Season 2, Episode 6
Airdate: Thursday, August 13, 2015, 10/9c on Syfy
After watching the latest episode of Dominion, I needed a stiff drink. “Reap the Whirlwind” is one of the series’ most intense episodes so far. David Whele’s (Anthony Head) anarchistic vision for Vega comes at a grave cost that even David himself will live to regret. Meanwhile, in New Delphi, Alex’s (Christopher Egan) fate as “The Chosen One” is put to the test when his plans go awry.
Post Apocalypse Problems
The aftershock of David’s decision to literally divide Vega in a blaze of glory leaves Claire (Roxanne McKee) in a no-win situation. Poor lady can’t catch a break; she’s pregnant and fending off killer angels when her own people are not plotting to revolt against her. Claire’s character development is a vast improvement from season one, and McKee is at her best playing Claire as a calculating character. That said, it doesn’t mean Claire is a good leader for the city. I understand she is doing the best she can but at this point, Arika (Shivani Ghai) is doing a better job of running things from behind the scenes. What bothers me the most is Claire doesn’t have a good set of advisors—with the exception of Gates (Nicholas Bishop). Maybe that will change by the end of the season.
Another woman kicking ass and taking names is Zoe (Christina Chong). Besides Noma (Kim Engelbrecht), Zoe is a character I can’t get enough of; watching her use cutthroat methods to take down the city for her cause is riveting. Dominion is one of the few TV series to showcase a diverse cast of female characters from a wide range of backgrounds. For example, Zoe, representing the most vulnerable citizens of Vega, the V1, reminds me of Katniss from The Hunger Games. Zoe answers some of my questions regarding the poverty of Vega. We saw how bad the V1s had it in season one through Alex’s eyes, and for a while in Bixby (Betsy Wilke), but we never saw the true desperate state of affairs in the city. Zoe provides some insight in “Reap the Whirlwind” we don’t get any longer with Alex because he’s in New Delphi. It also helps matters that Chong has a great expressive face, and when she shows Zoe’s feelings shifting from anger to fear, I believe every one of them.
Unlike the castes in The Hunger Games, Dominion’s elite V6 class has characters like Claire with complex backgrounds that doesn’t make the moral lines so clear cut. Zoe is an amazing addition to the series. It’s fascinating watching her find her sense of strength as a leader with David’s guidance—he’s not that bad of a motivational speaker, after all.
They Who Sow the Wind
“Reap the Whirlwind” is a reference to a proverbial phrase that in its entirety reads, “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.” Writer Rebecca Kirsch scripts the theme of the proverb throughout the episode to reflect not just the state of Vega or New Delphi; in many ways, “reap the whirlwind” becomes emblematic of Alex’s and David’s choices to follow their plans blindly. Did Alex believe that by following Julian’s (Simon Merrells) plans and betraying angels Gabriel (Carl Beukes) and Michael (Tom Wisdom) he’d leave New Delphi without blood on his hands? Then there’s David, whose acts of vengeance against Claire in “Son of the Fallen” places him at a point of no return with the V1 rebels, and also in Zoe’s crosshairs. Not only does David incite a civil war, he cannot see beyond his own selfish desires. Sadly, the price of David’s ambitions results in a way I did not expect.
Although there are minor points that attempt to alleviate the dark tone—Gates and Claire‘s relationship taking an intimate turn—they don’t distract from the horrible pain of watching Noma’s scenes with Julian. Vega’s problems pale in comparison to the hell breaking loose for both angels and humans alike in New Delphi. Alex’s attempt to foil Julian’s mission never sat well with me because he still has a lot to learn. Sure, Alex has the one thing Julian wants as leverage—an amphora jar that contains the power he needs to create a monstrous army—but from the moment Noma hides it, I knew things wouldn’t end well.
The New Delphi story line is all about sacrifice and fate. If there is a standout moment, it’s the lengths Noma goes to protect Alex from Julian. Engelbrecht and Egan are stellar in their performances, showing the pain and anguish of their situations. It’s only when Noma takes matters into her own hands that the story line focuses on Alex’s destiny again. Despite everything Alex has done, I appreciate when he at least owns up to his mistakes. My heart breaks for what may lay ahead for Noma but in the world of Dominion, anything is possible.
Going into “Reap the Whirlwind,” I expected harrowing scenes, but with every twist in the episode, more questions come into view. The mythology for the series’ universe expands a bit to suggest some cryptic characters are on the horizon. The last half of “Reap the Whirlwind” suggests a possible new threat, leaving me to wonder if it’s the cause behind Mallory’s enigmatic guardian. There are enough thrills and shocks to leave me pondering what will happen by the end of the season, and who will live to see a possible third season.
The storytelling, the actors’ performances, and Robert Mandel’s direction of the episode all move in a nearly perfect conjunction allowing the emotional impact to amplify throughout the course of “Reap the Whirlwind.” Just when I think I’ve seen it all, Dominion manages to prove me wrong by pulling at my heartstrings while keeping me in utter suspense.
What did you think of “Reap the Whirlwind?” Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @conallen.
Tune in to Dominion on Thursdays at 10/9c, only on Syfy.
Follow the series on its official site at www.syfy.com/dominion, where you can also watch videos and clips of the episodes. Also, like Dominion on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DominionSyfy.
All photos © 2015 Syfy Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.
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