Dominion Review: The Flood
So the good thing about Dominion is that they knew they had to spend a few episodes letting Alex be headstrong and stubborn about being the Chosen One so they’ve loaded these episodes with interesting tidbits about other characters. I believe that’s why I’ve been enjoying these episodes even though Alex is still being a crybaby about being the Chosen One. This episode is definitely filler but I believe it’s giving us more pieces to a larger puzzle with other characters. I think that's one of the hardest thing about reviewing episodes of TV Shows. You can't just look at it in a vacuum. Each episode is just a piece of a larger puzzle. So while yes, this episode is "filler", I think it's quality filler. Only 4 episodes in and this show is still setting up it's characters and subplots. There's still a lot going on in this episode but you have to pay attention to see it.
One Dysfunctional Family
One of the most obvious themes from this show is that this war between Humans and Angel is all because of an absentee father (God). The show’s official Twitter account even confirmed this when tweeted it out on Thursday. Since their father isn’t around to settle things, Michael and Gabriel have drawn lines in the sand and are battling it out. Now they’ve thrown in a third sibling, Michael & Gabriel’s sister Uriel, and the plot thickens. Uriel is definitely more grey area than her brothers. By the end of the episode it’s clear she’s playing both sides but the question is “why”? She literally uses the same line to each of her brothers so now I want to know what her motives are. Is she leaning more towards Michael? Gabriel? Or does she have her own ulterior motives? She also could just be playing both sides to see who is more likely to succeed and is going to wait to lend her sword to the winning side.
A couple of things stood out on the Angel front for me. One, what is in Michael’s past and what is he hiding? I’m pretty sure he was not always this human loving savior he’s playing now. Truth is, I get a hint of “I’m doing this because this is right, not because you humans are really worth it” when he interacts with humans. Then again, when he interacts with the counsel he’s interacting with some real assholes (Whele & Riesen) so that could be that. The second question I have is about the piece of Furiad’s sword that was removed from Michael. He seemed to be very concerned about getting that piece back and at the end of the episode Becca seemed to discover something while looking at it under a microscope.
Alex Finally Embracing His Destiny
I’ve seen some reviews that have said they’re “rushing” Alex’s story but that’s one of the things I like so far about this show. Fourth episode in and by the end of the episode Alex is ready to embrace his destiny. Good. I think I wouldn’t enjoy this show as much if they stretched that out over the whole season. It’s not like we haven’t seen growth from this character in this short time either. Alex gets arrested for desertion and he smartly picks a fight so he can be put in isolation. He wanted to keep himself separated from those he loved so that he doesn’t bring harm to them. Claire points out that his behavior is similar to what his own father did. I think that little talk made Alex realize that he can’t run from what he is. Also when General Riesen executes Thomas Frost, I think it’s another wakeup call for Alex that the people in charge of Vega aren’t running the city with the people’s best interests in mind.
I think that by getting Alex to this point so early, the rest of the season can explore other things with him. One obviously being what the Tattoos represent but also what the prophecy is. When Michael, Uriel and Gabriel were talking, it’s clear that while Alex is the Chosen One, he can apparently either save humanity or destroy it. Gabriel seems very confident that once Alex learns the “truth” about Michael that Alex will come to Gabriel willingly.
Thomas Frost is Fed Up
I normally don’t read other reviews before doing mine but sometimes I forget a character’s name and I need to look it up. That was the case with Senator Thomas Frost. I kept forgetting what his name was so I ended up looking at the IGN review for this episode. There I found out not only the Senator’s name but that the IGN reviewer didn’t like this whole hostage situation. They said there was no immediate threat to Vega. I disagree. I might have missed the Senator’s name, but I do know that this was more than just holding Whele and Riesen hostage. He was threatening to destroy the City’s food supply. That’s huge for Vega. We know there’s a caste system in place with the people who are at the bottom struggling to eat. Hell, when Alex first revealed himself to Frost, Frost didn’t believe him because Alex is only a V2 (I believe a V2, I know he’s considered low).
Besides the threat to the food supply, I think the most important part of this situation was showing how Whele and Riesen are just two desperate old men struggling to maintain power. There is a lot of good dialogue between Whele and Riesen (as well as both of them with Frost). It gives us more of these characters who we know are shady. Particularly Riesen. Whele we knew was evil or at least heavily leaning that way (and what he does at the end of the episode just doubles down on that). For a while I thought maybe Riesen was just doing this to protect Claire and ensure that she has a position when he dies. But with the reveals we’ve been getting about him (his Angel lover and agreeing with Whele to kill the techs), I think he’s just as bad as Whele. He didn’t hesitate to execute Frost. Alex represents a threat to Whele and Riesen. They can’t kill him but they’re going to try to keep him a secret from the rest of the city. I get the idea of not wanting to start a panic but remember, Frost only went this route because he knew Whele and Riesen were purposely hiding information. Originally I thought David Whele might be a grey area character but now I’m thinking it might end up being William. He had a hot 16 when he told his father “Alex Lannen is destined to save all mankind, not two old men past their prime”. #WilliamBars and very very valid.
Did He Really Just Do that?
Anthony Head is killing this role. Literally. His mocking of Frost in the Senate chambers was up ther with Bill Paxton on Agents of SHIELD revealing he was Hydra. David Whele is ruthless. After Riesen killed Frost, I wondered what would happen to Bixby. Hell, I questioned that the minute Frost said that he overheard Bixby talking to Claire about the Chosen One. They killed the techs by lion because they were in the room when Alex was revealed. Now for the part where I show my aintshitness: I’m glad. Look, this show is moving along pretty well. But there was no room for a kid. I mean there’s always a chance they reveal that she didn’t die but I’m hoping they don’t. Her death could be used to motivate Alex to become the leader the people need. I think it was a ruthless but much needed move for the show. It’ll show Alex that even when he’s trying to keep himself away from folks, they can still get hurt. Still a cold move.
Overall another solid episode for this show. Not as much action or fast paced as previous episodes but I think the characters are strong enough that it keeps me engaged while they build up this story with Alex being the Chosen One. I’m interested in seeing what they do with Sgt. Noma Walker. Arika seemed to pick up that she was hiding something and wants her to go back to Helena with her. Don’t know what’s going on with that but I want to see more of these secondary characters. Right now I’m feeling the same way about Dominion as I did with the first season of Defiance. It’s not perfect and can use some work but if they continue to lay this ground work for these side stories and characters, the second season can take off running like Defiance has. Some might think averaging a B for a first season is a bad thing but I think this show has a very solid foundation and will start bringing it all together by the end of the season.