Go behind-the-scenes and into the mythology of "Beasts of Burden."
Raiders are new world outlaws, preying on the weak across the terraformed Badlands. Although these murderous scavengers travel in packs, they aren't normally bold enough to attack an Earth Republic convoy like this. Raiders are a particular nuisance in the Bay Area (and the Defiance game), where they can be found in large numbers.
The "old earth philosopher" Pottinger is referring to when talking to Berlin in the first scene is the character J.D. played by Christian Slater in the 1988 black comedy Heathers. Defiance creator Kevin Murphy co-wrote the book, music and lyrics for Heathers: The Musical, which saw its Off-Broadway debut at the New World Stages earlier this year.
Datak inherited Raiga from his former boss, Hunter Bell. Hunter was one of the three founders of Defiance, along with Rafe McCawley and Nicolette Riordon. He built the NeedWant and the fight tent, employing Raiga as his personal bodyguard. When Hunter went missing, Hunter's widow Kenya Rosewater took over the NeedWant, and Datak took over the fight tent. Datak kept Raiga on his payroll, knowing how intimidated most people can get at the sight of the massive Sensoth bodyguard.
An aspiring Casti can't enter the Castithan mafia until they've carried out their zambako, or "first life taken." This makes them a zembatso, or "life taker." For most would-be mafiosos, their zambako is a cause for celebration. Clearly, this is an honor Alak could do without.
Alak never intended to use Tarr Traxx as a front company for the Tarr family's criminal interests. That was his mother's idea. Earlier this year, Stahma traveled to the Bay Area (in a video game crossover mission). Stahma has been seeking to expand the family's sphere of influence outside the town of Defiance, and shipping contraband under the Tarr Traxx label seemed like the perfect cover. And while Datak is still extremely angry with Stahma for running the family in his absence, he's not one to let a good idea go to waste.
Cedars is a small industrial town roughly 150 miles southeast of Defiance. The town is a protectorate of the Earth Republic. The E-Rep has maintained a garrison in Cedars for many years. It's there they staged their forces before rolling into Defiance last year, on the night the E-Rep declared martial law.
This case is stamped with the Von Bach Industries (VBI) logo. Karl Von Bach is a notorious weapons dealer who's based in the Bay Area, home of the video game. VBI produces some of the best and most dangerous weapons in the new frontier. Which makes you wonder... what exactly is inside that little yellow case?
[On surprising story turns]: "The great thing about this show is it revels in left footing both the cast and audience at pretty much every opportunity presented. That, and the urination scene." - Jim Murray (Niles Pottinger)
Josef wasn't actually Rafe's nephew. He was Luke McCawley's best friend. Rafe was devastated when Luke was killed. Josef was the last piece of Luke he had to hold on to. It must have been incredibly difficult for Rafe to put Josef down, but he knows the E-Rep would rain terror upon the town if he didn't. One can only imagine Rafe's rage at the E-Rep right now. Will this finally spur Rafe to action?
"While filming the scene where I am wrapping Alak's hand, [Director] Allan Kroeker had me and Jesse improv an argument off the top where he would defend his dad and I would defend the baby and myself. It became quite the heated argument and it really gave me a chance to express Christie's inner thoughts. Soon tears began flowing, emotions were high and I am so thankful that he let us do that because it really allowed Jesse and I to understand our characters' conflicting points of view and really feel just how frustrated our characters are with each other. We both think we are helping the family but we each think our way is better or more “right.” - Nicole Munoz (Christie)
This is the Defiance statue, built to commemorate the eponymous battle in which human and Votan soldiers disobeyed orders to help save innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. This act of disobedience not only gave the town its name, but ultimately brought an end to the war.
Up until now, Pottinger has been haunted by the humiliation he endured at the hands of the Raiders. All that seems momentarily forgotten now that's he's gotten his hands on the missing cargo. What is so special about that briefcase Pottinger just took from the crate?
All Castithans are raised with a very strict religious upbringing, which is ironic considering how few of them actually take it seriously. Most Castithans view themselves as the supreme being. But even Datak's father found religion in the end, choosing to stay behind on planet Casti and die guarding their family's copy of the Castithan religious scrolls.
Devon, where Pottinger is from, is in Southwest England. During the Pale Wars, many wealthy British families sent their children into hiding hoping to spare them from the atrocities being committed in more populated areas. Unfortunately, once Votan forces overwhelmed the major cities, they turned teir attention to small towns such as the one where Pottinger was hidden. Near the end of the war, residents of the United Kingdom pushed the Votans off their islands. Today, the U.K. survives as a fortess island, defending her people against the horrors of mainland Europe.
The song that played over Datak's beating and at the end of the episode is a Sara Hickman cover of the Tears for Fears song "Mad World." It's from her 2006 album Motherlode.