Damien Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
Last episode I said that it’d be a struggle to hang onto Damien, but, given it’s only going to be a short season, I should make it.
Yeah, I don’t know, anymore.
TL;DR More vague boredom ensues as Detective goes after Damien with no evidence; Simone continues to mope around and achieve nothing; Damien oscillates between rationality and stupidity; Ann’s blonde comrade targets Colleague.
When the most tangible development concerns two characters whose names I can’t remember, then I’m worried.
The whole episode is kind of a dull haze, but the central plot concerns Detective’s pursuit of Damien for being adjacent to all these bizarre deaths. Despite having absolutely no way to prove Damien was involved (Detective’s best idea is that Damien has been training homicidal Rottweilers. Yikes), Detective goes at him relentlessly. Damien deflects attention to Ann, who he accurately describes as a stalker. But Ann is too good for Detective’s lame enquiries, natch, and Damien is eventually released. Meanwhile, Simone’s mum hires a witch doctor to calm/contact Kelly’s spirit, and Simone is again pointed towards Kelly’s devil research. She asks Damien about it, but he pats her on the head and sends her on her way with a “You’re just grieving.” Meanwhile, Colleague runs into Ann’s blonde off-sider, and she flirts with him to get info on Damien. And the episode ends as Detective’s son almost drowns due to Rottweiler mischief.
Because why would a huge Rottweiler just bite a small child when it can lure it into a covered pool, instead, and give its father the chance to save it?
Well, four episodes in, and we’ve yet to make any progress. Damien still can’t decide whether he believes in this Antichrist stuff or not; Simone is still a water-treading, nothing character; Ann continues to be vague instead of getting shit done.
And that Chilean exorcist is absent for the second episode in a row.
Why I hate this episode:
Don’t show me a badass Chilean exorcist and then not use her. Jesus.
Damien himself is the weakest link on this show. He’s close to accepting that maybe he’s the Antichrist, yet he keeps pushing Ann away. If I learned I was a mythical creature, I’d probably be interested in listening to the advice of a powerful ally who also knows my secret. And it’s Barbara motherfucking Hershey, too.
I understand Detective is suspicious of Damien. And rightly so. But as a detective, I’d expect a little more from him in terms of needing evidence. He mentioned last episode that he’s not religious, so it’s not like he’s some harping zealot just desperate to prove the existence of the Antichrist. All he knows is that some guy has been in proximity to a bunch of accidents, but accidents that couldn’t possibly have been caused by a human.
I suspect he’s just mad about his own Rottweiler attack last episode, but his half-assed suggestion that Damien is training attack dogs is insane. Then you’ve got Kelly, who died in a freak sinkhole. And least provable of all: Troy, Ann’s Armitage rival. Detective has proof that Damien was busy saving a child from the subway tracks when Troy tripped and got his tie caught in an escalator. A non-religious detective should not be trying to conclude a human was the real culprit in that. For fuck’s sake.
Speaking of Armitage Global, they remain as bafflingly inconsistent as last episode. Hershel and Ann address everyone over the tragic death of Troy, and I feel confident that almost none of them are in the Antichrist-coddling business. But then what does Armitage Global’s Antichrist unit actually do? Ann’s the only one out in the field, and Hershel chastises her for it. Huh?
Simone is such a wet blanket. She finds a dead bird in her bathtub pipe this episode, so her mum calls in a witch doctor to sacrifice a chicken to contact Kelly’s spirit, which they think is the cause of the supernatural disturbances around Simone. The resulting fire on Kelly’s belongings pushes a notepad page with 666 to the top, and Simone asks Damien. But he gives her nothing and just says grief makes people look for answers to things that can’t be explained. If Damien’s not letting her in on the Antichrist secret, and she clearly isn’t capable of doing her own investigating, then I don’t want her.
Oh, and while at the police station, a crazy old man starts Biblically ranting at Damien and grabs a big pair of scissors. This is attracting a lot of attention, as you’d expect. So Damien tackles him when he raises the scissors up, but a pair of cops wrestle Damien away and pin him down. Leaving ol’ Scissorman to again raise up his scissors and stab himself in the genitals multiple times. What the fuck, cops?
But it’s not all bad:
Damien threatens Detective at one point, showing some Antichrist potential. That was something.
Colleague, shockingly, gets the best subplot of the episode. He vouches for Damien at some new photography group they’re trying to pitch, but is shot down. Blondie “bumps into” him on the way out of the building and invites him for a drink and a flirt. She uses the time to needle him for information about Damien, and he recalls how Damien saved him from being executed by militants. She leaves Colleague with a nice, sexy kiss, and I don’t think that’s the last time she’ll hit him up. At least this subplot made sense.
Ann is her Barbara Hershey self when deflecting Dectective’s questions. She just tells him that Damien’s been through some shit and she works for his family’s estate blah blah blah. She’s also cleared out the Damien museum, so when he insists she show him (Damien told him about it to back up his claims that Ann is a stalker), it’s just a wine cellar/panic room.
Ann mentions that Damien had a violent altercation with another student while at school one time. So maybe that will feature later on.
Ann also mentions, during her address to Armitage Global about grief, that she had a wife and daughter who died when she was twenty. Now that’s definitely something I expect to feature later on.
Detective’s captain puts his foot down on his Damien investigation, and cites some earlier incident in Detective’s career that took a long time to get over.
There’s a Damien shirtless scene within the first five minutes. So the show isn’t completely unaware of how to play to its strengths.
Oh, and I was going to make a joke about how Damien seemed to be putting on some sexual tension between himself and Detective, but it turns out Detective actually is gay, and has a husband in addition to a son. I appreciated the subtle insertion of it.