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Series / Dominion

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"May the Savior bless you; may he bless all of us."

Dominion is a Syfy channel series set twenty-five years after the film Legion (with some tweaking), on an Earth where humanity has been reduced to a few walled city-states after God disappeared and the angels, blaming humans, launched a genocidal assault. The Archangel Michael, the only angel to side with humanity, resides in the city of Vega (formerly Las Vegas), keeping watch over the city and the child born 25 years ago that will be the salvation of humanity. A peace has prevailed for the last few years, but we wouldn't be having a show if that weren't about to change...

On October 15th 2015 Sci-fi cancelled the series after 2 seasons.


This series provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: SyFy has created a virtual handbook that expands on the history of the Extermination War and how Vega was founded, among other things.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The lower angels, known more commonly as eight-balls, are, for the most part, mindlessly violent towards humans. However, it seems that if enough effort is made, eight-balls can be reasoned with, as is the case with Claire's possessed mother and the entire city of New Delphi, which has humans living in harmony with eight-balls.
  • Archangel Gabriel: He's the Big Bad.
  • Archangel Michael: The Big Good.
  • Archangel Raphael: She's neutral in the conflict, according to Michael.
  • Archangel Uriel: Is a woman, and is playing Michael and Gabriel against each other.
  • The Atoner: Michael sees training Alex and saving mankind as redemption for his actions in the past.
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  • Battle in the Rain: The season two premiere has Michael fighting a group of eight-balls in the rain to protect a town.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The initiation ritual for the Black Acolytes. The recruit has a thick, gold cloth tied around their torso. The knot in the back is tied so a large metal rod can be inserted into it. The rod is then twisted until the recruit has one of their ribs break. The idea is that they grow stronger after breaking. Specifically invoked in regards to Whele by William, though it takes more than a broken rib to break his will.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While Gabriel is recognized as the main threat, Uriel is playing him and Michael for her own ends. Meanwhile, Whele continues to constantly plot to try and seize control of Vega for himself.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: People possessed by lesser angels, hence the descriptive term "eight ball."
  • Bread and Circuses: Whele tries to do this with the Jubilee. It does not end well.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In "Broken Places," Michael explains that the angels gave up some of their powers when they took human form. For instance, an ascended angel would be able to instantly locate any of his brethren, while Michael has no means to track them while in human form. It's also implied that killing them is only possible because they've taken human form. Even so, angels have superhuman strength, the power of flight, and are more resistant to damage than humans.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Whele tries to call into question Michael's loyalties during a council meeting. Michael points out that, were he so inclined, he could murder Whele and the Council with impunity.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": When Whele is trying to get Riesen thrown out with a vote of no confidence, Claire goes to William for something that she might be able to use to make Whele back down. When William asks if she intends to blackmail him, she insists that she's not... okay, she is.
  • The Chosen One: Alex, though he's not at all sure he's ready.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In the season two premiere, Michael finds his way to Mallory, Alabama, a town which is inexplicably protected from the eight-balls by a burning statue they claim means God is protecting them. So long as they keep the faith, it keeps burning. When it gets put out by a rainstorm, it reignites the second the rain stops, at which point all the eight-balls Michael hadn't already killed spontaneously burst into flame. The town maintains this protection by confessing their sins to the town leader, with a festival every five years to solidify it in which the leader must sacrifice themselves.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Black Acolytes, humans who still secretly but devoutly worship Gabriel and the other angels.
  • Confessional: Mallory, Alabama, has a rather unusual take on this. Laurel, the town leader, holds the confessor's hand over a candle. So long as they confess truthfully and fully, the flame doesn't burn. The town's Clap Your Hands If You Believe protection is predicated on this fact: if even one person hasn't confessed in the five-year period that marks the founding of the town, the protection is revoked.
  • Corrupt Politician: For all his talk about acting for the greater good of Vega, Whele seems more interested in building the personal power of himself and his family. When The Chosen One is revealed, he sees it as a threat to himself rather than hope for humanity.
  • Dead Guy on Display: On their way to New Delphi, Alex and Noma find a higher angel strung up to a tree, headless and fairly well decayed. An impressive feat, considering what it takes to kill one.
  • Demonic Possession: Lesser angels have to possess human hosts, as they lack a physical form. Michael later explains that all demonic possessions that have ever occurred, as far as he knows, are the result of angel possessions. Humans simply didn't know any better.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jeep, to Alex.
  • Driven to Suicide: A flashback shows that Jeep tried to do this when he couldn't decipher the tattoos of The Chosen One. However, rather than just outright bite the bullet, he left the outcome up to a game of Russian Roulette, landing on a blank.
  • Dual Wielding: Michael fights with two swords.
  • Elite Mooks: The Powers, the higher angels who, like Gabriel and Michael, are able to manifest physically on Earth and pose as humans. This also makes them immune to the city scanners meant to weed out lesser angels, since they aren't possessing a human host.
  • Empty Shell: When angels possess humans, the human's soul is destroyed by the possession. Even if the angel is exorcised, the host might as well be dead, and will die anyway since it can't take care of itself. Alex is quite surprised in the season two premiere when he cures a human and brings back his soul in the process.
  • Fanservice:
    • The army has co-ed showers.
    • The sex scenes aren't shy, either.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The vaguely defined Number system that organizes life in Vega.
  • Fantastic Racism: The angels despise humanity, and (most) humans in turn hate the angels.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Most of the primary religions collapsed when Gabriel showed up, blamed humanity for God's disappearance, and declared war on them, either from having an avatar of god acknowledged by their scripture annihilate them or from the physical proof for Abrahamic religions. The Church of the Savior has slotted into the void quite neatly, revering the coming Chosen One as a Christ-like figure who will unite the world. There are also the Black Acolytes, who worship Gabriel and the other angels, and the leader of Helena believes in something called the "divine femininity" who turns out to be Uriel.
  • First-Episode Twist: Jeep dies, Alex is the Chosen One, and William is a member of the Black Acolytes.
  • Frameup: In "Mouth of the Damned", Claire frames Whele for having an affair with an eight-ball so she can oust him from power. It works flawlessly, though Whele promises that he won't be gotten rid of so easily.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": It's pretty hard to take any funeral seriously when you follow it up with rampant debauchery, as Gabriel shows us.
  • The Ghost:
    • The Archangel Raphael and Queen Evelyn of Helena are mentioned several times during the course of the first season, but never show up. Subverted in the Season 1 finale when it's revealed that Arika and Evelyn are one and the same.
  • Gladiator Games: Whele sets one of these up with a famous hero and a captured angel. It backfires horribly.
  • God Was My Copilot: There are numerous higher angels hiding out in Vega because they want to stay neutral. One such angel is Noma, one of the soldiers in Alex's unit assigned by Michael to keep an eye on him. This was a particular hard-hitting revelation for Alex, as they had slept together that same day.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Oddly averted; all angels seen so far have black wings, even the good ones. Until the Season 2 finale, when Noma makes a Deal with the Devil and gets a pair of white wings.
  • The Great Flood: Gabriel reveals to Alex that the flood was in fact a metaphor, as the reality of the situation was a bit much for humans to stomach. The "ark" was in fact a bunker, and the "flood" was Michael, who wantonly slaughtered as many humans as he could find because they were worshiping angels instead of God.
  • Great Offscreen War: We saw the beginning days of the Extermination War in Legion, but aside from that, we only have brief discussions in the show and the virtual handbook about the extent and ferocity of the conflict.
  • Guardian Angel: Michael was this for Alex, manipulating the structure of the army to make sure he had proper training. Noma was also this much more directly, always by Alex's side on Michael's orders to protect him, even from himself.
  • Hate Plague: The Amphora of Darkness releases a black mist which shows disturbing visions to those exposed to it, the intent being to corrupt the bonds they share and turn them on each other. When released on Vega, most of the population is turned homicidally and suicidally violent in short order, and even Michael and Noma fall victim to its effects. Only Alex is immune.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The main difference between the movie and the show. In Legion, the angelic assault was ordered by God, who had grown angry with humanity's sins. In Dominion, God disappeared, with Gabriel blaming humanity for it.
  • The Hedonist: Gabriel's angels take full advantage of their human hosts. A funeral for the two higher angels lost in the attack on Vega is followed by an orgy.
  • He Knows Too Much: Alex's status as The Chosen One has proven to be life-lessening knowledge for anyone who's not a main character.
    • Jeep is murdered by an angel since he was researching The Chosen One's tattoos.
    • Alex's young friend Bixby nearly meets the same fate when she becomes privy to the fact that he is the chosen one, but Claire uses her influence to keep her safe. Whele got to Bixby later on, though she at least got to die peacefully through a morphine overdose.
    • The technicians who were also present were less lucky, as Whele had them shot and fed to his pet lion.
    • A senator who found out that Riesen and Whele knew about the chosen one and were hiding it threatened to destroy Vega's crops unless they revealed who it was. When Alex talked him down, Riesen shot the senator in the head to keep the secret.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Whele was a televangelist before the angels showed up. He's understandably a bit more cynical now.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Michael justifies his treatment of Alex as a necessary preparation for his destiny.
  • Immune to Bullets: Higher angels are immune to small arms, usually by using their wings as a shield; Michael implies that a point-blank headshot would be useless, but it isn't tested. Lesser angels, however, can be killed by most anything that would put their host body down.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Not long after finding out he's the chosen one, Alex gets extremely hammered.
  • Interspecies Romance: several angel-on-human couples.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Alex decides to leave Vega in order to protect those he cares about from the angels now after him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: William forcibly inducts his father into the Black Acolytes, which involves torture.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Alex manages to fight off an angel by breaking a gas line and lighting it. She uses her wings to shield herself, but still has to retreat.
    • In the first season finale, Whele takes advantage of the Black Acolytes wearing blindfolds during prayers to set the room they're in on fire and lock them in.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: Claire and Michael do this with Alex when he's revealed to be the chosen one.
  • Lady Land: The city of Helena.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Rare male-to-male version. Ethan is gay, but scoffs at the idea of being attracted to Alex, claiming he's like a brother to him.
  • Love Triangle: Between Alex, Claire, and William, and extremely unlikely to end well.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • When Alex finds an overturned truck that had been attacked by angels, he finds the driver has survived. Since the guy is about two steps away from choking on his own blood, Alex puts a bullet in his head while trying to reassure him.
    • Claire does this to her mother after exorcising the angel within reveals that she's basically an Empty Shell.
    • When Michael finds Louis tied up, wings amputated, and heavily experimented on, Louis begs him to finish it. Michael obliges.
  • Missing Mom: Alex, Claire, and William's mothers are all gone. Except Claire's not so much: she's the eight-ball that Riesen keeps on the side. Claire gives her a Mercy Kill later, after an exorcism doesn't pan out as Alex had hoped.
  • The Mole: William is one of Gabriel's followers, and angel infiltration of the city is a serious problem now that there are higher angels that can pose as human.
  • Mole in Charge: William leads both the Church of the Savior and the Black Acolytes. One of the other Acolytes calls him out on the apparent hypocrisy at one point, but William shuts him up by explaining the purpose of this trope.
  • Muggles Do It Better: It turns out you can kill divine beings with an anti-aircraft gun. They even managed to successfully shoot down a higher angel, though the other two were fast enough to avoid the shots.
  • Nay-Theist: Whele is actively, if privately, dismissive of the prophecy of a chosen one, even after seeing the foretold events happen right in front of him and being told as much by Michael. This in a world where angels are quite real. Given that he previously based his life on a faith that turned out to be false, it's not unrealistic that he's unwilling to give it a second chance.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the season 2 finale, it's revealed Michael and Gabriel killed Lucifer, but Michael decided to bury Lucifer at sea out of respect. That act allowed Lucifer to come back.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe, despite the fact that his publicity stunt backfired spectacularly, Whele is still pleased that it has served to reinforce the idea that the angels are a real and current threat.
  • Out-Gambitted: Whele is thoroughly played by Riesen after trying to broker a deal with Helena and making plans to get Riesen voted out of office. Riesen, in fact, knows that Helena's air force was actually reduced to a bomber and a couple helicopters in the war, and revealing this to the Council not only lets him broker his own deal with Arika, but embarrass Whele by having the entire Council vote to keep him in power.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jeep left about fifteen years ago, leaving Alex stranded at the bottom of the caste system as an orphan.
    • Many angels refer to God as "father" and certainly act abandoned.
  • Playing Both Sides: Uriel tells both Michael and Gabriel individually that she'll fight for their side in the coming war. In truth, she's plotting to destroy them both.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Angel weapons are made of a special kind of steel which prevent wounds from healing. However, other angels can heal the wound by taking one of their feathers and melting the calamus into the wound.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Angel wings can come and go at will and usually indicate something powerful is about to happen.
  • Rage Breaking Point: We've seen Michael get mad plenty of times, but after learning that his former lover Becca has been experimenting on higher angels, he goes berserk, killing her and several guards without hesitation.
  • Razor Wings: Angel wings are sharp enough to cut through body armor.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: General Riesen, who rules Vega with an iron but fair fist, and was even willing to step down in favor of a democratic government before the Powers showed up. Claire tries to get him to stay, claiming that Whele will take control and turn the city into a dictatorship. Her father points out that that's what it is now.
  • Reality Ensues: When Alex shows a man his tattoos to show he's the chosen one, he doesn't believe him. Not only are they underwhelming, as he points out they could easily be fakes drawn on to deceive him. Alex is only able to convince him by recalling the signs from a vision he had earlier, which were about the man's personal life, and would be impossible for anyone to know.
  • Refusal of the Call: Alex hits all the buttons, including outright lying about seeing words in the tattoos. Of course, given the first words were "Beware those close to you," perhaps that part was just pragmatic. He is eventually convinced that stepping into his role is for the best.
  • Revealing Hug: In "The Flood," Uriel, older sister of Michael and Gabriel, tells the latter that she believes Michael to be in the wrong and will join him if he can sway Alex into joining. When they hug, she has a smirk that definitely doesn't bode well for Gabriel.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Jeep is killed in the pilot, enabling Alex to start on the path of his destiny.
  • Sadistic Choice: Arika forces one on Whele in "Godspeed." Since he's locked up her and her entourage for bringing an angel into the city, she has her entourage commit suicide using the poison in their nails. With everyone, save her, dead, Whele can either pardon and release her, or execute her and have Helena bomb Vega into dust with their air force.
  • Salt the Earth: When Claire arranges for the V1s to have the first three floors of the Wynn towers, Whele has them burned out of spite, an act which causes several casualties.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the timeskip in season 2, it's clear that Whele is a few beers short of a six-pack — he kills a lackey to send a message to his other cronies, has several floors of a building burned out to prevent the V1s from living there, and is hallucinating his dead son.
  • Satan: His existence is confirmed in the first season finale, when Michael mentions that "The Son of Morning" was born alone. He becomes an active player near the end of season 2, where it's revealed that he's behind the fire which protects Mallory. What for remains to be seen, but Michael seems confident it's not for altruistic purposes.
  • Scenery Gorn: Outside of Vega, this is pretty much it.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Alex gets away with a lot of things other soldiers can't because of his relationship with Claire and being a member of the Archangel Corps.
  • Secret Test of Character: While reflecting on his past, Michael surmises that The Great Flood was this for him. After Gabriel beat him half to death for slaughtering innocents, the boy that Gabriel had saved from Michael's wrath earlier brought him water, reasoning that it was the right thing to do. Michael then realized he had failed the test by blindly obeying God.
  • Suicide Attack: In the pilot, one of the higher angels dives into Vega's reactor cooling tower with a bomb strapped to his chest. It doesn't take the reactor out, but it does take them a while to repair it.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Angel wings can do a wide variety of things starting with flight and ending apparently at communicating with other angels via wing-flaps.
  • Tainted Veins: Possessed humans have black veins.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Gabriel warns Michael of this. He turns out to be right, as the humans capture Louis in order to learn how to kill higher angels by experimenting on him.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Referenced twice in episode 3.
    • When Gabriel slaughters an entire diner to William's horror, he assures him that a revulsion to death and bloodshed was inherent in God's design for humanity, a fail-safe to help them "behave." This, of course, makes it pretty clear that God didn't want humans killing people. Gabriel further claims that there's a flaw in the design, and that "strong" people simply become stronger when faced with such things.
    • When Whele is confronting Michael and doubting his loyalty, Michael calmly notes that he could kill the entire Council (and especially Whele, who's standing a foot away) without difficulty, and muses aloud whether it would even be wrong to do so.
      Michael: Murder is a crime for humans. But is it for angels? You are right; these are questions you should ponder.
  • Trojan Prisoner: In the season finale, Gabriel surrenders to Vega, just so he can get broken out by his Acolytes, in order to make a point to Alex.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Queen Evelyn and Arika are one and the same.
  • Villain Override: Gabriel can control the lesser angels remotely, and grows strong enough to control some higher angels later on.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The plagues of Egypt were weapons granted to the Archangels by God, contained in urns called Amphora, though they elected for good old mass slaughter instead. Julian, the leader of New Delphi and secretly a former higher angel, has one in his possession.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Whele arranges for a lesser angel at the Jubilee because he feels the people aren't fully appreciative of the threat they pose. Though it didn't play out as planned, it had the desired effect.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Whele is honestly trying to keep the city content and alive, but between maintaining the caste system and stunts like secretly bringing in an angel for a public slaughtering, he's well on this road.
  • Wham Episode: The Season 1 finale has quite a number of moments. Arika is revealed to be in league with Uriel, William is outed as a mole and Whele smuggles him out of the city, Claire is revealed to be pregnant with Alex's child, Gabriel convinces Alex to join him by threatening Claire, and Michael leaves the city after going berserk and killing Becca in response to her torturing one of the higher angels to find out their weaknesses.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The higher angels treat the lesser angels as cannon fodder, and all three Archangels view them with disdain.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Whele speaks with a nasal, twangy voice that seems to be Anthony Head's attempt at a western U.S. accent. It gets much better as season 2 progresses.
  • Winged Humanoid: Angels, naturally, and they can manifest the wings at will.
  • With Us or Against Us: In "Broken Places," Michael meets with a higher angel that has been secretly living in Vega. Though Michael respected his neutrality at the start of the war, the fact that other higher angels are now choosing sides has invalidated that. Michael gives him, and the others like him, the choice between joining him or leaving Vega. Gabriel later kills several of them under the same logic, and almost all the rest get shot down by the city's AA guns while trying to flee.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: The champion of the attempted Gladiator Games is praised for having killed over twenty angels. He gets killed in one move while he has his back turned waving to the crowd.
  • Worst Aid: Subverted; when Michael is stabbed and has the blade broken off while still in him, Alex tries to pull it out. Michael rightly points out that he would bleed to death if Alex did that.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Arika has tamed an eight-ball in a plot to frame Whele for treason, Arika coldly executes her so there's no evidence of the crime.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Whele does this to William, goading him into pulling the trigger while being absolutely sure he doesn't have the guts to actually do it. He's right, but William's alternative was a lot worse than a bullet.


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