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Aug 29 2015

Dominion – “The Longest Mile Home” Retrospective. Lost and Found.

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When Gabriel looks nervous, it can't be good

When Gabriel looks nervous, it can’t be good

Season 2, Episode 8

Airdate: Thursday, August 27, 2015, 10/9c on Syfy

Rating:

 

It’s the beginning of a new path, or the end of a very long journey for some characters in Dominion. “The Longest Mile Home” marks a pivotal point in the season as political alliances change for the worse, and the seeds for a whole new faction of rebellion begin to take root in Vega. For the first time in weeks, the battle lines are no longer distinct when a shift in power leaves several characters in peril and one of them very dead.

Fire is Catching…Sort of.

Since the start of the season, Zoe’s (Christina Chong) role as the leader of the V1 insurgents against the capital has been a great story to watch unfold. Zoe’s deep hatred for the capital makes me want to know more about her. Unfortunately, there are so many great supporting characters this season so I understand why Zoe doesn’t get an elaborate origin story. Still, I am happy with what little we learn, like the fact it was Zoe’s mother who taught her how to use a weapon. I must point out Chong’s performance; her commitment to the role of Zoe adds an aspect to the character that allows me to empathize with her despite the violence—she did shoot David Whele’s (Anthony Head) hand, after all; then again, maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing.

Claire tries to recover with Gates by her side

Claire tries to recover with Gates by her side

Paralleling Zoe’s story is that of Claire Riesen (Roxanne McKee). Claire struggles to recover from the ambush in “Lay Thee Before Kings.” Even though Zoe is perceived as the main antagonistic character on Dominion, Claire’s development is shaping her into more of an anti-hero and potential villain than Zoe. I love how Claire’s transformation is gradual, slowly coming to a boiling point.

Meanwhile, the continuity of story lines remains intact, even if it isn’t as shocking. As tensions mount in the capital amidst the civil war, Gates (Nic Bishop) works hard to find the traitors behind the attack on Claire, and Arika (Shivani Ghai) wastes no time in trying to sneak out of the city. Although they only have a few scenes, Gates and Arika play crucial roles. I appreciate that in spite of the shocking twists in the story, “The Longest Mile Home” follows up on the subplots previously introduced, thus creating a solid episode. Among the plots included are the story lines surrounding Archangel Michael (Tom Wisdom), Noma (Kim Engelbrecht), and Alex (Christopher Egan). Michael and Alex’s reunion is wonderful and progresses their story lines further. It’s really good to see Noma get a reprieve from what seems to be a constant barrage of abuse and torture every week.

Surprise, Surprise

William returns with a new mission on his mind

William returns with a new mission on his mind

One of the reasons “The Longest Mile Home” is bittersweet is while having to say goodbye to one character, we see the return of a beloved character from season one. The opening scene of  “The Longest Mile Home” shows a cloaked figure making a journey back to Vega. As the camera pans in on the face of the enigmatic figure, I knew it could be none other than William Whele (Luke Allen-Gale). I’d recognize Allen-Gale’s expressive eyes anywhere. Yes, the exiled first son of Vega returns, and he’s on his own personal mission. As William roams around the V1 sector, unrecognizable, it becomes clear, very quickly, that he has a vicious streak. It’s going to be fun to see how long it takes for William and David to reunite, and if they will forge a new destiny for Vega. Well, that is if the legacy Zoe leaves behind ends in the Wheles’ favor.

Allen-Gale is memorable when he depicts a sardonic version of William in David’s hallucinations. I hope the living version of William will have the same qualities. Very much like Claire, William is exciting to watch when he is going against the clean cut image established in the first season. What is certain is that the final scenes of “The Longest Mile Home” hold promise that the battle for Vega will not just be for Alex or the angels; the Wheles are going to have a big role to play as well.

In New Delphi, the tides are also turning as General Riesen’s (Alan Dale) life hangs in the balance while Archangel Gabriel (Carl Beukes) proves to Julian (Samuel Merrells) he’s not as tough as he pretends to be for everyone. Aside from Riesen’s fate, most of the story lines in New Delphi, much like the subplots in Vega, feel like stepping stones towards a big season finale.

Overall

“The Longest Mile Home” is a strong episode. I do feel the great set up of reoccurring characters like Zoe and Laurel (Olivia Mace) deserved more screen time; the problem is many of the supporting characters have potential to extend the mythology of the series. Although I love the core characters, like Alex and Michael, it’s the minor ones like Zoe who add a refreshing take to the surreal world of the show. Writers Harley Peyton and Jerry Shandy craft a very thoughtful script while director Jeff Renfroe’s methods of setting up suspense are riveting. As a whole, the episode is solid, but what does it add to the overall season? “The Longest Mile Home” is a tad disappointing, but have no fear; the redeeming qualities of the episode are well worth giving it a second look. William’s return and the truth behind his survival in the desert make me wonder if he believes his own story or if he’s taking a page from daddy dearest. I particularly love the sheer brutality of Claire’s actions at the end because it pushes her to a point of no return—what she does is irrevocable and will surely have a major ripple effect.  I simply can’t wait to see how all this plays out, and who will survive the next round of Dominion’s second season.

 

What did you think of “The Longest Mile Home?” 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.

Follow Dominion on its official Tumblr: http://dominionsyfy.tumblr.com/, and on Twitter @DominionSyfy.

All photos © 2015 Syfy Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

© 2015, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.

About the author

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.

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