Saturday, October 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Raising Dion' - Pat Takes Dion to His Workplace in 'ISSUE #104: Welcome to BIONA. Hope You Survive the Experience'

Netflix's Raising Dion - Episode 1.04 "ISSUE #104: Welcome to BIONA. Hope You Survive the Experience"

As Nicole tries to track down the person behind an ominous photo, Pat takes Dion to BIONA, where they see a few things not on the official tour.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Raising Dion.

"ISSUE #104: Welcome to BIONA. Hope You Survive the Experience" was written by Edward Ricourt and directed by Rachel Goldberg

At this point, it has become clear that the show is better at the character drama than the ongoing mysteries. Yes, it is absolutely building up a mythology full of lightning creatures and secret labs running mysterious experiments. However, it is much more rewarding as a drama when it focuses on how this unique family unit responses to Dion having powers. Every episode seems to introduce some new skill he possesses. Here, he is able to heal a dying animal. That's in addition to the lights he creates so he and his mother can have a dance party. He is growing stronger. But that also comes with the understanding that this threat may be closing in on him. That's absolutely terrifying. The show introduces a total stranger in Alabama at the start of this episode. He too is a loving father looking after his son. He also possesses powers. He can bring a dying bush back to life. In fact, his farm seems like the only sustainable place in this region. He is happy and prosperous. And yet, the hour closes with a storm coming. He may be able to protect his son inside the house. But he is destined to be struck down. He is taken by the storm. However, this threat remains a little too opaque and complicated. The show isn't making it easy for the audience to understand. It's just important that a storm appears across the world and is responsible for the disappearances of several individuals. That's what happened to Mark. It's what happens to this man in Alabama as well. As such, there is a reason to be concerned about Dion's growing powers. He may have more control over them now. But he still presents as reckless. He is a child. He is curious about the world. He doesn't want anything to restrict him and his impulse to do what's right. He is very idealistic in that way. Pat takes him to his office to show him around. Everyone understands that this lab is full of secret science experiments. But only now is it made clear that they are fully aware of what happened in Iceland and are closely monitoring the situation. Mark probably knew that but remained employed by this organization. Pat has long been in the dark though. He didn't know that this is what's been going on in the basement. BIONA has been keeping a close eye on all of the people who have displayed powers since the event in Iceland. They are researching the wildlife that lived there as well. It's huge that Dion decides to sneak out a hermit crab. He sees that as him freeing the animal that was ripped away from its home. It would be much more complicated to return the creature due to the lockdown currently in place at BIONA. Pat can make that argument. But again, it shouldn't be all that surprising to learn that there is a mysterious organization operating in this world trying to control what supernatural threat is out there. This company presents as being on the cutting-edge of climate research to better protect the world from increasingly destructive weather patterns. That may all just be a cover though because they stumbled on this discovery. It means that Dion's life may be in danger in a completely new way because the scientists need to monitor this situation closely. Dion is responsible for knocking out the power in all of Atlanta. He is strong in that way. That shows just how powerful he is in this world. However, the smaller stakes are much more personal because it shows how this is a family trying to do the right thing in a world only getting crazier. The craziness has to have a specific purpose though. Right now, it just remains a placeholder expected in this kind of story. It can be eery and effective. More effort just has to be put into it to make it a serious concern that dictates all of Nicole, Pat and Dion's actions moving forward. That appears to be where the show wants to go with this story. But again, it's just as engaging to see the personal drama of Nicole and Pat trying to explain away the various things that don't quite seem right to the family and friends also a part of this world with them.