Damien: Review: Series 1 Episode 7: Abattoir

Damien 107In light of his epiphany in the ambulance, Damien starts to seek answers…

We’ve moved into a new phase of Damien’s story with this episode, co-written by Mark H. Kruger and executive producer Glen Mazzara, as Damien takes stock, and tries to make sense of the revelations he received while he was recovering from his suicide attempt. The episode starts off with some richly black humour as Thorn finds himself in a psychiatric wing alongside two people who believe themselves to be the Messiah just as he’s starting to understand that he could be (or at least there are many who think he is) the Anti-Christ. And then he starts to make some horrific discoveries…

Bradley James may still be at the centre of the episode, but he’s not in as many scenes this week as he has been the last two, which allows us to get some momentum on many of the other plotlines that have been started up. David Meunier’s Detective Shay’s investigations seem to bear some fruit (although how he reacts when he learns what happens at the end of the episode will be… er… fun to watch!). Scott Wilson’s John Lyons seems to be genuinely thrown by events with some intriguing hints as to who it is that he actually serves – the production team’s examination of the Book of Revelations has given them some very interesting avenues to explore. Megalyn EK’s Simone meets up with Robin Weigert’s Sister Greta, with further twists suggested by their conversation.

Damien 107aAnd of course there’s Barbara Hershey’s Ann Rutledge, anxious to make up the ground she feels she’s lost with Damien… leading to one of the most powerful scenes in the series to date when she makes him an offer that ends up representing a key choice for Thorn. Like so many others (including at least two others we meet in this episode – the jury’s out on Damien’s doctor), “it’s all for you, Damien”…

I’d be interested to see the script for this episode, as in many ways it’s one of the most linear of the show to date. Does it suggest the viewpoints that we get throughout, which director TJ Scott uses to incredibly good effect to convey Shay’s sense of paranoia, Damien’s growing need for answers or Simone’s isolation? It’s hard to do a shower killing scene that doesn’t reference Psycho, but this embraces the original and uses the tropes well.

Verdict: Things are heating up as Damien starts to understand who – and what – he is. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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