Dominion: The Impact of Surviving the Apocalypse
Have you ever wondered how (or if) you would survive an apocalyptic scenario? SyFy Network gives you a couple of choices on this front, but I’m focusing on its original program Dominion.
This week, Dominion S2.E11 Bewilderment of Heart ratcheted up its examination of the motivations of its primary characters. And, in the process, exposes the horror of what they all have gone through – either within the recent span of time covered by most of the show’s action, or in some cases eons of guilt.
So far, at least two Dominion characters have appeared to be pretty determinedly cold-blooded. Likely a handy survival trait when angels have killed, or occupied 98% of the planet’s population. But, were any of these characters that way when this whole mess started?
Arika (Shivani Ghai) has shown herself to be driven to protect and provide for Helena. We saw her effectively use and then exterminate Rose (Inge Beckman). Maybe we were inclined to believe that she did this at no personal cost, that there was nothing left of her compassion, lost after the death of her family. But, her experience in the darkness shows that Rose’s killing weighed very heavily on her and that perhaps if she were to do it again, she would choose a different path to achieve her objective.
The Eight-Balls version of David Whele (Anthony Stewart Head) helpfully catalogs all the awful actions he’s taken, and notes that David kept trophies. (Dominion Eight-Balls : when angels possess humans, they are in the lowest sphere of Heaven, furthest from the light of God.) And, yet, we see the anguish he feels for the loss of his family and the struggle he felt to overcome his feeling that his son, William (Luke Allen-Gale), was to blame for their deaths. Did he keep the trophies as fun mementos of his actions? Or, maybe to remind him of what he’s had to do? Perhaps this revelation and recognition of the monster he’s become will move him to be a little less cavalier about dealing death and betrayal. But, David does tend to look out for number one.
Interestingly, both Claire (Roxanne McKee) and Noma (Kim Englebrecht) focus on loss, rather than on guilt: Claire on the loss of her baby and Noma on the loss of her wings. Dominion writers show us how loss can be a powerful motivator, turning people towards bitterness or suicide, under the influence of “Darkness.”
William is forced to confront and shred the façade he built for himself to shield himself from the horrors he suffered from his desert sojourn. However, he is so fragile that he seems to have rebuilt some form of new identity. I’m sure this means trouble for all.
But, perhaps the largest guilt portion is reserved for the one who has had the longest time to amass a big pile, plus who also feels the weight of protection of the remaining human race. That’s got to be a daunting task for Dominion‘s Michael (Tom Wisdom). He’s also guilt-ridden over the fact that, indeed, all baby Alex really DID mean to him, at first, was a holder of markings. This may be a secret guilt of many parents, that it can take a while to bond with this new needy entity. It’s interesting that Michael focused on guilt rather than the loss of the Father. I wonder what Gabriel’s focus would be?
It’s easy to pass judgment on the characters in Dominion, but how would any of us have survived this experience? What would we be willing to do when faced with death or endless days of never-ending fear and deprivation? I appreciate that Dominion gives us the opportunity to think about these issues.