Dominion: Bewilderment of Heart – What Color is Your Amphora? (Review)


Dominon - Season 2

Last week on Dominion we saw “dark” Gabriel drop off the amphora of darkness at Vega, although “darkness” is a bit misleading as, Michael points out later in the episode, the spreading inky black stuff drives everyone it contacts mad.  Before the episode ends all the inhabitants of Vega have been affected by this weapon of God. There are many changes, Alex turns out to be able to do much more as the Chosen One than ever previously suspected, the two Whele’s are forced to face their “inner reality” and the other main players learn their own truth. Claire, apparently,  is dying from loss of blood after a wrenching little perfect families scenario.

*Sidenote* There was an annoying moment, or two,  of the amphora changing color or,  more accurately, its overall appearance. Obviously, this mostly jet-black vase, with a pretty important lid, that Gabriel unleashed upon Vega was considered too plain by this now very dark archangel. He obviously stopped on the way to the city he wants to destroy and got the thing gold plated…Like you do. Later in the episode, after Nome’s finds it, the object is back to its “plain Jane” appearance. Nice one chaps…Not.

This episode was brilliant in its almost epic  focus on what each character feared or wanted. Tom Wisdom’s Michael says of the visions released by the amphora (or the vase of many colors):

“Some are nightmares, but some are dreams. Beautiful but fatal; all end in death.”

Each character had their own personal reflections and realizations:

David Whele faces the truth that despite his protestations that his actions were all for “Vega”  he has essentially sold his soul. His focus on becoming the “Lord of Vega” has turned him into a monster., with the “soul of an eight-ball.”

William Whele faces the realization that he really is not the “Chosen One.” His vision has an eight-ball Claire revealing what actually happened in the desert.  She tells him that, yes the  eight-balls tortured William and did unspeakable things  to him. Perverse things that the Whele sibling liked and that the flash of light was not God at all, but the thief’s gun exploding and William was talking to himself, not God at all.

Dominion - Season 2
William Whele coming to terms with a different reality

William is also visited by Alex, who forces him to admit that he is not the Chosen One at all. There is also a “punk” version of Gabriel who visits his former “protege.” Carl Beukes as Gabriel gets what must be the funniest line of the entire episode. He bellows at William that he was never the “Chosen One.” He follows this up with:

“You’re a re-ject.”

When Gabriel’s delivers this revelation he drags the “re” part out to brilliant effect. Priceless.

Claire “lives” a perfect idyllic happy family scenario where she has given birth to Alex’s baby, a girl. In the middle of the sunshine and loving atmosphere, Lady Riesen sees blood on her arm and her vision of Alex sees nothing.  By the end of the dream, Claire is lying on the floor, with two dead troopers for company, apparently bleeding out from a wound on her forearm.

*Sidenote* It has to be noted that when Claire goes into pick up her baby;  the infant is the spitting image of Nic Bishop, aka Gates Foley.  This physical resemblance of the child to the recently deceased Gates was funny and it took a couple of moments for the laughter to subside from this inadvertent comic bit to “get back into the mood.” 

Arika (Shivani Ghai) lives a nightmare where Rose, the eight-ball that she killed in another episode, has come back to exact revenge. The vision itself is revealing in that Arika also fears turning into her mad mother.

Dominon - Season 2
David Whele facing himself.

Michael has a vision, where Noma has murdered Alex and he seeks to kill the wingless angel. Noma does not have a dream, the amphora “speaks” directly to her telling Nomes that she has her wings back.

Alex, who may or may not have had a vision (this is a little unclear as so much is going on) closes the amphora. Michael states early on in the episode that only an angel can close this weapon of God, but those markings on Alex’s body march down his arms and allow the Chosen One to close the now black amphora.

Gabriel remarks that the plague of darkness was over “rather quickly” but he is already moving on to plan “b” for the destruction of Vega.

The episode moves all the pieces together for a climax that may not leave Vega, or the city’s inhabitants above ground. Kudos to writers Katie GruelRebecca Kirsch and Jerry Shandy for digging deep and coming up with a brilliant look at the inner fears and worries of the main characters.

Director Gregg Simon, sitting in the hot seat for the first time on Dominion, handles the episode with an impressive adeptness and does not allow the show’s “darkness” to be so dark that one felt the need to reach for the brightness controls.

Standout Moments:

The amphora suddenly appearing with what looks to be a solid gold plated exterior after being black from “day one.”

Roxanne McKee as an eight-ball Claire Riesen. (Nuff said.)

Arika being oddly vulnerable. (And if  Ghai did not use a body double..Let us just say. it is obvious that someone spends a lot of time at the gym.)

Luke Allen-Gale in that final scene as William is proper creepy and disturbing as they say in the trenches.

Anthony Head as the eight-ball David. Head has got massive acting chops and he took off in this episode.

Carl Beukes as Punk Gabriel, “You’re a reeeeeeeeeject!” Never has a line been so blackly and comically rendered as insult. So good it had to be mentioned twice.

The realization that the entire episode, in Vega time, took seconds in the lives of the main protagonists. David’s “awakening” with the noose choking him as he knelt on the trapdoor of the gallows showed that all the visions occurred in a very, very short (as Gabriel notes) time.

Dominon - Season 2
Michael reflecting.

Dominion airs Thursday on SyFy. This show features some of the best writing on television in the world of fantasy and science fiction/religion. Do not miss this.

 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

8 thoughts on “Dominion: Bewilderment of Heart – What Color is Your Amphora? (Review)”

  1. If you look closely when Alex closes the amphora, the writing on it starts to glow gold. This shows that opening or closing the amphora makes part of it gold. It wasn’t an error.

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      1. Sorry mate, not budging on this one, the shot does indeed show the gold plate addition but in the flashback sequences earlier in the season, the bloody amphoras were all black…If I’m wrong Gabriel, or even Michael can come sort me out… Thanks again for sharing mate! 🙂

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      2. That’s what I am trying to tell you, though. The amphora is a tall black vial. When you open (or close) it, parts of it begin to change to gold. This is shown at the end of 2×11. Noma finds the amphora, and it is completely black. When Alex uses the markings to close it, the inscriptions and sides of the amphora change to a gold color. When it is being activated or deactivated, it turns gold. Rewatch if you don’t believe me.

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      3. Gotcha! It just really threw me when all the references (visual) were of a solid black and rather unprepossessing object. The introduction of the gold was surprising and a tad confusing if one forgot to re-watch the prior season! Thanks matey, for your perseverance! Cheers! 🙂

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      4. Yeah, sorry if I came off as annoyingly persistent. I just didn’t know how to get it across right. What did you mean by “rewatch the previous season” though? I was talking about last episode when he closed the amphora.

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