After last week’s more “light-hearted” (speaking of The Home Depot scenario here) approach, amidst the Gabriel self-sacrifice play so Michael could escape and help Alex, this week in Dominion; The Longest Mile Home is, in a word, shocking. From the moment we first see that (despite David shooting him in an earlier episode) William has survived his journey through the wilderness of Arizona and returned to Vega.
This episode has a high body count and the dead includes Zoe, who surprisingly did not die at the Armory although most of her troops did, except for David. It is not just the deaths that surprise however there is the outcome of certain death faced by General Riesen. There was a brilliant reveal with Riesen where we learn he was not a soldier but a civilian on a military base. When the place is overrun by lower angels turning soldiers into eight-balls he takes the uniform, and identity of Riesen. We also learn that it was on this day Clementine became an eight-ball.
Michael drops by to save Alex and Noma. Although they may not have needed too much aid as Alex had just chopped off the chainsaw carrying eight-ball’s head with his own saw when the archangel arrived. Later, it looks like “Father” from Mallory reached out and saved Alex and Nomes as well. Michael finds a number of eight-balls outside the farmhouse where the chosen one and Noma had spent the night. Michael recognizes this type of death from the small town.
Arika is found out, by Gates (he is not a computer/electrical wiz for nothing), and her time is running out. Claire and Gates set up both Zoe and Arika with “mis-information” that the Queen of Helena shared with David. Clementine works on Edward to accept Julian’s offer of becoming a Dyad and immortal. Meanwhile Julian “targets” Gabriel with drugs to control his mind.
Claire and Gates send troops not to take the armory on Zoe’s side of the trench, though they lead Arika to believe that this is the objective. Instead the agri-tower is the objective and they blow up the rebel’s weapon store killing all but Zoe and David.
William Whele stumbles into a bar and hungrily attacks a peanut snack bowl. As he tells the bartender and the bar’s only other customer who he is, the patron accuses him of lying. Whele leaves and later meets the man in the alley behind the bar, he brutally kills the man and takes his money.
The drugs work on Gabriel who believes that he escapes and then has a sexual trust with Claire Riesen, Noma and Arika. He wakes up still in chains and his chair surrounded by three women and Julian explains his plan. Destroy the archangel’s mind, take it over and then control his body.
After the armory explosion, Zoe is taken captive as is Arika and her retinue (which includes the doctor). Julian tells Edward Riesen that Vega has fallen into civil war and that Claire has lost the baby. He continues to push the Dyad solution to the dying man. “Dyad-ism” says Julian, “you will remain Edward Riesen in every way.”
Off screen, Riesen takes the Dyad deal. Back at Vega, David shows up with his men to fight with Zoe. They wait for troops who never show and when the armory is blown up, Whele leaves Zoe to her fate. Later, Claire goes to see the young rebel leader in her cell. After explaining her disappointment in Zoe for not accepting her moves of peace and her anger that Zoe has forced into a war “without mercy,” Lady Riesen shoots young rebel leader right between the eyes.
William Whele tells a bar full of patrons about his time in the desert and meeting the hand of God. He talks of God saving him from thieves. As he tells his story, Gates has a drink and Arika’s doctor has poisoned Claire’s “right-hand man.” Back at the bar, Whele takes off his shirt revealing a torso full of scars claiming that he is the chosen one who will root out evil from Vega.
Back at New Delphi, Gabriel learns that he cannot control Julian’s eight-balls and he also finds out that his captor has gotten the amphora from General Riesen. Edward has taken the Dyad offer after all.
This episode had some stand out moments some of which were shocking, disturbing and upsetting.
Moments of Note:
The General Riesen backstory: Edward’s humble beginnings are shown. He was a civilian clerk at an Army base who read a lot. His reference to the Sun Tzu Art of War book, “All warfare is based on deception,” is placed right before the actual attack on Zoe’s and David’s troops on their side of the trench. This move is, as mentioned by Riesen in the flashback, total deception. Brilliant.
Dead eight-balls: The burnt eight-balls seen by Michael, Alex and Nomes. The discovery of the bodies happens before the recounting of William Whele’s tale of the six horsemen. Clearly the same Father is responsible, both the Mallory eight-balls and Whele’s thieves are touched by the same hand.
Pistol packing Lady Riesen: Claire shooting Zoe in the jail cell. A true jaw dropping moment, Zoe had not even stopped talking when Lady Riesen pulls that trigger. (One assumes that Arika will suffer a similar fate very shortly, especially when it is discovered that Gates has been poisoned.)
Dyad-ism: General Riesen choses to become a Dyad. Those eyes…
*Sidenote* William Whele, who was not the most sane of men before his exile, has come back mad as a hatter. Clearly his time with the eight-balls has driven him even further into la-la land.
The end of the episode has Gabriel looking in horror at the amphora in Julian’s hand and one is left wondering if Vega is doomed. The gunfighter angel (in last week’s episode) tells Noma to take Alex to the east, does this mean that Vega will not be saved? Is Gates doomed as well? That looked suspiciously like blood on that napkin (a sort of Takashi Miike touch a’la Fudoh: The New Generation without the gallons of claret gushing but enough to make the connection.).
Anthony Head is brilliant as the scheming Whele senior and the return of Luke Allen-Gale as his estranged son William was an excellent move to have the double act back, as the father/son duo with the love/hate relationship. Alan Dale stood out as the dying Riesen and Roxanne McKee rocked as Claire Riesen in this episode. Sadly, it looks like Nic Bishop may be leaving the show, time will tell whether his character caught the poison quickly enough. Kudos to Carl Beukes as Gabriel, his archangel’s lines were pithy and very spot on this week.
Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy, do not miss this epic battle between good and evil and all things in-between.