That was one deliciously wicked hour of television people... 5 stars for me!
Not only did the cast bring their A game, but newcomer Gregg Simon directed the hell out of Dominion Season 2 Episode 11. Taking on the "Darkness" was no small feat, yet with all the madness going down the installment felt cohesive and riveting. The entire season's setup led to this moment and boy did each character's fears deliver the goods.
Dominion's like nothing else on television. To me, its more than earned another season. Let's break down the episode, shall we?
Though Riesen/Duma is on his way with the 8-ball army, the Darkness and its psychological drama was a brilliant hors d'oeuvre. From the moment that dark cloud spread through Vega, you got a real sense the shit was about to hit the fan. The opening scene set the tone for the hour, as folks blew their brains out and attacked one another. That's right, it was a full on "horror show" and then we heard a baby cry.
Chris Egan mentioned on Twitter that, "This might be one of those episodes you have to watch a couple of times." He wasn't kidding and I'm glad I rewatched it before writing this review. There's just too much going on to catch everything the first time around. While it was clear Claire was hallucinating her baby, things got a little murkier when it came to Alex, Michael and Noma. How cool was it meeting David the 8-ball? Anthony Head killed his Jekyll and Hyde scenes!
Michael quickly clued us in that Alex was somehow resisting the amphora's effects.
Alex: What the hell is this?
Michael: It's the amphora of Darkness. Brings out the darkness inside and drives you mad with visions to make you hurt yourself or someone else. Some are nightmares, but some are dreams. Beautiful but fatal. All end in death.
Alex: Well I'm not seeing anything. Nightmares or dreams.
Michael: Neither am I, but angels can withstand its effects longer than humans. Doesn't explain you though.
Before Michael said it, I assumed the Darkness could not take hold of Alex as he was the last pure heart. However, what does the fact Alex managed to close the amphora say about him? Michael clearly stated only an angel could reseal it. This was our first major hint that Alex might be a nephilim (son of an angel and mortal mother). Could Michael be his biological father? Hit me up in the comments with your theories.
Elsewhere, Arika was tormented by Claire and Rose. I loved that the tables were turned and she became the 8-ball in the situation. It's interesting that Arika was one of the few characters that did not take on a monstrous appearance. We did get a chance to see 8-ball Gabriel, David and Claire though, which was really fun. Carl Beukes' punk rock mohawk was a trip.
Though William continued to insist he was chosen by God, this installment made me doubt him for the first time. I thought it possible Lucifer came to him in the desert, but perhaps it was all in his mind after all.
The scenes with Claire, Alex and their baby were a nice contrast to the rest of the gloominess. Don't get me wrong, the material was eerie as well only in a completely different way. Plus, the stuff really tugged at your heartstrings and was tough to watch.
If you've been following my reviews, you've probably noticed my frustration regarding the editing. These quieter and visually brighter sequences broke up the episode nicely, yet were smooth transitions. Not once, did I feel irritated when we jumped to service another character. I thought the pacing was spot on considering all the storylines in play. That said, the entire episode took place in Vega which might have something to do with it.
I found it interesting the way David spoke of his soul. He's got one of those? His 8-ball doppelgänger was quick to lecture him on the topic.
Each of these items represents the soul of a man or woman you destroyed on your way to power. And you kept them in a trophy case. Let's be honest David, you've been a monster like me longer than you'd like to admit.8-ball David
Speaking of monsters, we cut back to Arika in the very next scene. It's crazy how we can hate both David and Arika one minute and yet sympathize with them the next. This was some of Shivani Ghai's best work on this series. She came across as brutally honest, vulnerable and quite daring. Again, everyone brought their A game here. This installment is going to be tough to beat.
Let's face it, splitting up was a bad idea no matter how you slice it or dice it. Noma seeing herself with wings and Michael watching Alex die were gut-wrenching moments. That Darkness was one bummer of a nasty acid trip man. Noma's "ooops" was priceless too.
Was there any truth to 8-ball Claire's claim that the flash of light William saw was a gun backfiring?
William: That's not true. I am the voice of God.
8-ball Claire: That was your voice. You were talking to yourself.
So, is William completely delusional? If we're to believe the Darkness, William has been suppressing the torture he suffered at the hands of those 8-balls. His vision of Alex also reinforced he's a fraud. Though I'm doubting his sanity more than ever, I still want to believe William's a dyad and that Lucifer is somehow involved. These visions were misleading after all, so perhaps there is some truth to William's story. I just can't wait to learn more.
Anyone else think that Noma was going to fall off that ledge? I'm thrilled she did not obviously, but I continue to be worried for the character. Alex sealed the amphora and the Darkness lifted. The markings clearly had something to do with it, but I'm betting the Chosen One is more than human. What do you think?
Gabriel's reaction was fantastic, "Well, that was rather quick. No matter, it's time." Sure, the amphora had been hyped all season, but I feel like it played its part well and I did not feel cheated in the end. Bring on that 8-ball army!
Ultimately, watching each character's hell manifest itself was thrilling. This installment gave us the best insight ever into both our heroes and villains motivations. Yep, "Bewilderment of Heart" is without a doubt one of my favorite episodes of the series. Congratulations to Vaun, Gregg and the entire cast/crew. Thank you for a phenomenal hour of television.
Did you enjoy "Bewilderment of Heart" as much as I did? Is Alex a nephilim? Is Claire the only character truly in danger? Do you believe William's story or is he cuckoo for cocoa puffs? Feel any differently about David or Arika now? Your turn ladies and gents, sound off in the comments below.
You know you need to catch that madness again. Watch Dominion online right now via TV Fanatic.
NOTE: Dominion Season 2 Episode 12 is titled “Day of Wrath” and airs on Thursday, September 24.