So, tonight’s episode of Dominion, “Ouroboros,” was a pretty gonzo one. A lot was packed into a single hour. So much so, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to cover everything here in a single review. But let’s get into tonight’s highlights (and lowlights). Spoilers ahead.
Dominion has a penchant for rewriting the script on angels, at least as we’re supposed to know or understand them in this universe. But what this show is selling to its viewers is really an alternate universe in which angels are capable of unspeakable horrors against mankind. At first we’re led to believe that mankind has brought this scourge down on itself for losing faith in their heavenly Father, that vengeance is the angels’ way of evening the score a bit. We’re also led to believe that the archangel Michael is one of the good ones, a higher angel who has humanity’s best interests at heart. Perhaps at some point this was something he convinced himself was both true and a necessity. But angels are ineffable beings—how can the simple mind of man ever truly understand an angel’s motivations? Who are we even to question Michael, mankind’s most powerful protector? If he wanted to wipe out Vega, he would have done so a long time ago. And if he’s been giving asylum to neutral higher angels, who is the average Vegan to question this secret amnesty?
As luck would have it, Alex is no average V-2. Indeed, as we already know, Alex is the Chosen One. Not that being the much-ballyhooed savior is all wine and roses. In a sense, Alex is a man without a country, unsure of himself, and unsure of his own powers. He believes he is the Chosen One, because Michael has told him this is so. Alex’s tattoos also label him (literally and figuratively) as someone with divine purpose. That doesn’t mean he’s not without his faults or weaknesses. He’s just as susceptible to base desires as anyone else, and Noma happens to be in the right time and the right place for a bout of carnal pleasure.
That being said, Alex knows he must be careful about trusting those closest to him. Again, in another bit of misdirection, we’re led to understand that this warning applies to Michael, but as we soon find out, Noma is not to be trusted either. And I have to admit, after she was pushed out the window, I fully expected an angel to swoop in and save her; I never expected that she herself was an angel. Alex never saw it coming, either. It’s this last betrayal that finally opens Alex’s eyes to see Michael as someone with one too many secrets.
Which leads us to a truly interesting twist, as revealed by Gabriel—that Noah didn’t build an ark, he built a bunker. And the flood referenced in the Book of Genesis was not the deluge we’ve always thought it was. Rather, the cleansing flood meant to wipe out the sinners and degenerates was actually embodied by Michael. For him, wiping out the guilty and innocent alike was just another day at the office. Back in the day, though, (1900 BC to be exact), it was none other than Gabriel who defended the meek against his brother’s sword. All things considered, for an episode that revisits the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis, “Ouroboros,” for all of its head-turning discoveries, felt a lot more like the Book of Revelations.
Another such surprise is the idea that one higher angel could possess another higher angel. Gabriel is able to do this with relative ease, possessing a Neutral within Vega’s walls known as Louis. It’s by using Louis as an unwilling vessel that Gabriel is able not only to gather important information about Michael and Alex, he’s also able to dispose of other Neutrals who have been hiding in plain sight. It’s good to have Carl Beukes back. Like Anthony Head, Beukes relishes his character’s villainy. Which is just as well. As much as I truly enjoy Anthony Head, I wish he’d had more to work with in this episode, especially after his stellar turn in last week’s Black Eyes Blue. I found the drama between him and William to be a bit thin. And I thought the scene with the lion was not nearly as impactful as it could have been. If anything, William’s speech about the ourboros lacked gravitas—and left me feeling as if I were watching one of James Bond’s lesser nemeses.
All in all, “Ourborous” offered up generous helpings of gore and sex, but it stumbled a bit in its storytelling, at least when it came to the House of Whele. William has the makings to be a baddie, but is that really what’s best for him? He may have won the battle against his father, but he hasn’t won the war.
Some closing thoughts:
Lower angels have names, apparently. Like Dirge. But when the eight-ball is killed, as in Dirge’s case, what happens to the lower angel? Do they die? Or do they merely return to the ether as shapeless beings?
Looks like William and Claire’s marriage will be one built on a foundation of lies. Claire seems a lot colder, now that she’s fully bought into the Vegan power structure. I hope this is merely a transitional phase for the character—I was beginning to like her.