Episode 5 of Damien sees the titular character pushed to his limits.
WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Episode 5 of Damien took a surprising turn by giving us a sort-of bottle episode. In the past couple of weeks, other characters like Ann and Detective Shay have dominated the screen. This week, we saw Ann in just two scenes while Shay didn’t appear at all. As a result, at the end of the episode, the audience is split into two groups which we’ll come back around to in just a bit.
First, as always, let’s recap what happened in this episode titled, “Seven Curses.”
Damien goes to a VA hospital to meet with a doctor who can help him the PTSD he’s been suffering with from his time as a war photographer. He runs into the mother of the boy he saved in the subway from episode 3. Her husband is a war veteran named Alex who’s recovering from injuries sustained overseas. She invites Damien up to meet him and Damien decides to stick around for the day to take photos of his physical therapy process.
After spending the day together, Alex confides in Damien detailing his difficult, uphill battle. He tells Damien it’s gotten so bad that he plans on killing himself. Alex, who’s been stockpiling extra pain killers, schemes to purposely overdose and wants Damien to capture it on camera and show the photos to the world to expose the harsh, post-war life. Damien refuses and insists that the pictures he has of his physical therapy will accomplish just that.
Simone is starting to become more and more suspicious of Damien but Amani denies her accusations. He mentions to her that he has several photos with the elderly woman from Syria in the background (referring to the pics back from episode 1). This peaks Simone’s interest and she steals the key Amani has to Damien’s apartment.
Alex sneaks out of his hospital room and Damien goes on a wild goose chase throughout the hospital basement looking for him. He sees several, disturbing images such as doctors and nurses having sex and a surgeon drilling open a patient’s head. Finally he stumbles into what looks like some sort of group meeting. The members start reciting phrases to him like, “you are given authority over the Earth,” and, “Your name is death.” This is where Damien finally loses it and hits his boiling point.
Ann is still reeling from her and Damien’s argument in episode 4 when he threatened her. She makes a phone call to someone and orders two men to pick up Damien at his apartment and tells them, “don’t hurt him too much.” Later, Simone arrives at his apartment and steals the pictures that has the old woman in the background. While she’s there, the two masked men show up looking for Damien. She hides as the two bandits destroy the apartment when they realize no one is home.
Remember in episode 2 when I briefly talked about a woman named Sister Greta in Chile who performed an exorcism? She makes her return in this latest episode. Now in Vatican City, she tries stealing one of the daggers but is caught by a priest. She insists she must go to New York to kill “the beast” but he simply wants her to gather information and let the Vatican council decide what to do. Take a look at the scene below.
Damien finds Alex back in his room but instead of trying to stop him from killing himself, he agrees to let him go on with his plan and photograph it. What this tells me is that he’s finally come to terms that he can’t save everyone. No matter how hard he tries, bad things are going to happen around him and there’s nothing he can do about it because evil forces will trump his attempts to do good.
Amani meets back up with the same blonde woman whose name we still don’t know but we do get some new information on her. Earlier in the episode, Ann asks her if she was a good mother and now in this scene with Amani, she says, “My brother is having issues and he’s the prodigy so my mother’s on edge.” Clearly she’s talking about Damien and Ann here. The girl and Amani seemed to have hit it off and he invites her back to his place. It appears, at least for the time being, that my suspicions about her getting close with Amani just to get to Damien were wrong and that the two may have a genuine connection. Is she playing us as well as Amani?
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Damien, now depressed, goes back to what I assume is his childhood home in the states. Remember that The Omen takes place almost entirely in Great Britain where Damien’s father is the U.S. Ambassador so we never see their home in America. He gets drunk, drugs himself with and sits in a car in the garage with the engine running, trying to commit suicide. His attempt is denied by a couple of the rottweilers who drag him out of the garage.
So once again, it’s confirmed that he doesn’t have a whole lot of control. He can’t save everyone and he can’t even take his own life because those evil forces won’t let it happen.
So as I mentioned at the top, there are two teams here you can be on. Team A could make the argument that Damien is still just everyone’s pawn and you can make him do almost anything you want. He needs to consistently take a strong stand against things like letting someone commit suicide right in front of his eyes. Team B on the other hand can say he’s trying to spare the world of the evil that follows him. You could also feel sorry for him after all the deaths he’s witnessed and who can blame him for wanting to end such horror.
I’m with Team A on this one mainly because I’ve been saying since the start that he needs to man up and stop letting people manipulate him. If things inevitably happen that are out of his hands then so be it but don’t be made a fool by familiar foes. That being said, all of the events that Damien has gone through are taking their toll not only on the leading man, but on the audience as well.
I’m excited for us to see more of Sister Greta. She’s going to give Damien an adversary who we, the audience, can’t really cheer against. So far, she’s not an unlikable character in comparison to Shay who we can feel fine hating. Greta is acting how any sane, rational human being would act so we can relate to her. At the same time though, we don’t want to see Damien killed, we want to see him saved. So what we have is an interesting dynamic between the two characters and I for one can’t wait to see how it plays out when they finally meet.
What did you like from episode 5? Do you have any theories on what we can expect from the rest of the season? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.