Dominion: Sine Deo Nihil Review

On Dominion's exciting and intense season finale, the devil isn't just in the details.

This Dominion review contains spoilers.

Dominion: Season 2, Episode 13

It doesn’t matter if your heart is pure or your soul is soiled black with sin, survival often comes at a steep price, at great personal sacrifice. Valor, courage, and selflessness propel humanity forward through the darkest of times — and make no mistake, in the absence of God, Dominion has ably demonstrated how mankind has indeed fallen on very hard times. Fear and cowardice are powerful motivations toward self-preservation, too, with many a dark deal being brokered to live another day. Sometimes it’s self-respect that’s lost in this transaction, but sometimes it’s one’s soul that’s surrendered in the name of personal gain. If you’ve just watched Dominion‘s second season finale, I think you know I’m referring to Noma, Alex’s stalwart supporter second only to the archangel Michael himself.

I’ve made it quite clear how much I’ve enjoyed Noma’s arc this season. She went from being Alex’s comrade-in-arms to being his protector, and finally someone who won his heart. This is no small feat, this transformation from powerful soldier to vulnerable angel, but Kim Engelbrecht showed a real range of emotions that gave Noma’s journey real depth. But as we discovered in tonight’s episode, there is a real darkness to her character, too. As much as I liked Claire — who was just as complex and conflicted even as she was strong and often self-assured — Noma’s deal with the devil was actually more heartbreaking than losing the Lady of the City. And that’s saying a lot.

Roxanne McKee really brought a lot to her role, making me care about Claire even if I didn’t always agree with some of her choices. Certainly she will be missed. Losing her has already had an obvious impact on Alex, who does not want her death to be in vain. He may be gifted with truly powerful abilities, but he is still struggling with his own doubts. Being the anointed Chosen One is a terrible burden for him to bear; Claire sacrificed herself for him, but discovering Noma’s betrayal may be too much for Alex to bear. One can only hope and assume that Michael and Gabriel will reach him in time, before Noma has time to act on her new orders, from her new master.

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Which brings us to the elephant in the room. As of this writing, Syfy has yet to renew Dominion for a third season. Season one ended on a literal and figurative cliffhanger, with Alex’s fate left hanging. And now, the stakes are even higher, especially now that Lucifer himself has entered the picture. I will say now that this season has had its ups and downs, as some shows do, but I do firmly believe that Dominion still has a lot of gas left in the tank. What will become of this cast of characters, with their flawed hearts and misguided intentions? Can Alex rescue mankind from itself even as he struggles with his own aching humanity? And will Gabriel and Michael ever be able to bring back their Father? These are questions that deserve to be answered, in my humble opinion. I suppose the best we can do, for now, is hope for a divine intervention.

Some closing thoughts:

One interesting point raised in tonight’s episode was Gabriel’s claim that Lucifer educated humanity, made them wily and cunning and smart even as he dumbed them down by clouding their faith in the almighty creator. Even so, Lucifer still holds all the cards, as evidenced by his ability to enlist an unsuspecting town in his eventual resurrection. Mallory’s loss is his gain, but even their many sacrifices aren’t enough to return him to full form. No, for that, he needs someone pure of heart — namely the Chosen One.

If and when Dominion returns for a third season, I’d like to see the show explore the ethics of killing eight-balls. I understand the necessity of killing them, but in doing so, the lives of innocent human hosts are lost. This seems especially tragic, given Alex’s ability to perform evictions on a grander scale, and with greater and greater success. Aren’t the eight-balls’ human hosts worth saving, given that their possessions are proven to be reversible?

David Whele is one tenacious bastard, isn’t he? As much as I love Anthony Head, if David needs to die to better serve the plot and the show, he should be allowed to die. And tonight, finally, the once-powerful David Whele truly seemed like a broken man, bereft of hope, his son’s blood on his hands. Vega was their city to rule and their city to lose; to die in the streets of the city he built seemed like a fitting end. But, clearly, the powers that be have bigger plans for him.  

Julian, too, seems to have more to contribute to the show. It was great to see everyone’s favorite dyad return (no offense to Duma/Riesen). Like David Whele, he seems to possess an uncanny knack for survival. And now, he’ll have an even bigger axe to grind with Gabriel and Michael.

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And finally, it’s nice to see the Chosen One hates Muzak just as much as everyone else does. To paraphrase Aerosmith: Levity in an elevator. It was an odd moment, one that called to mind Han Solo in some of his finer moments, but it was nice to see Alex step outside the immediate trouble at hand to perform a wholly unnecessary public service on behalf of all mankind.


4.5 out of 5