"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Dark Matter 1.9: Science Fiction and Horror

I have unsettled feelings about the season 1 finale of Dark Matter on Apple TV+ -- episode 1.9 -- and they all point to a series eminently worth watching and continuing.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

I said last week that the multitude of Jasons showing up in one world gave cinematic verite to the poster for the series.  But that crucial scene near the end of 1.9, with all of those Jasons, marshalled by their leader to let our Jason -- Jason 1 -- have the life he deserved with Daniela and Charlie -- well, that scene epitomized the poster.

I also said last week that I didn't expect to see the happy ending that the ending of 1.8 was pointing to.  And we did see Jason 1 and Daniela 1 and Charlie 1 in family bliss for part of 1.9, only to have that taken away from them by a few of the marauding Jasons.  But Jason 2 saved them -- at least, I think that was Jason 2, I'm never 100% sure -- and got the crowd of Jasons to let the Jason 1 family go into a world where they could presumably have a very happy life.

That scene with the crowd of Jasons made me realize that I was watching not just a science fiction story but a horror story.  Crowds have been a part of horror at least since the notorious town folk with their torches in Frankenstein.  They weren't carrying torches in Dark Matter 1.9, and they were different versions of the same person, but they felt to me to have a kinship with those villagers in Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley's and Blake Crouch's stories, after all, are both vivid testaments to the horror that uncontrolled science can bring.  The Twilight Zone often focused on this field of dreams turned nightmares, too.

So, the Jason 1 family has a happy ending.  And Jason 2 sees the error of his ways and redeems himself. But there are an infinity of stories in that crowd of Jasons, and in this, our offscreen reality, I envision a Canterbury Tales of Dark Matter stories spanning years.

See also Dark Matter 1.1-1.2: Break-Neck Action and Philosophic Contemplation ... 1.3 Missing Fingers ... 1.4 The Multiverse Unveiled ... 1.5: The Lesson ... 1.6 "A Bunch of Chicagos" ... 1.7: Obama Tower ... 1.8: A Bevy Of Jasons

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