Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 5: Son of the Fallen

New Delphi is under attack from Angels (Michael and Gabriel among them) while Julian, again, tries to get Alex to join his Archangel killing side. He wants his amphora back – something General Riesen, Alex and Noma are not mad fans of. Alex also has a trump card – he’s quite willing to use the amphora right now, wipe out the city AND Gabriel at the same time (yes, including himself).

Julian cracks and shows them his secret lab where he thinks he can trap and study Gabriel to see how to kill him – since no-one has killed an archangel before (these guys don’t know about Uriel. But it does amuse me that they consider killing an Archangel to be some arcane process when apparently “explosions” is the answer).

Nome and Alex go to see, Alex kissing a doubting Noma first. They enter the city, filled with bodies and Alex runs into Michael. It comes with a flashback of when Alex was a desperate V1 orphan (lowest class of Vega’s vicious class system) and Michael saved him. This is all to add poignancy to Michael and Alex’s reunion.

Michael invites Alex to come with him and Gabriel because Julian, a Diad, is far too dangerous. Alex is unsurprisingly unthrilled to learn that Michael and Gabriel are working together. It isn’t exactly a good sales pitch “Julian is dangerous so you must trust the man who tried to wipe out humanity”

Riesen is left to guard Julian who has a tempting offer for the old general – become a Diad and he will stop aging, stop dying (Riesen is dying of heart disease). Riesen doesn’t want to play flesh-room-mate with an angel. Noma returns to find Riesen on the ground and Julian free – either Julian beat the human or Riesen accepted the deal

Julian goes to Alex to try and convince him Michael isn’t his friend - and that Michael could have ended the war at any time by just killing Gabriel. The brotherhood between the Archangels is just too big for them to turn against each other. He wants Alex to lead Michael into a trap so they can kill Gabriel. Alex decides to threaten to kill Julian which won’t actually achieve anything.

Michael and Gabriel are already at odds – they know Julian is a Diad and Gabriel puts the city in lockdown, trapping all the humans within.  This rather annoys Michael since he wants to get Alex out, while Gabriel just wants to kill everyone especially since he considers the city a threat. Michael stabs him. That’s one way to end an argument. Injured, Gabriel can’t walk or fight – only fly away, leaving Michael to do his thing.

After another flashback of Michael being all parental to Alex as a little boy which makes it all sadder when Alex lures Michael into a trap. Michael is trapped under a net with Alex being all “sad but I have to” until Noma arrives and she is Not Amused and takes down a couple of guards. He tells her his plan and how he has to trust Julian even though she’s very doubtful of the whole thing.

Which is when Gabriel appears, limping badly. Everyone attacks, including Alex and Noma. All fail dismally. Michael begs for Alex’s life and Gabriel asks the very good question “is there anything this boy could do that would turn you against him?” Gabriel is supremely tired of this and decides to save his family and kill Alex. Michael pleads for their father’s message and Gabriel (who is really hitting out the pointed lines this episodes) asks what the point of the message is if no-one can actually read it?

Alex is saved when Julian and a crew of his angel friends attack with an anti-angel garrotte. Alex thinks now id the time to kill Gabriel – but Julia, or rather, the angel Lire, wants to do some gloating first, making sure they all know who he really is and what he did. While gloating Gabriel manages to fight a bit before being recaptured (they have nifty metal anti-angel nets), giving Michael chance to escape. So he can go and have angsting flashbacks.

In Vega, Claire, Gates and Arika have lunch (with Claire and Gates being lovey dovey much to Arika’s less than pleased look – jealousy or her not finding it politically expedient?) and Claire thinks she’s being very clever by announcing a bounty on Zoe’s life. Arika is ominously silent.

Zoe, of course, is now joined by David Wheele where he objects to their plan to blow up buildings – since in the modern dystopia those buildings are pretty much irreplaceable and destroying them does none of them any good. Their arguments are interrupted by a gun man attacking – who David kills with a gun he manages to grab. Zoe and Jasper are shocked that one of their own attacked – and they find the bounty on Zoe’s head.

But Jasper has been badly injured and needs medical attention. Even without the bounty, as a V1 there are few medical resources, the clinics are understaffed and overwhelmed with cases. Zoe suggests negotiating a truce with Claire to get him help – but with that bounty they only one they can trust to send is David – who helpfully points that out.

Claire hears of their plan to negotiate and Arika points out she needs to send an emissary to the talk – herself, she has experience in putting down rebellions in Helena.

Time for the meet up – David vs Arika for medical supplies and Arika (who, we have to remember, is supremely awesome) quickly gets rid of David’s guard/handler. Once alone David begs to have his name cleared and his position restored and spills all he knows – the huge amount of explosives Zoe has, the truck she stole and her plan to blow up one of the casinos where Claire lives. Arika tells David to bring them their truck of explosives – and David will have his reputation restored and be raised to a V3 or above. He has three hours to do it.

Claire is wary of trusting David but also adamantly refuses to evacuate and give the impression she’s running away. While stressing over this she has pregnancy pains and is quickly hurried to get medical help. All sorted Arika leaves – and Gates realises that Claire is pregnant and he wonders who the father is. Claire has a moment of grief over Alex and Gates says that, if Alex truly loved her, he would be there. Something of a point, but it also says that love should be the main priority which isn’t always true any time, and especially not in a dystopian world.

Meanwhile Arika has some personal time with Claire’s doctor – Daria who admires Uriel’s art work (which Arika is kept though is very cagey about – as well as being dismissive of her relationship with Uriel). Arika and Daria are a couple. Daria demands her trust as well as her affection; it also gives them chance to talk about their plan to kill Claire and take over the city. Ah, Arika is back on form. She also threatens Daria who tells her that Helena is also in trouble and growing desperate – they need a new home.

David returns to Zoe and she handcuffs him for having failed – and decides to speed up her bombing plans. David isn’t done yet though and he kills his guard (Sacrificial Black Extra) and manages to steal the truck and the explosives. He contacts Claire and is very very crafty over the radio and slightly disturbing and mocking of Claire’s naivety – because he’s seen that the city is very divided between the V1s and the higher class. He decides this may be how it needs to be

He hangs up – and invites Jasper to join him in bringing down the city with big explosions.

Zoe returns to find them gone. He contacts Jasper who passes her to David who tells her to do what she’s told – and get all the V1s out of the tunnels where he is putting bombs among the flammable gas pipes.

He V1s running and screaming attracts attentions – but not before the bombs explode much to David’s glee, opening a rift across the city and trapping the food on one side.

Either Dominion is planning on doing something very clever with Claire or it’s lost her way with her. She started out being one of the few higher ranks who cared about the V1s. She recognised the injustice of the system they had and wanted to fix it, wanted to change things

Yet, except for one failed attempt, she hasn’t actually done anything to change things. In fact, the defining feature of her rule so far has been to eliminate her rivals and to fight against a V1 rebellion. Now this could be a very clever statement on the corruption of power and Vega’s system that shows people who get in power just want to keep it first and foremost and/or that Vega’s system is so broken that those at the top of the ladder simply CANNOT change the status quo because they end up expending so much of their time and energy holding on to the throne.

OR the writers could just be expecting us to see the V1s – especially now David is in charge, as the enemy and the whole class war that they still allude to, is just a background detail to another David vs Claire match. I’m hoping this isn’t the case because they do still allude to the V1s, how hungry they are, how they are without medical supplies. There

David remains… interesting. I don’t know now what his motive actually is or (because of the depiction of mental illness in the genre and in larger media) whether he even has one. But I do see him an Arika as fascinating and dangerous opponents aimed at Claire, they intend to take over and they’re so cunning and ruthless that Claire’s established power won’t do very much to actually protect her

I am glad to see Daria and Arika together and hope this goes well. From the last season we’ve lost Ethan (a tiny bit part) and Uriel. Arika has also not been shown in any relationship – the LGBT content of this show has plummeted, it’s nice to see some movement against this.