Recap: ‘Under The Dome’ Got Punchy With ‘Let The Games Begin’

Senior Contributor
08.27.13 30 Comments

Under The Dome continues to be a pretty good small-town crime story mashed up with a pretty weak science fiction story. Also, Big Jim finally commits an act that can only be defined as pure, unmitigated evil… but he’s still not the bad guy.

First off, this episode opens with Dodee getting Dome-punched, something I know the comments section has been greatly looking forward to, and that I have to admit was pretty gratifying to watch. Apparently you don’t remember getting Dome-punched either, something I’m sure will come up later.

Otherwise, it was a pretty typical plot for this show: Norrie, Joe, and Angie kind of wander around arguing about what to do as they inevitably discover Junior is the “fourth hand” they need to open up the mini-dome and get at the chocolate surprise inside. Why the show decided to freight all its worst cast members, worst dialogue, and dullest plotlines into what really should be its title conceit is utterly beyond me.

Meanwhile, over on the reason to watch this show, Big Jim and Barbie uneasily work together to take down the ball-busting Max, who knows their secrets and starts blackmailing them; Big Jim is doing her shopping, while Barbie’s job is to get busted in the face. The show oddly doesn’t deploy Barbie’s tendency to flip out when his personal safety is threatened, which is unfortunately because Mike Vogel does “barely keeping it together psycho” better than “noble hero.”

Big Jim, meanwhile, learns a lot more about Max’s past and we actually get a decent explanation as to why, precisely, she was in town when the dome dropped. He ends the episode with an act of dirtbaggery so profound it’s pretty clear we’re supposed to think of him as the “bad guy” now. But considering the situation it’s a little hard not think the guy may have had a point.

Finally, Julia and Linda poke around the bank and basically all the secrets are out. It’s interesting because Max now has no leverage over Barbie or Big Jim, so they can do what they do best: Kick ass. Oh, also the finale drops a pretty major hint that the dome is a spaceship, which is actually kind of exciting, if for no other reason than considering the sheer amount of venality we’ve seen among the townsfolk without lines, flinging Chester’s Mill into space seems like a pretty good idea.

And on that note…

  • Man oh man, was this episode ever a continuity mess: Chester’s Mill is now suddenly on the ocean, something that was never mentioned, discussed, or seen before.
  • If Norrie or Joe state the obvious for the audience one more time, they should get Dome-punched.
  • Junior really hits new heights of dickery in this episode, whining to Angie about how she betrayed his trust. The fact that the show isn’t killing him off makes us worried he’ll be the noble sacrifice at the end of the season.
  • I will say this: Absolutely nothing on this show has unfolded how I predicted it would, so that’s a point in its favor. That said, it does need to clean up its act a bit and choose a focus, or the second season is going to be a mess.
  • Julia was awfully quick to forgive Barbie for murdering her husband.

Any thoughts of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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