“Our boy turned 8 today, Mark. Where are you?”
Hopping through the years, “Days of Mark’s Future Past” gives Raising Dion fans a closer look into the Iceland events that changed the Warren’s lives and the threat that quite literally looms over the horizon, waiting for its chance to add Dion to its list of super powered snacks.
Beginning in Iceland, “Days” sets the stage well enough. Mark and Pat are meet up, ready to do their atmospheric research, while several people we’ve already met—Charlotte, Walter, and Jill (the woman with the cabin across from the Warrens who disappeared in the second episode)—and others who fall into the background (though their stories may be just beginning) are their for the Northern Light’s beauty. The pair of friends share a moment that, while not germane to the plot, is important to the characters themselves; primarily Pat’s unease with Mark marrying this Nicole gal, who he’s known for all of a few months.
Though there’s still a lot to be detailed, it seems as if the comet’s passing through the aurora created some sort of radioactive dust that infused with the DNA of those outside. Later in the episode, when Mark meets up with Charlotte to discuss their newfound abilities, he mentions that his DNA has been completely changed. Soon after, the elemental arrives, and Mark is helpless to fight back as the unknown entity snatches him up and absorbs him into itself.
In the present day, it’s Dion’s 8th birthday and though the sense of urgency is dialed back several ticks, everything during this arc plays out in a character development perspective. As 8-year-olds can sometimes be, Dion acts out at the joint party with his old friend Andre as the other kids tease him about his like of a computer game that’s so yesterday.
Ja’Siah Young is at his best here, able to channel the deeper emotions of hurt and anger of a kid whose friends have seemingly turned on him more crisply than his feigning of surprise and excitement. He realizes that Esperanza is a true friend (especially now since she knows his secret) while Nicole seemingly has her own unspoken realization when she watches Pat flirt with another woman. Maybe it’s just the jealousy of watching someone who’s been in your life for so long possibly find their own life, or maybe it’s a less selfish question of ‘do I care for him?’ but there’s something between these two… I’m just not sure what. It seems a bit hokey and derivate if these two begin a romantic liaison as they just don’t really match. But stranger things have happened in life, so who’s to really say.
Giving viewers a longer look at Mark Warren was the best thing this show could have done. It doesn’t hurt that Michael B Jordan is so magnetic when he’s onscreen, but it’s his character’s importance, an echo or shade that has followed Nicole, Pat, and Dion since his death these last couple years. But as much as “Days” gives us answers, it leaves us enough to be concerned with the future. Why is it that this new ‘apparition Mark’ appears as a herald to the elemental? Is there still a chance that Mark (and, by extension, the others) can be saved? What’s Suzanne’s role in all this? She knows something is up and most likely witnessed Walter Mills’ fate in Alabama; there’s no way she doesn’t have surveillance on the Warrens.
Now that Raising Dion is starting down the back half of its narrative journey, events will likely play out with a bit more alacrity. That’s a good thing as the less time between eventful beats, so to speak, the better it is for the show’s pacing. And it’s why that, despite its imperfections, “Days of Mark’s Future Past” is the most complete (and vital) entry into the series that we’ve had thus far.