Dominion: House of Sacrifice “Lucifer is that You?” (Review)

Dominion - Season 2

Last week in Dominion Julian went underground after turning Gabriel into a vessel for darkness “How does it feel Gabriel? Does it tickle?” and the town of Mallory made a reappearance in the plot line. This week picks up after Michael collapses in Vega.

His body lays dormant and he appears in the church of Mallory where he talks to the prophet. Michael’s storyline runs alongside the fight for Vega. Before the end credits roll, Claire will lose her “new man” and David Whele is captured and imprisoned. Erika makes a deal, General Riesen loses again and Michael learns that his big brother Lucifer is alive and well.

All the storylines this week took a step forward toward a season finale that seems to lead to Vega being either moved or reinstated someplace else. As usual, there were plenty of set pieces that featured some brilliant dialogue. The scenes with Nic Bishop (Gates) and Christopher Egan (Alex) were very good as these two had a brilliant chemistry together. Their “not so” good natured banter as they enter the reactor was just perfect.

Setting these two men,  who have the beautiful and strong Claire Riesen (Roxanne McKee) as a common interest, against one another meant for what could have been an excellent “bromance” looked promising.  Sadly, instead of an ultimate Humphrey Bogart/Claude Rains moment and future relationship, Gates does a Captain Kirk and sacrifices himself to save Vega.

In terms of double acts, the scenes with the father/son pair, David (Anthony Head) and William (the newly returned Luke Allen-Gale) went beyond the bounds to include one of  blackest comedic moments in the show. After William’s mind was blasted off into left field somewhere (the chap really does seem to believe he is the Chosen One), David’s joy at finding his offspring still alive and preaching has kept him from seeing just how different William is.

 

Dominion - Season 2
Anthony Head/Luke Gale father/son reunion.

Granted, the two fought constantly when William was in Vega before but now things have definitely taken a turn for the worse, comically so in one instance. The senior Whele is practically weeping as he tells William just how haunted he has been about leaving his son to possibly die. The younger Whele takes his glass, lifts it and sucks noisily from the straw, completely unimpressed and disinterested at David’s confessions.

*Sidenote*It was also telling that when David, actually weeping apparently, hugs his son, William’s face is devoid of any emotion. Later we learn that Whele junior set his father up to be taken. Payback, as they say, is a b*tch…

It is almost impossible to watch that scene and not burst out into surprised laughter. Not just because of the childish act but David’s decision to ignore it and plunge on with his declaration that he will not abandon his son for a third time. (Something he does rather quickly when he leaves and is arrested by Claire and her troops.)

The battle between Claire’s father, General Riesen, and his “inner angel” becomes a lost  cause when Gabriel discovers the secret of Riesen’s strength and Clementine is dispatched in short order, allowing the angel to rule the new Dyad.  Julian is not present for this episode and it is clear that the darkness has consumed Gabriel…or has it?

Dominon - Season 2
General Riesen/Gabriel – Alan Dale/Carl Beukes.

With the news that Lucifer is alive, well and running his puppet,  “The Prophet,” it may just be that it is Lucifer who is pulling Gabriel’s strings. The new Pinocchio version of the Archangel has a fiery hate for his brother Michael and Lucifer is pretty much synonymous with darkness…Connecting the dots makes it seem that the first fallen angel,  aka Michael’s big brother, just might be moving things along.

By the end of the episode, David kills Kat (Lex King), whom William was going to spare, Gates dies, Michael beats the devil at cards, and Gabriel returns to Vega to drop something off. It is also very apparent that Nomes is going to get a new set of wings. (Apparent in the way of your old professor smacking the blackboard with his pointer repeatedly – “Ouch, my absent wings hurt,” not just once but repeatedly. We get it…Noma is going to get wings again.) 

Nomes getting feathered up would be excellent repayment for her casting off of her previous ones. Like Alex, as Michael says to The Prophet, Nomes is “pure of heart”…and completely smitten with the Chosen One, so much so that she stands aside when she sees Claire back in the picture. Noma also expresses real concern and empathy for Alex when she learns of the baby’s death.

Kudos this week go to Roxanne McKee whose character was so improved with the presence of Gates Foley and her reactions to his death. Nic Bishop won the show’s overall award for selflessly dying to save his Lady Riesen and the town of Vega.

Dominion - Season 2
Roxanne McKee as Claire.

Mad props to the writers this week for allowing another “biblical” bet (think Job here and the wager that the Devil and God made about his faith) where Michael plays his big brother at Texas Hold-Em and wins. The Prophet standing in for Lucifer for the game and  the soon-to-be-loser offering to let the Archangel off lightly if he just folds were nice touches indeed.

Hats off to show creator Vaun Wilmott for continuing to make this a fascinating show with rounded characters that we get immediately attached to. Honorable mentions go to  the  director (Millicent Sheltonof this episode, Roxanne McKee was made to look softer and more beautiful (if that is possible, as it is hard to improve on someone already so gorgeous) for those scene where she declares broccoli is her favorite food. 

*Sidenote* One does wonder how many takes that particular line needed…

Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy. A series of biblical reference that offers some of the best acting onscreen. Do not pass this one by.

Dominon - Season 2
Carl Beukes, Gabriel before the storm…

 

 

Dominion: The Seed of Evil (recap and review)

Dominion - Season 2

Last week in Dominion, Claire Riesen shot Zoe right between the eyes. Blaming her for killing her unborn child the Vega leader granted the rebel leader a quick death and this week Lady Riesen learns that she got it wrong. Zoe was unaware of the sniper that David Whele set up and now Lady Riesen feels regret and guilt. In The Seed of Evil, the series finally moves things back to Vega, Julian finally overplays his hand and the town of Mallory takes on added significance.

Arika’s backstory is revealed, at least her beginnings, and Gabriel escapes. Michael is weakened by visions and Noma loses out.  David and William are reunited while Gates Foley proves that he is not just a techie. The rebellion moves forward, because Lady Riesen makes a difficult decision  and Arika has a wild card that has not yet been played.

In New Delphi, Julian gives Gabriel a drop of “darkness” from the amphora, it is placed in the archangel’s eye. The plan is to destroy Gabriel’s  mind allowing Lyrae/Julian to enter the archangel’s body.  Back in Vega, Claire and Gates speak with Arika; who tells her captor that David was responsible for the death of Lady Riesen’s baby and she gives up Whele. After their conversation,  Arika’s backstory is revealed after she tell’s Claire that, like her, she is nothing like her father.

Cue first part of  Arika’s backstory: 20 years previously, Arika is with her father Bobit (Deepak Verma) and they are in their plane. The aircraft is used to provide aid to those who need it and Bobit, her father, turns out to be  a “The ends never justifies the means,” type leader. Without any other information, till later in the episode, already it is apparent that Arika, at least, really is nothing like her father. 

Dominion - Season 2
Arika – Shivani Ghai in The Seed of Evil, proving that this acorn has fallen far from her familial tree.

Whele senior urges the V1’s to fight and they do. He reveals that when he was a V6 he feared that the general populace would rise up. The poor outnumber the rich greatly and even though they do not have the armory weapons at their disposal, David convinces them that just through their sheer numbers Claire Riesen can be defeated.

David heads for shelter at a local bar and Foley’s symptoms get worse. After coughing up more blood, he starts to take a drink and has an epiphany. He remembers Arika paid special attention to the water he drank in her presence.  Gates  knows she has had him poisoned. Michael, Alex and Noma attempt to get into Vega and find that Julian has placed his eight-ball army all around the city.

As the trio walk toward the city’s walls, Alex reaches down to shake one of the eight-balls. The creature does not react and they move on. The shaken eight-ball, like her colleagues, is in stasis, but she does slowly react to Alex’s touch. Roaring, she leaps up and her movement starts the other eight-balls moving as well. Michael, Alex and Noma are under attack.

In the heat of battle, Michael passes out and has a vision of Mallory. Julian continues to work on Gabriel and trying to drive a wedge between him and his brother archangel Michael.

He succeeds.

Dominion - Season 2
A tear of darkness falls…and Julian smears it as he gloats.

Gates challenges Arika about the poisoning. The traitorous leader of Helena bargains with Foley, telling him that  she will give him the antidote if he betrays Claire and Vega. In the bar, David sees William. He pushes forward to see his son and William takes time out from speaking to the masses to have a drink with his father.

As the two men drink, William tells his father that “William is dead” and confesses that he is grateful to his father. “Where,” he asks David, “would Jesus be without Judas?” The offspring that Whele senior left in the Arizona desert to die has slipped into madness after his journey of survival.

Dominion - Season 2
David and William, reunited.

Convinced that he has broken Gabriel’s mind, Julian gloats. He tells the archangel that he has lost Michael and that soon Gabriel will know what darkness really is. After imagining how great it will to have wings again. Lyrae/Julian enters Gabriel’s body.

In the Vega war room, Claire and Gates learn that Arika did indeed sell out her “partner in crime” David Whele. Foley begins coughing again and after telling Claire that he is alright, they share a moment. Lady Riesen tells Gates that one thing will not change and she tenderly kisses him. The alarms go off because of Michael, Alex and Noma fighting the eight-ball army to get over the wall.

Looking at the cameras Claire sees Alex is alive.

The trio make a stand and fight the eight-balls. Back in the war room, Claire orders that troops leave the reactor and help out Alex. Gates realizes that Alex is “her soldier.” Foley leaves the war room and continues coughing up blood. He is reading from a  small book, entering Arika’s room he approaches a plant with red and white flowers. Double-checking his book, Gates grabs a flower and eats it. He then falls over, twitches violently and lays still.

Back at New Delphi, Gabriel spits out Lyrae’s presence forcing it back into Julian. He then controls the Dyad, like a “meat puppet” and he has Julian cut his chains off.  Now free, Gabriel proves, through a little “I’ve been here forever type speech” that arrogance (Julian) is no match for hubris (the now “dark” Gabriel.) The archangel forces Julian to run himself through with his own sword.

Dominion - Season 2
Julian being forced to fall on his own sword by Gabriel.

Back at Vega, Michael, Alex and Noma are rescued by Claire’s troops. The three enter the war room to rapturous applause. Gate pays Arika a visit and tells her that he has cured himself, countering the monkshood with foxglove and that he has talked Claire into moving up Arika’s execution. Arika tells Foley if he thinks she is going to hang, he is mistaken.

Cue another flashback to a much younger Arika losing her father. He dies on the aircraft Helena…Not a bad backstory at all;  it explains where Arika got her coldblooded attitude from and where the name Helena originated.

In Vega, the reactor is taken by Whele’s revolutionary troops. David wants William to go with him to the reactor and sends his temporary sidekick outside. The man bumps into Kat (Lex King) who shoots him when he asks if she is looking for someone. “I’m looking for David Whele,” she tells the man’s corpse, “and you’re in my way.” 

Julian has survived having a sword shoved through his torso and he escapes from New Delhi. Gabriel searches half-heartedly for Julian and decides he needs to kill his “treacherous” brother Michael instead. Grabbing Pete, Alex’s friend that Julian turned into an eight-ball, Gabriel sets off for Vega after learning that the Dyad’s eight-ball army is now his to command.

Claire and Alex reconnect. Riesen admits it was she who bombed the Aerie. She also tells him about losing their baby. Noma is feeling a little hard done by. She lost her wings and Alex, “What do I have,” Nomes asks Michael. “Honor,” Michael tells her. “More than any other angel…” Suddenly the archangel has another vision of Mallory.

Michael collapses.

The final scene in Dominion shows the town of Mallory and the black angel who spoke to Noma earlier. As he walks into the town, people can be heard saying that “It’s the prophet, the prophet has returned.”

Kudos to Carl Beukes who chewed up the scenery as Gabriel, “The Dark.” The archangel has always been  “type ‘A’ personality, but with the added darkness of “God’s wrath” Gabriel is now twice as terrifying. Mad props to Simon Merrells as Julian and Shivani Ghai as Arika and Luke Allen-Gale as the “mad as a box of rocks” William Whele.

Honorable mention goes to Lex King as Kat. Keep your eye on this one, tall, statuesque and overwhelming, this actress is more than impressive. With mere seconds on screen, her character stays in the mind long after her short appearances.

Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy. This is a great example of a small screen version of a so/so big screen film being made into gold with the right scripts and actors. Do not miss this show.

Dominion: The Longest Mile Home (recap and review)

Dominion - Season 2
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.

Dominion: A Bitter Truth (recap and review)

Michael and Gabriel disagree
Last week’s episode of Dominion introduced a new character; Gates (Nic Bishop), Alex found General Riesen (Alan Dale), Michael sacrificed himself for Mallory and rose up afterward, and the big reveal was that Julien is the banished Archangel Lyrae. Last week also saw Gabriel send an angel to bring him the head of Claire Riesen. Dominion in A Bitter Truth follows the events of last week.

This week Alex gets a tour of New Delphi from Julien, which ends badly for the leader, and Noma is “outed” as an angel, Michael joins forces with Gabriel, Gates and Claire Riesen make a good team and David Whele gets motivation from son William as he struggles to save his own life.

Alex is pushing for Julien to honor their agreement and the New Delphi leader tells the Chosen One that it will take a week for the truck to return from Vega. He does not believe that Julien has sent any trucks and points out that the “fleet” of five vehicles have not moved since his arrival. He believes that Julien is hiding something.

David Whele is down on the streets, after being banished by Claire Riesen, and he is having a hard time dealing till William stops by to visit. As he stands arguing with his “late” son, someone shoves a bag over his head.

Gates receives a visit from Claire, he is practicing his pitch while she presses the buzzer for entry. When he finally allows her in (after making her wait for “five minutes,” she complains) he says, “Claire, I wasn’t expecting company today…or ever…really.” A great comic line that pretty much sums up the character of Gates in a sentence.

The MIT genius tells Claire about a baseball memory, he is watching the taped 2004 Red Sox vs Yankees game that his mother took him to as a child as he throws the baseball. He has a memento, a signed baseball card that his mother got for him. Gates tells Claire that he watches the game when he is trying to solve a problem, in this case, it is the unidentified crate that Zoe Holloway was seen carting away from the warehouse.

His story, about his “ma” getting the card signed, “There was no stopping that woman,” seems to show just why he is attracted to Claire. After this short tale, he sees that someone has followed her to his place. Gates initiates total lockdown.

Gabriel is in a snit with Janeck, who never sent the army he asked for. Janeck gets “lippy” and after being taught that “bourbon is whiskey” has his face planted in the hood of his car, several times. He goes to summon the army as Gabriel told him, chastised and a bit wiser after Gabriel’s “no hands” trick.

David has been kidnapped by Zoe and her henchman Jasper. They plan to film his execution. William continues to taunt his father as they prepare to kill him. Pete tries to convince Alex that Julien has more than five trucks in his fleet. General Riesen agrees with Alex and Noma, Julien is hiding something. Pete and Riesen stay behind while the other two search for the New Delphi secret.

Claire and Gates see the angel that Gabriel sent and Michael meets up with his brother to discuss Uriel, Alex, Noma and the fact that Claire Riesen bombed his, Gabriel’s aerie. He tells Michael that Alex is dead and Michael disagrees. Meanwhile the angel tasked with getting Lady Riesen’s head cuts the power to Gates’ lair.

David is read his list of crimes by Zoe while Jasper beats him. William continues to gloat and Whele manages to save himself for a half hour. Gates starts a backup generator for emergency power and the angel goes to the basement. He tries to break through the floor and knocks a shelving unit over onto Gates injuring him.

Julien and General Riesen talk strategy as Alex and Noma find Julien’s secret room. It is filled with an eight-ball army. There are thousands, or more, of the lower angel possessed humans who are frozen and armed. Alex is stunned and says, “This is not a city of merchants, it is a city of monsters.”

Gabriel admits that Alex is alive and he explains that Uriel died because she had no warning. The angel at Gates’ steel door is using his wings to cut through it. Pete has been taken by Julien back at New Delphi, David Whele has survived a little bit longer and William continues to provoke his father.

Gates and Claire electrocute the angel who is using his wings to cut through the metal door, with the generator. The angel is knocked off his feet, but only stays down for a moment. As it gets up, Claire tells Gates that they have “pissed him off.” David continues to plead his case, this time offering up endless food for the revolution. William finally irritates his father enough that he snaps at the specter of his son and tells him to, “Shut up!”

Julien relates a history lesson to Pete, who is tied to a chair, Alex and Noma. He reveals that the eight-ball army is in stasis and that he adds to it. The key that Alex retrieved was crucial to the process and Pete is soon inhabited by another lower angel.

Claire tells Gates to start using that “incredible brain” of his and he responds by kissing her. Then he explains how her father found him back at MIT. Back at New Delphi, Julien has Noma put in the chair and she fights off the lower angel, knocking out Julien, who is shocked to see that she is an angel. She and Alex escape with the amphora.

Michael and Gabriel continue to argue about “Father’s children” and back at Whele’s old studio as Zoe learns that David’s promise of food was genuine, David grabs Jasper’s gun. He also relates his own little history lesson to Zoe and Jasper about how he rose to power. He tells them that he probably killed William and as his son’s image argues with him, David shoots William and he vanishes.

Alex learns, from Noma, what the amphora is capable of. First, however, she reveals that she wants to use it to destroy Julien, the eight-ball army and New Delphi. Meanwhile, David talks Zoe into letting him help to defeat Claire Riesen.

Gates and Claire escape after she has booby trapped his warehouse, capturing the angel in the building, they kill it with the resultant explosion. Outside, Claire takes charge and Gates asks for a moment to take in the fact that all his life’s possessions have been destroyed. “Not all,” says Claire as she hands him the signed baseball card.

Michael and Gabriel agree to join forces and Nomes learns that Julien is a Dyad, half-human/half-higher angel. Julien explains that the amphora can be used to kill not just Gabriel, but Michael and the entire family of archangels. Alex tells him that if he does not use it to defeat Gabriel, Noma will use it to destroy New Delphi and Julien.

The return of Anthony Head, as David Whele, was a welcome addition to events. David’s killing William twice, so to speak, was telling and disturbing, there really is nothing that Whele will not do to take down Claire Riesen. Julien has still not revealed who he really is and the surprising turn of events is that Michael and Gabriel are to team up.

The chemistry between Nic Bishop and Roxanne McKee is still pretty potent and the two are a good match. In the show Gates brings out the best in Claire and she has lost some of that season two harshness. Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy this is “outside the box” entertainment that may be dark but worth watching.

Dominion: The Narrow Gate (review)

Dominion Alex and Noma at New Dephi
Coming back to the darkness that is Dominion and catching back up with Michael, Gabriel, David Whele, Alex (the Chosen One) and Lady Riesen in The Narrow Gate begins with Alex proving to Julian that he is “worthy.” The task is to find the round key around the neck of an eight ball in the New Delphi asylum. Zoe Holloway is on Lady Riesen’s most wanted list and Michael is still at Mallory and trying to understand Laurel’s motivation as well as learning that the “celebration” is really a sacrifice.

Alex goes after the key with a flashlight and a shotgun, the first things he comes across are eyeless corpses, and against the constant cacophony of eight ball possessed prisoners screaming out inanities “Monkey wants sex,” shouts one Schmiegal like voice, he eventually finds General Riesen (Alan Dale) who left Vega last season. He has been with Julian in New Delphi, as a prisoner, ever since.

Michael argues with Laurel about whether Father really talks to her. Michael angrily says that he should be able to hear him as well. Lady Riesen hunts up an old colleague of her father’s, Gates the man who, according to Riesen, helped to save and build the city. She asks for his help in hunting down Zoe. The engineer tries to beg off but the lady’s not for turning and she changes her request from a favor to an order.

*On a side note* Gates is played by Brit actor Nic Bishop. Bishop was a regular on the Aussie soap Home and Away and he feels a little like Sean Bean, rough around the edges and able to “mix it up” with the best of them. He also has that same natural approach to acting. A welcome addition to the cast and thus far, he has managed to bring a bit of chemistry to the screen in terms of Lady Riesen (Roxanne McKee).

With action switching between New Delphi; Alex and the hunt for the key and Vega; the hunt for Zoe, the small town of Mallory with its giant burning bush (so to speak) features less in the way of action and more in the arena of exposition with an emphasis on backstory. This walk down memory lane will eventually reveal a twist in the New Delphi events but that his not the most interesting part of this episode.

The flashbacks of Michael are short and reveal much of why he is so tortured and why he opted, in season one, to back up the humans in Vega. Set against the distraction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Michael, Lyrae and Gabriel have been chosen to punish the two cities and all those within it, barring, obviously, Lot and his family who don’t get a mention here, and the trio are arguing how to go about the whole thing.

Gabriel pleads for a divine punishment, using one of the Father’s jars/urns of “magical” curses with a blood drowning to finish off any survivors. Michael, however, listens to Lyrae who insists that the punishment be delivered by the blade of a sword. He jeers at Gabriel who has never killed anyone by the sword and the two higher angels go to dispense their bloody justice. Gabriel stays behind.

A survivor who escaped from the two angels stumbles into the tent where Gabriel prays. The realizes that the Gabriel is an angel and tries to kill him. The higher angel tells the man repeatedly to leave and inadvertently kills him, the first human he has ever slain with his own hands.

In the present, Michael and Laurel share a moment and Zoe’s rebels are found behind the Flamingo by Gates via the expedient method of monitoring wattage. Back at Mallory, the sacrifice ceremony begins and Michael remembers coming back to find Gabriel had slain his first human. He also remembers Lyrae getting carried away with the punishment, so much so that Michael strips the higher angel of his rank and plunges a knife into his neck, relegating Lyrae to the lower angels.

Back at Mallory Michael steps in to replace Laurel as the sacrifice. He reveals his bloody past, after taking on the town’s sins, and he insists that Laurel let him take her place as a form of redemption. She gives into his request after “Father” tells her it is acceptable.

Alex, after finding the general, who he enlists to help in his search for the key, finds the eight ball with the item around its neck. Before he can overpower the creature it swallows the round key. He kills it and Alex has to dig it out of the creature’s corpse. Several possessed prisoners attack and one has the general pinned to the ground. Alex then grabs the eight ball possessed human and releases the lower angel from the man. Riesen is stunned.

Gates and Lady Riesen attack the warehouse where Zoe’s rebels are ensconced and in the short battle, she escapes after a soldier shoots and misses her. Back at Mallory, Michael takes the town’s sins and he prepares to plunge the knife into his chest. The bush stops burning, allowing the eight balls surrounding the town to advance. He completes the sacrifice and the lower angels in the town catch fire and the bush rekindles and burns again which in turn burns the eight balls.

Another flashback to Michael and Gabriel reveals that he asked Gabriel to punish him as he did Lyrae. Lady Riesen questions the soldier who allowed Zoe to escape. The man, Sgt. Mills, claims it was due to darkness and when she continues to question him asks what she knows about guns. Borrowing a Beretta from another soldier she checks the clip and then cocks the weapon.

She asks Mills how many traitors are in her military and Mills tells her to “Go to Hell.” She shoots him in the leg and tells the others to take him away. A bemused Gates watches as she returns the pistol to its owner and leaves the room.

Alex gets out of the prison with General Riesen and Noma is pleased to see he made it out and surprised to see Riesen. Gates speaks with the general’s daughter and after a little bonding time, he reveals what Zoe and her rebels took from the warehouse when they escaped, a box used to carry food. They left behind everything else, including their weapons.

Back at Mallory, Michael, who was buried after sacrificing himself, climbs out of the grave. He stops to visit Wes and warns him that if he tells anyone or harms anyone else he will kill him. A terrified Wes agrees to the terms set by Michael.

In New Delphi, Alex brings Julian the key and he demands the alliance he came for. Julian wants Riesen to be put back in prison, “he’s a murderer,” shouts Julian, “he killed an angel in my city.” Alex tells him to pardon the general and he does. After getting his new allies rooms for the night, Julian takes the key and it is revealed to be the top to one of the “Father’s” urns.

Julian is Lyrae.

This final twist ends the show, with Julian spinning the short weapon that he had in Michael’s flashback to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is nice to see Alan Dale back as General Risen, but Anthony Head was missed this week. The appearance of what promises to be an interesting character, Gates, did make up for David Whele’s absence. Gates is to become a regular fixture, apparently, in Dominion and thus far he looks to be a good fit in the show.

Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy and fans of intricate supernatural television should mark their calendar.