Review – Dark Matter S03E01-2: “Being Better is So Much Harder” & “It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This”

Dark Matter S03E01-2: “Being Better is So Much Harder” & “It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This”

Last season on Dark Matter, the crew of the Raza had a lot of shake-ups. Ryo Ishida, formerly known as Four (Alex Mallari Jr) regained both his memories and the throne of Zairon. Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke), Five (Jodelle Ferland), and Six (Roger Cross) worked with Commander Truffault (Torri Higginson)B to attempt to avoid a corporate war that the crew of the Raza witnessed in an alternate reality. Six fell into the hands of the Javert-esqueInspective Kierken (Kris Holden-Ried) Season two newcomer Nyx (Melanie Liburd) got fridged by Ryo’s childhood friend Misaki (Ellen Wong) as Ryo stole the blink drive. The season ended on a cliffhanger that left all of our main characters (save Ryo) struggling: the destruction of the space station Eos-7 by Ryo with the intent of framing the Ferrous Corporation and starting the corporate civil war.

Want a refresher on everything from last season? Check out our reviews of Dark Matter Season 2 here.

Dark Matter Season 3 Episdoe 1
via Syfy

This week on Dark Matter:

On these two episodes of Dark Matter, we discovered the fates of our main characters and see the aftermath of the bombing on Eos-7. In “It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This,” the crew of the Raza focuses their attention on revenging themselves on Ryo Ishida.

Other than general Syfy scheduling, I don’t understand why these two episodes were set up as a two-episode event. Most of the aftereffects of season two were wrapped up in the first of two episodes, and the second of the two episodes consisted of the crew of the Raza attempting to partake in revenge against Ryo Ishida. In the previous two seasons, the first two episodes of the season consisted of the crew of the Raza extricating themselves out of sticky situations, which leads to an interesting contrast between those episodes and the first two of this season. 

In these two episodes, the crew of the Raza has to deal with a moral crossroads: should they use their various talents to help in the bigger picture of the corporate war or should they use their resources to settle personal scores? For now, they seem to be picking the latter track, but wars aren’t generally brief conflicts. It’s possible that later this season, maybe in the season finale, they will find themselves entangled within the “big picture.”


In conclusion, these two episodes were an interesting introduction and follow up episode within the season. However, the episodes skipped on emotional resolutions in favor of adding more questions to the plot. While that can work to an extent, it also hurts the characters, who really should be the heart of the plot. The crew of the Raza was not really given time to breathe and come to terms with most of the many revelations made clear to them in these two episodes (although the scene where Two came to terms with Nyx’s death was gorgeous).  I found myself anticipating emotional reactions that didn’t really make it on screen. If the first episode was more drawn out into the second, more emotional moments could have been allowed to breathe.

Next week on Dark Matter, Three appears to get stuck in a Groundhog Day-style loop…

Dark Matter airs on Friday nights at 9 pm on Syfy (you’ll catch the end of the Percy Jackson movie sequel if you tune in at 8 pm next week, and that is not a fate I wish for you, dear readers).

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments!

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About the author

Siobhan Dempsey

Siobhan is a 24 year old MLIS student who prefers to read over socializing and is passionate about diversity and accessibility.