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Review of 'Dark Matter' 1.7-1.8

A Bevy of Jasons

By Paul LevinsonPublished 23 days ago 3 min read

Dark Matter on Apple TV+ continues to get better and better, with episode 1.7 being once again the best episode yet. Here's why I think why:

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

Jason 1 and Amanda finally get to a beautiful Chicago, replete with monorails, an Obama tower (which reached its full height in our reality on this side of the screen just a few days before this episode aired -- a nice feat of perfect timing for the TV series), and the soft breath of Spring. Amanda loves it so much she wants to stay in this reality, and she invites Jason 1 to stay with her, as the two, dressed in the height of fashion, dine in a restaurant that looks like an updated Windows on the World from a World Trade Center that survived and is now in Chicago. He's tempted but declines the offer. He wants to go back to his family that Jason 2 has taken from him. They part. Amanda takes the elevator down, alone. She starts crying, but gets out on the ground floor with a smile and a deep determination. It's a memorable scene, tear-worthy in itself. But it's worth noting that with the ampules Jason 1 puts in her purse without her knowledge, he has a feeling they'll be seeing each other again.

Jason 1 goes on to another reality that he hopes will be enough like his that he can live there. He comes close, but he finds Daniela in bed with another Jason, and Max -- a twin of Charlie who died in infancy in Jason 1's original world -- alive and with some serious problems of his own. Jason 1 realizes this world won't work, but he finally figures out how to get to his reality, which he does. He decides to kill Jason 2, tries to buy a gun but settles for a knife and pepper spray ...

Meanwhile, Jason 2 is being pressed by Detective Mason about what happened to Ryan. He decides to break down the wall he had built last week around the room to alternate realities, and bring Ryan back to Jason 1's world to get Mason off his case. He also decides to get a gun, and in a final scene that's set to change everything, of course walks into the same gun shop as Jason 1 left less than a minute before. The gun dealer of course acts as if she's just seen him, and this lets Jason 2 know that Jason 1 has made it back to his world.

So the stage is set for the concluding two episodes of this series (which I hope will be just the first season of this compelling series): Jason 1 back in his world, finally able to get back what was stolen from him. I have a feeling that's not quite going to happen.

***

Now up until Dark Matter 1.8, we had a Jason -- Jason 1 -- visiting a variety of alternate realities. All of that flipped in 1.8, where we had an onslaught of different Jasons showing up at the worst possible times in World 1. That made for a crackling episode in which all hell broke loose. Also we now finally can see the poster for the series fulfilled.

At first, it looked like Jason 1 killed Jason 2, or maybe versa. But we soon learned that the victim was Jason 3, or the first of a flood of Jasons, all of whom were at odds with Jason 1's understandable, transcendent desire to be back with his family -- i.e., the family that he knew, and who knew him.

Here let me just tip my hat to the bartender. He's a great science fictional character. He no longer questions or even seems to wonder about the proliferation of Jasons who show up in his bar. He just greets them, serves them, and takes them in all in stride.

We already know that all Jasons have a violent streak, and when competing with each other for Daniela 1 and Charlie 1, sheer violence quickly comes to the fore. Daniela is also willing to be deadly violent to save herself and Charlie from Jason 2, and she pushes him down the basement stairs.

This season could have ended right after that, with Jason 1 finally reunited with his family. But 1.8 is not the final episode this season -- there's one more -- and there's no way that Dark Matter could end with quite so happy an ending.

more about this alternate reality with The Beatles over here

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About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code, The Plot To Save Socrates, It's Real Life: An Alternate History of The Beatles; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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    Paul LevinsonWritten by Paul Levinson

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