Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Damien, Season 1, Episode 10: Ave Satani

Well… that certainly ended dramatically. With actual action rather than foreshadow as well!

Damien and Simone escape – mainly because Damien’s got his full demon powers going now. This means John’s army of minions (who would have been really helpful last episode) are happy to shoot themselves if they try to stop Damien. Random nice ladies cry “Damien I love you” and try to throw themselves off dams. He even accidentally makes Simone spit insects.

Despite my flippant tone, it’s so very very very spooky and terrifying. Damien has a whole lot of power and doesn’t quite know what he is doing beyond wanting all of this to end, unleashing poorly understood demonic power in terrifying waves.

Simone, however, is firm. She is staying with him. She managed to save a life, she has a front row seat to the apocalypse and she isn’t going to go home and pretend it isn’t happening. Certainly not when she can make a difference, even if minor.

I like this – I like why Simone is here effectively as Damien’s second. Because it’s not about him, not as a love interest – she is there for everyone around Damien. She is there, yes, to try and keep Damien back from the edge but it’s clearly for the world, for others, for the innocents in his wake.

Ann and the Nun who killed her daughter have a few theological debates. Well, it’s more “god god god” “satan satan satan” “GOD!” “SATAN!” “GOD!” “Satan! And poking your stab wound! Ha!” Wounded nun ends up being dropped in the grave – with wounded Amani (John has him shot for… reasons. I don’t even know). They’re then both buried alive

But as they leave, a hand thrusts out of the dirt. I hope it’s Amani… maybe. I mean it’d be nice if he didn’t die, but his depiction this season has been entirely as Damien’s servant which… no. He had no real character there, no real presence beyond as an extension of Amani. It’s a broken depiction and a non-person portrayal which is so common for POC and other marginalised characters

With much running in the dark and spookiness, John, Ann and their army catch Damien – and we see a difference between Ann and John. Ann worships Damien in all his satanic glory. John worships Damien for the power it will grant him – and John gets eaten by demon dogs. That’ll learn him! No fake devotion here! You’re in or you’re dog food.

Also present at the big confrontation is James – the cop who is being driven to despair and distraction by endless hallucination and mind games by the demonic forces. This depiction is interesting – I don’t like this character and, honestly I don’t really even understand why he is there since he seems so separate from the plot only appear to be tormented a little more and then a bit more and then some more for no real indication why. BUT, he is a gay man, completely absent of any gay tropes and he’s the first gay character I’ve seen on any of our shows with a family. So points on all levels

And he lives, which is definitely more than I expected. Honestly, I had a death clock running. He tries to kill Damien… and hits Simone

Which breaks Damien- he raises his blood stained hands to the sky and in scary demon voice finally pledges his soul to the power of darkness. Blood from his 666 brand drips down his face, covered in Simone’s blood, and lands on Simone’s body

And Simone lives. We have official all powerful Damien here. And he was willing to give up his soul and humanity for a Black woman (I am desperately forcing THIS framing rather than it’s the FAULT of a Black woman and a gay man. My framing is better. Also while he’s evil he may also be much much much much more interesting than this season).

You can also see James’s brain just CRACK with that scene. He falls to his knees not so much in devotion so much because everything just turns off. There is a huge squad of minions all gathering to kneel and worship as well

This episode actually leaves me a little more hopeful for the next season – because season 1 left me bored RIGID

We had so much foreshadowing for no reason – I mean, everyone here knew what Damien is. Everyone. A whole season of angst, ominous chanting and mentally ill people as props was grossly unnecessary. The endless scenes of foreshadowing and dramatic tension and darkness and entire scenes of poor Bradley James emoting at a camera while NOTHING HAPPENED (and full points to him, he did an awesome job of it – but ye gods that was hard and dull).

Now the demon is out of the bag – the Vatican is at war, time to tear into some cardinals! Bring on the action!