An ark carrying a source of eternally renewable energy is about to make landfall near Defiance, and Viceroy Mercado has his best man (Pottinger) take his best man (Nolan) to retrieve it. But when they arrive, they discover it's not the inert mineral Pottinger said it would be, but rather a transport vehicle for fighting beasts that are almost pure energy - aliens called Gulannee - and one of them got loose. Pottinger tries to warn the troops he brought along, but the Gulanee already slaughtered them all.
Slaughter isn't just for the outreaches of the wilderness, either - Irisa's at it again, and this time, Tommy sees her. He tries to shoot her, but she convinces him that it's not what it seems. They sit by the unconscious (Irisa promises he's not dead!) body of the unfortunate Castithan who inhaled Irisa's metal hairs, waiting for him to wake up. Irisa reluctantly reveals that she's done this before - a lot - and tells Tommy most of the story of how this came to be. She also tells him she can't tell Nolan, unless she wants the force within her to kill him for good. Tommy, she says, is the only person she can trust. This would sound like emotional blackmail if it weren't true. Still, the fact that he told her he was leaving with Berlin for the border might have had something to do with her word choice.
Did someone say blackmail? Stahma's ears prick up at that word, one of her favorites, since she just tried it on a holy man attempting to shut her business down. He said it was treason that she usurped her husband, she said shut yer stupid ugly face before I have my goons beat it to a pulp (okay, she didn't say that. Stahma's intimidation relies on the unspoken). This didn't work on the holy Favi Kurr, so she had to be more circumspect. After the three Casti women she invited to tea, including Kurr's wife, refused to join her new women's lib campaign, she killed them - and pinned the murders on Kurr. Now Stahma gets to add a rock to Kurr's shaming rack, instead of the other way around. So easy!
Now back to that monster that's about to burn every human in Defiance to a crisp. Nolan scrounges some spare parts together to create an electromagnetic pulse thingy that will suspend the Gulanee long enough for them to kill it. But the Gulanee's closing in on them, and he doesn't have enough time. He tells Pottinger to create a distraction, and the only one he can think of is to have his Bioman, Churchill, run at it with a stick. Not quite as sophisticated as Nolan's electro-suspension thing… Churchill does as requested, and Pottinger watches with tears in his eyes, knowing he's sending his friend to his death. It gives them the time they need, however, and when the electronic trap snags the Gulanee, they kill it extra hard for Churchill's memory. Then, they drink. Amanda sees how broken up Potty is - especially after Viceroy Mercado assigned him to the Dakotas for his "failed" recovery of the Gulanees (guess saving an entire town from destruction is failing! Sheesh.) She goes to comfort him, while Berlin - who just broke up with Tommy for deciding to stay in Defiance to support Irisa, and doesn't want Berlin's help doing that - swoops in and seduces Nolan. Yeah, nothing incestuous or immature about chupping your nemesis's dad. Go for it, Barbie doll!
And it wouldn't be Defiance if only one distasteful sexual scenario were playing out: Christie, tutored in the ways of "stepping into another's skin" by her new prostitute/DJ friend Treasure Doll, dresses up as a Castithan (with full face paint, and everything) and saunters to a highly specialized club for such things. Who should she meet there but Viceroy Mercado - or, as he introduces himself, Lerutak (also dressed as a Castithan in full blown wig and all). Seems the two have something in common....