After an exhilarating few episodes of traveling within the Box, Jason and Amanda have finally gained a sense of direction. Like these characters, the series itself has also set a course toward the finale. Dark Matter’s 7th Episode sets up an exciting conclusion, but takes some uncharacteristic missteps along the way. Episode 7, titled “In the Fires of Dead Stars”, contains some of the series highest highs and its lowest lows. Spoilers to follow.

Jason Considers His Options

Jason and Amanda in Dark Matter Episode 7

In this episode of Dark Matter, Jason and Amanda are closer to their destination than ever. Along the way, Amanda decides she wants to take a brief stop to somewhere ideal. After weeks of extreme stress living in the box and its unpredictable dimensions, Amanda takes Jason to a sort of Utopia. This version of Chicago is ideal, powered by renewable clean energy. It is as near to a perfect world as you can get. People agree on basic facts, and folks are united in building community and developing technology to aid humanity and its home, not destroy it. Unfortunately, the presentation of this world is not great. The CGI incredibly rough and distractingly so, reminding me more of the Star Wars prequels than anything the show has shown so far. This is a several minute sequence, so I really wish some more budget or time had gone into making it appear as visually impressive as much of the show has so far.

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Amanda, with no real ties to anywhere else, wishes to stay in this World. And who could blame her? Unlike Jason, she doesn’t have family to return to. So, she chooses to stay in this beautiful world. She is dead set on this decision, and encourages Jason to stay with her. While the box can be unpredictable, and they are running out of ampoules which they need to travel to other world, the place they are today is safe and wonderful. However, Jason decides to go back to the Box and continue his journey to his true home.

One of the next worlds he goes to is quite similar to his own, with one key difference. The son he and Daniela tragically lost young is still alive. Jason has a really emotional heart to heart with this son, where we can tell he’s trying to say all the things he wishes he could to this boy, and express his gratitude for being his father. For a brief moment, Jason considers stealing this life from the version of him who lives here, as Jason2 has attempted to do to him. Ultimately, he decides to do the right thing.


Dark Matter Jason at the Gun Store

After several episodes and weeks of time in the story, Jason has finally arrived home. This sequence is done brilliantly, with all sorts of visual cues that we’re back where we belong. Not to mention, the score, which we’ve listed our issues with in previous episodes, really shines here. This homecoming is such a joy. It is such a high point for Jason, and such a rewarding moment as viewers. There are some adorable nods to It’s A Wonderful Life, the 1940s Holiday classic which seems to have inspired this story so greatly. Jason runs joyously through the main street of his neighborhood in the snow, right past a little theatre, advertising a screening of the film.

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Jason returns home, and peeks through his own window to get eyes on his family and Jason2. Then, he knows he must act and be ready to take his family back. This is followed by a scene of him at a local Gun Shop, trying to buy a handgun before realizing that doing so isn’t as simple as any old purchase. It’s a little awkward, but some folks might find it a nice moment of comedy in a very dark story. Then, realizing he cannot buy a pistol without the proper permits, he decides on mace and a really gnarly looking knife. He leaves the store, and is almost immediately followed in by another Jason. In a clever twist, it is this Jason which is our Jason, and the previous conversation is revealed to be held by Jason2. It’s a great cliffhanger, and sets up the next episode in one of the best endings of the series yet.

Amazing Acting
Great Ending
Excellent Cliffhanger
Out-of-Place Visuals

Review Summary

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