Damnation Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Which Side Are You On?

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When it seems like the world is falling apart around you, it's hard to know who to trust.

On Damnation Season 1 Episode 2, aptly titled "Which Side Are You On," revealed a bit of what's been going on in town and how much the players know about it. 

Hint: Not much.

Nimble Fingers  - Damnation Season 1 Episode 2

While everyone is reasonably eager to do something about the situation, it's surprising how little anyone knows about what's happening in their town.

Bessie discovered early on through Creeley's letter that his "employer" is trying to stop the infiltration of foreign enemies into America under the guise of organized labor. In other words, Martin Eggers Hyde, PhD has been telling Creeley he's trying to stop the spread of Communism to the United States.

An intelligent person should see right through that horse pucky, and given what Bessie did next, I feel assured she has no problem doing just that.

Guess I Know - Damnation Season 1 Episode 2

Whether her father, the Sheriff (I told you his sentiment would pay off), saw to her education or she took it upon herself to ensure she was always a step above the rest hasn't been shared to this point, but I wouldn't take either option off the table. 

As they used to say, that girl's got spunk. Even in a world run by men, Bessie wasn't about to be told what to do or how to do it. If she's working in that brothel, there's little doubt it's because she believes it's the best place for her, all kidding aside.

While her options may be limited, she probably has more than the others in the brothel because of her lineage, even if he's a reluctant father. It's not an ideal situation, but she's made sure to put herself first. Now, I'm eager to discover what she will be doing with her knowledge of all things strike-related across the US.

Bessie's Brains - Damnation Season 1 Episode 2

Bessie knows her way around a deal, and she made one with the newspaper editor. I loved when she reminded him that cocksuckers would do pretty much anything for a wad of cash while she proceeded to chuck one onto his desk. She has learned well how to manipulate men to her advantage. It's a thing of beauty.

She bribed him to keep all stories about the strike and Sam Riley's death out of the paper. That bears fruit not only for Creeley, who will look good in the eyes of his boss but will keep Connie from seeing news about Seth and Amelia.

Connie is still killing anyone trying to rally the troops into unionization while on her hunt for Seth. Seth the murderer.

And the legend of Seth the big bad killer packed a bit more of a punch after he took on the Black Legion all by his lonesome and his brother paid Amelia a visit.

What Kind of Preacher? - Damnation Season 1 Episode 2

The preacher is damn good with a gun, as it turns out, and the local reporter who typically sticks to boring pieces about the best pie in town suddenly had his interest piqued. Even so, now his editor has been paid off, so will ever the two meet?

DL: Excuse me, but what kind of preacher goes around carrying a pistol and then shoots like that?
Man: A well-prepared one.
Seth: Nothing in the bible says I can't defend this church against cowards and thugs.

I've done a little digging on the Black Legion, but other than being an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan, I can't quite determine their purpose in history. 

For this story, it appears they're on the payroll the same as Creeley, to break up the strike. We don't know much about Creeley as of yet, but he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would want to be on the same side as the Black Legion. 

That brings us back to the title and how little we know about what everyone in town is doing. Creeley currently doesn't have a side, only the side that pays him. I'm going to call bullshit on that before series end, if not the end of Damnation Season 1

Creeley Looks Into His Brother - Damnation

The guy plays like a hardass, but everything else points to someone who has become hardened for reasons yet unknown. 

They way he treats Bessie, the way he appreciates an educated woman and depends on her, the way his face changed when he saw the photo Seth was holding in his private envelope, and the way he approached Amelia all point to someone who isn't evil.

That makes me wonder if the man he paints Seth to be is much different than the one we've seen so far, or if Seth has changed, or if whatever happened between them and the girl in the photo amounts to a significant misunderstanding between two brothers, possibly smitten with the same girl.

Get Outta the Kitchen - Damnation Season 1 Episode 2

Creeley could have chosen any way to confront Amelia. Or he couldn't have confronted her at all. Maybe his plans changed when he saw the photo Seth kept in his personal papers -- a picture of Seth and a woman with whom Creeley was familiar, but it seemed Amelia was not.

It's never as easy as one brother warning the other away from a girl and the girl dying, though, is it? The story is too simple to merely take Creeley's word about what happened, even as vague as it was.

Calling Seth a demon when he's wearing a preacher's collar is damning, for sure.

But for two years, Seth has shared nothing about his history with Amelia. He's also done her no harm. They've crossed the country trying to get the huddled masses to stand up and fight for their rights, rights the Eggers Hydes of the world don't think the masses have, for they should not exist much longer.

That's right. What Hyde wrote to Creeley wasn't exactly the truth. He's not trying to stop Communism rather eradicate the rural people in a giant evolutionary leap forward toward...Twinkies. Because you know how good they are.

We won't need farmers anymore because machines will...well, I'm not sure how machines will take the place of farmers, exactly, or how they'll automatically produce Twinkies farm to table without the aid of human hands, but what do I know? Maybe the Martin Eggers Hydes of the times had magic, too.

So Connie is still roaming the country killing everyone while searching for a man we know killed at least her husband and suffered the death of a woman he probably loved.

Seth's brother is against him while he and his wife fight for the working poor to stand up for their rights before machines replace them (not that they know that). 

Creeley's secretary and lover is the educated daughter of the sheriff, keeping an eye on the strike activities of the US while also one of the best whores in town, while Creeley just does what he is told and feels bad enough about it to scar himself.

What does it all mean? Well, you have to keep up, watch Damnation online, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Did you ever know the wealthy elite tried to get rid of the working class in favor of machinery by naming Communism as their scapegoat? Weird stuff, for sure.

Which Side Are You On? Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Damnation Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Amelia: What did it feel like?
Seth: Nailing up Sam's body? It felt like touching God.

Maybe we can win this war, maybe we can't. But I'm not going to let people keep pretending it's not going on.