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Defiance – S2E4 – Beasts of Burden

Previously on Defiance, ‘The Cord and the Ax’ 

So much holy shit in this episode. I don’t even know where to begin.


Remember the brothers whose dad died in a mining accident in the season premiere? Well, the brother who didn’t die in their escape from the prison van (Rafe’s godson) has taken to robbing E-Rep transports of their equipment. He steals some mining supplies and in the process humiliates Pottinger by making him strip and then pissing on him.

Defiance S2E4 Pottinger

Even though he’s wearing a mask, Nolan quickly figures out Rafe knows who it is. Nolan gives the kid one chance to get out of town because he owes Rafe. Of course, he doesn’t take it and ends up kidnapping Berlin instead. By episode’s end, after he’s caught, he thinks Rafe is going to let him run off, but Rafe shoots him in the back and then cries. Pottinger repays him by evicting Rafe from his home. Rough.

Defiance S1E4 Rafe


Tommy is still pouty because Nolan jacked his job. It was cool to see how much he really cares for Berlin, who isn’t as bad as I originally thought. Tommy is a good kid. He’s better off without Irisa who has a volume full of issues.


Amanda and Pottinger bond over both being sexually assaulted in the past. This adds a layer to Pottinger that makes him more sympathetic, well, if you don’t think about his voyeuristic ways. Also, he and Amanda get high together. Romance in the works? Maybe. She’s still bopping Nolan for now.

The Tarrs

Now, here’s the really good shit. Datak is home and being a total dick. He wants to punish his crew for following Stahma even though one points out that they thought they were following Alak’s orders. Datak gives zero fucks about the details. One of the crew must die and he wants Alak to pick. Alak says he should be killed since he let Stahma manipulate him. Datak can’t have that. Alak is his legacy. He slits the throat of the one who spoke up instead.

Datak has Alak take him to the office of his record business and admits he was going to torch the place, but it will make a nice front for his illegal dealings. Then he scars Alak’s hand for his insolence earlier. When Stahma finds out, she blasts Datak, who, for some reason, is claiming to have found religion in prison.

Father of the year, that one.

Stahma pays two E-Rep officers to shame and harass Datak in public, hoping her hot-head husband would do something to get himself thrown back in jail, but Datak doesn’t bite. So, what does Stahma do? She turns her husband’s crew against him – not hard to do when Datak is just slitting throats all willy-nilly. As his men beat the crap out of him, Stahma orders Alak not to look away. Then, after Datak is thrown out into the street, she tells her husband he should have made her a partner in the business like she asked at the start of the episode.

Defiance S2E4 Stahma

Stahma Tarr continues to be one of the most compelling characters on television right now.

Score | 9.5/10

About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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