Defiance (TV series)

2013 American sci-fi TV series

Defiance is an American science fiction television series developed by Rockne S. O'Bannon, Kevin Murphy, and Michael Taylor. The show takes place in the future on a radically transformed Earth containing new species, some having arrived from space, many others the result of contamination by Votanforming technology, which has transformed native flora and fauna in unforeseen ways. Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) works as the lawman for the town of Defiance, a community where humans and intelligent extraterrestrial species coexist. The show follows Nolan, his adopted alien daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), and the town's new mayor, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz).

Season 1


Pilot [1.01]

Irisa Nyira: When I was a child, Nolan liked to tell me this world has no natives, which means it belongs to everyone.

Amanda Rosewater: This project was commissioned by my beloved predecessor, Mayor Nicolette Riordon.
Nicolette "Nicky" Riordon: Ex-mayor, ex-mayor. Took me eight years to quit this lousy job.

Datak Tarr: That smug shtako, he packed that audience with his own miners so he'd get a louder applause than me. What kind of a man does that? I ask you. It's juvenile, petty. It's beneath my contempt, really.
Stahma Tarr: You're annoyed you didn't think of it first.

Stahma Tarr: [discussing Alak] He's young. He's pushing boundaries.
Datak Tarr: Don't handle me, Stahma. Alak running wild reflects badly on this family. I've worked too hard, done too many unpleasant things to achieve legitimacy and respect.

Tommy LaSalle: As long as we're both trapped here, we might as well eat something.
Irisa Nyira: I'm not trapped in here. If I wanted, I could have grabbed your wrist, broken every finger on your hand, taken the key card to this cell, which you left hanging from your belt, and before you knew what was happening, I'd already be out of this cage and separating your hand from the rest of you with one of my blades.
Tommy LaSalle: What is wrong with you?
Irisa Nyira: You wanted conversation.

Amanda Rosewater: We strive for the best, but sometimes we fall short. Sometimes we forget ourselves, and occasionally, this new world rears up and kicks us in the teeth, but we stay. We fight because this town is worth fighting for, and if necessary, it's worth dying for.

Doc Yewll: If you rush me, we all go boom. If you yell at me, we all go boom.

Down In the Ground Where the Dead Men Go [1.02]

Datak Tarr: [about Elah Bandik] This man is a deserter. He threw down arms and ran from the Volge.
Joshua Nolan: This man was brave to pick up arms in the first place! Plenty of men lose their nerve the first time in combat.

Ben Darris: I didn't sign up for this.
Solomon Birch: You signed up for whatever it takes, Ben.

Stahma Tarr: [to Datak] Think of your life back on Casti. You were at the bottom layer of the lowest caste. Your life was degradation and poverty. Is the Castithan way really something you're eager to preserve?

Stahma Tarr: Your father's putting that much pressure on you, is he?
Christie McCawley: He's sort of a jackass.
Stahma Tarr: Most men are. It's a characteristic that transcends species.

The Devil In the Dark [1.03]

Datak Tarr: [on Christie] She insists on bathing alone. Who does that, I ask you?

Irisa Nyira: [to Nolan] I'm not like you. I'm an alien. And you made me afraid of that!

A Well Respected Man [1.04]

Joshua Nolan: Funny thing is he's not looking at me, Datak. He's looking at you and I'm the guy with the gun. Mr. Skevur. Ooh, well, that cut looks nasty. I think Datak's boys got here before me. I think they impressed on you the importance of not cooperating with me. Then I get to beat on you fruitlessly for a while until Datak swoops in, whispers in your ear, and all of a sudden, the information flows. [to Datak] I get to look like a big, dumb ape. You get to look like a hero. How close am I?
Datak Tarr: Close enough. But for the record, I had no intention of whispering in this disgusting man's ear.

Joshua Nolan: You know, I've had my eye on the wrong snake. You're the dangerous one.
Stahma Tarr: You're very sweet.

The Serpent's Egg [1.05]

Olfin Tennety: It's a really dangerous world out there, Amanda. The Earth Republic is a good friend to have.

Joshua Nolan: Now, can I trust you to be a good girl and behave yourself while I'm gone?
Irisa Nyira: Probably not.
Joshua Nolan: There's my girl.

Irisa Nyira: [about Daigo] You would've killed him after defending him all that time. Why?
Tommy LaSalle: Because you're not the only one with nightmares.

Brothers in Arms [1.06]

Pol Madis: [to Doc Yewll] Meh Yewll, correct? Do these townspeople know about your many scientific achievements during the Pale Wars? Don't worry. I'm not interested in sharing this information. I'm a big fan of your work. The biodine project? Pure genius.

Joshua Nolan: So when did a nice boy like you start chasing bounties?
Eddie Braddock: Hard times, my friend, unlike you. I kind of like it though. I'm out in the fresh air. I keep my own hours. Shoot interesting people.

Kenya Rosewater: Girls, don't forget to show him the six-legged monkey crawl.
Eddie Braddock: Oh, yes, I do want to see that.

Kenya Rosewater: This is completely unacceptable. I've never not been able to do my job.
Amanda Rosewater: Well, the good news is Nolan doesn't have a lot of friends, so the odds of this situation ever happening again are pretty low.

Pol Madis: You're a disgrace to everything the collective stands for.
Datak Tarr: Watch yourself.
Pol Madis: Getting fat off human avarice in your multi-tiered house with your three baths a day, pledging allegiance to whatever culture will take you the furthest, and every month, you send off your bundle of scrip to Brazil, all to ease the guilt of leaving your parents to die.

Pol Madis: I couldn't give a Kanga-rat's balls about the Votanis Collective. I just like killing people. Yeah, you get it, don't you? That there is the face of a man who knows he may never see his family again. I can see it in your eyes.

Eddie Braddock: Corporal Joshua "no-man" Nolan leave no man standing on the battlefield! Kill 'em all! Let God sort it out!

Eddie Braddock: [to Nolan] You got to raise her! You got to be a father, a hero. What did I get? I got caught.

Goodbye Blue Sky [1.07]

Amanda Rosewater: [to Alak] Listen, you little punk. I'm the damn mayor. Play Shiny Happy People or you're fired.

Stahma Tarr: [to Kenya] What about this "G-spot"? It's one of your major erogenous zones, yet it took your own scientists centuries to confirm it even existed.

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times [1.08]

Tommy LaSalle: Thar she blows Captain, two points off the starboard bow.
Joshua Nolan: Stop reading Moby Dick!

Joshua Nolan: Tommy, you hurt my daughter, your questions about God, they're gonna get answered personally.

Amanda Rosewater: You want me to work for the evil empire?
Connor Lang: They're hardly an empire.

Connor Lang: [to Amanda] If you had only trusted me. If you had only talked to me first, we'd still be together. If you'd had a little faith, we'd be a family.

If I Ever Leave This World Alive [1.09]

Alak Tarr: In the meantime, let’s groove to some einer kleiner plague music.

Amanda Rosewater: There’s always hope. And it’s our job to remind them of that.

Rafe McCawley: I’d appreciate your cooperation. I don’t require it.

Datak Tarr: [to Connor Lang] I'm sorry you had to see that. It doesn't fit my narrative.

Nicolette "Nicky" Riordon: You can't create without destroying.

The Bride Wore Black [1.10]

Stahma Tarr: [to Christie] You know, the uman phrase "daughter-in-law" is so cold, so distant. Our word, hanya tavo, means "heart daughter". You are my hanya tavo, Christie.

Stahma Tarr: Alak is of the new world, he doesn’t see the humans the way we do. He sees beauty in them, kindness.
Datak Tarr: Then he’s lost his sense of smell.

Datak Tarr: Watch yourself. Without the name Tarr you’re nothing but a street haint with dyed hair and a record collection.
Alak Tarr: Street haint? Isn't that how you see yourself? You're always talking about how you pulled yourself out of the mud and made the humans respect you.
Datak Tarr: I said to watch your tongue.
Alak Tarr: I don't give a kanga rat's ass about the sacred scrolls. All right, maybe your father chose to die guarding a bunch of stupid papers, but I wasn't born on Casti! I was born on Earth, just like Christie!

Rafe McCawley: [to Datak Tarr] Your son loves my daughter and my daughter loves him and that’s good enough for me. Oh he may never get my mines but I will look out for him. And I will make sure that those coulds have a wedding that they will always remember.

Doc Yewll: [to Nicky] If I can’t trust you with a simple walking stick, how can I trust you with a genocidal weapon?

Doc Yewll: I've become a healer instead of a destroyer.

Doc Yewll: [on Nicky] She used to be good people.

Past is Prologue [1.11]

Galen Marsh: I would hate to see this town torn apart by alien barbarians.
Amanda Rosewater: We're pretty good with alien barbarians.

Joshua Nolan: Just so we’re clear, anything happens to Amanda between now and the election, anything at all? She slips in the shower… chokes on a chicken bone… doesn’t matter. I will come to your house in the dead of night, press a pillow over your face and I’ll empty my gun into it.
Datak Tarr: And they say humans lack a sense of poetry.

Irisa Nyira: You draw a gun, you aim to kill.
Joshua Nolan: Yeah, I taught you that. Really gotta stop listening to me. I’m an idiot.

Rafe McCawley: Paintball gun, huh?
Alak Tarr: I didn't know Nolan was gonna shoot. It was supposed to be a joke.
Rafe McCawley:Well, I guess the joke's on your dead friend, and my daughter for marrying a little peckerhead like you and me for allowing it.
Alak Tarr: Look, I'm so sorry. If I could go back and do it over again -
Rafe McCawley: You can't. Look forward. Because if you disappoint me for a second time, if you again act in a manner unworthy of my baby girl, your marriage will end. And I do not believe in divorce. Capiche?

Stahma Tarr: You’re pathetic.
Kenya Rosewater: And you are alone.

Everything is Broken [1.12]

Datak Tarr: [to Stahma] I know you betrayed me. I should open your guts right here in front of these good people. But a vote is a vote.

"Black" Jonah Keller: Allow me to properly introduce myself. I'm special consultant Jonah Keller, informally known as "Black Jonah". Perhaps you've heard of me. I'm a professional interrogator, and I enjoy my work to an arguably indecent degree.

Datak Tarr: I've worked hard to take control of this town, to win respect, and in one reckless act, you've trivialized me. Come morning, every soul in this town will be asking themselves, "Who's running the place, Datak Tarr or the Earth Republic?"
Galen Marsh: Yes, well, as I say, you will be compensated.
Datak Tarr: Yes, Castithans love money, can't get enough of it. Amusing. Now, I strongly suggest you dig deep and afford me some courtesy.
Galen Marsh: You are one uppity little haint. You know, after all of this is over, you're going right back to being a nobody.

Doc Yewll: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was a monster. I regret my past and I’m trying to do better. You should be taking notes.

Datak Tarr: The Earth Republic will come for us. Masters of our fate no longer. I miss home.
Stahma Tarr: I know. So do I.

Irisa Nyira: We have one rule: we live or die together!
Joshua Nolan: It's a stupid rule.

Season 2


The Opposite of Hallelujah [2.01]

Niles Pottinger: I appreciate the nice things in life. I take no pride and accept no shame in this. I treat small luxuries like hand cream as valuable indulgences to treasure. My moments of civilization. So you'll no doubt understand, when I accepted the role of provisional mayor 8 and 1/2 months ago, I was apprehensive. I imagined those wild west movies my father was so fond of, of a town full of anarchists, malcontents, and savages. How wrong I was. Put simply, Defiance is paradise.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: You're a show-off, Pottinger, with your big words, your hand lotion, your TV screens. But I tell you something, I never met a show-off who was quite as smart as he thought he was.
Niles Pottinger: Well, now that you finally have, you can tell your grandkids all about it.

Irisa Nyira: You burned off my hair.
Joshua Nolan: Nope, the explosion burned off your hair. I was blameless. Besides, short and sassy for those hot summer months. You wore it well.

Stahma Tarr: Straight talk?
Alak Tarr: Yes.
Stahma Tarr: Your father surrendered his claim on his financial interests when he murdered Colonel Marsh in a fit of foolish temper. I thought perhaps his son could take over with the proper guidance, but you lack the strength and brutality to do what is necessary.
Alak Tarr: This is just-
Stahma Tarr: Once again, the strong Castithan males falter and I am left to open the airlock door myself! The family business belongs to me.

In My Secret Life [2.02]

Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: Hmm, Nolan. Should have put it together. I've heard of you.
Joshua Nolan: And I've heard of Berlin. I've always wanted to visit.

Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: You're a real happy cowboy, aren't you?
Joshua Nolan: Did you really just call me a happy cowboy?
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: It's written all over your face, the way you carry yourself. That jokey tough guy shtick. I bet you watched Star Wars a few hundred times when you were a kid.
Joshua Nolan: You know, we've been through a long, bloody war. Some of us have developed this thing called a sense of humor -
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: Bull shtak.
Joshua Nolan: - to help us stay sane.
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: You're not trying to paper over your nasty wartime past. We all have that. You're trying to hide the fact that you like where it dumped you out. Driving around in that busted-ass roller with your hot Chewbacca, chupping whores. Shooting people who cause you trouble. Call that hand cannon strapped to your side a blaster, and you've got the complete picture. You're living your fantasy, and it only took ten years of an apocalyptic war and the near destruction of the Earth's surface.
Joshua Nolan: Well, this is all very entertaining, if a little facile given that we've just met.
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: Admit it, you like the world just the way it is: a playground for a man who'd rather not grow up than face the fact that this doesn't work for most everybody else.

Alak Tarr: [to Datak] You're here because you couldn't control the one thing you needed to control: yourself!

Beasts of Burden [2.03]

Churchill: I want to hurt the people who hurt you.
Niles Pottinger: Thank you, Churchill. That's very kind.

Joshua Nolan: So you got yourself paroled from Camp Reverie, huh? How exactly did you manage that?
Doc Yewll: Raw sex appeal.

Stahma Tarr: [to a badly beaten Datak] You should have made me a partner.

Put the Damage On [2.04]

Doc Yewll: This parable the one where the just man cooks his unfaithful wife and serves her body parts for supper?
Datak Tarr: It's inspiring.
Doc Yewll: It's disgusting. What is it with you Castis? Look, I know that you're mad at Stahma-
Datak Tarr: She is a derunjo! She turned my son against me and convinced my crew to throw me out into the dirt!
Doc Yewll: And you bear no responsibility for any of that.
Datak Tarr: Well, whose side are you on?
Doc Yewll: Well, as one of your closer friends, which is hardly a crowded field, I'm on the side of watching you avoid any further acts of extreme self-sabotage.
Datak Tarr: I've killed men for speaking to me like that.
Doc Yewll: First step is admitting there's a problem. Very good.

Lev: To forgive is divine.
Doc Yewll: No, it's deeply human, which is something that neither of us are.

Datak Tarr: I assert my right to safeguard my lineage.
Christie Tarr: You're a disgusting troll.
Datak Tarr: Well, what family doesn't hit a rough patch now and then?

Connor Lang: Some people, when they're born, they just come out wrong.

This Woman's Work [2.05]

Niles Pottinger: If you think you can just swoop in here and take credit for my accomplishments-
Viceroy Berto Mercado: Consider yourself lucky I didn't send you to the front to die. But rest assured, that option remains on the table.

If You Could See Her Through My Eyes [2.06]

Jalina: I thought you'd like it.
Datak Tarr: What, hearing my name over and over again? Do you think I'm some kind of egomaniac?
Jalina: [long pause] No.

Doc Yewll: There are two types of friends in this world: kind that helps you hide a dead whore, and me.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: [to Amanda] Even back when you were Mayor and repeatedly kicking the Earth Republic in the teeth, I knew you were acting on principle. You've got character.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: It's in our nature to want to be other than we are. It's what makes humanity great. We are creatures of incredible curiosity. We envy the flight of birds, and we build wings. Born earthbound, we reach for the stars.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: [singing] I have infinite potential / Your love can set it free / Give me something to be proud of / Give me something more than me / I want bigger, sleeker, faster / I want to hug the curves / I yearn for something greater / Than one like me deserves / Take this child of evolution / And raise him to the sky / Set free his inner beauty / Teach this boy to fly / And when I ascend in glory / The gods will know my name / We will blow apart this fiction / That all are built the same

Slouching Towards Bethlehem [2.07]

Irisa: You're wrong.
Joshua Nolan: I'm never wrong.
Irisa: You're always wrong.
Joshua Nolan: I'm occasionally wrong. But my heart's always in the right place.

Stahma Tarr: Nolan. Such a unique man. There's a certain air about him. Leather, bourbon, gun grease.
Tommy LaSalle: I'm sorry, but I really don't know what this has to do with our investigation.
Stahma Tarr: Not a thing. Simply that Miss Captain Rainier wears it well.

Tommy LaSalle: Nolan. Are you two dating?
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: God, no. We're just having lots of sex.

Mahsuvus Gorath: I like you, Nolan. Perhaps in a different life, we could've been friends.
Joshua Nolan: Doubt that, pal. But I might have been persuaded to buy you a drink.

Painted from Memory [2.08]

Stahma Tarr: How long can a human being survive underground without air?
Datak Tarr: Do I look like a biologist?
Stahma Tarr: You look like a pauper, but that's incidental.

Bottom of the World [2.09]

Niles Pottinger: [to Olfin Tennety] I know you have history with Amanda. I also know you're a liar and a thief, and were you slightly more intelligent, you'd be a mass murderer too. Now, I can prove all these things. Toddle that well-marbled ass back over there and pick up your own damn bags.

Niles Pottinger: I am a monster. You have no idea the things I've done.

Doll Parts [2.10]

Stahma Tarr: The most we can hope for is that what we want is worth the evil we do.

Stahma Tarr: I've just gone to a great deal of trouble to free our son from the lawkeeper's jail.
Datak Tarr: You're a good mother.
Stahma Tarr: Is that sarcasm?
Datak Tarr: Oh, if you have to ask, it probably is. So Alak, did he do it?
Stahma Tarr: I think we both know the answer to that.
Datak Tarr: Do we?
Stahma Tarr: I know you placed the microphone under his bed. What I don't know is why.
Datak Tarr: What microphone?
Stahma Tarr: Are you seriously trying to tell me you did not kill Deirdre?
Datak Tarr: Well, actually, I assumed it was you.
Stahma Tarr: Then who - [Stahma realizes, and breaks into laughter]

Deidre Lamb: If you want anything in this world, you have to fight for it!

Joshua Nolan: I don't treat you right, do I, Tommy?
Tommy LaSalle: This is not the time.
Joshua Nolan: Oh, you follow the rules. You obey the law. You do everything right. And, here I am giving you a hard time. Right, kid?
Tommy LaSalle: I've noticed.
Joshua Nolan: I got a different relationship with the rules. They bug me.
Tommy LaSalle: It's hard to be a lawkeeper unless you follow the law.
Joshua Nolan: Yeah, well, my way, it gets results. Mind you, your way it gets results too. You're good for Irisa. You're good for the town. If we get out of this thing in one piece, I'd be honored to have you by my side again.
Tommy LaSalle: What are you saying?
Joshua Nolan: I'm not saying anything. I'm saying you're a good man, and I respect you, is all. Don't go making a big thing of it.

All Things Must Pass [2.11]

Datak Tarr: I will not have my wife pretending she's smarter than me.
Stahma Tarr: I'm not pretending.

Datak Tarr: Taking a bullet is easier than living with the knowledge that I've lost you.
Stahma Tarr: So you've given up?
Datak Tarr: I haven't been good to you. And you're right. I probably won't be able to change. Not enough.
Stahma Tarr: Perhaps if we each changed a little.
Datak Tarr: I married well.

I Almost Prayed [2.12]

Pilar McCawley: [to the Tarrs] You know, some people find you scary. I don't, of course. I think you're a carnival act. Funny little white-faced clowns. I remember when Datak used to do card tricks for old-earth dollars. You, Stahma, you were a housemaid. Do you remember that one time when our regular maid was sick and you came over and cleaned my toilets? You had a gift.
Stahma Tarr: As you say, that was a long time ago. Now your beautiful home belongs to the Earth Republic, your wealthy husband is in prison, and your daughter's love is mine. Nothing remains for you here. Take your unfortunate son and leave our town. I won't warn you twice.
Pilar McCawley: [to Datak] You know, she blew my husband. [whispers] Just thought you should know.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: Captain, have you been drinking?
Jessica "Berlin" Rainier: Yes, sir.
Viceroy Berto Mercado: You might want to gargle.

Viceroy Berto Mercado: [to Pottinger] Jesus, Niles. Can't you just pay for sex like a normal person?

Season 3


The World We Seize [3.01]

Stahma Tarr: Have you seen Alak and Christie?
Rafe McCawley: Not yet. They're probably inside.
Stahma Tarr: If your wife has harmed them, she will die an excruciating death.
Datak Tarr: And if she hasn't harmed them?
Stahma Tarr: Same outcome.

Datak Tarr: General Tak, may I ask what business you have in Defiance?
Rahm Tak: You may, indeed. I'm going to kill all the humans and burn the disgusting place to the ground.

Doc Yewll: I've got a ticket on tomorrow's land coach. Thought I'd try my luck out west.
Amanda Rosewater: This town needs you.
Doc Yewll: What this town needs is a sensitively worded obituary.

Rahm Tak: I know I'm not supposed to take this job personally, but I must admit, I'm going to enjoy this campaign. I mean, the very idea of Defiance turns my stomach. I don't know how you two lived there. You know, I think I will hook a cable to that arch and pull the whole thing to the ground. Perhaps they'll put a statue of me in its place.
Stahma Tarr: That is a beautiful dream.
Rahm Tak: Was that sarcasm? Because I assure you, Favi Tarr, my aspirations are achievable. I am not a delusional man.

Quentin McCawley: [in Casti] When heaven falls to Earth, peace shall reign -
Rahm Tak: Yeah, yeah. Boring, boring. Do you know who I am?
Quentin McCawley: Rahm Tak. I'm on your side. I worked as a spy for the Collective. I assassinated Earth Republic Ambassador Tennety.
Rahm Tak: What did you say your name was?
Quentin McCawley: Quentin McCawley.
Rahm Tak: McCawley. McCawley, McCawley, McCawley, McCawley, McCawley, McCawley. Never heard of you.
[Tak abruptly shoots Quentin in the head; Rafe screams in grief]
Rahm Tak: [to Rafe] Oops. Was that your son?

The Last Unicorns [3.02]

Joshua Nolan: Doc, she's half dead.
Doc Meh Yewll: An optimist would say she's half alive. Chain her up.

Rahm Tak: Consider sweet Lieutenant Bebe, an Indogene who wore a human skin to infiltrate a shopping mall, killing hundreds of humans. His skin is heroic. I call it poetry. We shall seize their human language, their land, their clothes, the very skin on their faces. Everything in this world is ours for the taking. Manifest Destiny.

Rahm Tak: So I am trying to decide how best to put you both to work for the Votan cause.
Datak Tarr: Anything to serve the Collective, General.
Rahm Tak: Good, good, because you, Datak, are going to be a saboteur for the Votanis Collective. You are gonna help me bring that odious little town to its knees.
Stahma Tarr: If I may, General without me there to calm him, my husband is prone to fits of intemperate anger.
Rahm Tak: You're saying I should send you both?
Stahma Tarr: It might help you achieve the objective you desire.
Rahm Tak: Here's the thing, Stahma, you and your husband are a pair of treacherous snakes. If I release you both, you'll disappear into the woodpile, and I won't get what I want. So I think it's best for everyone if we set some simple ground rules. You, Datak, will go to Defiance. You'll carry out assignments that I give you. Anytime you refuse an assignment or fail or displease me in any way, I will cut a piece off of your wife's beautiful body. And over time, that can add up to one ugly bitch. So do as I say.

Doc Meh Yewll: [over the body of a child murdered by the female Omec] Is it inconsiderate to say I told you so? I never know the rules for that. [standing] Raised by wolves...
T'evgin: You're not funny.
Doc Meh Yewll: 50 million Elvis fans can't be wrong.

Datak Tarr: The McCawleys may have been human, but they were our humans. Rafe was shot down like a dog. He deserved better.
Stahma Tarr: And Christie? Make me a weapon too. Better we die together, don't you think?
Datak Tarr: I'll get to work.


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