raising dion issue 109

“You’re a superhero, right? Superheroes save people. So now is your chance to be a real-life superhero.”

 Dion must face the unlikeliest of villains and Pat, unmasked as the storm Elemental, searches for his godson to heal the necrosis that threatens to take his life.

After the jaw-dropping reveal in the previous episode, it was imperative that the positive momentum created by revealing Pat as the villain be maintained lest it be for nothing. Thankfully, “Storm Killer” captures that and pays it forward. It starts by replaying the Iceland event through Pat’s eyes. Whatever the meteor contained, it infected the engineer, imbuing him with enviable power paired with an unenviable weakness. Like the ground in Iceland, he’s slowly dying, with only the essence of those powered by the event his one saving grace. In effect, Pat’s a perpetual vampire, ingesting the life force of others in order to survive. He knows that there’s only a finite amount of survivors from Iceland, making Dion’s unique ability to heal his only hope to be permanently rid of the sickness.

Dion’s able to focus himself enough to instantaneously teleport miles away hints at the growth in power we may see in the future.

Though Pat is the star of the finale, Dion isn’t too far behind. After his dust-up with Esperanza, he’s gone out of his way to apologize and his determination to make things right gives Dion the ability to work past his fears and he teleports from the Warren cabin to his school’s science fair. There are some good character moments during his portion of the narrative, from Nicole explaining the idea of boundaries to her son, Dion’s sincere apology to Esperanza, and a flashback that highlights the chemistry between Mark and Nicole, but those fall by the wayside to the excitement of Pat’s mega-heel turn. Pat’s unmatched villainy as he faces Dion at the school, holding Nicole in a bulldog choke and threatening to kill her is so powerful that it makes us forget his incompetent and irritating moments littered throughout the series.  It’s not perfect though, as questions about his personality and what effect the Elemental infestation had on that are never answered but, should the series garner enough praise, maybe those questions (and many others) will be answered in future seasons.

The final confrontation between Elemental Pat and Dion is admittedly tame, with his defeat by skewering (good on Nicole) somewhat of a letdown. Still, given the mediocrity that defined the series up until this point, it’s a fair trade. As the Elemental dissipates, Dion and Nicole get a touching familial moment with a corporeal Mark who warns his son that, as energy cannot be destroyed and only changes forms, the Elemental force is still out there and will certainly come looking for Dion. It’s a heartwarming moment for the Warren family, though the logistics of Mark’s temporary state is never explained, similar to Pat’s own fate (or the other he had absorbed). Our final confirmation that the Elemental lives is a visit back to the Mills farm in Alabama as the now possessed Brayden, fresh off killing his aunt, heads out the door on a mission to find the one person that can save it: Dion Warren.

If the final moments of the previous episode made what came before it a distant memory, “Storm Killer” does that and more for Raising Dion as a whole. It doesn’t alleviate some of the questionable or ineffective narrative choices but, as far as excitement is concerned, it definitely has me looking forward to the possibility of a second season (and more). It would have been a travesty if a show with this much potential had fizzled out as so many other series have before it. Instead, we’re left with unanswered questions (Pat’s behavior, Mark’s fate, the meteor’s origins), an antagonist that seems to be an unkillable something, and a main character who will only get stronger as he grows into his powers. If we are lucky enough to get a season two and the creative team smooths out some of the season one kinks, Raising Dion could be a damn fine series we’ll be talking about a few years down the road.