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Dominion Creek: Series 2

Score: 82%
Rating: TV-14
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 215 Mins.
Genre: Western/Foreign/TV Series
Audio: English/Gaelic Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

First off, let me just say that Dominion Creek: Series 2 is so much better than the first season, I was stunned. Gone are the ridiculously fake fight scenes and, thankfully, the actors seem to have fallen into their roles and come off far more naturally then they did previously. Now, on to the show...

When we last left the Connolly Brothers at Dominion Creek in the rugged, gold-mining area of the Klondike, Tom (Owen McDonnell) had barely survived being blown up in his gold mine, his brother Seamus (Dara Devaney) had unknowingly impregnated the local saloon songbird Kate Mulryan (Siobhán O'Kelly, Jack Taylor), following a night of passion, and pious and kindhearted brother Pádraig (Seán T. Ó Meallaigh) had found love in the arms of Bridget Mannion (Fionnuala Flaherty), former maid to Estella Hopkins (Megan Riordan).

Tom and Seamus have decided to open up a much-needed bath house in Dominion Creek and have left the gold mining to Pádraig and Bridget. Pádraig also spends a lot of his time working at the hospital, but when Typhoid Fever makes its way into the community, things get tense, especially when Pádraig insists that his brothers close the highly successful bath house because of the inevitable spread of the contagion and possible epidemic. But, honestly, Typhoid is the least of Pádraig's worries right now, since he and Bridget will be the key witnesses in the upcoming murder trial of Irish Pat/Captain Pat Galvin (Ned Dennehy, Peaky Blinders, Clean Break). At the end of last season, Pat murdered local Indian Skookum Jim in cold blood and Pádraig and Bridget were witnesses, with Bridget taking one of Irish Pat's eyes in the skirmish. A judge is on his way to the small town to put Irish Pat on trial and hang him, but little does everyone know that Irish Pat has a few of his friends intercept the judge and take his place. So now we have Peachy Taylor (Timothy V. Murphy) posing as the judge, with his Indian sidekick Mr. Angel (Duane Howard), and things aren't looking good for Pádraig and Bridget, especially since the "judge" keeps trying to dissuade them from testifying. When some bodies are found (the aforementioned judge and his guide) and Sam Steele, the local lawman, must go investigate, the fake judge is left in control of the town and all hell breaks loose as Irish Pat's gang execute a plan to see him set free and to place the blame for a number of murders on Chief Isaac (Glen Gould), brother of Skookum Jim and also the lovely El Soo (Chloe Ewart), an Indian woman involved with Tom.

A newcomer also arrives in Dominion Creek, a cousin of the Connolly's named Micí Bán Connolly (Tim Creed). The brothers open their arms to him as family and give him a job working at the mine with equal pay, but it seems that Micí is more interested in drinking and whoring, and hopefully digging up dirt on his cousins to use against them. And oh, the stories Dominion Creek can tells about Tom and Seamus! It seems Micí also holds a deep grudge against Tom for the murder he committed in Ireland (which was the reason the brothers fled the country to begin with), and he feels his family was mistreated because his cousins had fled and he bore the brunt of the town's anger. However, he'll find out that it's not wise to blackmail a Connolly, much less two of them.

To make matters worse, Kate Mulryan has fallen into a cycle of deep depression, boozing it up and carousing each night, because of the guilt she feels at having left her newborn child in the woods to die. Much to her surprise, she discovers that the baby was found and taken in by none other than Estella Hopkins, and Kate becomes more desperate with the child now sheltered in the upper floors of the saloon. Meanwhile, creepy old Jacob Hopkins (Robert O'Mahoney) has asked Estella (yes, the widow of his now-deceased son J.J.) to marry him and she is considering it, although she soon realizes that perhaps she can make a go of it alone, with the right investment. When Jacob contracts Typhoid, Estella gets crafty, but soon enough all of the secrets surrounding the baby start to emerge and will have pretty shocking and catastrophic effects on some of the residents. With everything that happens this season, when the final episode wraps up, let's just say that the Connolly's status in Dominion Creek will have shifted greatly since their arrival and things will never be the same.

I was pretty stunned at some of the stuff that happens in Dominion Creek: Series 2, to be honest, and it kept me really engaged, unlike the previous season. They kill off several major characters and each one came as a pretty big surprise. Another difference this go round is that you no longer have the choice of English Audio or Gaelic Audio. It's all pretty much in Gaelic with English subtitles, aside from the rare times someone speaks in English. While I preferred the English dubbing, especially since it seemed to be the actors just saying the lines in English and not the bad dubbing you sometimes see, I did get used to just reading most everything. It just means you have to focus on the screen at all times or risk missing something.

Overall, if you like Westerns and especially those surrounding gold-mining of the Klondike, check out Dominion Creek: Series 2. It may not be worth a purchase, but it's worth watching on Acorn TV and truly, I am excited to see where the show goes from here.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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