Dominion Episode 2 Review: Godspeed and the Nature of Angels

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What is the nature of angels? Pascal Parente, in his book The Angels, says “When the whole material world had been created, the Lord formed another similar creature, ‘a little less than the Angels,’ consisting of body and spirit, able to know, love, and serve Him on earth as the Angels do in heaven. We like to imagine the creation of the material universe placed between the creations of two orders of rational beings. One, heavenly, purely spiritual: the Angels; one, earthly, partly material, partly spiritual: Man.” Angels, then, were created by God, having no physical bodies, but possessing an intellect, and supposedly no human needs for sex, food, or companionship other than that of their Creator.

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Not so in Dominion, however. The angels here, from the highest archangels, Michael and Gabriel, to the lowliest “eightballs,” seem to have taken on not only man’s form, but his baser needs, without understanding how to control them. These are not the angels who brought the Good News to Mary, the trumpeters of the Heavenly Host, or the winged cherubs of Renaissance art. These angels are now – as they never were before – lust-filled, power-hungry, jealous and greedy. Gabriel seems to have started this war against mankind, Michael feels, because he didn’t like the attention their Father gave humans, the way man has polluted the paradise given to them instead of the angels, which Gabriel felt should be the birthright of the angels. In the beginning of the pilot episode, Michael seems to be at the center of an orgy, with several women asleep all together in his bed, and we understand that he has an ongoing relationship with Senator Becca Thorne, who would like to have his child, something he resists.

Michael and Gabriel, according to the Catholic church, each have their own “jobs,” and Dominion uses some of that history. Michael fights against Satan, and rescues the souls of the faithful from the enemy. in Dominion, that is basically his role – to protect the humans from the “enemy,” which is not Satan in this case, but his own brother. Gabriel, however, is traditionally the angel of mercy – not so much here – but also the angel with the power of God, which in Dominion, he is claiming.

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Their supernatural strength and powers has made them fierce fighters, but without the deviousness of humans – they fight straight on, not understanding retreat or strategy, susceptible to the tricks that man uses against them. For example, in last night’s episode, Felicia, Claire Riesen’s servant, is revealed to be an angel, and nearly takes out Claire, the child Bixby, and Alex Lannon – but can’t foresee that Alex doesn’t fight the same way she does, and is finally chased off after being set on fire.

Recapping last night’s episode: A flashback shows Jeep and Alex, probably about age 10, before Jeep left, when they were attacked by eightballs. Jeep tells Alex that he will never leave – but we know he does, probably shortly after this incident. Now, Alex doesn’t want any part of being “the chosen one,” and tries to get Claire to run away with him. But now, more than ever, she feels, they must stay and help in the war against Gabriel. She confronts her father about the planned marriage to William Whele, saying she will never marry him, and the General reassigns Alex from their House’s protective duty to the Whele’s. David Whele tells Alex that before the war, he was a televangelist – and a good one – but he has obviously renounced all his past beliefs. William Whele, the “black acolyte” who worships Gabriel and revealed to him that the Chosen One had been found, tells Alex that he will be happy to talk with him about anything – but we know it will go back immediately to Gabriel. Alex seems very wary of Alex, rightly so.

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Following Jeep’s murder last week by Rowan, the young boy that the Helena deputation brought with them, who turned out to be an angel, Whele has jailed the entire contingent and stripped them of their “haikas,” or oversized costumes. Arika tells him that Evelyn, the Queen of Helena, will mourn Arika’s death, then destroy Vega. She kills the other women in her group, to make it look like David Whele has massacred them, to get him to either accept blame for the event, in which case Arika will plead for him, or to make it look like he has declared war on Helena.

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Michael summons Gabriel to meet with him, where Gabriel reveals that they know about the chosen one, but doesn’t tell Michael that they don’t yet know who it is. Gabriel soon learns, however, when the servant Felicia sees Alex’s tattoos and tries to kill him, and then, injured, flies back to Gabriel and gives him that information.

Michael tells General Riesen that Alex is resisting his new status. “He has a destiny that’s not etched in stone. There are many paths he could choose, and not all for the best. I don’t know how to reach him. Alex’s decisions have repurcussions for everyone on this planet.” And indeed, Alex again tries to get Claire to leave with him, and is last seen leaving the city at night alone. The General, who has not told Claire about his congestive heart failure, is seen meeting with an eightball for a “romantic” rendesvous, if you can call it that when one partner is a deformed, half-mad angel.

If you haven’t yet checked it out, I suggest you go to the Dominion website (www.syfy.com/enterdominion) and learn about the mythology of the angels and the structure of Vega. It’s very interesting and beautiful!

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Erin Conrad