Raising Dion S1 is released in 2019, while S2 is released in 2022. The focus of the series is on Dion Warren, a precocious 8 years old boy who suddenly finds himself with “super powers” such as able to teleport items. Although the idea of having superpowers excite the little boy, his single mother Nicole is less enthusiastic about it. In actual fact, she is paranoid and groping in the dark to handle the situations. As she manages through the “crisis”, she is accompanied by a very enthusiastic & willing friend of her husband – Pat Rollins and a more judgmental but concerned older sister Kat Neese.
As the story unfolds, viewers are given more clues to the background of Dion’s situation.
- Mark, Dion’s father dies while saving someone in a storm, but deeply missed by Nicole & Dion
- Mark has a great friendship with old time buddy Pat, whereby both works in BIONA and attended an aurora event in Iceland
- The Iceland aurora event seems to be the cause of the unnatural power of many individuals attending the event, including Mark and others
- Biona is aware of the changes of the event to human and animals, and secretly monitoring the individuals
As Dion explores his own power, he is looking for a mentor in the enthusiastic Pat and also the more self-preserving Charlotte. When Pat is frustrated with Nicole’s lack of response to his advances, he becomes erratic in his behaviour. Subsequently, in his anger he turns into the Storm Killer, killing Charlotte in the process and chases after Dion. It is also revealed that Storm Killer @ Pat is also the killer of Mark. Season 1 ends with the final showdown between Dion and Storm Killer at the school field. Dion with assistance from Biona, Nicole & his good friends – Esperanza & Jonathan, triumphs over Storm Killer but is warned that “energy” never dies and may return.
Season 2 starts off ominously with the return of Brayden, a child with superpower similar to Dion. He is shown to have murdered his guardian aunt and absorbed the energy of Storm Killer. Brayden, influenced by the energy of Storm Killer, is determined to track down Dion for a face-off.
The series take a slight turn whereby air-borne parasites start to spread, turning human being into monsters which can be controlled by Brayden (and the energy of Storm Killer). As more people are affected, Nicole is also infected and is showing signs of turning and dying as well.
When Pat Rollins comes back alive and seeking shelter from Biona, he seems like the old Pat, weak and good-natured again with guilt racking through his conscience. He is determined to find a cure to help Nicole, but is unsuccessful. But it did not take long before he turns into an attention-seeking desperate normalised person again. He injects himself with the DNA power collected from various individuals with powers.
The final showdown of Dion with Brayden happens at the school field again, whereby the infected humans (turned into plant-based monsters) attacks Dion. Brayden’s doubt on his actions finally cracks and provides an avenue for Dion to prevail. The infected humans are “disinfected” and returns to normal.
The ending seems to turn menacing with the Storm Killer energy re-visiting Pat, adding in Josh – who is the greedy Biona’s vice president of operations, implying the return of Season 3 with these bunch of villains.
There are questions sprinkled through when watching the series:
- Why did Dion’s superpowers only realised when he turns 8? Isn’t there any earlier indications?
- Why didn’t Pat seek help from Biona when he finds his own power? How can he be not aware of all the hidden cases in Biona when all his other colleagues are involved?
- How are other agencies not involved in the whole fiasco with the identification of superpower individuals?
S1 at 9 episodes while S2 at 8 episodes, you can easily binge-watch the 2 seasons. The series turns out slightly different from my original expectations, which I thought was a family-drama. The series turns “superhero” mid-way in S1 and it was doing well all the way into the ending of Season 1. S1 is engaging enough as the story is still fresh, and there are many pieces of puzzles to put together. But once that ends, S2 starts off menacingly enough, but loses steam quite fast. The series seem to repeat the process of S1 without much thoughts on the direction.
Ja’siah Young as the precocious Dion is believable, mature but enthusiastic, playful but empathetic. At the beginning of S1, I actually like Dion’s interaction with Pat as Pat does come across as a child himself which provides some respite for Dion’s condition. The hero-worshipping, the enthusiasm & non-stop chit chat on comic books superheroes and the list goes on. The realisation that Pat is the Storm Killer has great emotional damage to Dion. Dion’s friendship with Esperanza and Jonathan is also a good take of how children are exploring their own emotions and values as they grow up.
Nicole’s character is actually quite annoying, she is obviously treading into the unknowns while trying to find out more about his son’s condition. However, the way I see it – her actions are part selfish and part egoistic. And what annoys me is every single encounter with male acquaintances trigger her “dating” radar. With so much going on in her life, is that really something that she could even consider? Her relationship with sister Kat is hot-cold, with implied situation that she has not been reliable in her younger days. Although Kat is equally presumptuous in her assessment of Nicole & Dion’s welfare, she basically has their interest at heart. However, the unwillingness of Nicole to communicate can be very frustrating.
Brayden’s character is easy to sympathise with, and could have been written to be a little more multi-dimensional. His needs for company & to be loved are strong, pushing him to the tether ends. However, the story doesn’t seem to do justice to the character which is very disappointing.
I do love S1 as the story reveals itself nicely with pieces of the puzzles and the surprises at the end is unexpected. But S2 leaves a lot to be desired, and goes downhill even from Episode 1. S1 is so promising, and there are so many themes that could be explored with a little more in-depth. However, the series simply touched the surface, which is farcical and left many things hanging. My take – watch it with less expectations.