Ah, the classic time loop trope. Made popular, but certainly not invented, by the movie Groundhog Day. Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 4's take saw Three reliving the day over and over again.
Though Three's experience turned out a bit more Edge of Tomorrow than Groundhog Day by the end. On the plus side, they got rid of the first of Ryo's bounty hunters!
It's often enjoyable for actors to be able to show off their talents, be they music or language or even dance. For those who are wondering: yes, indeed, Anthony Lemke is fluent in French.
While the choice of Three as the victim of the loop was somewhat arbitrary in terms of the plot, "All the Time in the World" threw the spotlight on him as he struggled with his temporal anomaly predicament, and gave Mr. Lemke a chance to show off his French skills!
(Was anyone else bugged by the Android's pronunciation of "temporal"? She said tem-POR-al -- every other time I've heard the word spoken, it's been TEM-por-al.)
Many sci-fi and fantasy series have at one point or another featured this type of story. Supernatural Season 3 Episode 11, "Mystery Spot," for instance. The Librarians pulled an odd variation on The Librarians Season 2 Episode 8.
(My personal favorite came from Stargate SG-1, the hilarious and entertaining "Window of Opportunity.")
Unusually for the time loop trope, this episode began in media res, with Three having already experienced multiple rounds.
Time loops tend towards either comedy or character development tools. "All the Time in the World" definitely skewed towards the latter, though there was plenty of funny to be found (particularly earlier in the episode).
Two: You’re just having a case of deja vu.
Three: Only, in this case, it’s deja *do*, over and over and over again.
Three's the type of character who's easily seen as the dumb muscle, and not even as skilled a fighter as either Two or Four. We got to see another side of him here.
He showed impressive will and determination to figure out the time loop and do something about it. And despite his initial struggle with the Android's technobabble regarding the jump drive, he manages to repeat it perfectly, in French.
Not to mention the fact that Three didn't simply go insane. And he found the words to say to Five.
Three: Y’know, uh… I know you’re upset Six is gone, and I’m upset seeing you upset, and I wish there was something I could say to make it alright. I really do.
Five: That… actually makes me feel a little better.
Then there was the mess with Sarah. I still don't know how that story could possibly end well. She's a bunch of data, floating in a computer, completely isolated unless someone pops in on her.
Not being a theologian, I hesitate to speculate on the nature of the soul in such a scenario. Is a digital upload of a person still that person? Or has something profound and critical been lost?
Is that Sarah? Or is that simply information responding in a manner consistent with Sarah?
Both Five and Sarah herself insisted that she was Sarah. But can we truly believe that? Three didn't, at first, but by the end, he was willing to give it a shot anyway.
I wish there'd been a little more time devoted to this subplot, particularly Three's shift over the course of the hour, especially after his negative reaction at the end of the previous episode.
On the less positive side, there some things about this episode that doesn't really hold up very well under close consideration. (In other words, don't think about it too much!)
How did Ash (Mr. Bounty Hunter Guy) get his hands on super-experimental phasing technology?
Why didn't Ash's death (ew, by the way) reset the loop, since by that point he was a part of it? And is he now a permanent bulkhead feature? (Ew.)
The method by which Ash located the Raza was presented as a serious issue, then instantly solved when it was no longer necessary as a plot device.
Why, why, why did Tabor have a time loop device in his closet? (Yes, they sort of explained that, but come on.)
If any of you have answers to these questions, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. I welcome discussion, and I'm always willing to be convinced.
Before I sign off, let's examine the Android's little future-jumping jaunt. There were a number of different flashes, most of them rather... dark? From Three shooting the Android to the Android crying to the Android dismembered...
Yeah. Things do not seem to be looking up for the Raza crew.
Then there was Future Five:
Android: Please tell me. What awaits us?
Future Five: So much… Dwarf Star’s conspiracy, the double deception, Crida, Carina, the accelerated, the fall of the House of Ishida. The meeting with your creator. The black ships.
Android: What does it all mean?
Future Five: Not a happy ending for everyone, but positive result for the rest of the galaxy.
It's impossible to say at this point how much of her proclamation will come to pass. Obviously, though, the audience is intended to see it as a teaser.
Her statements run from the obvious to the ominous to the mysterious, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to speculate too heavily at this point and instead file them under "We Shall See."
The real question is, then, will any of the future be averted? Future Five seemed intent on making sure it wasn't, but still... As I said, it's a question.
You can always watch Dark Matter online! And don't miss Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 5, "Give It Up, Princess," when it airs on Friday, June 30, 2017, at 9/8c on Syfy Channel.
So, what did you think of "All the Time in the World"? Were you disappointed that the time loop was caused by a random piece of technology brought aboard by a guy we just met? Are you intrigued by the flashes of the future?
Let us know down below!