The Journey Through the Desert
Netflix’s new series Messiah definitely has quite the intriguing and controversial premise, as we follow proclaimed prophet Al-Masih who quickly manages to garner a strong following. AT the same time, CIA agent Eva Geller takes an interest with him while dealing with the demons of her past. The first episode is a strong one, with some decent exposition and setting the scene nicely with what’s to come in the next few episodes as we see whether Al-Masih is really the Messiah or just a con artist.
Episode 1 of Messiah begins with a little boy waking up from a nightmare and awakening his Mum who reassures him. We then flash-forward in time where we see the boy now grown-up as he deals with an explosion which has just killed his mum. A news segment explains that the city of Damascus in Syria has been under attack and siege by the ISIS caliphate. We then cut to a man preaching to the crowd of refugees claiming that God will save them all while we see an enormous sandstorm approaching the city. This prompts the crowd, including Jibril, to scatter as the preacher stays where he is.
A month later, we find out that the storm lasted a month and buried the ISIS force, making them retreat from Damascus and freeing the city from their threat as their supply coming from other countries is cut. In the United States, CIA agent Eva Geller interviews a potential candidate after a fertility medical procedure. After her appointment, she receives a video from a certain Q showing people in Syria chanting after someone and calling him the Messiah, who claims to have rid the region of ISIL.
Back in her apartment, Q calls Eva to talk about the so-called Messiah who has led 2000 Syrian refugees into the desert. She believes he may be a Shi’ite and decides to put him on the watch-list. Unable to sleep, she heads to a coffee shop where she meets waiter Keon whose uncle was a CIA agent who died in Turkey during a bombing.
In the Syrian desert, the Messiah talks to Jibril about God. He explains how he works through everyone and tells everyone to cling to him. Jibril and his friend watch him standing on a hill while they wonder how he managed to preach for 30 days during the storm without food or water. Jibril then claims he is Isa returned and calls him Al-Masih.
The next day, Eva relays her findings to her boss, Bailey, and tells her she wants to keep an eye on him as he could be creating an army. She agrees but gives her minimal resources. As she looks for them on a satellite feed, she sees that he’s leading them into Israel.
In the desert, Al-Masih tells the people to drop their weapons and bury them. He then leads them towards the border while the Israeli guards see them and call for reinforcements. As they try crossing the border, they’re soon stopped by the Israeli soldiers who end up arresting Al-Masih and stop the refugees from crossing the border.
While Eva speaks to her superiors about the current situation, Shin Bet agent Aviram interrogates Al-Masih about his reason for crossing the border. He replies he wanted to see the holy land and claims to be Jewish originally. Aviram is surprised when Al-Masih calls him by his name and mentions a boy in Meggido. Later that night, Aviram has drinks with his friend and after talking about his brother robbing a store, he asks him if he ever told anyone about Meggido. Aviram then returns to the station and finds Al-Masih’s cell empty which is where the episode ends.
The first episode of Messiah was certainly quite interesting and wastes little time getting the audience invested and straight into the heart of the action. Al-Masih claims to be a prophet, there to do what God wishes him to do, and this is quite the controversial premise, especially as the episode touches on the conflict between Syria and Israel.
We’re also introduced to CIA Eva and agent Aviram who will probably end up working together as they figure out just how true Al-Masih’s beliefs are, and to make sure he doesn’t cause even more conflicts in the middle-eastern countries. There are also plenty of mysteries surrounding these two which should definitely keep you coming back for more after a strong opening episode.
|Messiah is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|