Damnation Review – Season 1, Episode 5: “Den Of Lost Souls”

by Rachel Bellwoar

Last episode Seth let Abigail in by telling her Creeley’s his brother, but that doesn’t mean everything about his past is off limits. Maybe, after meeting his old, bank robbing friend, Lew Nez (Juan Javier Cardenas), he’s right to maintain some secrecy.
You can’t blame a bank robber for being a negative influence, but heaven forbid Abigail leave her husband alone to work on a side project, and he’s tying Calvin Rumple (Dan Donohue) to the front of his car and threatening to get him hit by a train, if he doesn’t stop foreclosing farms.
A remotely clever version of this plan (and ‘clever’ is the wrong word) would’ve been to let Calvin keep the blind fold on and park the car somewhere close to the tracks, so he can hear the whistle, know it’s approaching, but not know he’s a safe distance away.
This isn’t a brave dude. He would’ve cracked the same way, without the need to put him in bodily danger, but besides scaring him out of his wits, there’s nothing legally binding about him saying, aloud, that he’ll stop. He doesn’t have the power to make that decision and it’s a plan without wings.
Seth has been drinking, and from the amount of time he spends this episode on target practice, Creeley’s actions last week have left him shook. Add to that Creeley warning Abigail that a man’s been hired to kill them (he’s right), and Seth has every reason to want to drink, and every reason not to.
As far as Seth knows, the banks hired Creeley because they’re related (a personal touch which makes him initially suspect Lew), but Creeley requested the job. To protect Seth? To dispense revenge? Before landing in Holden, Creeley was in a Wyoming jail for crimes Seth pegged on him. The reason I struggle with this reveal is because, every time you get new information on a show like Damnation, you look back to past interactions for signs of the baggage. Seth never showed remorse for stringing up his brother and, unless whatever Creeley did to Seth’s old girlfriend explains everything, I’m not sure if I understand how they’ve been getting on since they found each other again.
Other thoughts on “Den of Souls:”

  • I could be feeling nostalgic for HBO’s Carnivàle, but when a carnival comes to town, it’s tough not to wish the whole episode would take place on the fairgrounds (and Damnation makes a good go at it, there just can never be enough carnival).
  • Abigail and DL’s newspaper is on the rise and, with it, DL’s crush on the preacher’s wife. As expected as this crush is, hat’s off to the writers for using a predictable moment to slip in some serious surprises: DL’s a sharpshooter, better than Seth and Creeley, and if Uncle Joe is his real uncle, it’s possible he headlined a carnival act at some point in his life.
  • Don should’ve given Bessie the down payment for the house, no strings attached, but it’s cool how she changes the deal for information that keeps her loyal to Creeley but also earns her the cash.
  • From being so impressive getting his way with the milk, it’s hard to find time for Creeley’s corpse on a Ferris wheel stunt this week, especially when the guy Creeley gave Seth a heads up on makes his move at the same. And is this really the professional the banks hired? The unprofessional guns posed more of a threat.

New episodes of Damnation have moved to Thursdays at 10 PM EST on USA Network.

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