Damien Season 1 Episode 5 – TV Review
Status report: Damien reminds me of Ravenswood.
TL;DR Damien encounters arbitrary creepiness while trapped in a bizarre plot-of-the-week type episode; Simone mildly inches closer to learning anything; Ann is unbelievably sidelined; my Chilean exorcist finally shows up, but is a shadow of her former, badass self; a Rottweiler Ex Machina closes out the episode.
So the show oddly goes for a plot-of-the-week move this episode, as Damien bumps into the mother of that kid he saved on the subway platform. Her husband (whose name I didn’t care to remember, so I will refer to him as Hubby) is a crippled military veteran who is planning to commit suicide to unburden his family. He asks Damien to photograph and document his struggle, and Damien encounters random creepy bullshit in the hospital. He eventually agrees, and Hubby totally kills himself. Which inspires Damien to go to his old house from The Omen and try to kill himself via carbon monoxide poisoning, and the same drugs Hubby used. But Rottweilers drag him to safety. Meanwhile, Simone is still sniffing around to find out what’s up with Damien. Colleague tries to convince her she’s just been experiencing coincidences, but that doesn’t satisfy her. Meanwhile, Colleague continues his flirtation with Ann’s blonde off-sider, who I think is Ann’s daughter, after all? Meanwhile, Ann, in a huff about Damien’s rudeness last episode, so hires some goons to beat him up. They go to his apartment at the same time Simone is there (also having broken in). Simone hides, and they simply trash the place because Damien isn’t home. And the Chilean exorcist gets a scene at the Vatican where she is tasked with going to New York to do recon on Damien. She begs to take one of the Vatican’s four Megiddo Daggers, but is rebuffed.
The Catholic church is no fun.
We’re halfway through the season now, and we’re in a dire situation. Like I said, the parade of random creepiness feels like fucking Ravenswood.
And Ravenswood had the power of the PLL juggernaut behind it, as well as the lax quality control of ABC Family, and even that couldn’t help it survive.
Damien doesn’t have a fucking prayer.
Why I hate this episode:
The parade of creepy includes the hospital itself, which is a deserted, dimly-lit bore; a hallway with a bunch of prosthetic limbs hanging from the ceiling for some reason; Damien envisioning Simone being on an autopsy table; doctors having freaky sex in the basement; and a therapy group that speaks in biblical tongues. I’ll give them the biblical tongues, because that’s been used before. But everything else is a Ravenswood-level joke. What’s next? Blood coming from a fridge water dispenser?
Damien’s decision to commit suicide is a bit out of left field. The time frame for the events of the show has been what, a few weeks? Maybe less? So for a hardened war photographer to go from skeptical about his sometimes-girlfriend’s freak death, to learning he could be magic, to wanting to absolutely kill himself seems rushed.
The plot-of-the-week with Hubby comes out of nowhere and goes fucking nowhere. If Damien could give us some hints that maybe he’s enjoying the death and destruction around him, despite himself, then I think it could work. He is the Antichrist, you know. But nope. Damien’s such a sook that he, too, wants to commit suicide.
Simone is doing fucking nothing.
Colleague’s role is still inconsequential. Blonde Off-sider, with her jealousy of Damien, is more compelling.
Chilean Exorcist is reduced to a snivelling little woman at the Vatican dude’s feet. It’s insulting. After the mixed bag of Ann, and the embarrassment that is Simone, I was hoping she might be our best hope of a competent female character. But nope, boss man says “No dagger for you.”
And are we really still doing recon? You’d think an organisation as corrupt and life-destroying as the Catholic church would just roll the dice and kill Damien regardless. It makes me wonder why they didn’t get him when he was younger. Young boys are definitely in their wheelhouse.
The Rottweiler Ex Machina is tiresome.
Ann doesn’t appear until eighteen minutes in. Shame on you, show.
Oh, and that one-eyed girl ghost or whatever she is gets to be in the opening scene, but then means nothing to the rest of the episode. Fuck off, then.
But it’s not all bad:
Maybe Damien killed her or something, and he’s been hiding it? Let your Antichrist flag fly, dude.
I was glad to get more information on Blonde Off-sider’s relationship to Ann. She complains to Colleague about her mother, which is referring to Ann. And she refers to Damien as her brother (without names, of course. Colleague is dense, but he wouldn’t be that dense). I assume that they’re not blood siblings, but you never know.
I like that Ann’s response to Damien’s bitchiness is to hire goons to beat him up.
The actor who plays Hubby does a great job. He’s wasted on this material.
Damien changes clothes in his car, leading to the brief shirtlessness seen above. Bradley James’ hotness is one thing Damien is yet to fumble. Keep it up.
Oh, and I like to imagine that Simone really was on that slab. It’d save her from being in the rest of this bloody show.