Thanks to the Space Channel those of us north of the boarder were treated to a new episode of Defying Gravity this week.
I'm finding a new appreciation of this show the more it delves into the lives of our secondary characters (and of course our leads). Defying Gravity has a strong ensemble cast, and each character is quite complex As the series has progressed we've learned more about each of the individuals involved in this mission both on the ground and on Antaris, the show seems to be primarily a character driven drama, the background is the mission.
This week, the candidates are undergoing sensory deprivation training which is a required pass to continue in the program. Apparently, so is sleeping with basically everyone in the ISO.
In flashbacks (FB) the candidates are going through sense-dep training which is apparently one of the most difficult hurdles of training, as it mimics the loneliness of space. Wassenfelder exposits that someone told him after the loneliness of the sense-dep chamber all the women want to "be with" someone. This appears to be true because after everyone is so distraught that they all hook up with someone. Or are driven away from the someone they were with. In the present: On Antaris the crew continues to fall apart as they prepare for the Venus landing. On the ground Rolly gets out of a hit and run charge scott-free thanks to the ISO's deep pockets.
This week we see the unraveling of Paula Morales after her psych evaluation with Evram where she begins to find faults in her steadfast faith. As she walks out of her interview with Evram still standing strong, she seeks out Wassenfelder proceeds to throw his vintage comics around the room then asks him to hold her. They often disagree, but have always seemed to have a sort of understanding and a deep care for one another despite these differences. Watching Paula melt into Wassenfelder's arms was possibly the most touching moment of the episode.
We are treated to a little peak into a romance between Claire Dereux and Evram. In FB Claire went to Evram after sense-dep training, he said he liked her and therefore declined. That night he ended up at a bottle of booze and she ended up in bed with a creepy old guy who noticed her uncharacteristic taste for whiskey. In the present Claire signs off an official communication with "J'taime", followed by Evram's "I love you".
Jen's story line is very much about abandonment. In FB, An old memory about being lost (or abandoned) in an airport or something leads her to jump out of the sense-dep chamber in about 43 seconds and into Ted's bed in approximately the same amount of time. Rolly fits Jen into a later group, and coaches her through the training by giving her a tongue twister to focus on. Ted, who promised he would be right outside the chamber never showed. In present day, Rolly is sitting in his jail cell repeating this tongue twister as Jen begins to flirt with Ted aboard Antaris assuming Rolly has abandoned her.
Zoe, Donner and Nadia are all pretty much in the background this episode. In FB Zoe hides from Donner's advances post-sense-dep training by pretending to be playing darts with Wassenfelder. Nadia shaken by the sense-dep training guns right to the bar and grabs Donner by the fly (yes, of his pants). He shakes it off to finish a game of darts with Zoe.
On Antaris, the lesson Donner gave to Zoe in darts allows Donner to successfully complete one of the most difficult landing simulations. Donner had managed to get into Zoe's head by asking her what her first line will be when she gets to Venus (a line she spends the entire episode agonizing over).Nadia ends up in Donner's bunk first putting on the guise that she wants to "be with him" the night before his big mission to Venus, really it is her that needs comfort. Nadia is a tough nut, but after tonight I'm confident we'll start to see her crack.
The more I learn about these B character relationships either romantic or friendly between Evram and Claire, Paula and Wassenfelder, the less interested I am in the relationships of the A characters who other than Zoe seem to really get around.
And oh yeah... Beta basically doesn't exist the entire episode.