Go behind-the-scenes and into the mythology of "Doll Parts."
The title of this episode, "Doll Parts," was taken from a song by the band Hole, off their 1994 album Live Through This. Amanda Rosewater is a big Courtney Love fan. She used to keep a "Hole" poster in the mayor's office. Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that Amanda moved that poster to the NeedWant after she lost the election.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch was completed on October 28, 1965. During the Pale Wars, shelling from Votan artillery nearly brought the Arch down. When Nicolette Riordon became the first mayor of Defiance, she set up a fund to restore the arch. Renovations are ongoing, as you can see from the scaffolding. Only one of the original two elevators has been restored to working order.
Before the war, the observation deck of the Gateway Arch stood 630 feet off the ground. Terraforming ripped the Arch from its foundations and thrust it toward the surface (which is why it's not buried underground along with the rest of Old St. Louis). It's a miracle that the Arch survived intact, which may have something to do with the mysterious alien ship called the Kaziri buried underneath it. Today, only the top 300 feet of the Arch is visible above ground. That's still a long way to fall. Ouch.
In episode #22, Irisa channeled the power of the terrasphere to activate the Kaziri, placing many of her acolytes into some kind of stasis pods deep underground. Why she did this remains a mystery.
Notice the LP on the record player? Alak came up with the idea of pressing white vinyl as a marketing gimmick to give his new Tarr Traxx label some personality. The color white is prevalent in all Castithan design. The Tarr Traxx motto is "bringing you hot stacks of Casti wax."
Irisa's acolytes share a fanatical devotion for their leader, possibly due to the alien tendrils that Irisa implanted in each of them when she attacked them. They also seem to share Irisa's healing ability.
The vetho (an animal that Datak references) is a small mammal native to planet Castithan. They're similar to old Earth wolverines. Vethos are known for their sharp claws and vicious temperament.
Irisa's parents were members of a dangerous Votan snake cult who were searching for the Alakta, or angel of death. They sacrificed their young daughter Irisa to the cult's leader, Daigo, in hopes that she might be "the chosen one." They didn't seem to care that every other girl who underwent the trials died in the process.
"Andy Wolk had me and Anna Hopkins film the Treasure Doll investigation scene just using the word "fuck" for the gag reel -- it was a play on the very famous scene from The Wire. It was hard to keep a straight face while filming it... and FYI, Anna was the one who cracked first!!!!!!" - Julie Benz [Amanda]
"All of my flashbacks with Amanda were shot on the same day. There was a nasty bug going around set. Everyone was sick... I felt so ill that day. Emotionally there was a lot to bring to the table so I was stressed out about not being 100% with it. Everything worked out fine in the end. Who knows... maybe not feeling well made it easier to access emotions. It brings out another level of vulnerability." - Kristina Pesic [Treasure Doll]
"I finally got to get physical in this scene. I had been taking Muay Thai in hopes that I could get a little fighting in this season... and I did! Christina [Pesic] and I had so much fun choreographing the scene. My favorite part is when I throw the chair because no one thought I would be able to throw it far enough. But I asked for just one take and I threw that chair as hard as I could. I had to walk past camera to hide my smile because I was so proud." - Nicole Munoz [Christie]
In Castithan culture, it's common for fathers and sons to share the same mistress. This is seen as a form of family bonding. Datak hoped that sleeping with Treasure Doll would bring him closer to his son. Alak, however, wasn't aware of their relationship. Having grown up among humans, he'd probably just consider the whole thing gross.
For Castithans born into the lower liros, there is no greater honor than to be asked to come work for a shanje family. Upward mobility is virtually impossible in Castithan society, and handmaidens are afforded a certain degree of respect. Kirus knows that giving his daughter to Stahma is her best chance at a better life.
Meet Alethea, a player-created character from the Defiance video game. Last year, one lucky player won the right to have their avatar featured in the show. Trion and Syfy collaborated to bring this character to light, designing a new unique costume and casting actress America Olivo to portray her. Alethea is an Irathient ark hunter who grew up on planet Irath. She fought bravely in the Pale Wars, and founded a clan of ark hunters known as "Divided Allegiance."
The Kaziri isn't the only arkbrain on the loose. In recent weeks, a malevolent arkbrain called Loci has been causing trouble for players in the Defiance video game. For the past year, Karl Von Bach, the infamous weapons dealer, has been the unwitting pawn of Loci. When he returned to the Bay Area, he introduced a new line of EGO devices designed to infect their recipients with Loci's nanites. This infection became known as "the Grid." Loci and its Grid minions are building new terraformers in an effort to transform the Bay Area. It's up to the players to try and stop it!
"The big Sukar/Nolan fight is all the actors -- no stunt people at all!" - Andy Wolk, Director
"One of my favourite but tough scenes to shoot this year was this argument between Irisa and Nolan. He tries to talk Irisa down, but it's clear she's past the point of no return. Irisa by this point is so fiercely passionate about what she's doing that not even Nolan can stop her. She's a ball of fire, with all kinds of emotions raging through her, and it felt like Grant and I had been put in a ring and told to fight it out. We were exhausted by the end of it to say the least!" - Stephanie Leonidas (Irisa)
"The names in Treasure Doll's appointment book are mostly crew members." - Andy Wolk, Director
"[Toronto in winter is] colder than you would like it to be. To be honest, -15 degree temperature is about as black and white as it can get. The beauty was that it gave our directors and DOP some beautiful snow to work with for the exterior shots." - Dewshane Williams, Tommy LaSalle
Christie's enhanced sense of smell is a side effect of her mixed-species pregnancy. Castithans (especially females) possess an acute sense of smell. Stahma was able to detect Christie's pregnancy before Christie had a chance to announce it. She also realized Berlin was sleeping with Nolan due to the telltale musk he left behind.
"The shot of Berlin finding the hidden camera in the arch radio station was done by removing the roof of the set and putting a cameraman all the way up there looking down at her." - Andy Wolk, Director
That painting on the wall -- the serpents entwined around a skull -- is the symbol for the Devouring Mother. Thesho designed this symbol for his snake cult, which we saw in the flashbacks back in episode #5.
As a former soldier, Nolan placed a lot of importance on teaching young Irisa the skills she'd need to survive the treacherous wastelands. He did the best he could, and has admitted his failures as a father on several occasions. Nolan's early days raising Irisa were chronicled in the Defiance webisodes, which you can watch right here.
The vetho is a small mammal native to planet Castithan. They're similar to old Earth wolverines. Vethos are known for their sharp claws and vicious temperament.