Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 10: House of Sacrifice

Michael has fainted and now has been transported to Mallory in local garb. In the church he is greeted by The Prophet. The Prophet talks about order, rules and solitaire (and virtually paints a neon sign saying “hey, I’m god!”. Prophet isn’t all that pleased by Michael derailing his human sacrifice rules – and now wants Michael dead because he did swear to sacrifice himself and all. He has a dagger of empyrean steel for Michael to do the deed

But Michael is more concerned that The Prophet saved Noma in the Wasteland and, more importantly, is interested in Alex. He grabs the Prophet who chides him for being violent “in his father’s house” but Michael objects to the idea that this is God’s house because human sacrifice is too old school, god doesn’t do that any more. He is sure that The Prophet is getting his power from somewhere other than god

Either way, The Prophet has a simple demand – either Michael dies or the Mallory fire goes out and everyone there dies.

Michael decides to play a game for his life – and The Prophet agrees. They play poker while they talk about Alex – the prophecy of which says he can be a healer OR destroyer. Michael, of course, believes healer. The Prophet almost wins and offers Michael the chance to be spared but doom Mallory. But Michael continues to play because he “has faith” he belongs with the Chosen One. He wins the match.

The Prophet pulls some golden light out of Michael – and says it’s not over until Michael brings the Prophet to him.

His body is actually comatose in Vega much to Noma and Alex’s shock (wait… is Michael wearing a fishnet shirt? I do admire an archangel who has a thing for sexy fetishwear).

Claire and her council are all kind of worried because them completely ignoring the civil war last episode has led to David and his rebel minions taking the nuclear reactor. Gates and Alex cross antlers of course because WOMAN. They both demand Claire support their plans – and Claire sides with Gates because his idea (not having a firefight in a nuclear reactor) is better than Alex’s (boomy booomy ooooh shiny!)

Gates sets up a contact with a guy called Ramirez, a V2, ex-Archangel corps and part of David’s rebellion. Him being Archangel corps also gives Alex an excuse to take over negotiations. In the plant an alarm goes off indicating the plant is going to go boom in 2 hours. Alex tries to appeal to Ramirez but he’s quite happy to blow it all up to change the smoking crater that will be left in the aftermath. That means Gates has to go to the reactor to stop them all dying and Alex, of course, decides to take him.

Claire foolishly/wisely makes a deal with Arika – if she can bring David alive or dead (Claire doesn’t care which) then Arika may live. Gates isn’t a fan of this, telling Claire that Arika poisoned him. He didn’t tell her before to protect her.  Can we just kill the trope of men keeping important information from women for “their own good?” Kill it with fire please

Claire also takes the chance to tell Gates that Alex is the Chosen One. Gates is not a big fan of this idea. He is adamant that Alex is most certainly not the Chosen one

Alex makes his goodbyes to Noma, asking her to stay with the still comatose Michael. She’s having phantom pains from her lost wings – but moves on from that to console him for Claire’s miscarriage.

Alex and Gates and some soldiers go on their missions and Gates and Alex are still all antlers to each other, even as they enter a fire fight. Gates knows a back way into the control room which gets them there – and into a show down with Ramirez. Who ends up shot and killed because Alex and Gates fight (or pretend to fight. Or maybe not pretend)

But there is only one way to stop the core exploding – which involves Gates entering a radiation filled room to manually fix things. Effectively, he sacrifices himself and prevents Alex from following him. Alex protests saying he can do it (too late, Gates is already exposed): Gates has an epic speech about how keeping the power on in Vega has always been his job, it’s not Alex’s place to step in and take over.

He also tells Alex that the plant doesn’t have much time left anyway – he needs to lead the people of Vega to a new home. Yes even Gates has embraced the Chosen One narrative. Alex sets up the radio so Gates can make his goodbyes to Claire

David is with his son William in the bar still with William having a slap up meal (wait, the starving and resourceless V1s can go into a bar and order this huge burger?). David is trying to get William on side with the war and generally talk some sense, but William is too busy with his messiah complex. He’s here to cleanse the evil by god’s will and nothing’s going to stop him. They argue about repentance for a while but William isn’t convinced nor will he even accept being called by his name

While the ominous woman we saw last episode is contacted by Arika – and ordered to kill David. She tries, alas she fails. David demands she be killed but William is content to just tell her to go away. David stabs her. William doesn’t seem to approve.

David desperately appeals to William to come with him, genuinely seeming unable to abandon his son again. William refuses and says goodbye – David desperately, tearfully hugs him before leaving. He also seems sad to see his dad leave

David steps outside – to a whole squad of soldiers with guns and Claire Riesen. William then leaves the bar to watch – he had received a warning from the bar tender about the soldiers outside and had chosen not to warn David

To New Delphi with Edward the new Diad who is trying to adjust to what he is now (which angel did he merge with?) Clementine is there being his happy wife. He’s summoned to see his boss – his new boss, Gabriel (after Gabriel did Layeth the Smacketh down most righteously last episode).

Gabriel isn’t entirely untouched by the amphora being used on him, having black-eyed moments of rage. He is also focused on Michael because end of the world daddy-issues are now taking a back seat to sibling issues. Gabriel needs a family therapist in the worst way. Gabriel also tells him that Diads always have a dominant half – in Julian it was clearly Lire. So how is Riesen going to maintain his humanity with his new angel passenger? He orders Riesen to be released outside the city – because Riesen becoming an angel is “the ultimate surrender”. I can’t disagree.

Of course Edward Riesen isn’t having that and he uses his new Diad strength to kill the guards escorting him from the city – while Clementine protests, Edward insists he can’t leave Gabriel with the Amphora or Vega would be doomed.

Except Gabriel I waiting for him – and kidnaps Clementine. He realises that it’s his love that is allowing Edward to hold on against the angel inside him – and kills Clementine. With her dead Riesen loses the battle and the angel dominates. He is Duma – and loyal to Gabriel. He gives Gabriel the amphora

Aftermath, David is arrested, Michael is awake and Claire makes a grand speech to the people, among other things she’s abolishing the V system.

Michael checks Alex’s new tattoos, especially the star one he has. The Morning star. The symbol of Lucifer. He’s alive.

Which is when Gabriel unleashes the amphora on Vega.

Is it just me or did that episode feel like a season finale? The amphora is a classic cliffhanger, as is the revelation about Lucifer. The civil war has ended. It all felt very conclusion. I’m surprised there are so many episodes left

Hah I started writing a whole speculation on the Prophet being empowered by Lucifer (which makes sense because why would Lucifer be so silent with all this chaos going on?) and then had to delete it when my speculation was answered by the end of the episode! That’ll teach me for writing conclusion notes midway through the article!

I am pleased by this because it adds a new dimension, a new power beyond Gabriel’s angst and helps deal with a lot of the problems with Mallory – their system was cruel and evil and needed some analysis or countering or explaining which this nicely does

Of course, it does mean a potentially high power and prominent Black man on the show is literally in league with the devil – which leaves Noma (sidelined) and Arika (imprisoned though I suspect not for long) and Daria (imprisoned and sidelined) as racial representation. In terms of numbers it’s a few but it isn’t matched well with screen presence.

While I like Gates and Claire’s goodbye scene, it was very touching – the whole death of Gates feels like a convenient removal so we don’t have any competition between Claire and Alex (which also coincides with the benching and sidelining of Noma). I am also so very tired of the Chosen One Meme especially when he acts in such a very un-perfect way. If it weren’t for his tattoos there would be nothing special about him