Damnation Episode 7
Christmas is over and New Year’s Eve is three days away, but it’s still an exciting day because we get another episode of Damnation. A lot of my fellow Black Sails fans are very eager for tonight’s episode. They get to watch Zach McGowan take Creeley’s story on a strange detour from the norm. Damnation Episode 7 is titled A Different Species, and it’s a fitting title as this episode feels very different.
When we last saw Creeley Turner (Logan Marshall-Green) he was driving off with Martin Eggers Hyde (Gabriel Mann). We find Martin explaining to Creeley his disappointment with how things are going in Holden. As a reminder of where he came from they are parked near a chain gang. The message to Creeley is loud and clear, this is where you could be again. They continue driving into the night until they arrive at a stable owned by the incredibly rich Tennyson Duvall (Zach McGowan). Creeley’s gun is taken and he is shown into the fanciest stable I’ve ever seen.
In the stable there is a long dining table surrounded by artwork. Another strikebreaker, Remy Johnson (Thomas Nicholson) is there enjoying a meal. Creeley picks up his dessert fork to eat the meal, I understand it was to send the message that he was “out of his element”, but I find it awkward. It does not seem natural for anyone to reach for that fork first, no matter what their upbringing is. I end up finding a lot of this episode will leave me feeling “awkward”. I feel like I have stumbled onto a completely different show. As the scene fades we see that the two men at the table are being watched from above by a large group of very well dressed men.
A Small Fortune
Seth (Killian Scott) and Amelia Davenport (Sarah Jones) discover they ended up with $30,000 from the bank robbery and papers showing that Tuck Tandy is buying up all the land in the area. Tandy even bought a fertilizer plant in the next county over. Seth decides he needs to travel to the plant to try to figure out who Tandy is buying all the properties for.
Creeley and Johnson are brought to a room and told to strip down. They are given new clothes to wear. Hyde, Duvall and the other men are watching them undress through a two-way mirror. I’m very confused on what is going on at this point. Are they being checked out for sexual reasons or something else? Duvall calls them “magnificent”, but magnificent for what?
The Arrival of Cynthia
We flashback to Wyoming, 1924 and learn how Seth met Cynthia Rainey (Hannah Masi). Cynthia and her father, Reverend Rainey, show up at the door of a homesteader Seth and Creeley are “convincing” to sell their property. Seth lies and tells her he lives there with his brother. She invites him to Sunday Service at her father’s church in the next county over.
Amelia has gathered the wives of the farmers and explains to them that they have received a generous donation, enough to cover everyone’s farm expenses for the winter. Gloria Calhoun (Barb Mitchell) immediately connects this money to the bank robbery. I’m glad to see they did not try to make us believe no one would suspect where the money came from. Even though they now know the money is from the bank robbery, all the women, including Gloria, take their share of it.
We find Creeley and company out in a wooded field dressed to the nines in fancy hunting attire. I’m beginning to wonder if we are going to see our own version of Surviving the Game with Creeley and Johnson as the prey.They then split into two parties, led by Creeley and Johnson, to hunt elk. It would be far more exciting if they had been the prey. I’m finding this story line confusing and not very suspenseful, which is rare for Damnation.
Connie Finally Finds Her Man
Connie Nunn (Melinda Page Hamilton) shows up in the church looking for Preacher Seth. I was wondering what had become of her. Connie convinces Amelia that she is there to help the cause because her husband Leonard was a striker that was killed by a strikebreaker. She says she doesn’t want his death to have been in vain. At least that part is the truth, as we all know she blames Seth for his death and is planning to kill him. Amelia unwittingly takes Connie and the child with her to visit some of the farms.
Seth shows up at Ravenson Fertilizer Company in Cherokee County. He finds some clothes full of acid burns in the trash and decides to snoop around. He discovers that vagrants are being brought in to be used as guinea pigs on chemical testing. Seth manages to find out they are testing uniforms for Duvall. He helps the homeless men escape, and as he runs out he manages to grab one of the jackets being tested.
We flashback to Wyoming again and find Seth visiting church for the first time. The Preacher says “all of us, no matter our sins, can be reborn.” This seems to really touch Seth, and I think we will eventually learn that he portrays a preacher because of Cynthia’s father. After the service Creeley shows up warning Seth that Pa could easily find out what he’s doing. Seth asks him to please cover for him because he wants to keep going to church. Is it only Cynthia he’s interested in, or does the word of God also appeal to him? He does tell Cynthia he is ready to be reborn.
Time For Games
Back at Duvall’s the men enjoy a great meal and good conversation. Tennyson takes a liking to Creeley and shows off his latest invention. “Mother’s Little Helper” and the explanation for its need is quite eye opening. At least Duvall is thinking about women’s happiness. Hyde interrupts to tell them it’s time to head to the gaming quarters. I’m not sure what happens there, but the fact Hyde slipped a knife up his sleeve tells me it won’t be a friendly game of checkers.
We find Bessie spying on the Black Legion which is not a good thing for her to be doing. They remove their hoods and then discover her watching them. Now that she knows who they are I assume their only choice is to kill her. They chase her through the fields in the dark and I don’t see how she will be able to escape.
In the gaming quarters we discover the “game” is Creeley and Johnson fighting each other while the rich men bet on them. When Hyde did a “weapons check” on the men he slipped the knife in Johnson’s pocket. The game is not supposed to end in death, but there is no doubt that is what Hyde is hoping for. While Johnson has Creeley in a choke hold Hyde tells him he found out Seth is his brother, and that no one betrays him. Johnson pulls the knife on Creeley, but I don’t believe for a second that he can best him. Creeley ends up with the knife and it ends very badly for Johnson.
Creeley’s New Assignment
Hyde has no choice but to return Creeley to Holden because Tennyson Duvall has taken a great liking to him. Duvall gifts Creeley with a very nice hunting rifle with a scope. Hyde informs Creeley he now has a new assignment. He has to kill Seth, if he does that he will be free from his prison sentence. I don’t think Creeley has it in him to kill Seth, I believe he still loves his brother, so I’m very interested to see how this will play out.
The farmers decide to start selling their produce directly from the farm, getting their idea from the child with Connie. We finally learn that her name is Brittany, and this surprises me because I did not realize that name was used in the 1930s. We learn that Amelia’s first husband was burned to death by an undercover strike breaker. Connie’s reaction tells you that it was her husband that killed him. Seth returns and Brittany nearly gives away their real plan when she asks if Seth is “the bad man”.
As the episode ends we learn that the company providing the uniforms for testing, Tintern Textiles, is Amelia’s family business. We also find Creeley riding back into town on a train. He uses he newly acquired rifle to shoot the guards with the chain gang. Bessie has somehow escaped the men and is still in the fields. I found this episode very different from what we have been seeing. It did not have the suspense I’ve become used to. I’m hoping with Seth and Creeley both back in town that next week will be back to the story lines I’ve come to love.
What did you think of the episode? Would love to hear your thoughts – let me know in the comments below!
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Previous Damnation Articles/Reviews:
Damnation 106: In Wyoming Fashion
Damnation 105: Den of Lost Souls
Damnation 104: Emperor of Ice Cream
Damnation 103: One Penny
Damnation 102: Which Side Are You On
Damnation – You Should Watch!
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