Defiance begins! Flip through these photos for a quick recap of Episode 1. We start our tale in 2013, where a young boy picnicking with his family looks up to see a bunch of alien spaceships entering Earth's atmosphere. Bigger buzzkill than ants in the food? Read on.
Flashforward to 2046. Nolan and his surrogate daughter, Irisa (an Irathient, one of the aliens that landed in 2013) enter a fallen alien ship and steal the Terrasphere, which is not only worth boku bucks but looks like the coolest D&D die ever.
Too bad some angry Irathients, called Spirit Riders, stop them. Nolan and Irisa manage to escape with the Terrasphere thanks to Irisa's quick thinking, but she's shot in the process.
Nolan fends off some really scary looking wolf/bug/bird things while trying to get Irisa to safety, but himself receives a last minute rescue from a guy named Clancy, the local law enforcement. Important plot note: Nolan hides the Terrasphere before he goes with Clancy.
Clancy takes Nolan and the wounded Irisa to Defiance, which stands on what was once St. Louis (transformed due to drastic changes in Earth's environment following the aliens' arrival).
Defiance is celebrating Armistice Day, the anniversary of when the war between alien and human ended and everyone decided to live together in peace (that's oversimplifying it, but you get the drift). The speech is given by Mayor Amanda Rosewater, who is only three weeks on the job and also clearly knows how to work a mini cape.
Two of the town's richest citizens - shady criminal Datak Tarr (on the left) and mine owner Rafe McCawley (on the right) - are footing the bill for the celebration. They also absolutely hate each other. What's even better? Datak's son, Alak, and Rafe's daughter, Christie, are in love.
Amanda's predecessor and longtime mayor is Nicolette "Nicky" Riordan, who assures Amanda she's doing an awesome job and also throws in an amazing reference to Kung Fu when she calls Amanda "grasshopper." Amanda looks at her like she's crazy, but we got it!
With Irisa recovered, Nolan goes looking for cash to get them out of town. At the NeedWant, the local bar/brothel, owner Kenya tells him that easy and fast money can be found in the Hollows, the shady part of town.
To earn some cash, Nolan must fight a Bioman, a genetically engineered soldier originally created to fight off aliens. This thing is HUGE and gives Nolan a whooping until Nolan kicks his ass (literally - the off switch for the thing is in the Bioman's butt).
Nolan celebrates by going back and knocking boots with Kenya.
Meanwhile, trouble brews when Luke McCawley threatens Alak to stay away from his little sister. Alak, who has no intention of not dating Christie, gives as good as he gets and threatens Luke (in English and Castithan, his native tongue).
Later, Luke is found dead. Rafe swears revenge on his son's killer and heads straight for Alak (it's not a stretch to assume he might be the guilty party).
Rafe accuses Alak of killing Luke. Because this is TV and therefore the most obvious killer is not the killer, Alak denies - plus Christie backs him up and says she's his alibi. Knowing his daughter was likely getting intimate with a Castithan just makes Rafe MORE mad. In all the fighting, Lawkeeper Clancy gets killed. Side note: Is that Ann Jillian in the background?
Datak is enraged at Rafe's accusations, but his wife, Stahma, calms him while they take a bath together (it's a Castithan thing). She explains that Christie defied her father by standing up for Alak, bringing her closer to them. A union between Alak and Christie means Stahma and Datak will have access to Rafe's mines - and his power base. Based on this Alexis Carrington type manipulation, we're already loving Stahma.
Seeing easy money, Nolan offers his tracking services to find Luke's killer. Blood at the murder site indicates the killer was an Indogene with an injured leg. Amanda's assistant, Ben, fits that bill!
While this is happening, Ben kills the guard at Defiance's stasis net (essentially a big force field that protects the town) and blows the net up.
The critically injured Ben reveals that a cadre of Volge - a warlike alien race - is heading straight for Defiance. With the stasis field disabled, Defiance doesn't stand a chance.
Faced with certain destruction, a nervous Amanda proves why she's the mayor when she rallies the townspeople to join together and defend Defiance.
We also learn that Madam Mayor is sisters with Kenya. Two madams in the family!
Nolan wants to stick around town and help everyone against the Volge. Irisa doesn't, and yells at her surrogate dad for screwing up yet another chance for the two of them to find some happiness. She takes off.
Nolan digs up the Terrasphere and returns to town. He plans to use it to blow up the Volge.
Nolan and the townsfolk take up arms and fight the attacking Volge. It's brutal.
Just as the tide is turning in the Volge's favor, Irisa comes riding in - along with the Spirit Riders from the first scene! The Volge offed some of their brethren earlier, so it's one of those the enemy of my enemy is my friend things.
The Volge put up a good fight, but the people of Defiance hold them off long enough for the Terrasphere fueled bomb to take effect. The Volge are defeated.
Amanda, who was injured in the battle (don't worry, she doesn't die), offers Nolan the job of Lawkeeper. He accepts!
Looking around his new home, Nolan remembers the first time he saw one of the alien ships - and we realize he was the little boy at the very beginning!
In the aftermath of the battle, Alak and Christie get engaged. Which we know will REALLY upset Rafe. Meanwhile, Stahma tells Datak to be clever and patient - this will be a marriage that will benefit them. She's just so deliciously manipulative.
In the very last scene, we learn Nicky was responsible for the Volge attack and promises to use other means to achieve a larger plan she has to clear the town. What is it? Also, is smoking legal indoors in 2046?