This week’s episode of Dominion, Lay Thee Before Kings is a brilliant mix of humor, cleverness, treachery and backstory, pretty much like other episodes…but that little bit better. The previous episode had Alex getting too big for his boots and Nomes got de-winged. Now he and Noma are on the run.
*Sidenote* Surely there cannot be anything cooler than a Wesley Snipe lookalike prophet in full cowboy spaghetti western garb pointing a finger at a rampaging eight-ball and turning it into a ball of flame. Brilliant stuff, although it could have been that little bit better with a touch of fanning six-gun action a’la Eastwood with a quick spin and back into the holster. Just a thought.
This week saw, Nomes and Alex go into the DIY store from Hell, David Whele attempt to take out Claire Riesen once and for all, Julian prove that even evil Dyad’s are pretty stupid, and just where Gabriel learned all that human hatred. All in all a very informative show in term of backstory and comedy/horror.
Perhaps the highlight of the show has to be shared between the splendid Gabriel backstory and the trip to the combination DIY and discount type store, aka Homebase/Home Depot cum Sam’s Club/Costco. While the latter was comically disturbing, and a brilliant idea for an Independent horror film, with the eight-balls perhaps replaced with Shibito from the Forbidden Siren verse, it was also touching, by the end.
Also touching, if not a bit maudlin (Sickly sweet?) was the reveal that Gabriel was actually David’s dad. That kid from the Bible who takes out the giant Goliath with a little rock in a sling. In this version, after this little hero dispatches the “big bad” he is repaid for his feat by King Saul who slings the first chosen off the top of the castle ramparts. The boy is then replaced with a stand-in who the king can control.
As Alex and Noma head into the Dominion version of Home Depot, a “Beep” is heard. Looking over they can see an eight-ball holding a pack of gum and moving it over the scanner. Each time the gum crosses the device, the creature says, “Beep.” A truly funny and jarring moment. Later in the store, after they find a mountain of dead bodies (some of which are disturbingly fresh, according to Nomes) they decide to check out.
The eight-ball asks if they are sure they got everything they needed. A nervous Noma grabs the last hairbrush, “For my hair,” she says, and hands it to the teller. He scans the item and there is no beep. He starts moving the brush back and forth with no noise, Noma and Alex start getting worried.
“Sometimes it takes a few swipes,” the eight-ball explains.
Julian proves that despite being a unique type of villain, as a Dyad he is, perhaps, one of a kind, he falls into the same trap as baddies since the beginning of time. He suffers from a combination of overconfidence and innate stupidity; the same things that got Lyrae kicked out of his higher angel body to begin with. As he explains the manner of death that he has devised for his brothers, he gloats, never a good sign from an arch villain, and it does not take long for Michael to notice the first flaw in Julian’s design.
Using Empyrean steel to bind Gabriel and Michael, the welds are affected by the power coursing through the pole. The very item that the archangels must grab to avoid certain death is melting the joints that hold the two of them captive.
Julian goes on to “bring back” Clementine for General Riesen, quite possibly another mistake, or overconfident reaction to things learned. When he realizes that he cannot threaten the general, “Dying men don’t have weaknesses,” Riesen says, “they have nothing to lose.” Julian tries another tact to get back his amphora. While we do not know just how the general will react, it seems that he may not be overly pleased.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of Julian’s flawed plan to kill his brothers and take over one of their bodies, is that Gabriel and Michael finally clear the air and become proper brothers once again. Gabriel decides to end his obsession with killing Alex and helps Michael to get free to save the new chosen one.
Stand Out Moments:
Alex and Noma in the DIY store held some of the best comedic scenes in the show. An eight-ball pushing a broom and muttering “Clean up on Aisle four,” a short smiling female eight-ball telling the couple that “everything’s on sale, prices are plummeting!” The teller asking them if they found everything they were looking for and Alex’s glance at Noma before she grabs the brush. The pay-off of this particularly long gag was not the brush’s refusal to “beep” first time, but the “plastic or paper” choice for bag. “Plastic,” says Alex and the teller replies, “Good choice” as another eight-ball locks the couple in. Cue hairbrush handle in an eight-ball’s eye.
Gabriel and Michael picking on Julian as he tries to gloat over their upcoming deaths. Both of his former brothers know which buttons to push and they do so.
Gabriel turning out to be a much more interesting character after his son David’s death. With all due apologies to the archangel, his overwhelming sweetness toward the boy was annoying, as were his protective skills. Much better was the vengeful chap who turned up years later to kill the “fake” David and his family tree.
David Whele still managing to almost take out both the women who are controlling him at the moment. Zoe, who is directly taking charge of Whele, after shooting him in the hand last week and Claire who is still indirectly affecting his destiny. Just before the Whele sniper starts shooting at the leader of Vega while she talks peace with Zoe, Claire tells her opposition that the next time she should shoot David in the head.
Claire Almost dying and as a result losing her last connection to Alex.
By the end of the episode, Zoe grabs David’s accomplice and has him, presumably, beaten to death. Gates votes for war, Michael gets free and Gabriel stays behind, “Besides, I still have to kill Julian” and while Noma has a little identity crisis, the eight-balls from the beginning of the episode have found the couple at the DIY store.
South African actor Carl Beukes was delightfully droll as Gabriel, his pontificate line was brilliant, as was Brit actor Tom Wisdom as Michael (even if his wig as the younger version of himself was laughably bad) but big kudos go to fellow Brit “angel” Simon Merrells this Essex born actor has truly made Lyrae/Julian a brilliant villain.
It looks like Alan Dale may be checking out…again, and this time not to another town. General Riesen looks pretty ill and David Whele (Anthony Head) could finally get that shot in the head. Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy and this show continues to entertain on a higher level, unless of course, you prefer the eight-ball humor…”Clean up on aisle…”