Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go
003 Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go episode still of Joshua Nolan and Irisa 250px
Episode number Season 1
Episode 2
Setting 2046
Directed by Michael Nankin
Written by Kevin Murphy and
Anupam Nigam
Advisories Coarse language, sexual situations, violence
Air date April 22, 2013
Running time 43 minutes
Episode chronology
Previous Pilot
Next The Devil in the Dark

Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go is the second episode of season 1, and the series' second episode overall. It was written by Kevin Murphy and Anupam Nigam, and directed by Michael Nankin. It premiered on April 22, 2013.


Plot synopsisEdit

Rafe & Nolan explore underground St. Louis while hunting for an escaped convict. Meanwhile, Irisa & Amanda clash over a violent Castithan tradition.[1]

Plot summaryEdit

Elah Bandik after he fled the battle scene is now accused of cowardice by Datak Tarr. According to their Castithian tradition, Elah must now undergo a "cleansing" ceremony, which is actually a a ritual torture. Nolan and Irisa intervene to stop the ceremony, but Amanda says that humans respect the traditions of everyone and she allows the ritual to continue. When Nolan asks how she can allow something like that, she is citing a previous incident in which many Irathients were killed.[2]

In the house of the McCawleys, Rafe McCawley is not happy at all with the agreement of his daughter Christie to get married to Alak Tarr and he asks her to call off the wedding. Christie seems to have second thoughts but when Alak tells his mother, Stahma Tarr, about it she says that she will take care of it. And she does, as later she goes and find Christie where she works and she changes her mind.[2]

Meanwhile, Mr. Birch and Nicky, after the defeat of the Volge, continue with their plan to find another way to destroy the city. Mr. Birch releases Ben from his restraints at the hospital and forces him to try another approach. So he sets off an explosion at the McCawley Mines trapping himself in a shaft leading deep underground. His plan is to blow up a post-Arkfall nuclear power plant.[2]

Rafe McCawley leads Nolan through a series of caverns called "The Rat's Nest", meeting up with the blocked shaft in the ruins of old St. Louis so they can find Ben. When they do, Ben is ready to blow up a post-Arkfall nuclear power plant but he is captured and the bomb is deactivated. Rafe wants to kill Ben to revenge his son's, Luke murder, but Nolan talks him out. Ben tells Rafe that Luke was helping him because he wanted to gather up money so he could get away from Defiance and his dad, because he hated him after what he has done to his mother. Ben, then, throws himself on McCawley's gun and pulls the trigger.[2]

In the meantime, in Nolan's absence, Irisa can't accept the torture ritual and she rescues Elah Bandik. With the help of Tommy, a Deputy Lawkeeper, they arrest Elah as a way to protect him. Datak is furious and tries to retrieve him. Amanda, Nolan and Rafe get there just in time to prevent further violence. Datak agrees to leave things as they are due to the memorial service that is held for the people who died defending the town and they could talk their custom differences later.[2]

While the memorial service is held, Rafe tries to mourn, but he is struggling to comprehend what Ben told him about Luke before he died. He searches Luke's room and he discovers money, maps, and a strange golden object.[2]

At the end of the episode, we see Elah Bandik having one last meal with his family, before he departs with Datak. Subsequently, he is discovered dead in front of the lawkeeper's office.[2]


Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan
Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater
Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr
Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Graham Greene as Rafe McCawley
Dewshane Williams as Tommy LaSalle
Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll
Justin Rain as Quentin McCawley
Jesse Rath as Alak Tarr
Nicole Muñoz as Christie McCawley
Fionnula Flanagan as Nicolette Riordan
Douglas Nyback as Ben Daris
Robert Clarke as Elah Bandik
Steven McCarthy as Solomon Birch
Dominic Cuzzocrea as Shigustak Kurr
Kevin Shand as Nak
Rob Archer as Ulysses


  • Tag und Nacht (Night And Day) by Comedian Harmonists is playing when Stahma visits Christie at the diner.
  • Come As You Are by Civil Twilight is playing in the last scene.