And here I thought we had a Dominion community. Anyhoo, with no community and no staff review yet this week (maybe they're all at the TCA?), thought I'd post my own unofficial review of the 7/17 episode, "Something Borrowed."

If interested, you can find the text recap here.

* I apologize if whatever Claire, William, and David were passing around aren't gloves. Several people seemed to think they were, and "fragments of cloth" is way too long to type.

Cute title, and it turns out to have significance later in the episode, too.

This episode was light on the angelic battle and heavy on the inter-palace scheming. No Gabriel this week, no Uriel. Not that there was any reason for them to be in this particular episode, but it robbed last week’s story of some of the momentum.

Instead we got scheming. Lots and lots of scheming. David is trying to oust Edward. Claire is trying to blackmail David. William is helping Claire against his father. David is blackmailing Becca into supporting him. William is still conspiring against the city, sorta, by working for Gabriel as a spy. Arika seems curiously absent this week, but I suppose her scheming would have been lost among all the other scheming.

Oh, and Becca ships Michael’s lovers out of the city to Helena so that David can’t use them against the archangel. And then breaks off her relationship with him. Sorry, Becca/Michael shippers (all three of you). I guess I'd find this subplot more interesting if a) at least one of them wasn't a cold fish, b) we understood why angel-human relations are so scandalous, and c) we knew anything about their backstory in the first place.

I will not "give you some sugar, baby."

Edward seems surprisingly clueless about David’s efforts against him. However, he’s busy keeping a deep dark secret of his own: he’s got a little lesser-angel booty on the side but she wants more. The angel, Clementine (not sure if that’s the angel’s name or the name of Edward’s dead wife, or both), goes on a road trip into Vega and kills a shopkeeper, and that puts her on the run when the military realizes that there’s an eight-ball in the city. Which brings us back around to Alex, who doesn’t really do a lot else this week.

Alex is basically taking lessons from Michael on how to be a Chosen One. The physical training isn’t going well as the archangel provokes him into losing his temper. Again. And again. And again. However, thanks to meditation Alex gets another message from the tattoos that he is supposed to make sure no one else dies like Bixby did. The little girl, not the Incredible Hulk.

I taught World War I fighters everything they knew about flying out of the sun. Now drop and give me infinity, Chosen One!

We also find out that Alex and Noma were romantically involved until she had to dump him rather than risk exposure and his losing his military status. They have this conversation while hunting down Clementine, and then split up and Alex gets the drop on the lesser-angel. She pleads for her life, saying that she has a daughter, which leads us into... the engagement party. Claire toasts a portrait of her family and speaks in honor of her dead mother, who is the human body that Clementine is using.

Given that the promo for the next episode show Claire meeting her mother, this hopefully means that they’ll address the issue of what angels do when they possess a human. Are the human personalities totally wiped out? Are they buried but can emerge under the right circumstances? Can the angel be driven out and the human restored? Given this has been glossed over for the most part on Supernatural, where Sam and Dean off demons and don’t seem too concerned about the humans that they’re also killing, it’ll be interesting to see where Dominion takes the whole entity-possession thing.

So the episode ended on a cliffhanger as Alex hesitates to shoot Clementine. Some reviewers seemed to think that he had already spared her, but it seemed more like he was on the cusp of a decision then having made it in her favor.

Overall it was a week of scheming and political backstabbing. We find out a little more about David’s past and why he is why he is. I’m not sure if the fact that his son got David’s wife and other two children killed is intended to make us sympathize with David or not. It does lead to one of the best scenes of the episode, where William grabs his father’s cane, they struggle, and then William kisses his father’s forehead and says that he’s what David has made him.

The set piece of the episode was Claire blackmailing David, which I wish had been made a little clearer. I’m sure someone will explain it to me, but... William planted the gloves in David’s desk. Then he sent Claire up there and she found the gloves. Did William tell her they were there, or did he just send her up to get his speech knowing she’d find them? She asked him for help earlier so if he didn’t tell her it was a setup, it seems like she would figure it out. And a pair of black gloves doesn’t seem like very distinctive blackmail material. Do Black Acolytes have exclusive gloves that can’t be duplicated? Since this had to be a strong enough piece of evidence to get David to go along with Claire, I wish that they had made this clearer.

If the gloves fit, you must a-quit botherin' my father.

Presumably William didn’t let Claire in on his plan. If he did, wouldn’t she wonder where he found an indisputable piece of evidence that only a Black Acolyte would have. But on the other hand, won’t she wonder if William planted it there, since she had just had a conversation with her where he offered to help her with his father?

It also makes Claire out as kind of scummy. She seems willing to keep her father in power despite the fact that she believes a Black Acolyte now holds the second most powerful position in Vega. Either that, or she’s making a really boneheaded decision. I don’t mind smart characters making boneheaded decisions, if they acknowledge why they’re doing it. In this case, Claire is presumably letting David the Black Acolyte stay in power to protect her father. If the writers have her or someone else point that out, it would make for a much more effective scene. Here’s hoping that they do in a future episode.

Other than that, nothing really happened. The episode basically gave us more of a look at David, William, Claire, Clementine, and Noma. If you like this kind of palace intrigue, this is the episode for you. If you wanted a week of flying angels engaging in swordfights, then it isn’t.
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