Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Damien, Season 1, Episode 8: Here is Wisdom

Can I say again how slow this series is? I mean we’re on episode 8 now and I was actually stunned to realise how far into the season we are and I really can’t see how we’ve managed 8 episodes of content out of this… I mean looking back, was there really enough?

Damien’s therapy isn’t going really well, he continues to be super conflicted and tortured and lost. Hi therapist pokes him with some very interesting comments about choice and predestination and basically how Damien is almost accepting the inevitability of him being evil without actually seeing he has a choice. And more, with that lack of understanding he has a choice, he’s denying his own responsibility for whatever happens.

Damien himself also raises some interesting elements on his potential PTSD which would be really fascinating if he actually had PTSD and wasn’t actually the antichrist. Damien feels silly about having PTSD, he has seen so many people who have suffered incredibly that he feels selfish, shallow to actually have PTSD when he’s considers the terrible horrors he has seen people endure. This is a wonderful examination of both survivor’s guilt and how many people with PTSD are shamed because X person has it worse – like their pain is somehow less important because they are not the most suffering person in the entire world

This would be excellent, in fact all of these sessions with the doctor would be pretty good if it weren’t not just for him actually being demonic – but also because she is also on team cultist.

Damien is posted the severed tongue from his murderous friend Charles and after a brief meeting in which Charles declares his eternal devotion and also rambles terrifyingly about the apparently many people he’s killed for Damien (Damien seems to think this includes Kelly but, given the supernatural way she died I don’t think so). Damien absolutely loses it and beats Charles half to death.

But only half. He choses not to give into his desires to murder him. But, as he then asks the doctor – is that his good instincts telling him not to murder or his evil instincts making him preserve a serial killer? This conflict is also excellent –hey all the Damien psychological torture hasn’t been especially great until this episode but now it’s really fascinating to watch as the conflict builds and is legitimately difficult to unpick

Damien fed Charles to Detective James instead – and Charles is arrested, detained and examined by a psychiatrist… Damien’s psychiatrist. Having heard Damien wishes Charles was dead, she happily obliges in the name of Damien, stabbing Charles to death with a pen before being shot by Detective James. She leaves a suitably ominous note pad scrawled with “here is wisdom” just in case James isn’t freaked out enough

Which he well and truly is. He continues to pursue Damien, despite his boss telling him not to, his husband demanding he see a psychiatrist and his car magically bursting into flames and almost killing him. To top it all off, his child is now drawing spooky burning car pictures.

Damien seems to be aiming for themes of psychological instability, but it’s more reality instability – because all of their “delusions” are actually true. This isn’t mental illness, it’s gaslighting by supernatural powers. Which would still be interesting if it weren’t for the habit of using actual mentally ill people as spooky props.

Meanwhile Simone and Amani are hanging out with the spooky assassin nun (who totally isn’t an assassin honest, but does now have one of the magical devil killing blades). They compare notes on Ann Rutlidge being the big dark protector of Damien and Amani realises Veronica, his new lady love, is Ann’s daughter and has been playing him all along
He is Not Happy about this. He confronts her and she confesses all (except for the demon bits) and begs for forgiveness, professes her love and blames it all on her mother. Except she then tells her mother everything as well… and tries to investigate Assassin Nun for her. She’s a complex woman Veronica and I’m not sure what her motives are – nor am I likely to find out now since she stalks said nun, they struggle over a gun and Veronica gets shot… witnessed by Simone. And lo she descends into the fridge alongside Kelly and this show needs to step back away from dead love interests that can cause manpain

Unaware of his manpain cause yet, Amani has gone to Damien to profess his undying, eternal devotion, while Damien is totally sorry he got his loyal servant up to the neck in devil stuff. This relationship gets more tiresome.

Oh and Ann tries to kill her devil-slaying knife. God says no.