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Dominion – S1E3 – Broken Places

Previously on Dominion, ‘Godspeed’

In this week’s Dominion, the Senate calls Michael on the carpet for his omissive lies about the corporeal angels’ existence. Michael further reveals that not only are there two more archangels, Yoren and Raphael, but Earth has dulled the angelic ability to tell who is what, so he had no idea they were in the city. We find out that’s not entirely true when he meets with a shopkeeper/secret angel who says “they” had no idea that Felicia, the Riesen’s housekeeper/secret angel, was in league with Gabriel. Michael replies that they either need to get on the right side or get out of town.

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Whele puts the screws to Thorn, blackmailing her with either exposure as Michael’s lover, which would supposedly make her a pariah (why?!), or find out his weaknesses as an angel, in the interest of “science.” As if.

Claire bawls her father out for questioning V1 students from her Creepy Sunday School, reminding him that they’re people, not numbers. Riesen returns fire, saying if she wants change so badly, she should marry William, but then breaks down and admits he’s sick.

William gets a lecture on empathy in war from Gabriel (see Great Moments). Chastened, William later admonishes his Black Acolytes of the Chosen One’s coming and leads them in a dark sacrament: crushing one acolyte’s rib cage with a golden sash as a symbol of Gabriel’s promise and of strength through pain. “Where one breaks, one becomes strong. Where one is strong, we are all strong,” they chant.

 

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Arika receives a no-deal message from her wife, Queen Evelyn, in the form of her sister’s body. Temporarily powerless, she promises not-entirely-unsympathetic Whele a coup of Helena in exchange for sanctuary to plan. But later we find her building a signaling device with her earrings. Beep beep beep, flashes the light. Beep beep beep, flashes a light in the distance. Hmm.

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High on his presumed success, Whele tries his lion metaphors on William, expounding on their species-saving lion mating program to shame him into being more aggressive with Claire. “Nature calls,” he growls. But William saw that Mutual of Omaha episode and rebuts that the cubs will luckily not be raised by their ruthless father. His cautious approach wins when Claire excitedly announces an impending citizen bill of rights from her father in exchange for her agreement to the arranged marriage. He’s stunned.

Alex keeps driving down the Highway of Rebellion, but after losing a roadside game of chicken with Michael, he gets the guilt trip of his life: The archangel takes him to the old barnhouse where the walls, now covered in symbols and equations, induce a vision from his tattoos of Jeep losing his mind in the futile quest to decrypt their message. To top it off, Michael cries, admitting he forced Jeep to abandon him so that he would grow from the hardship, and then drives the point home by telling Alex how he found his mother dying, wrapped around his tiny body, having sacrificed her life to protect Alex from the 8 Balls. Well played, Michael.

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Just as Alex is coming around, Furiad gets sick of waiting for Gabriel’s Chosen One Free Will plan to come through and attacks with three 8 Balls, breaking off his sword in Michael’s gut. But Gabriel doesn’t approve and kills Furiad’s 8 Ball lover in retaliation. Nobody touches Michael in this apocalyptic chess game but Gabriel, yo. We close with Alex rushing a bleeding Michael back to the city.

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Great Moments:

In the Senate meeting, Whele prowls around Michael, planting a seed of doubt regarding the archangel’s loyalty, but Michael reminds him that he could pretty much slaughter them all right there without consequences. “Murder is a crime… for men. Is it a crime for angels? It’s good to ponder such questions. It will help you to understand the real danger you face,” he hisses, strolling out. I bid you good day, sir.

Whele interrupts Arika’s blessing ceremony over her sister’s body, telling her the Vega citizens burn their dead to prevent the lower angels from possessing the bodies. “When in Rome,” he says, tossing a book of matches on the bed. Ouch.

William confronts Gabriel in a diner outside of town about his sudden attack on the city injuring Claire, weeping that what hurts her hurts him. In response, Gabriel serves up an object lesson on blood as a tool in war. Exhibits: fork in the waitress’s eye, wing whipping the other patrons, and beheading the submachine gun-bearing cook. Order up. William tries to look tough leaving, but hilariously slips on a puddle of congealed blood.

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Overall Problems:

Thorn’s general uselessness. While she’s obviously powerful and brilliant according to her job titles, so far her only interesting characteristic is her relationship with Michael, which we’ve not seen since the first 10 minutes of the first episode.

Michael’s bland emotional state. His quiet threats serve cold notice, but otherwise even his tears weren’t very believable. He continues to be out-acted by nearly everyone with few exceptions.

William’s major personality conflicts. He sells the sensitive fanatic side completely, but the Black Acolyte side, not so much. Poor writing feels to blame on this one as there is little room to reconcile the two sides.

Next time: 

Everyone works to save Michael’s life and Alex is arrested for desertion of duty and tossed in the clink. To avoid stripping during processing and revealing the tattoos, he headbutts the guard. Will he keep his secret?

 

About Sarah de Poer (199 Articles)
Eminently sensible by day, by night, she can be found watching questionable scifi, pinning all the things, rewriting lists, pantry snacking, and not sleeping. She was once banned over an argument about Starbuck and Apollo, and she has to go right now because someone is wrong on the Internet.

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