Netflix’s superhero series ‘Raising Dion’ tells the story of a young boy, Dion Warren, who discovers that he has superpowers and thereby starts learning how to control them while finding his way in the world. The series is as much about Dion’s mother, Nicole, as it is about him. Nicole, a single mom, will do whatever it takes to keep him safe from the world. But there’s more to Dion’s powers than meets the eye. There is a larger force at play, a force that won’t stop until it has absorbed Dion’s powers. The question is, will Dion be prepared for it?
Created by Carol Barbee, ‘Raising Dion’ Season 1 comprises 9 episodes that run for an average of 45 minutes.
‘Raising Dion’ Episodes Summary/Recap
Episode 1: Nicole Warren, a single mother, and her son Dion Warren have recently relocated to a new Atlanta neighborhood. Dion struggles to make friends at school. Nicole, too, has a tough time managing work and home. Dion’s godfather is Mark, Dion’s colleague and best friend. ‘Raising Dion,’ Episode 1 straight away introduces us to the fact that Dion possesses superpowers. Nicole takes Dion to his father, Mark’s cabin by the lake for some peace. She discovers a note in one of Mark’s jackets with the name “Charlotte Tuck” on it along with a number. Charlotte Tuck was the very woman Mark saved in the storm before losing his life. On that very night, a storm forms over the lake where Nicole and Dion see Mark.
Episode 2: More of Dion’s powers are revealed. Nicole tries to find out more about Charlotte Tuck by seeking help from Pat, who works at BIONA, a biotechnology firm that is currently researching climate change. Pat finds out that Charlotte went missing after August 12, 2017, the same day Mark died saving her. He too comes to know about Dion’s abilities.
Episode 3: At Pat’s suggestion, Dion receives his father’s watch from Nicole. The watch is supposed to help him focus his powers. Nicole receives a call from Charlotte Tuck, who tells her that Mark too had powers that he passed on to Dion and that everyone present at the Aurora event in Iceland got powers from the sky that “exploded.” Nicole tells Pat about all this, and Pat shows interest in talking to Charlotte. Nicole receives a video from Charlotte depicting “the thing in the storm,” which killed Mark.
Episode 4: Pat takes Dion out to give him a tour of the BIONA facility where they break into a secret lab. Pat discovers that BIONA is studying people who were present at the Aurora event in Iceland. Meanwhile, Dion is able to heal a fox using his powers, one of the many animals in the lab all of which have been brought over from Iceland. Nicole finds out more about the lightning man.
Episode 5: Episode 5 shows what happened to Mark at the Aurora event in Iceland. We see him experiencing his powers. We see his meeting with Charlotte Tuck and the incident that led to his death. And it is made clear that he was killed by the “lightning man.” Coming back to the present, it’s Dion’s birthday celebration. That night, Dion sees something in the rain and tells Nicole about it. Nicole too observes Mark in the thunderstorm.
Episode 6: Charlotte Tuck turns up at the Warren residence and agrees to help Dion to control his powers. Dion’s training begins. Suzanne calls Pat and asks him about the Iceland event. Areas around the spot where the incident occurred are undergoing necrosis, but the spot has remained harmless, and it seems that the meteor showers’ effects are protecting it, the same shower that gave powers to all those who were present there. Nicole discovers a memory chip inside Dion’s watch (which is basically his father’s).
Episode 7: Nicole hands over the data she found in the memory chip to Pat for further analysis at BIONA labs. Charlotte goes to meet Walter Mills, one of the people on Mark’s list of those affected, only to find out that he is dead. His son, Brayden, has inherited powers too and can read minds. Dion is rushed to the hospital due to a mysterious ailment. This is something Nicole doesn’t want, as any test on Dion might reveal his abilities. She too rushes to the hospital. Pat arrives with the data he found. Kat manages to heal Din, only for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to come and take him away forcefully.
Episode 8: Nicole comes to learn more about the storm from Suzanne. At the Warren residence, Charlotte discovers that many people from the Aurora event listed in Mark’s research are reported missing. Nicole and Pat have a fallout following a revelation by Pat of his feelings for Nicole. Nicole tells Charlotte to not let Pat talk to Dion. When Charlotte tries to prevent Pat from entering the Warren residence, it enrages Pat, and he reveals to Charlotte’s utter shock that he is the Crooked Man.
Episode 9: Pat kills Charlotte and absorbs her, with Nicole as a spectator. Nicole manages to escape with Dion and goes to the cabin to hide. Soon, Pat manages to find out from Dion about where they are staying and soon turns up at the cabin. But before he can get his hands on Dion, he manages to teleport away. Nicole tells Suzanne about Pat, but only after he rushes to find Dion after targeting Nicole with his powers. We have come to know that Pat needs Dion to heal him. What follows is an epic battle between Pat and Dion. Nicole and Dion, accompanied by their friends, Esparanza and Jonathan, manage to destroy Pat in his storm form.
Analyzing The Theme
‘Raising Dion’ is filled with multiple arcs, e.g., heroism, comic-book lore, parenthood, and relationships. Each of these is seamlessly joined to give the show a life of its own. Let us break down the different arcs we mentioned earlier one by one.
Heroism in ‘Raising Dion’ comes as a surprise. Usually, a person who discovers that he or she has superhuman abilities would freak out. They would try to avoid meeting people, make sure to not meddle with the powers in any way, and probably go into hiding. Dion, being the bright kid that he is, embraces his abilities. This is but one part of his heroism.
The next bit is taking care of his mother. Now, this doesn’t mean trying to help her find a job or cope with her husband’s absence. But every time Dion finds his mother worried, he understands and asks her, “Are you sad?” Dion’s little gesture has a ton of effect in itself and it is these little things that makes his character unique.
But it is not just Dion who shows heroism. Nicole, too, fulfills her job as a supermom, taking care of Dion in every way possible. What makes her heroism much more palpable to us is her vulnerability. We get to see how much she misses her husband and how scared she is for Dion’s safety and his future. Yet, her never-give-up attitude, be it for her job, or to find out more about her husband, makes her no less than a wonder woman. This brings us to the next arc.
Of course, the whole series is like a comic book in that it belongs to the superhero genre. But in the show, comic books play a vital role too, especially in the relationship between Dion and Pat. Pat is a comic book worm. It is Pat who tells Dion how to go about managing his powers. He also tells his mother to give him a tool that will help him focus, just like Thor has his hammer. He even becomes Dion’s “mentor” to help him navigate his transformation into a superhero.
Keeping in mind how much it takes from the superhero genre, ‘Raising Dion’ artistically makes use of the comic book genre to take the plot forward. This makes the younger people who are watching the show connect with it much better and more easily.
Nicole’s parenthood is evidently a part of her heroism. As usual with parents of superheroes, the most important thing is to keep their children safe. And this is something we see right from the beginning of the show till the end. Even when she had no idea of Dion’s superpowers, parenthood was palpable, credit for which also goes to Alisha Wainwright’s acting. She made the shifts between the multiple facets of her character look completely seamless while still being able to hold on to her arc.
As for Dion and Nicole, not once is there any friction shown, which is only natural provided that Dion is just a kid. He doesn’t have a father, and thus everything revolves around his mom. Likewise, for Nicole, Dion is the center around which she has drawn her life’s circle. She misses her husband, and this is what makes the bond between Dion and Nicole stronger than usual. There is often give-and-take between them about Mark, which in turn keeps him alive in them.
The friendship between Dion and Esparanza is also portrayed in a way that will resonate with any family watching the show. Dion levitates Esparanza without her permission and learns a lesson about why doing so against her will is wrong. Frankly speaking, their friendship is directed towards how important it is to care for and respect a friend, or any person for that matter, who has special needs. Also, after Dion apologizes to Esparanza, their bond gets stronger. All this is very well-drawn.
Between Nicole and Pat, however, things aren’t as they seem. Pat is one of the nicest guys who is always there to help Nicole and Dion. He really is Dion’s godfather. However, as the show progresses, we come to know of another reason why he is the way he is with Nicole. And that is because he has developed feelings for Nicole. Now, we do not know if these were there while Mark was alive. But it seems that it was Mark’s death that brought Pat closer to Nicole on “many levels.” We find out that Pat isn’t good with boundaries and even confronts Nicole, blaming her for taking advantage of him because she knows he has feelings for her. This does sound absurd because Pat has been this way ever since he got to know Nicole, and the only reason he is able to blame Nicole is that he told her about her feelings in the first place. Nicole was always this way with Pat because she found a friend in him and not because she wanted to use him. It was only natural for her to “take a break” from Pat because she didn’t want things to get ruined more than they already had. But this made Pat feel even more wretched.
This is a common thing when we make ourselves known to the person we love. Often, we don’t get the love back, which is only natural. We cannot expect someone to love us just because we love them. But once we do reveal our feelings, whatever they ask of us appears to be our liability, something we are obliged to do. And so we distance ourselves from that person. And all that we breed inside is anger, and sometimes this anger of rejection exceeds the love we have for the person. The same was the case with Pat. And we all know what happened after that.
At such a young age, Ja’Siah Young delivers a charismatic performance despite spearheading a Netflix show at such a young age. He is able to switch seamlessly between intense and lighthearted moments, and never once is he out of character. He is Dion Warren.
Alisha Wainwright as Nicole deserves a special mention. Her nuanced performance, from struggling with her job to looking after her kid, is flawless. Not once does she fall out of character. It is also what will make many parents, especially single mothers and fathers, connect with her due to the constant drag and pull between home and work.
The fact that Dion feels out of place and has to handle powers that are way bigger than him is something we have all come across in many previous superhero alterations, the most relatable being Spider-Man. This is one of the cornerstones of comic books—no different than an analogy for adolescence. Despite using a tried-and-true formula, ‘Raising Dion’ manages to stand out and provide viewers with a unique perspective.The show is as much about what makes us human as it is about being a superhero. This is what makes ‘Raising Dion’ open to all.
‘Raising Dion’ Ending: What We Can Expect From Season 2?
It is not that easy to kill a storm. That is a fact. And the ending of ‘Raising Dion’ proves it. Even after Dion manages to strike Pat right at the exposed point of the lightning rod, we see a cloud escape at the end of it all. The last scene of episode 9 shows the cloud getting inside Brayden, the son of Walter, who is another one of those people who received powers at the Aurora event.
If you have seen the trailer for Season 2, you must have noticed a scene where Pat returns in his nomad look. He doesn’t seem to have the power anymore. This seems to prove that the storm has a life of its own. Its first source was Pat, but after Pat was struck down by Dion, it had to look for another body to serve as its host. Therefore, it left Pat, who will return as a normal human being. There are still many people all around the country who were present at the Aurora event. Not to forget, some of them might already have children since years have passed after that event. So the children too will have powers. Thus, Season 2 will possibly have the storm look for all these people so that it can absorb them too and survive. And let’s not forget that Brayden can read minds. So the storm will also be able to know what’s in the minds of others.
The Season 2 trailer shows Dion at an older stage but still a kid. He has made a team, the Triangle of Justice, that comprises him, Esparanza, and Jonathan. He is also training at BIONA to control his powers. But the stakes are higher and there’s more to the storm than meets the eye. What remains to be seen is how Dion will be able to face it.
‘Raising Dion’ is a 2019 Action Thriller Superhero Series created by Carol Barbee. Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.