Although it is far from a perfectly contrived drama, Defiance has its moments of high emotions and rising fear. Tommy (Jan Michael Vincent) takes up temporary housing in a New York neighborhood plagued by a violent gang, the Souls. Tommy is waiting for his next assignment as a seaman and though he tries to avoid the gang and his neighbors, it does not work. Soon he is single-handedly battling the Souls and not only changing their attitudes, but the attitudes of his previously intimidated neighbors as well. They quickly back him up as the one person who can make the neighborhood safe again.