DIG (on USA) thoughts: ep 8 (kill your darling)

Alas, poor Debbie. We knew her well.
[Edit/Update: WAIT!!! I totally forgot about the CHESS PIECE. The one that Gregory Donaldson got at the asylum in the mail and Emma was fingering in Gregory's dad's room at the convent. I think it has a meaning. But I have to, you know, research it. Since I don't play chess and couldn't tell you a thing about it--like which piece was that? Bet that's important. Or maybe they were just saying: Your move, Gregory. Or Checkmate. I'll look into it. But if you know what piece that was--will you leave a comment for me at the bottom?]

The best laid plans of mice and men....this is what torture feels like:

So on Thursday, half-way through episode 8 of DIG, my phone rings. It's my husband, coming back from a business trip, and he's at a MARTA (Atlanta's weak attempt at public transportation) station in sitting in a dead car with a dead car battery. 

And HERE'S why good parenting matters: for about 1 minute, I struggled with what to do. I mean, DIG is on. SOMETHING'S about to HAPPEN. Peter and Emma were in the creepy room about to discover something. Certainly my spouse could wait 30 minutes for me to find out, and then 30 more minutes for me to drive there. He'd been traveling all day--what was 1 more hour? 

But no. I was raised to be dependable and responsible and keep things in perspective and do unto others as I... So. Whispering many many swears and dirty oaths, I switched off the TV, woke my child, and we drove to Brookhaven to get him...the whole time I'm listening to live tweets about the show going off, on my phone. Torture. Worse than water boarding. 

Because when I got back, I saw somebody important had died. I immediately stopped reading all the tweets and told my people--NOBODY TELL ME!!! And then the next day I stayed off the Internet, at least the portions of the Internet that could have DIG-related information. I couldn't even go support Jason Isaacs, who went to Washington, DC to argue with Congress about giving more money to Arts education programs for children. That was three (THREE) things I heart a lot: kids, art, and education (okay, 4 if you count arguing with politicians)...and I couldn't even go look to see how it was going. In case he or somebody tweeting on his page said something. NOBODY TELL ME!!!

Later, Ori Pfeffer (Golan Cohen) saw where I'd tweeted before my torture began that I hoped they didn't kill him off, and he let me know it wasn't him. And that was JUST like teaching 2nd graders, because that was totally not even following directions, Ori! I said NOT A WORD.

At any rate, about 9.30 PM on Friday I got to watch it finally. And so here are my thoughts:

1-I think the most important thing about show #8 is to say how upset I am with the writers, yet in complete, gobsmacked awe of them. I'm just now able to look in their general direction again after they killed off Debbie. DEBBIE!!! Listen, I was attached to Debbie, DIG writers. I felt a spiritual connection to her--Debbie was a complete fuck up just trying to get it right, and she had a pure heart. If she wore patchouli, wrote bad poetry, and drank wine, she and I could have totally hung out and been BFFs. 

And NOW there can't even be a "Don't EFF With Debbie" DIG spin off. Crap. I'm still in mourning. 

And yet, THIS is a fine example of what good writing is--you kill your darlings. Because the story demands it, and it's going to evoke such a powerful emotional reaction in your audience they won't even know what to do with themselves, and even years later will tell people, when they speak of it, when they remember your story: THEY KILLED DEBBIE. And how dare they!

Which is all to say: I'm so in love with the DIG writers right now I can't even see straight. I'm so mad about Debbie, yet I'm so completely head over heels with them for making that bold choice. This is like one of those completely dysfunctional romantic relationships--no matter how many darlings they kill off, I'll always answer the 1 AM booty call and tell them to come over, without even a second thought. (If their car dies at 10.30 PM in the middle of an episode of DIG though, I'd spend about a minute mulling it over.)

2A-So Debbie died. At that stinkin' little twerp Josh's hands. See! I knew it, I KNEW it! Life Tip: Don't trust ANY genetically-engineered creepy little kids, Internet. This scene was NOT my favorite (for obvious reasons) ... but it was amazing writing. So much was going on in the scene--this is how you get audiences to connect with Story...we'd been given just enough character-building background on Debbie to care and want her to win. She'd been through SO much, had lost so much. There was more spunk to her than first met the eye. And so there she was, after a really nasty, brave fight with real Evil. And now it's quiet, she's got her boy, and she's finally starting to feel like there's some hope. Meanwhile, Josh is in the backseat pulling out...a knife. 

Oh my god. I think I need to have a memorial service or something just to emotionally move on.

When I re-watched, knowing what was coming, the scene where Debbie leaves a message for her mom on the phone? Wrought tears from me. THAT was my favorite scene from this show. 

2B-Also, Debbie discovers the genetic engineering--ultrasounds in files of women at the compound. Fay was one--she bore a Josh. Which basically means she may have killed her own kid. The other lady from the compound, Sandra, her body was used. Basically, the women were vessels for birthing the High Priest. (How many Joshes ARE there??) I think this current Josh is Josh #3. I thought he was still #2, but it was pointed out to me that #2 died in the car chase when Charlie was shot. No matter. (A) I can't count, and neither could Debbie, and (B) HOW MANY JOSHES ARE THERE?? 

I think just 3. Let's hope, for the sake of our planet, just three.

3-Peter and Emma (and Margrove and assistant) (Debbie has to die, but that pissant little MARGROVE is still running around! Life = Unfair) go to the Sisters of Dinah convent to look for treasures--Margrove to look for gold and riches; Peter and Emma to find a way to save the planet. 

But listen: I did 3 hours of research on Dinah and her story because I thought there would be a Dinah was raped connection...20 websites, 3 hours, 2 for writing. And Dinah wasn't in the story (periphery, maybe)...but oh, ha! I get it: Sisters of Dinah...SISTERS...nuns. Of course. In episode 1 or 2 (I think) Peter walks through a bunch of nuns--foreshadowing! (PAY ATTENTION.) 

At any rate. This convent is where John Donaldson made the crazy VHS tape. It's also where the Temple Mount treasures are buried...or it leads to them. Symbols are all over the place in it...Aramaic, Coptic, Canaanite. It's an ancient place. (Why does Peter never seem to use his semiotics background knowledge? Hm.)

The 2 most important things about this episode are: 

(1) What crazy John Donaldson wrote on the walls. What I picked up was: WHO'S ORDERING THE ORDER? (and then some stuff about The Apocalypse.) So I asked @DIGonUSA...Who's ordering the Order? (Because you know who this is, right? Somebody's giving orders to the Order of Moriah. Figure out who that is, and you'll know which bad guys to go nab so the planet doesn't blow up.)


(2) The Temple Mount treasures. Always follow the money (I do this, whenever I talk about public education reform--want to know why something psycho's happening? Follow the money.)

I don't know who's doing the orders yet. I suspect Ruth Ridell is involved--not her, per se, giving the orders. But she's the go-between for somebody who is. 

4-Ruth puts out a hit on Lynn. Because Lynn IS trustworthy, yay! And Lynn is asking a lot of questions. Like going to the weasel-y little camera security guy and getting proof the cameras were down the night Khalid went to the Ambassador's party. That camera guy totally ratted out Lynn, after she asked him NOT to. (Follow. Directions.)

5-Lynn retraced Khalid's steps with the camera information. What I would like to say about this is to offer a Public Service Announcement: Do NOT climb tall chain link fence gates. Lynne did this in high heels. Once, I did this in flip flops. Things worked out for Lynn, but I broke my left foot's fifth metatarsal, almost in the Jones fracture area. 

That's all I could think, as she climbed the gate: Lynn, girlfriend, you are NOT dressed for that. 

6-Emma's Agent Wilson now. Because she's a quick on her feet thinker and came up with that lie when Zohar asked who she was...OR she has a big reason she doesn't want Professor Isaac Zohar to know she's an archaeologist who knew Margrove. Hmm. I still don't trust her for some reason. I'm going to go with 70% trust, 40% wariness. Maybe 80/30...I have to cover myself in case I'm wrong.

7-The Essene IS a good guy! In a sort of religious guy mafioso kind of way. Listen--everything they're doing with the Essenes is all researched-based. Those guys were serious. They were peaceful and vegan, but they were protectors/guarders/keepers of secrets. And they were prepared to do battle in the Sons of Light v. Sons of Darkness epic battle. 

I don't think they were going to hurt sweet little Red the cow. I didn't see any knives out then...it may have been some sort of dedication ceremony of sorts. Essenes just didn't kill animals. They only used the skins of animals that had died naturally. I'm not sure what they were doing with the cow, but I'm 99% certain it wasn't a sacrifice (the 1% is to cover my ass in case I'm wrong). And I'm 99% certain because Shem the Essene tells Peter to be careful as he's shooting or he'll hit the cow.

8-So now Rabbi Lev's goons have the cow again. Ain't that how it always goes? You make your plans, your plans seem to be falling into place, and KABLOOEY. Somebody's car dies, somebody steals back your cow. Life's crazy like that.

9-Poor Avram. He's a bad guy who doesn't know it. And Rabbi Lev is probably going to punish him for his fuck up...he was supposed to kill the Essene. Had Avram killed Shem, none of this would have happened. But now Avram has to go back to the Yeshiva, which is a Jewish private school that studies all the religious texts. Basically, Rabbi Lev called Avram a pansy little school boy. (I hate Rabbi Lev, and I hope God smites him at the end. And I hope Ruth and Tad Billingham are smited too. And Josh! Oh my god, DIG writers, please smite Josh!)

10-This is what DIG (on USA!) does to you--has you wishing, out loud and in public, for the death of a kid. But in my defense, he's not a REAL kid. Plus, he killed Debbie. For that, he must die.

Did you know that, on YouTube, you can go and watch episodes of showrunners Gideon Raff and Tim Kring talking about each episode, after it airs? I did not KNOW this!! Crap! I've been operating as a complete loose cannon, a rogue out in the field, lacking critical classified information. I don't know why I wasn't aware of these, but now I've watched them all and understand even more. You can too, if you want.

Or! You can go read about how I tried to pull a Lynn and broke my left foot about 3 years ago: My Left Foot. 


  1. I don't think Josh #2 died in the car chase, unless Faye killed him after pulling him out alive. Also Faye's ultrasound showed twins.

    1. Huh. Okay.I do remember Fay pulling him out of the car...I guess the person I talked to thought he was dead when pulled from the car. But didn't it seem like the Josh that Debbie grabbed really didn't know what was going on? The one that was pulled out of the car had hung out with Debbie & Charlie, and had a starry-eyed moment of reflection with her...the one she grabs from the compound in Show 8 seems kind of out of it.

      And I went back and looked at the scene where Debbie finds the ultrasound files, and yes! Fay had twins.

      At any rate: How many Joshes ARE there?!

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, by the way. And for blowing my mind with the twins information--missed that bit.

  2. To me the key question is who sent that chess piece to Gregory Donaldson?

    See, the fact that someone is bothering to send the chess piece to Gregory implies that someone still thinks he has a part to play in the upcoming events.

    So who could it be?
    1) It's not Margrove -- he doesn't appear to be interested in anything but the historical find.
    2) I don't think it's Rabbi Lev and his group. They seem to have all the pieces they need for their prophecy (heifer, stones, High Priest).
    3) It might be Shem and his Essenes, but if their whole raison d'etre is to stop Rabbi Lev's cabal then what is the purpose of "activating " Gregory?

    What is the expected outcome of sending the chess piece to Gregory?

    The chess piece obviously means something to Gregory, something private that only the sender and Gregory know about. Perhaps it is even supposed to "wake something up" in Gregory and cut through his crazy. That is why I find it very interesting that Emma Wilson casually picks up a very similar-looking chess piece in Dr. Donaldson's old digs. At the very least it implies that the chess connection comes from Dr. Donaldson.

    1) This could just be simple clue to Gregory that his father is actually still alive.
    2) This could be someone else trying to fake Gregory into thinking his father is alive.

    - I don't think it can be as simple as this, as Gregory was supposedly put up for adoption when he was 3 years old, so memories of his father would be sketchy (though I suppose he may have an old photo).

    3) The show is playing with time, and it's actually Emma who sends Gregory the chess piece.
    4) The chess piece has more significance:
    a) Perhaps the reference is to "black and white" (i.e. the Urim and Tumim)
    b) Perhaps the reference is the "sons of dark" and the "sons of light" (of Essene lore).


    Now let's go to the second question of who hired Emma Wilson to bring Peter in?

    1) It's not Rabbi Lev's Cabal (they try to have Peter removed/killed).
    2) I don't think it's Shem, since Emma doesn't recognize him (though I'll admit there is a small chance that Emma is faking or the hiring was done through intermediaries).
    3) Emma is manipulating everyone herself.
    4) Some hitherto unknown agency.


    You can see where I'm going with this. I am positing some third party with a hidden hand in the whole business moving things around. The "triggering" of Peter using Emma Wilson (red hair, stone in pocket) seems similar in indirection to sending a chess piece to Gregory. It's someone with a ***very*** light touch, and who knows the psychology of those individuals really well.

    That's why I think that the season will end with a showdown and the immediate threat (blowing up the mosque on the temple mount and starting WW3) stopped, but that there will be clear hints of someone else who was really pulling all the strings to a specific end.

    I will go out further on a limb and hypothesize that Peter himself is an object of prophecy, and that he has a key part he "was meant to play" in upcoming events.

  3. Random thought:

    The name of the next episode is "Jehosaphat". Since this is what Gregory writes on the window sill when Peter visits him, I assume this is connected.

    I can think of two meanings for "Jehosaphat". The straightforward meaning is the "Valley of Jehosaphat". It's where the "Last Judgement" is supposed to take place -- right outside of the Temple Mount. Pretty reasonable location for a showdown.

    The second (and admittedly and more convoluted) idea for "Jehosaphat", is that when he was king, there was a coalition of Moabite and Edomite forces that came to attack him. They ended up fighting and killing each other and he just had to pick up the spoils. Could "our" Jehosaphat be manipulating Rabbi Lev's and Shem's groups into wiping each other out only to pick up the spoils?

  4. The chess piece was a Bishop

  5. Hi Anonymous--are you the same person? if not--thank Chess Piece information person! Thank you, thank you!!

    To the other Anonymous--WOW! I read your comments earlier on my lunch break, and I don't have time to comment the way you deserve me to comment right now, so I'll come back. But just: you're clearly a super smartie, aren't you? Good sleuthing/thinking!

  6. Absolutely! The chess piece was clearly a message of some sort, so then we do need to think: who sent it?

    Now that I know it's the bishop, guess what I'm going to be looking up online--how do bishops figure into the game of chess. Because (though I don't play), I do know chess is a game of strategy, of outwitting your opponent. That's what I love about this show--things like that'll happen, and they'll be a lot bigger than they look. You have to watch closely.

    I don't think the show is playing with time. But I do like the idea of bringing back in the Urim and Thummim--and I like tying those in with the Sons of Darkness & Light. So...maybe!

    Well, as exhausting as this Monday has been, now you've gone and gotten by brain percolating with thoughts of who...whooooo? Could have such a light touch who knows Peter well enough to manipulate him that easily. (My first thought: the estranged wife. Second thought: top level CIA or FBI person. Third thought: it's 10:30 on Monday night and this is too much for my brain!)

    Peter = a Prophet of some kind? I've heard some people ponder out loud that he maybe is the Messiah, but I don't think so. But a Prophet who doesn't know his own powers...maybe.

    And I love your Jehoshaphat theory. I love it a lot. I love it so much, I'm going to be on the lookout for signs of it in Thursday's episode.

    I feel like I go on a roller coaster ride. Every Thursday. :-)

  7. Hi I'm Anonymous April 26, 2015 at 8:55 PM. Not the same as the other anonymous commenters.

    I always knew Faye had a bigger role than just being Billingham's assassin, and predicted after Ep.3 that she was Joshua 2.0's caretaker or mother. Her dialogue was too protective of Joshua 2.0; he was too familiar with a woman that others feared; and in Ep. 7 her facial expressions indicated some sort of emotional connection with Joshua 2.0 (and if you watch carefully, she actually pats him on the back after she gets him out of the wrecked car!) Based on what we learned in Ep. 7 and then in Ep. 8, I believe she's capable of going psycho mother hen on Billingham IF he loses faith in the prophecy or Joshua 2.0's ability to carry it out.

    Quite frankly I don't think there are other Joshuas out there; at the least, they have stopped whatever efforts they made to create Joshua(s) when they got rid of the lab equipment. However, I also think "Sisters of Dinah" was a double entendre that also refers to the women of the New Mexico compound, that they were effectively raped by the cult when they were manipulated into becoming surrogate mothers.

    I'm really into this show... only started watching it because of a favorite actor... didn't really like it in the beginning but I caught on to some of the plot points and details and now it's become a real hobby. I'll be at somewhat of a loss when it's over.

  8. Lol, we should have an "Anonymus Anonymus" convention. ;) I'll start signing my name here to differentiate.
    In any case, thanks for the compliments. I am very much into this show; it hits all my conspiracy buttons.

    re: the importance of a Bishop in chess, I don't really know what this would mean. A Bishop is a minor piece but not a "pawn" (both literally and figuratively) so "some small part to play" might be an apt description. Apparently the Hebrew name is "ratz" which means "runner".

    Alternatively, a Bishop is the only piece that stays on the same color (i.e. a Bishop that stats off on a white square will always remain on white). If we read something into the white-black metaphor, then perhaps this could be taken to mean loyalty/stability

    Personally, I don't think the fact that it is a Bishop has significance beyond the fact that it's a chess piece (possibly of a particular set), but the way this show is going, who knows.


  9. Anonymous #1 again, will sign with my twitter handle from now on:

    Trivia: Angela Bettis, the actress who plays Faye, is herself a fraternal twin.


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