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TV Review: Damien 1.3 “The Deliverer”
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Damien 103-01

Damien
Season 1 Episode 3: “The Deliverer”
Directed by Guillermo Navarro
Written by Ryan C. Coleman
Created by Glen Mazzara
Starring Bradley James, Barbara Hershey, Megalyn EK, Omid Abtahi, Scott Wilson, David Meunier, Tiffany Hines, Scott Wilson
A&E
Air Date: Monday, March 21st, 2016, 10pm

Last week Damien (Bradley James) was confronted with all sorts of demons from his past and future. First he had to deal with Kelly’s funeral and being inside a church… didn’t go so well. Then he was attacked by a dagger wielding army veteran, only to be saved by an errant taxi which split the attacker in two. At the end he was whisked away by Ann Rutledge (Barbara Hershey) to her home, where she has a shrine devoted to him. As Damien learns more about who and what he truly is, how will he react? And how will the church attempt to deal with him?

Spoilers below.

Detective Shay (David Meunier), begins to notice the series of coincidences and accidents that tend to follow Damien around. The scholar who was mauled by dogs after an encounter, and of course Kelly, swallowed by a sinkhole on the streets on New York. What Shay doesn’t see is he is being followed by an ever familiar rottweiler.

Damien digs for answers from Rutledge on how many followers he has (if he’s in fact the Antichrist), and at the same time how many are out to kill him. Simone (Megalyn E.K.) is digging around too. With Kelly’s odd last entries in her notebook about the Book of Revelations, she tries looking for answers at church and has visions of bleeding statues. Damien goes to visit John Lyons (Scott Wilson aka Hershel from The Walking Dead). Lyons is a friend from his past, a former Chief of Staff at the White House (where Damien spent some time after his parents’ deaths). After discussing his interactions with Rutledge, Lyons warns:

“Be careful Damien. I’ve seen more than my fair share in my day, and not much surprises or frightens me. Ann Rutledge does both.”

However, despite what he told Damien, it appears Lyons and Rutledge are bedfellows in the Damien recruitment business. They express concern over if and when Damien will assume his role. She says of it:

“We can’t just put a gun to his head and say “˜bring about the Apocalypse.'” Lyons decided to speed the process up by putting Troy (Bruno Verdoni) in charge of “breaking him.” Rutledge toys with him before faking being pushed so an observing Damien gives chase. The whole scene honestly made no sense, but added to the intrigue of Damien’s character… he defends ladies who’ve been shoved down, and rescues boys from oncoming trains… of course another “accident” occurs when Troy falls tie first onto the subway escalator, which proceeds to chew him up. When Detective Shay finally calls it a night, an angry dog is waiting for him, but he manages to shoot it and survive with only a few nibbles.

Rutledge pays Damien a visit at home and he seems to grow tired of her act… but confides in her what happened with the old woman in Damascus, and his birthmark… and she is very excited about it.

Damien certainly is a strange series. There are elements that are really good and make me truly unnerved. But there are a few things that bother me. I like Barbara Hershey and she is creepy in the way Miss Baylock was in the film. I like the symbolism of the mega corporation as the vehicle looking to use the Antichrist’s power. And I really like the cop uncovering the strange conspiracy of accidents. But I found that chase scene through the subway totally off, and it didn’t make sense at all to me. I’m also not digging Simone and Amani (Omid Abtahi), and the whole Kelly sending visions from the grave stuff. Their acting isn’t convincing me either, and I’m a big Megalyn E.K. fan from her work on The Following.

There was more good than bad, and as a devotee of the original Richard Donner film from 1976, I’m more than willing to stick with it. The biggest thing the show has going is its convincing lead, and Bradley James is up to the task.

Damien returns with a new episode next Monday night at 10:00 EST on A&E.

Image Gallery

Videos

Damien: Troy Takes the Escalator (S1, E3) | A&E


Ann sends Damien after Troy on a wild chase through the subway in this scene from Episode 3, “The Deliverer.”

Damien: Inside the Episode: The Deliverer (S1, E3) | A&E


Glen Mazzara explains the importance of Ann Rutledge (Barbara Hershey) in shaping Damien’s life and destiny in this web exclusive from Episode 3, “The Deliverer.”

1 Comment »

  1. I do have to wonder where they can go with this show. I also loved the original movie — I saw it in the theaters when I was 13-years-old (yes, my Dad took me and my older brother to R-rated movies on occasion) and it’s always been one of the scariest cinematic experiences I’ve had (in a good way). But the show can’t only be gruesome and mysterious “accidents” happening to those who know or get a sense that something is not right with Damien. And how long can we, even care or root for the main character when he is the anti-Christ, even if he fights his fate? I haven’t watched the latest episode but it doesn’t sound like they are taking this anywhere new at this point. I’ll stick with it but I’m feeling skeptical about whether this is going to successfully pan out into a “must watch” TV show.

    “Bates Motel” works so well because they built a great supporting cast of characters and a compelling world around young Norman so the show didn’t have to just be about Norman killing people. But now that Norman is becoming full on “Psycho” Norman Bates the show is heading towards it’s final season because there is only so much they can do once everybody is on to what Norman is and we can’t root for the character any longer. It seems in “Damien” the supporting cast is not all that compelling (yet) and Damien is already close to realizing his fate just a few episodes into the first season. So what’ll they do to create an ongoing compelling story? I hope they have some tricks up their sleeve but thus far not really seeing it.

    Comment by Hugomarink — March 23, 2016 @ 10:24 am

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