuna do éshkilistonda. "His gift shall strengthen us." Yélako fomigáraya ksa pómbuna re bíhala… "We thank him for his sacrifice…" Kyúro fávizwo shínggyesu ksa bíhala. "And we thank you, lord, for your acceptance."
  • "Jessica Nichols played both Rahm's Liberata soldier Geeze as well as the Liberata janitor whom Bebe shoots. It was fun for the cast to stretch out from their usual characters for a bit." - Mairzee Almas, Director

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 307.

Highlighted Quote[]

Luke, this is your grandfather, Datak Tarr. When you are older, I will help you understand that he was deeply flawed...
Luko, ji ksa bonwile re ya: Taro Detak'sa. Usha ksa ilinje vengisupso, tambu me vava do magonda: Famiya ksa achando shira...
... but not without honor.
...kworo hivizhiwa kano kanwa.

Deleted Scenes[]

  • When Conrad first arrives in Defiance, he checks out a pair of sunglasses (and their vendor) where he learns people are getting out of Defiance. He gives the vendor his card, telling her she has the body for appearing in promotional films for his company.
  • Upset with herself, Irisa lashes out at Nolan. Nolan asks Datak to confirm that it isn't about him, but Datak tells Nolan not to drag him into his family drama because he has enough of his own.
  • Nolan shows townspeople how to handle a gun, telling them to practice day and night so they'll be prepared when the enemy arrives.
  • An extended version of Irisa aiming at targets in the moments before she hallucinates Tommy.


Because the first two episodes aired together as two hour premiere, they are sometimes referred to as a single episode (despite having separate episode titles), making this the sixth episode to air, but seventh named, individual episode of the season.