A Dominion Community
Syfy (ended 2015)
And... things almost happened. We almost saw Julian win. We almost saw the eight-balls kill Alex, Nomi, and Michael. We almost saw Alex react to the news that his unborn child is dead. We almost saw Nomi deal with the loss of her wings. (Hint to Michael: don't become a HR rep.) We almost saw Gates die. We almost saw Arika's plan pay off one way or another. (Gates goes with her, or Gates dies.)


That's a lot of almosts. But not much really happened. Hope you didn't want to know what happened after last week's dramatic reveal that Riesen was now a dyad. Alan Dale doesn't even get a credit this week. And doesn't Gabriel have something to say about another dyad being loose in what is now "his" city?

We also get a flashback to how Arika got her evil groove on. Which... did we need? I'm not feeling the love for characters like Riesen and Arika even after the flashbacks. The fact that the writers drop them in and out when it's convenient doesn't help. If they'd rather show more scenes of Julian torturing Gabriel than Riesen dealing with becoming a dyad... why should I care about Riesen if they don't?

Ditto for Arika. I... guess the flashback is supposed to make us feel sympathetic for her. But in the present she's sitting smug in her cell and using poison to extort Gates. Wouldn't a Gates flashback make more sense? "Life flashing before one's eyes" and all.


And how the heck did Arika hug her dying father without getting impaled, anyway?



Good things: Gabriel's breaking loose speech to Julian. And everyone finally getting together in Vega. The one thing worst than an ensemble cast is an ensemble cast divided up into three different time zones.

Thinking about it, I think I've figured out the two reasons Dominion is so dull this season.

1) Uninteresting Main Characters.

I'm going to do a lot of comparing to Supernatural and X-Files here. I think that Dominion shares a lot of common with them, if for no other reason than it's the inverse of those two shows. I'll explain why later.

There's also the evil black liquid connection. Didn't Supernatural already do the "black liquid = God's wrath" thing?

But for now, what does it say about me that the two characters on Dominion that I'd actually want to sit down, have a drink, and just talk with are Gabriel and Julian? I don't care if the characters are good or evil. I care that they're interesting personalities that have opinions on a wide range of topics and can express themselves in a comprehensible and entertaining manner.

Well, that, and they don't kill me immediately before, during, or after. :)


Does anybody besides these two characters on Dominion seem capable of interesting conversations? Maybe it's that they're living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland: it makes them downtrodden and depressing. You know, except for the regular food if you're not a V-1. And hot and cold running water, and nuclear power, and lots of booze. And lots of hot sexmates at your beck and call. But David and Arika are nothing but schemers. Are they interesting beyond that?

I don't fault Tom Wisdom for his performance, but he's not called upon to regularly present Michael as an interesting, lively, well-spoken character. Those glimpses we see of him when he's a warmer person--like with Young Alex--great.

Noma is almost interesting. But Alex and William and Riesen? Eh, not really. Maybe it's that they're all swept up in the grand happenings. But for instance, it's not that William is a zealot. It's that he's boring, inconsistently characterized zealot. "I'll preach to the masses in this bar. But my father shows up so I'll interrupt it all to talk to him. But then just when we start having a significant conversation, I'll interrupt that to have a meal." Say what?


I'd sit down and have a chat with Mulder. Or Scully. Or Skinner. Or Sam. Or Dean. Or Crowley. Or Castiel. Or the Lone Gunmen. Or heck, even the Cigarette-Smoking Man. The regulars on Dominion? Not so much.

Grand happenings brings us to my second problem with Dominion.

2) It has no procedural case-of-the-week elements. It's all Major Storyarc.

Procedurals have a bad rep these days, but they serve several important purposes when done well. For one thing, they let a guest star come in and give a brief, memorable one-shot appearance.

Who remembers Doug Hutchinson as Toomes? Mark Sheppard as Lively? Peter Boyle as Clyde Bruckman? Darin Morgan as Eddie Van Blundht? Heck, Flukeman is more memorable than your average eight-ball.


There's a host of one-shot villains that you probably remember on Supernatural. Whether it's werewolf college students, or Christmas-worshipping pagan gods posing as an elderly neighborhood couple, or the Yellow-Eyed Demon, or Death, or dozens of others. You may not remember their names, they showed up and left, or were defeated after 35 or so minutes, but at least they made an impression.

Heck, even the Leviathans besides Dick had the occasional scene or bit of dialogue to give them a personality. The eight-balls on Dominion, not so much. For one thing, they're all the same. They snarl in angelic tongue, they have visible black veins, they crawl on walls & ceilings, and they attack people. As another reviewer noted, they used to be a threat. Now they're cannon fodder.

If an archangel and two human soldiers could hold off dozens of them outside of Vega, with no cover and relatively little ammo... how did humanity essentially lose the War? Yeah, lesser angels could possess the soldiers. But that just raises more questions. So is Alex protected? Why can't the lesser angels just come down from the sky in their spirit forms and take over the guards on the Vega walls and all of the V1s inside?

Clementine spends her time fawning over Riesen in unrelenting love. Pete/Menatus is the only one with a personality that's at all interesting. And as of last night, he's now a whining sycophant.


The second thing procedural shows do is give the heroes some significant victories, while still striving to complete the season story arc. On Dominion we've had fights. We've had people escape. But we haven't had any big wins. There's just the unending horde of eight-balls. And Julian, who has spent his time torturing archangels. All for it to go nowhere and accomplish nothing. Heck, even the bad guys can't get a win.

You don't necessarily have to have a secondary villain to beat so that someone "wins" a procedural. Alex went on a mission to the New Delphi insane asylum to get something. It's a quest, he had a few encounters, he succeeded, he got a "win."

And after showing so much promise, Julian has petered out as the main villain. All the escaping undercuts his power. Now he follows through on his plan, and... it goes to pot. "Whoops, I guess I underestimated Gabriel being broken. I'll stab myself, look at a glowy object, and crawl off into a tunnel. See ya!" Way to punk out.


But now it's all about escaping. Alex escapes Julian. Noma escapes Julian. Michael escapes Julian, gets captured, and escapes again. Gabriel gets captured, thinks he's escaping but it's all a hallucination, escapes again. Alex and the others escape the eight-balls. David escapes Claire. Arika is plotting to escape before she gets hung. It's not only repetitive, but the concept is dull and undermines the bad guys. If all Supernatural and X-Files were about was the main characters escaping the bad guys, people wouldn't remember those shows fondly.

To take another recent example: Defiance. We like characters like Nolan, Irisa, and Datak. (at the very least) And they occasionally get a win. They defeat Rahm. They stop the animal killings. They get Nolan free from the VC.

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So why is Dominion like it is? I think it's a) the post-apocalyptic setting, and b) the fact that they went immediately to the Big Fight: angels vs. humanity. That works fine in a movie, but in a TV show it doesn't leave you much of anywhere to go.

Yes, Supernatural and X-Files eventually expanded their scope. But they built to that over multiple seasons.

As for the setting, it's an inherently soul-deadening setting for the main characters. It's a pessimistic world, and most of the time, the best the characters can do is survive. Which often means that all they're doing is escaping to live another day.

The markings are a good example of all this. At least they gave the first season some purpose. "Hey, these are a way to bring God back and end the war. Maybe." This season, it was like they were in a hurry to get rid of the markings and any reference to them after the first few episodes. Instead of some cryptic text about summoning God, they ended up being... a warning that Lyrae is going to attack Vega. Well, duh. How is that going to bring Father back?

Julian doesn't care about bringing God back. Now Gabriel doesn't care about the markings and what they mean. Other then occasionally glancing at them, even Alex doesn't seem to care about them. They keep calling Alex "The Chosen One," but everyone seems to have forgotten what he was Chosen to do. Mostly because they're so damned busy escaping and surviving.

Wasn't Alex supposed to be getting "better" as the Chosen One? He's had three major evictions: the one on Julian failed, and the ones on Pete and Clementine have been undone. Way to undermine your main character, writers.

And this season they seemed intent on undermining a lot of stuff. The Davey & Goliath flashback was big. Major. Significant. But most of Julian's showdown with Gabriel and Michael is in a cramped little cell. We get fights that we don't. frickin'. see. (Alex and Noma at Big Box.) We get fights that end before they get started: Michael flying down to save Alex and Noma from... six? eight-balls. When an episode later, they take on dozens of them.

And they just forget stuff.


Now we're into the final stretch of four episodes. I've said for the last couple of reviews that it looks like things are actually going to happen. And I was wrong. It's been escapes and returns and reunions. Like next week. It looks look Alex and Gates go on a mission to stop the reactor explosion. And presumably they succeed. But... *sigh* it also looks like they get captured and have to escape.


The writers have done so much building that I wonder if they're going to actually be able to put it all together. We've got William's new flock, we've got a possible nuclear explosion because of the rebels, we've got the Prophet in Mallory, we've got Arika who apparently still has something up her sleeve, we've got Gabriel taking command of his new eight-ball army and wanting revenge on Michael.

Enough with the escapes and returns and reunions. You've got four episodes left, folks. Let's wheel out a big threat like Gabriel or the Prophet and not have them go "Whoops, guess I'm a punk," make the eight-balls impressive in small numbers, and then give the heroes a defined victory.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Sep 08, 2015
I sometimes sense its like an odd issue that the show maybe is guaranteed a third season, but only a third season at this point, and this has become a filler season. Judging by the episode descriptions for the next two weeks, the action picks up. But it could also be that we spend too much time inside nightmares.

I feel like the show just likes its pseudo political aspect because it becomes almost too procedural if they follow what you would think would be the natural path. Alex, Michael and Noma traveling around to different places, maybe hiding from Gabriel now and again and glimpses in on him. I don't know that that would be a bad thing for the show though. I'd like to get to know Alex more, but he's barely more than a good guy solider at this point. But, he's kind of the point of why Michael is around at all. Heck, you could just focus it more on why Noma and even Claire to a certain extent feel drawn to him. Make some other basic good guy characters also want to follow him for no particular reason.

Is it odd I was dismayed Julien wasn't actually killed? It falls into your 'almost' issue with the episode. I still like Julien and am kind of curious what his next step would be. It almost would seem to once again try and appeal to Alex to worm his way into Michael's good graces, but then also...okay, I did a marathon of Heroes this weekend and just because I am only now forming thoughts about the whole of the first half of Teen Wolf, I've been doing a lot of comparing and contrasting (like Scott McCall and Peter Petrelli are basically the same dude, I've also started the first season of Arrow, so if you are curious how Scott and Stiles repair their friendship, basically watch how Oliver and Dig repair theirs, though they don't exactly have a Felicity to yell at them to figure their crap out) but Gabriel is sort of falling into the Peter Hale ability to kill people. I'm not 100% positive who he has killed that he ever intended to kill.
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Sep 06, 2015
So now the lackluster Claire is the improbable focus of a love quadrangle. Arika tells us she won't be executed and unfortunately I'm sure she's right. Her flashback was an unsuccessful (if it was meant to make us care about or understand her) waste of time--all it told us was that she was once an average person capable of fear who lost someone important to her like 99% of remaining humans, whereas now she is just a ruthlessly deceitful bitch who gravitates supermodels to her service. Gabriel's escape was pretty enjoyable, though it's tiresome that he's tainted and wants to kill Michael now based on his hallucination. I guess they felt he needed a new irrational motivation for carnage since his time with Michael improved him a little. Julian probably initiated a self-repair with his seasonal-affective-disorder lamp, and five bucks says he'll twirl his moustache again before the season is out. I'm on the verge of hatewatching this now.

They should be able to tease the Whelans into something interesting but they haven't made good on that just yet. I am cautiously hopeful to see a return to the bonfire village, since that's where some of the best writing has happened this season, but I'm keeping my expectations low.

They're spreading the story across too many unimportant and uninteresting characters and neglecting Michael, Gabriel, and Alex. Noma is about the only one who gets an appropriate amount of story time imo. She's turned into an appealing and believeable supporting character. Too bad it looks like she's about to get essentially benched for the remainder.
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Sep 06, 2015
I don't think agree that this show needs to take a page from Supernatural or X-files at least in terms of format. Dominion is not and shouldn't be a procedural. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't benefit from better smaller story arcs, but this is a show that needs to stick to it's main storyline.

I think this season is stronger than last, but you're right that doesn't make it good. It has small moments of possibility, but it's being bogged down by moments that lack focus, direction and don't expand the mythology in an interesting way.

One thing I'll give Supernatural is that the way things unfolded (seasons 1-5) it was clear that the full story arc had all ready been thought out. Small things in early episodes had big payoffs later.

Dominion feels like its being written as it's being shot. Big moments have no real weight or consequences and are followed immediately by more big moments which just lessons the impact of everything.

Noma tearing off her wings, annoyed me greatly. Not only was it ridiculous that she didn't attempt to remove the pins from the wall first, but that act should have pretty much killed her. An episode later she's helping carry Michael on shoulders. She should be out of commission indefinitely, taken by the prophet to Mallory, and hopefully into a better storyline than pining after Alex.

I actually prefer the group split up, mostly because I don't care about Vega. They've shown me nothing that makes me care about this city. They blew it in half and then showed me some annoying "Freedom fighters" whining about their rights. And some tech guy fawning after the Lady of the city, who is supposed to be a bad ass now?

I also want more Michael & Gabriel, in fact Gabriel should have been the one to lose a wing or two, because he needs to be depowered not made stronger. A weaker Gabriel allows more interaction between him Michael, Alex and Noma, and explains why he and his angels haven't wiped Vega off the map (though apparently that's coming).

I think the biggest weaknesses in this show are inconsistency and lack of clear focus and goals that work with the mythology instead of against it.

And that their isn't enough variety among the characters. Everyone is pretty much the same. (If you're not a strong, passionate, driven and sometimes ruthless woman or man (or angel) on Dominion, please raise your hand).

Additional Ranting:

Bringing back William to have him play the same delusional "prophet" he was playing in Season 1 is stupid. Why not make him a man who has lost his faith. I'm tired of watching him and his father make grand speeches on the state of things. Yawwn.

Arika's character has gone from someone with interesting ulterior motives, to annoying scapegoat. I feel bad for her, her backstory was a mess, and did nothing to explain her current state of mind.

Julian went from interesting character to hot mess, with lame motivations. Also does anyone else find it strange that his new body looks just like his old body?

Not looking forward to watching Alex and Gates spar over Claire next episode. One lady bombed the place you were in, and the other ripped her wings off for you, this shouldn't be a difficult choice Alex.

Any thoughts on which Angel the Prophet is?
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Sep 07, 2015
I think part of it is also that they've tossed characterization out the window in some cases.

Julian was actually kind of a good guy for his first few episodes. I don't necessarily mind that he turned out to be a villain, and I'm sure being out in the darkness, exiled, drove him nuts. But... does he have to act like an insane over-the-top bad guy? All this so that we could have a cackling, giggling (according to the captions) villain.

He was the ruler of an entire city, and seemed to be a pretty good job of it. And got humans and eight-balls to live together peacefully. And now that's all gone. Not only that, but we've never really seen the charisma and drive that would have let him create such a city.

I've already noted how Gabriel went from a pretty straightforward villain, to someone with motivations and a rationale for being a bad guy, and now he's back to a straightforward villain again.

David used to be a subtle schemer who managed to protect himself from exposure. They tossed him out of office, they left him to wandering the streets. Before she died, even Zoe didn't trust him, and David was so... blatant about how he was untrustworthy.

The fact he got an off-screen trial didn't help, either. I noted at the time... so, a naked female angel comes at him, he stares at her for a few seconds, and then draws a gun and tries to kill her. That gets somebody exiled in Vega? Even if there's incontrovertible video proof. (And look how little that means these days.) Okay, a schmuck off the street, or even Consul #5, maybe. But this is David Whele we're talking about. The second most powerful man in Vega. The Season 1 David would have defanged Claire's charges and made it look like she framed him (which... she did), and got her exiled. The Season 2, David, we get an off-screen informal trial and *bang* he's gone.
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Sep 06, 2015
I don't think the format of those two shows should be adapted. per se. I'm also not sure that they are entirely "procedurals." However you define "procedurals." Is Supernatural the same as CSI, and the same as House?

But right now, Dominion seems to be dedicated entirely to the season arcs and "big stories." I'd like to see them take an occasional break from that. If nothing else, it gives our heroes a chance to win occasionally. How many times have they had a clearcut victory in the nine episodes this season? Not just "Yeah, we managed to escape because Julian can't invest in decent security because he's having most of his army sleeping in the basement.."

Part of it is also the civil war element. Who are we supposed to be cheering for? Main character Claire, who is kinda winning. Even though each of her victories keeps getting undermined, by traitors (David and Arika). Or do we cheer for the rebels, who presumably the rebels have some legitimate grievances. Despite all of Claire's protestations and off-screen efforts to help the V1s.

I don't expect the main characters to win every victory and defeat every opponent. But so much of this season has just been treading water. Two steps forward, two steps back.
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Sep 06, 2015
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Sep 05, 2015
I really liked William as a hallucination, when they brought him back in for real I was hoping to see something more entertaining, but so far he's been drab.

As uninterested in Claire as I've been, I was really pulled in by the execution. I think they should have pressed with the harder version of her but they seemed to have backpeddaled a bit.

The prophet looks cool, hopefully he'll add some spice.
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Sep 05, 2015
My gut feeling is that the prophet will turn out to be Lucifer.

McKee was pretty good in Season 1 but has been mediocre at best in Season 2.
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Sep 05, 2015
And X-files has some of the best episodic material... if every show had an occasional Tooms or Fluke-man they would be better for it. But a lot of episodic stuff tends to be rubbish. Either the stories aren't that interesting or the villains aren't that memorable.
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Sep 05, 2015
Right. But that's because you have poor writers. A bad writer isn't going to make anything interesting or memorable, whether it's episodic or not.
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Sep 05, 2015
Loved the Episode , but we need Alex and Norma together, they are the main line of the story
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Sep 04, 2015
I guess I'm the odd one out as I loved this episode!

I've been waiting for Gabriel to pull out the rug from beneath Julian since he was captured. This is the Archangel who brought on the apocalypse and destroyed mankind's civilization! This is the being who's commanded the Dogs of Heaven, and had Michael running for safety! To have him fall to a lower angel who Michael felt beneath him was wrong in every way. So I waited, impatiently I might add, to see what happened happen. However, I do like that Julian affected Gabriel, and I'm disappointed that Gabriel didn't keep track of Julian after he ripped Julian a new one.

And then seeing Gates undo all of Arika's nasty little machinations so coolly was awesome!!!

And then there's William. The "weak" son that David threw out into the desert with a single gun and a pack of supplies?! David was all "oh my son..." and William was all F U dad!!

I did think the angel littered ground was silly, and all I could think of was an altered version of Tiny Tim's song: Tiptoe through the 8-balls, through the angels, through the lalalala...".
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Sep 05, 2015
Plus.... what the heck is the point of having an army that spends it's time sleeping?

"Hey, I'll have my army of eight-balls surround Vega and then... go to sleep. Sure hope the guards on the walls don't notice, go out, and cut their throats while they're unconscious."

Why does Gabriel need this kind of "army" when he's already got the survivors from the Aerie bombing? Sure, there aren't as many of them. But at least they're loyal. And presumably a bit more powerful than your average eight-ball.
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Sep 05, 2015
I thought the army was Julian's, not Gabriel's.
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Sep 05, 2015
It was, but now they're loyal to Gabriel.
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Sep 05, 2015
I thought the same thing about the sleeping army. Too bad the prophet didn't stumble through there and flash fry them.
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Sep 05, 2015
I was Uber happy when I thought Gabriel had killed Julian, only to find out that Julian wasn't dead and escaped. It's bothered me immensely that Julian has been able to wield so much power over two more powerful arc angels.
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Sep 05, 2015
I don't mind Gabriel being powerful. But they've spent, what? 7 episodes building Julian up as some threat. All he's done is spend his time building up a CGI army, indulging in angel torture porn, and having his prisoners escape repeatedly.

All this so that basically we've got the uber-badass Gabriel... that we've had last season.

So they weakened a character, to build up a villain, just to undermine the villain to put the first character back where he started at.

It also seems awfully short-sighted of Arika to leave the antidote for the poison out in plain sight. That seems more like James Bond villain, than the cool calculating manipulator Arika is supposed to be.
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Sep 05, 2015
I do understand where Julian's threat comes from. Julian's weapon seemed to come from his knowledge of angelic weaknesses, and that both Michael and Gabriel overlooked him, thinking him already vanquished after Gomorrah. He basically tricked the archangels, and then used their own war against them. They had been concentrating on their fight against each other, that they weren't looking for other dangerous parties. And Michael's such a goody-two-shoes, that I expect him to be blind-sided by Julian. But Gabriel's been the architect of this war against humanity, so I had expected him to lull Julian into a false sense of security, waiting for Julian to make a misstep. I was just a bit impatient for him to get on with it.
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Sep 05, 2015
I get the impression that's what the writers wanted to do. Because it's kind of how it started. But once Julian brings in Empyrean steel (from where? and how? and what is it? the writers would rather do angel torture porn than tell us), it's no harder for Julian to capture Michael and Gabriel than it would be for you or me.

Then he puts them through a pointlessly long torture, they escape, he recaptures Gabriel, and then Gabriel escapes more through a fluke (Julian: Whoops, guess he wasn't as broken as I thought), than any cunning on Gabriel's part.
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Sep 04, 2015
The show's main problem remains its premise. It's name is Legion for they are many.

The change in style in Season 2 oddly reminds me a lot of Z Nation with the 8-Balls acting as 2nd rate ersatz zombies. Maybe they should rename it to A Nation.
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Sep 04, 2015
I agree wholeheartedly with all your points. I want to truly enjoy this show because I love the genre, but the writers keep failing in not progressing the story and the characters.

I'm glad you mentioned Supernatural, because all along as I've complained about the lack of mythology--I just keep thinking how they need to take a play out of the Supernatural playbook. There's a show with an endless fodder of material regarding all things, demons, angels, monsters and is now treading into pre-biblical waters. AND YES, they build characters that are loved and adored, including the ones you love to hate.

I'm sure it's just me, but when David was giving his, " we'll storm the barricades and overwhelm their forces" i was waiting for him to bust into a Les Miserable number.

in closing I just want to note the 8 ball suicide bomber. WTH?
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Sep 04, 2015
Well, in fairness, 17 episodes in, we hadn't had a lot of Supernatural mythology, either. It was just case of the week, and hints of the demon side of things and Sam's mysterious powers.

On the other hand, Dominion is built around the mythology. The whole world was wiped out by the Apocalypse except for scattered enclaves. That's the setting. The basis for everything that happens. And we still don't really know what the "rules" are.

For instance... why wasn't Riesen possessed in the first day of the War? Why now aren't the people in Vega possessed? How does the angel hierarchy work? (The lesser angels still seem like demons to me.) What is an angel? How many people can an angel carry? ;)
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Sep 05, 2015
Yes, but SPN didn't introduce angels until season 4 (yeah they met the Trickster before then, but without the knowledge that he was really Gabriel. As soon as Castiel arrives on scene we get all kinds of angels and the lore. And even when it was just monster of the week stuff in the beginning you got the lore as you went. The viewer learns as Sam & Dean learn.

With Dominion, not only do we not know the heirarchy or sub classes, we don't even know how many arc angels there are. Raphael and Uriel are twins and in most lore or biblically speaking, Uriel is never an arc angel. He/she is a higher order of angel, but not an arc angel. Has there been any mention of Lucifer? When if was noted in this last episode that Michael was God's favorite I just keep thinking--no, Lucifer was his favorite.

And yes, the eight balls are more demon like and what would be God's purpose for even creating such lower level angels? I often forget they're angels and have to remind myself that they're not demons. I haven't the slightest clue what these beings were doing in heaven back before all this happened.
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Sep 05, 2015
Right, but Supernatural (and X-Files) had some mythology. The demon mythology led to the angel mythology on Supernatural.

But yes, you're right about how it was somewhat of a learning process for Sam and Dean. This is all stuff that Alex and Michael already know. Rather than giving us a POV character (Pete could have served that function this season), the characters don't talk about what they know because they know it.

That's slightly more realistic: how many time did Scully explain something that she and Mulder already knew? So characters info-dumping about things they already knew could have been awkward. That's why you pay writers. But narratively, it sucks that they haven't done so on Dominion.

Heck, Alex is a POV character to some degree. I didn't have a problem when Noma had to explain to him about why the eight-balls at Big Box were acting like their human hosts. He didn't know it, she did, she explained it for Alex and for us. That's what the writers should have done more of. Especially earlier this season when Alex was out beyond Vega, and experiencing all kinds of things that he had never experienced before.

Now, we're far enough into the season that it's too late. They're back in Vega, and not experiencing new things.
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Sep 05, 2015
Yes, the writers need a vessel to funnel the information to the viewers in a way that's realistic. whether it's a character like Pete or a flashback...something. In season 1, Bixby could have been utilized that way. She was a child and Alex could have passed info on to her to prepare her for survival.
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