I mean, we think of the Casti a certain way so it gives it a negative spin -- and more importantly, reifies what we already think of Stahma, which I think is pretty off-base anyway, because I believe she is one of the more honest people in Defiance, if you listen to what she's really saying, rather than the words that come out of her mouth -- and it goes back to the shittier parts of their culture, the hypocrisy and the evils they brought with them. But it's also true.
And so if you bring those two things together, the idea of touching the past without being stuck in it, and then over here the idea that style and substance end up being the same thing, you come to a new situation w/r/t to the cultural makeup and future of Defiance, which is that these sort of David Bowie ideas, about the future making a break with the past and we're all these magical teenage aliens with the world in our hands, are only half of the story. The other half of the story is where we came from, and what it still says inside of us: And ultimately, how hard you have to fight, in the confusion and recurring misery and general hassle of the everyday, to hold onto that at all.
Because ideas, traditions, don't die. At best they're transmuted. There's a reason the Hierophant comes after the Emperor in Tarot: You can't get so stuck fighting the Emperor that you never make it to the Hierophant, because that's where his redemption is and that's where yours is too. You have to always fight forward, into the future, but you can't let that take you off track from finding the gold in the past too, and bringing it forward. Integrating all of the parts of ourselves is the way we forge the new thing, and that means going back for stuff we left behind.
And this hour in particular, you really see that come into play: Alak Tarr's romantic rebellion is about tearing apart his parents' values -- both class and religious -- and moving forward, because fuck the old world. But Irisa's rebellion is no kind of rebellion at all: She holds the past and the future in her hands like live electric cables, and has to be strong enough to hold onto them for the rest of her life. Just so.
The Spirit Riders are out when the thunder starts, so they're the first ones that see the razor rain coming. It's not real rain -- although there's a storm, too -- but just chunks of the artificial ring around the planet that resulted from the start of the Pale Wars, all the pieces of the Arks full of dead colonists and wondrous old technology, also dead (mostly). A sad reminder of all the death that never needed to happen.