Dominion: The Narrow Gate Review

The notion of sacrifice—noble or otherwise—factors heavily into last night's new episode of Dominion.

One thing Dominion does well is dole out its secrets in dribs and drabs. That’s not to say that said secrets are inconsequential—they’re not. Rather, the show is frugal with its many plot-driving reveals. Such was the case at the close of tonight’s episode, “The Narrow Gate.” But more on that bit of a twist ending in a bit. Spoilers from this point on.

Let’s start with Alex, who was tasked by Julian to retrieve a key from a prison full of insane lower angels. In other words, the eight-balls are running the asylum. Which would lead one to believe that this quest will be arduous and nigh impossible to accomplish—even for the Chosen One. But that’s not quite the case here. The prison proves itself to be dark and creepy, filled more with the chattering of demons than actual demons. There were some good jump scares and some brief moments of inspired violence, but the quest for the key wasn’t the balls-to-the-wall action I was hoping it would be. We’ve seen Alex prove his mettle in combat before—and it would have been truly awesome to see him do more of the same in close quarters.

Truly, the most important thing to come out of this scene (aside from retrieving the key in what proved to be a truly queasy, squirm-inducing moment) was reuniting Alex with General Riesen. I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming. That the general is Julian’s prisoner is an interesting reveal, but I found it more distracting than exalting. Perhaps that’s because I’ve come to really appreciate Claire in her role as Vega’s leader. While her father was a powerful man, she is ruthless. She is going after the rebels with a fanatical zeal that is giving those around her pause. True, she is not totally comfortable in the role, but she’s growing into it very quickly.

Which brings us to Michael, who is warming up to the idea that he has been sent to the town of Mallory for a reason. When he learns that Laurel is to sacrifice herself in order to protect the town, he realizes he can’t let that happen. While I understand passions flare more brightly under times of duress, I wasn’t quite sold on the connection forged between them. This is an important point, because the idea of sacrifice hinges on what I’m interpreting as a nascent romance. But even if you strip away the possible romantic element, Michael is still willing to sacrifice himself for a woman he hardly knows. One could argue his motivation is more divine than that, and perhaps that’s so. Perhaps he understands the true nature of sacrifice, divine or otherwise—that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

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And so it comes to pass that an angel confesses his sins, allowing himself to be judged, rather than passing judgment. A literal transference of sins occurs—Michael’s heart is now burdened by the town’s collective confessions and secrets. When he dies, so too will their worldly transgressions die with him. Or so it would seem. Yes, the protective bonfire rekindles itself, which also represents Michael’s rekindled faith—in himself, and in his Father’s will.

These moments are juxtaposed against flashbacks to Sodom and Gomorrah’s fateful destruction. While he and Gabriel are simply carrying out their Father’s wishes, it is the higher angel Lyrae who wreaks unspeakable atrocities upon the residents of the doomed cities. Michael ultimately banishes the higher angel from his body, dooming him to the lower realms of Heaven. This sets up the episode for its nifty twist ending, revealing that Julian is actually an eight-ball inhabited by none other than Lyrae. The plot thickens.

Some closing thoughts:

When it comes to Dominion, a show that holds many aces up its sleeve, I’m suspicious. These suspicions don’t always play themselves out—case in point: Pete. He’s just a happy-go-lucky dude, as it turns out. So it makes me wonder if I’m wrong to mistrust Gates, the man who helped build up the city of Vega and is now part of Claire’s burgeoning inner circle. Allowing power to be siphoned off from the grid does not make the man a traitor, but I can’t help think that he’s actually part of the rebellion. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

No David Whele this week. While I appreciate every moment Anthony Head is onscreen, there was enough conflict tonight to fill two episodes. Hopefully we’ll see more of him next week.

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3.5 out of 5