Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 4: A Bitter Truth

Noma is tied to a chair and terrified of a big spectral head. Bad CGI scares me too Nora

Did I mention how much I hate this whole “show the middle of an episode then flash back to the beginning” prologue nonsense? Because I really do loathe it – and we’re now going back 5 hours earlier.

In New Delphi, Julian (Lire) tries to sell Alex the idea of humans and angels collaborating – especially since even if they kill Gabriel, the gazillion low level angels on Earth are too many to kill. Perhaps, surprisingly, Noma is the one to object to leaving 8 Balls in the bodies they stole. Alex is more concerned with taking down Gabriel no matter what and he’s not happy that Julian is ready to protect his city rather than go on a crusade against the angels that have destroyed the planet. Alex also suspects Julian has no intention of forming an alliance with Vega and is lying.

They brainstorm why Julian would lie with Pete adding nothing useful because he’s so far out of his depth (with an added problem that no-one can know about the Exorcism Hug since a city full of 8 Balls may find that problematic). Riesen is also clear that New Delphi is definitely strong – much much more powerful than Vega ever was so they do have an army to offer.

To let Alex snoop, Riesen arranges to speak to Julian, city leader to city leader. Alex and Noma go snooping despite Noma’s very bad feeling and they find a huge warehouse full of a gazillion frozen people – armed people standing still holding weapons.

When Alex and Noma return to Riesen Julian tells them about his army – 8 Balls in stasis. But while they were snooping, Julian took Pete.

He takes them to Pete and describes New Delphi’s history – how a pack of 8 Balls saved the humans from a higher angel which began the collaboration. By capturing  higher angel, they also learned something else – how to help lower angels who WEREN’T powerful enough to possess humans to find a body. He shows off his ancient amphora and uses it to have a lower angel possess Peter. Again, I guess. He intends to use it on Noma and Alex. I suspect this will not work.

Noma is put in the chair next for an angel to possess. Except lower angels certainly cannot possess higher ones – she breaks free and gets out her wings. She and Alex grab the amphora and run. But Alex hasn’t given up with an alliance though

Julian goes back to Riesen who is a) not particularly impressed that Noma is an angel since New Delphi is full of angels and b) wouldn’t inform on his soldiers anyway. Riesen gives some unhelpful advice.

As Alex and Noma go – Noma has a moment of utter horror and disgust at the vileness of possession, how utterly terrible it is – she wants to use the Amphora, death, to destroy the whole city. It’s the 5th Amphora, the Amphora of darkness (which draws lower angels because it’s one of the last remnants of God’s powers). She also reveals that only an angel can use it (which should tell them something about Julian). The Amphora will destroy the city and everything within 100 miles.

So it’s off to speak to Julian with the Amphora in hand – in Noma’s hand. In the argument, they see Julian’s eyes turn black and Noma calls him a “Diad” – half human, half higher angel, living in the same body. And he wants to save his brothers from the penal system created by the Archangels – he wants to kill the Archangels. Which is fine, so does Alex.

Gabriel is facing his own rebellion – Janek, his second in command, is losing faith in Gabriel bringing back god, especially after they found Uriel’s body in the bombing (so the bombing did kill someone – well, the actress not wanting to continue did anyway). Gabriel is now the saddest of pandas and decides to unleash a magical beating on his minion who decides to be obedient.

Claire and Gates meet up again and he tells us all about baseball – reminding us that there are people alive who remember life before the apocalypse (which, as I said last week, is a mistake). He doesn’t know what Zoe and her little gang of rebels have taken and are keeping in a box. But she seems to have been followed which is against the rules and protections. Watching the CCTV they see that the man is an angel… the guy sent by Gabriel to kill her. And he cuts the power so they can’t call for help.

So they’re stuck in their bunker hoping the angel can’t get in. I quite like Gates absolutely refusing to play sunny and nice or positive or optimistic. Some shelving falls and squishes Gates’s leg which they really don’t need.

When she manages to pull him up they find the angel is actually battering down the door with his wings. So they electrify the door. Which the angel finds irritating but not much more.

Claire urges him to think of something to help and he kisses her. That is not helping. Romance sub-plot, totally need this. He also tells us how Gates managed to basically make Vega work after Riesen recruited him.

With some plotting they manage to lock the angel inside and blow it up while they run off.

Michael is being followed by lazy CGI who have no idea how wings work. He’s belatedly looking for Noma after the message she sent and finds Gabriel – who claims Alex died in the bombing, along with Uriel. Michael gets all angry and stabby about this before deciding it’s be better to punch out his emotions.

After this, Gabriel admits that Alex is alive. But, no, Uriel is dead. They return to their debate about whether god will come back if they kill off humanity: including Gabriel’s belief that the markings went to Michael and he gave them to Alex. Anyway they want those markings so it’s off to New Delphi as a team. All very shaky.

David has been thrown in the prison/slum/awful place where he is not popular. He has his hallucination son for company at least to taunt him for losing everything. He gets kidnapped by someone unknown, his son William is a whole lot more fun as a hallucination. They also debate faith – the irony that David lost his faith just when the angels existence proved it was real.

He’s been kidnapped by Zoe and her rebels. They plan to kill David as some kind of recorded demonstration. They beat him while listing him many many many many many, oh-so-many, sins. Before they kill him though he begs for his life – and offers a safe place he knows to shelter their revolution. Zoe decides to keep him around.

Until he finds the safe place and then they consider killing him again – so he offers the codes to the food supplies. While they’re doing that David manages to grab a gun and disarm Zoe and her henchman. He rants at them about his faith and what he did as a preacher, in between arguing with his hallucination son (noticed by a rather worried Zoe). He then shoots his hallucination and puts on his best machination hallucination face.

He calls on Zoe to accept his help and advice to turn her rebellion into an awesome and powerful force – and hands Zoe the gun.

William the ghost is actually much more fun that he was before – mocking and taunting and raising lots of nifty questions and philosophies and nicely bringing in David’s history as well. Even if they tormented by hallucinatory dead people is a very tired trope, I like this one (I also like any time I see an actor play a role completely differently form before).

David is back in the game. He does play evil machinations well.

Michael and Gabriel’s collective angst make me think that both of them should be moping around writing bad poetry. Their wardrobes don’t help.  Michael and Gabriel co-operating is just bizarre

I knew Uriel was leaving the show because of the actress – but I still think it’s a shame because she and Arika had some nifty plots going on which, it seems, is now going to be abandoned along with any overt depiction of same-sex romance (Uriel and Ethan have both left the show – if you remember who Ethan was, leaving Arika as the remaining LGBT character – so we shall have to see how Arika is portrayed).

I hope they address Noma’s objection to possession more – because it’s interesting that she is so outraged and horrified by the vileness of it, the violation of it – but Alex seems pretty happy to just look the other way so long as it gets what he wants. I want them to analyse that more