Nature or Nurture? Syfy Answers with Dark Matter Season 2

It was a question that was raised during Dark Matter‘s first season: Is it the nature of a person that governs their action, or are we a product of our environment?

In Season 1, the crew of the Raza woke with no memories of their past lives. They were instantly on the run, not knowing what they did to get into such a mess. A look into the ship’s logs provided the answers as to the identities of most of the crew members, but they were still left questioning who they were. What were their pre-amnesia selves like? Were their personalities the same, or had some of their now-forgotten memories shape them into different people?

So far this season, we have already seen that the re-introduction of those past memories can have disastrous consequences. The crew members who regained their lost memories exhibited drastic changes in personality, lending credence to the “nurture” argument. Theoretically, it was the events in their previous lives that molded those darker personalities…right? So maybe nurture is the answer. Maybe the Raza crew grew to trust and rely on each other because of their mutual need for protection and survival. This could be viewed as a “nurture” response to their common environment and situation. They needed to have people to trust, so they trusted the only people they knew–each other.

There are aspects of the “old” Raza crew in the New Crew, though, so nature still comes into play. Though each crew member awakens with an equally void memory, they all exhibit vastly different personalities. With clean slates, the nurture theory might suggest that they all develop roughly the same “type” as they’re all starting fresh with the same experiences. However, there is an instant hierarchy and each crew member falls into a certain role based on the personality that he or she woke up with: Two takes charge, Three is the snarky gun-lover, Four is quiet but deadly, Five is naive but a savant at mechanics and computers, Six takes on a paternal role, and One is (in my opinion) a whiny pansy. Very different personas from a common starting point. Is that nature taking charge there?

Even the android, whose nature is preprogrammed, raises questions about the influence of nurture on one’s personality. She starts exhibiting human characteristics that are not “naturally” programmed into her system. She considers these characteristics to be flaws in her programming, but perhaps not even technology is above the influence of its environment.

As we learn more about the crew of the Raza and their lives before the memory wipes, some questions get answered while others are raised. Personally, I think that nurture is winning so far, but nature’s still a contender. Who will win? We’ll just have to keep watching to find out!

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