Defiance Season 3 Review: The Drama Has Its Moments, Despite Being Uneven

It’s been nearly a year since Defiance hit us with a particularly intriguing 2-episode Season 2 finale, one that left the fates of many of the show’s characters in limbo. We weren’t certain if Syfy would even sign on for a third season of the drama for a few months, but now that Defiance is set to premiere, the show looks to be resetting once more, returning everyone to the town of Defiance while adding a few new characters into the mix.

Defiance has always been a fine enough, albeit perplexing series. While characters like Datak Tarr (Tony Curran), Stahma Tarr (Jaime Murray), Doc Yewll (Trenna Keating) and more have always resonated with viewers, the ensemble show’s plots have been all over the board. Sometimes the show focuses on dealing with a community occupied by multiple races of people and aliens and how conflict can stem from opposing cultures. Other times, the show tries to get a little more grandiose with its plotlines, attempting to tie into the overall mythology of the races of aliens available on the series, to varying degrees of effectiveness. Thankfully, the premiere is more Defiance-focused, although a new race of aliens has been introduced.

Season 3 picks up nearly 7 months after the events in Defiance’s Season 2 finale. Things are in a bit of disarray. The town of Defiance is dealing with a shortage of gulanite, leaving the town lacking resources and vulnerable to intruders. Many individuals, including Rafe (Graham Greene), Stahma and Datek, have not even returned to the city. Early in the episode, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) return to the city, realizing it may be in trouble. However, many of the townsfolk are still upset about Irisa’s murderous behavior during Season 2, a problem which has to be put on the backburner as there’s a bigger threat at hand. A new race known as the Omecs have reached earth, and two of them, T’evgin (Conrad Coates) and his daughter Kindzi (Nichole Galicia), are already causing problems in Defiance.

The Omec people aren’t the only new threat Defiance is facing. Season 3 also features the introduction of Castithan military leader General Rahm Tak (Lee Tergesen), who has his own motivations. Stahma and Datek have reluctantly teamed up with the man, and aren’t behaving like their usual selves, although their desire for self-preservation is very much still apparent. Stahma and Datek typically offer the most appealing storylines in Defiance, but this time around, even their dialogue isn’t quite as plucky.

Fans who have stuck with the series for its first two seasons, who have invested in the slew of characters on the drama may find the Season 3 premiere to be devastating. Without getting into details, the two-hour premiere is emotional and full of hardships, leaving the future of the folks in the town still very much in the air. As it is Defiance we are talking about, I suppose we must expect Irisa, Nolan and Amanda (Julie Benz) to eventually triumph. Still, Season 3 could very well spell the end of Defiance, and I’ve come to expect the unexpected in the series. So far in Season 3, it’s been pretty good.


The Season 3 premiere of Defiance will air on Syfy on Friday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Defiance is executive produced by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Kevin Murphy and Michael Taylor. You can learn more about the series here. In addition, you can take a look at what else Syfy has in development right now.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.