A Dominion Community
Syfy (ended 2015)
First of all, I give up on the titles. Okay, there's a king. And there's some people laying before him. But this doesn't even seem to be a verbatim quote from the Bible. So what it has to do with anything, I have no idea.

Anyhoo, this week's episode didn't really accomplish much. It's one of those mid-season stories where things are put into motion, but not a lot really happens on its own. And that's kind of odd, because movie and series creator Vaun Wilmott wrote it.

(And did you know Wilmott played a Bajoran on the Trek: Next Gen episode "Descent"?)

So first to the Alex & Noma road trip. First, Noma meets the Prophet, or so the Syfy Channel photo recap identifies him as. He's suitably impressive, and gives Noma the enigmatic and rather non-specific message to take Alex "east." Instructions hazy, ask again later. Oh, wait, that's another eight-ball. So either they're going to get to Mallory in Alabama, or I can see them hopping a ship to Africa.

Then the Prophet sets an eight-ball on fire with the power of his... something and disappears. Since the eight-balls in Mallory were bursting into flames and there was a flame in the center of town, presumably that confirms this is the Prophet.



Is it just me, or do the eight-balls in their native tongue sound like the AFLAC duck?

So Alex and "Nomes" (I hate that nickname) end up in a super-Walmart-ish place in the nearby unnamed town, and find four eight-balls reliving their hosts' lives as greeters, cashiers, janitors, and stock boys. They don't attack, until they decide to attack, and then we get an off-screen battle that I would have liked to see. Then Julian's eight-balls catch up to A&N and we end on that note.

The Vega storyline plods along. It's basic Evil Main Character Scheming 101, as David disrupts a parley between Claire and Zoe through a hired third party. We've never seen the disruptor, Pearson, before, and apparently we never will again. This whole thing is kind of puzzling because Zoe knows that David hired Pearson. But she's keeping David alive even though he did jack-all this episode to help her. As I predicted, the whole "David joins the rebels" thing isn't giving Anthony Head much to do. It was almost interesting for a couple of weeks, and now he's back to being a powerless lackey that no one trusts. They should bring Luke Allen-Gale back, which I assume they will since he's still listed in the star credits.


Oh, and Claire loses the baby. Which... isn't supposed to happen if it's a divinely ordained birth, is it? So I guess it isn't ordained, and Alex won't be passing along his Chosen One genes.

And Anika is hanging around, still wearing the same pair of pants. They're very nice pants, but you'd think she brought a change of clothes.

On the New Delphi front, the last temptation of Edward Riesen continues playing out. Alan Dale seems just as bored with his part as I am.


So Julian wants Riesen to tell him where the Amphora is. Which I find a little puzzling because... Riesen doesn't know, does he? He told Noma to find it, she flew off with it, and then came back. She didn't tell Riesen, did she?

Anyhoo, if you liked the Riesen/Clementine subplot last year, it's back for round two. Thanks to Julian, who must have call-waiting on his angel-summoning routine, the Clementine lesser angel from season 1 is back in a new hot young body, and she's fawning all over Riesen. I guess this is supposed to convince Riesen to tell Julian where the Amphora is. The one that he doesn't know its location.

The main story this week is Julian torturing Michael and Gabriel. This involves a long complicated Dr. Evil-type scheme to torture them with electricity (Angel Weakness #3), to wear down their bodies, so that Lyrae can jump into whichever one wears down first. Wouldn't the human Julian object to losing the angel giving him strength, reflexes, and healing powers? Last week Lyrae said that an angel couldn't leave a possessed human without the human's permission. So how would he leave Julian's body. I wish the series creator who wrote this episode would tell us a little more about that kind of thing.


In any case, Julian leaves Michael and Gabriel in his elaborate Saw-like torture machine and as they trade off suffering excruciating pain to keep the really painful wires from touching them, they reminisce about old times. As practically everyone on TV does when suffering excruciating torture, instead of moaning in agony and being unable to put one thought in front of another like in real life.

So Gabriel remembers back in Biblical times when he was put in charge of David, of the David & Goliath story. Not to be confused with Davey, of the Davey and Goliath TV series. Although I wouldn't have minded seeing a stop-motion Gabriel in that.



David takes down Goliath with a sling bullet through the forehead and out the back (ouch!), the farmers cheer him, Goliath's army runs off, and King Saul has David killed and replaced with a compliant imposter. Michael fails to save David (whoops!), Gabriel mourns David who he loved as a son, and comes back some undetermined time later to kill the adult pseudo-David and his family after he becomes the king and has one drunken debauchery too many. The archangel tosses pseudo-David out a window and I guess this tells us why Gabriel became a bad guy.

The flashback is nicely done, with a good use of extras and the South African locations. It's very non-Syfy big-budgety. And the chemistry between Carl Beukes and Tom Wisdom is always excellent. Anyway, Gabriel finally sacrifices himself to save Michael, and Michael uses the electricity to melt through his manacles and free himself. After he's freed, Gabriel shoves Michael out the door and locks it behind him, and then collapses. And... Lyrae has a new host body? That could be interesting, although it's a shame to lose Carl Beukes' Gabriel-Gabriel. This season has really seen Mr. Beukes step up as more than just a villain. Gabriel is probably the most entertaining character on the show this season.


So everything was kind of on standstill this week as they explored the Gabriel/Michael backstory a bit more. Vega is still divided, Michael escapes (again!), Alex and Noma haven't really gone anywhere and they're still being chased by Julian's eight-balls. Other then the bit about eight-balls mindlessly carrying out their host bodies' routines, and electricity harming archangels (shouldn't Becca have worked that out last year? And does anyone remember Becca?), we didn't really get much Dominion/Legion mythology. Which I was kind of hoping for when I saw Mr. Wilmott's name on the credits.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Aug 23, 2015
I would have been better had they actually managed to check out and leave the store. It could have just been a weird adventure in 8-ball land.
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Aug 24, 2015
I was disappointed it all appeared to be one big trap. I was hoping that the entire store would go crazy only if they tried to leave with items without paying, defying the rules of the store and making them lose it.
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Aug 23, 2015
At this point David continuing to survive by either the grace of the big entity upstairs or because the people that really should kill him are simply inept. And they keep talking about it Claire told her to kill him. But it all seems a bit too much that he keeps skating by.

I am not too certain that Claire is not still pregnant. Ariska is far to connected somehow to fully believe that she can't somehow influence the Doctors until she figures out a plan to unseat Claire and put herself in power.

It was an all right episode.
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Aug 23, 2015
Zoe is crazy for not killing him now that she knows he sabotaged the meeting. But I thing Arika is behind Zoe, and Arika wants David alive...for now.
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Aug 23, 2015
I sort of raised my hand in my living room (mind you only my cat is here) and said, wait, did they just throw off the heritage of Joseph? You know, Jesus' stepfather. As I am merely going to church on the holidays to appease my mother, I read the biblical passages all the time (not to mention going to Catholic high school and a Catholic college) and was like, um...wait. I suppose they maybe backtracked on it with whoever Gabriel put in as a further imposter, because someone has to be Soloman's father. And though that was a mumbled list of names, I didn't hear that kid listed.

It was kind of a, oh crap SyFy gave us how many episodes to produce episode. I am imagining Michael and/or this Prophet person comes in to save Alex and Noma. They really need to unify those two and the arch angels, I am really hating the Vega story (though it appears from the previews that William is returning!!!) and was also rolling my eyes at the miscarriage because I swear that was the entire purpose of this whole Vega story.


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Aug 23, 2015
The stories always had Joseph being from the line of David, but some scholars then laid that on Mary's heritage instead on one documentary I saw several years ago. But yes, that just threw tons of shade at every ancient Israeli king after David. And the building of the Great Temple.
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Aug 22, 2015
I loved the flashback Michael/Gabriel snark fest and the 8-ball/Costco shopping. That was just crazy enough to keep me entertained throughout the entire episode. The temptation of General Reisen was interesting, and Vega was a snooze fest and only worth fast-forwarding through. But it looks like William gets to show up next week, so that should be fun.
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Aug 22, 2015
I liked both of those (like the cart boy being folded up in his own cart), although the shop-co thing seemed to be more of an afterthought or time-filler.

Sort of: "Well, we need a week to show the Gabriel/Michael flashbacks, but we want to have Alex & Noma do something before they meet up with Michael, so let's have them go... shopping!"
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Aug 22, 2015
Possibly the chosen one having offspring isn't that important, or possibly it didn't have to be Claire. Possibly when Noma lost her wings she became impregnable. Whatever the case I'm glad there's nothing preventing Alex and Noma from progressing as a couple, even if they write in some nonsense hesitation/guilt for Alex on the grounds that he thinks Claire is still alive, but he seems on board now. Thanks for the Dr. Evil ref, that's exactly what I was thinking. Tiresome villain + smug lackadaisical exposition + more torture porn (wtf do they think people started watching this show for?) = me losing interest in this show by the gallon, which thank goodness resulted in the informative and enjoyable flashback. The gritty/harsh/nasty stuff is not for wallowing in, it's to remind us of what's at stake in the battles to come.

I've had enough:

Julian
all-human story lines (see bullshit Vega power struggles)
torture/madmax-flavored porn (see gratuitous chainsaw guy)
Claire
Arika
mis/under-use of Whele


Would like more:

reasons to care what happens to Zoe (nothing against actress)
flashbacks
Prophet guy (what a tease!)
Alex (also: Alex and Noma tenderness)
higher/archangels
UNIVERSE SHAPING MYTHOLOGY


Side note; Gates+Claire is still creepy but Gates earned his keep this episode.

I enjoyed your review more than the episode, Gislef. Thanks for a fun Saturday morning.
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Aug 24, 2015
realized I meant to say "even if [Alex] thinks Claire is still pregnant"... sorry
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Aug 22, 2015
All along I've been waiting for some angel mythology/lore, as its been severely lacking in a show all about Angels. At this point I'm beginning to think that they've written this series (as well as the movie) without giving any thought as to what the lore is. As much as I like this show, I find this lack of information the biggest flaw in this series.

As for the possible prophet, I immediately thought of Mallory. I mentioned in an earlier post that the painting in the church has a dark figure on the outskirts wearing a hat. I'm willing to bet it's going to be this guy.

I enjoyed the shopping excursion. I found the eight balls there eerily entertaining. And at least we got an explanation from Noma, that angels like humans are not all built mentally the same.

As for Claire and everyone else in Vega, I find myself less and less interested in how that plays out. To me, Vega and everything in it are the brussel sprouts on the plate, while the meat and potatoes are everything else.
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Aug 22, 2015
There's more angel mythology on the Syfy site, and it's fairly intriguing. Those "gifts" that Julian referenced while talking to Gabriel and Michael are explained on that site.
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Aug 22, 2015
Thanks. I'll check it out.
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Aug 22, 2015
It seems to me that Wilmott has a lot of alien mythology in his head, but he and the other writers are too concerned with doing the plot.

An episode like this strikes me as the kind that, since they were kind of settling back and taking a brief respite before diving back into the main plots anyway, they should have done a little more exploration of the angelverse.

For instance, Julian could have said how he summons specific angels to earth. He's offered to Riesen with a higher Lyrae-level angel, he brought Clementine there. How'd he manage that?

My main disappointment is the whole eight-ball & human living-together thing. That's been pretty much dropped in lieu of a more standard "Julian is amassing an army to do... something" storyline. What we need is an eight-ball who can tell us the story from his/her point of view. Clementine and Rose have both been intriguing characters, but they've been pretty much skimmed over. Or killed. Or killed and brought back.
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Aug 28, 2015
Actually, when Clementine appeared, Julian said "Welcome back" - so where has she been? (and up to what?) Great perspective reviews guys.
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Aug 29, 2015
The lesser angel possessing her was in the "outer darkness," or whatever they call it.

Although I'm unclear what the lesser angels are doing out there. They can come down to Earth and take human bodies, right? I get that the Amphora attracts them, which is how Julian stores them in his army. But why don't they come down somewhere else?
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Aug 22, 2015
Clementine could prove to be a great device to give us some "angelverse" lore now that we assume she'll be hanging with Reisen. Getting back to Mallory could also open that door as the religion is there to spark some of those conversations. Hell, we've had Michael and Noma all along to give us some Intel and it hasn't happened.

I'm not going to hold my breath though, I agree with your summation that they're only concerned with plotlines.
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Aug 22, 2015
To answer your question: No, Reisen doesn't know where the amphora is, of course Julian doesn't know that. My questions are 1) If Reisen knew this place was 8-ball/human happyland why did he kill the 8-ball that originally got him thrown in that jail? Also how did summon Clementine without the amphora? Was she already in New Delphi and Julian just got lucky?

I really enjoyed the Gabriel flashback, and I got to say Gabriel's Chosen One parenting skills seem alot better than Michael's. Michael sassing Julian and Gabriel laughing was great, and I'm happy Gabriel's redemption arc is moving along.

Power to Gates for finally mentioning to Claire, "Hey, maybe don't put a rival city's head in charge of your business?" I'm so proud of you, you baseball lovin' genius. Speaking of clothes, Arika arrived in that top to bottom robe thing (Hikas?). Whatever she's wearing now had to have gotten from someone in Vega.

I really hope we will find that Zoey WAS the guiding hand behind the assassination attempt and the Whele was her smoke screen. If that wasn't the case, and David really went arround her she needs to kill him right now.

I was very excited to meet the Prophet. Lucifer perhaps? Who knows. Any way I do hope we will be returning to Mallory, see how Laurel is faring.

No, I do not remember Becca. After vivasecting Louis she doesn't deserve to be remembered. Yes I'm aware I way harder on her than I am on Gabriel, but hey so was Michael...
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Aug 22, 2015
Okay, but then why doesn't Riesen tell Julian that he doesn't know? It's not like Julian is putting all of his Amphora-finding plans on hold until King George the Sleepy tells him where the Amphora is. Riesen isn't buying Alex and Noma time: Julian's eight-balls are still hunting them.

Either Julian believes Riesen in which case he gets him some medical help or lets him die (which is... what he's doing anyway?), or he doesn't believe Riesen in which case... he does exactly what he's doing anyway. No harm, no foul if Riesen spills the beans.

The only IITS reason for Riesen not to tell is so that Julian can drag Clementine back and offer her to Riesen.
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Aug 28, 2015
..and are the dead, 'fresh' bodies stored in the freezer at the market, for Julians army? (already to be re-inhabited? )
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Aug 22, 2015
Hmmm...Good points. Maybe Reisen's just being a defiant, stubborn man on the verge of death? Although Julian might have gone with the Clementine plan any way, because he wants to make use of the brilliant military mind that helped save humanity from destruction.
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Aug 28, 2015
I've not seen the next episode, as we're a week behind in the UK. So if this is off by a country mile - oh well. Just a hunch: Julian inhabits Reisen and walks merrily back into Vaga dragging a whole pool table worth of eight-balls with him to overthrow the place.
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