As the crew of the Raza sets out to find a cure for the now-unconscious Six, they’re in for a tough road as a computer malfunction manages to reset Two, Three, and Four to a time before their pilot episode attack of good conscience. With their three new passengers bent on taking down the ship, and the Android down for repair, it’s up to Five (Jodelle Ferland) to get things back in order. As she scurries around the ship trying to bring her ersatz family back from their flirtations with their former selves, Dark Matter inadvertently reveals the real reason these former killers and thieves took a shot at the straight and narrow.
It’s all about the kid.
Five’s Role in the Crew
Two (Melissa O’Neil) is the leader, One (Marc Bendavid) was the conscience, Three (Anthony Lemke), Four (Alex Mallari Jr.), and Six (Roger Cross) are the muscle, and the Android (Zoie Palmer) is the brains. So, what’s Five? Okay, technically, she acts as the team’s engineer, but in a more real sense, she acts as the specific face of all the crew’s collected anonymous victims. That role is evinced by the crew’s constant need to make her the first one they protect, why they always leave her behind when they head into danger, and why there’s always such fierce debate about bringing Five into the fray.
The positive influence Five has over the crew has never been more prominent than in this episode, when we’re shown a glimpse of Two, Three, and Four at a time in their history when they believe themselves too far gone to be salvaged.
How Memories Factor Into the Whole Deal
Here’s where a little bit of chance or fate played into the proceedings. As the third episode aptly demonstrates, having their memories erased may have been the most fortunate thing to happen to the crew. Before their minds were wiped, the vast majority of the Raza was populated with mercenaries who broke the law and crushed people not only because it was profitable, but because they enjoyed it. At that point in their history, the purifying influence that Five has over them is virtually useless.
Thanks to the whole mind wipe from the pilot, though, Five is thrown into the mix with the previously heartless killers at a time when they’re struggling to find their identities and are therefore very open to suggestion. Five’s complete lack of cunning, her implicit trust of the crew, and her need to be protected all had an immediate, powerful impact on a group of people suddenly searching for some purpose. While the majority of the series is concerned with searching for that purpose, on a day-to-day basis, guiding Five down the path to an honorable adulthood has become something of a pet project for the rest of the ship’s crew.
This persistent, local reason for being a good person has an invaluable impact on the rest of the team, perhaps even more than the valiant deeds they’ve committed to date.
Though she’s never asked to be cast in the role, the rest of the crew are drawn to protect Five and guide her, a compulsion that leads the collective team towards more upright behavior. After all, you can’t be a total shit when you’ve got a kid around.
In the end, it’s Five’s ability to unconsciously appeal to some deeply buried aspect of nobility hidden in each mercenary combined with the lucky happenstance of meeting them at a time when they were open to suggestion that’s allowed these five people to even begin down the road to redemption.
Without Five, there could be no Dark Matter.