• Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Air date: Jun 3, 2013
  • Network: SyFy

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Goodbye Blue Sky

For fans, by fans

Goodbye Blue Sky

"Goodbye Blue Sky" is the seventh episode of Season One of Defiance and the seventh episode overall. It originally aired on June 3rd, 2013 on Syfy.

Synopsis

Overview (No Spoilers)

Defiance is hit by Razor Rain, forcing its residents to stay indoors - where interesting relationships develop. Irisa's visions lead her to Sukar and the Spirit Riders, where she finds Sukar under the influence of a strange and mysterious force.

Detailed Description  (Major Spoilers)

Debris is moving and colliding in the Ark Debris Field which surrounds the Earth. Fragments of various sizes fall into the Earth's atmosphere breaking up into a wide array of meteors large and small. As they hit the cloud layer a storm system develops, of dark clouds with extensive internal lightning bursts.

The Spirit Riders are travelling through the badlands outside the city of Defiance. Two riders on motorcycles are followed by Sukar and Nizar traveling in a roller. Seeing the storm system developing, Sukar brings the roller to a stop and looks out of the window. He realizes it is razor rain, as meteor pieces leaving streaking trails begin falling out of the clouds. With Sukar yelling for everyone to move,  the group speeds down the road toward cover, while meteors fall out of the sky around them. The ground erupts in explosions of dirt. One of the motorcycle riders wearing football shoulder pads is hit, and he falls tumbling along the ground. Sukar pulls up in the roller and, trying to shield his head with his hands, he runs to the irathient's side. Still wearing his kilt and leather sword armor, Sukar has instead of his green faux-fur a vest of black leather pieces held together by brown cord mesh and an old aviator headgear with goggles. Sukar checks him for vital signs, while an alarmed Nizar in the roller calls out to him. Sukar realizes that it is hopeless and the man is dead, when he finds a large shard of metal in the rider's upper back which appears to have severed the spine and entered the chest. Sukar is still bending over the man when a shard of debris hits him. A metal spike has buried itself in the right side of Sukar's neck, and he cries out in anguish, as an appalled Nizar looks on. Nizar and the other rider, who wears very old football headgear, have dragged Sukar to the safety of the metal reinforced concrete mine outlet, which lies just beyond where Sukar was struck. Dull thuds can still be heard landing outside. As they set him down against the wall, the rider's arm is seen to be covered in Sukar's blood. They sit the disoriented Sukar against the wall and then move away and in anxious voices discuss what to do. As Sukar turns his head toward the mine opening, he sees Irisa gazing at him intently. Focusing, he smiles at her and calls her Little Wolf. She walks forward, until she stands directly in front of him. With intense seriousness, Sukar tells her, "What we must do is for the good of all." She is trying to absorb that when Sukar's eyes slowly close and, with blood running down his neck, he dies. Irisa hears a shriek behind her, and turning, she sees one of the flying bat-like creatures flapping across the sky, crying out as it flies over the trees.

Irisa walks up suddenly from her nightmare. She is on the second floor of the lawkeeper's office on her bed which is made up on a rug on the floor. Breathing heavily and as she looks around the spartan room with widely staring eyes, Irisa hears the ominous roll of thunder from above.

It is morning in Defiance, and Alak Tarr is broadcasting Raider Radio from the top of the arch. Scaffolding surrounds the damaged portion of the arch, and a maintenance basket hangs down from the certer. Flipping the microphone up and catching it, he tells the audience that they have just heard an earthpop cover from Semma Cru. With a deeper voice and with his left arm raised almost in a salute, Alak announces that the next selection will be Lokyulo Dwoken, with music for a stormy night on Casti. After he starts the music, which sounds a bit like doo-wop, Christie McCawley who stands at one of the small rectangular windows, agrees that it does look like rain. When Alak tells her that that is a good excuse for them to hang up here and make out, she walks over to him. Taking off his headphones, he takes her into his arms and says that she smells amazing. They are both a bit put out when his hailer begins chirping. Alak, sighing deeply and looking exasperated, is not thrilled to answer the call from Mayor Amanda Rosewater. As she is putting a rubber band around her hair, she tells him that he knows why she is calling.  Alak does. Picking up an album, he says that he listened to her record, but tossing it onto a side shelf says that he wanted to disinfect his record player afterwards. In a stern voice Amanda calls him a little punk and reminds him that she is the damn mayor. She orders him to play "Shiny, Happy People", or else she threatens to fire him. Giving him no time to respond, she tells him not to forget to update the weather, and she abruptly ends the call. Rolling his eyes and looking at Christie, perhaps worried that she heard, he shuts off the hailer and tosses it down onto the table. Christie had not heard, wide-eyed and impressed, she asks Alak if he just hung-up on the mayor. With a tough guy look,  Alak lets the false impression stand, explaining that Amanda had been giving him attitude. As Alak is returning to kissing her neck, Christie suddenly starts pulling away and says that she had a weird conversation with his mom yesterday. When she mentions that she had been talking about a bathing ritual, Alak stops, looks askance at her, and says "oh that". Christie goes on to say that Stahma told her it was a ceremony for newlyweds, and Alak takes a couple of steps away, obviously not wanting to talk about something that would involve him being in the middle of a disagreement between Christie and his parents. He says that it is just some stupid old custom from the home world. Christie wants to know if this will consist of, as Stahma seemed to be saying, the whole family naked in a bathtub. Alak trying to make it not seem so bad says that it is something the high liros still do, and sitting across from her says that he knows it probably sounds bizarre, and he is adamant that they won't all be naked, as the women wear beads. Christie is amazed that Alak hadn't realized that she would have a problem with this. Alak, still trying to avoid getting into a confrontation with his parents about this, tells her that it will just be 20 minutes out of her life, and yes it will be weird, but she will be fine. With a winning smile Alak promises this. He starts kissing her again, even though Christie does not seem convinced or ready to drop the subject.

Irisa is dressed and in the Lawkeeper's office with her blades in their harness on her back and is putting her gun and jacket into a pack, when Lawkeeper Nolan walks through the door. As the whistling wind can be heard rising behind him, he comments that the weather is getting nasty out there, and he tells her that he just finished rain-proofing the school roof. He smiles, as he goes on to say that the principal was so grateful she kissed him on the lips. The damaged jail cell has been repaired with chainlink, where the bars had been exploded outward by the strafing powder blast. Then with the smile fading, he hopes the principal was a "she", as you can't tell the difference with those Liberata. Suddenly he realizes that Irisa is packing and asks her what she is doing. When she doesn't immediately answer, Nolan walking over and looking concerned asks if she remembered to pack her socks and says that she knows how grumpy she gets when her feet are cold. Irisa announces that she is going to the badlands, as Sukar is in danger. Leaving Nolan standing in the center of the room, she begins to walk away, then stops, turns, looks him in the eye, and says that she had a vision and then, turning again, she walks out the doors. Her visions have been a point of contention between them, and Nolan sighs deeply, but then Irisa pops back in and asks if he is coming or not. He seems surprised to be included in something involving her visions and the irathients, and quickly follows her out.

At the McCawley house, Rafe McCawley stands in the kitchen returning something to the refrigerator, when he notices Quentin McCawley picking at his food. Calling him boss, Rafe asks him what the problem is. Though Quentin says that it is nothing, it is obvious that he has things on his mind (most probably his killing of the late Mr. Birch who tried to steal the Kaziri artifact). Just then the door bell chimes and Rafe goes to open it. The sound of thunder is booming outside. At the door is former Mayor Nicky, Nicolette Riordon breathing from her portable oxygen canister. They greet each other and Nicky walks in apologizing for dropping in at such an early hour. Removing the coat from her shoulders, putting it on a chair, and walking toward the kitchen, she explains that she was doing an outreach program, delivering baked goods to the prisoners at Camp Reverie, when her roller just died. As she takes another breath of her oxygen, Rafe assumes that she needs him to check it out for her. A smiling Nicky corrects him, saying that she hailed the Sensoth garage, and with an imploring look says she only needs somewhere to wait out this ghastly weather. She seems grateful and breathes a sigh of relief, when Rafe tells her to make herself at home. Turning to Quentin she says "good morning, love". Walking over to the counter and resting an arm on it, she confides in him that she never could get a handle on those darn rollers.  Looking intently at him she says that her man Birch usually drives her. Quentin freezes staring forward his jaw working as he swallows reflexsively, but Nicky turns away to face Rafe, as she says that Birch is in Iowa visiting family. Dividing her attention between the two of them, possibly looking for reactions, she goes on to say that Birch has eight brothers and sisters. She jokes that if you ask her that isn't a family, it's a litter. It is Quentin who finally gives her the reaction she has been waiting for, as he jumps up without a word and rushes from the room. With a questioning expression, as if to ask what she said, Nicky turns to Rafe, who explains cryptically that Quentin has allergies.

At the NeedWant bar, Kenya Rosewater is talking to one of her female employees, when she sees Stahma Tarr enter. Two human male prostitutes are walking to tables with their drinks. When Kenya points out a white envelope behind the bar, Jered Kikema the bartender brings it to her. Though Jered tells her that he will take care of it, Kenya assures him that she's got it. Stahma walks past an empty table with a waterpipe and a table occupied by a castithan couple, which she acknowledges. The castithan man acknowledges her in return, but the castithan woman he is with is a prostitute with hair dyed red, she looks away and tries to cover her exposed leg. The statuesque Stahma stands about a head taller than the diminuative Kenya. Greeting Stahma by the castithan title "Favi", Kenya tells her it is a nice surprise seeing her. Putting the envelope on the bar and sliding it toward her only causes Stahma a moment of embarrassment, as she looks about the room and then slides it back to Kenya. Kenya, folding her hands in front of her, tries to explain that she thought Stahma was here for her husband's weekly collection (possibly protection money). However, Stahma explains that her husband is out of town, and she is there to secure Kenya's professional services for her son. She proudly boasts that Alak is to marry Christie McCawley, and very earnestly explains to a confused Kenya that she wants him educated in the eccentricities of the human female libido. She has come herself to make sure it is handled properly. She tells Kenya that it is her understanding that making love to a human is enormously complicated. Kenya tries to explain that humans are really not complex, but Stahma uses as an example the G-spot, which is one of a human woman's major erogenous zones, yet it took human scientists centuries to confirm it even existed. This makes Kenya smile, but she says that it is not mysterious if a person knows what they are doing. Stahma says with a smile that this is exactly why Alak needs Kenya. Kenya is still trying to put into words that this is not how it is done among humans. However, when Stahma describes how when Christie recounts the events of her wedding night to her father, she wants him to understand that he married his daughter into the highest possible liro, Kenya cannot stop herself and bursts out laughing. There is another moment of embarrassment, as Stahma realizes that she is being laughed at and struggles to comprehend. Kenya controls herself and tells Stahma to trust her when she says that no human girl is "Ever" going to want to talk wedding sex with her father, especially when her father is Rafe McCawley. When Stahma accuses Kenya of insulting her, Kenya tries to cajole her into admitting that it was just a little bit funny. Stahma is not pleased; she sternly tells Kenya that castithans have a saying "Seeming is Being". Treating her like a fool makes her one, and, turning to storm away, she assures Kenya that she is no one's fool. Kenya, feeling bad about this, follows her asking her to please wait. Kenya apologizes, explaining that Stahma had caught her off-guard. Stahma, blinking rapidly and throwing glances about the room to see if they are being observed, asks Kenya if she thinks it is easy for a woman of her marusha (caste) to come here. Kenya sincerely says that she didn't mean to insult her and is not going to let her walk out mad. She asks Stahma to please let her buy her a drink. Stahma says that she doesn't have the time, as she hears the lightning from near-by and worries that there is a storm coming. But Kenya with a smile says it will just be one drink and then they can talk about Alak. She encourages the wavering Stahma to "come on".

In the badlands, Nolan pulls the lawkeeper car to the side of the road, and Irisa exits. Looking at the snow-capped mountains in the distance which can be seen surrounded by a lightning storm over the trees, she tells him that she saw those in her vision and that they are close. On foot, they proceed up the hill and into the trees. Topping a rise and entering a clearing, they are suddenly surrounded by armed irathients. A concerned Nolan pulls his gun and waves it about, but says that they don't want any trouble, while Irisa just stands with her arms at her sides. Nizar's brother says angrily that they don't belong here, not now. However, Nizar who stands next to him recognizes Irisa (as he had taken part in her vision ritual with Sukar). Calling her Little Wolf he lowers his gun and walks forward. Sad and clearly emotional, he tells her that he thought that she might come, as Sukar is dead. A shocked Irisa blinking rapidly asks how, and Nizar says that the sky opened and took him. Nolan puts his arm around Irisa's shoulders, pulling her head into his chest, putting his chin on her head, and calling her kiddo, he tells her how sorry he is. Nizar informs her that they are preparing the sinking ritual and sincerely says that she is welcome to attend, but harshly adds that her "human" (making the word an insult) must go. Nolan looks up giving Nizar and his brother a hard stare. However, Irisa has spotted something on the ground, and she leaves Nolan's side to go pick it up. She calls out to Nolan, who walking forward sees the charred piece of ark metal that Irisa holds. He realizes that when Nizar says that the sky took Sukar, he meant the storm. Nizar confirms this with a nod, and Irisa is the first to say aloud what this means: Razor Rain. Grimly, they look again at the ominous dark clouds and lightning bursts that can be seen in the sky. When Irisa remarks that everyone in town thinks it is a normal rainstorm, Nolan turning back to their car tells her that they have to warn them. Nolan starts walking away saying "let's go"  to Irisa, but she stops him saying that she can't. When a surprised Nolan turns back, Irisa tells him that she is staying for Sukar's sinking ritual, that she will be all right, and that he can come back for her when the storm passes. Nizar, who steps forward to put his hand on her shoulder, gives his word to Nolan that the "Little Wolf" will be safe in their care. Nolan is clearly torn about leaving her, but, looking at her sad face and knowing that her mind is made up, just implores her to be careful. As an irathient guard leads him away at gun point, Nolan looks back at Irisa clearly worrying about her.

In the Irathient camp in the badlands, Sukar's sinking ritual is being prepared. The dwellings are shaped like caravan wagons with large awnings held up by wooden posts. The Elder with her arms held out to her sides palms upward is performing a sing-song chant to the accompaniment of a flute-like instrument, while a man to the side lightly beats a drum. Nizar and another irathient empty buckets of clear liquid into a metal trough, as Irisa uses a ladle to pour something over Sukar's body, which has been stripped, washed, and wrapped in colorful shaws, except for his head. The Iraths wear colorful togas, robes, and capes decorated with shells and bead-work; for the women, the bead-work neckpieces are quite elaborate. The elder wears a turban headdress of may scarves made with an impressive set of elk antlers and feathered shoulder pieces. Nizar solemnly speaks over the chanting, saying that Sukar has left them. Putting his hands together to imitate the motions of a bird's wings, he says that Sukar's spirit has flown to join Irzu. He says that Sukar's flesh will melt away, and his bones will adorn this place, but they will keep him alive in their minds. And crossing his wrists over his chest Nizar adds, "and in our hearts".  Kneeling by Sukar's body, Irisa places her hand to the side of his jaw silently saying farewell. The crown of his head is wrapped around in a tan scarf which goes under his jaw, but leaves the ghastly wound in his neck visible. Irisa then completes the wrapping of the body, covering his head in the colorful knitted shaws. She then looks up to the sky, before rising to go stand by the chanting elder. Irisa putting her right hand in the elder's upward facing left hand, joins the elder in chanting. Nizar goes on to say that Sukar's belongings will proceed him, pointing out where his brother is wrapping Sukar's black leather vest in a red knitted shaw. Other iraths are bowing over the trough and emptying bowls of powder into it. At Nizar's command, his brother drops the red shaw wrapped bundle into the now pinkish liquid, and it bubbles and smokes with an obvious acidic effect. Nizar walking to stand over Sukar's body says that this broth will be his purification, it will spare his bones and return the three elements (possibly air, water, fire, or earth) of his body to nature. Sukar lies on a rusty curved metal grate with three straps affixed to each side attached to thick ropes. Four other irathient men, as well as Nizar and his brother who lead, take the ropes and wrap them across their shoulders, lifting the grate with the wrapped body of Sukar, and carrying him over to lower into the bubbling trough. The men and the elder then step back and stand respectfully, leaving Irisa now chanting alone, closest to the trough. When Irisa's chant and the light drumming fades away, there is silence, filled with the bubbling sound coming from the smoking trough. Suddenly Sukar shocks everyone by sitting up. Naked except for the scarf wrapped around his head he looks about stunned, before standing and raising his right arm to the sky, he cries out as if in rage or exaltation. Putting his hand to the left side of his neck where the wound has completely healed and in a hushed voice says "through this body flows the path to Irzu" (a reference to the Irathient god Irzu who puts all on the path of their destiny). As he stands proudly before them, the elder and the assembled crowd falls to their knees holding their hands out to him palms upward, except for Irisa who has not moved and stares at him in shock, as he stares right back at her.

Back at the top of the arch, a storm is brewing, inside as well as outside. Outside birds are flying away as wind, lightning, and clouds are gathering. Inside, when Alak, who is looking at one of his records, asks Christie if they have to talk about this now, she replies that they are not leaving this arch until they talk about this. Rising to face her, Alak says that humans think too much, they worry about everything, and they are way too hung up on their bodies. Sarcastically, Christie asks him if he thinks castis are better, as she stands in front of a large hole ripped in the side wall of the arch, which has been only superficially repaired by having a piece of clothe and a couple of two-by-fours nailed over it. Turning away he says that, if she doesn't want to do the bathing ritual, she should just tell his parents no, but she counters that he could tell them no. Trying to lighten the mood, he smiles and maintains that she should be the one to talk to his parents, while he spins his awesome tunes. She looks away, not appreciating his humor. Before either can add anything, Alak's hailer again chirps, and he seems much happier this time for the interruption. It is Nolan who is driving back to Defiance, and who tells Alak that he needs him to patch him through to the entire town. Flipping a switch and triggering a brief attention getting alarm, Alak holds the hailer to the microphone. Nolan identifies himself and informs them that the cloud approaching Defiance is a razor rain storm. He tells those who have never experienced razor rain that they can expect sudden barrages of metal schrapnel, fragments of the dead ships floating in the Arkbelt. The squalls are unpredictable and can form anywhere at any time. The metal fragments can easily slice through exposed skin and conventional clothing, so he advises them to stay indoors. Listening to Nolan are Rafe and Nicky drinking coffee and looking grim. Amanda is at the town council meeting table with Kazha, Deputy Tommy Lasalle, Lambert and several others. Immediately after the broadcast, Amanda begins giving orders. She tells Lambert to supervise temporary shelters at the all-faith and Tommy to put together a strike team for any emergency repairs.

At the Irath camp, Sukar emerges dressed and armed with a rifle from a tent. Wooden posts hold up the sides, cord mesh is across the doorway which is decorated with antlers. He wears his kilt, green faux-fur, left arm and shoulder dueling armor, and aviator hat without goggles. The assembled Irathi stare at him a bit afraid and speak in hushed voices. Nizar says that Irzu must have sent him back to them. However the elder, who has removed the antlers from her turban headdress, accuses him of being blind to the fact that this is a curse. The broth melts flesh, so this is not their Sukar. When Nizar's brother says that this is impossible, Nizar counters that this new planet is impossible. They stare at each other unsure what to believe, as Sukar arms himself. Holding the red shaw, Sukar calls over to Irisa who walks to him. He tells her that Irzu's path flows through both of them, there is work ahead, they must act quickly, and she must follow him. He puts his hand on her shoulder, but, when she doesn't answer, he says he cannot wait and must go alone. As he is briskly walking away, Irisa calls out to ask where he is going. When he answers Defiance, she grabs her jacket and rushes after him, as the others continue looking on.

At Defiance the dark roiling storm clouds have reached the city, lightning bursts flash, and the wind picks up dirt and blows it about in gusts. A curious figure has emerged into the town square, in front of the Darby Building, by the Armistice Statue. He wears armor thrown together out of primarily kitchen ware and baking pans. He wears a colander on his head and a strainer over his face. He has boxing gloves on his hands and baseball catcher's knee and shin guards. He carries a car hubcap as a shield. Calling himself "Hot Shtako", he yells to the sky to "Bring it on", as he is not afraid of a little rain.

Production Notes

Continuity

  • The concept of "razor rain", a phenomenon where large amounts of shrapnel from the arks enters the atmosphere and fails to completely burn up, is introduced.
  • More of the Irathients' spiritual beliefs are revealed.
  • The Spirit Riders appear to have established a home base on the land once owned by Rynn's family. ("The Devil in the Dark")
  • Trivia

  • Datak Tarr does not appear in the episode, but is credited in the opening.
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