Season 2, Episode 5
Airdate: Thursday, August 6, 2015, 10/9c on Syfy.
War is always an imminent threat in the world of Dominion but in “Son of the Fallen,” the stakes are higher than ever with Julian’s (Simon Merrells) sinister plans for Vega, and Senator David Whele’s (Anthony Head) thirst for revenge. In the wake of events in “A Bitter Truth,” where battle lines were drawn, “Son of the Fallen” explores the power struggles among the principal characters from different ends of the spectrum. The action and drama remain steady without deviating from the problems at hand in New Delphi and the streets of Vega. Writer Marc Halsey’s script captivates my attention with the way he handles the complex relationships many of the characters have with one another. For instance, the moving flashback scenes between Archangel Michael (Tom Wisdom) and Alex (Christopher Egan) add much more context to the innate problems Alex has with trusting others. The flashbacks provide a great juxtaposition to the present conflicts in New Delphi when Alex reunites with Michael—a scene I have been looking forward to since the season premiere and well worth the wait.
Throughout the course of Dominion, the role parents, particularly fathers, have in the lives of the main characters is a significant part in their growth this season. Although, the dangers of an insurgence by the V1s, Vega’s most impoverished class, against the capital pushes the city to the brink of civil war, as well as Julian’s manipulation of Alex against Michael, are important points in “Son of the Fallen;” it is interesting to observe how these events come to fruition in the episode. David’s recent pact with Zoe (Christina Chong) is the result of assuaging the guilt he feels about leaving his son William (Luke Allen-Gale) in the desert to die. When Michael strives to make amends with Alex in New Delphi, the flashbacks of Michael protecting young Alex adds depth to their story arc. Sometimes, I forget how lonely Alex’s life was until he met Michael, and later Noma (Kim Engelbrecht). Then there’s the matter of Archangel Gabriel’s (Carl Beukes) crusade to eliminate mankind—an attempt to bring his “father,” God back to him.
The inner demons are a pivotal part of what motivates many of Dominion’s characters, which leads them to make devastating life choices. Alex’s anger towards Michael blinds him, but it’s their shared past that brings him back to his senses. I appreciate how “Son of the Fallen” takes the time to weave a theme like fatherhood amid the action and sweet romantic elements of the episode. Gates (Nicholas Bishop) and Claire (Roxanne McKee) are scene stealers this week with the way they share their food. I’m rooting for them, not only because they have great chemistry, but Gates brings about a side of Claire that is light-hearted. With Alex, Claire was always on edge, and matters regarding her complicated relationship with her 8-Ball loving father, Gen. Edward Riesen (Alan Dale), didn’t do her any favors in season one. The arrival of Gates this season gives Claire someone who is genuinely loyal to her, and has her best interests at heart, which is more than I can say for Arika (Shivani Ghai), whose ulterior motives makes her the dark horse this season.
It’s the Whele Show
Since the moment David is banished and left to fend for himself among the V1s, I knew it would lead to bad things. At least among the leaders and elite members of Vega, Claire could keep a better eye on him but left to his own devices, David is a bigger threat than ever before—the consequences of which prove fatal in the “Son of the Fallen” cliffhanger.
Head’s performance as David is on point this season; he is amazing in the ways he embodies his character. I can’t imagine any character generating as much sympathy and hate as David, well, apart from Gabriel. David’s fall from grace in the eyes of the citizens of Vega is a great parallel to Michael’s journey. Unlike Michael, whose resurrection leads him back to Alex, David’s new alliance with V1 rebels makes him an unstoppable force. When I imagined David’s story line this season following William’s departure, I never pictured him leaving the comforts of his home. Strangely enough, I like Rebel David as he finds his true calling as an anarchist.
I also relished the part Arika plays this week; we haven’t seen very much of her, but to her credit, Ghai delivers a memorable performance. The strong leading ladies in Dominion makes them stand apart from the rest of the sci-fi TV pack. I enjoy the small moments like Arika’s extensive knowledge about “The Chosen One” and her plans for her beloved city of Helena.
There must be a ‘final ten minute’ rule in the writers’ room of Dominion because so far, the last few scenes of this season’s episodes are truly suspenseful. There is a lot more action in “Son of the Fallen,” including a leg slicing, shootouts, and explosions. When there is a lot of violence in a show, though, it’s easy to start drifting away from the substantial points of the series’ overall theme. In “Son of the Fallen,” I didn’t get that impression, which is a testament to director Robert Mandel, whose superb skill effectively translates Halsey’s script to screen.
The continuity flows evenly and leaves room for speculation on how Julian’s plans may turn out. There is another reference to Lyrae (the angel possessing Julian), and Michael and Gabriel’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Do New Delphi and Vega share a similar fate? Between David’s determination to lead a war against Claire, and Julian’s insatiable need to destroy humans, no one is safe. Overall, “Son of the Fallen” is another impactful episode that leaves plenty of food for thought for the remainder of season two.
What did you think of “Son of the Fallen?” Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @conallen.
Tune in to Dominion on Thursdays at 10/9c, only on Syfy.
All photos © 2015 Syfy Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.
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