Tonight's episode of Damien, TV sequel to 1976's The Omen, is titled "Temptress," and in it Damien Thorn (Bradley James) is led to a beloved figure from his past. He confronts Ann Rutledge (Barbara Hershey) as he begins to unravel the conspiracy surrounding him.
One thing that can be said about this episode without spoilers is that it is filled with twists and turns, and stands out as a fairly unique show from what's aired so far. Creator/executive producer Glen Mazzara feels that "Temptress" is a risk for the show, musing that if he was smart, he would probably not create risky episodes but would, instead, just do what was expected and give the audience exactly what it expects. "But that's not what I do," he laughs. "You think you're watching a show of this guy who's going to be the Sam Neill version of Damien in The Final Conflict, and we subvert that."
He points to episode four as one in which the various storylines were coming together, only to break away and do a standalone story in episode five. And while the normal procedure would be to go from a standalone back to the main storyline, the decision was made to produce another experimental episode with six.
"I expect that by episode six," Mazzara muses, "the audience will have no idea where this is going. And then those threads start to come back together in episode seven, but by that point we've pushed deeper into the characters that we've come to know."
Bradley James admits that when he read the script for "Temptress," he became "wobbly" because of the different style of storytelling. "I couldn't quite grasp it or map it out in my mind," he admits. "When I watched it, though, it was the episode that I enjoyed the most of the initial bunch because of how much it surprised me, and how it came out."
Both he and Mazzara gives great credit for the success of the episode to the show's new director/producer, Nick Copus, who joined the series in its latter half when an initial order of six episodes expanded to ten.
"As soon as Nick got on set," James says, "it was obvious he knew every little detail of the show, the episodes and the characters. Like Glen, he was another great collaborator."
One final thought Mazzara offers on "Temptress" is that the episode "plays as a complete horror movie from beginning to end. It feels more like a horror film than an episode of TV to me. Also, we get a lot of insight into Damien and who he is. That was the reason for doing this episode; we really wanted to spend a lot of time in Damien's perspective and flesh out who he is as a character."
Damien airs in the US on Monday nights on A&E.