TV Show Review

TV Review: DOMINION: Season 2, Episode 1: Heirs of Salvation [Syfy]

Kim Englebrecht Christopher Egan Dominion

Syfy’s Dominion Heirs of Salvation TV Show Review. Dominion: Season 1, Episode 1: Heirs of Salvation, marks the return of this promising good versus evil hell ride. An unexpected attack on Gabriel’s (Carl Beukes) Aerie puts a newly-freed Alex (Christopher Egan) and Noma (Kim Englebrecht) on the road to New Delphi, a dangerous and mysterious city. Meanwhile, Claire (Roxanne McKee) begins to understand the breadth of her responsibility as Lady of the City as we reveal it was her strategic command that left The Aerie in ruins. Michael (Tom Wisdom) stumbles upon a quaint southern town whose residents have inexplicably managed to insulate themselves from the fallout of The Extermination War, hinting at a mystery Michael is driven to solve.

When the end of season one was coming to a close, there was a strong sense circulating that the show would not be returning for a second season. No one was more surprised than me that they were given another shot. The question we should be asking is why was a show with so much promise in trouble to begin with? Season one started out with a bang and seemed to be right in step with the feature film it was derived from. What followed week after week was comparable to a slow decapitation. At the heart of it all, the writing started to take some liberties that took the show off course. More specific, Dominion started to become a cheesy soap opera toying with the idea of being a dark TV series. How did they do with the big come back?

When we last saw Alex he was turning himself over to Gabriel. Apparently some time has passed and they are still stuck trying to make sense of the body art on Alex. One thing that still feels the same…the lack of a real threat! In this scene Gabriel, with his passive demeanor, is telling us his character really doesn’t want what he says he does. He threatens Alex but the threat falls short and lacks intensity. There is a spiritual war going on and it simply doesn’t come through in this scene. Alex knows Gabriel may attack Vega and harm the women he loves and the child she carries. You wouldn’t know this after seeing the performance. The real issue here is character accountability. Neither Alex nor Gabriel make us feel they want what they say they do bad enough. The best part of the scene is when a bomb is suddenly dropped on top of them. These are some of the same issues that hurt the show during the first season. Hopefully this time they can start steering in the right direction before too much momentum is lost.

Pitting Claire against David Whele (Anthony Head) is like pitting a part time student against a master instructor. The discussion of character accountability is most notable with Claire. The route she is currently taking is out of character for her. Still, we see her playing with David Whele like a high school student planning a prank on another student. He is a chess master and she plays checkers. She is no match for him and in the first scene with him…her demeanor is all wrong. David informs her that the hit on Gabriel’s lair killed Alex. Her reaction to this doesn’t help sell the scene. Has she fallen out of love with Alex?

Michael, after getting his fill of crimson, has gone walk about. His journey lands him in a strange town…Mallory. It’s here that we get a feel that this is going to be what the new season is about…more fighting and bloodshed! After the town’s protection is lowered by rain, Michael springs into action helping hack attacking eight-balls. One thing about season two, the fighting and blood has increased. Yes, it looks appealing to the eye but the real problem is the writing and performances. Michael, who was and still is an angel questions if God is hiding out in this town. Having him go here or even ask this question creates pause. Michael was pretty close to God, he would know if God were in the town. This doesn’t work. Back to the original story where it’s safe…where things work!

The answer to the opening question is…apparently they have lost their way. The feature film provides more than enough back-story and the Bible (in it’s many versions) provides enough material to stay on point. What do top hit shows like: Penny Dreadful, The Walking Dead, Daredevil and The Strain all have in common? All of these shows work because they stay dark and they all have character accountability. The writing is strong and consistent. Bottom line, they are getting away from the feature that inspired the series and there is a price to pay if they don’t figure it out early in season two.

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About the author

Brian Fire

Brian is a screenwriter and visual fx Artist who loves science fiction, drama and follows many TV shows. He is a versatile writer who is published and has written copy for: CompUsa, The California State Lottery and Princess Cruise lines. Every year he attends The Sundance Film Festival and the San Diego Comic Con filling up on his other passions…indie films, comic books and video games.

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