Damien Season 1 Episode 2 – TV Review
Thank the Lord of Darkness, Barbara Hershey gets more than one piddly little scene this episode.
I mean, Damien’s really pretty, but Ann is all this show has going for it right now.
TL;DR Kelly’s funeral precipitates more religious weirdness around Damien; ominous forces intervene when Damien is attacked by a Megiddo Dagger-wielding assailant sent by the church; Damien actually asks questions of Ann this episode, and she starts filling him in on his past.
Using a basement time capsule The Omen museum was a bit creepier than simply using her words, but you get that with Satanists, right?
So the major event this episode is Kelly’s funeral. Damien finds himself sweaty inside the church, but Ann mysteriously appears and has a chat with him. She slips away, and Damien then attends the post-funeral reception, along with his work buddies and Simone. Sandrine Holt, Damien’s boss, reveals Ann Rutledge has paid $55,000 for his Syria photos, leading him further down the “who the fuck is Ann?” hole. Later, on a walk to clear his head, he is attacked by a man who has been sent by the church, wielding their only remaining Dagger of Megiddo. A Rottweiler and the hand of fate lead to the attacker’s bisection, but a nosy cop finds Damien’s connection to two fatal incidents curious. Ann again shows up and claims to be his lawyer to wrest him away, and she finally offers some answers if he’ll come to her house. Which has a secret basement filled with paraphernalia from The Omen/Damien’s childhood that ignite his memories. Elsewhere, Simone and Colleague find Kelly’s research on Damien, including that very bizarre video of the old woman in Damascus. And the episode strangely opens with an exorcist in Chile being recruited by the church to help them with a problem, but we don’t see her again during the episode.
Damien’s not possessed, so I don’t think they’d want her for help with him. Intriguing.
This is definitely a step up on last week’s very pilot-y fumble.
The tone is still oppressively gloomy, and things are still vague and frustrating.
But at least Damien is actually asking questions now.
Kelly doesn’t get the chance to become rational, though. Because she died in cartoon quicksand.
Why I hate this episode:
I know this is a show about the Antichrist, but Jesus fucking Christ it’s so dark and dour. Give us a pop of colour or something. Or even enough light to actually see what’s going on would be nice.
The “fatal coincidence” stuff looks like it could be the bread and butter of the show, because The Omen ran on that pretty hard. But at only the second episode in, I’m worried about it. Will every dire situation just be magically resolved by some fancy accident? Because that’s not good for tension.
Colleague (who I’m calling “Colleague” because I can’t remember his actual name) seems to be a wasted character so far. Simone is there as the obligatory female lead and, I assume, love interest. But Colleague isn’t doing anything Simone can’t do (ie. be perplexed and creeped out). Which means he’s either poorly written filler, or he’s an obviously doomed-to-die fodder character. Boring.
There was an odd moment at the reception where, having just announced that Damien’s Syria photos were bought for $55,000, Sandrine quietly tells Colleague that they’re fired. This isn’t explored further. It’s not like Sandrine knows that Ann Rutledge is Damien’s devil mentor, so $55,000 sounds pretty good to me, no? Unless she does know?
I want more of that cool exorcist. She gets shit done, baby.
Oh, and I can’t believe the church has already lost its only remaining Megiddo Dagger. What else can they do from here?
But it’s not all bad:
But you know who does have a Megiddo Dagger? Ann motherfucking Rutledge. She shows it to Damien, which sparks a memory of his father trying to kill him. So I suppose the church will have to try and steal it from Ann’s house. Good luck.
The Final Destination-esque fatal coincidence is appropriately ghoulish. Damien and the assassin are tussling near the street. So a nearby cab gets its radio signal interrupted, which causes the driver to look down long enough to be surprised by the Rottweiler suddenly on the road in front of him. He swerves and hits the assassin, pinning him against a sheet of metal, almost bisecting him. The assassin hilariously grabs at and strangles Damien, so when Damien pushes him away, he tilts backwards and is torn apart. Cool.
We don’t get to see the gore close-up, but we do get a long shot later of just the top half lying on top of the cab. I’ll take it.
And the assassin drops the Megiddo Dagger down the drain. Which is good because it means the church has lost their only means to kill Damien. But it’s bad because the investigating detective doesn’t believe Damien’s story about being attacked by a knife-wielding maniac without a knife as proof.
I’m extremely grateful that Ann gets multiple scenes this episode. She still speaks in a deliberately vague way about everything, but at least Damien is more direct about wanting real answers this episode.
Ann tells him that his parents weren’t his actual parents, but that he was born to a woman in Rome. She died in childbirth, and Mama Thorn’s biological baby died after birth, too. Papa Thorn and a priest arranged to sub in Damien in the dead baby’s place and never tell Mama Thorn. Cool.
Damien also asks Ann if she had an affair with his dad, and she says no. I lol’d.
Ann’s house is fucking enormous. Which is exactly what you’d expect from Barbara Hershey. And her little museum sets off a lot of memories for Damien, so hopefully he won’t be wandering around in his Who Am I haze for much longer.
At the post-funeral reception, it’s lamented that Kelly was a goddamn war photographer, and she was killed in a stupid sinkhole in New York City. Everyone observes that Damien has never been injured on the job. I thought that was a nice touch.
I like that Simone and Colleague have all of Kelly’s notes and the concrete video of the old woman in Damascus. That should give them a kickstart in figuring things out for themselves.
I really do want more of that exorcist. Again, because Damien isn’t possessed by a demon, I don’t know what the church would want her to do for them. But I’m keen to find out.
Oh, and I do hope Sandrine Holt gets to do more than be a bland authority figure to kill off.