You’re Simply the Beast
In this day and age, no movie is a movie if it doesn’t spawn a trilogy, a remake, a prequel and a TV series. To celebrate the The Omen‘s 40th anniversary, the producers of The Shield and The Walking Dead check the penultimate box in the list and here we are, happy as clams, gifted with a series about Damien Thorne, son of Satan, aka the Beast, aka the Anti-Christ. The only item missing now is an origin story. One would love to see this movie, culminating in the Devil copulating with a female jackal in the Holy Land desert. Possibly one is sick.
In the present series, nothing has happened since the first movie, a rather rational artistic choice. Damien never became KD Lang or became a self-flagellating 40-something. He just turned 30, and memories of his troubled childhood start resurfacing. Because Christ was baptised at 30. Or something. The Final Conflict was NOT final, see.
After having only seen the pilot, let’s just say that we have a rather wooden hero, expressing inner turmoil (which is, one suspects, the arc of the season) like passing gas; an atrocious love interest; promisingly ludicrous death scenes; a prologue in Damascus. Son of Satan, check, underdevelopped female character, check, Final Destination style massacre, check, Evil from the Middle East, check.
This is all looking very promising!
Episode 1 The Beast Rises
Oh My God They Killed Kelly!
It does not start with a bang, but with a rather constipated night visit to church, where Damien, instead of asking “Why me?” like he did in the Omen 2 (which never existed), asks “What do you want from me?”, switching from existentialist to pragmatist as the series had hardly started. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the XXIst century.
In Damascus, Damien takes advantage of a civil war zone to quickly establish that he’s friend with a guy called Amani, that he never called back an R&B babe named Kelly, and that he is special and conflicted. Special because an old woman tells him “I love you” then quote the Gospel according to Saint Matthew. Conflicted because he’s a nice guy, saving a child an all, when, come on, he’s the Beast.
Being expelled from Syria, Damien calls a favor from the IMF Secretary General (Christine, what have you done this time? This have to stop!) for no obvious reason but briefly meeting Ann Ruttlege (Barbara Hershey, ghoulish) who chooses this awkward moment to reveal she’s watching over him since like, forever, in total discretion. Maybe not since the jackal thing, though.
After some atrocious acting from Kelly, who’s back in NYC when she still was on the phone from Damascus five minutes ago, our heroes go meeting a biblical scholar, because that’s what special and conflicted grown ups do. “Many expected the Beast to be a politician”, says the aforementioned scholar, and indeed very few expected him to be a photo reporter. Or a dentist.
Anyway, the biblical scholar is mauled by rotweilers (a phrase that in itself justifies the writing of this blog) and Kelly is upset. “I can’t have all the answers”, she unnecessarily points. She storms out and well, drowns in a puddle of black goo. One dreads that she will be revived, but fear not, Kelly was just an amuse-bouche. The real deal is her sister Simone (Megalyn Echikunwoke).
Simone is a bit sad since her sister died and shit. Damien is not The Great Comforter. But she says “She’s in a better place now.”, and voilà, she’s off. More later.
Some cardinal has the Megiddo dagger. What? ONE? More later.
Damien goes to church at night again (same editing, twice, really?), Christ on the cross explodes, and when he goes out (in broad daylight), the evil old woman is there, tearing his hair to reveal his 666 tattoo. Plus she is everywhere, photoshopped in movie stills from The Omen.
Oh my God, this is holding its promises so far!