A pilot episode is arguably the most important of a series. It needs to show enough to draw in an audience while setting up for the future, leaving the viewers wanting more. That being said, once you establish a series, it’s just as difficult to keep the momentum going and hang on to those viewers you got from the first episode. Unfortunately, the second installment from Damien took a step backwards.
The episode starts in Chile where a woman performs a successful exorcism on a young man. Back in New York, Damien is still in shock from learning about his past and the death of Kelly. His friend Amani gets him to go to her funeral, despite not wanting to face questions from her family and friends about how she died. At a nearby church, a hooded man meets with a priest who hands him what we are told is the last dagger that must be used to kill Damien.
After the funeral, Damien’s boss tells him that Ann has bought his pictures from Syria for $55,000. She also tells Amani that both he and Damien have been fired but Amani elects not to tell him. Later, Damien is attacked on the street by the hooded man. He’s saved when a driver veers off the road, avoiding one of the dogs from the first episode, and hits the attacker. After being struck by the car, the man drops the dagger and it falls into a sewer. Simone (Kelly’s sister) and Amani are back at her apartment and begin going through Kelly’s purse. They find her notes that indicate Damien is the anti-Chirst.
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Damien is questioned by a cop about how the attacker was killed. He doesn’t buy Damien’s story and thinks he has something to do with the death. Just as Damien is beginning to get into hot water, he’s rescued by Ann who tells the cop she’s his attorney. They reconvene at Damien’s apartment where she inquires him about the “knife” that the attacker tried to kill him with. Ann reveals to him that he was adopted by his parents and baits him with more information if, and only if, he goes with her to her house.
Now at Ann’s house, she shows him that she has one of the daggers. She gains his trust and shows him a secret dungeon below her house that has several items from his past: clothes, pictures and most notably, his old tricycle. In a series of flashbacks to his childhood, the writers imply to us that Ann is related in some fashion to Damien’s old nanny, Mrs. Baylock. How they are related is not answered but it’s pretty clear to me that she’s a descendant. Perhaps a daughter or granddaughter? Keep in mind that Damien takes place roughly 25 years after the events of The Omen.
My big question after the first episode was Ann’s motive. It’s clear now that she’s on Damien’s side and will act as a motherly figure towards him, just as Mrs. Baylock did when he was five years old. The new question is how will he respond to this? She’s already done a lot of gain his trust and she has the one thing he desires the most: information. I see this playing out as a struggle for Damien between good and evil. Will he embrace Ann and follow her blindly? Or will he resist and try to save himself from his own destiny?
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The same question goes for Amani and Simone as they are starting to figure out the truth about Damien. How will they handle the situation? They’re almost certainly going to represent the good in this scenario. The ones who want to help Damien. Maybe they’ll team up with the woman from Chile who we didn’t see after the first scene of Monday’s episode. I think we can expect her to show up in New York next week or the following week to try and save Damien.
The flashbacks in the first episode of the series served a purpose. Damien had no recollection of his past so when events occurred and triggered his memory, the flashbacks were used to demonstrate his memory rushing back. It’s amazing what just a week can do because I’m already tired of them using the callbacks. Especially when they’re reusing the same flashback over and over again. It’s not telling us, or Damien, anything new. Which is why the one at the end of the episode worked because it linked Ann to Mrs. Baylock. The more they use the same, and at this point useless, flashbacks the more cheap it feels.
Finally, I NEED Damien to take a stand on something. For Christ’s sake he’s our lead character and he’s just too passive-aggressive. In the first episode, it was Kelly who took him to find answers. In this episode he was literally willing to skip his former lover’s funeral because it would have been too hard for him. I just want him to man up and make some decisions for once, even if he chooses to roll with Ann and embrace his evil side. Although he would probably only do that because Ann told him to.
What were your thoughts on the episode? Share your thoughts below in the comment section and be sure to check back in to 1428Elm next week for my review of episode three.