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Dark Matter S2E12 Recap: Sometimes in Life You Don’t Get to Choose

Ishida Ryo (Alex Mallari Jr) is back! Will he finally get the throne? At what cost?  Is Four in there somewhere? On to the recap!

Round 1: Ryo

We start the episode with Ryo and the Raza intercepting an Ishida fleet.  He boards and makes a proposition to the commanders.  Swear loyalty to him and he will help them defeat Pyr. In return Ryo gets the throne. General Drago swears loyalty.  Colonel Orlov (Dan MacKay) declines.  As he starts ranting about being loyal to Emperor Hiro Ishida (Karl Ang) Ryo cuts off his head. Colonel Mori (Jungyul Kim) jumps on the bandwagon after seeing that.


Ryo is cleaning his sword (is he using some of those wipes he got from that station last episode?) when Nyx (Melanie Liburd) pops in wondering how everything went.  She has doubts that the officers will remain loyal.  Ryo seems confident anyway.  Based on his memories, he’s banking on it. Nyx is a little miffed that he didn’t talk to her before making the decision to regain his memories.  Ryo/Four was worried she would tell the others and they would try to stop him.  The memories are necessary but Nyx and the others are concerned they could be dangerous.  Ryo’s feelings for Nyx hasn’t changed.  She gives him the stink eye and tells him but he has changed.


Android (Zoie Palmer) has a big sample of hot chocolate she’s tasting when Two (Melissa O’Neil) comes into the break room.  Two remarks on the sample, but Android just wants to be thorough.  Android is worried that Two is upset with her for helping Four regain his memories.  Two was surprised but understood that it was his choice if he wanted them back.  Logically understandable.  Android asks if would she have done the same thing.  Immediately Two responds in the affirmative, but as Android leaves she seems to doubt that answer.

Six (Roger Cross) finds Five (Jodelle Ferland) in the cargo room. She’s hiding from Four now that his memories are back.  Six was still in stasis when Ryo, Portia, and Marcus came back without their new memories.  Six thinks now that Four has them, he hasn’t changed that much so far.  He even reveals to her about the old him knowing the GA killed 10,000 innocent people to gain political favor and still went back to work.  He likes to think that he’s changed and hopes that Four has too.

Ryo explains how he gets his throne back to Three (Anthony Lemke) and Two.  Meeting his brother Hiro and convincing him to abdicate would be the least bloody way to do it.  Once Hiro publicly announces his abdication the rest of the court will have to fall in line.  Two is wondering if Hiro would even cooperate but Ryo is again confident that Hiro will see his way of thinking.  Since he wants to meet Hiro in person, Ryo will intercept him using an Ishida shuttle they got while escaping from Hyperion 8.  Geez I totally forgot about that thing!

Dark Matter Episode 212: Karl Ang and Alex Mallari Jr as Hiro and Ryo Ishida, Image Courtesy of SyFy

The shuttle is used as bait to lure Hiro in to help a distressed Ishida ship.  The Raza disables Hiro and Ryo hales him, wanting to talk.  When Ryo arrives on the ship, Hiro greets him with four Ishida cruisers that surround the Raza.  Two and Three think they’ve been set up, but Two wants to see how it plays out.  Ryo has them demonstrate the blink drive. He presents his case to Hiro, who seems to agree with Ryo’s way of thinking.  He never wanted the throne. Hiro explained that he was going to meet Ryo a long time ago but the Empress (Mung-Ling Tsui) sent Akita-san instead.  Ryo is not surprised. Mama wanted the throne for her boy and was ruthless about it.

Dark Matter Episode 212: Karl Ang and Alex Mallari Jr as Hiro and Ryo Ishida, Image Courtesy of SyFy

The Empress Ishida is upset to hear that Hiro let his brother go. Hiro starts asking questions about the night his father died. Like what happened to one of her favorite dresses.  She tries to clarify that she threw it away because it held bad memories, but in her own way confesses by explaining she did it for him. Ryo was “an impediment” because he was the Emperor’s favorite son.  Hiro leaves in disgust, with the Empresses mind now scrambling for what she needs to do.  Okay I’m sorry, but why didn’t Hiro have his mom arrested then?!

Hiro video chats with Ryo to let him know that he will make an announcement the following night (why not that night?) and everything will be in place.  He has taken some precautions (yeah right!) and will have ships in orbit awaiting his instructions.  No one can see Ryo until after his abdication has been announced.  Ryo tells him good luck.  Three is in the bridge with him.  He’s wondering why there was a reverse ambush.  Ryo shrugs it off as the possibility of Hiro having an escort.  But if they got their info from General Drago why didn’t he know about the potential escort when he said that Hiro’s ship would be the only one? Three thinks it smells like a trap.  Ryo never did answer Three about trusting Hiro, just saying he needed him.

In the break room, Ryo has words with Six.  He’s glad that he didn’t kill Six before going into stasis when they lost their memory.  Portia wanted to kill Six after stasis.  Two has changed but in several ways is still the same Portia Lin according to Ryo.  The same can be said of the rest of them, he adds.  Ryo feels he’s now better able to help Zairon and the crew.  Six is wondering how though because when he gets the throne he will have inherited a war. Ryo looks at him like, umm the blink drive dude.  Six seems surprised by this but is adamant that Ryo will not retrofit the tech to an army.  It’s too powerful to be in the hands of one.  Ryo doesn’t see it that way because it will be helping his people.  We’ve reached an impasse ladies and gents.  Ryo’s determined to get the drive.

Sidenote: Even though Six has discussed with Two about using the blind drive for good, I don’t recall a definite decision as a group about potentially having anyone else other than them using the tech. It seemed like they were playing it by ear.  From Two and Three demonstrating for Ryo, it appears that they wouldn’t mind Ryo using it, but maybe they are under the impression that Ryo is “borrowing” it instead of trying to replicate it for his planet. Again the group needs to have a discussion so everyone knows where they stand with this.  Back to the recap.

Round 2: Empress


Ryo arrives at the bridge and tells Android it’s time to head to Zairon.  Three and Two remain awkwardly silent when he asks where was Nyx.   The Raza blinks to the planet and sees Ishida cruisers.  Ryo explains they are expecting them as they are loyal to his cause.  Two wants their shields up anyway.  Nyx finally arrives giving Ryo some serious shade. Android picks up a broadcast from the palace.  Ryo wants to watch.  It’s the Empress! Misaki is standing behind her. Step mama claims the planet is under siege.  There was an attempted coup on Hiro.  He is away at a safe location and she will rule in his stead for the time being.  She blames Ryo and other members of the court of course for the supposed “hit.” The cruise ships that were waiting for them are destroyed by missiles.  Two orders Android to get them out of there.  Blink!

Ryo talks with General Drago who assures him that only those killed on the ships, himself, Ryo and Hiro knew of the plot. They are not sure how the Empress knew. Hiro was intercepted while on his way to make the broadcast.  Hiro’s in his room on a time out.  Some of the Empress’s loyalists are guarding his door.  Drago wants Ryo to come back to Zairon before Hiro is moved somewhere else.  Three and Two look at him, like “please don’t tell me you are seriously considering this?!”

Ryo is getting ready to go to Zairon.  Two advises against going, as it is surely a trap.  She doesn’t want to put anyone else at risk either.  Someone’s been a step ahead of them every time.  Ryo is really relying heavy on his memories. He trusts General Drago. Ryo is pleasantly surprised how Two is questioning him, whereas Portia would not have.  He doesn’t miss Portia though.  He even compliments Two on her strength born of confidence and compassion.   Three actually has a decent conversation with Six briefly in the break room. Glad he’s got his appetite back!  Three’s not going with Ryo and he wasn’t asked either.  Four is able to pilot himself so he is able to go on alone using the Ishida shuttle.  Three has noticed that Ryo has been avoiding him, like he knows something about Marcus he doesn’t want to share with Three.  While Three is curious, a part of him doesn’t want to know.  I’m getting a brief sense of Déjà vu here when Five didn’t want to know what happened to her alternate self.

Ryo goes to the bridge to say good bye to Android.  He’s pleased on the progress she’s made.  Ryo confirms that Two helped develop her “emotive sub-routine” into her neural matrix.  The interesting addition to that is that Five (who Ryo referred to as Das) assisted with that development.  It helped bring Five aka Das and Two aka Portia together.  Android will be able to figure out why by accessing the recordings of her time before everyone went into stasis which is in her program somewhere.  Ryo wants to tell her now because he may not get another chance.  He’s always liked her.  Cue the aww!


Sidenote: Is it a coincidence that Three is talking about Ryo avoiding him based on a memory and then Ryo coming to Android telling her that she is able to access audio recordings of her time before going into stasis? I also think about the brother sister relationship Three has with Five.  Could it be related? Why didn’t Five remember it though from the memories that were transferred to her?  It has to be something else.  Maybe Three sold Five and wasn’t going to tell anyone and Android overheard it? I don’t know but whatever it is, it can’t be good.  What if it’s a conversation that Ryo had with Three about getting his country back that effects what happens later? What if it’s as simple as Ryo never liked Marcus and Three so didn’t really feel like he needed to say goodbye.  Gah so many questions!

Nyx wants to go with him.  Ryo thinks it’s not necessary as Drago has provided a way in.  They will both then meet and rescue his brother.  Nyx thinks there must be some risk if he’s so hell bent on going at it alone.  He bluntly tells her he doesn’t need her. Dang Ryo, that’s messed up! Hurt, Nyx walks away.  Why do I get the feeling he did that on purpose?  At the palace, Ryo makes it in and goes to the room where he’s supposed to meet Drago.  He finds him dead with his throat slit.  The Empress, Misaki, and some guards arrive in the room. Welcome home! Gosh darn it!


Round 3: Empress

Dark Matter S2E12: Mung-Ling Tsui as Empress Ishida, Image courtesy of SyFy

Step-mama broadcasts Ryo’s farce of a trail to the whole planet. I felt like I was watching one of those court crime shows like Matlock.  Ryo proclaims his innocence and accuses the Empress of killing his father.  The judge presents circumstantial evidence including a knife Ryo had before so of course his DNA would be on it.  Ryo even attempts to kill her but is stopped by Misaki. He is then taken away by guards. The broadcast ends. Two wants to help Ryo, even though he didn’t ask for it.  Nyx, despite being hurt, wants to help too. Two asks Five if she remembers the layout from her memories.  Six points out that they’ve been able to predict their every move so far.

Misaki visits Ryo in his cell. He’s wondering why she’s taking the Empresse’s word about the coup attempt when she hasn’t even asked Hiro himself.  She reminisces about the time they were starving so they went into the kitchens and Ryo had her try chicken fat by claiming it was pudding. She was in love him back in the day.  Sweetie, you’re still in love with the man.


Ryo reminds her that as commander of the royal guards she should be loyal to the Emperor, not his step-mother. Misaki calls him an idiot before saying it’s time.

DARK MATTER -- "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" Episode 212 -- Pictured: (l-r) Roger Cross as Six, Anthony Lemke as Three, Melissa O'Neil as Tow, Melanie Liburd as Nyx -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get to Choose” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Roger Cross as Six, Anthony Lemke as Three, Melissa O’Neil as Tow, Melanie Liburd as Nyx — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Two and the others sneak into the palace.  They separate from Five so she can find Hiro.  Ryo gets his guilty verdict and death sentence.  The Empress smiles in victory.  Two, Six, and Three are blindsided by the Seer Hansmeed (Daniel Fathers), who sets a taser trap for them.  Well now we know the Empress cheated! Two and the others wake up behind Ryo in the throne room.  The Empress was dubious at first but now feels that the Seer proved to be a great ally.  Hansmeed’s motivation was to get Nyx back of course.  Hansmeed spills the beans that Milo committed suicide from the knife that Four gave him.  Nyx is devastated. Four tries to get her to understand that Milo was dangerous and he would’ve turned.  Both Milo and himself didn’t want that to happen. Hansmeed wants her to come back home.

Round 4: Ryo

Five is missing but Hansmeed thinks she doesn’t matter.  Five is on her way to get Hiro avoiding the guards.  Android appears with the Raza above the palace, threatening to destroy it if she doesn’t get her crew back.  Android was ordered to sacrifice the crew if necessary. Hah! Five has her moment when she opens Hiro’s door and tells him she’s there to rescue him! Too adorable! Android needs an answer after hitting the palace a few times.  The Empress is willing to call Android’s bluff and orders Misaki to execute one of the prisoners.  Misaki chooses Ryo. She’s about to slice him when Hiro appears ordering her to stop. He also orders the arrest of his mother and her allies.  He reminds Misaki that her loyalty is with him and not his mom.  Ryo just said that to her in his cell.  Was that code? Anyway she follows orders and guards Hansmeed as well as the other guards.  The Empress looks shocked.  Hiro renounces the thrown and gives it to his brother, Ryo.  Close your mouth step mom! Stop looking so pitiful.

DARK MATTER -- "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Alex Mallari Jr. as Four -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)DARK MATTER -- "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Melissa O'Neil as Two -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Ryo asks Hansmeed what happens now.  He tells everyone that the Empress will be banished and Hiro will be appointed as chief advisor. Hansmeed will still have an alliance with Zairon but will leave without Nyx.


Wrong! Ryo gives the order, korose!  The result, Hansmeed dead, the judge, step-mom, and brother Hiro dead.  Either stabbed or throat sliced open.  Two tries to get him to stop by calling him Four but Ryo’s like:

dm-ryo-i-am-emperor-giphyDeal with it.

So yeah, that was the episode.  Intense huh?!

More Thoughts

Alex Mallari Jr killed it this episode! We finally get to see Ryo and not just glimpses.  He is the first character to combine the old with the new!  His scene with Android was so sweet! It was one of the few times we see Ryo be nice to someone.

Hansmeed was able to quickly predict what Ryo was going to do after getting the throne.  Is it because he felt he was still getting an alliance that he didn’t tell the Empress she was going to lose? Otherwise, why tell the Empress that Five wasn’t important?  I’m wondering if this is why Milo had to die. Milo was a major asset.  Something tells me he would’ve been able to predict the double cross by Ryo.  Considering what he learned from the alternate universe, I’m not surprised that Ryo would kill his brother.  It was like he was already hardened to that possibility at the beginning of this episode.  That could be why he insisted to Three that he needed Hiro.  It was just as Nyx mentioned in the last episode, he’s predictable in his unpredictability.

DARK MATTER -- "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Ellen Wong as Misaki Han-Shireikan -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get to Choose” Episode 212 — Pictured: Ellen Wong as Misaki Han-Shireikan — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

I’m wondering though if Ryo had some idea or gut instinct that Hasmeed was involved.  Otherwise, why try to be mean to Nyx before going on his mission? Are we about to get a love triangle? I know that Nyx and Four had something going but Ryo has history with Misaki, does he have feelings for her too that were dormant because of the accusation of patricide?

So what happens to the people on the Seer’s ship? Can Nyx free them now? What if because she’s bitter about what happened to her brother she continues Hansmeed’s work?  That could make Milo’s prediction about the seer’s being a powerful force still come true.

DARK MATTER -- "Sometimes In Life You Don't Get to Choose" Episode 212 -- Pictured: Ellen Wong as Misaki Han-Shireikan -- (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)
DARK MATTER — “Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get to Choose” Episode 212 — Pictured: Ellen Wong as Misaki Han-Shireikan — (Photo by: Russ Martin/Prodigy Pictures/Syfy)

Kudos to Mung-Ling Tsui who played the Empress.  I wanted to hate her but a small part of me respected her tenacity.  She loved her son, but I’m wondering if part of her motivation for getting Hiro to rule was so she could control the puppet strings.  He was a momma’s boy after all.  Gullible, naïve, weak.  Although he grew a pair when he abdicated his throne and deciding to help Ryo in the first place.  I think part of her hatred for Ryo was because he could see through her BS and wasn’t having it. She almost won though but I’m glad she’s now gone.  It makes no sense to keep her alive, especially considering those that were loyal to her.  It’s sad that Hiro didn’t have as many loyal followers, especially the guards, when his mom could easily confine him to his quarters.  Was he anticipating rescue when he was intercepted?  It seemed that way when Five busted in.

I also thought it was an interesting contrast between the two episodes because you saw how happy Four was with Nyx and Two.  Part of that bled into Ryo but his memories and getting his country back superseded any feelings he has towards the Raza crew.

I also liked that Ryo respected Five’s space and didn’t talk to her.  Could he have been avoiding her for the same reason he avoided Three?

We have not seen the last clash between Six and Ryo about the blink drive. I really hope a discussion happens as a group but something tells me it won’t any time soon.

It was very disappointing that Hansmeed died without telling them what really happened to Devon.  Poor Devon got stabbed, don’t know if the man is alive!  He could’ve kicked his habit if they had just waited. Darn it! Another loose end they need to tie up is One’s death.  Are we going to find out why One had to die? Was it a combination of things regarding his company and what happened at Iriden-3?

Will we see Kierken in the season finale? It seems like it would be something to see another confrontation between him and the crew and how that ties into the corporations.

What did you think of the two episodes? I think both complimented each other for them to be back to back like that. What are you looking forward to the most about the finale? Sound off below in the comments!

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Natty Willy


Fiery Little One September 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

It took me a while, but I realized Ryo was already Emperor in his own mind during the talk with Two that ended with him saying he doesn’t miss Portia. It was just a little something that came to me as they were talking. His decision… I saw it as pragmatic. He can’t take the chance that they would turn on him or get people with enough power to pose a threat to his position to try to overthrow him. Why he might not apply that logic to the Raza’s crew, I’m not sure. Outside of the fact that he might not consider them to be enough of a threat to his position to have them included. The fact that none of them made a move probably helped. That said, I think we should all thank our lucky stars that he didn’t extend the order beyond the people it applied to.

I’d say Hiro’s confrontation with the Empress showed two things, one he already suspected, two as Emperor he was nothing more than a spineless puppet. Her power play after he confronted her proved that last bit, I think.

TheNerdElement September 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

Very good points. I also think that the fact that the Raza crew were there to help him in the first place and had always had his back was in their favor, especially since Nyx was in the mix, even if she was mad at him. Agreed about Hiro, he was just a wimp. He didn’t deserve being Emperor. The decisions they made eventually caused the war with Pyr in the first place so they were not fit to rule. The only reason they had any kind of loyalty was because Ryo was suspected of killing his father IMO. – Natty

Fiery Little One September 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm

I totally agree.

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