"The Broken Bough" is the third episode season three of the science fiction television series Defiance and the twenty-ninth episode of the series overall. It was directed by Larry Shaw with a script written by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer. The episode first aired on Syfy on Friday, June 19th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Synopsis Edit

Defiance 3x03 002

"Welcome to Defiance!"

At the Lawkeeper station, Joshua Nolan reads aloud from Amazing Goddess of the Badlands, using a mocking tone to taunt Irisa. Irisa grabs the book from him and throws it in the furnace, but Nolan scoops it out and continues reading, much to Irisa's embarrassment. Jessica Rainer interrupts the jovial mood by telling them that a roller blew into town when the stasis net was deactivated for a supply convoy. They go out to inspect the roller only to find that it is Datak and Stahma Tarr. Stahma tells them that Datak is need of serious medical attention, after which, they bring him to Doc Yewll's place. As part of their cover story, Datak tells Nolan and Amanda Rosewater how they narrowly escaped being killed by the Votanis Collective. They also reveal that the Votans murdered Rafe, Christie and Quentin McCawley.

Spurned by rage, Nolan prepares to hunt down the V.C. butchers. He is a bit concerned about Irisa who has grown noticeably gun-shy after her hectic interaction with the Kaziri. He asks her if he can count on her, and she tells him to stop being stupid.

Defiance 3x03 004

"Bah! It's just a scratch! I'll be fine."

After Datak is patched up, the Tarrs return home to find their maidservant, Andina, bathing in their communal tub. Stahma makes a joke about checking for leaks, and the ashamed young woman quickly exits the tub. She asks about Alak and Datak tells her that he is fine. After Andina leaves, Stahma warns him that it was foolish to reveal the truth to the servant after they had just told Joshua and Amanda how they didn't know anything about Alak.

That evening, Stahma and Datak initiate the first stage of their mission. Stahma ascends the top of a building and sets up a transmitter beacon. She sends a coded message to General Rahm Tak, telling him that Nolan and Irisa are en route to their location at the Bordeen Valley - some two-hundred miles west of Defiance.

Joshua and Irisa travel through the snow in a roller. As they come closer to their destination they stop when they see several bodies suspended from trees and know that this is the work of the Votanis Collective. Several V.C. members ambush them and engage them in a firefight. One of them gets the drop on Nolan, but fortunately, Pilar McCawley appears and bashes the man head in with a rock. She offers them a ride in her roller and takes them back to her cabin in the woods.

Defiance 3x03 005

"No, seriously. He was like that when I found him!"

In the cabin, they find that Pilar is taking care of a baby. She tells him that his name is "Bear" (based on his penchant for hibernation) and says that she found him as an orphan in Freeman, Kansas. Nolan thanks Pilar for helping them out and gives her a gun to help protect herself.

At the V.C. camp, Rahm Tak receives the transmission from Stahma warning him about the coming of the Lawkeeper. He questions the captured Alak Tarr about the identity of Defiance's Chief Lawkeeper. When he hears the name of Joshua Nolan, he recognizes him as the "Butcher of Yosemite", chronicling how a waterfall ran red for days with the blood of the Votans he had massacred.

At Pilar's cabin, the three rest up and prepare to move back out. As the transmission in Pilar's roller is nearly inoperable, Nolan suggests using his. Pilar offers to drive, but Nolan dismisses her. She then pulls the gun he gave her and points it at him, commanding him to surrender his roller tags. When he refuses to do so, she pulls the trigger, but nothing happens. Nolan had removed the actuator chip from his weapon before giving it to her. He tells her that he figured out who she was after seeing her wearing Rafe McCawley's boots and caring for a half-Casti child. They bring her back into the cabin where she is cuffed. They take the baby and head back out for the long return trip to Defiance.

Defiance 3x03 006

"I see you have respect for the territorial bubble."

Back in Defiance, Jessica Rainer finds Datak rummaging through a cache of weapons in the armory. He tells her that the weapons belong to him, and that he will need them to rebuild his criminal empire. Rainer says that the weapons were stolen from the Earth Republic and are spoils of war. When Datak refuses to hand them over, she arrests him. Amanda visits Datak in jail. She is cold and stern towards him, still angry over the murder of her sister, Kenya. However, she understands Datak's importance to the town and makes him swear to put Defiance's needs first above all others and to help them in the pending war against the Votanis Collective. What Amanda doesn't know is that all of the weapons in the armory have been tainted with shrills.

At the NeedWant, Stahma enters and meets T'evgin. Unlike the other patrons, she is not unnerved at the sight of an Omec and the two have a pleasant conversation. T'evgin tells her how the Indogenes set bombs on his people's ships, nearly wiping them out on the day of the great exodus from their star system. He tells her that his daughter and he are some of the last remaining Omec in the galaxy. He needs Gulanite from Defiance to repairs his ship and return to the stars where he hopes to find more surviving Omec and rebuild his society.

Defiance 3x03 008

"You've become an unreliable partner".

In Oklahoma, Nolan and Irisa go out to a ridge in the Bordeen Valley where they spy the V.C. camp. Using binoculars, Nolan notes that they have a hundred men, sixteen rollers and even a couple of Volge. The worst however is the mobile net-cutter, which could incapacitate Defiance's stasis net. The two put together a plan to take the weapon out of action. Nolan remains on the ridge with a sniper rifle, while Irisa takes a belt of six hand grenades and sneaks into the camp. Irisa gets the drop on Rahm Tak and has a knife to his throat, but cannot bring herself to kill him.

What Nolan hadn't counted on though is Pilar escaping from her handcuffs and following him up onto the ridge. She attacks Nolan, which causes him to accidentally fire his weapon prematurely. The two fight until Joshua is forced to shoot Pilar in the throat.

The sound of the gunshot alerts the V.C. and they begin scattering. Irisa runs towards the net cutter and gives Nolan a signal. She throws the grenade belt at the net cutter and Nolan shoots it. The explosion destroys the vehicle.

Nolan and Irisa return to Defiance and give the baby to his grandparents, Datak and Stahma. When they leave, Nolan admonishes Irisa for failing to kill Rahm Tak and tells her that she has become unreliable.

Later, Amanda and Jessica inspect the armory, only to find that the shrills have destroyed all of their weapons.

Datak and Stahma go to their secret perch to receive their next orders from Rahm Tak. He wants them to destroy the St. Louis Arch.

Cast Edit

Principal Cast Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Stars Edit

Crew Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

Allusions Edit

  • Meh Yewll calls Datak Tarr "Trigger". Trigger was the name of Roy Rogers' horse. Why Yewll chose to call him by this nickname is unclear.
  • "Gwoningo" is a Castithan word used to describe an unfavorable person. In Earth terms, it is the equivilant to calling someone a pig. Datak refers to the people who killed Rafe McCawley as "gwoningos".
  • Andina addresses Datak and Stama as Favi. Favi is an honorific used in the Castithan culture. It is a gender-neutral term of respect used when addressing members of a Liro.
  • Stahma Tarr gives thanks to Rayetso in this episode. Rayetso is a Castithan deity, honored within the religious tradition of Shirivanawo. Castithans often invoke Rayetso's name in prayer, or during ritual service.
  • Reference is made to the Kaziri in this episode. The Kaziri is a massive Votan ship that contained an Ark-Brain. It arrived on Earth some three thousand years ago and remained dormant underground beneath what has since become known as Old St. Louis. The Kaziri harbored a mechanical interface with Irisa Nyira, and the Ark-Brain controlled her actions, ultimately causing Irisa to use the power gained from the ship to destroy New York City.
  • The bath salt that Andina is seen using in the tub at the Tarr residence is called Kiri Eshkiwa. Its primary function is to induce orgasm.

Bloopers Edit

  • When Joshua Nolan and Irisa leave Defiance, there are no other tire tracks through the snow passing through the stasis net even though just a short time earlier, a supply convoy came through as did Datak's roller. There is no evidence of any fresh snowfall between the two instances to account for the absence of tire tracks.

Quotes Edit

  • Joshua Nolan: You were seen leaving town with Rafe McCawley. What are his whereabouts.
  • Datak Tarr: Rafe, Christie and Quentin are dead. Those V.C. gwoningos massacred an entire family.




  • Datak Tarr: It rarely ends well for people who order me around.


  • Datak Tarr: When I was driving towards Defiance and I saw the glorious Arch on the horizon, I thought it meant sanctuary. I was finally home. None of the many injuries you see on my body hurt more than the shabby treatment I received at the hands of your... pretty little lawkeeper.


  • Rahm Tak: Not much of a butcher, are you? You're a pork chop!


  • Rahm Tak: Come out of hiding, or I will show you who the real butcher is! I am the butcher... [to his aide] where are we?
  • Henchman: Tulsa, sir.
  • Rahm Tak: I am the Butcher of Tulsa!


  • Joshua Nolan: You had him. The leader of the assault. And if you hadn't have choked, Rahm Tak would be a cooling corpse right now, and Defiance would be a whole lot safer. We're at war, Kiddo. And you've become an unreliable partner.


  • Datak Tarr: What? What does it say? What does that madman want?
  • Stahma Tarr: He wants us to blow up the St. Louis Arch.

See also Edit


The World of Defiance

Defiance miscellaneous

External Links Edit

Series links

Episode links

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.