Previously on Damien, ‘Second Death’
The Forces of Evil make their move toward Damien, guiding him to his destiny. But he’s reluctant so far. Meanwhile, the Forces for Good continue their investigation into the three (and counting) tragic accidents that have befallen those who come too close to the truth.
It’s important for a fledgling show to have plenty of eggs in its basket; but it’s equally as important to not show them all too soon. What is crucial, however, is to know what to do with them when you’re ready to deliver on early promises. In Damien, we have two good eggs so far, both cooked pretty close to perfection: Barbara Hershey’s Ann Rutledge, and now, fresh from an acclaimed stint on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Scott Wilson as former Chief of Staff to the First Lady, John Lyons. (Damien was taken in by the president and the first lady when his parents died, and so had a friendly relationship with Lyons.) They are on the side of evil – but they’re not on the same side. At last, we’ve got some progress.
The Deliverer carries on as the Second Death ended, with Ann trying to persuade Damien of his heritage. Something must have clicked, because later in the episode, Damien tries to contact the hospital in Rome where he was born. But it was burnt down, with all records lost in the blaze.
You get the feeling, though, that with a bit more persuasion, Damien could fully embrace his destiny. The Forces of Evil feel that way, too. The Powers-that-be behind Damien’s ascension have a power meeting. Present is Ann herself, John Lyons (with whom Damien had already spoken, expressing his concern about Ann’s “stalking”, but does not yet realize is on Team Antichrist. This needs a hashtag pronto!), and the Victim of the Week, Ann’s wannabe replacement, Troy the Moron. Lyons reckons that Ann’s “softly softly” approach with Damien is taking too much time and could result in his premature death. So it’s over to Troy now. And he completely blows it.
Knowing that Damien is outside the building, being stalkerish himself, Ann creates a situation where Damien runs to protect her from the Evil Moron. Hence a chase scene which ends in the subway, where Damien saves the life of a child pushed down onto the rail, and Troy falls afoul of an escalator which eats his tie and then his face. I never liked escalators for that very reason.
This act is the hub of The Deliverer. It’s where the bulk of the action takes place, and it is concluded by the now essential “violent death of the week”. But it’s somewhere else entirely that the black heart beats. Put James and Hershey together in a room and give them some meaty material to work on, and you’ll have a scene to savor. At the end of the episode, Ann takes out one of Damien’s photographs, one which he thought destroyed, and one which brings back a particularly violent and evil episode from his career as a war journalist. It’s this examination of evil that brings a much-needed zing to this installment. Similar to James’ treatment of the priest at Kellie’s funeral, he lets rip and at one stage I thought he’d break down. Ann takes a moment to compose herself in the bathroom. And by ‘compose’, I mean carve out the numbers 666 on her already scarred thigh, and then practically have an orgasm outside Damien’s apartment. This lady has it big for Revelations, right? She even carries her own cutter with her in her bag. Spooky, and just a little bit disturbing – which is a good thing for Damien. The spookier, the better; the more disturbing the show, the more effective its chills.
The rest of the cast plays it by the numbers. Simone, who’s now seeing visions of bleeding religious icons, and Amani are still pondering what to do after finding Kellie’s notebook and video. (No hurry, folks, we’ll wait for you.) Det. Shay, meanwhile, links Damien to Kellie’s death and the accident which claimed the life of the would-be assassin, Dumpster Boy. Researching Damien’s childhood brings him to the attention of one of the Hellhounds. After a half-assed attempt to eat the detective, there is now a vacancy for the position of Hellhound #3. Apply via the website for Armitage Global. References essential. No time-wasters, please and thank you. #TeamAntichrist
This is the best episode of the three on offer so far. While Damien still plays hard to get, the Powers-that-be aren’t content to just sit and wait for him get all Satanic; they’re ready for further their own agendas and get the demonic show on the road. Damien is now up and running (but not, hopefully, face down into an escalator).