Defiance Wiki

"The Devil in the Dark" is the third episode of Season One of Defiance and the third episode overall. It originally aired on April 29, 2013 on Syfy.


Overview (No Spoilers)

Irisa is forced to face a disturbing power, while Defiance comes under attack by Hellbugs.

Brief Summary (Minor Spoilers)

Spirit Riders roll into town and start causing a disturbance in Defiance for the locals; however, Mayor Rosewater states that as long as she is mayor, they are always welcome in Defiance.

Outside of Defiance, someone is doing their daily run through the woods with his special running shoes (supposedly, they are no longer in production)! While doing his usual jog, a mysterious creature begins to stalk him. In a moment's notice, three of these mysterious creatures attack and kill the runner.

Meanwhile, Irisa begins to have strange visions of a distant past occurrence and they haunt her as she delves deeper into them. They soon realize that these vicious creature attacks are done by Hellbugs and that these attacks are directed towards specific people - making these attacks murders. 

Late in the night, Christie McCawley is having dinner with Alak Tarr and his family, until Datak makes a rude comment and causes her and Alak to leave the table; thus, luring them out into the open where a Hellbug rises from the ground and attacks Christie. Datak Tarr busts out his charge-blade and extends it to create a sword variation of it. Easily taking down the two Hellbugs, Datak Tarr walks away without a scratch. 

Nolan, Irisa, and Tommy soon hear of this attack on Christie and make a visit to Rafe McCawley's house, making sure to scan for any "attack pheromones" that may be on the Tarr family or McCawley family. They realize that Christie McCawley was the intended victim and Nolan delves into Rafe McCawley's past to find out what connection he has with the two other victims. 

While digging through Rafe's paperwork, finding the evidence that links him to the other two victims, Irisa has another vision - this one being even more terrifying. This vision leads Irisa to some fields where murders took place nearly a dozen years ago.

Irisa attempts to explore these visions and find the source of the Hellbugs and the perpetrator behind the attacks. As the search closes in, more mysteries are revealed.

Want to know the rest? Watch the episode! Full Episode shown below.

Detailed Description (Major Spoilers)

A man in sweat clothes has driven a roller up a dirt road to an open field, some distance away from the city limits. He opens a red and gold lacquered box, and wrapped in a decorative cloth, he reveals a pair of vintage red suede Adidas running shoes with decorative white leather stripes that matches his red hoodie. Treating them with reverence, he rubs away dust or possible smudges. After lacing them on he stretches and rubs his calf muscles in preparation for a run. He is a bit annoyed as the noises of raised shouting and engines break the silence. Sukar, Rynn, and the other Spirit Riders are tearing down the dirt road on roller and motorcycles toward town. After placing the earpieces of a small white iPod-like device in his ears and putting his dirty sandals back in the car, he takes off down a trail through the woods to the sounds of serene classical music. Low shrubs cover the ground under the trees, and rustling can be seen and heard in these shrubs as he runs down the trail. The rustling grows more pronounced, the sounds of birds chirping dwindle, and the disturbances through the shrubs show the wakes of several creatures alongside the trail of the runner, as he runs with his ears full of music remaining blissfully unaware. A branch snaps and the runner stops and looks around sensing that he is not alone, but seeing nothing. Suddenly there is a scrambling noise and a violent shaking of the shrubs directly behind him. The runner cries out, as he crouches down to grab the back of his right leg which was likely stabbed or bitten. Looking around in terror he finally sees that things are moving in the shrubs, and turning he sprints off down the trail back to his roller. Furiously moving, as if he is running in fear for his life from the noises behind him, he suddenly trips as something has grabbed his right leg. He kicks at it, tries to hold on to a tree trunk, and claws the ground with his hands, as he is inexorably dragged backwards through the woods, to the sound of his own frantic cries.

Irisa stands on the wooden roof deck of the Lawkeeper's building doing martial arts exercises. she mixes slow tai chi like movements with quick acrobatic flips and stabs with a blade in each hand. After one such thrust out into space, Irisa turns her head and sees a monarch butterfly perched on the end of her blade. Momentarily distracted by the sounds of honking and motorcycle engines, she looks away, and when she turns back it is gone. She scans the entire open area around herself, but the monarch has completely disappeared.

The Spirit Riders, led by Sukar and Rynn, have entered the town and people are scrambling out of the road. Townspeople stare at them with alarm from doorways, and a Castithan mother, stranded in the middle of the road, clutches her frightened child to her side. After the Irathients have parked and gotten off of their vehicles, Sukar tells them that, when they finish trading, they are all to meet back here. It seems to amuse them how terrified the residents are of them. One of the Spirit Riders in a very old football helmet laughs at a shopkeeper who jumps when, as he enters the man's shop, he gets close and says "boo" to him. Rynn shows her teeth to the frightened child in the street still clutching her mother. Sukar walks by nonchalant, dusting off his top hat and placing it on his head. A greengrocer/butcher is chopping a single tentacle off of something with a cleaver and putting it into the customer's bucket, before embedding the cleaver in the cutting block and taking payment from the woman. As he tells her to enjoy it, he notices Rynn, who has come up to his stall and picked up what appears to be a plum and glares at her. She smiles and inhales its scent deeply before starting to return it. The stall owner stops her by saying that since she has touched it she must now buy it, as he doesn't want to poison his customers. Rynn is confused, but the man explains that he lost a brother to the plague that they had brought. Rynn looks him directly in the eye, as she leans forward placing her elbow down in the plums. Still looking at him, she brings the one in her hand up to her mouth and very deliberately licks it, before dropping it back on the counter and turning to go. Many things happen quickly: the man grabs Rynn by the wrist, while picking up the cleaver in his other hand, Sukar, who has been watching, approaches and begins to draw a weapon, and Irisa, who has arrived unseen, throws a blade, which buries itself in the cutting board, causing everyone to freeze. When Irisa tells him that her next blade will find an eye, the man releases Rynn, who glares as she shakes and rubs the feeling back into her wrist. Sukar slaps some money down and they all part, resentment on all sides.

Walking down the street, Sukar comes up behind Irisa, calls her "Little Wolf", and asks if she thought they were in danger. He agrees with a smile when she says that she intervened because it was the stall owner who was the one in danger. Rynn is rolling a cigarette and comments that the deputy badge that Irisa wears is "cute".  When Irisa answers that she wears it for Nolan, Rynn replies that Nolan is soft. Irisa doesn't hear her, as she sees the scars on Rynn's face, on her cheek and forehead, begin to bleed, but just as suddenly they return to being old scars. Sukar notices that Irisa seems disoriented, and says that his offer for her to join them still stands and that she should spend time with her own kind.  Just then, Lawkeeper Joshua Nolan hails her and tells Irisa to grab Tommy and meet him at Bissel Pass, as they have a dead body. She leaves Rynn offering Sukar the rolled cigarette, without replying to his offer.

Pieces of body parts are strewn over the trail in the woods and a piece of an intestine is hanging off a tree trunk. Nolan tells Irisa and Tommy, as they walk around the area putting the body parts into plastic bags, that the trackers heard a scream, but they didn't see anything. Tommy, with a severed foot, remarks that the torso is chewed up pretty bad, and he can't tell if it's male or female. Irisa disconcerts Tommy and Nolan when she points out the piece identifying the body as male as being behind the tree before she then picks it up with her hand and tosses it into a plastic bag. Nolan and Tommy kneel next to the bloody torso. Nolan points out that the bones are cracked and the marrow has been sucked clean. Irisa again sees the monarch butterfly perched on a broken tree branch. She closes her eyes, as she begins to see disjointed vision fragments: a frightened Irathient man, a monarch butterfly in a jar dripping with blood, an eye staring through foliage, and a figure swinging a knife through the air. When Nolan notices Irisa breathing heavily with closed eyes as she leans her weight against a bloody tree, he comes over to ask if she is alright. A still disoriented Irisa remarks that she is fine when Tommy comes over holding up a red and white running shoe. He recognizes the shoe and identifies the victim as Dalton Taggert. While bagging the shoe Tommy says that the victim traded with scavengers for things like this. To Nolan's question of what else he knew about the man, Tommy replies that he ran a bakery, kept to himself, and he liked to run. Irisa remarks that he should have run faster.

Back in Defiance, Sukar stands in the mayor's office and looks into a glass case which holds various Votan objects placed on a grey cloth. These include two scrolls of ancient parchment wrapped around decorative wooden dowels, a shiny black figurine on a white cord, a compass with its case, a red white and blue sash with colorful emblem, and a thick blue magnifying glass with a crude wooden handle. He identifies the items as being Indogene, Castithan, Liberata, Sensoth,  Gulanee, and even Volge. He calls it interesting that almost all the races are represented. Closing the door and walking across the room, Amanda asks Sukar if he would like to contribute an Irathient item to the case, but Sukar says firmly that he would not.  With a deep sigh, Mayor Amanda Rosewater relates that they have had some complaints since the Spirit Riders have started coming into town on a regular basis. Sukar rhetorically asks if people are saying that they are stealing their children and fornicating with their livestock. Amanda chuckles but says that she needs them to stop provoking people. When Sukar wonders if their mere presence is a provocation, Amanda assures him that, as the Spirit Riders helped them to fight the Volge, they will be welcome here as long as she is mayor. When Sukar remarks that it may not be for long, as he hears that she is up for reelection soon, Amanda wonders if everyone has to tell her that. Amanda is certain that there are good people in Defiance and if the Spirit Riders try to assimilate, most of them will meet them halfway. With a smile, Amanda says that she wants to put the past behind them, but Sukar says that the past is never behind them, as Irzu's path flows through it and forward. Still, he agrees that his people will do as she asks and assimilate, smile as they eat the food and buy the goods of the city. However, this will only be until her people turn on them again, but by then they will be ready, knowing where the town keeps its food stores and weapons. He says that perhaps then he will bring her a handful of dirt for this clean glass case, a reminder that the soil of Defiance is soaked with Irathient blood. Before turning to leave, he salutes her with an arm across his chest. She returns the salute, the smile long faded from her face.

In the NeedWant brothel, Kenya Rosewater wearing nothing but an apron cooks sausages in a cast iron skillet. She then carries the pan to a wooden tray on the large round bed where a bald customer wearing a diaper has been tied spread-eagle. After she asks if he likes her cooking and is responded to insultingly with demands that she feed him, she violently slaps his face. Saying that is the wrong answer, she pours hot oil from the pan onto his chest. Before she continues, she verifies that "calamari" will be his safe word to let her know to stop. Straddling him, she encourages him to ask her to proceed, as she discretely checks the vintage Felix the Cat clock on the wall. Kenya is having sex with him and doesn't realize that he has begun to writhe in pain until he starts to scream "Calamari" and blood pours out of his mouth. Shocked she is staring down at him when his body arches up on the bed. Something has burrowed through the mattress and is impaling him through the back. Kenya screams scrambles off of him and grabs something to use as a weapon, as the sounds of his cracking ribs fill the room. The mouth of the creature eating him has made a hole completely through his body.

There is blood everywhere, and the top half of the customer's body is laying on the rug. Doctor Meh Yewll kneeling on the bed is analyzing the sheets. She tells Nolan, who stands to one side with a robe-clad Kenya that the saliva of the creature contains votoformic acid which lets them chew through anything. She identifies them as Scylla Formicidae. Nolan calls them by the more commonly known name Hellbugs and says that explains the weird bitemarks (Hellbugs having round mouths). Crouching by the body, he goes on to tell Tommy who writes on a clipboard that they eat marrow and line their nests with flesh. Irisa walks in from the doorway, as Kenya asks how to get rid of them. Nolan says they must kill the matron, whereupon the rest of them will turn docile, stop hunting and killing, and eventually die. Irisa stands over the body staring intensely at a waving American flag tattoo on the inside of the victim's left blood-spattered forearm. She is again overwhelmed with fragmented images: an Irathient woman leans close, an arm with the identical tattoo takes an oil lantern from a post, an Irath child scrambles under a house and then runs across a field. Nolan notices her leaning against a post recovering, and she tells him that it is due to all the blood. Rising and following her out to the second floor balustrade of the NeedWant, he is incredulous that she would expect him to believe that she had gotten all woozy over a little blood, and asks if this is one of her episodes. When he thought that she had told him that they had stopped, she corrects him by saying that she just stopped talking about them. She tells a concerned Nolan that they have been getting stronger since they arrived in Defiance. He emphatically points out that they are not real and are a result of her history of post-traumatic stress, which she adamantly assures him that she knows. Yewll and Tommy then come up to them. Tommy holds a plastic bag containing a weird yellowish blob, which he found around back. Nolan identifies it as an empty Hellbug egg purse, which you don't find outside of the nest. Yewll comments that someone could have planted it, and she asks him to guess what she found on Nolan's girlfriend's bedsheets (besides the usual). It was an organic compound that was also present on Bowen's clothes and Taggert's red shoes. Yewll goes "ding, ding, ding" when Nolan guesses attack pheromones. Nolan explains to Tommy that these are chemical markers that the bugs spray to guide the hive. Irisa asks if Nolan thinks that someone is directing these attacks, which Yewll responds is the only theory that makes sense, that they have a killer out there whose weapon of choice is Hellbug.

At the House of Tarr, Christie dressed all in white has prepared a Castithan meal. Stahma in the house wears loose flowing and revealing clothing, and she praises the wonderful smell of the food. She calls it perfect when Christie fears that she overcooked it. Christie sets onto the table a serving platter containing the skull and feet bones of a small animal, covered in sliced meat, and topped with the animals' spinal fins. Stahma asks Datak to agree that it is perfect when he breaks off a bite. When Datak gives the noncommittal response that Votan river otter is a difficult dish to master, Stahma smilingly assures Christie that she herself, unfortunately, can attest to that. Christie describes the dinner as the least she can do in exchange for them letting her stay here. She had obviously invited Rafe, as she says that she was hoping that he would join them, but she guesses that he was busy at the mines. Alak goes to put on another record, as Stahma agrees that he must have been, but Datak drinking wine and half to himself mutters in Castithan that he would have found the excuse to be busy too if he had known that he had to choke down this otter. Christie, Alak, and Stahma all turn to stare at Datak. He smiling tries to say that it was a Castithan saying and translate it into something inoffensive, but Christie hurriedly excuses herself from the table. Before rushing after her,  an exasperated Alak pauses to inform his father that Christie has been learning to speak Castithan too (therefore she knows what he said), he sarcastically says, "NIce, Dad." Stahma can just shake her head, as Datak remarks that that was unfortunate. She tries to shush Datak when he goes on to say that Christie's presence is intolerable, as she insists on bathing alone, which is not right in a proper Castithan household for a proper Castithan wife. When he asks who does that, Stahma replies simply "humans". He tells her that Alak must show that he can control her. Stahma, going to him and resting against the table, assures him that Alak will, but they first need to secure his marriage, which means healing the rift between Christie and her father.

Christie is standing in the open entryway to the house looking out into a yard filled with flowers when Alak finds her. He explains that his father can be (a Castithan word for an ass). Christie responds that at least Alak's father is here for him. A rumbling noise can be heard outside, just before something bursts out of the ground. It is a horrifying creature with four crab legs, two thick spearing arms, and a round mouth with multiple circular rows of teeth. Christie screams, and she and Alak both pull back from it, but Alak falls backward onto the ground. In the dining room, Datak hears Christie scream and jumps up from the table to go to them. Christie has taken up one of the standing torches which flank the entryway and holds the Hellbug back from Alak who is trying to push himself backward along the ground. Datak followed by Stahma rush into the room. Datak pulls Christie back behind him and brusquely orders Alak to quickly get Christie out of there, as Stahma helps Alak get up. Speaking defiantly in Castithan and drawing his Votan blade he fearlessly puts himself between them and the Hellbug. Activating the blade into a dagger and then into a sword, He is confronting the first Hellbug which has come in clicking and hissing, as a second one climbs up the side of the house and enters near the top of the doorway. As they leap at him, Datak cuts one of the arms off the first and ducks the second. The two armed one has climbed to the ceiling and as he calls it a hangotso and arrogantly asks it what it is waiting for, Datak stabs upward while the other Hellbug sneaks up behind him. Alak is the first out the front door followed by Christie and then his mother. Distraught that his father hasn't followed them, Alak repeatedly insists that they have to go back and moves to do so, but his mother holds him back and tells him to wait. Then they see Datak, drenched in what is presumably Hellbug blood, calmly walking out of the house to the steps from the front door. He puts his retracted knife where he keeps it sheathed behind his back and remarks that perhaps they should dine out. Stahma, overjoyed and not at all put-off, comes forward to embrace and kiss him. Alak perhaps a bit more squeamish does not embrace him, but stands near and takes and holds the hand that Datak pats him on his chest with. Christie watches them and longs for such closeness among the McCawleys.

At the McCawley house, Rafe is going through a ledger, when he hears the front door. Christie leaves it open, as she runs to her father. She has been crying, and he asks her what is wrong. Holding her in his arms, Rafe sees Alak, Stahma, and Datak who have followed her into the house looking serious. Later, with them all seated at the dining room table, Stahma is relating the evening events to Rafe who still holds Christie. Alak looks rather blankly at his mother as she tells Rafe of how dear, brave Alak risked his life to rescue Christie, which Datak calls a moving testament to True Love. Alak slightly confused then receives Rafe's thanks with his hand on his heart for protecting his baby girl. There is a bemused smile on Christie's face, as she knows perfectly well that she was the one holding the Hellbug back from the fallen Alak, until Datak could get there. But Alak then redeems himself by saying with absolute honesty, "I would give my life for her, sir". Christie looks very happy. Stahma suggests that it would be good for both of them if Christie were to stay with her father for a while. Rafe is happy saying that of course, this would be alright, and he tells her that he has missed her. Datak and Stahma smile at each other pleased to have accomplished a reconciliation. The doorbell rings and it is answered, Nolan is heard telling Bertie that he has to speak to Rafe right away. Bertie arrives leading Nolan, Irisa, Tommy, and Doctor Yewll who holds a beeping scanner device. Moving to the table, the doctor tells everyone to hold still. Rafe demands to know what this is about, but the device begins beeping much stronger and faster when Yewll pulls Christie up from her chair and scans her clothes. Nolan tells Christie to get herself into a shower, scrub herself raw, and someone needs to burn those clothes. To Christie's question, Nolan explains that someone has been using Hellbug pheromones to paint targets on intended victims and her clothes are drenched in them. Christie comments that she just washed them and left them out hanging to dry, to which Tommy responds that was probably when they did it. Datak has heard enough and even though the scans of Alak and Stahma did not set off the device, he orders all of them upstairs immediately, with Stahma leading Christie. Rafe wants to know why his daughter Christie has been targeted, which Nolan says possibly has to do with her being Rafe's daughter. He asks Rafe what he can tell him about Boyd Bowen and Dalton Taggart. When Rafe wants to know what the hell they have to do with this, Nolan tells him that he would ask them, but they are dead, so he is asking Rafe. Rafe with his eyes shifting says that nothing comes to mind. So Nolan, with deadly seriousness, points out that they can just wait until the killer goes after Quentin, and maybe that will jog his memory. A suddenly concerned Rafe realizes that Quentin is at the mines, and Nolan has Tommy hail a deputy to go bring him home. Again Nolan asks about Bowen and Taggart, and this time Rafe admits to casually knowing them. He says that they were wildcatters who sold him some land that they bought up. However this was nearly a dozen years ago, and he is emphatic that he has had no dealings with them since. When Nolan asks if Rafe has any documentation for this property deal, Rafe sighs heavily, rubs his forehead, and tells Bertie that they are going to need a lot of coffee.

Night has turned to morning, and Nolan and his deputies are still at the McCawley house going through the stacks and boxes of papers which now fill the dining room, while Bertie refills coffee mugs. Tommy tells Rafe that, no disrespect intended, but this is a hell of a filing system he has here. Rafe tells him that he should try running a major mining enterprise for a dozen years without a computer, let alone a decent database program. Rafe is looking at a stack of black-and-white photos which are among the papers from the time that they are interested in, and he comments that he shot these when Defiance was a tent city, with wildcatters all looking for that big strike. He finds a picture of Bowen and Taggart and describes them as scruffy-looking devils. Irisa is not listening, as she has picked up several of the photos and stares intently at one of them. It is a small homesteaders shack in the middle of an open field ringed by trees. The next picture is a close-up view of the same shack, like a caravan trailer with large overhangs to either side held up by posts. Suddenly Irisa is again overwhelmed by images: an eye staring through foliage, an Irathient man holds his neck gasping, an Irathient woman running, and a view of moving around the wheel of the trailer. Irisa sees the photos that she is holding burst into flames, and she gasps and drops them into one of the boxes. Then she realizes that everyone is staring at her, and there are no signs of there having just been a fire. She pulls the photo of the shack out of the box, hands it to Nolan to show to Rafe, and asks him where it is. Rafe identifies it as having been taken in West Valley by the lake. Irisa immediately starts out the door. To Nolan's question of where she is going, Irisa responds that she needs some air. Just then Rafe finds the deeds that they have been looking for. Rafe tells Nolan to help himself when he asks to look at them. Meanwhile, Nolan instructs Tommy to go and keep an eye on Irisa. Tommy leaves yelling for Irisa to hold up. Looking at the details on the deed of the property, Nolan realizes that the deed matches the photo. Rafe confirms this and says that they bought it from some Irathient homesteader, who he thinks was named Gazugas. Reading through the deed, Nolan sees the name of the seller printed and signed on the bottom, Jullah Grisu. Seeing the look on Nolan's face, Rafe asks what Nolan has found that isn't right. Nolan points out to him that he doesn't believe that a dozen years ago there were too many Irathient homesteaders who signed their names in English. Affronted, Rafe insists that all of his buys were clean, but he admits that he did nothing to verify it. He facetiously jokes that he hired a bunch of powerful Wall Street lawyers and they all surfed the internet together looking for a chain of title, followed by "what do you think I did?" Tommy comes back into the room looking a bit dazed, there is a bleeding cut on his forehead. When Nolan asks where Irisa is, Tommy states that she threw him off the roller. Nolan groans puts a towel around his neck and takes the key that Rafe holds out, having anticipated Nolan now needing to borrow transportation. Rafe tells Nolan to look after his child, while Rafe will look after his own, and Bertie comes in to clear away the coffee mugs.

In the West Valley, a McCawley Mines building and road stands off to the side of the field. Irisa in the center of the field is holding a wreath which she has woven out of the surrounding plants. she sets it down on top of the pitifully small wooden ruins which is all that is left of the homesteader's shack. Nolan drives up in the second roller and walks toward her. Reaching down Irisa touches a metal washbasin and the visions appear to her again: the wash basin its designs unfaded, an Irathient man grabs his neck as he falls, the tattooed arm pulls the oil lantern from the post, an Irathient girl is weaving an identical wreath, an Irathient woman bends over carrying a tray, the same Irath man kneels in a field, a roller is coming, blood is dripping from a scar on a little Irath girls face, blood is dripping down a jar which contains a monarch butterfly. Nolan is walking toward Irisa, but she can neither hear or see him, the visions fill her head and the noise has become deafening, she holds her hands over her ears. Still her visions continue: a figure swings a knife, people run through the woods, and a tray with chicken on it falls to the ground. Nolan has come up to Irisa he calls to her and tries to hold her. She finds a shard of a mirror on the ground, but looking into it, Irisa sees Rynn's face with her scars bleeding once more. A powerful vision of an Irath getting his throat cut drives Irisa to her knees. Nolan holds her and tries to get her to talk to him, but she is in shock, kicking wildly, and can only see the violence of the past. She has clutched the shard of the mirror in her hand until she has cut herself, and Nolan struggles to get her to release it. Irisa is left sobbing uncontrollably, pressing her hand to her face in the same place that Rynn has her scars, while Nolan rocks her like a baby and tells her that it is over.

When Nolan and Irisa drive back to Defiance he tries to get her to go see the doctor at once, as she just had a seizure. Irisa is intent on going into the NeedWant and tells him to go see the doctor and that she knows what she is doing. When she looks up at him beseechingly and says please, Nolan decides to trust her. He gets out his sidearm and goes into the building at her side. Inside, Sukar is at the bar ordering another drink, when Irisa asks him where the girl rider with the facial scars, Rynn, is and she informs him that she is the one behind the Hellbug attacks. Sukar at first pretends that he doesn't know who she is talking about. Irisa asks if that is why he is still here, waiting for her and helping her with these killings, But Sukar insists that he doesn't know anything about these killings. After a pause, Irisa asks him about the killings in the past. She talks about how Sukar took Rynn in when she was scared. And after Jullah and Ket were killed, Sukar was the one who gave her a new name to keep her safe. When Sukar asks Irisa what she knows of the past, Irisa tells him that she saw it. Sukar is stunned and says the oath "By Irzu's shadow". He says that Irisa has been touched, and he rubs her cheek with a necklace of seashells. He says that he knew Rynn's parents had been killed, but that she said that she didn't see who did it. He suspects that at her young age she made herself forget things. Nolan speaks for the first time saying that if Rynn is behind these killings, they need to find her before anybody else gets hurt. Sukar tells him that he doesn't know where Rynn is, but that Irisa may if she opens her heart and he can show her the way. He again calls her little wolf and asks if she wants to try.

Sukar and two other Spirit Riders stand bare to the waist around the table that Irisa kneels on. Sukar with his hands crossed in front of him is chanting. Taking a blue substance from a container with his finger, Sukar makes a rough drawing of the third eye on Irisa's forehead. He takes a dagger from the Spirit Rider to his left, kisses it, and then holds it up to god. Sukar uses it to make a cut across the right palm of Irisa who does not move or cry out. Nolan has been watching concerned, now his arms are tightly crossed, as he fights his instincts to jump in and stop this. The Spirit Rider on Sukar's right had been pulverizing something in a bowl with a pestle. Sukar now lets Irisa's blood drip into the bowl. He then uses the dagger to cut his own left palm and squeezes his own blood into the bowl with Irisa's He then chants with his palms upward and then around her, the chanting increases in its volume and sudden violent motions. He shouts at her and appears ready to strike her,  while the contents of the bowl are poured into a hookah pipe. Sukar smokes deeply from the pipe and then holds the mouthpiece for Irisa to do likewise. The other Spirit Riders hold down her shoulders and left arm with their hands, as she smokes from the pipe. she exhales and, as she then breaths in, the fragmented visions are suddenly clear.

Irisa stands in the field by the homesteader's shack, and she notices that the cut on her palm is not there. She hears a woman calling in Irath. The shack looks exactly as it did in the photo. Rynn is a young girl and has no scars. She is standing at a small table weaving a wreath out of plants, and around her neck is the same leather collar with elaborate beadwork that she still wears. Irisa answers Sukar that she is at Jullah's farm, as he crouches behind her on the table asking her what she sees.  She tells him that at the farm Rynn's mother has asked her to call her father to dinner. Ket has carried out a tray with perhaps chicken on it. Rynn runs out into the field. Her father has caught a monarch butterfly and put it in a jar with flowers. He shows it to Rynn, as Irisa is explaining that Jullah traps insects and studies them because he was once a scientist. Irisa is watching the father and daughter when she sees a roller driving up behind them, and she says someone is coming. She recognizes and tells Sukar that it is Taggart and Bowen. They drive up in Taggart's roller. Ket comes forward to stand next to her husband, and she sends Rynn running back to the house. As the men approach, Irisa hears Jullah say, "I told you we're not selling." To which Bowen replies, "Well, we're not buyin". Bowen takes out his knife and slashes Jullah across the throat. Jullah grasps his neck and choking falls to the ground. Ket turns to run back to the house and Taggart (the running enthusiast) takes off after her. He catches her, throws her into the table knocking the food to the ground, and proceeds to stab her to death. Irisa watches the men killing them, she is upset and tells Sukar that she wants to help them but she can't move. Sukar explains that the past cannot be changed and she is only there to witness and should calm herself. Rynn has seen her parents' murders while hiding in the tall plants. Bowen finds her and slashes her face with his knife. Irisa grabs her head as she feels the pain. Rynn kicks Bowen, gets away, and runs back to the house climbing into the crawlspace beneath it. The men can see her, but cannot follow. Bowen takes the oil lantern from the post and throws it into the house starting a fire. Taggart has been trying to clear a path to climb under the house, but now the thick smoke drives him back. he tries to kick at her with his leg. Rynn her face bleeding, holds a shard of mirror glass from the broken tray, and she uses it to slash his leg. With Taggart injured and Bowen on the other side of the house, Rynn is able to climb out and run to the woods. When Irisa describes this, Sukar says that she has seen the young girl, and must now see the woman.

Irisa stands by a road watching Rynn ride by on a motorcycle. She then stops and enters what appears to be a bunker-like abandoned mine entrance. Irisa in the vision stands calmly and watches her pass, but with Sukar she holds her head and pants seeming to be in pain. Rynn goes through the outer door but pauses at the inner door seeming to sense that someone is watching her. She slowly walks back to peer out the door at the surrounding area. In her vision, Irisa stands directly in front of Rynn, who sees nothing, before turning away to enter the mine.

Unable to handle the pain any longer, Irisa convulses and falls back into Sukar's arms. Nolan runs up to her, but Irisa is focused on Sukar, telling him that she knows where Rynn is and turning into his arms for a comforting hug. Leaving Nolan looking disgruntled that his role has been usurped. In the streets of Defiance, a woman stands at a pen picking out which chicken she wants. As Irisa walks out of a door, Nolan follows trying to apologize, but she is moving too fast for him to catch up. He says that he owes her an apology, and he can't explain what she did back there. He brings up her visions and considers if they are somehow connected to reality. Irisa is insulted by his use on the word "if". She insists that her visions are real and it was never post-traumatic stress. She tells him that she is an alien and not like him. She beats her hands against his chest angry that he made her afraid of that. He runs after her into the Lawkeeper's office, still trying to apologize. He says that after this is over let's sit down, and they can get to the bottom of this gift or this curse, but Irisa arming herself, says that it is too late. Nolan can only stand there as she says that she doesn't want to talk about it, and they should go get Rynn before she kills somebody else.

At the mine entrance, Nolan, Irisa, Tommy, and Sukar are descending in an elevator. Nolan says that when they find Rynn, they will find the Hellbugs. Then they will set those thermobaric charges and they'll get the hell out of Dodge before they blow. A stoic Sukar says that he helped them find Rynn because it's what the gods seem to want, but he will not see her harmed. When Nolan remarks that Sukar better than make her stand down, Sukar points out that one does not make an Irathient child do anything, and a fit father would understand that. Nolan smiles as perhaps he does understand that from personal experience. Tommy's scanner begins beeping. He says that the infrared's going nuts and they must be down at the bottom. When Sukar angrily tells him to turn it off, Tommy questions the need asking if Hellbugs have ears (knowing that they do not). Irisa however, points out that while they don't Rynn does and will hear them coming. The elevator suddenly stops,  Sukar asks if this is the bottom, but Nolan doesn't think that it is. He opens the gate to the elevator, and they cautiously make their way forward with guns at the ready. Nolan finds a puddle of clear gelatinous material on the floor of the mine and scoops up a handful. When Tommy asks if it is attack pheromones, Nolan identifies it as Hellbug shtako then rubs it on the back of a very shocked Tommy. Nolan explains that Hellbugs see by smell and this will mask their odor. He tells them all to get some, and they each rub it generously over their arms and clothing, even Tommy. Nolan believes that the things are still below them, otherwise, they would be seeing a hell of a lot more of them. They back onto the elevator and Nolan tells Tommy to try that controller again. Tommy goes to the control box and yanks a lever and only gets the chance to say, "Well that doesn't look..", before the elevator starts plummeting downward. It crashes at the bottom, knocking them all off of their feet. Tommy's scanner must have been turned on by the crash because it is beeping again. Nolan asks if everyone is ok, and is chiding Tommy for the scanner which is supposed to be off, even though Tommy is swearing that he didn't touch it. As Tommy again turns it off and the beeping stops, they hear the screeching of Hellbugs. The walls are crawling with them, while others with wings fly through the air. a pinkish blob in the center of the mine floor starts to quiver and then rise. It is the huge Hellbug matron like a large brain crawling with her babies. The "lobes of the brain" part and the retracted head emerges, featureless other than a large mouth of sharp teeth and a multilayered crown of spikes. She seems to be continuously giving birth to babies which fall to the ground from pitted holes in her sides. Neither the mother nor the babies are attacking them, and Nolan says that it is working, if she can't smell them, then she can't see them, and that nobody should move. The mother shifts forward and then to one side before starting to return to where she started. Tommy remarks that they have fallen into Hellbug central. Nolan points out that the elevator is their only way out and guesses that the controller must have short-circuited. He orders Tommy to get it working while he and Irisa set the charges. When Sukar insists that they have to find Rynn first, Nolan tells him that he has five minutes. Sukar is slowly moving into the mine as Tommy tells Nolan that the circuit is fried, but that he thinks he can rewire it. Suddenly Sukar is shot in the side, and he falls to his knees. It is Rynn, who advises them to stop and drop their weapons, as she holds a grenade of Hellbug pheromones, and if she tosses it they all die. Lowering his gun, Nolan points out that if that Hellbug nest gets any bigger, it's gonna kill everyone in town, and he questions her really wanting that. They drop their weapons, but it is Sukar that Rynn confronts as he led them to her after long contending that they were of one spirit. Sukar says that they are, and explains that it was the Little Wolf who led them, as the gods have given her the sight. Rynn first says that she doesn't believe it and then attacks Sukar making reference to him and his useless gods. Pulling the pin from the grenade she challenges Sukar to see if his gods will protect him from Hellbug pheromones. Irisa walks forward and tells Rynn to not do it. Calling her sister, she tells her that her vengeance has already been fulfilled, as her parent's killers are dead. Rynn predicts that soon the rest of these humans will join them. Irisa tells her that she was there at her farm and saw what happened. Rynn is the one who now sees the memories of the past flashing in her mind. Irisa tells her that she witnessed the way her father and mother looked at her with their love for her in their eyes, and she questions that this is how Rynn honors them, but Rynn says that it is and tosses the grenade. Irisa throws one of her blades hitting Rynn in the shoulder. Nolan surprises Tommy by running toward the grenade, but, picking it up, he explains that he is getting the babies to attack mama, and he throws the grenade at the Hellbug matron. As it explodes over her in a cloud of smoke, the Hellbugs turn and begin leaping on her, while she starts bucking and roaring. Tommy yells for them all to come on, Irisa pulls up the wounded Rynn, and Sukar struggles back to his feet. Encouraging Tommy to keep working on the controller, Nolan orders Irisa, who has come back out after putting Rynn in the elevator to get inside. He then takes the thermobaric charges and tosses them among the Hellbugs. Armed with his gun and shooting any bug that comes near, he orders Tommy to get the elevator going, as he plans to blow the charges manually. Tommy activates it, the door lowers, and he says to hold on and that they will be clear in a second. rising, Nolan takes several shots at the charges before hitting them.

In the mayor's office, Amanda stands between Rafe McCawley and Sukar and speaks to an assembled crowd made up of the various races in Defiance. She proclaims that the land in the West Valley will become the legal property of the original Irathient settlers or their descendants. They, in turn, have agreed to lease the land back to McCawley mines. However, most importantly, with these two bold signatures, Defiance takes its first steps toward righting an old wrong and honoring the values which we've come to stand for. As everyone applauds, Rafe and Sukar shake hands. Christie comes up to hug her father and tell him how proud she is of him, making him hug her tighter. Nolan notices as Sukar tips his hat to Irisa.

In the hospital, Rynn having been treated for her shoulder wound sits on a treatment bed shackled and in green coveralls under guard, with Tommy armed with a rifle watching carefully. Sukar comes in with Irisa, then she and Tommy leave them alone. Sukar points out to Rynn that she shot him. When Rynn, who cannot seem to meet his eyes, points out that he survived, Sukar agrees and remarks that he thought that he taught her to shoot better than that. Sukar tells her that her parents can dance with their ancestors. Rynn still believes that they would have danced more freely if he hadn't let them stop her. He again tries to explain, but she thinks the fact that Irisa has the sight is irrelevant. Sukar believes that the gods touched Irisa, and she, in turn, showed him what has to happen next. When Rynn points out that she is going to prison and how can that be the correct path, he calls her precious daughter and admits that he doesn't know, as he sadly lacks the sight.

(The song "Ooh child, things are gonna get easier" begins to play with a montage of fathers and daughters) Sukar comes over to Rynn, upset by her chains he puts a hand on her shoulder, and she rests her head on it. Irisa sits at a table in the NeedWant deep in thought. Nolan walks by with Kenya who stops him and advises him to go to her. Nolan walks toward Irisa, perhaps to have that conversation that he said they would have after everything was over, about her visions. As he is on the way to the table, Sukar comes and sits down launching into an animated conversation which makes Irisa smile. Kenya watches concerned as a disappointed Nolan stalks off after seeing Sukar seeming to so easily relate to Irisa as a father figure. Rafe is walking through town with his arm around Christie who still looks up at him proudly. When they stop it is in front of the Tarr House. Rafe was walking her back to it and as Alak opens the door Christie leaves her father and runs into his arms. as the door closes behind them Rafe is standing in the street still waving goodbye, before he turns to walk back home. Rynn sits alone on the floor of her jail cell. Above the Lawkeepers office, Irisa is having a violent nightmare. Nolan comes and sits on the bed. He takes her hand and rubs it until she calms down and returns to sleeping peacefully.

Production Notes



"The Devil in the Dark " was the title of one of the episodes of the first season of the original Star Trek series. The Enterprise tries to stop a creature who is terrorizing a mining colony on a remote planet, killing miners and damaging equipment. Upon investigating, it is learned that the creature is a mother to a vast colony of offspring and has just been trying to protect her young. Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark" at Wikipedia

Free clips, first-looks, etc.


Sneak Peek

First 4min

Full Episode

Free Host

Available at, but requires cable or satellite service login.

Amazon Standard

Amazon HD


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