Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 9: The Seed of Evil

David is all confused because Claire has sent in the full army to crush the resistance, they’ve lost the armoury, they’ve lost the agri towers. In desperation, David calls on them to rise up and use the one advantage they have left – overwhelming numbers. The V1s are a huge underclass compared to the V6s and can overwhelm their attackers with numbers. He’s also trying to escape because Arika give shim up because he knows she most certainly will do so. Because he would as well

Am I the only one who thinks David and Arika working together would be a) awesome and b) terrifying?

David tries to rally as many soldiers as he can – and it’s clear he’s not that popular among all the V1s either. He tries to find some civilians to hide among as human shields. A building full of people – all listening to the newly returned William Wheele sermonising about being the chosen one. This confuses David for a moment who thinks his hallucinations are acting up

He pushes to the front and reconcile with his son who has a full blown Jesus complex. Literally. While David is just stunned and grateful and apologetic.

Back to Michael Alex and Noma still travelling, endlessly, towards Vega. They’re being attacked by 8 ball suicide bombers from Julian’s army – Noma and Michael speculate they’ve been offered angel bodies to come back in (which Noma considers impossible but an easy lie). They find that Julian’s huge army of 8 Balls is already preparing around Vega. Most of them are in stasis, but Alex’s clumsiness wakes them up – they fight clear but now Michael suddenly collapses and they have to carry him as all the 8 Balls wake up

In Vega, Arika does just that, telling Claire she knows where David is. They talk about Zoe who Claire shot last episode – who Arika says is just like Claire, an idealist, and both of them should have killed David long ago. She tells them that it was David who arranged the sniper who shot Claire (Did I miss something? Didn’t they figure this out 2 episodes ago? Have they just realised none of this makes sense if Claire realises David was the one behind the sniper so retconned in some ignorance?). Of course this makes Claire all sad and guilty

She also asks why Arika betrayed her and her answer is simple – for Helena. And she’s not impressed that Claire is just far too sympathetic and nice unlike her and Riesen: they’re “fierce pragmatists”. This also compares to Arika’s father who was, apparently, also all sympathetic.

Which calls to a flashback to 20 years ago with a young Arika, her father and their colleagues who are performing dangerous aid missions despite Arika’s fears. They were besieged by angels and had an injured party member who some wanted to use as bait so they could escape. Something her father adamantly opposed. In the end, the angels kills her dad and many of their colleagues – saved only by Arika stepping up and killing several angels. She does promise revenge against a man who betrayed her, though her father wishes she wouldn’t.

In the present. In the prison Daria is despairing but, really, Arika’s on your side it’s far too early to give up.

When Claire and Gates are alone she has her predictable regret and angst about killing Zoe when David was the one at fault (well… Zoe was the one who led the armed rebellion. This depends on whether Claire is upset as a ruler because someone is trying to bring war to her city or, as it appears, upset over her miscarriage).

Gates was poisoned by Arika and he is definitely feeling it and coughing up blood. He, not very sensibly, decides to hide the fact even as he realises that Arika is behind his illness. Don’t they have doctors? Apparently not because he decides to confront Arika rather than seek medical attention.

Her deal is clear – free them and take them to Helena where he will be their useful guest. Of course Gates is going to have to think on that and he returns to Claire where they are winning the war – when a new alarm goes off, 8 Balls at the wall. And the cameras show Michael, Noma and Alex hurrying to the city

Unable to get there in time, they stop to fight. Seeing this, Claire orders troops to help even though it opens up a hole in her lines against David’s forces. For Alex she will still do it.

The soldiers arrive in time to stop Alex and Noma being overwhelmed and Alex and Noma have a celebration kiss – watched by Claire on the cameras

Love triangles, love triangles everywhere!

They’re let into the city with a round of applause (hey is the civil war still going on while you have a time out)

And Gates, while despairing, goes to Airka’s room and finds the antidote – she’s not the only smart person around. He doesn’t need her cure – and he has moved up her execution while declaring his endless loyalty to Claire. Arika’s not even slightly worried because she’s Arika.

With the hole in Claire’s lines, the rebel successfully capture the power plant. David is exalted and wants to go lead the forces but, instead, William wants him to stay and eat with him. David agrees to dinner break

The civil war I going all kinds of odd because neither side is making it their first priority.

And there’s a woman with a shiny gun hunting David. Because we need more plot lines.

Time for Claire and Alex to have a reuinion scene because, again, no-one is actually paying attention to the war they’re fighting. She tearfully (and apologetically?) tells him about losing the baby

While Noma and Michael talk and Noma is a little bitter that Alex seems to have run right back to Claire’s arms. She bitterly asks that, without her wings or Alex, what does she have? Michael says she has honour, he says it in angelic – because maybe it sounds les like bullshit that way,

Perhaps overcome with said bullshit he collapses – while having an image of the mysterious man who can burn 8 balls. That man has gone to Mallory – where he is hailed as their returning prophet

In New Delphi Julian has the Amphora and is still tormenting Gabriel. Julian intends to use the Amphora to possess Gabriel, dripping it’s contents into Gabriel’s eye. He suffers while saying over and over that Michael will definitely come back and save him even as Julian mocks him for not being the favoured son and how Michael had totally betrayed him. Gabriel hallucinates Michael telling him that Alex has replaced him. Gabriel breaks and bleeds black goo from his eyes.

Julian claims victory and possesses the Archangel. Or tires to anyway. Whatever else, Gabriel is still an Archangel which is a whole lot more powerful than Julian. Not only does Gabriel resist possession but he commands Julian’s mind (as he’s done with angels before) and uses him to free himself. With an epic speech about how awesome he is, he stabs Julian and claims the Amphora while leaving

Alas Julian is still alive and has a box full of special stuff. When Gabriel returns looking for Julian (why why why why did he leave them come back looking for him?!) Julian is gone. Gabriel is the new master of the angelic armies of New Delphi. He now decides he wants to kill Michael and the amphora has done something unfortunate to him

The whole civil war on Vega has been handled so poorly. They’ve turned it into an actual war without ever considering the complexities and realities of such a class war. Like the soldiers – are they all V6? I doubt it. So who are these people pressed into service and do they not have conflicting loyalties? What about the people who make Claire’s food, clean her floors, the staff who grow food. What about the V2s-V5s where do they stand? You can’t just present them as two different sides in a conflict which is this involved and layered.

And that’s aside from the basic truth that they have a legitimate grievance that Claire once said she agreed with but seems to have largely been forgotten – now they’re just evil David’s minions. With Zoe out of the picture this has just become even more of a David vs Claire issue – a battle between two V6s

This whole Michael vs Gabriel thing is slightly bizarre. I can get the complex relationship – but the idea that Gabriel expects loyalty from Michael now after they’ve fought on opposite sides of the apocalypse seems odds. Sure I can see why both sides would think the other would never directly act against them – but rescue? I’ll file it under complicated

I am glad Noma was bitter here – she has sacrificed so much and worked so hard, she deserves more, she deserves better and she deserves some acknowledgement. I’m glad she’s not just nobly accepting service and sacrifice as natural or required of her.

I’m glad Alex & co are back in Vega if just to bring some of these plot lines together a bit more. Except we still have Julian around. Arika is branching off – and now we have this woman hunting David and David and William’s reunion? And now the prophet as well? Too many plots!