Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Dom feels like a blend of feature film City of God, HBO thriller Euphoria and BBC’s The Serpent. This timeline twisting crime thriller centers on the horrors of drug addiction and wraps that up in a story inspired by real events.
The result is one of this year’s most gripping crime dramas, delivering 8 chapters of enthralling action and tension while simultaneously managing to showcase just how quickly and devastating drugs can destroy a community.
At the center of this lies Victor, a civil police office who has dedicated his life to fighting drugs on the front-line. From going undercover and infiltrating a gang operating deep in the favela to investigating an illegal arms shipment, Victor finds himself fighting the good fight and doing everything he can to stop those at the top.
Unfortunately that’s easier said than done when his son Pedro – going by the alias of Pedro Dom – is one of those victims he’s trying so hard to save. Through four different timelines interspersed together, Dom pieces together the events leading to cocaine entering Brazil and driving Pedro Dom to become one of the most wanted criminals in Brazil.
This is every bit a tragedy as it is a thriller though, with Victor’s struggles made all the more harder by Dom’s exploits out in the street that go from bad to worse the longer the show progresses.
There’s a particularly memorable episode midway through that centers on this estranged father/son relationship too, bleeding into the rest of the episodes that follow. Although it is hard to warm toward Pedro, his Father meanwhile is a much more deep and fascinating and he’s the one you root for throughout.
Although one could argue the series is a tad too long, Dom makes the most of its runtime with 8 well-worked chapters that progress the story forward to a suitably devastating and tragic end.
As a bit of a nitpick, the cyclical nature of Dom’s character does feel like it’s recycled a few too many times and tends to lose its effectiveness as a result. Likewise, the timeline jumping is both a curse and a blessing for this show, with some of the jumps back in time lacking tension and urgency given we know how these events transpire.
Despite Dom fronting as a simple crime thriller, this show has layers of depth that really help make this an artistic venture. The juxtaposition between Victor and Pedro in particular is fascinating to see, while the continuing blurred line between crook and cop broadens this show into eerily familiar territory. In essence, Dom proves that there really are villains on both sides of the law.
Now, given the show is inspired by real events, it’s worth bearing in mind that Dom paints the infamous character of Pedro Dom in a very different light compared to how the tabloids have painted him. How true to form that is remains to be seen.
Those outside Brazil should also bear in mind that this series tends to default to dubbing rather than the authentic dialogue on Amazon. As always, I absolutely implore you to turn off dubbing and switch the audio settings to Portuguese. The show is so much more authentic that way.
Overall though, Dom is a smartly written crime thriller. It’s a show that centers on the horrors of drug addiction and how Rio was transformed over four decades into a haven for cocaine. The different timelines are well worked while there’s enough action in here to keep things engaging.
Ultimately though this is a very intimate story about the estranged and complicated relationship between father and son. It’s a harrowing, poignant and devastating cautionary tale about how drugs can ravage and destroy a community. Dom is an enthralling watch and well worth checking out.