WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
The first episode of Damien is in the books what a solid first impression it made. I think fans of the movie, The Omen, as well as fans of horror in general, can get on board with this show. It’s clear this is going to have enough easter eggs and trends from the film to please fans but still do enough to differentiate itself and find its own identity. There’s plenty to talk about so I’m going to start by giving the highlights of the episode.
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Damien Thorn is now a 30-year old photographer whose childhood memory is cloudy and unclear. He’s on assignment in Syria where he has a spooky interaction with an old woman who knows his name and past. He returns to New York and teams up with Kelly, whom he used to have a relationship with, to find answers from his childhood. We find out later on that he ended things with Kelly after he felt a “cloud of darkness” surrounding him and didn’t want her to get involved.
A woman named Ann Rutledge approaches Damien and tells him she’s “in the protection business”. Damien and Kelly’s journey takes them to a Professor Reneis who knew Damien’s father. He implies that Damien is the anti-Christ and Damien storms out of the house in disbelief and feeling offended. Once they are gone, Reneis is attacked by three dogs who kill him in his house.
Dork Side of the Force
Damien and Kelly return home and get into an argument which ends with him yelling at her to leave. This ultimately leads to her demise though as she’s killed in some sort of… sinkhole? This was one of the strangest and most illogical parts of the episode. Damien tries saving her but she screams, “Something’s got me!” right before she appears to be yanked into the abyss.
Meanwhile, a priest who knows of Damien’s existence reveals that he has one of the remaining daggers that must be used to kill him. Damien goes to a church (yes he’s able to enter a church now) and breaks down crying, asking God for answers. When he doesn’t get them, he becomes angry and clutches the crucifix. The moment he comes in contact with the cross, it begins to deteriorate and his memory from when his father tried killing him in a church comes rushing back.
Damien then runs into the old woman from the beginning who attacks him and pulls out a chunk of his hair. He returns home and starts noticing the woman in the background of several different pictures he’s taken all across the world at different periods of time. In the closing seconds of the episode, Damien sees the “666” birthmark on his scalp from where the woman pulled hair from. It appears that he’s caved in to the fact that he is the anti-Christ.
So the big question is how will Damien handle things now that he knows about his past? It’s important to note that throughout the entire episode he was doing the right thing and being a good guy. He started out taking “quality of life photos” to expose the harsh conditions in Syria. He even tried saving a few people who have fallen from getting trampled. Then we found out he broke up with Kelly because he felt some sort of evil presence surrounding him and didn’t want her to get involved. Will he give in to who he is or will he fight back?
The church scene at the end is crucial not only because it reminded him of how his father tried murdering him, but it also showed him challenging God. We don’t know what Damien’s religious beliefs are but it’s clear at the end he’s angry, frustrated and pointing the finger at God. Looking way, way down the line at the end of this series, the only happy ending possible for Damien is if he embraces Jesus and puts his faith in him. From what we saw in Monday’s first episode, it’ll be an uphill battle to get there.
Kelly’s death came as a shock to me because it seemed like we were going to have Kelly on the show for the long haul. She was a love interest to Damien as well as his ally. Kelly was the driving force for most of their journey up to that point. It goes to show that everyone on this show may be expendable because we’re dealing with the Devil here and he kind of trumps logic and reason. Anyone who tries to help Damien or even comes in contact with him is immediately put on my “Watch List” of people who may die at any second.
Ann Rutledge is an interesting character thus far. I think it’s safe to say she will play a huge role in this season. Damien and the audience know very little about her but she knows a lot about him. She has the ball in her court so to speak and that comment that she works in the “protection business” really stuck with me. Who will she be protecting: Damien or other people from getting harmed by Damien? At what lengths is she willing to go?
Overall, I thought this was a good pilot episode. It wasn’t great but it did a good job of establishing characters, threw in some surprises and I’m excited to see where they go from here. What did you think of the season premiere? You can check back in every week to get my take. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts.