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Dominion S01E04: "The Flood"


We've all consumed enough popular culture to know that stories based on or inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey are pretty played out. The monomyth has done some great things for popular storytelling, but it's also an enormous crutch, particularly for stories about a supposed chosen one. Though it's not an exact application, Dominion's early roadmap for Alex has been reliant on the monomyth, and while that makes sense in a world like this one, it hasn't been terribly exciting. Watching characters run away from their supposed destiny and complain about the pain and strife they've caused doesn't make for consistently great TV. Christopher Egan has been doing his best, but the show's reliance on that framework is indicative of its somewhat bland—but mostly still enjoyable—nature. 

However, the positive spin to all this is that with "The Flood," Dominion expedited Alex's Hero's Journey, or at least recognized that it was no longer prudent to stall on that front. Amusingly, this was an episode that went through some rote plot mechanics to get Alex and the story to that important endpoint. The destination was compelling, but the journey? Not quite. 

The issue wasn't necessarily the thought; it was the execution. Having an overwhelmed Alex run away from Vega and the people he cares about in order to try to understand who he is and what he could be capable of is a fairly standardized mini-arc for a character of this type. But he had to come back sometime, and the show capitalized on Michael's injury as a way to make that happen. The episode's first act and a half tried to produce some hectic scenes to illustrate the confusion and danger that both Alex and Michael faced once they were back in Vega; the former was tossed into prison for desertion while the latter struggled to survive in the hospital. Unfortunately, everything happened so quickly that it never had any time to take hold. Of course Alex wasn't going to stay in prison for long, and of course Michael wasn't going to die, but "The Flood" burned through both of those plot pivots really rapidly, to the degree that all I could do was think about how orchestrated it all felt. The strings were a little too obvious.


That's the kind of weak plotting we see on TV all the time, however. Not an irredeemable issue. What worried me more was how and why Alex decided to sack up and reveal his identity, even to just one person in a crazy hostage situation. These magical tattoos are a tricky element, because in theory, Dominion's writers can have them serve any purpose that want. The first time the ink "told" Alex something, it was (for the writers) to drive a wedge between Alex and Michael. In this episode, he had a vision involving water and the line "SHE DIED FOR YOU." Of course, that line came back later to help Alex deal with the hostage-taker, Senator Frost, who decided he was tired of following the Whele and Riesen dynasties in a world where there should be a chosen one. 

While the penultimate scene of the episode made some kind of effort to suggest that Alex really has no idea what he's doing and that's the endearing part of his decision to step up, he also didn't do much of anything in making that decision, you know? The tattoos gave him a vision. He recited the information from that vision. He happened to be correct. It was a sequence that underscored the allure and power of the tattoos, but it didn't fully serve the character. Did he decide to interject himself into the hostage situation solely because of the tattoo-enabled vision, or because Claire gave him a kick-in-the-butt speech about how running from Vega made him very similar to his father? It's probably both, but "The Flood" focused more on the first thing and that's a dangerous precedent to set. The tattoos can't be the ultimate problem and the best solution whenever Dominion wants them to be. Alex isn't without agency, and it's good that the show didn't waste too much time on him whining about how everything is his fault. Nevertheless, if Dominion is going to spend time on the journey, this character needs to be more self-actualized, separate from the tats.


The procedural-y story at the center of all this, the hostage plot, was about as predictable as you can get. Part of the problem is that in 3.5 episodes, the show hadn't fully asked us to develop an emotional attachment to David Whele or General Riesen to the degree that it would be a bummer if they died. The scrambling to save them, including the bureaucratic discourse between Senator Thorn, Claire, and William Whele wasn't particularly engaging—but again, not miserably awful. However, the Senator Frost character was fine and the episode made up for some of the more generic stuff by the end of the hour, in hammering home that what Frost said was completely true: Whele and Riesen don't want to give up their power to the chosen one, or anyone else, and they're willing to do anything to keep it. They popped Frost after Alex walked him off the plank, and then Whele took it to another level by killing Bixby in the hospital, simply to close the circle on who knows about Alex's secret. You guys know that the show scored big points in my book by removing the kid from the equation, but this was quite the way to execute that plan. Angel-on-angel fight sequences only go so far. Dominion is going to have to survive by telling stories about the evils of man and raising questions about whether or not humans should be saved at all. So here again, "The Flood" pulled a few solid moments out of what were otherwise less successful plots. 

Up north, as the show likes to call it, the sibling conflict between Michael and Gabriel grew even more complicated with the return of their sister Uriel. Like a lot of things on Dominion, it strikes me as silly that there is this major war between the two big archangels—and yet, every week, they have a somewhat heated conversation. The budget isn't there for all-out warfare, and I appreciate the attempt to make Gabriel seem sympathetic on a small level, but these chitchats have grown repetitive already. Uriel's presence added some flair to the squabbling this week, if only because she appeared willing to play both sides to suit her unknown personal wishes. With much of Dominion still concentrated on the humans in Vega, the angel stories are simply moving at a slower rate. That's okay, but they can't be in a weird holding pattern forever. If Gabriel is truly just going to wait for Alex to come to him, he—and the viewers at home—are going to be waiting a long time.


As you folks know, we here at TV.com like to give shows four full episodes to make an impression on us. After Dominion's pilot episode, I wasn't sure what the show would even be, but I was intrigued by the possibilities. Although I would assert that Episodes 2 through 4 were better, and significantly less insane, than the first one, it also feels like some of the stupid charm has left the show as it has technically improved. "The Flood" was indicative of that idea, in that it ran through some familiar stuff with some hints of bigger, weirder moves up ahead. For a show this high-concept and, frankly, with this many characters, even four episodes probably isn't enough for Dominion to figure it all out. There are still enjoyable elements here, but let's hope that everyone involved realizes that with this premise, it's not against the TV law to have some fun. 



NOTES

– Senator Thorn had things to do this week. That was nice. As I mentioned above, the crisis management stuff wasn't good, but at least the show remembered that she has an interesting relationship with Michael. Apparently she loves him, so that's a thing.

– Good on Dominion for using fundamental resources as part of the hostage situation. It was time to be reminded that running water is still a concern in this world. 

– Are we supposed to be shocked that the piece of a saber lodged in Michael's gut was of an UNKNOWN ALLOY? It's a sword used by an angel. 

– Speaking of angel-related mysteries, it appears that they can be healed by burning a feather and letting it drip onto the wound. Wouldn't you like to see more of that kind of stuff? It does feel like they writers haven't worked that hard to create a world with its own oddities, rules, etc.

– Alex is going to start his training with Michael next week. That should be fun; hopefully it involves more than just gun play and "clearing your mind," and all that crap.


So let's hear it, folks: Does Dominion pass your 4-episode test? Will you keep watching?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/1/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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The show has potential. I'll stick around.. its summer nothing else on. I haven't even cracked open my DVR of Under the Dome..
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Yes. Its different and Cory you seemed to have mellowed after your first hissy fit of a review!
Afterall, what else is on now to watch?
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Man! I need to get me a blade like Uriel's and everytime Arika comes on screen I have a felling she's about to murder someone.
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I'm going to stick around for a while - still enjoying the show, and looking forward to more Michael-and-Alex development. :)
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Hopefully an impish angel will catch Riesen on the can, and put an arrow through him.
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Chosen Oneeeee. Weeeooo Weeeeooooo Weeeeee.
I'm watching, but I don't know why. I didn't even like the movie.
I could be watching all the great stuff on Netflix and Prime, and I'm watching this. I must be ill.
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I think Michael is Alex's father, not Jeep, so he would be a Nephilim. It explains how Michael knows who the chosen one is, and why jeep would be willing to leave him for that long. Just a thought. Plus a Nephilim story line would be super nifty and open up all kinds of plot lines.
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I have to be honest, the only reason I'm still watching this show is that there aren't that many things to watch right now.
Dominion seems to be inching along at a snails pace, and If Gabriel just sent in all the 8 balls at the same time I really think it would be over right there.
Not to mention the fact that he is waiting for the chosen one to come to him. That is completely illogical as unless he took a severe blow to the head, there is zero chance that the chosen one would side with Gabriel to eliminate all the humans. Gabriel should instead be trying to kill the chosen one before he realizes his potential.
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Why exactly Gabriel thinks the Chosen one will side with him is a very good question. I got the feeling Michael has done something the Alex is going to have a hard time forgiving him for (Gabriel was taunting him about his past last episode). Or maybe Gabriel is Alex's father, or maybe a situation will arise where Alex loses a loved one and Gabriel tries to convince Alex that God could bring her/him back and the only way that happens is if they wipe out humanity...I don't know I hope whatever they come up with is believable, because Gabriel isn't supposed to be stupid.
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That's what I think is so curious about the entire situation, Gabriel's absolute certainty that Alex will side with him. This is more than just hoping for something to happen that doesn't appear to make sense to us as the audience. This is something that shows an unknown, and as yet unvoiced agenda, as well as the prophecy that Gabriel keeps talking about. It also emphasizes the importance of the comments that Uriel made about both both Michael and Gabriel's centuries' long argument about humanity. I believe that that statement is key to understanding the hidden agenda.
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There's only one actor in it - the bloke who plays Gabby-the rest of em don't trip over the furniture or forget their lines but that's all.

Still what does it matter, essentially this show isn't some great monomyth or anything else equally pretentious - Dynasty with wings is a more accurate description.


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I has legs! What else is on?I like the fantasy concept of anything dealing with the bible! A better fantasy book then Game of Thrones!
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loved the pilot,episodes 2-3 were ok,and i didn't like the 4th..but it's about angels...i'm gonna watch it till the end!!!and i hope 4 some deamons, devil himself ,and maybe if this show goes on 4 a long time...the almaighty!!! :p i hope it get a lil bit like supernatural(which i haven't seen yet)
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This episode was a mixed bag for me:

1) I really like Uriel, especially with her playing Gabriel and Michael so well. And she brought up a very interesting point about Alex's tattoos also being a message for the angels. That's fascinating, especially since Michael was the one who originally carried them.

2) I liked that David took out the last "loose end", Bixby. It's a horrific thing to do, but not really any more horrible than Reisen killing Frost for the same reason. It shows that the show is willing to kill the "cute kid" instead of have them always beat the odds like so many other shows do. Besides, once Alex figures out what David did, he might start behaving a bit tougher and stand up against both David and the general.

3) While I liked that Alex was arrested and figured out how to avoid the strip search, I didn't like how he didn't experience any blow-back once he was released back to the angel corps. He should've been on restriction even after his release. That whole sequence was sloppy and poorly done.

I like the show a lot, but it has some issues that need to be tightened up on that keep it from being a great show. But since it has been improving since the premiere, I have high hopes that it soon will be.
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Paused the pilot, for a sec, to come see; long enough to get confused by MisterKez "hating" the show (hm :)).

Anywho, the whole male/female shower thing might've worked in the Starship Troopers universe, but IRL (with all the soldiers, whatever they are): how long would it take before someone bends her over and gives it to her? xD

*goes back to try & catch up to ep. 4 to see whether it turns bad, as ppl say*
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Oh, it's not looking gr8 as far as absorbing - or whatever - the bullets goes.. Might've done better with some sort of deflection, by the wings; Because small arms fire is 0k, but try the Phalanx CIWS / a CIWS (since they've got those other guns, up on the walls). :)
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Love love love it 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
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It's been 4 episodes and I can barely keep my eyes open.

Chosen one based stories are almost always terrible. We know he can't die, we know nothing is going to happen to him. There's absolutely no tension what so ever. On the other hand, his status as the chosen one is something that he was simply born to do. Meaning he hasn't earned it and is instantly qualified so it's not like we really want to cheer for him all that much.

Despite that, the show adds details of fantasy with the angels but doesn't bother telling us much about them so no much interest there either. And I agree that the Michael\Gabriel talks are boring. It's a war... but frankly the cold war had more action than this.

And the two corrupt politician story isn't going much either except for that last scene.
But still, not much is going on.
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gabriel said that the chosen one is supposed to line with him...so...there is a twist there...he is destined 4 gr8er good and evil...thing is what he is going to choose..
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You think that's a twist? The whole, chosen one potentially choosing the dark side is common that is in and of itself a dumb cliche.

Not to mention we know for a fact he would never actually destroy all of humanity. The only time where the chosen one chose the dark side is if it's a prequel and we already know the end result (most obvious example being the newer Star Wars trilogy)
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The problem with Gabriel's point is that Chosen One is supposed to side with him and.... help him wipe out rest of humanity? That makes no sense, why would either of them do that? If Gabriel wants to kill off humans why leave Chosen One? If Gabriel wants to kill off humans why would Chosen One side with him?

Gabriel doesn't even have "next step", that is what happens once humans are gone beyond "Father will return and it will be just Him and us angels then".

If original plan was something along the lines of previous destructions, that is wipe out wicked people and leave righteous ones alive then Gabriel wooing Chosen one would make sense. Here..... not so much.
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I like the show and will continue watching for now at least.
I didn't see David killing Bixby coming. I was starting to like the kid so it was difficult to watch it happen but in a way nice to see a show taking chances because killing a child isn't done often.

I loved the fact that Michael was saved by someone unknown. I was wondering if it was Gabriel but I don't think so. If it had been him I think we would have seen his face. And it wasn't a woman so it couldn't have been Uriel. So who was it?

Also: The lieutenant arresting Alex wasn't he the one who was initiated into the angel cult last week? If he was then it'll be interesting to see what happens there. He awfully close to both Alex and Michael.
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It could've been Raphael, we've yet to see him.
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what if the one that saved michael was..GOD????? :P
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I don't think God would need to burn a feather to heal someone.
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Yeah i know..i'm just kidding.
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There are still angels in Vega, as seen in last ep when Michael talsk to one. Could have easily been one of them, considering they are on good terms with him.
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I dislike Hero's Yourney type of stories, either on screen or in books. Some are bearable but mostly they are not. This show managed to keep that in the context of Vega and angel politics so it's not sole point.

This ep was...... eh, not sure. Liked Uriel, both for being introduced and her game, which is still far from clear. Rest felt more of a filler than actual story development.

As for Gabriel/Michael frequent chit-chats, I said earlier why they make sense. They are kindred spirits and as such have a lot in common. Both see other one as merely misguided and capable of seeing errors of his ways and as such think it's possible conflict will end without either one ending up dead.

Though as story moves on I think gabriel has better point. Humanity is messed up and maybe best way would be a reset. Kill everybody and start over.

Another annoying thing is Helena's religion. I get that they wanted to have a matriarchy and female Goddess (frequent trope in fantasy anyway) in show. But when whole show is based on the fact that Abrahamic religions have been proven true whole "As if our Great Leader would believe in your male deity" sounds not only hollow but as deliberate blindness. Matriarchy? Eh, why not, it's as good way to introduce strong female characters and gratuitous lesbianism as any. But Goddess that doesn't even acknowledge the point of Abrahamic religions? that's just stupid.

Oh, and I don't have 4-Episode Test, I have Three Strike Rule. ;) (which show passed)
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look at the actions of David Whele and General Riesen---human greed, murder, etc---does humanity deserved to be saved. From an angel's perspective, especially since some of them blame humans for Daddy God leaving, there may not be a true right vs wrong or good vs evil. In other words, the show has potential to make Michael and Gabriel more grey (less pro- vs anti-human and more about their own agenda). I'm not sure the show is going there but that would interest me and it would also explain why the prophecy has Alex going to Gabriel (kind of implies he sides with him but maybe it is just a trick to get to Gabriel….who knows but I like that this show makes me think about these possibilities.

Is Bixby dead? I hope so….but a small part of me wonders if she is an angel or other "being"…nah, she is just a creepy little girl…IDK. If she is just an orphan then kudos to the show for killing off an innocent kid. No, I don't want real kids to die but I like when shows do the unexpected.

I find Uriel fascinating. This show has some strong female characters--Claire seems to be getting stronger, Uriel, Senator Thorn, and the woman from Helena (mind-blanking on her name).

I still prefer the movie version of events where God wants to wipe out humanity (like "The Flood") but then Alex would be a paradox (????) or a test (God wasn't sure if humanity should be wiped out…hmm). Why have a chosen one & prophecy if you are an all powerful god wanting to wipe out humanity. LOL, it should of been easy for the "all-powerful" and why would angels be needed. Ok, back to the show. I see two angel brothers reacting differently and I doubt they are as one dimensional as pro- vs anti-human. I don't see Gabriel as a "Lucifer" character. He wasn't kicked out of heaven by god.

I'm not convinced Michael, Gabriel and Uriel are as black and white and people think. If Michael is so "good" then why does he and his friends live in luxury while others suffer…oh yeah, he comes from a heirarchical system. Why does Gabriel blame humans for God/Daddy leaving? Maybe he has good reasons….do we know. I'm just keeping an open mind (I think) and hope the show gets more complicated by tackling these issues and other issues.

I do worry that the tattoos will be over used but then again, they are meant to guide/teach Alex so in a way they need to be used…..mixed feelings on this and it will depend on how the show uses this device.

Alex was already stepping forward to go in alone before Claire showed up--but I think her pointing out how he was like his "father" (lol) Jeep may of helped him form his decision. I don't think he realized the meaning of the tattoos when deciding to go into the hostage situation and just figured it out when confronting Frost.

Valid points raised by Frost about Wheeler and Riesen wanting what was best for them and not what was best for humanity. Riesen or Wheeler may claim he/they wants to protect Alex but that is obvious bullshit.

I agree--"stories about the evils of man and raising questions about whether or not humans should be saved at all." but would add in stories about Gabriel and Michael having personal agendas and motives/reasons rather than just "good" vs "evil".
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Is it weird that I think Gabriel is the "good" guy?
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I'm wondering if the show will go there and I like wondering about that!
No, you are not weird for thinking that…lol;-P
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So I guess "She died for you" was actually about Bixby and not Senator "hardly knew yee and now your dead". Wah!

I have to admit I didn't enjoy the movie (though i'll watch anything with Bettany), but after Kings' I was willing to give this a shot based on Egan alone. My biggest complaint is the characterization of Gabriel. In the movie (if I remember correctly) he was a soldier, he felt no particular ill will towards the humans, he was doing his job. Why on Dominion they've turned him into a stand in for Lucifer who hates humans and blames them for his father leaving, is beyond me. Could they not have come up with a more original reason for his opposition to Michael?

Everything about this show feels too safe and generic, I mean I know it's Syfy but I wish they would take some chances, and not always go for the easy story lines.

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I just created a poll in Forums on the identity of Alex's real dad. If anyone wants to check it out here's the link:
http://www.tv.com/shows/dominion/forums/who-is-alexs-biological-father-119633-3392596/?msg_id=16783231#1
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So is Alex going to have powers? i sure hope so the prementions will get boring that was kind of strange to analyze the blade that hurt Michael of course the element will not be found on earth.how is the general so powerful how does he have all this wealth?
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I really like this show...an excelent choise of actor for arkangel Michael.
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It would actually be awesome if the CHOSEN ONE would indeed become very powerful with some training. If he is indeed to save the world, he must be able to overcome the angels.

I love it when villains get shot in the leg.

There were so many hateful characters on TV where you know they are not going to die just yet or if the hero for one reason or another cannot kill him yet.

I always ended up shouting to the guy holding the gun to shoot him in the leg already.

I am so glad this show did just that.
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I love it! it's my summer show! best show in this summer so far. hoping for strain to be as awesome if not more awesome. nothing much to watch during summers. here's hoping the fall season will get here faster
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I miss the random bare butts. It is as if they were just thrown in the first couple of episodes and don't actually serve a purpose.
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I was actually thinking that the naked soldiers showering would actually have some plot relevance, because how the hell is Alex supposed to hide his tattoos in the group shower? Wait, does this mean he hasn't showered since the pilot...Geez no wonder Claire was so testy with him this episode...
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Maybe he'll claim he's rationing water. :D
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Finally someone shot that assbag. Too bad it wasn't lethal because then he wouldn't have been able to kill Bixby, which hopefully turns around and bites him in the arse. And at this point I hope Alex realizes that neither one of them are to be trusted. But I kind of doubt that, because he is kind of thick headed.

Also, for how important Alex is, you would think Michael wouldn't spend the whole day playing with his brother and sister.

I think I am going to stick with the show. It is at the end of it all entertaining. Plus Senator Thorn. She doesn't have to do anything but be on screen.
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Unfortunately I think Whele is too much of an @sshole to die at least before the season finale. He is central to too many conflicts. Reisen's potential downfall, Becca's blackmail, Arika's coop. When Alex finally comes out as the Chosen One David will be plotting against him big time.

I partially agree able Michael going AWOL without even checking on Alex first. Also did no one come and check on the radar blip that was Uriel? I guess that conversation happened off screen? "Sir radar picked up a UFO that moved alot like you do." "It was a bird. A big bird. Now go. And please ignore the naked woman in my bed. You definitely don't recognise her"."Yes, sir whatever you say sir."
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Good points.
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I like it. Everytime I get a little down on what they are doing - they surprise me with an interesting development and I am hooked all over again. Yeah - I am all in.

And I really didn't see them killing the kid. Wow. They are not following the rules of cliche TV at all. Just like last week when Alex shot the guy suffering in the car. Normally they never follow through with that stuff and emphasize the "inner torment" of the character and have them walk away from doing the right thing (in that case, putting the guy out of his misery).
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Bixby being killed so quickly took me by surprise too, as well as Uriel playing both sides of the war. This show is getting cooler each episode.
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Uriel playing both sides wasn't too surprising. Her speech was almost carbon copy of the cliched "I love you more" speech. Her look to the camera at the end when she was hugging Gabriel, cinched that she was really on Michael's team, she just wanted Gabe to think she was on his side.

Why is Gabriel always the bad one? Prophecy series, Supernatural (trickster), and Legion / Dominion.

FYI, Angels and Archangels are the 2 lowest castes in the angel hierarchy.
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I didn't take her look at the camera as proof that she is on Michael's side, but more that she is on her own side and is using both Gabriel and Michael.
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Actually - Gabriel has become at worst neutral on Supernatural. Selfish, but sympathetic. He has always been able to kill the boys but never chooses to.

You are speaking of the Christian hierarchy I take it.
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Most angel hierarchies list angels and archangels at the bottom, but they do base it off of Pseudo-Dionysus.

@WildPict She could be playing both sides that makes sense too. I just wonder if Raph and Luci are going to get involved.
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I am with you. I cannot believe they decided to put in the WTF this week
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Oh no Ed. Don't start liking this one too. Remember what happened with the last show you liked? (Believe) If this one does not get renewed, I am blaming you.

I agree, they started out with cliche TV. The pilot had the mystical baby trope, the Romeo and Juliet trope, the absentee father who comes back just in time to get killed, but pass on the mystical tattoos, and the "cute" orphan trope. Just about every trope was thrown at us. except the red shirt. Last week, Alex mercy killed the guy (hmmm was he wearing a red shirt?) , then this week Whele kills the kid (Was she wearing a red shirt?).

Cliche TV rule #11: Thou shalt not kill the cute big eyed orphan kid.

Overall this is could be a good show. I will continue watching.
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You got to think they will bring out Luci when the time is right ..though the movie never did. Angels were bad guys start to finish
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Oh shit Kez. Almost Human. Then Believe.

I hate this piece of shit wanker show! You all can watch this garbage - I won't be fooled!

Its too late isn't it?
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We both messed up. I "hate" this show too.
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i'm out. this is such a shame bc they have such great actors on this show. it really could have been something a lot better. i think it seriously suffers from a pacing issue. Or maybe it's just the writers trying to convey a lot of information and backstory in a the time allotted. i don't know. it probably will survive another season just bc they dumped so much money into this and this summer season has been slim pickings.
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Its called Dominion because the first choice, Game Of Complete Bollocks, was too close to the truth. Just awful waste of talent...
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Episode 4 was the worst yet...very poor.
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So, while I agree with you about the fact they need a little more character development in the human realm, I am finding myself more intrigued by the angel portion of the story. I feel like Uriel (who is the Angel of Death, Gabriel is God's Messenger and Michael is God's sword) provided a little more insight. Like that the Chosen One has its own mythology for the angels separate and apart from whatever he is supposed to do for the humans and Alex is supposed to do something for the angels as well? Huh, maybe they are distancing themselves from Legion, but the overall message seemed to be to kill him there.

Uriel, usually in my catechism knowledge, usually does try to remain separate from angel politics but usually makes a stand in favor of the humans (where Uriel is a male, he usually is the accidental father of the Nephilim) but more in sort of supernatural way of trying to keep everyone separate because by her nature she seeks balance and is neither good nor bad. Heck, maybe she has a box like in Supernatural where she just wants to lock her two brothers and then she can tell everyone to go back where they came from.

I think the dream sequence thing might actually be a better way for Alex to get readings from his tattoos, like that they can do fun scenes like his dream here (and it kind of looks like we spend half the next episode in one of those). It does provide sort of an out to some things, but I guess, oh wow look at what I'm going to evoke, the messages received in Wonderfalls. Or by Joan in Joan of Arcadia. Ultimately that the tattoos are just words and it is how they are interpreted and used and that Alex's instinct was to use them to save lives is what makes him important. If like, David, got those words, he could use them as weapon.
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I agree, the angel portion of the story is so far more intriguing than the human part of the story. I'm very curious about what Uriel is after. I think she's basically going to side with whoever controls the chosen one. I think she couldn't give a shit what happens to humanity, and that she wants the Chosen so she can figure out how to make Dad come back. I thought it was weird that Michael said she loved humans as much as he did when her character was introduced by slicing at Becca's head, even if it was just a joke like she claimed.
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Well, I think it goes into the whole Angel of Death idea, Supernatural wasn't that far off with their idea from what the Angel of Death is actually like. Because she is so close to the experience of death of humanity, she understands mortality better than most angels can (usually also why Michael does as he is responsible for killing God's enemies, it means he has a more initimate view) and sees humans face it with all sorts of ranges of emotions. Uriel has usually come to admire the idea that with such a brief life, humans try. And if I recall the story of Lucifer's fall correctly, Uriel fought with Michael when Lucifer was taking a similar sort of view toward humanity that Gabriel presently is. Though Gabriel is approaching it differently, not trying to usurp God's power, but just destroy humanity it is still assuming the will of God which is a definite no-no. But interestingly, in some stories, Uriel can sometimes command an army of the undead, not vampires so much but more reanimated corpses. But she is a force of nature, more so than her brothers, and they can't actually stop her.
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Michael's ass-kicking counter this episode: 1. In total: 5.

It was a bit uncertain if the fight with Uriel deserved a point; it was rather short and non-lethal. But considering the difficulty of the opponent (another archangel), that Michael had just recovered from a near-fatal wound, and the fact that he had to go from sleep to kick-ass in 0.5 seconds, I'll let him have this one.

It's funny about Bixby, I was finally starting to warm up a bit to her; I actually felt sad that Machiavelli killed her (and usually I hate kids in fiction). Like the review stated though, it was a great move. It removed a loose thread from the plot, it made excellent sense why big M wanted her dead, and it showed us that this show is willing to go the full line. The scene itself was very poignant - Head acted the hell out of the scene, considering how brief it was, and how reserved he seemed.

Should also mention that Alex' return to Vega and arrest was done well; immediate consequences for his actions. And the fact that this meant his tattoos would be revealed, forced him to think quick and take a beating as a result - I like that my protagonist is not always bone-headed, but can act with resolve when needed, and that again, he has to face the consequences.

Lastly, the fact that something as trivial as being forced to strip after an arrest suddenly became a plot point was a good move; a great way of having something mundane become important and an issue for the protagonist to deal with. It's very elegant instead of inventing some big issue (like a senator taking hostages if the Chosen One is not revealed) just using what is already going on; Alex is being arrested, he will be forced to strip and reveal his ink, he has to deal with this issue and he has to do so now. It's letting the narrative put obstacles in his path organically rather than mechanically inventing them and dropping them in front of him.
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I'm rooting for Michael here, just like I was in the movie. For me, he's the most sympathetic; not only is he mistrusted by the human survivors, he's also an outcast amongst his own kind. Even Becca appears in 'love' with him (I think) more because of his angelic nature than the man he is (or could become); I do sincerely doubt she would still 'love' him if he lost his angelic status (and angels have been thrown out of heaven, remember the obvious reject?) Yet Michael continues to maintain his loyalty to humanity; just as much as Gabriel maintains his hatred of it.

I do feel for Gabriel actually - the feeling of devastation for any child whose father has deserted them is going to be harsh. But for an angel, so used to taking orders as well as Gabriel is, it's got to be terrifying too. Suddenly there's this sense of loss and there's no one to give direction, to give you a purpose to exist.

A childish reaction is to lash out at those you see as at fault for the father leaving - in this case, humans. Just as Michael told Gabriel, it's a childish and desperate reaction - but still understandable none the less. The only ones I could care less about are the 'eight balls' and the 'leaders' (house Whele and House Reisen).
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I too am primary on Michael's side. He puts up with a lot of shit from humans, despite everything he's sacrificed for them. I don't feel like I know enough about Michael's relationship with Becca to make a call on why Becca is with him. I think the writers are fast-forwarding through this relationship in a way they shouldn't. We introduce them as lovers who do orgies, then we find out she is a high powered senator. There's one brief "I'm fine" after he returns from the first angel attack, which was nice, a quick not-overly sentimental moment of concern and acknowledgement of that concern. It is a big leap from there to "I love you and I know you can love me".

I'm having troubling investing in their relationship without some sense of where this "love" is coming from. Becca having that sword would make for some interesting drama if I knew more about Becca and her feelings for Michael. If she is lying to him because of that weaksauce blackmail, I will be extremely annoyed. If however this is about her own concerns about the higher angels and the real fact that if Michael HAD died from that wound Vega would have been screwed when it came to fighting higher angels and Gabriel. If this is a greater good thing I will respect and like her character. If she sells Michael out to Whele then I hope Michael drops her in the middle of the desert and leaves her for the eight balls.
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I completely agree with everything you've said - I think the writer's are rushing Michael and Becca's story far too much. Is it because they want to get to some 'oh wow!' moment they think will have us dropping our jaws on our carpet? A moment such as Becca selling him out to David Whele, just as Michael does develop deep feelings for her (I think he cares now, just not 'love' as we know and understand it); or for Becca to sacrifice herself for him?

Rushing in front of that very blade to shield him - her eyes dimming as she whispers "my last breath is to tell you I love you....." *gasp, choke; dies in his arms*. Either way would be so contrived as to be ridiculous, but the writers do like to do the obvious with some of the characters I've noticed. If it's the former then, like you, I hope he leaves her to rot in the desert......

As regards the Houses that rule; the other senators are, let's face it, little more than token figureheads. I think that Edward Reisen is actually worse than David Whele. Whele is a man who has lost his faith - a conniving man even when he had it; but now, with heaven (to all intents and purposes) effectively gone he doesn't feel he particularly needs to mask his ambitions overly much anymore. It's not like there's any pearly gates to try and get through.

So he conceals his true nature (utterly ruthless) just enough to keep control of his own area and the money flooding in. Let's face it, anyone who could kill a child, (especially little Bixby) with such cold contempt as he showed, is beyond all hope of redemption. I often get the feeling he'd kill his own son as well if he thought it was worth it.....no wonder William is such a total fruit loop.

But Edward Reisen, is a whole different fish. Cold, aloof and considering himself royal, he revels in the V status even more than House Whele. He feels it gives him more status; the lower the other status' in Vega then the higher his own is. He considers House Whele his only (almost) equal and will quite happily sell his own daughter to to them to maintain that control. However, outwardly he's all kind and benevolent leader; the soft hand to David Whele's whip. Supposedly 'weary' of leadership, all the time he's scheming to retain control. Neither man wants the 'chosen child' to come forward, for the people to govern themselves - it's just that Reisen is craftier about shielding his views. THAT kind of man is more disgusting to me than all the others.

However, having said all that, I REALLY want David Whele to suffer a protracted and particularly agonising death for killing Bixby - not just the character, who was a little cutie; but because she was merely a child and no real threat to any of them.

Anyone capable of killing children is only worthy of destruction; the same goes for David Whele's own venomous (literally) paramour. I'd trust her about as much as I'd trust a spider on the ceiling.....
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Wow, I have no idea how I posted that here. I thought I posted it on the same page as my other Defiance stuff.

Must have been a tab-issue.

Thanks.
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I'm a little disappointed in the writers choices for Becca this episode. One I'm didn't want her to tell Michael that she loves him and that she knows he is capable of loving her. We haven't seen enough of her relationship with Michael yet to make it feel earned. I would have preferred that they mutually understood that "love" was taboo between them, something that they both resist because a long term relationship between them is impossible. They played that card too soon, especially with Becca going behind Michael's back with the sword. I really hope they are careful, because the Becca/Michael relationship is potential far more interesting than the Alex/Claire.

They have to be careful with busting out emotional cards too early. They already goofed in my opinion by having Michael cry in the third episode. Michael is a very stoic character so his tears need to be treated with care. Having him cry over a memory and not over Jeep's death...all I can say is that he better be Alex's father otherwise that will make no sense. I feel as though they should have saved the tears for another occasion, Alex or Becca being seriously wounded maybe...

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Was anyone else wondering why Raphael wasn't mentioned during the Archangel conference. Michael mentions him/her in the prior episode claiming that he/she choose to remain neutral. Uriel says that they were all that was left...so are we thinking he/she is dead?

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The hostage taking plot of this episode really bothered me because it relied on several coincidences and dumb choices by Frost.

1) Bixby saw Alex in the 2 seconds he was in the hospital before he was arrested.

2) Frost is in the hospital eaves dropping while Claire visits Bixby.

3) Bixby, who has known Alex for a long time and hasn't to this point shown any religious fervor and knows she is supposed to be keeping this a secret repeatedly refers to him as "the chosen one".

4) Frost has heard the the chosen one was in the hosipal and that guards came and arrested him. He could have just gone to the prison and asked the guards who was arrested today outside the hospital. In the unlikely event that there was more than one man all he would have to have done was pull their shirts off. This seems smarter than publicly accusing Whele and Reisen of lying and then failing that taking them and the food supply hostage. Even just confronting Claire in private would have been smarter, because he had no actual proof Whele and Reisen knew what was going on.
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i have to admit didn't think they were bold enough to kill the little girl lol i was like damn that's cold alex is going to mad as fak when he finds out but all in all its was a good episode and i will keep watching see ya next week
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I liked the pilot, found episode two terrible but thought I'd give it one more but it continued to be terrible so I ditched it after episode three.
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Yep, I'm with you. There are a lot of great shows on right now, too many to waste time on this. I bailed after 3 episodes as well.
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Oh yes, this is becoming my favorite show. I already like the pilot and, as far as I'm concerned. it just gets better.
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Nope it didn't pass....it is boring and very lenghty...to much tallking and no action...and if there is action, then it happens so fast...the only cool thing are the bad angels, the way they move...
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