Under The Dome episode 10 review: Let The Games Begin
Under the Dome finally delivers a decent episode. Here’s Frances’ review of Let The Games Begin…
This review contains spoilers.
1.10 Let The Games Begin
Who knew? Under the Dome is capable of suspense, pacey plotting, and dialogue that doesn’t necessarily make you want to pull out each of your teeth. Let the Games Begin took three plot threads - Big Jim and Barbie investigating Max, Linda and Julia investigating Duke, and the Famous Five, sorry four, investigating the mini dome - and made a roundly entertaining forty-odd minutes of television out of them.
So what if the narrative leaps were still on the shonky side, the hours-dead mother was ignored in favour of a magic egg, and a clue was literally found under Duke’s hat? Under the Dome played a decent-ish innings this week, and long may it continue.
Since Natalie Zea stepped (however unbelievably) out of the shadows and started pulling Big Jim and Barbie’s strings last week, it’s as if the show has grown up some. Zea delivers her lines pithily and with real moxie. “Yeah. That’s about needs. This is about vices”, she told Barbie with offhand zing, as if she hadn’t received the memo about the house style being to frown up at the dome with the wide-eyed wonder of a stoned teenager and articulate every expositional thought as if you’ve just learnt that minute how to form words.
Would nine days without telly really drive people to trade in their last bag of pasta quills for a bit of bloodthirsty betting action? Perhaps not (they still have novels in there, don’t they? Monopoly? Connect 4?), but Max feels as if she’s immigrated to Under the Dome from another, better show where the gears are fixed a notch or two higher. Let’s hope she and her cynical brand of fun stick around.
Unlikely to make it to another episode is Max’s mother, last seen trussed up and bobbing about in the East Lake (think they’ve sorted the methane problem from a few weeks back?). Agatha’s stand-off with Big Jim was a rare thing in Under the Dome, a genuinely unpredictable situation. We didn’t know what form Max’s ‘insurance’ would take, and a bitter, bullied mother with it in for Chester’s Mill wasn’t my first guess, or my second for that matter.
Leaving Agatha to the fish was the latest stop in Big Jim’s route from corrupt councilman to serial ‘not rescuer’. Now Sheriff Linda knows his secret, is it game over for Big Jim? Something tells me his demise isn’t coming just yet, not least for the fact the show’s makers would be certifiable fools to ditch the talented Dean Norris.
The enemy of Big Jim’s enemy, aka Barbie, had his own fight on his hands this week. Gratuitous and out-of-nowhere it may have been, but that punch-up in the ring was good TV fodder. Not one to drag things out unduly, Under the Dome also had Barbie confess to, and be forgiven by, Julia. From meeting to shagging to husband-murdering confessions to forgiveness all in nine days? Impressive stuff.
Over in the mystery barn, poor Dodie failed her ‘Fourth Hand’ audition, showing that the magic egg and its magic caterpillar only wants tractable skinny white kids, not electrical engineers to do its bidding. Stupid magic egg. Proving that the egg has worse taste in minions than Norrie does in outfits then, it was discovered that Junior Rennie was the missing piece of the four hands puzzle. His palm activated a planetarium light show, and his mouth closed the episode with the line “But what does it all mean?”
I don’t know Junior, but as long as they keep punching you in the face, I’ll keep watching.
Read Frances’ review of the previous episode, The Fourth Hand, here.
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.