By Dr. Zaius
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Damien Season 1 Episode 8: “Here Is Wisdom”
Directed by Tim Andrew
Written by Sarah Thorp
Created by Glen Mazzara
Starring Bradley James, Barbara Hershey, Megalyn EK, Omid Abtahi, Scott Wilson, David Meunier A&E
Air Date: Monday, April 25th, 2016, 10pm
Last week on Damien, we learned some eerie details into Damien’s youth. As an adult he seemed surprisingly well adjusted… well, before he learned he may be the Antichrist. He was a decorated war photographer, had friends in high places, and had real actual friends and people who cared for him. But Detective Shay (David Meunier) has dug up some interesting information about him. A boarding school buddy, Cray Marquand (Cody Ray Thompson) told of Damien’s proclivities towards the strange and dangerous behavior, including a secret organization and an initiation gone awry where his roommate was left burned over the majority of his body. The burn victim, Charles Powell (Joe Doyle) doesn’t take kindly to being talked about, and sought out Marquand to brutally murder him in gym shower. Who is, and what is the real Damien? These are the pivotal questions going forward.
Simone and Sister Greta (Robin Weigert) are working together trying to stop Damien. They creep through the sewers below where Damien’s attempted assassin was killed in the car accident. There, nestled in a lake of rats they find the lost Megiddo dagger; one of the weapons needed to kill the Antichrist completely, body and soul. Damien (Bradley James) meanwhile, is in therapy for his PTSD (the diagnosis for his attempted suicide). Damien appears to want nothing to do with the pain, chaos, and devastation surrounding the potential of him being the Antichrist.
Shay is taking heat for Charles Powell’s murder. Right before he visits, Damien gets a “gift” of Cray Marquand’s tongue with a roll of film stitched into it… a rather disgusting scene. Shay is continued to be baffled by the amount of bodies and bloodshed that seem to continually surround Damien. After he leaves, Damien disposes of the tongue; perhaps protecting an acolyte in Powell. Later, when Damien leaves, Shay attempts to follow him, but his car won’t start… then won’t open… then goes up in flames. He barely escapes after shooting out a window and making a leap of faith. I like Shay as a character as he keeps reminding me of David Warner’s Jennings in the film. That means all these death teases are either leading up to a spectacularly gory death, or some kind of heavenly heroics.
Greta and Simone bring in Amani (Omid Abtahi). After the break-in at Damien’s, Amani sees security footage of Veronica (Melanie Scrofano) scoping the place out. He puts two and two together and realizes he’s been played as a pawn. When he discusses Rutledge, Greta has an “ah ha” moment about those protecting Damien since he was young, and sends Amani back to Veronica hoping for more intel.
Damien follows a clue to a trailer in the middle of the woods where Charles Powell is ever so happy to see him. Powell tells Damien he killed Cray for him, “just like all the others.” “I did it all for you” has been the mantra of the Antichrist acolyte since 1976’s film The Omen, when 5-year old Damien’s nanny yelled it before leaping from a window with a noose around her neck at his birthday party. Joe Doyle is really friggin’ creepy here. Damien’s response to being asked, “who should we kill next?” is to close the door and start beating the life out of Powell. Detective Shay arrives after getting a call, and finds Powell barely alive from the beatdown.
“I knew he’d never kill me.” – Powell
“Who did this?” – Shay
“The devil. The devil did this.” – Powell
Powell’s insane cackling reminds me of Renfield in Dracula. Damien tells his shrink that he could’ve killed Powell but made the choice to stop. “When we encounter evil, shouldn’t we destroy it?” Damien is struggling with choices of good and evil, and his shrink tells him that is proof he’s human. James is dialing to a different gear this week… really great stuff.
Amani figures out that Veronica is Ann’s daughter and confronts her. Telling mommy that they’ve been caught doesn’t make mommy happy, and apparently Rutledge is so scary that her own daughter tries to earn back trust by going after Greta. That doesn’t end up well though as Greta turns the tables, and Veronica ends up shot in a church of all places.
Powell sits in custody awaiting his lawyer when he gets a visit from… Damien’s shrink… Uh oh. For the second straight week, Damien gives the audience a bloody send off.
I love the duality of this episode. Ann and Greta each with a dagger. Damien confronting good and evil and making choices. Shay facing danger at home and at work. This was probably my favorite episode so far, and I can’t wait to see where we’re heading. Does Damien actually join with a Vatican nun out to stop him? Does Shay figure out exactly who he’s chasing? And what will Damien’s ultimate choice be?
Damien returns next Monday night at 10:00 EST immediately after a new Bates Motel on A&E.
Damien: Psychiatrist or Servant? (S1, E8) | A&E
Charles receives a visit from a psychiatrist who brings a very clear message from Damien in this scene from Episode 8, “Here Is Wisdom.”