Dominion is a new Syfy show whose first two episodes are packed with intriguing plot twists, but relatively mediocre acting. It is a science fiction melodrama based in the future after angels have declared war on humans and whipped out over 6 billion people in the Extermination Wars. The archangel Gabriel led the army of angels against the humans and their ally, the archangel Michael. The humans were able to stop Gabriel at the Battle of the Hoover Damn and he was presumed dead. There are also rumors of a chosen one who will save humanity once and for all in the future. The story picks up 25 years into the future in 2038.
Humans have clustered together in cities like Vega, the remnants of Las Vegas, and the main setting for the show. The show begins showing the main protagonist Alex Lannen, played by Christopher Egan, outside of the city, where no one is allowed to go. He encounters some “8-balls,” or lesser angels who have embodied human form. They are distinguishable by sharped black teeth, black eyes, spidery veins, unnatural strength, and a murderous rage towards humanity. He barely escapes, bringing them back towards the city where one is eliminated and the other is captured.
In the city of Vega a system of social hierarchy is in place ranging from V-1 to V-6, with six being the highest. V-1 are the Basic Class, V-2 are the Labor Class, V-3 are the Professional Class, V-4 are the Agricultural Class, V-5 are the Learned Class, and V-6 are the Ruling Class. Alex, a V-2 because of his military background has fallen in love with a V-6, Claire Riesen, who is played by the lovely Roxanne McKee, daughter of General Edward Riesen, played by Alan Dale, who is the commander of the city along with other members of the government. The love of Alex and Claire leads to the typical problem of people in love from different social backgrounds being unable to be together because one is below the station of the other.
Claire is also religious and believes in the legend of the Chosen One, which is supported by the Church of the Savior and The Principate. The church is led by William Whele, played by Luke Allen-Gale, who is the son of Senator David Whele, played by the great Anthony Head. House Riesen and House Whele are the two strongest families in Vega. Many people including Alex and Senator Whele do not believe in the Chosen One and think of it merely as “a myth that they tell children to give them hope.”
In the rest of the first episode of Syfy’s new show Dominion, Senator Whele entertains an ambassador named Arika (Shivani Ghai) from Helena, another city inhabited by humans. The two are clearly close friends and even share a bath together. The introduction of rival human cities, each with their other strengths and weakness, givens depth to the show, and leaves the door open for interesting diplomatic negations. Senator Whele shows Akira the nuclear reactor that Vega has built, enabling them to sustain power without the need to trade for fuel.
A mysterious man covered in tattoos then comes back, who is Alex’s father, Jeep (Langley Kirkwood). He is a close friend of archangel Michael’s (Tom Wisdom). He informs Michael and eventually the entire government that Gabriel is back and amassing a new army, filled with angels of a higher order who can seamlessly take the body of a human without showing obvious outward signs.
Meanwhile in Dominion, the entire city of Vega has been preparing for a Jubilee commemorating their survival. House Riesen and House Wheel announce the engagement of Claire and William to the surprise of Alex and Claire. Senator Whele also informs the people that he has another surprise, and pulls out the captured 8-ball angel from the beginning of the episode. Michael is clearly angry. The creature seems to be planted by Gabriel, because it easily gets loose and begins rampaging the indoor arena where the city is celebrating. The attack ends up being a small distraction for another attack by stronger angels. They destroy the nuclear reactor thus making the defenses of Vega vulnerable.
The government assembles inside what appears to be the old pit room, where the owners of casinos could watch the gambling floor. A small boy, who is a member of Arika’s delegation from Helen, kills Jeep and flees before being caught. Jeep dies, telling Alex that he is the Chosen One as his last words. The tattoos transfer over and Alex Lannen is to be the savior of humanity in Dominion.
At the end of the first episode, part of Alex’s tattoos read, “Beware of those closest to you.” Next the viewer gets to see William Whele meeting with the archangel Gabriel and his Black Acolytes, a cult that still worships the angels instead of believing in the Chosen One. William tells them that the Chosen One has been found.
In the second episode of Dominion, the senator’s agree that they must take action to defend the city. Senator Becca Thorn (Rosalind Halstead) wants to punish Senator Whele for bringing the 8-ball into the city but is vetoed. Also, Alex, unable to cope with the responsibility of being the Chosen One decides to get drunk and visit Claire in the night. They get into an argument because he calls her a spoiled princess, and she refuses to run away from the city with him. Alex will clearly be doing a lot of soul searching in the next few episodes coming to grips with his new role in life.
Michael then summons Gabriel to ask him why he is beginning to attack again. Gabriel clearly hates the humans and is jealous of them because God gave them more attention. Michael tells him so, and claims his real problem lay with his father, God, who abandoned him. The viewer also finds out that General Riesen has congestive heart failure when he is speaking to Senator Thorn, who helps him when he has trouble. She also asks why he leaves the city every few weeks and he promptly leaves, but the viewer later finds out at the end of the second episode of Syfy’s new show Dominion that he is periodically having sex with an angel outside of the city.
Before the end, Alex gets orders to transfer over to House Whele. William goes on a walk with Alex and shows his good intentions. William seems like a good guy from the outside, but he is clearly using charitable deeds and religion as a screen to hide his true intentions for evil. Then the storyline shifts back to Akira, who along with her entourage, have been detained by House Whele in association with Jeep’s murder. Akira tricks her entourage into killing themselves with poison on their fingernails, and then uses their death as blackmail, thus putting senator Whele in a very precarious position. It appears that Akira will play a much larger role in the story line of Dominion than some first thought.
Finally Alex is visiting Claire to apologize, and gets attacked by an angel disguised as a human who sees Alex’s tattoos that distinguish him as the Chosen One. This fight inside the city highlights that fact that Alex, and more importantly the city, are no longer safe with him there. Alex decides to leave the city, and will likely go on an epic Ulysses like journey, where he proves to himself his strength and courage to battle the forces of evil led by Gabriel. Therefore, later on in an episode of Syfy’s new show Dominion, Alex will likely return to reveal himself as the Chosen One and save the day when the city of Vega is in dire need of his help.
By B. Taylor Rash