Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Based on the movie Legion, the SyFy show Dominion follows a world where God has left us, angels are real and they’ve come down from heaven to terrorize us mortals, plus the one young man reputed to be the savior of humanity!
It would help to have seen the movie before trying to watch the show, but it isn’t a true requirement. The show usually has a preface before each episode, explaining that some 20-odd years ago God up and left the world, and the angels and their hierarchy came down and began an extermination war on humanity. The lesser angels began possessing humans, turning them into a vampire-zombie-like hybrid angel-monster with unnatural speed and strength, black eyes and jagged teeth. The higher angels, most notably archangel Gabriel, led an extermination against humanity, and succeeded by a good margin. From 2013 all the way to 2022, millions of humans were slaughtered by angelic hands, and what was left of humanity banded together in the leftovers of American cities, particularly Vega, New Delphi and nearby Helena. Gabriel (Carl Beukes) leads the angelic armies against the humans, while archangel Michael (Tom Wisdom), believing he was tasked by Father to find the savior and keep him safe, flies off to find his own destiny!
And that is pretty much where we are when the show starts. Inside Vega, the V-System, an occupation-based social class ordering dreamt up and implemented by General Riesen (Alan Dale), has led to all sorts of underground hurt feelings and potential uprisings. The Senate has Lady Claire Riesen (Roxanne McGee), the General’s daughter and Consul David Whele (Anthony Head) constantly at eachothers throats, jockeying for position and control while trying desperately to keep the cities denizens safe from encroaching 8-balls (what they call lower angels who’ve possessed humans) and archangel armies. Nearby female-run city Helena occasionally sends envoys and potential allies, sometimes enemies too, to Vega, usually in the form of Arika (Shivani Ghai) and her minions. New Delphi is another nearby city that not many Vegans know a lot about, but rumor has it their leader Julian (Simon Merrells) has access to all kinds of weapons, supplies, and even an 8-Ball army all his own!
The mythology of what happened to the world, the Extermination war on humanity by the angels, plus the restructuring of cities and the defenses to keep the angels out, the defection of Michael and his attempts to aid the last dregs of humanity and the mighty Savior, are given out piecemeal over the course of the show. The politics of Vega are fairly easy to understand, though one would think that the humans would finally have actually banded together against the angelic horde, rather than continuing to jockey for position and as much power as they can continue to grasp. David Whele is the best example of this, being willing to sacrifice everything he has up to and including his own fractious son, for power against the angels just a little while longer. While the winged monsters are battering against the city gates, Whele is plotting with Arika, or making deals with Gabriel, or talking himself out of execution, yet again. Whele seems to represent the flip side of humanity, our pettiness and greed and selfishness, even in the most dire of situations when we should be coming together against the outside Enemy. Played by the forever-awesome Anthony Head, Whele is the worst kind of character you find things in common with, to your everlasting shame, and serves as a warning against giving in to your darker desires.
Then there’s Alex Lannen (Christopher Egan), the savior himself. Always and forever the reluctant hero, it took Alex several episodes to embrace his newfound powers and tattoos. It did get a shade tiresome, because we’d rather be seeing Alex exorcise 8-balls or fighting armored archangels, then hear him whine about destiny yet again. His little side romance with Lady Riesen and his angelic cohort Noma (Kim Engelbrecht), was more or less fine and demonstrated the better aspects humanity had to offer.
Much ado is made over the long-standing feud between angelic brothers Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel leads the angelic armies against the humans, scoffing at the idea of the Savior until it turns out that the child is very real and those magical tattoos Michael was safely holding for the later use of the Savior have been passed on to his guardian. Michael and Gabriel have been arguing and fighting amongst themselves since, oh, since they both can remember really, which is a very very long time, given the idea that angels live forever. They argue over what happened to Father, what Father would want them to do, but angels were never meant to be without a chaperone of some kind, and so order-less Gabriel leans toward the destruction of all humanity, while Michael searches for any kind of peace, between humans and angels, but also within his own heart. The whole storyline of the town of Mallory and what Michael found there, and also what found him, was interesting, if a little odd. Believe me when I say I really wish they had introduced Lucifer sooner.
And why is that? Because, my dear crazy angel lovers, Dominion has been cancelled after only its second season. At the very least, the show ended on a very strong note. For those who had been watching the show from the beginning, and they started very strong, being the most-viewed scripted series on Syfy in its first season and all. Season two’s numbers rapidly slid though, and the angels have truly fallen. The last episode really stuck it to several key characters, we could’ve have seen some awesome and horrific actor do Lucifer on the show, we even got to see Lady Riesin’s eyes blacken! We fans will never know the answers to the questions the last episode brought up, and we wanted to know, which is a good feeling for the show to go out on. We’ll miss you, the angels who both loved and hated us, and the humanity that continued to thrive even in the face of angelic extinction!