You know what is one of the worst things to happen to a TV geek like me? It’s that thing where you fall in love with a show, and you go and get involved in the fandom, and it’s all super fun and everyone’s great and supportive and enthusiastic, and then the next season airs, and suddenly you’re all… meh.
Cause, yeah, that pretty much sums up my impression of season 2. Meh.
But first of all, I need to say that I’ve thought long and hard about whether I even want to post this. Because it feels like I’m betraying all the wonderful people who have put so much effort and heart and love into the show, who tried to make season 2 epic and explosive and special. I wanted to like season 2, I really did. Not just for me, but for all those people, too. It just didn’t happen, and that saddens me.
But, well, in the end tastes differ, and there’s things I’d like to say about season 2, so I will say them. They should not reflect on the quality of the show or the people bringing it to life. It’s just my opinion, and that doesn’t mean it has to be valid or all-encompassing.
So, uh, season 2… Vaun had been teasing quite a few things before it started airing, so we knew it would be darker and grittier. While I had a vague idea in my head without specific expectations, it’s really hard to pinpoint where in my mind things went wrong.
I liked the season 2 premiere, actually. A lot. It was exciting and fast-paced and gripping. I was glad to have the show back on my screen. But as the season progressed, it became all about politics. And I effin’ hate politics. Well, okay, maybe that’s a bit too strong a statement. But there’s a reason why I tend to steer clear of TV shows about politics, or don’t get involved in any political debates. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being interested in politics. It’s just not my thing.
So there we were, knee-deep in the politics of Vega, the politics of New Delphi, David Whele’s politically driven little rebel games, and in a way even the politics of Mallory and the angel hierarchies. It was all about strategies and power plays. Who’s smarter, stronger, more powerful? Who will gain the ultimate power? I suppose in the end that’s what the whole Extermination War is all about, but come to think of it, that was not my first motivation to watch the show.
I’ve tried to determine what exactly it was that had me so dissatisfied with season 2, and I think it was mainly the fact that I was missing the “human” aspect of it. And I don’t mean human in the literal sense. A lot of what drew me into season 1 was centred around the post-apocalyptic scenario the show was set in, and the stories of the fight to survive, to adapt. To thrive.
I loved following the struggles of these characters to live their lives, come to terms with the circumstances they were thrust into, build relationships and connections, and just… live. And I felt we had a lot less of that in season 2. Everything was amped up to 100, everything was explosive and dangerous and just, well—for lack of a better word—epic. I think I would have liked the season better if there’d been less fighting and plotting and we-need-to-kill-x-otherwise-we’ll-all-die, and more just exploring these characters’ traits and flaws and reactions.
Also, ugh, some plot points where just so, so predictable. Claire’s baby? Yeah, I had suspected it wouldn’t happen. (SPOILER WARNING: Didn’t expect for her to actually bite the bullet herself, though.) But the worst thing really was the Gates death scene. I mean, seriously? Could you get any more cliché?
But let’s take a step back here. Cause Gates, hey, I really liked him. And I wish we could have learned more about him (see above re. less action and more character exploration). I also liked Wes and Laurel. We barely learned anything about them—Wes especially. Why did they never go back to Pete? Why did Alex never attempt to evict the 8-Ball from him again? What was Pete’s life like before he was possessed? So many missed opportunities.
And then, Gates and the radioactive chamber, and it felt like Star Trek: Into Darkness all over again. And the million other epic underdog martyr scenes we’ve all seen one too many times. I couldn’t take that scene seriously with Gates in that chamber. I hated it. Such a cheap ploy to dissolve the Claire/Gates relationship, or whatever the writers’ intention was as to why Gates had to go.
The season left me with a bit of a stale aftertaste of having introduced all these interesting new character that had so much potential, which was wasted in favour of them just serving as plot devices.
Now, to be fair, I think I’m probably more of a rarity in the fandom when I say I wasn’t all that happy with the new season. Most of the fans I’ve been in contact with loved season 2, and were as enthusiastic about it as season 1. If not more so.
And this begs the question, how do I feel about the cancellation? You know… I’m torn. Of course I’m not happy. The show would have deserved a third season. Most definitely. Am I devastated that we’re not going to get one? Well, not exactly. Cause by the end of season 2, I wasn’t invested anymore. And that saddens me too.
Fans are rallying right now to get the show on Netflix’s radar, and I’m positively supportive of that. I think Netflix would be a great home for the show. As to how big the chances are that it might actually happen… Who knows? If anyone is interested in joining those efforts, please check dominionfans.com and especially their Twitter account for all the latest news and ongoing efforts.